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“Welcome to the club...!”

Updated: Feb 3, 2021

After weeks of physical therapy, a half dozen massages, two full weeks off from running (and walking for that matter), and a lot of painful limping around...I just wasn’t feeling any better. The night before my last PT appointment, I couldn’t sleep because of the pain in my hip and lower back. I remained hopeful that it was still just a freakishly tight psoas/iliacus and that rest and rehab would sort it out. My PT, Matt James, seeing that I hadn’t really improved after a rest week, recommended that I go see our sports medicine physician, Doctor Peter Wenger, in order to get proper imaging so we could rule out anything more nefarious. I haven’t (happily) seen Dr. Wenger for a whole year now (since my 2020 battle with plantar fasciitis) and I joked with him that I was probably “due” as Darin has been hogging all his time and attention lately with his gouty foot. After Dr. Wenger’s initial exam, he ordered an X-ray and MRI but unfortunately said his strong feeling was I had a femoral stress fracture. Then he jokingly exclaimed “Welcome to the club! You’re officially an ultra runner now!” 🤣. Dr Wenger is an accomplished and competitive triathlete/ Ironman and admitted he’s suffered 4 stress fractures himself. I immediately started shame spiraling in his office - blaming myself for causing this and pushing through the pain.

One of the main lessons I learned in ballet, was that something was always going to hurt ... but that “the show must go on”. I learned very quickly to push past my pain and to dance right through it. There’s a quote I came across a few years ago by the famed ballerina, Margot Fonteyn: “If everyone knew how physically cruel dancing really is, nobody would watch - only those people who enjoy bull fights.” I think about that quote quite a lot - and vividly remember sitting in first row center orchestra seats during a performance of Swan Lake a few years ago; halfway through Odile’s much anticipated famous 32 fouettés, I watched in horror as the principal dancer‘s left pale pink silk toe shoe slowly turned bright red, filling with blood🩸. Ballet definitely gave me the foundation for mental toughness - which has served me well in my life...but it’s also partially to blame for this injury. Also, being pretty new to running, I just thought it’s always supposed to hurt on some level 🤣🤷🏼‍♀️.

Dr. Wenger cheerfully prescribed imaging to confirm his initial diagnosis as well as complete rest for ~6-8 weeks, crutches, and finally, the literal cherry on top, what he‘s lovingly coined “The Ben & Jerry’s Diet” 🍦! 🤣 Naturally, in that moment he became my favorite doctor EVER! 🥰 (Obviously, not including Darin!😉💙) Dr. Wenger did say I could swim, but advised “NO pushing off the wall and no aqua walking/jogging”!

I immediately contacted my PT, and our running coach, Meghan Canfield (“The Queen” 👸🏼 👑), to update them both and drove straight home to give Darin the news (he was in the middle of a long work meeting during my appointment).

As soon as I got home, the imaging center contacted me to say they had an appointment available for my X-ray. So I turned right back around (the office is located directly across the street from Dr. Wenger’s office)...and had my X-ray done.

In retrospect, I realize I should’ve kept these very sexy shorts 🩳as a souvenir! 🤣

So now I’m just waiting for my MRI appointment (hopefully I can get in sometime next week) and then we will know conclusively what is going on. But for now, Dr. Wenger has recommended total rest and relaxation and the consumption of more calories, specifically of the ice cream 🍦 variety (again, I love you Dr. Wenger)! 🥰 He said it’s the same type of treatment for those recovering from a tonsillectomy (an operation which I had the displeasure of undergoing when I was 16)! 😉🤣😋 When Darin and I learned of the MDS postponement a few weeks ago, we a) took a few days to discuss whether we should postpone to October or March 2022 b) immediately ditched those pesky weighted packs 🎒 🧱 🚮 and c) considered reaching out to our coach to request like, a whole week off from our scheduled workouts on TrainingPeaks sometime in the next couple of months for a little mental / physical vacay...little did I know... “BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR”! 😉😤🙄😆

I was scrolling through Instagram this morning and stumbled upon a very timely post (from a UK based physio named Mike James, who incidentally, will be running the MDS with us in 2022!):

Mike’s post was a perfect reminder to try and stay patient, learn to listen to my body and focus on the healing. Until then, I see a lot of online poker 🛋♠️♥️♣️♦️ 👩🏼‍💻 in my future! 😎 xoxo, Jules

Marathon Des Sables 2022

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