It's been 5 months -- FIVE -- since I've been able to run. It's been 3 months since I was diagnosed with a stress fracture. And according to the doctor and new x-rays this week, I'm still fractured.
Not only was I a slow runner, but I'm also a slow healer.
I thought I had put in the time, been careful, hobbled around on crutches for over a month, followed all the rules. But I'm still not better. Even the doc was a bit perplexed. I had already taken nearly 2 months off when I finally figured out what was going on. Then after another full 6 weeks on crutches and 6 more weeks of taking it easy, we both thought I'd be fine. I'm assuming osteopenia is to blame. As if stress fractures aren't bad enough, I get saddled with wimpy old lady bones.
So basically looking at my x-rays was like the worst Groundhog Day ever. 6 more weeks of nothing. At least. If I'm not better in another 12, we'll do another MRI. If I'm not better in another 12, I'm going to lose my mind.
I'm cleared to use the elliptical (no resistance, no incline) and an exercise bike (very little resistance) and I can swim. That would be great except all of those things really suck. I'm a terrible swimmer and I just plain don't like it. It was fine when I thought this was temporary and it was a means to an end, but there's no end in sight, so why bother? I've long given up trying to maintain my fitness so it would be easier for me to pick up with running when I'm allowed to. And I have the uncomfortable pants to prove it.
I'm sure I should be more like Red, who spent 9 months of last year elliptical-ing her heart out while her stress fracture healed. But I'm not. I'm down. Way down. I started running because I wanted something that let me get in shape while setting goals and not going to the gym. Just me, my shoes and the road, whenever I felt like it. I DESPISE the gym. I've tried so many times to like it, but it's just awful there. And I have a decent gym. It's the waiting in line for a machine after work, the stinky smells, the weirdos pumping iron, and the crap on 20 TVs with nary a window in sight.
I want to be outside.
And it's getting hot, so I want to be outside on the trails under the trees. With my friends. I miss my town. I missed running under the redbud trees on Central Ave. this spring. I feel like I can't even call myself a runner anymore. I got to enjoy that dumb 26.2 bumper sticker for less than a month before everything fell apart. It's still on my car, and I hate it. I was so excited to get it, and I hate looking at it. Every.single.time I approach my car, I remember and I get sad. But if I take it off...is that the end? Admitting that I'm not a runner anymore?
Maybe one day I'll be a runner again, but not any time soon. Sorry for the down-in-the-dumps post, y'all, but I'm just sad these days, and there's not a happy way to spin it right now.