Thursday, October 10, 2013

MRI results are in

Yesterday, I learned the news that I have a fracture in my upper tibia bone (just below the knee cap).

My worst fear has become reality.  I am done with running and especially racing until Christmas.  The next time my feet see a Start or Finish Line will be in 2014.

Some may wonder why I am taking this so hard.  Does it really matter?  It does for many reasons.

1.  I will not be able to participate in Long Beach this weekend and thus ends my quest for the Beach Cities Challenge medal. I will not try again in 2014, because I did not like the OC Half, and will not return.

2.  Long Beach would of been so special to me for many reasons, but the #1 reason was my friend, Angela Wozniak.  As soon as we learned that my injury was more than a little soreness, she offered to walk the entire race with me, so we could earn our Beach Cities together.  Although she did not feel she would be giving up anything, I felt she would.  Walking 13.1 with anyone is not something anyone else signs up for.

3.  The other reason was to see my friend, Rocky Morales in his CLIFBar pacer singlet.  Why is that is important to me?  This is a man who has worked relentlessly in the past year to achieve great goals. To be given the honor of a CLIF Bar pacer, is a huge honor.  I am so proud of him!  And recently, I found out another friend, Laura Sohaskey, would be one of the pacers, also.  I wish I could be there in this big moment! 

4. I will not be able to race my focus races for 2014.  The Hoover Dam Half and Turkey Trot 5k.  

So - how did all this happen?  Was a simple bouncing around a trampoline the culprit?  Yes, and no.

The story begins in June 2013, at the San Francisco Marathon/Half.  I took a horrible fall at 4.5 miles, just before getting to the Golden Gate Bridge.  Banged my knee up, pretty bad.  The pain was not intense, but certainly not unbearable.  By the time I reached medical care and finish the race, the knee had swollen up.  The medical staff insisted I go to the ER.  Which I did.  Xrays showed a slight dislocation but no breaks or fractures.   The ER Doctor requested an MRI, but the pre-authorization denied it.  The Dr was pretty confident I had no suffered any breaks or fractures.  After a few weeks of rest, I was back on my feet.

My knee continued to feel tender, but I was told that was typical considering the point of impact.

I continued to run and race.  In fact, in July I had back-to-back 2nd and 3rd best finish times for a Half.  Again, the knee is still feeling tender, but not overly concerned.

Fast forward to mid-September, I ran a trail race and I took another tumble and right on the same knee and same point of impact, as I did in San Francisco.  No major issues, so I kept going.

3 weeks ago today, my husband and son's wanted to go jump around on a trampoline.  I decided to join in.  No pain, no strain, nothing.

Until...the next morning - severe pain.  After 2 1/2 weeks of intense Graston/ART therapy, sports massages and more - my insurance approved an MRI.  

Looking at where and how the fracture is in my tibia bone, it is clear that my leg was fractured in June, during SFM.  It didn't quite heal and the trampoline was the last straw.

As I drove home from the Dr's - tears were streaming down my face.  How was I going to tell Angela I couldn't run Long Beach?  How do I get my mind off not racing my focus races for 2013 (Hoover Dam Half and Turkey Trot 5k?)

Then, the worst thought came to my son is running is first Half Marathon in January, how am I going to train him?  I can't run until weeks before his Half.  He cannot get ready for a Half in 2 weeks before a race. 

I texted my husband to warn him I had bad news about my knee.  By the time I walked into the door, the tears were uncontrollable.  My mind was not in a place I could think of any solution to help my son train for January.

Once I showed my husband the results, he came up with the idea I can ride my bike next to my son and he would also do some short intervals with him.  That helped.

I called for my youngest son and he could tell by the look on my face, something was horribly wrong.  I told him the news and we cried together.  Although a young man at 12 years old, he knows how hard I worked for my races.   I assured him we would find a way to get him trained for January.

After I texted Angela the bad news, I cried more.  Then, she offered something that never crossed my mind.  She offered to run with my son during his training runs.  I don't know if I was crying from agony or tears of gratitude at that point.

I knew I had to gain my composure to post on the Running Troops and FB.  Many were waiting for me to tell them I would be going to Long Beach.

My announcement was brief, but enough to let people know, I will not be at Long Beach and why. 

As I hit the POST button, my head dropped to my keyboard in total disbelief and I cried some more.  I was angry,I was frustrated and more.  If the MRI had been approved in June, I would of had enough time to heal and be ready for my favorite races and to train my son.

Within 1 minute of that post - the comments and the private inbox messages came pouring in.  Yea, I expected the typical "get well soon" comments, maybe a few here and there. But as of this writing - I have over 200 comments/inbox messages or support.  

Kirk Buckley also inboxed me to offer to run with my son and he will also be at Camarillo Half to run with him.  My kid will be in great hands with Kirk and Angela, in the coming months. 

At least 6 people have asked to dedicate their weekend miles or races to me.  

People have offered to take me shopping and do errands

People have offered to bring me a cupcake 

People have offered to go on walks with me

People have prayed with me

People have cried with me

It is not often I am rendered speechless, but today - I am.  I have gone from tears of agony and anger to tears of humility and gratitude.  The out pouring of support has been overwhelming, to say the least.  

So, what is in my treatment plan for the next 8+ weeks?

  • No running or walking long distances.  This means, my upcoming Disneyland trip might be in a wheelchair.  

  • I can bike, swim or anything else ZERO impact

  • I have increased my calcium/vitamin D dosage

  • At the 8 week mark, I will hopefully get another MRI to determine if I am 100% healed or need more time.

  • I will volunteer as much as I can, I can't stay away from races.  

My next race, should be my son's first Half Marathon in Camarillo, CA on January 5th.  I can think of no better way to return to racing than see my son accomplish his goal.  13.1 miles on his 13th birthday.

I will be updating my blog in the weeks ahead, as I move forward - one day at a time.

Is it Christmas yet?  

(c) C. Ragsdale 2010-13
Run F.A.B. & Boston Strong,

Charlene L. Ragsdale - Las Vegas, NV
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  1. Oh, my heart hurts for you.
    I tore a calf muscle in March, just 3 weeks before my A race. I was heartbroken. I completely understand your feelings about missing your races. No, it's not the end of the world, but YES, it's a huge disappointment when we've trained and worked so hard for this stuff.
    I self-soothed with brownies and gained 10 lbs, so be careful with the cupcakes that your friends want to bring you! ;-)

    1. Thank you, Jamie for the comments and support.

      Don't worry - I have not ate one piece of bad food since this all started. I am not in the mood to be gaining any weight.


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