So the good news is that I don't have a stress fracture.
The bad news is that I still need to take 4 - 6 weeks off running.
This is what I was told at the orthopedist this morning, but frankly, I had made the decision to take 6 weeks off anyway, after the pain I was in following the tri on Sunday.
I've been attempting to run twice a week while rehabbing this injury, but it's just not working. It's been one step forward, and three steps back. Not good.
And I think even before I did the tri, I knew I was facing a layoff immediately afterward. I could see it coming, so I've been preparing myself for a while, and am handling it rather well.
I'm already enjoying swimming so much, and am looking forward to spending even more time in the pool and doing some serious work on drills and perfecting my technique so that I can eventually get faster, as that's still the area of the tri where I have the most room for improvement.
And since I've been deprived of my long runs on the weekends, I've been substituting with long bike rides, and am seriously contemplating doing a century in the fall. Gotta get my endurance fix somehow! To that end, I'm going to try for a 40-mile ride this weekend, and am going to start practicing changing flats.
I'm also getting a lot of enjoyment from lifting weights. I've always liked strength training, and when I can't run, I have a lot more time to focus on the weights, and I always see results when I do that. I love seeing more muscle tone - nothing like tangible, visible proof that your hard work is paying off!
And finally, when I do return to running (Sept. 12 - it's marked on my calendar!), I'm going to follow this plan, to avoid coming back too quickly and ending up re-injured. I am going to follow the plan religiously, and will not jump ahead and run any more than is prescribed.
I know that I have nobody but myself to blame for this injury. I was a bit too ambitious in my postpartum race plans - a bit too anxious to lose the baby weight, to get back to racing, and to get to feeling like myself (the self who runs often, and runs fast).
The hip alignment and the shoes were definitely contributing factors, too, but the bottom line is that I did too much too soon, and I should have backed off a long time ago.
But I'm not beating myself up over it. I acknowledge my mistake, I'm paying for it, and I really feel like, in the end, I'm going to be a better athlete for it. I'm tired of being in pain, I'm tired of being injured, and I'm determined to do this the right way, and come back stronger than ever.
So as of right now, my summer 2010 race season is officially over. I probably won't race again until the Mews Tavern 5K in November, which seems like a long way off, but I know it'll go by fast - life with three kids is pretty busy, and November will be here before I know it.
I know I'll have times where I get depressed about not running, but right now I'm feeling ok, and feeling incredibly thankful that I have swimming and biking to fall back on. And the way I see it, if I had to end my season a little early, at least I ended it on a high note, with what I felt was a great performance in a really fun race!