My little summer vacay from running.

And unfortunately no…not because I want to.

The injury fairy has struck again.


Not great about it, Injury Fairy. Thanks for asking. I hate you.

A couple weeks ago I noticed some pain in my right knee that started after a particularly hard speed work session. I kind of figured it was runner’s knee and cut back on my mileage, but still ran as much as I could without pain. Then some pain/tightness migrated into my shin. I kind of figured it was a shin splint, taped the hell out of it, and continued to keep my mileage low. Then last week I started having some numbness in my second toe which – even with my mileage waning to practically nothing – quickly progressed to a sharp, stabbing pain so intense that I felt as if I was being electrocuted. I never knew when it’s going to hit and when it did it was sometimes bad enough that I almost threw up.

Obviously it was time to see a doctor.

I called my awesome chiropractor, Dr. Dave, and he was able to fit me in for an appointment yesterday morning. Dr. Dave rocks. He asked me about my symptoms and I described the painful timeline of events, plus told him what I thought the problem might be because I had started doing a little research on my own. He grabbed an anatomy book off the shelf and opened to the correct page without even looking for it. It was like magic. The page showed an illustration of a leg and foot with all the tendons, muscles, and nerves exposed. He pointed to one of the big nerves that ran down into the foot and confirmed what I had been suspecting:


And in case you don’t know what that is, basically it’s a pinched nerve. The tricky part here was figuring out where it was pinched. Because I had also been experiencing the shin and knee pain, the likely story was that it had originated further up my leg and not in my foot, or even in my lower back and I just didn’t realize it. And there I was feeling like a dumbass because DUH…of course all those pains were related to one another.


I never claimed to be the sharpest crayon in the box.

Anyway, after checking out my range of motion and doing some tests to see where I could feel any kind of sensation vs. total numbness, Dr. Dave decided that the problem area is located in the upper part of my right calf. I got my back adjusted anyway which was fine by me because I love having my back adjusted. Then I had an ultrasound treatment on my leg and I was asked to flex and point my foot in a whole bunch of ways as he pushed on my toes. The pain was EXCRUCIATING, but after a few minutes of massaging my calf muscle, it let up a little. I asked how long it takes for a pinched nerve to heal and he told me 6 weeks.

My reaction was pretty much exactly what Ariel is doing up there in that gif.

BUT then he said that the majority of the healing takes place within the first couple weeks and the rest of it is just cleaning up the remainder of the problem. Okay. That I can handle.

So yeah…no running for probably two weeks at least. I can bike as long as I don’t have pain, I can do yoga, and I can strength train as normal. Unfortunately none of those things are running.

I’m feeling a little differently about this break than I was about the other one I was forced into at the beginning of the year though. More optimistic, I guess. I know if I’m patient and keep up with my appointments with Dr. Dave, this will get fixed and I will still have plenty of time to train for Baltimore if I don’t keep aggravating the injury. In the grand scheme of things 2 weeks is not such a long time. I didn’t really take any time off after Bob Potts so I’m overdue for a break anyway.

Maybe I should enjoy this opportunity to drink wine, relax, and sleep in a little bit on Saturdays because once I’m healed up there are going to be a lot of long runs in my future.

Until then…more opportunities to wear my PR Soles with my work clothes.

Have you ever had a pinched nerve? (IT HURTS!!)




92 thoughts on “My little summer vacay from running.

  1. Deborah @ Confessions of a Mother Runner says:

    I didn’t have that injury but I did have a stress fracture in my shin in January and couldn’t run for 6 weeks. It really sucked I feel your pain. I did lots of spin classes during that time. You will get through it. Listen to what they say and ultimately it will heal faster. Good luck!

    • runsaltrun says:

      Oh no I’m so sorry. 😦 Spin classes are fun though and that’s great that you were able to do that even with the stress fracture! I just want to get back out there as soon as I can and if it means sitting down for a bit then I guess I’ll just do that and hope it heals fast. 🙂 Thank you, lady!

  2. sarahdudek80 says:

    Oh boy, runners don’t like facing their injuries. I for one had plantar fasciitis a few years ago and KNEW it. But I waited over a month to see a doctor and told him to tell me it wasn’t PF. Hello, month and a half off (and a few extra pounds). This last go around I was much better behaved and accepted it for what it was. It went much better mentally and physically. Take care girl and enjoy some relaxation!

    • runsaltrun says:

      Seriously I think I was so much better about admitting there was a problem before I started running. I should have nipped this as soon as I had the knee pain, but ugh. I guess lesson learned here yet again. I was out for a month+ for the tendon so hopefully this won’t be nearly as long. And next time I am NOT waiting to see a doctor!

  3. DarlinRae says:

    Oh no! I’m so sorry to hear about this 😦 Thankfully, I’ve never had a pinched nerve-it sounds just sucky! Listen to Dr. Dave, take time, rest, recharge, and you’ll be back and better than ever!

    • runsaltrun says:

      He knows his stuff so I will definitely listen to him and try to make the best of this crap situation. Thank you, my friend. I hope you never ever EVER have a pinched nerve!

  4. northernambitions says:

    Yikes! I’ve never had a pinched nerve but it sounds so painful. I like that you’re feeling optimistic about this break and yes, you should definitely take the time to drink wine and relax. At the end of the day, injuries suck. No if and or buts about it.

    • runsaltrun says:

      It totally sucks. At first I asked him what I was allowed to do and he said “swim” which really freaked me out because I don’t have pool access. But then I got cleared for those other things too and figured I should just make the best of this because it’s never going to get better if I don’t stop running for a minute. 🙂

  5. Corinne says:

    Enjoy the break! I know it won’t be easy, but it’s better to be injury-free when training for the next race than to constantly be aggravating the pinched nerve to the point that you can’t even run, period! You may want to look into acupuncture as well, as an extra treatment.

    • runsaltrun says:

      The idea of running pain free is much more exciting to me than running with my toes feeling like they are going to fall off for sure. 🙂 I actually have been considering acupuncture (it’s helped me in a lot of other ways) and I have a groupon for it. I just need to find a time to go.

    • runsaltrun says:

      I became good friends with the bike during my first injury go-around so maybe that’s why I’m not so freaked out this time. 🙂 Thank you, friend. I will definitely be listening to Dr. Dave. He knows his stuff!

  6. Sweaty Mess says:

    You deserve a rest. Like you said – you’ve got a lot of long runs ahead of you. Just keep up with the yoga and bike. And drink some wine – it will make you forget you are injured.

  7. ambertherunner says:

    Ugh 2014 has not been your friend on the injury front 😦
    I’m glad to see you’re being optimistic though- 2 weeks is barely a blip on the radar in the grand scheme of things. And it’s pretty cool that you can still work up a sweat in other ways.
    I hope it heals quickly with no issues! 🙂

    • runsaltrun says:

      Ugh I know. 😦 My PT told me before that I could expect to deal with injuries because of my anatomy in general (my legs developed weirdly from the beginning hence those surgeries I had to have). But I’ll get through it and thank goodness I have cross training options! Thank you, friend. ❤

  8. Lisa @ Running Out Of Wine says:

    I’m pretty sure I had a pinched nerve when I was dealing with all my piriformis issues…I would have pain down my leg and no one was really sure if it was coming from my back or the muscle (since apparently the sciatic nerve runs through the piriformis muscle in alot of people). I think I took about a week and a half off and I no longer had any “nerve” issues but the piriformis stuff went on for a lot longer. That stuff is no fun and to me its so much more confusing that just a soft-tissue injury! But its a great time to take a break with this gross humidity, plus you’ve just run a whole bunch of great races! Enjoy some time off so you will be ready to start training for fall races!

    • runsaltrun says:

      It IS so much more confusing and I hate it. I’m glad to know that I can expect these toe issues to stop pretty quickly though. Even if I can’t run on it right away, the pain of that is what is really getting to me right now. Luckily if I was going to get injured it happened at a time when I really don’t have anything coming up until August.

  9. txa1265 says:

    Crap, I kept seeing more and more pictures of you in your friendly neighborhood knee brace and wondering if it was getting worse … and was just hoping you were being cautious and it was going to work itself out.

    But as everyone is saying, these things seldom do – so it was good you got in to have it looked at! I hope for a speedy recovery.

    And I whole-heartedly support and applaud your plan to apply yourself fully to wine and relax time! 🙂 Because in reality life as a parent SELDOM involves as much down-time as we might think! 🙂

    • runsaltrun says:

      Haha yep. “Sleeping in on Saturdays” definitely means 6:30 am. Hey I’ll take it! 🙂
      Thank you so much. It was a little bit of caution, but then when the toe thing hit I definitely couldn’t kid myself any longer. That’s the worst part of all of it right now. I just want to get this over with and back out there so if I have to sit down for a bit, then so be it. 🙂

  10. Eat Pray Run, DC says:

    injuries suck but at least this one has a defined rest time and you’ll still have plenty of time for strong training. keep being a superior yogi and i doubt you’ll lose much running strength (that’s what happens when you are a rock star!) 🙂

    • runsaltrun says:

      Aww thank you so much. I came back pretty strong after my last one so hopefully the same thing will happen again. I think I’ll also be focusing more on strength for right now AND going to a barre class on Sunday!

    • runsaltrun says:

      That’s what I’m hoping!! I’ve been doing a little more strength lately, but I don’t think I do enough for my legs. So I’ll be working on changing that. Thank you, friend!

  11. samantha couch says:

    girl, it is the year of the injury. i have been running in pretty bad pain since may. i did take two weeks off and really worked on my hip and glute strength exercises while arc training, swimming, biking, etc to keep up the cardio aspect of this. i had my FIRST pain free run in six weeks just Monday. and i’m back to feeling it all through my legs again! running injuries suck. but here is what i know – YOU, my friend, are a natural runner. not everyone is. i for sure am not blessed in that way. you will take the time off, and you will come back beautifully and pain free. i know it. don’t let this get you down! enjoy the break. pick up more yoga. swim with betty. and come back strong!

    • runsaltrun says:

      UGH NO!!!! I’m sorry you’re in pain again that sucks. 😦 Have you been to a PT or a chiro? This has been a crazy year for injuries and I hope we are both back to 100% very very soon. We have some big things coming up!

  12. themilereport says:

    Oh no! I’ve never had a pinched nerve, but it sounds very painful. Welcome to the sucky injury club. I’m seeing my chiropractor tomorrow afternoon to talk about my knee (it’s been 4 weeks of almost no running…why didn’t I see him sooner?). It’s honestly a good time of year to be injured though–still plenty of time to train for late fall race. You’ll come back super strong, so no worries! 🙂

    • runsaltrun says:

      Oh good I’m so glad you are going to see your chiro!! I want to hear all about what he says. Yeeeeah sounds like we waited a little too long, but hopefully this week will be the beginning of some great answers for both of us! And better that we are doing it now than waiting any longer. 🙂
      Thank you so much. ❤

    • runsaltrun says:

      I just had one of the more miserable yoga classes of my whole life, but I know if I keep going it will help. (Crescent lunges are absolutely out of the question right now along with anything else that causes me to bend my toes up. UGH.) Haha I love puns and that made me smile. 🙂 Thank you!

  13. The Running Chef says:

    Oh no 😦 Sorry to hear that lovely lady, but at least it should only be 2 weeks, there are definitely worse ones out there. I hope I am not overstepping my mark here, but hopefully this is a lesson to take time off after your marathon, you ran SO WELL, and your body just needed a break….read through my taking time off post. That is exactly what i told one of my good friends after she pretty much just went through the exact same thing as you. It is hard to take time off after a big race when you are feeling good, but it is harder to take time off when you are back training….so take this as a lesson, you will come back stronger, and your fitness will be back in no time. Hope I am not being too in your face, but I know I personally learn lessons best when the pain and frustration of injury is right there in my face. I am here if you want to talk, I have had my fair share of injuries. Enjoy other things, just like you mentioned, this is just here to make you appreciate running 🙂

    • runsaltrun says:

      You are definitely not overstepping and I think you are absolutely right! I should have taken a much longer break (and I loved that post you wrote too!) so I guess this is just a good lesson learned for October. Just boo on me for having to learn it this way. 🙂 You are awesome and thank you so much for always having the most helpful advice!

    • runsaltrun says:

      You are the sweetest! I hope so. ❤ I found it so much more helpful to post about this kind of thing on my blog than talk to any of my non-runner friends about it because other runners know how hard it is to rest! I'm going to try to enjoy myself though!

  14. Mandi says:

    Wow, so sorry to hear about your injury! Sounds like Dr. Dave is amazing and really supportive though — that’s great to have someone like that on your side looking after you! Take it easy and I hope you feel better really fast!

  15. Rebecca Jo says:

    I have them in my back.. they do suck.
    I’m all over Facebook & my blog today because I have knee/shin issues myself & its driving me nuts. Injuries. UGH!!!!!

    • runsaltrun says:

      I just read your post! Noooooo! I hate when people are hurting. 😦 The area on your leg that you described is the same general vicinity where mine started so I would definitely get it checked just to rule out a nerve issue. I hope we both get to feeling better super fast!

  16. Hailey says:

    Noooo. So sorry! The body is amazing in that everything is connected and then it’s also kind of a pain (literally) that everything is connected because something can originate from a completely pain-free area. Weird. But I’m so glad you have a doctor that knows his stuff! I hope that this time off will bring you some relief and I’ll send the healing vibes your way 🙂

    • runsaltrun says:

      That is the weirdest thing and exactly why I wasn’t thinking about it before I went in there! But now I’m realizing that when I bend my knee to lift my leg I can totally feel it in my toes. Thank you so much for the vibes! I could use all the healing help I can get! ❤

  17. Run Colby Run says:

    Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo! I’m so sorry Salt. Such a bummer. Paws up for a minute, Lady. And you’ll be good to go in no time. In other happy news, I’ve nominated you for the Inspiring Blogger Award. Because you’re fantastic. Sending you healing thoughts! xoxoxo

    • runsaltrun says:

      You know what? YOU MADE MY DAY WITH THAT! Thank you for the kind thoughts and helping me feel better. I’ll get through this just like last time! (And hopefully much quicker than last time too!)

  18. candies & crunches says:

    Ouch! Once I had a pinched nerve in my back. It was horrible. They put me on some painkillers, and I had a very strange reaction to them : I got very very dizzy for a couple of hours every single time I took a pill. You won’t believe, one day it ended up being a full grown panic attack (the one and only I had in my lifetime). It was bad. I swear I thought I was dying. I was so scared that I begged my manager to hold my hand (and I didn’t even like her) because I didn’t want to die all by myself… YAH! That bad! However, it seems like you’ve got a nice plan there, just try not to take any painkillers because they are the worst. Sending you lots of positive vibes! ❤ xoxo

    PS. On a funny note. They, obviously, called ambulance, but it was firefighters who showed up first. Apparently, thet were 4 and very hot too. Unfortunately, I do not recall that *tear!* HAHA!

    • runsaltrun says:

      OMG! I’m so glad you were okay after that! That sounds terrifying! I am NOT a fan of strong painkillers. I’ve been taking the occasional ibuprofen here and there, but I don’t particularly like to mask the pain because I can’t tell if it’s getting better that way. (Is that weird?)

      I’m sorry you missed out on the hot fireman squad too. That is definitely something to be sad about! Haha! ❤

  19. The running Schlub says:

    Oh man this just flat out sucks. Well you did the right thing in seeing your dr and I have to agree that there is plenty to be optimistic about. Hope healing goes well and you are out running in no time.

    • runsaltrun says:

      It really really does. But thank you. I wish I had gone a little sooner, but too late to beat myself up over that now! I’ll be on the mend soon enough if I just stay off it. 🙂

  20. courtruns4cupcakes says:

    Oh no! I hope you heal quickly and get well soon! I’ve never pinched a nerve but I did have a couple of swollen nerves in my foot and had to take a couple weeks off of running to let the swelling go down.

  21. Sue @ This Mama Runs For Cupcakes says:

    Uggh, so sorry!!! Embrace the break…I have with spin, barre, yoga, etc…it’s ok to take a well needed break sometime…but make sure you stick to those appointments! Don’t blow them off even if you are feeling better!! Does you chiro do laser treatments? That’s what I had on my calf and it worked wonders!! Chin up my friend!

    • runsaltrun says:

      I’m definitely getting back to barre this Sunday and I’m pretty excited for it! It’s been forever since I’ve taken a class. I’m not sure if he does the laser treatment or not, but I have an appointment with him this morning at 11:30 so I’m going to bring it up. Thank you so so so much!

  22. d20girl says:

    Wow, that sounds like some intense pain. I love my chiro too (Dr. Mark), he’s the only one who was able to fix a bizarre iliac crest pain I had with running. Hope your two weeks go by quickly and pain free!

    • runsaltrun says:

      Those chiropractors are seriously like magicians! I’m so glad you love yours too. 🙂 And thank you. I’m sure a little rest is all I’m going to need. 🙂

  23. Kate says:

    Ugh!! Neuromas are the worst!! I had one and it took me awhile to recover from it, but it sounds like you have it under control. Make sure your shoes aren’t too tight (that will aggravate the pinched nerve). You’ll be back to running in no time!

    • runsaltrun says:

      I do have one pair (the shoes that I wear to race) that I know have been exacerbating the problem, so I might have to retire them and go into a bigger size. Luckily I had no plans to wear them in the very near future. They really are the worst!

  24. missadventuresinrunning says:

    That stinks! It sounds like you are doing everything you can to fix it though. Soon you will be back and better than ever! (If it is even possible for you to be any better!)

    • runsaltrun says:

      Aww thank you. 🙂 That was one HUGE worry that I had after I got hurt the first time, but I bounced back well so I’m hoping for the same thing to happen this time!

  25. Pandora Viltis says:

    Oh, do I have pinched nerves!

    Actually, that’s what my chiropractor is saying is causing my groin pain, and that the pinched nerve is due to a tight lower back that is restricting my hip movement. I’ve still been running on mine and it seems to be getting better, although I’ve cut way back on my speed, including in my last race. The longer my stride, the more the tightness is affected. It is what it is.

    I hope yours heals quickly. Being injured is frustrating. Hopefully you can resolve the underlying cause so it won’t recur. That’s the hope for myself as well.

    It’s crazy how these body parts are interrelated, isn’t it?

    • runsaltrun says:

      Thank you. It really is crazy how everything is tied together. I hope that your pain continues to get better and better too. I don’t know what I would do without my chiro. I never really bought too much into it until I started running and now I trust him more than anyone else. (I got the runaround from all those other doctors and the only one who was straightforward and correct was Dr. Dave!)

  26. piratebobcat says:

    Bummer yo. But I’ve been thinking about you. They say that the more times you run fast, the more chances to get hurt. Maybe you’re just going to fast? Anyway, get well soon!
    I did the decathlon once in high school. In training I was throwing the javelin and pinched a nerve in my neck. It.was.awful.

  27. Kristin says:

    So sorry to hear Salt!!! I wish you nothing but recovery in the future!! You rock you fast lady you!!! I’m thinking about ya!!! XOXO!! Have a happy and safe 4th of July!!

  28. Change of Pace says:

    Brutal- sorry to hear that. However, it doesn’t sound like time off is too long, and it’s good you can do other things! I say try to look at it as a break that’ll do you good for your fall marathon.
    Training for our first Ironman I had baaad sciatic nerve pain. I remember crying at the end of some long bike rides because it hurt so bad to sit on.
    Happy 4th!

  29. Debbie @ Deb Runs says:

    Hope it heals quickly and you’re back on the trails soon! I’ve had both a pinched nerve and sciatic nerve pain and I can attest that neither is any fun! Sending hugs and good vibes your way!

  30. fitnessmeetsfrosting says:

    NOOOOOOoooooo! I’m sorry Salt!!! The bright side is that you figured it out! I’m not sure if what I’ve had is considered a pinched nerve. I have a bulged disc so sometimes (luckily not too often) the disc will hit a nerve in my back and cause excruciating/debilitating pain to the point where I can’t walk/sit/pee (cause ya know, you have to sit up for that).

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