Good morning, my lovelies! How are you? I’m GREAT! My knees feel decent — so maybe all the inflammation from this Saturday’s trail race has finally gone down. I’m don’t feel too sore from my upper-body Running Hiatus Workout #1. And… it’s my best friend Sarah’s birthday! Sarah lives in Virginia, but I’m going to see her in two weeks. I’m so excited.
Fun fact about Sarah: She’s an accountant who was born on Tax Day. It’s like she was destined to crunch numbers!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY to the BEST friend a girl could ever ask for!
In other news…. breakfast was superb.
The *star* was a totally yummy bowl of banana oatmeal. My oatmeal contained:
- 1/2 cup oatmeal
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 sliced banana
- Toppings: apricots, pecans, brown sugar, strawberries
There was a lot going on in this bowl of oatmeal, which is why it was so delish!
On last night’s The Biggest Loser, Laura from the Green Team was diagnosed with a stress fracture of the hip. A stress fracture is the worst type of overuse injury an athlete can sustain. Similar to a hairline fracture, a stress fracture is a very small sliver of break in the bone that is typically caused by repeated stress on key weight-bearing bones.
In runners, dancers, and other high-impact athletes, the most common bones affected are the tibia (bone of the lower leg) and metatarsals (bones of the foot). I’ve heard of several women (including amazing blogger Frayed Laces) who suffered from hip fractures as well.
Stress fractures are more common in female athletes than male athletes. According to Health Link, male athletes may have greater muscle mass, which absorbs shock better. Also, in a study of female athletes, decreased calf girth was a predictor of stress fractures of the tibia. The larger width of male bones may also absorb shock better. Bone mass and bone mineral density can vary widely in females due to several factors, including hormonal influences and menstrual irregularities. Low calcium intake and eating disorders may contribute to the development of stress fractures.
Factors that put you at a greater risk for a stress fracture include:
- Increasing your mileage or intensity of exercise too quickly.
- Training on uneven or very hard surfaces.
- Running in old shoes.
- Abnormal or disordered eating patterns that can lead to menstrual disturbance, and in turn, low estrogen levels.
Here are some simple ways to prevent stress fractures from occurring:
- Never increase your weekly mileage by more than 10% at a time.
- Vary your activities and incorporate cross-training.
- Take a Vitamin D and Calcium supplement to help strengthen your bones.
- Eat a balanced and healthy diet.
- If you run, try to run on a dirt path or in the grass.
- If you feel sore or in pain, stop and rest to allow your body to heal.
I actually thought I had a stress fracture in my tibia back in October, and it was the worst thing ever — a stress fracture means you’ll be off your feet for a minimum of 6 – 8 weeks! After that scare, I realized how important it is to train smart and safe.
Have you had a stress fracture? What was your experience like?