I spent the weeks before and after Thanksgiving hacking up a lung, putting a major crimp in my intention to pick up some speed for the Jingle All the Way 8K this upcoming Sunday. Since November 15, I have run a whopping 13 miles, and the kicker is that immediately after a couple laps around Jamaica Pond up in Boston on Sunday, I felt a sharp pain on the right side of my chest/ribs when I inhaled. I spent the rest of Sunday ignoring the pain – maybe it would go away by the time I flew back to DC. Believe me, if the pain was on the left side, I would have hightailed it to an ER. Instead, I was thinking I’d cracked a rib or something.

Yesterday, I picked up a bottle of vitamin I, having kicked every existing bottle of it in my apartment and office. I felt somewhat better. Finally, today, I went to my doctor. It turns out that right when I thought I was on the mend and could actually run again, I managed to get costochondritis…. a fancy way of saying inflamed rib cartilage that connects to the sternum (costosternal joints). Lucky me.

I’m just going to take a guess here, but I don’t think this bodes well for significant aerobic training. Or some Pilates (like the dreaded Roll Up). Or even twists in yoga. 
What does this mean for me?
It depends on how well the ibuprofen decreases the pain and inflammation. In theory, I’m pretty sure that I can run/breath through the pain, but I’m now old enough to know that that’s sometimes often stupid and prolongs healing. Realistically, I probably shouldn’t do speed work tomorrow night with the Washington RunHers gals as I was planning. This bums me out. I haven’t run with them in several years, and I need to get back onto the speed work/winter maintenance train. As of right now, though, I plan to be on the 8K starting line on Sunday. I’m convinced the 3+ week layoff has really affected my fitness, and hopefully I can get in a run or two before Sunday to build confidence.
In the meantime, I plan to do wall sits and planks. I’d been toying with the idea of doing supplemental leg strengthening for ski season, with random wall sits. Then last night, Coco of Running With Perseverance blogged about her plan for December damage control: sweat every day, plank a day, and drinking 64 ounces of water a day. I already do 1 and 3, but with a bunch of Pilates and core strengthening out of the equation, a few planks a day seem reasonable. So, we’ll see how the wall sit and plank(ing) regimen go. 
Wall sits and planks, anyone?