Marathon training was going great. I was scheduled for 13 miles on July 20. It was hot as balls that day but I was stoked and ready to run, especially with my new fuel belt.
About 2 miles in, the right side of my pelvis started to hurt a little. It had hurt before during sprint training but always went away. So I figured this time was the same. As I continued to run, it continued to hurt more, and more, and more. I attributed it to the fact that my fuel belt clip was rubbing up against it and causing pain. I moved my fuel belt clip. The pain didn’t stop. I walked. The pain got worse when I started up again. I refused to take a cab home so I decided that I would loop back to the financial district and make a decision when I crossed over the bridge. That was at 9.66 miles and it was a struggle to get there.
Three years ago I would have kept running. I tore my labrum because of it and, as you know, had surgery a year and a half later with a recovery of about a year. So the older, smarter me stopped running even though it took all I had to do so. The hip got worse throughout the day so I made an appointment with my PT for the following Monday. I rested my body all week and by the time the weekend came the pain was nearly gone. I was having some serious anxiety on the day before my PT appointment because I had not run in nearly a week. I decided to take the hip for a spin and see how it would feel. I told myself I would do a mile and if it felt good I would do two and then go from there.
I made it about 3 minutes. No, it wasn’t my hip. It was my left foot. I figured it would go away as I ran. I attributed it to the fact that I hadn’t run in a week and my body was just warming up. I was wrong, again. The pain got worse. Once I looped back to my house which was about a mile, I could barely walk and that continued for the rest of the day. I figured the fascia in my foot was irritated so I rolled out my arch which made it worse. Knowing I was going to PT the next day, I really didn’t worry about it. I figured it would go away and if it didn’t, it would be addressed it PT.
We evaluated the hip. Muscular. Weakness. Tightness. What else is new? My foot was next. “The pain in your foot is probably just compensation from that long run in which your hip hurt.” I knew otherwise. It still hurt. A lot. I know my body and I knew something was wrong. They told me to lay off running for a few days. A few days later there was no reason to even put on running shoes, no reason to step on a treadmill. All I had to do was take one running step to feel like a knife was being driven into one spot on my foot. I had an inkling to what it was so I emailed my PT and said running wasn’t an option, not because of my hip but because of my foot.
At my next appointment my PT pressed, twisted, turned and poked at my foot. And it fucked hurt. Bad. I almost kicked her. She brought out two instruments that normally could be a preliminary to being able to tell if there was a stress fracture. Neither tool initiated pain. She told me that there had been plenty of times that the tools didn’t hurt but a fracture was shown in an MRI. An MRI was ordered. I couldn’t wait. I was so excited for an MRI…..MRIs and I had a very close relationship with one another. I had the MRI this past Tuesday and my PT appointment Wednesday. I was called at 12:45 on Wednesday by my PT and asked if I could come at 1:30 to see the foot specialist across the way. I asked if my foot was OK. Yes. (As in, my foot was “still attached” as she told me later. Not a great “joke”).
1:30 pm with the foot specialist….Fractured. Shocker. Fourth metatarsal fracture. Fifth metatarsal stressed. Bone marrow inflamed so very close to fracturing. Even better. Ligament strain. Anything else????? You need to wear a boot for 4-6 weeks.
No lower body lifting. And it can take 2-3 months to fully heal. But don’t worry you wont be in a boot that long. Great. Stroll over to my PT. “We were concerned she would put you on crutches.” THANK GOD Dora and Boots (my crutches) are staying put in the corner of my kitchen.
My PT spends some time mobilizing the stiff bones in my left foot and working on my hip issue and then sends me on my way with my boot. Strolling along the street with my new accessory and all of a sudden I see people in boots EVERYWHERE. I guess the universe was trying to tell me something. Feeling mildly bad for myself, I went and bought these…
Then I turned to my favorite thing in the world. Red wine.
Once again, this marathon training has knocked me down. Everyone tells me running isn’t for me simply because I have gotten injured twice now. I agree simply to shut them up. I say I am a walking poster for why you shouldn’t run, or rather I shouldn’t run but I am mostly kidding. I know PLENTY of marathon runners who have never been injured. It’s just my body is different structurally. But each time I am injured, I learn more about my body and how to prevent future injury in that area.
I simply just learn a shit ton about that part of the body. I learned WHY I got a stress fracture. My gait. Which is a simple fix. My feet are rigid, probably from ski boots for 17 years. I don’t transfer my weight to my mid foot and then to my big toe soon enough so I put too much pressure on the 4th and 5th metatarsals, hence the fracture and the inflammation. Going forward, when I heal of course, I will know HOW to prevent this from happening again.
With each injury I learn an incredible amount about my body. It sucks that I am injured again but I will not quit on this marathon. You better believe I will be signing up for the Newport, RI marathon in 2016 and I WILL complete it. Until then I will continue to listen to my body and take care of my body. This fracture will heal. It’ll take a few months. This is nothing compared to the hip surgery and THAT recovery. Piece of cake. This is a pebble in the road that will get swept away. Until then, this is what leg day looks like…
Not a fan of machines but it’s all I’ve got because I will NOT lose my leg strength (or my bubbly butt) again. 🙂
Until next time…