This blog is now retired. My new site is at: Predictably Irrational.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Stress Fractured

My left foot has been bothering me for a good while. In fact, I noticed a blog posting on October 10, my Autism 5K race, notes that my foot was hurting even then.

It wouldn't hurt while I ran. But walking caused me to limp. And most times, limp very badly. It has gotten progressively worse that last week, when I got ready to run, my friend Tom from the gym showed concern.

And my friend Bill even shared his concern with me...noting that I have been complaining about my foot.

And well, I've been concerned because, well, it hurts! And I thought that this pain, whatever it was, would be gone awhile ago...and if it's getting worse, then it's not going away.

About two weeks ago, I decided it would be best to see a professional about it. So I found a place, made an appointment that met my dates, which pushed it out to today.

Today. Two days before my half marathon.

I told Bill, after he expressed concern, that I had an appointment. What's the worse that could happen?

At the appointment today, they x-rayed my left foot and my elbow. I threw in the elbow since I was seeing an ortho doc (when I made the appointment. When the doc walked into the room, he said "So you have a bunion, huh?"

"Um, yes. But that's not what's bothering me." I was confused as every piece of document I had filled out was pretty specific about the pain being "the top of my left foot".

So he pushed on the top of my foot and asked if it hurt.

YES. IT'S A BIT TENDER (THANKYOUVERYMUCH). The parentheses was my inner sarcasm speaking to the doc.

He then said "One second" and left to take a peek back at the x-rays. He came back in and said "You have a stress fracture!"

He seemed excited.

I was in shock. It never crossed my mind. I thought possible bruising but never evidence to prove something was really wrong. I always have to play "let's guess what's wrong with me" with the doctor's. There's never something blatant.

So in my shock I said "What about running?"

He was writing in his report, not looking at my astonished face, and said "not for at least two to three weeks".

But, but, but...I have a race on Sunday.

He stopped writing. "How many miles?"

Before I answered, I already knew how silly that question was...and how stupid my answer would be: "Thirteen?"

He laughed. He shook his head. And he said "You can do what you want, but I would advise NO."

He continued to express that he couldn't believe I had been running. I agreed. I knew my foot hurt, dad-nab-it!

He laughed again and said "You know, I usually have patients come in and it's really nothing. You come in, thinking it's nothing, and you have a broken foot."

Did he just say "broken foot"? My foot is broken? I thought you said it was a stress fracture???

Oh. And the elbow? It is tennis elbow, AKA tendinitis.

He asked, again, excitedly "Want a cortisone shot?"

No. I've had this pain longer than the foot pain. TODAY I can hold up a glass of water. How is a shot going to help with that TODAY?

Alas. I am told that tendinitis lasts up to a year to a year-and-a-half. Really? I say, exasperated. Really, he says...quite knowingly smug.

So my race plans for Sunday are out. I called Tim first, to bring him the bad news (he seemed OK with it); then Coach B, who was really sympathetic for me. At the time of the call, I was just fine with it. No worries. No more mental battles.

But only five minutes later, on the drive back to work, it all kind of hit me and my eyes even watered.


This whole month?

Fuck the race. I need to run! I want to run!! I can't eat all this food and not run!! I need my Keith and the Girl podcast! I need to feel the cold on my skin! I need to complain about running!!! I ran 14 miles two weeks ago! Three weeks off will put me back to the start.

So I am bummed. Very bummed. Not at all about the race. I'm done with racing for the year. Not racing is GREAT. I ran four races on a broken foot. But not running is not the same as not racing, and for that, I am very, very sad.

But I will follow the advice of the doctor, who said, not just two to three weeks to recover, but listen to the pain. If I'm in pain, I'm not ready.

I didn't do that for the past several months. I consider myself lucky that the bone is healing, according to Dr. Bones. But I have been in a lot of pain and it's not worth it.

Besides. I want to run again. And very, very, very soon. Without a healed foot.


  1. Oh no! What a bummer. :( Sorry about that. Hope it heals soon.

  2. That sucks! I'm sorry about that - right before your race too! Does a little part of you wish your appointment had been next week?

    I sympathize with your reaction, btw, saying it's fine it's fine to other people but then crying about something on the inside, and maybe on the outside too, b/c you really are disappointed. I hope it heals quickly!