Monday, August 22, 2011

Anger. Strength. Stupidity.

Today I heard two words I hoped to never hear (yet always knew I probably would at some point): Stress fracture.

Yep, I have a stress fracture in my foot. How did I figure this out?

Yesterday I ran a 7 mile race (in Gloucester, MA for anyone who's wondering) and was in pain the whole time. Not normal pain, but "Jake, you go ahead while I shuffle through the rest of the race" pain. I considering stopping many MANY times. I kept telling myself one thing:

And I never stopped. I never even walked. I ran, then I jogged, then I was reduced to a SLOW jog. I did 7 miles in something like 1:40, and was the second to last person to finish the race. But did I care? No. Because I finished.

It was when Jake and I were eating breakfast afterwards that I knew something was REALLY wrong. I've had foot pain for over a week (after runs), but not like this. Not "foot so swollen my flip flop might need to be cut off" pain. Not "every time I point my toes I feel a nauseating crunching/grinding feeling in my foot" pain. I iced it and took lots of Advil, and decided to see how it felt today. Today, I went to the hospital for x-rays.

Yep, stress fracture. I could say all sorts of things about what I'm learning, etc. but right now? I'm just angry. I'm proud of myself for finishing the race despite the blinding pain, but I feel idiotic for ignoring it and allowing it to get so much worse. I'm also angry that I was SO stubborn about my minimalist shoes that I allowed injury.

I don't know what this means for the near future. I need to meet with a foot doctor, and hopefully he can tell me what to expect timeline wise for running. I'm signed up for a 7k in a couple weeks, and then a 10k a couple weeks after that. Then half marathons in October and November (not to mention the full in March). I don't want to miss any of these races. But will I? I don't know. Maybe I'll walk some of them (if I can) and just try to pretend my crappy times don't bother me. But I don't know.

For now? I'm allowing myself to be angry. I'm allowing myself to be kind of miserable. I haven't cried yet, but I know that's coming.

In the hopes of closing this with SOMETHING positive, I'll share this: Before yesterday, Jake had never run more than 4 miles. He signed up for the 7 miler for the shirt (it has a picture of the famous Gloucester Fisherman Memorial on it, which he loves), and strongly doubted he could do it. While he admits that he did have to walk off and on after mile 3, and his knee hurt after mile 6, he did it. And he did it in 1:24! Is that amazing or what?


  1. Man that sucks. What's the typical recovery time on a stress fracture?

  2. UGH stress fractures are the worst. The best thing you can do is absolutely nothing, which totaly sucks. The worst part is that there's no set timetable for feeling better; I've had three stress fractures and they've all healed differently. When you don't feel pain walking anymore, wait at least another week before even trying to run. When you do run, literally run around the block. That's it. Even if that doesn't hurt, wait until the next day and see how you feel. Next time run a mile. If that doesn't hurt, just sloooowly add distance to it. It takes a lot of brainpower to not just go run a few miles to test it out!

    Mental toughness is what makes us great at triathlons and long distance runs... but sometimes it goes too far, right??!! Get in some quality time with your bike and you'll feel better soon :)