And the last bit of news of the running-related incidents in my life.
On September 6, I ran the Philly 10k. It was a race of 3,000 people organized by the local running store, Philadelphia Runner. It sold out within two days, and I was lucky enough to be one of those who got a spot.
In August I posted about possibly having a tibial stress fracture, which actually turned out to be a harmless ganglion cyst. I was cleared to run again.
The Philly 10k was the last day of my fourth week of back to running after I took 16 days off for my shin pain (since I thought it was a stress fracture). Before those 16 days, I’d just gotten to 40 miles per week, and I had been around 30 per week consistently all summer. Plus I was doing strength training twice a week, foam rolling, and even made it to yoga a few times.
After those 16 days off I wanted to be conservative, so I started off with 10 miles the first week back, 14 the next, 20 the next, and 21 that final week that ended in the Philly 10k. I felt fine most of the time, although I did feel like it was taking me awhile to get my fitness back given that I only missed about two weeks.
Then I raced the Philly 10k, which was honestly, miserable. It was the worst race I’ve ever had. It was stupidly hot (79 degrees with 84% humidity at the 7:30am start), and I felt so slow. The plan was to just take it easy and run for fun, but I guess I was a little stubborn in what my definition of easy was. Despite my average pace being 8:27 minutes/mile (not great, but also not turtle-slow) I was being passed by hoards of people throughout the race. I guess that’s what I get for starting in the first corral.
I stopped to walk in the last 2 miles because I felt awful. I felt disoriented and had chills, which I know is a bad sign. It was so annoying because the runners passing by kept “encouraging” me. I know they meant well, but at the time I got angry. Like, I know how to run a race guys, I know it gets harder towards the end and usually you just have to push through… I wouldn’t stop to walk if I didn’t feel so bad.
And as I mentioned in my recap, “My right foot has also been hurting since the race, despite icing it and taking ibuprofen. I’m still hoping that by a small miracle it turns out to be okay, but right now there’s a tiny bruise on top of what looks like a metatarsal, so I’m not feeling optimistic.”
And wow! I must be getting good at being an injured runner now, because it turns out I have a stress fracture in my right second metatarsal.
I really didn’t want it to be that. I still had my stress fracture boot from my last one in the spring, so I just wore that for about two weeks to see if it stopped hurting. I didn’t want to go in a month after my last MRI and become the girl who cried stress fracture. But after two weeks… it still hurt. So I went in, made the MRI appointment and all that.
I admit the one thing I was excited about was that when I looked at the pictures from my MRI (I always ask for the CD of pictures before I leave) is that I was pretty sure I had a stress fracture. I read some resource for radiologists for identifying stress fractures, and if there’s white color around the bone, it means there’s swelling in the tissue around the bone, indicating a stress reaction or fracture. And I saw that, self diagnosed* myself with a stress fracture, and was right! How exciting. (*Not recommended. I’ve been right 1/3 times I’ve gotten an MRI)
The inside of my right foot (bottom view)
And… yeah. I’m in the boot for at least another week. And also, the killer is that my doctor doesn’t want me to run anymore for the rest of 2014. I guess it is kind of worrisome… two stress fractures in a seven month time frame in a young adult female who doesn’t have great bone density. Even given the logic, it’s a tough pill to swallow. I’m still hoping she’ll reconsider, because not running at all is making me depressed. Life feels dull now, like there’s some screen in front of my perception of the world that prevents me from seeing all the good. At least I notice it and am trying to keep myself busy in other ways.