It’s been a little bit hard for me to take that it has only been a year and a month since I last had a stress fracture in my left foot and now I am sitting here again with another possible stress fracture in the same one.
Last year, I felt my foot crack, I remember the exact spot on the seawall where it happened. I didn’t know exactly what had happened but I had an instant gut feeling. At least last year I only ran another 13k on it before I went to physio and stopped running. The very next day I busted out my bike and hit the pool to water run.
This year things have gone a little differently. Three weeks ago now, it was a gym day, I was heading to bed and noticed a pain in my foot and chuckled to myself HAHA I HOPE THIS ISN’T ANOTHER STRESS FRACTURE. HAHAHAH SLEEEEEP.
Before seeing my shrink during that same week I had run 23k on it and it hurt on both of those runs but it was sort of different than last year, my foot was tightening up on me quite a bit and the pain would subside after about 7k. As I’ve mentioned on here many times, my shrink used to have a general practice and he was a doctor in the army and often saw a lot of the injuries that I acquire running, he didn’t think that it sounded like a stress fracture and told me to go and get some reflexology on my feet and good luck in your race tomorrow! At that point I still wasn’t sure that I would be able to do the 5k race but I went for the reflexology and it seemed like a miracle. It cleared up some nerves that were bugging me in my other ankle and it seemed to relax my foot, the main pain spot was still there but it felt much better so I decided that I would race the next day. I had made an appointment for physio but I was unable to get in until the following week.
The race was the Shoppers Drug Mart Run for Women in support of mental health. There was both a 5k and a 10k. It was my girlfriend’s birthday, she was running the 10k and I was running the 5k because I had just done the Sun Run. I was relaxed (for me) and had no goals for this race because I had been stressing out about my foot all week plus the course was mostly trails and so I really didn’t think even trying for a PB was realistic. My trail running has been virtually non existent since spraining my ankle last July; before the race I had gone on exactly one trail run and it was on very well manicured trails at that.
My ankle seemed to bug me more in the race than my foot did. I had never run on those trails before and they were not even close to as smooth as I’m used to in Stanley Park and I’m not even used to them anymore. There was one downhill I almost bit it on a couple times and was sure my ankle was going back over but I managed to get out of the trail and back to the pavement without incident.
I ended up winning the 5k. All of my Denman Shoppers Pharmacy buddies were there running the 5k too, I’ve been going there for over 13 years, they know me by name and stuff and they were stoked that I won and were joking that there would be no more lines for me at the store. I was floored that I won, I have never flat out won a race before, it was pretty awesome. And I thought to myself “won’t it be hilarious if my foot is fractured and I just won that race.”
The race was on a Saturday so I decided that I would take the next two days off to rest my foot and hope for the best. I got in a nice 8k on the morning before finally going to physio incase I was told not to run again. But of course I was hoping that I would get cleared to run my 16k later that week in preparation for the Scotiabank Half Marathon in June.
I was cleared to run, my foot was a bit of a mess which is common with this foot even without last year’s fracture, it constantly needs adjustments. I won’t go into all that has gone wrong with my left foot but the list is extensive as opposed to my right side which has just suffered the ankle sprain and the nerves in my heel irritation issues.
My physio had asked me to email him after my 16k and let him know how it had gone. Before I left I said “so, you are what, 90% sure this isn’t a stress fracture?” to which he answered that he was 81.78% sure. He also said that if it wasn’t feeling better that next week we’d consider the x ray for a possible fracture. I trust this guy he is one of two physiotherapists I have worked with in that office who deal with various members of our Canadian National sports teams.
I finished my 16k, my foot hurt the entire time, it felt like it did relax at times but it never fully stopped hurting or got worse. It was feeling eerily similar to the last fracture. I had tried two different types of treatment on it and it was still feeling super sore.
The next day I woke up and could hardly walk and thought fuck this, this thing is so fucking fractured I am going for the x ray. I had proactively asked the doctor for the paperwork in case the physiotherapist wanted me to have one. I emailed my physio and he had actually cleared me for my next run as well, still not thinking it was a fracture but I went with my gut and although for the second time the fracture does not show on the x ray my bone scan is on the 31st so even if I am wrong and it isn’t fractured, whatever it is should be cleared up enough that I might only miss one race instead of two or maybe I won’t miss either.
Today it isn’t hurting very much and is thus fucking with me and making me think that I’m wrong and that it isn’t fractured. I would love to be wrong about this one. LOVE IT. The one last year did the same thing to me though it stopped hurting almost entirely after I stopped running on it and it took everything I had not to go run on it to test it out before that bone scan report came back.
I’m not taking this as well as I did last year. I have given myself this week to be a sad couch potato before I get on my bike and back into the pool for some water running that I love so much. I don’t really understand what I’m doing wrong. I don’t over train. The only thing I can think of is that my cadence might be too high, also, I probably run too fast but I don’t see myself as fast and that is how I enjoy running.