Running After A Stress Fracture(s)

You may recall that I was diagnosed with not one, but multiple stress fractures after my Cleveland Marathon training. For some reason I got fractures in my tibia and my metatarsal area and was unable to actually run the day of the marathon. Yes, I trained and ran 20 miles – but I never got in my 26.2 miles during race day.

But I haven’t given up my running career. Will I ever be  a competitive marathoner? Absolutely not. And while I don’t have another marathon in my near future – I’m still running. AND I signed up for – and completed my first race since “the stress fracture incident!” While it may have only been a 5k – and our time wasn’t great (in our defense, B and I ran about two miles to get to the start of the race — so we ran 5 at least total), I’m still proud, and happy that we stuck it through and I’m still running.

racing after a stress fracture

Me, B and Mary post-race

Will I continue to run? Yes. Have I been running? Yes – today I completed nearly 4 miles in under 10 min/miles (a big deal for me .. still recovering!) and I’ve signed up for another race with my coworker, Cari (the first race I’ll have done without B!) … you can’t stop me – yes, you may be able to slow me down, but I’m still running!

Post 5k

So with that, I leave you with a few of my favorite running quotes:

“There are clubs you can’t belong to, neighborhoods you can’t live in, schools you can’t get into, but the roads are always open.”

You have to forget your last marathon before you try another. Your mind can’t know what’s coming.
Frank Shorter

My feeling is that any day I am too busy to run is a day that I am too busy.
John Bryant

And of course, a few from Pinterest:

 No matter how slow you go, you are still lapping everyone on the couch

Stress Fractures – an update

For those of you following my painful marathon training journey – and then my stress fractures two days before the race – here’s an update. Last week Monday, I had an MRI to see what the XRays couldn’t see – while the XRays caught the mini fractures in my metatarsals and tibia, they couldn’t see how far along I was on the healing process. Of course, the MRI was anything but fun – if you’ve never had one before, here’s what happens:

  • Get to the dr. at your appointed time.
  • Go to a locker to change out of your clothes, including any metal jewelry, and get into a hospital gown.
  • Wait in a small, cold waiting area for your MRI, in your hospital gown, while the dr. tries to figure out why your insurance hasn’t yet approved your MRI. Keep your fingers crossed you don’t have to come back another day after coming this far. Read an old Family Circle magazine because you have nothing else with you at this time – it’s all in your locked up (Just kidding – this may not happen to you … but it did happen to me.)
  •  After 30 min of extra waiting in the gown, finally get your MRI.
  • Lay in a tube, in an extremely loud room that sounds like there are constant machine guns blasting around you, along with loud beeps. Lay there for 30-45 minutes (length of time depends on what you’re getting scanned) listening to some music that they have on hand. I asked for Rock music and was given Drops of Jupiter and similar music to listen to while the machine guns blasted in the background.

Definitely an interesting experience

I went back to my original orthopedic sports medicine doctor on Thursday to get my MRI read. She said that thankfully there was no fluid in my shin, meaning the fracture was almost healed, and that hopefully I’d be in the boot for only two more weeks before coming back for another XRay. After that, it’d be at least 3 weeks of some soft exercises (like biking and elliptical) before thinking about running again. She also got my Vitamin D level tested – I take Calcium + Vitamin D gummy vitamins almost daily, but I may be able to up my levels to heal faster. So 6 weeks before my next run – it’s painful to think about, but I’m grateful that it’s not 6 months.

On a brighter note – I’m off to the beach for a week! Hopefully will get to take my aircast off to enjoy the sand on my toes a few times. Have a great Memorial Day Weekend!

Two Words: Stress Fractures

This time last week, I was anticipating my next Saturday night. I’d imagined myself chowing down on some pasta and bread with some other runners, getting pre-marathon jitters and feeling excited and proud about completing my first marathon the next morning.

That’s all changed. As you can probably guess from the title of this post, I found out what was ailing me — stress fractures. That’s right – plural. All week I’d been having some pain in my left foot and even after icing and taking NSAIDs, it wouldn’t go away. There was a nagging feeling that something was wrong, so I took some people’s advice and headed to an orthopedic doctor who specializes in sports medicine.

I had X-Rays on Friday – my left foot and my left lower leg – and sure enough, I had not only stress fractures in my metatarsal, but a large stress fracture in my tibia. That pain that I assumed was shin splints? That was the stress fracture. That weird bump that was growing on my shin? That was my tibia bone, growing back onto itself. I left the doctor’s office wearing an air cast (or as the dr told me, “the most expensive boot I probably owned”), an appointment for an MRI and a strict order NOT to run the marathon for fear my tibia would break in half mid-race.

That’s right, TWO days before the race, I was told not to run. Seventeen weeks of training, hundreds of miles, including a twenty mile training run — and the race was off. I would be cheering on my husband, sister-in-law and friends from the sidelines.

I know that I shouldn’t feel so bad, but I can’t help but feel that all my training was for nothing. All those Friday nights I stayed in, all those Saturdays I spent pounding pavement — what was it for? Maybe next week I’ll be feeling a little better, but right now, instead of pre-race jitters I’m feeling disappointment, sadness and frustration.

Have you trained for a marathon or another race but been forced to back out a few days before? Have you had stress fractures (of course I have them in multiple places). How did you recover – how long did it take to get back in the saddle and start running again?