This morning’s visit to the podiatrist yielded the following diagnosis: “Your foot is really angry right now.” I’ve been banned from using the elliptical trainer, the stationary bike, and doing any more walking than absolutely necessary. I’m only allowed to swim if it doesn’t make my foot hurt during or after the workout. Basically, my triathlon training will be pretty minimal over the next month, which seems like a bad joke; after all, my whole goal in training for the half-marathon was to get super fit for the upcoming season, and instead I wound up with a stress fracture!
But I’m doing my best not to dwell on the negatives right now…Instead, I thought I’d share a few really bad jokes, courtesy of my 4-year-old:
Q: “What does a ghost panda eat?”
Q: “You’re American when you go into the bathroom, and American when you come out, so what are you in-between?”
A: “You’re a-peein’!”
Q: “What did one tree say to the other tree?”
A: “You’re a snoogle-doogle bonky-boo!”
Okay, his dad and I are still trying to figure out that last one. But it’s hard to stay too grumpy when the kiddo is doing his standup routine!
Also cheering me up at the moment is the fact that the triathlon I was planning to make my Olympic-distance debut at on June 10th also has an aqua-bike division this year. So if my foot isn’t up to running 10K, I still have that and a sprint tri to choose from…See me trying to stay positive???
But reality kind of sucks right now…Can’t run, can’t bike, and the kiddo is really sick of hearing me say, “Mommy can’t chase you right now…She has an owie on her foot.” So instead of reflecting on my current reality, I’ll sit on the couch eating caramel-macadamia nut clusters and reflect on our week in Maui.
How’s this for an auspicious beginning to a vacation? I’d already made the unfortunate trip to the podiatrist that earned me an immobilizing boot and an admonition that “You’d better come back from Hawaii with a tan that ends just below your knee!” Then we get to the airport and learn that our flight has been delayed 15 hours, until 1 am, because a bird flew into the plane engine. (In the midst of the adults’ discussion of this inconvenience, my sweet little guy pipes up, “Did the bird die?” Oh, that innocence just about breaks my heart sometimes.) Many hours later, we find ourselves in Maui in the middle of the worst storm to hit the islands all winter…Flooding! Wind! Lightning! Welcome to vacation!!!
But it did get better from there. Maui’s winter rain is, at worst, a heckuva lot better than Portland’s. And after a couple days, the rain slacked off, and though the seas were still choppy, I got some great ocean swims in. Nothing too demanding, though; when this is what you’re seeing underwater, it’s tough not to slow down and check it out:
By the way, all those pictures were taken by my husband…He had the benefit of snorkel gear. (Actually, I rented gear too, but when it came down to it, I trusted my own breathing apparatus more than that tube thingy that kept filling up with water.) Here he is, showing off his superior grasp of all things technical and complicated:
The orthopedic boot didn’t slow me down too much. (Partly because I only wore it when we weren’t on the beach, which was about half the time we were there.) I hiked down to here:
But not up to here:
And I probably shouldn’t have walked out here:
But I did it anyway, and managed not to trip over the lava rock or into a tidepool.
The three generations of my family that took this trip with me did a great job of distracting me from my injury, and they forgave me for staring wistfully at the dozens of runners along the beach paths and highways. But now we’re home again, there are no tropical fish to swim with, and the boot is still firmly secured to my foot…Whatever will I distract myself with now? These macadamia-nut clusters are pretty good, and it’s only a week until the Mad Men premiere, so I’ll do my best to muddle through. But what I wouldn’t give for a teensy, weensy little five-miler right now…
So I’m either super-awesome or…something else. I’ve already filled in that blank with several less-flattering adjectives. Apparently, according to the diagnosis I got today from the podiatrist I finally broke down and saw after my foot just wouldn’t feel better, I just ran a half-marathon on a broken foot. Not only that, but the bone was probably broken way back at the end of December, which means I also trained for my half-marathon for 7 weeks on that same broken foot.
Genius, right? Yeah, maybe not…But in my defense, it really didn’t hurt that much WHILE I was running…It was before and after running that I really noticed the dull ache in the outside of my left foot, just in front of my ankle. And since I adhere strictly to the philosophy that easy runs should be easy, long runs should be slow, and you should never increase mileage too quickly, I really never thought I’d get a stress fracture. That’s an overuse injury, right? A thing that beginners get when they’re unrealistic about their limitations, and don’t give their bodies time to adapt. That is sooooo not me…I spent a YEAR training for a sprint distance triathlon, for crying out loud, because I just didn’t want to jump in to anything too fast!
But, mystifying as it is to me, here I am wearing an immobilizing boot that would look appropriate on an astronaut preparing for a lunar excursion. I’m clumsy and awkward, and I’ve already stepped on my son’s toes once…(“Mommy, you look weird. And you stepped on my foot. I’m never letting you go back to that foot doctor again!”) Oh, and tomorrow we leave for Maui, where I was looking forward to repeating last winter’s experience of jogging along the coastline while watching humpback whales at sea. My cute summer dresses are going going to look a little less adorable with this knee-high velcro-and-nylon contraption strapped to my foot…On the plus side, it’s open-toed, so my newly pedicured toenails will show.
As frustrated as I am with this forced layoff from running (and the postponement of my plan to spend the spring turning into a reasonable imitation of a cyclist), on the bright side, the doctor told me I could swim as much as I wanted. By June, I should be able to complete the swim leg of an Ironman! By then I’ll probably also have knit sweaters for every member of my extended family, taught my preschooler to read, and finished my first novel.
Ahhh, who am I kidding? I can’t run? Well then, Project Runway marathon, here I come!