My Date With (Dr.) Destiny
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.
Worst of all, I’ve been bragging (at least to myself) about how smart I’ve been training, not pushing myself too hard or setting unrealistic goals,and consequently was turning into a pretty resilient runner who had gone well over 2 years without having an injury. And despite the nagging foot pain, I was feeling so strong as I wrapped up my half-marathon training…The tempo runs were making me faster, my endurance was great, and I was starting to imagine myself being a pretty strong 10K runner.
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!