Off & Running
a Blog of Life on the Run

August
06,
2012

6 months ago I busted my foot. I knew it was coming but was not prepared for the pain. This isn't the first time I've done this but I promise myself I will never do it again.

2012 was the year I pledged to run 1200 miles. 
I had signed up for 3 races at the beginning of the year and started ramping up. I over-exceeded my first month's goal & hit 125 miles with ease. It was going to be a fantastic year. And that's when the pain set in.
 
I was almost to my first race and started feeling the pain in my right foot. Straight down the center. I knew something had happened but couldn't stop myself from running. The night before it happened I went to BodyCombat. While jumping around I felt the tightness and had a hard time finishing the class. 
 
The next morning I got up at 5:15am as usual, walked the dogs with a little limp, and ran to meet a friend of mine 2 miles away from my house so we can run back together. About a mile & a half in, I knew I was in trouble. I had to walk/jog the last half mile and met up with my running buddy. He knew my hardcore attitude so he thought nothing of the pain. Shortly after running, I stopped. I told him to keep going & that I might catch up in a bit.
 
That was the morning it took me 45 minutes to hobble, limp, and cry myself through almost two miles of torture. My foot was busted.
 
For the next few weeks, I wished myself better. My friends helped me walk my dogs, I couldn't fit into shoes because of the swelling. I iced, rested, elevated my foot. I took 800mg of ibuprofen every 6 hours. I was in pain. After the first two weeks, I started cycling at the gym & hitting the weights. There was NO way I would get out of shape while my foot was injured. 
 
I bought Luna Sandals to replace my collection of flip-flops, figured out how to walk more carefully (on my forefoot, not the heel), and took smaller steps.
 
In March, I ran again. For two weeks. The pain got worse.
 
My running buddy told me to head to his orthopedist, an ultra-runner. I went. After x-rays and some talk about my being a FiveFingers runner, he told me I had special feet and a hardcore stress fracture. He said it would probably happen again in the future because of the structure of my arch and to stay off it for a few more weeks. He even said he normally prescribes orthotics but thought my feet would be better off barefoot.
 
Then my foot broke. I was walking my dogs from my car to my office (a HUGE feat at this point) and something snapped. It was worse than before. In tears, I slowly limped to the office with two dogs dragging me. I was terrified I'd ruined my foot for good. I needed to run for my sanity. The gym & cycling wasn't enough. I needed the fresh air & speeding up hills.
 
So I took it even slower this time. Was more careful, walked less, strengthened my feet more, did what I was told. 
 
Now, 6 months after I limped slowly home, I'm running consistently, I'm more aware of how my foot falls, and I'm hitting the gym more often than before. I'm well-rounded. I care more about my feet and how they affect the rest of my body.
 
With three missed races this year, I've come to the conclusion that I won't sign up for another one until 2013. My foot still hurts but I've learned my lesson of over-use and paying attention to my body. I'm a happy runner again but I won't make my 1200 mile goal. Maybe next year. Maybe never. 
 
I care about my feet. They take me to interesting places.
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