Before I started this blog, I had another. I didn’t write often and after a while abandoned it. It was bad. I won’t link to it. Totally not necessary. But, I wanted to start this one for a few reasons:
- Bloggers had inspired me through lots of training-both on bikes and on foot. What to eat, how to structure workouts, ect. It was a community of like minded people and I liked knowing if someone took a day off from the training plan because they were tired. I blog because I want to see myself as a proactive member of this community. I want to share my stories so that others can not feel so alone.
- Which bring me to number 2. 2 years ago I fractured my foot. In the 9 months it took to heal, I desparately searched the internet for “runner with broken foot.” “athletes and injuries” “jones fractures in runners” and any other combination of the like. I came up empty handed, except for HRG who had just had two femural stress fractures. I realized that more injured people like me existed and that sharing my story would help and hopefully inspire.
So, here is my story.
It’s long, therefore I have decided to do this in three parts.
This very moment I have a titatanium screw in my right foot. It is about 5 inches and runs just about the length of my foot.
How did I get here?
4.5 years ago
I ran the Arizona Rock n Roll Marathon. At mile 6 I felt a dull ache in the top of my foot and I thought it was my sock or shoelace. At multiple times throughout the race, I stopped and tried to adjust. The pain kept increasing. After the race I couldn’t walk or put any pressure on it. 2 weeks later it was about the same. (Although I did finish the race). The diagnosis: a stress fracture in my right foot.
I let it heal and continued to run and bike ride successfully and competitively for almost 2 more years. Then I ran the Seattle Rock n Roll Half with my brother. After the race and for a few weeks after I had the same pain as I had had after Arizona. I rested. But, not enough. I ran 3 more races in 3 more months-culiminating with a W and my first podium at the Breck Crest 10k trail race.
Almost two weeks later, on my birthday no less, I let the dog out in the night and fell off the porch step hitting the cement and cracking my foot. Full on Jones fracture broken. A Jones Fracture is simply the breaking of the 5th metatarsel. I would later find that this is common in athletes whose gait does not evenly distribute their weight over the foot, putting more pressure on the outside of the foot.Over time the constance pounding breaks that bone.
I had surgery and the doctor inserted a stainless steel screw to hold the bone together. I stayed off of it for 6 weeks then went into the walking boot. But, something wasn’t right-at leas in my mind. I had trouble wearing certain shoes after I was out of the boot and the swelling, and bruising was enormous. I could visibly see the screw in my foot coming out of my foot. Gross, I know.
By now it was November and I was walking with an orthodic in a pair of hiking boots. I wore those hiking boots everyday all day because they were the only shoes that could fit and support my foot. They looked awesome with all of my dress pants. Somehow my principal understood. I told the doctor that my foot didn’t feel right, he took a look and suggested that perhaps I had an allergy to the stainless steel, but that normally these screws don’t come out so he wanted to give it time.
I went back 4 weeks later in December and point blank told him: I want it out. He looked at my x-rays, at my foot, at the x-rays and left the room. He came back and said that he would do it-under one condition: This was the first time that he had taken out a screw so soon and I had strict orders to lay low, not push it, and let it heal.
I had the surgery and spent the next 6 weeks as the best patient ever! It was tough, but I could walk and walking I did well. Mikaya, my dog, and I walked everywhere. Walking without a large object sticking out of my foot was a blessing and blissful.
The Ironic Incident
I went back 6 weeks later and everything looked great. The doctor even cleared me to start running again the following week.It was the first week of February. I had ceded all running and almost all exercise back in September. I stopped on the way home and bought a shiny new pair of Asics 2160s-my brand loyal running shoe at the time. They sat patiently by my nightstand for a week.
Finally, the morning that I was cleared to run. I got up, got dressed and reached over to turn off the light on my nightstand. I stepped on one of the shoes, twisted my ankle and SNAP. I fell onto the bed in sharp pain cussing and swearing. I finally stood up and put some weight on. Pain. I changed shoes. Back into the trust old hiking boots. I went into school and stopped at a fellow teacher’s classroom, sharing my story and begging that he tell me I had not broken it again.
I called my Dad, a man who has spent a career in the medical field, and begged him to tell me I had just sprained it. He told me, against my will, to head into the Dr.’s office and get an xray.
The doctor couldn’t believe I was back-limping. I couldn’t believe I was back.
The X-Rays confirmed what I had tried so hard to believe had not just happened- I had re- broken the bone.
With that, I will leave you. The next part, “It takes a village…” will describe all those who came together to help me. The last part, “Back on my feet again” will describe how I began competing again and where I am today.