I've been having this foot pain for awhile, maybe 5 weeks. I'm a notorious wimp so I didn't mention it to my husband. I didn't do anything but try to stretch my foot a little more, change running shoes, and tried to work through the ache. After all, it wasn't enough pain to make me limp even. Plus I have been hitting that foot harder when I run because I haven't been stretching enough and sometimes I run a little gimpy if I don't stretch enough.
Finally this week I realized that it had been 6 weeks since the pain started, so I made an appointment with my doctor. After x-rays and a bone scan it turns out I have a stress fracture and am in a walking cast for 4-6 weeks. What is a stress fracture? A broken bone in my foot, caused by increasing my running mileage and continuing to run when it started to hurt.
No running of course, but I can do biking and the elliptical if it doesn't hurt.
I'm not going to view this as a setback. This is my body adjusting to my being an athlete. When I blew out my knee and had ACL reconstructive surgery I gained 40 pounds because I couldn't exercise. This time will be different. I CAN exercise, I just can't do my exercise of choice. But it is going to be good for many reasons. Here are GOOD reasons....
1. I am going to work on stretching my leg so that I am really flexible!
2. I am going to have to concentrate more on eating well so I can continue to lose weight.
3. Already I have begun to appreciate my normal healthiness more since I can't walk normally right now--rather than denigrate myself for being fat I appreciate that I can move and walk and still exercise.
4. When I told my doc I am scheduled to go out of town he pushed thru my appointments...from the time of my bone scan being finished I was diagnosed and with the orthopedic surgeon within 20 minutes...WOW...I have never been so amazed!!
5. I was radioactive for a short time during the testing process: I was injected with a radioactive isotope and yes, I was JUST LIKE SPIDERMAN and could shoot webbing out of my wrists. (well, ok, maybe not, but it was still interesting)
6. I heard awesome stories while I was getting the test done--the nuclear medicine tech worked at a prison for a short time and he had some really fascinating experiences!!
7. I can still exercise!! Biking and elliptical may not burn calories as well as running, but SO WHAT!! I can still exercise and still work on losing weight.
8. Better for this to happen now than in 2011 when I have more plans.
There are 9 weeks left in 2010. I am going to to lose weight during those 9 weeks. And in 6 weeks or so I'll be able to be running again! And its almost ski season and cross country skiing is not a weight-bearing exercise so I can ski as much as I want!! This isn't gonna be a setback for me.
However, next time I have a little ache I'm going to the doctor instead of putting it off. Us athletes need to take care of ourselves.