And the diagnosis is: Certifiable

Well, not exactly, but it feels that way.

The weekend after the Frostbite 15K, the top of my foot started hurting. After a couple of painful runs, I started worrying that it might be a stress fracture, so I called and scheduled an appointment with Dr. Wilder.

My appointment was this morning.

He poked around on my foot and had me stand on my tip-toes and hop on my foot. Of course I felt no pain, which made me feel like a crazy person. Even though nothing he did elicited any pain whatsoever, he still wanted X-rays.

The X-rays showed nothing.

I was happy, don’t get me wrong, but a small part of me was just the tiniest bit disappointed. I wanted solid evidence that there was something wrong.

Even though there is a reasonable explanation for the pain, without proof, part of me still wonders if it’s all in my head.

Dr. Wilder doesn’t think it’s in my head. Although, if we’re being honest, he doesn’t know me very well. His theory is that lingering tightness and swelling from my sprained ankle is causing the irritation on the top of my foot.

He prescribed Meloxicam (a non-steroid anti-inflammatory) and told me to get an ankle brace and wear it all the time.

IMG_20150205_155950_431He wants me to take the rest of this week (and this weekend) off from running, but says I can do half my training volume for the next week as long as the pain doesn’t get any worse.

I went to Physical Therapy this afternoon. The therapist agreed with Dr. Wilder that my ankle is tight. He spent some time loosening it up, then gave me some stretches and exercises to do.

****************************

I felt like I was being cautious with my training.

Here is what I was doing following the Frostbite 15K and leading up to my latest injury:

IMG_20150125_051645_423

Week Eleven (of my 24 week training program)

Monday: scheduled cross-training
Actual: rest day

Tuesday: scheduled rest day
Actual: easy 6 miles

Wednesday: scheduled easy 8 miles
Actual: 6am cycle class

Thursday: scheduled easy 8 miles
Actual: easy 8 miles

Friday: scheduled rest day
Actual: rest day

Saturday: scheduled 16 mile long run
Actual: 9.25 easy miles (with O-hill X 2)
I didn’t feel recovered enough to do a 16-miler.

Sunday: scheduled easy 8 miles
Actual: 6.55
Pretty much as soon as I started running, the top of my right foot hurt. It was only about 15 degrees out and I really didn’t want to stop and deal with it, but after about a mile I had to do something. I tried loosening up my shoelaces. That didn’t help. I tried taking my metatarsal insert out. That didn’t help either. I ended up cutting the run short.

Week 12

Monday: scheduled cross-training
Actual: 6 am cycle class

Tuesday: scheduled rest day
Actual: rest day
I was pulled over by a cop on my way to work at 4:45 am (!!!) I ended up just getting a warning because one of my headlights was out, but it was NOT a very good start to an already stressful day. By mid-morning my throat was sore and I knew I was coming down with a cold.

Wednesday: scheduled 7 miles with 5 @ tempo pace
Actual: rest day
Between the hurt foot and the cold, I knew I needed a rest day.

Thursday: scheduled easy 6 miles
Actual: 6.2 virtually pain-free miles on the treadmill

Friday: scheduled rest day
Actual: rest day

Saturday: scheduled 20 mile long run
Actual: 5.1 miles
I was so frustrated that the pain was back after my run on Wednesday had gone so well. Both times I’d felt the pain I’d run outside wearing my trail shoes, so I decided to try wearing my regular shoes on Sunday.

Sunday: scheduled easy 7 miles
Actual: 2 miles
The pain came back 2 miles into my run and it was the worst it had ever been. It was 20 degrees out, but I walked the two miles back to my car.

*******************

If I’m being honest, this last set-back has left me feeling pretty unmotivated. I’ve been stuck in a cycle of negative thinking for a couple of years now. It’s time to make some changes, but I’ll leave that for another post.

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6 Responses to And the diagnosis is: Certifiable

  1. Danielle says:

    Oh man, that sucks! I will say this: stress fractures don’t always show up on x-rays. Also, you could have a stress reaction (essentially not quite a stress fracture, but leading up to it if you don’t rest.) Pain on the top of the foot isn’t usually a good thing. BUT, I have learned in a lot of time spent with our chiro/ART guy that things like a sprained/tight ankle can lead to MANY other things hurting. I had a stress reaction a few years ago on my foot – it sucked – think 6 weeks off – and I think it was because my ankle was tight and I therefore was putting pressure on other parts of my foot while running. Definitely work on strengthening that ankle and getting the tightness away. I was never a big chiro fan before we found our guy, but I do think the chiro work and the ART stuff he does has made a big difference for me in fixing some of the little niggly things that can build up and eventually affect your gait/etc. It is amazing how it is all connected from your back/hip down to your ankles/feet. Good luck! And don’t get too down. You’ll be back out there, I know it!

    • Yeah. I’m pretty disgusted. I’m not freaking out and wondering how I’m going to keep from losing fitness like I usually am when I’m injured, though. I think I’m burnt out on being injured. Is that possible?
      What did your stress reaction feel like while you were running? Did it hurt the whole time?
      Doc did say fractures don’t show up on xrays about 30% of the time. I’m hoping it’s just what they seem to think it is, though. If that’s the case, they say it should get better quickly.

  2. Meagan says:

    It’s tough when an injury or even just minor pain causes a setback. I’m so type A so I really get down when I can’t follow a training plan. I hope the PT helps the top of your foot feel better! I can definitely see an ankle affecting the foot – because that’s exactly what happened to me in November. By the way, what are you training for? I somehow missed you were actually following a 24 week plan (that’s a long time, by the way!). Is it the triathlon?

  3. Yeah. I don’t handle injuries very well. The 24 week plan is for the Blue Ridge Marathon. I started training early because I like having a schedule to follow. I am VERY far off of it now, though 😦

  4. Jan says:

    Have you tried osteopathic manipulations, ART chiro, or regular chiropractic? I can’t remember. When I am out of alignment my knee hurts so bad that I can’t bend it, but I have a hunch if I went to the doctor for my knee, they wouldn’t find anything.

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