I haven’t run a step since Thursday morning. That’s five days. FIVE. In fact, I haven’t walked many steps either. I haven’t driven at all, and I’ve only left my house once, last night, thanks to a friend who came and picked me up. I don’t know what the problem is yet, but a weekend planted on the couch with my laptop has given me lots of time to do research, so I have a few theories: metatarsal stress fracture or extensor tendinitis are my two leading candidates. I’m hoping for that latter even though it likely means a needle. But I’m the wrong kind of doctor to diagnose foot injuries, so I shouldn’t speculate further.
In any event, I’m potentially looking at some significant time away from running. This after starting to work with a coach, buying a new Garmin, signing up for a 5K later this week, and starting a training cycle for a December marathon.
The less rational side of my brain says that doing all of these things in such close proximity triggered the jinx gods. Magical thinking? Maybe.
But I’ve also been thinking a lot about the timing of it all. I was not smart about my recovery after Big Sur. I started running too much too soon. That landed me a quad strain and now this. Looking back over the last couple weeks, my foot had been bothering me from time to time. It didn’t bother me when I was running, but it flared when I would do lunges or sometimes when I was walking. I thought it was my bunion, but it wasn’t. I know that now.
If I have to deal with an(other) injury, I suppose it is good that it is happening now. It would be much more difficult to deal with if I were a few weeks out from a race I had been training for for months. I have accepted the fact that a marathon is probably not in the cards for December. If I’m lucky and smart going forward, maybe I can still do the half. The race I really care about, Paris, is in April. That’s far enough away that it should still be okay. I may not be going for speed, probably not, but I hope that I will still be able to get up to the distance if I train wisely. Here’s where I’m glad I hired a coach.
But the other thing that I have realized is that in the grand scheme of things, even if this is a worst case scenario and Paris is also off the table, it’s nothing compared to what many of my friends have dealt with in the last year or two. While I hate not being able to run more than I hate most anything else, it is temporary. There will be other races. More importantly, I have friends who are helping me and a really good partner in my couch potatoey-ness, my dog Parker.
Hopefully in a few hours I’ll know what I’m dealing with and can formulate a plan to go forward.
[Creative commons licensed image by Flickr user Ken Teegardin]