Thursday, September 24, 2009

It's BAD News

Thanks dear blog friends for all of the well wishes, prayers, etc, but dammit, it didn't work!!

Diagnosis: Stress fracture of the cuboid bone. Who knew there was a flippin' cuboid bone. It is a rare place to get a stress fracture - my sport's medicine doc has only seen two in the past ten years. Go figure. He also said he saw the start of a second fracture in my heel. WTF???

My foot literally started hurting a week ago. I had not the slightest pain before then. Go figure again. But when I look at my runs before the pain started, here is what I see:

Friday: 11 miles, easy
Sat: off
Sun: 18 miles, hard 8:36 pace
Mon: 6 miles, moderate
Tues: yoga
Wed: 6x800 speed work. 800s=3:30 (foot starts to hurt)
Thurs: off
Fri: off
Sat: off
Sun: Half Marathon Race, 8:53 min/mile (foot KILLING me the whole way)

And of course the week before that I was racing in Oregon. And the week before that another half marathon race.

Maybe I shouldn't be so surprised that I got injured?? I also realized that in the past 13 months I have never taken a break from training. Oops. Probably not the smartest.

So San Antonio Marathon is out. No BQ'ing for me this year. I think you can qualify straight up until Feb 2010 (as long as the marathon has room), but not sure if that's in the cards for me or not. Anyone want to buy a bib for SA?

Here's the thing: As a new runner, I don't see the big picture. People who have been running for years have probably had injuries, have recovered and have come back stronger. I have only been running for one year. I've never been injured. I don't have the confidence to know that 1) I won't lose everything I've gained over the past year 2) I'll move past this injury and run distance again. It's kind of like getting pregnant and not believing you will ever get your body back to where it was originally.

So since most of the blog world seems to be injured right now, or recovering, or trying to not get injured again, tell me your success story about your big comeback. I really need to hear it.

Oh and hey, I still ran a 1:58 half marathon with a stress fracture, 85 degree temps and a strong headwind. That's gotta mean something.


  1. Um, dang. I wish I had a great comeback story, but I am still coming back. Have you thought about taking up knitting?

  2. Dude I am sooo sorry. I had so hoped to be able to see you BQ in San Antonio. It will happen, just give your body a chance to heal. My coach is always stressing recovery, recovery, RECOVERY! Sometimes it frustrates me, but I can see where she is getting at. We stress our bodies out so much during our training, that it is good to take a step back every once and a while. Hang touch girl, you'll be back soon!

  3. Well, you can see that I've had a glass (ok two) of wine. I meant Hang TOUGH girl!!!!

  4. Cuboid bone? Is that like a flux capacitor of the foot? Time (and smart PT) heals all wounds. Best wishes.

  5. That cuboid bone is a nasty bone. Just took a test on it today in bio lab actually. And it is a strange place for a fracture. But none the less, it is very important and it sucks LOADS that you have a stress fracture.

    It WILL get better and you WILL be able to run. Being the experienced runner i am, (8 years & counting) i've been hurt many times and bounced back. You'll be good-- just follow your 'rules' and listen to the boss.

    When i say experienced, i mean 5ks, 10ks & 5 mile races-- anything beyond that, i'm a noob. :)

    If you ever need someone to vent to- shoot me an email. I work at a PT clinic and listen to crazy stories of how people get hurt all day! :)

  6. I was a runner for 2-ish years and I started getting sick. Very sick where when I ran I thought my uterus was going to fall out. It turned out that the pain was actually my gallbladder so after about 6 months of slowly getting sick I had it removed. The week afterward my doctor was going to let me walk to Cleveland half marathon, but it was rainy and I came down with an infection so that was out. When I finally got to run I could barely breath I had gained so much weight and I didn't believe I would ever be able to be myself again. It took so long for me to get back into the love of the sport, pretty much until the start of this year. But it was nice because now I train smarter not harder and I know to listen to my body and although it took such a long time I am a better runner in many ways for it. You run for the right reasons, and you won't be out forever, I look forward to your amazing come back!

  7. I haven't had a stress fracture but a few years back I had a bad IT band and periformis problem and I was told to rest for 4 weeks . It was devistating so I decided not to do Boston that year and I used the next year to start again slowly...I put my mind completely into healing and getting the rest of my body and mind strong! It worked, I ran Boston the next year. YOU WILL DO IT...stay strong and dedicated to recovery, just as dedicated as you would be towards qualifying and or training for any race.

  8. I am sorry to hear about this. I hope you get better!

    I am a beginning runner, and its disheartening to me to see how easy it is to get injured. Its not happened to me yet, but its going to at some point. Maybe you can tell us how to cope during your injury so those of us who have not been injured yet will know what to do when it happens. Good luck!

  9. oh, that was me above, ignore that username. I'm not laughing at anything.

  10. I'm sorry to hear about your stress fracture(s)
    I was really looking forward to you BQin in SA ... I mean, I'll shut up now, because obviously you were looking forward to it more then me ... haha!
    It's ok, take up speed quilting, work on those hand muscles, you may be able to just wheelbarrow it through the next marathon ...
    (just trying to make you laugh) again, cheer up, you'll hit it strong next year!

  11. So sorry that you are having to put your plans on hold. But don't worry- try not to down your disappointment in chocolate brownies, give yourself time to heal, and you'll get back on track. Maybe you can use this time to swim and bike...have you ever considered being a triathlete?

    Take care and good luck.

  12. *Insert word that rhymes with Chuck here*

    I'm so sorry - what crappy news. People do come back from stress fractures though and I'm sure you will too. How much time do you have to take off?

    I started running in 2005, about a year after my first daughter was born. I ran for about 10 months and then I stopped all together when I got pregnant with my youngest. I didn't run another step until early 2007 and I was surprised at how quickly it came back. I thought for sure after a 14 month hiatus that I would be starting over from square 1, but that was not the case at all. Just a few runs and I was back in the game, I was able to come back stronger and faster too.

    Hopefully it's just 6 weeks or so? Rest and take care of yourself, I have no doubt you'll over come this and come out stronger on the other side! And just think of the story you'll get to tell your grandchildren one day... Granny ran a marathon up hill, through the wind and snow with no water stations until mile 22 and two broken feet.

    Yes you'll be embellishing this story that much by then. But at least it'll get those grand kids to help bring in the groceries.

  13. Sorry to hear about the injury. I wish you a speedy recovery.

  14. Oh, I am so sorry to hear this, and I get what you are feeling. I had 2 pelvic stress fractures when I started racing. For me, it was a calcium deficiency combined with inexeperience (running fast all the time). yes, pain from a stress fracture is sudden, with no warning. Good news: 1) stress fractures in the foot heal quicker than other stress fractures, 2) you can stay active and maintain fitness. Of course, you need to listen to your doctor. In my case, I stopped running but continues crosstraining. Pool running, biking, eliptical ( if you are allowed) are great running substitutes. You need to make a mental shift here, though, and find a way to get excited about crosstraining. For me, I learned how to swim and have gotten into triathlons as a result of my stress fractures. Also, I have learned that it takes time to get faster as a runner. As the years go by, your muscles, tendons and bones will become stronger, and your injury proness will decrease. I have learned a lot about stress fractures, so please let me know if you have any questions or want the support. You'll get through this, and come out stronger.

  15. Ah, that sucks. But yes - you WILL get better and come back faster than ever (and probably a little wiser, too).

    If you can manage to cross train a few days a week, you'll lose far less fitness than you'd expect and if you don't (or can't), you'll still bounce back quicker than you'd imagine.

    Looking at your snippet of your log, I'd recommend respecting the long run a bit more -- in other words, there's not really a good reason for there to be a "moderate" run the day after a long run. I've done it the opposite way without problems (following a moderate day with a long day), but the long run def. puts a lot of stress on you. Most plans have either a rest day or recovery pace run the day after the long run, and that's prob. a good goal to shoot for next season (and YES, next season will be here before you know it!).

  16. Sh!t. Sorry to read this.

    TRUST ME, you will bounce back.

    OK, mine wasn't an actual running injury but I separated my shoulder and was INCAPACITATED for 4 weeks. Then I could only do very light activitty because I had a blood clot as a result of the damn shoulder.

    6 weeks of being a couch potato and I ran a 10K and 2 half marathon PR's over the two months after I returned to running.

    You'll get it back quick! Do what you can to stay healthy (and happy) in the mean time.

    Wishing you a FULL AND SPEEDY recovery!

  17. Bummer darling. :(

    Time heals all so just enjoy the time off training and focus on the healing process. You'll be back pounding the streets before you know it!

  18. So sorry to hear about your injury! I hope you heal fast.

  19. I'm so sorry. At least... you are learning something new about how your foot works?

    I have also only been running awhile. But, I've heard so many comeback stories, that I know you can do it! Just rest as you need to, then build your way back up. Your body will remember it loves to run!

  20. I'm so sorry to hear about your injury! I've been lucky enough to not have anything major happen to me yet, although my shins are definitely hurting now. Many people have taken time off from injuries and come back even stronger than before! Cross training is definitely beneficial, even though it is NOTHING like running. I'll be thinking of you!

  21. Bummer. You know, you and I are on the same path pretty much. I have also only been running about a year and have had to cancel my marathon as well.

    I think we will both be fine. At least I hope we will. Do what your doc says and try not to get too depressed. (Says the girl who had chocolate cake for lunch! LOL!)

  22. This sucks ball! I think these types of things happen to the best of us though. I had to take about 2 months off after my first marathon because of an IT band problem. After some PT and SLOWLY returning to running I came back stronger than ever. I think it was because I learned to respect my bodies limits. My coach is always stressing RECOVERY. Slow recovery miles etc...

    Don't worry - you'll come out of this on top! Stay strong mentally and use the time to do some cross training.

  23. Just found your blog from B.o.B. Great posts! After reading through a few I can tell we have the same "issues" A fellow sister in the crapping department. I once went in a cemetery, and no, there wasn't a bathroom, just a large tree. hehe. I'm trianing for the 1/2 in San Antonio, my 1st one E-V-A!!

    On your injury, that sucks but stay positive, listen to the docs and your body, pray and just do what you can. Good Luck! I hope you make it to SA with me!

  24. Well, yes, that meant you were overdoing it....
    I'm so sorry for your injury, but could it be your body is telling you something?

    Hope you don't mind me saying this, because I really do sympathise.

  25. I am sorry to hear about your injury! Hopefully this medical induced break will be just what your body needs. Here's to a speedy recovery!

  26. Oh no! I'm sorry to hear that. My biggest advice is to listen to the doctor and PT staff. Don't come back too soon or too hard. Do exactly as they say.

  27. ugh, so sorry. what a bummer. have you made bff with crutches yet? :( boo.

    well, here is what i've been doing, lots and lots of biking. lots of weight training. CALCIUM CALCIUM CALCIUM, and lots and lots of rest. i've had this stress fx for a month and am doing the above and i ditched the crutches yesterday and am walking pain free. so take it easy.

    also, when i had my stress fx last year, the healing was about 8 weeks total, started running slow and easy to start, like run a quarter mile, walk a mile, so on. i started that in november and by january 1 i got a 5k PR. my running came back in about a month, that was my point. happy healing!

    oh also, after my stress fx last year i had custom made orthotics made, it's made a huge difference.

  28. I'm so sorry about what happened! That's really insane and unexpected.

    I had an injury that took me off running for a long time. It was after my first marathon. I don't know what it was b/c i didn't go to the doctor, but my foot was killing me, and I just couldn't run. I took off three months. Did I come back stronger? HECK YEAH! You can look at my running races on my blog. That marathon was in Feb 2006... since then? So many PR's, it's sick. So, don't worry. Just make sure to take a lot of time off. Your speed and everything will come back in no time. Hugs :)

  29. Damn that just sucks! Cupoid what a dumb bone.

    Well I had an IT band issue that forced me to walk 14 miles of the San Diego marathon..yeah then barely run for two months...but suddenly it started to feel better and in a matter of weeks I was back to 13 mile long runs.

    So yes it can and will get better and you will not lose all your gains.

  30. That really sucks! I'll send fast-healing wishes your way. I still can't believe you have only been running that long!!

  31. I'm so sorry to hear about your stress fracture(s)! Rest assured that you'll bounce back from this stronger than ever. In my 15-ish years of running, I've tended to get injured at least once a year, but I've taken the time to heal up before I run off like a hellion again.

    In HS cross country, I usually tore the bejeesus out of my calves (or some other critical muscle) and found that galloping while dragging my bum leg behind me was an appealing alternative to sitting out practice. (I was a fun kid to coach.) After a few mid-season weeks of staying off my bum leg, I typically came back in the last couple of meets with strong races, and then kicked some butt during spring track. It's kind of that whole "redemption" idea.

    I got a metatarsal stress fracture a couple of years ago and took up biking and lap swimming. It wasn't QUITE as much fun as running, but it was a nice change of pace and really helped me to appreciate my running. My primary words of warning with the swimming: be careful not to push off the wall with your injured foot. I'd get all blissed out on pain-free endorphins and forget about my fracture...

    Best wishes for a speedy recovery!

  32. uggg... i am so sorry :( my husband is dealing with a stress fracture right now too but in his leg. it sucks. he has been swimming a lot and started biking too to try and keep some of the fitness there. hang in there... there is NO doubt in my mind you will be back, strong as ever to get that BQ. now just take care of yourself and get that thing healed! (((hugs)))

  33. Oh noooo!

    Time to swim & bike?

    And yep - you kicked my HM @$$ with a fractured foot - that DEFINITELY counts for something :)

  34. GIRL... you completed a half in bad-ass time WITH an injury... You ROCK!! And yes, this was soooo inevitable with all the running you have been doing. You need a break anyways!! This is God forcing you to simply take a break and then get back on the road.
    As to my personal injury... 2 years ago I was running 10K's at a 7 minute pace. Broke my foot one day hopping off the treadmill. Went through recovery and started running again, got all the way back to where I was to begin with. Then quit due to personal issues/baggage. Had nothing to do with the injury... And here I am today starting over. You will SOOOO overcome this. Like I said, it is time for you to take a break. You are so dedicated to running that you God knew you would never take a break on your own. So he went to drastic measures. But you will be FINE! Though I am sad that I won't see you in San Antonio. (Even though, there is a good chance I may not make it either due to my current neuropathy condition... yes, we are all suffering from something lately, aren't we?... kinda weird?!)

  35. Wow, that sucks and is definitely something I'm so scared of. Look at how quickly you came out as a strong runner just starting off. Take the time you need now and be smart with your recovery. You'll be back sooner and able to get right back where you left off.

  36. I'm a new runner to and I've heard of a cuboid. And just like you, I learned that I had one when I injured it. cuboid peroneal syndrome. I can still remember looking blankly at my doctor. It's such a random bone.
    Have you determined what caused the break? For me it was overcompensating for pronation issues.
    I inured it in May and was back to normal by mid-to-late June.
    You'll be fine. Considering the base that you've built up, you'll probably fall right back in after a few weeks. Just be careful to stretch.
    Good luck and I love your blog.

  37. So sorry. I hurt my knee running my first marathon last year. I could not run for about 4/5 months. But, I am running again and ready for my second marathon. So just take the time to recover and you'll get back up to speed really fast. I feel that even though my knee is not 100%, my runs have been better than before I got hurt. Your blog is great.

  38. You can make that three cases. I just found out I have a stress fracture in my cuboid bone as well. I'm going to be missing my marathon in a week. Sigh.

  39. Even if you are not religious at all, I believe you can still pull some comfort from this...

    God grant me the serenity
    to accept the things I cannot change;
    courage to change the things I can;
    and wisdom to know the difference.

    Living one day at a time;
    Enjoying one moment at a time;
    Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
    Taking, as He did, this sinful world
    as it is, not as I would have it;
    Trusting that He will make all things right
    if I surrender to His Will;
    That I may be reasonably happy in this life
    and supremely happy with Him
    Forever in the next.

    I hope you have a speedy recovery and most of all you stay mentally tough. Keep on keepin' on.

  40. i love your blog and started running last year. My first half is scheduled for my one year anniversary of running. However, with 18 days away I've been sidelined and waiting for my doctor's appt very impatiently for Thursday, hoping he can order an immediate MRI. So yeah....I've already annoyed the living hell out of my husband so I came here to re-read 10 ways to survive injury without being a b*tch. Which then led me search for your stress fracture, because thats what I'm FREAKIN' out that I may have. Thank you for always providing us with insight and saying out loud, what we all think. :)