Here we are, a mere three weeks from the Portland Marathon, and I haven't been for a run in, oh, two weeks.
How can one possibly expect to run a marathon if they haven't been running? Am I insane? Am I just blowing caution to the wind? Do I expect to be one of those crazy people who never trains for a marathon, and yet can miraculously finish?
See, I won't be running the 2012 Portland Marathon.
This whole mess started early in August when I started to pick up my mileage, and also started to run every day...with little off days in between. Similarly, I worked several (very hectic) shifts at work in a row so I could go on a little mini vacation. I noticed, once I slowed down to think about it enough, that my toes and bottom of my foot hurt quite a bit. I even asked my boss, who used to be an avid runner, if she had ever had plantar fascitis...and if so what the symptoms were. Her explanation didn't sound like the pain I was experiencing, so I continued on with my running and work schedule but making sure to premedicate with some ibuprofen.
Then I went on a mini-vacation. My extended family meets every summer at Redfish Lake, for a camping reunion, and I was able to catch the tail end of it. We then headed down to Hailey, my dad's hometown, to have a burial service for my grandma. It was all very lovely. My foot didn't hurt at all while I was there, but then I didn't run for the entire 5 days I was there. (Oh but there was much excitement: attending a total stranger's wedding on the beach, sneaking into a rodeo, getting charged by a bull [there was a fence in between us], and happening upon a stalled car in the middle of a wildfire...I should really tell you all about that trip.)
ANYWAY, I get back to Portland and resume my hectic work and workout schedule. I notice my foot starts to hurt worse and worse as I continue to run and that it starts to hurt earlier in the runs than previously. But I keep running. And working. And running, after all Hood to Coast was fast approaching and I couldn't let my team down.
Finally, about two days before Hood to Coast, I was talking to one of the NP's I work with about my foot and she mentioned "it sounds like you have stress fractures." Stress fractures. Duh. All my symptoms totally start to make sense now, especially the fact that there was NO pain when I WASN'T running. But, again, I'm TWO DAYS away from Hood to Coast and there isn't anyway I could back out.
So I did Hood to Coast. It was painful. It was awesome. It was a great experience. I fell down. (It really deserves a post of it's own.) I go back to work on Monday, and by Friday I have pain on the top of my foot too. So I break down and go to the doctor.
They order an Xray, say they can't "see" the stress fractures but that it isn't uncommon to not see them until they start to heal.
I say "well that's silly I've had the pain for a month now it should be healing by now."
Doctor: "They haven't been healing because you haven't been resting them. I'd like to order an MRI."
Me: "Absolutely not."
Doctor: "Well we'd see them better with an MRI, or, if you'd prefer, a bone scan."
Me: "No. No. I do not want to be exposed to that much radiation. And it's not like it will change the course of treatment."
Doctor: "What is it you do for a living?"
Me: "I'm an RN."
Doctor: "Ah. I love you nurses, but you make the most difficult patients."
She then went on to explain I needed to RICE, and wear a wooden soled shoe when I was walking around. My beloved sandals were verboten. I asked if my Danskos would suffice. She agreed I could try them.
Doctor: "But if the pain doesn't get any better with the RICE, emphasis on the resting, I think you should come back and we'll fit you for a CAM boot."
Me: "Okay, resting. So...light running then? Walking probably?"
Doctor: "Absolutely not. You're to stay off your feet as much as possible for the next two weeks. No running for 4 weeks..."
Me: (interrupting) "Excellent, the marathon is in five. I'll be okay to run by then."
Doctor: "(audible sigh) Do you really think it would be a good idea to run 26 miles on freshly healed fractures? Is that what you would tell your patient to do."
Me: (very small voice) "No."
Doctor: "I'm glad we understand each other. Now, I can write you a note releasing you from work for the next couple days."
Me: (pouting) "No thank you. I'll be fine."
Seriously internet. I refused a doctor's note releasing me from work.
So, I've kept off my feet (as much as I could) for the last two weeks, I've been wearing my danskos night and day. And my foot feels better. Mostly. It still hurts quite a bit when I put my training shoes on when I go meet my trainer (just twice a week, I swear) but for the most part the pain is much better.
But. But. I'm so mad that I can't do the marathon I could spit. Mad at myself mostly. But, it's getting better. And I'll do it next year. I guess I'll do the marathon when I'm 30, not before I'm 30.
Guess I should pull out that sewing machine now.