I made a promise to myself (and the Hubs) that I would have my foot checked out after Portland. I figured that, worst case scenario, I may have to take some time off and cross-train for a month or two while my foot mended. And really, I don’t need to crank up the Boston training until mid-December or even January. So why not find out what’s going on, fix it and then run pain-free? Makes total sense, right?
Except for one thing. My podiatrist is at Dallas Presby. Also known as ground zero for Ebola in the US. Yes, my podiatrist, my internist and my eye doctor, all of whom I need to go see, are located at the hospital that was being swarmed by the press, politicians, and, oh yea, Ebola. No thank you.
So I put off calling all three of my doctors. And continued to run on a heel that feels like someone used for batting practice. I ran, I iced, I complained, I didn’t call. For weeks and weeks. Until finally I decided to hell with it and called my podiatrist. (The other two doctors can wait.)
The good news – there’s no stress fracture. I have a small bone spur but that’s not the cause of my pain. Nope – true to my personality, I have a very angry tendon that is inflamed from repetitive pounding. The bad news is that there really isn’t anything you can do about it. Yes, I can take an extended period off. But chances are, it will just become angry again once I resume running. So, as the doc says, I can either quit running (“Which I know you will never do.”), or I can manage it thru Boston training and then do more cross-training and less running (“Which I know you wont do either.”).
Thankfully, this doc gets me. Or, I should say, he gets runners. He knows we won’t stop running unless we hear the word “fracture” or our foot detaches from our body. So he showed me how to tape my heel to relieve the stress on my tendon and then instructed me on how to treat it after each run to reduce inflammation (heat first, then roll it with a frozen water bottle). And, big surprise here, my orthotics were completely shot and needed to be replaced. (I totally thought this was a sales pitch until he flipped them over and showed me the holes I had worn thru them. Whoops.) $175 later, I was walking out with brand new custom orthotics with a special “horseshoe” for my heel.
And before you label me as a sucker, let me tell you – my feet feel 100 times better when I run in them. It’s crazy how I can run 7-10 miles pain-free in orthotics but can’t walk around my house barefoot without hobbling like I have a broken foot.
So anyways, here’s the plan. Run. Heat/Ice. Limp. Repeat. I know it sounds ridiculous but so long as I am not in pain while running, I don’t really care. I do have to give up on the boxing though. As fun as it was to beat the hell out of a heavy bag, the doc thinks the bouncing on my feet may have been what triggered the inflammation in the first place (only because it started after a month of classes). Which, all things considered, is probably for the best. Remember my belly button hernia?
Oh the things we do to ourselves. And tolerate.
But hey, if I were to do something crazy like take a sabbatical from running, I would miss out on such fun things like random cars blazing in the night. As in fire. In my hood.
Yes, I awoke one morning to this cheery email from the local PD:
Good morning, Mrs. X,
I am well aware that you go for your morning run around 4am. (Really? Is this because of my past complaints about the police almost hitting me?) Did you happen to run on the morning of October 27th? If so, did you see anything suspicious? At approximately 3:45 a.m. a vehicle was set on fire by arsonists in your neighborhood and I was hoping you might have seen something.
Uh, by suspicious do you mean a burning car? Or maybe a man lugging a can of kerosene around the streets?
Unfortunately for him, but fortunately for me, I had slept in that morning and didn’t witness any fire bombing of cars. But this occurred around the corner from my house. And, as far as I know, I don’t live in the ghetto (although I am really starting to question that).
The officer thanked me for responding and informed me that they were increasing a police presence in our neighborhood for overnight patrols. Which means I have seen exactly ONE patrol car in the past three weeks. Although the local fire department drove thru this morning. I guess they were looking for burning vehicles?
Perhaps in addition to my pepper spray I should begin carrying a fire extinguisher. You know. Just in case I see something suspicious.