2019 – Travel, PR’s and broken bones

  • Note:  As I have been working on doing more posting etc out here, I came across this post from December 2019 that I apparently never posted.  I am posting now because as I get back to running (pretty much starting over) so many people have asked my why I stopped running for almost a year…. this is why…December 2019.  The end of the year, but also the end of the DECADE!

As I sit here and reflect on the last year, I can’t help but smile! I had come pretty lofty goals, some I reached, some I came close.  I was able to travel to some pretty amazing places, traveling with great friends and met even more along the way. I was already looking forward to an epic 2020, with even more crazy goals and adventures planned.

But last week, all of those plans came to a screeching halt.

After xrays and and MRI, The foot pain that I have been dealing with since August finally had a diagnosis.

Apparently since late summer, I have been running on a fractured sesamoid bone in my left foot!  Yes, I ran 4 (maybe 5) half marathons on a broken foot, 2 of those races being my fastest ever!  That also does not include all of the training miles, strength training and teaching 2 cycling classes a week.

Now, I sit here looking at a virtually blank calendar for 2020… waiting for what comes next…

But I think I need to back up just a bit….

Now that I look back on the last few months, I have come to the conclusion that I have this fracture since at least mid August.  For those of you that follow me on FB, you may recall the amazing Orange Sherbet Brooks shoes that I bought.  Well, after just 2 runs with them, I brought them back to RunAway shoes because they hurt my feet.  In reality, it was this injury rearing it’s ugly head.  All the pain I was feeling at that point was exactly where I am dealing with this fractured bone!

I bought different shoes and moved forward, but still was dealing with the same pain.  It usually didn’t hit until 5+ miles into a run, but it was always there.

I have 2 half marathons in September and noticed the pain each time once I got past mile 6. One of these races was my target half marathon for the year.  I wanted a PR and I wanted a 2:15 finish.  Neither happened.

I finally broke down and visited Chad at the Bellin Injury clinic the day after I got back from the Whiskeydaddle half marathon (October 15th).  This was supposed to be marathon #3 but because my training had not really been where I wanted it to be AND I had been dealing with this nagging foot, 26.2 miles did NOT seem like a good idea.  After driving to Peoria all day Friday, I talked to the race team and officially transferred to the half.

Best choice I had made all year.  Before the race, I decided that since I was not running the Full, if I felt ok on race morning, I was going for that PR that I missed a few weeks before in Michigan.   Once again, right around mile 7, my foot woke up. Thankfully I was running with great friends who kept me distracted and moving forward.   I pushed my way through and finished strong.  I hit that PR and spent the afternoon celebrating that epic finish.

After driving home, and headed to see Chad, he noticed that I had a blister UNDER the callous on my left foot.  He gave me a treatment plan for that we were working forward.  I gave it some rest, did some icing, and a few other things to get me moving again.

Fast forward about a month… the Madison Marathon was supposed to be marathon #4. Once again, transferred to the half, as I knew that I was not going to be able to complete 26.2 miles with a strict 6 hour cutoff.  I can fake it/push it through the last 6 miles of a half marathon… but there is no way that I can fake it through 19 miles of a marathon!  I ran that 13.1 miles with another great friend who help make sure I made it through those miles, even once my food started hurting.

Monday morning found me back in Chad’s office for further consultation.  This time I left with a referral to the PA in the foot specialist office at Bellin.  A week later I was scheduled for another appointment and x-ray.  This appt brought on the confirmation of inflammation, but did not rule out a stress fracture of further damage to my food and as a result… an appt for an MRI.  1 week and an expensive 45 minute nap later, I got the call, just as I was finishing up work for the morning.

The confirmation of the fractured sesamoid bone.

I will be honest – I kept my cool during the conversation with my PA, but when I got off the phone, it all hit me.  Telling a runner they are dealing with an injury is one thing… telling a runner they may not run for up 6 month is not too far short of a death sentence.  I spent the next 20 minutes or so wrapping my head around what I was told and then made the call to set up my next appointment with the foot specialist.  I knew that Dr Anderson was tough to get in to see, even with a referral, but now that I had a referral from his PA, I was able to get in the 1st week of January (much better than the Mid March it could have been with the referral from Chad).

It wasn’t until I got home that I realized just who my new foot specialist was!  As I was scrolling through Facebook, I came across THIS article that was shared by Bellin Health, originally posted by EPSN!  I knew that Dr Anderson was good, but I didn’t realize to what extent!!!  If Cam Newton and Marcus Davenport trusted Dr Anderson to get them back on the field, I am pretty sure he can get me running again!

Honestly, I think this was the exact article I needed to see that day… to assure me that everything WILL be ok, and that I WILL run again.

So now, as I sit there and try and get used to my new “normal” (at least for the next several months, I know that I need to find other outlets for stress and fitness, since I can’t just go out and run 5 miles whenever I need it.  I also am realizing really quickly that I need to figure out how to eat again…. I can’t eat like I am still running 20-30 miles per week!  The scale has already reminded me of that since I have not run since Madison in November!

I have no idea what 2020 will look like for me, I just know that I need to find a way to keep myself going!

To catch the next part of the story… here’s the post results after my appt with Dr Anderson

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