Of all thats come and going
The plan for Spring 2017 was to run the NYC half and the Boston marathon. Those plans have been cancelled because of a foot injury that flared up on January 1.
Going into Fukuoka I had a little bit of pain in my 4th metatarsal (left foot) close to my toe. I was a little worried that running 42km in racing flats was going to be problematic but it turned out ok. Surprisingly it didn’t even hurt much after the race.
That’s why I’m not too bummed right now. I’m counting my blessings that this didn’t flare-up before (or during) Fukuoka. Had I got into good shape and missed the race it would have been a tough pill to swallow at the end of a frustrating racing year. Instead I had one of my best races ever. There’s never a good time to have an injury but it could have been much worse.
I planned on taking 2-3 weeks off after the Fukuoka and I ended up resting for 15 days. My first run back was 5km, then another day off, and then I slowly increased my volume over the next 10 days. I started to feel pretty good again and was planning on doing some workouts in early January.
Unfortunately on Dec 31st my foot started to feel uncomfortably sore at the end of my run. The next day I was cautious and ran around the park close to my house (soft surface and never getting more than 1km from my house). After 9km I had to head home because the pain was overwhelming.
I was hoping it was a stress fracture because the pain was severe enough to know I had a significant injury and I didn’t want it to be something more complicated. A straight-forward stress fracture would normally requite about six weeks of no running. I have a history of getting complicated injuries.
Yesterday I had a follow-up with my doctor to discuss my MRI and it turns out I have osteonecrosis and collapsing of the 4th metacarpal head. The end of the bone has been taking a beating and there isn’t enough blood flow in the area for the healing process to keep up with the micro-trauma of running.
I have yet to see an orthopedic surgeon to go over the severity of my injury and figure out what route I need to take for recovery. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this is similar to a stress fracture and 6 weeks or so of rest will let it heal. The other option is surgery and that doesn’t sound appealing.
I’ve been in the pool here and there. I’m torn between taking full rest and maintaining fitness so I basically go to the pool when it’s convenient. That will probably mean 4 days in the pool this week. As this heals I’ll up my cross-training volume and introduce bike, elliptical and hopefully XC skiing.
On January 2 when I knew I had a significant injury and would need to take many weeks off I quickly started to plot out a path to still run the Boston marathon. The dialogue in my head went something like this:
“OK, I’ll take 6 weeks off running which will give me 9 week of running before Boston. I’ll spend the first two weeks in the pool, then add in bike weeks 3-4 and then add in elliptical weeks 5-6. The first week of running will be low volume so I’ll keep up with cross-training. The second week of running I’ll still do workouts on elliptical. That will give me 6 weeks of running workouts before I have to taper. I can make this work…”
And then I remembered how frustrating it was to rush my Rio training last year and I came to my senses and decided to clear my race schedule.
I don’t want to run the Boston marathon just to do it (well at least not at this point in my career), I want to go there and run my best. I don’t need the stress of rushing through a marathon build-up, especially having done it last year. I mean, I’m glad I did it last year as the Olympics only come around every four years but I also saw the result of compromised training and it missed the mark in terms of my potential.
I can’t really comment on what my next steps are until I consult with an orthopedic surgeon. Hopefully this will be a similar timeline to a stress fracture and I’ll be running in the second half of February. So hard to say at this point.
Good thing Louis is a great distraction.