To get more specific, the doctor diagnosed me with a bruised talus bone, which is part of the ankle. My MRI showed major swelling and inflammation, but luckily it was not yet a full-fledged fracture — I sure was close, though.
I’m now in a walking boot. I’ve been told to wear it for a week at a time and then switch to tennis shoes to see if daily walking activities hurt. If they do hurt, it’s back in the boot for another week. If they don’t hurt, the progression will go: daily walking activities only, stationary bike, regular bike, elliptical, walking/lite jogging.
For now I’ve been told to do upper-body and ab workouts only. This comes as a major blow to someone who is used to running 5 days a week and walking/hiking on one other day. It’s also a blow to my Baltimore Marathon plans, which are now, sadly, nonexistent.
I’m trying to move on and focus on other goals now. The week of my doctor appointments, I was a mess. I sat in bed for about an hour each day feeling sorry for myself; I sobbed twice; I ate dessert almost every night because I decided that I just didn’t care.
But Eminem said it best in “Till I Collapse,” and until I collapse, I’m not going to give up — on running or on fitness in general. I cranked his song a few times in the car, and I decided that I couldn’t sit around feeling angry and upset forever.
Thank God for the internet because when I got off my butt and started Googling my predicament, I found many other fitness lovers in the same boat as me. Their positive posts and workout suggestions made me realize that there’s no use dwelling on what’s done. Plus, any added stress could just make my body’s inflammation even worse — not something I want.
I looked at my marathon training plan and saw all that I accomplished: 13 weeks of hard running, a half-marathon, and brand new distances of 15, 17 and 18 miles. None of that indicates anything near failure. I did, however, rip the training program up and throw it away; I have to look forward.
So what’s next for me while I’m in the boot?
I took my week to wallow, and now I’m working out again. I found tons of great seated workout videos on YouTube that use arms to get a cardio workout.
Check some of them out!
- Upper-body cardio workout from bed
- Chair cardio
- Hurt foot 30 minute total body workout
- 14 minute chair workout
I’ll also be hitting the gym to lift a few times a week. I’m still able to do front and side-lying leg raises, bent and straight back kicks, fire hydrants, and superman lifts for my legs and booty, so I won’t let my bottom half completely atrophy.
I decided that I’m going to use this time to get some strong guns and super-defined abs. My legs may lose some tone and power, but I can quickly get that back once my ankle is healed.
I’m looking at this injury as another learning opportunity, just like my IT band injury last summer before the Baltimore Half-Marathon (fall races hate me, apparently).
When something bad happens, you have three choices. You can either let it define you, let it destroy you, or let it strengthen you.
I’ve learned to notice the signs of overtraining before it’s too late.
As my training hit its peak, I started back at school, which meant less down time or time for naps. Even before the peak, I was running errands and meeting up with friends right after some of my longest runs. I knew I was tired; I told people I was tired. I just thought it was normal training fatigue — and something a strong runner should be able to handle — but it was actually more. Next time I will give rest and sleep the same importance as my runs. I will keep my schedule open, not letting myself or others make me feel badly for doing so.
During the peak, I also adopted a dog and started walking him for about a mile every night on top of my intense running schedule. Next time I will consider a four-day-a-week training program since all the extra walking almost equates to another weekday run.
When my foot started hurting the first time, I took time off and cross trained. It felt better for a week or two, but just before it became too painful to run at all, there was pain and a pulling sensation that I chose to ignore. Next time I’ll back off as many times as it takes in order to stay healthy.
But that’s all for next time, which there will be (I will run a marathon!), but it’s time to focus on healing now.
I stocked up on anti-inflammatory smoothie ingredients: fresh ginger, tumeric powder, chia seeds, coconut water, pineapple, mixed berries, kale. I’m not gonna lie, the taste is not good, but I want to help my body heal holistically. I’ve also been getting some extra sleep and trying to think about positive goals I can reach; the first one will be getting out of the boot! I’d like to run some type of fall race. A 10k would be nice, and a half-marathon would be fantastic, but I’m not going to sign up for anything until my body tells me it’s time.
With a healthy diet, rested body and happy mind, I’m ready to make a full recovery.
Wish me luck!