A Lark Became a Dream…

And the dream of running the 2014 NYC marathon died when my bone scan lit up like a Christmas tree.

It looked like I’d gone through an airport body scanner with round bags of drugs shoved into the heel of my shoe and the front of my tibia.  Such was the “uptake” of activity in those bones.

I knew the odds were not ever in my favor when the tech took the initial blood flow pictures (before the injection) and remarked, “Wow!  Look at that.  That’s a very intense area of blood flow going into your heel and tibia.”  She cautioned me that things were not looking promising, then sent me on my radioactive way for a few hours.

The bone pictures didn’t look any better.  Two big bright circles in my heel and at the base of my tibia.  She said it was up to the radiologist and my podiatrist to interpret, but I understood.  Me smart!

I still ran 8 miles that night (last Thursday), keeping to my training plan until I heard from my doctor’s nurse.

Then she called, and she said that the doctor didn’t get a full copy to look at, only the radiologist’s report, but that he/she reported “stress reaction changes” in both areas.  My doctor wanted to see me ASAP.



Of course I asked what that meant and if I should keep to my plan of running 4 miles that afternoon, 8 on Sunday and 17 on Monday.  She said that it was my call, given that my doctor hadn’t seen the actual images herself, but that if I attempted it I would have to stop when I felt any pain.

Well, that meant not running at all.  So I shut things down, and met with my doctor yesterday with a disc copy of the scan.

And the fat lady is singing.

If not fractured, both the heel (calcaneus) and lower tibia are stressed to the point of fracture.  Since I came in relatively early with the pain, the bone scan is only showing early stages.  Later scans or x-rays would show the line of the break better as it heals.  Of course, that made me feel like maybe I would be a quitter to stop…like a better person/runner would keep going.

But I know that’s not true.  I am making a choice to stop, but that choice doesn’t categorize me as weak or uncommitted.  I know I could continue, and I could live with the pain.  I just don’t want to make that mistake.  The peak of my training is still ahead–it’s not like I’m even into the taper phase yet.

I don’t define myself by one race, and I will not run myself into the ground/a boot/a cast/no exercise for 3-4 months.  I risk fracturing both bones clear through by continuing, and if I do that, I will be sidelined from running far longer than if I rest now and let my body heal.

So I am done and out for this year’s NYC marathon, and I am resting my foot and leg for at least 4 weeks.  I guess there isn’t much more to say.  I will add another post in the next few days with some great links I’ve found and want to share along with more of a description of how this injury feels compared to plantar fasciitis–in other words, how I knew this injury was different.  Maybe the info could be helpful to other runners…

But for now, I’m sulking a bit.  This isn’t a big deal in the grand scheme of my life, and I am keeping it in perspective, but I am allowing myself a day or two to be pissy, because this SHOULD NOT have happened.

I have been a runner for over a decade.  I log regular weeks of 20+miles, and I build mileage properly.  I can’t help but wonder what caused this injury, because it shouldn’t have happened, and though I know random injuries do arise, I have my blaming eyes squarely set on the one thing I’ve done differently during this training cycle compared to previous race training (one marathon, and too many half marathons and other races to count)…


Looks like I picked the…


Happy running, peeps!  Enjoy your ability to get out there today…now that I can’t run, all I do is see runners (isn’t that the way?)!  I will be here at home, gorging myself on Game of Thrones books and cross stitching (almost done with my niece’s birthday present…a Paris scene)!





38 thoughts on “A Lark Became a Dream…

  1. Oh no! Terrible news. You are very smart to make the decision to stop, and to rest and recover. I think that choice shows just how strong and committed you are. And I understand how difficult it must be. Best wishes for health and healing.

    Today I’m working on my conference paper for next month’s JASNA AGM, so I have Austen’s words about Mrs. Smith, from Persuasion, in my head: “here was that elasticity of mind, that disposition to be comforted, that power of turning readily from evil to good, and of finding employment which carried her out of herself.” And about Fanny Price: “There is nothing like employment, active indispensable employment, for relieving sorrow.” Here’s to cross-stitch projects!


  2. Sorry to hear this. You are doing the smart thing, even though it is difficult. Why keep running if you are going to end up with a break? That would just be crazy. You will live to run another day.


  3. Picture this – terrible shin splins, run carefully through them for six weeks until the marathon. During marathon, excruciating pain that you run through. Result – stress fracture in leg and as a bonus, the other hip! Prize is a cast AND a little wheely bopper thing you have to push yourself around for over a month in as your body heals – and the kicker is nothing but swimming for at least four months. This is my friend’s true story from this year. Running through injury doesn’t show you’re stronger, it injures you! Marathons will always be there,so you do that cross stitching and heal up!!!


    • Thank you…and thanks for sharing that story. It’s exactly what I am afraid would happen if I continued. I am sure that the tibia fracture came from the foot stress, and if I kept on, the injuries could pile up in other areas (knees, hips) as well!


  4. Someone gave me this today and I thought it might help! (Allow yourself to be pissy today, but maybe think of this tomorrow?!)

    The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company…a church…a home…a school…a team. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past…we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude…I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.


    • My dear friend!!!!! Thank you! Those words made me smile…I am really trying to allow myself just a little bit of pity and then just shut it down. Things sometimes happen for a reason, and sometimes they don’t have any cause at all, but what matters is that I move on and be happy! I hope you are well! Thanks for reading!


  5. Commiserations, madam. As someone who dreams of running in the NYC, I can only imagine how much of a downer this is for you. PS: any possibility of transferring your registration to my name for this year’s race? Hell, I’d even run as you! 🙂


  6. Bummer. Mega bummer. You did the right thing. I developed a bony stress response before a marathon once. I managed it with reduced running and loads of ice. Then after the marathon didn’t run properly for 8 weeks because, you guessed it, stress fracture from the race. 5 weeks in a moon boot…
    At the time I wished I’d had the foresight and maturity you’re displaying. There are always more races!


  7. Oh no!! I know this is a massive bummer but you’re handling it so smartly… like you said, it’s not worth running yourself into a boot and months off for recovery as opposed to weeks, though it’s still terrible. I think you have every right to sulk and be pissy, I know I’d be doing the same! Fingers crossed you have a very speedy and successful recovery, and enjoy your reading and cross-stitching!


  8. Oh, I’m so sorry to hear it turned out that way! Bodies are weird like that sometimes. Kudos to you for being smart enough to heed good advice and to do it with grace. It’s tough to back off when you want so badly to make your goal. Wishing you a quick recovery!


  9. Bummer!!!! I’m so sorry this happened – but thank God you can defer for a year! Also, I’m glad you aren’t a total stubborn dumb ass like me. My unwillingness to admit that something was wrong led to 12 weeks on the rower. Grant it, I came back stronger than ever and took a minute off of my average pace. So perhaps you should try rowing….;)

    Seriously, I know how you feel And I suspect I know the hell your husband is probably going thru right now. Take a few days to wallow. And then EMBRACE doing something different for cardio. Think of it as permission not to run. And in the end, when the shackles come off and you can lace up, I bet you a bottle of red that you will totally be IN LOVE with running again. Unless it’s 81 degrees with 90% humidity at 4am on September 11th.


    • You are so right! I’m going to climb up that rower’s ass…not to mention the low bike and the weights (those funny things I’ve ignored for the past year or so.) It is an opportunity as well as a setback, but I’m going to be positive and embrace the chance to change things up. I was saying that I was mentally burned out, so this will be a great reset for me. I will be back in time to enjoy some of fall running at least!


  10. I’m so sorry to see this! Wallowing is normal — you are allowed to mourn the race and curse the situation a bit! Thank goodness you can defer for a year. It feels a long way away now but I bet it goes by quickly in retrospect! Wishing you as speedy a recovery as possible!


  11. I’m really sorry to hear about New York. I was looking forward to living vicariously through your blog post about that race. But I probably don’t even need to tell you that you are making the right decision and I commend you for being strong and clear-minded enough to do that. Does NYC allow you to defer to next year? Hope you recover well and quickly and are back in your running shoes soon!


Your turn to talk!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s