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)…
THE FUCKING DREADMILL.
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)!