Tuesday, March 20, 2012
I’m back in Chapel Hill from spring break. I ran some 2 weeks ago (44 miles between Tuesday and Wednesday) but Wednesday night, my right foot really seized up and I could hardly walk. I took the next 5 days off and got on the bike when we got to Scottsdale for spring training. I was really bummed because I was hoping to be able to run around Scottsdale but was unable to do so. I spent basically 45 minutes to an hour on the bike from Tuesday to Friday and worked up to 2 miles on the treadmill without my foot getting any worse. Back home, I ran 3.5 miles on the trails in China Camp without much pain but my foot was a little worse that night. I flew back to CH on Sunday and have done the elliptical trainer for an hour yesterday and today. I’m incredibly frustrated. I just wanted to be healthy by yesterday but my foot doesn’t seem to be progressing much. It doesn’t hurt very much at all but I can’t seem to get it over the hill to the point where it stops hurting completely. I’ve got an appointment with the UNC sports medicine people tomorrow but I can’t imagine they’ll do very much for me. Chances are very slim that I’ll be able to convince them to give me a cortisone shot during the first appointment, which might make tomorrow even more frustrating. I’ve got less than 4 weeks to Boston and at this point, I’ll just be happy if I can run it. Then I’ll recover, and start training for the Dipsea. The ultimate goal is to be healthy for the Dipsea, but Boston is a huge deal with a lot of teammates going, not to mention my parents, so I really want to run it.
Not being able to run has left me without an outlet for my angers and frustrations. Normally I can just go pound those feelings out of my body but being stuck on the bike or the elliptical just isn’t the same. If anything, I’m worse off than when I started. And while I’m able to break a good sweat, the cardiovascular benefits pale in comparison to running. Basically, it sucks and I would do anything to be able to run right now. I don’t sleep as well as I did while training and I’m more energetic, which I am not accustomed to. Not that being energetic is a bad thing, but I know where that energy is coming from and I would much rather lose it due to running than have it at all. I need this foot to get better.
Thursday, March 22, 2012
I saw a UNC sports medicine doctor yesterday. They took an x-ray of my foot and noticed something that they considered to be abnormal in the metatarsals of my index and middle toe on my right foot. They said that they didn’t think it was a stress fracture or a stress reaction, which was a relief. However, they’re not sure what it is and are going to put me in a boot for 2 weeks until I see them again. In the meantime, I’m relegated to the recumbent bicycle or the pool, which is really annoying. The boot didn’t come in today which is also frustrating because I want to get it on so it can start working with my body to heal my foot. The foot does feel better today than it did yesterday, however. The doctor also mentioned that there’s always the possibility that what they’re seeing on the x-ray is normal for me (while being abnormal for most) but they don’t know that because they don’t have any other images of my foot. I’m going to take the fact that it’s getting better a bit each day as a good sign. I’m still frustrated that I can’t run and won’t be happy until I can but I have to deal with it as best I can and try not to lose too much fitness. It’s just really hard because my season was going so well and 3 short weeks ago I was still planning on taking a shot at going sub-14:00 this weekend at High Point.
Sunday, March 25, 2012
My foot is feeling better. I’m in the boot but I got some good news from a chiropractor on Friday. He thinks the pain is being caused by my quadratus plante, a muscle in the middle of my foot. He looked at my xrays and was quite thorough in “testing” my foot and doesn’t think it’s a bone issue. He believes the muscle has tightened up which explains the pain that I feel when I flex through the front of my foot and haven’t had any issues with bearing weight on it. He did some active release therapy on my foot which was rather painful but it felt better, or at least I think it did. He told me to wear the boot as directed by the UNC folks, since all it can do is help, but said I could go for a run on Saturday, which made me ecstatic.
So on Saturday morning, I went out and did 4 miles on the Pumpkin Loop. I felt a little bit of pain through my toes but it was decidedly less than I’ve felt since this all started. Most importantly, though, it really didn’t hurt at all afterwards. There was a bit of pain on the top of my foot but that’s gone away with time and icing. I’ve been wearing the boot regularly and I think it’s helping as well. I’m really optimistic about this whole thing but I don’t want to jinx it. The fact that I could run farther than I have in 2 weeks and feel no worse, even better, in fact (no pain at all on the elliptical this morning), makes me really happy. I’m seeing the chiropractor again on Tuesday and we’ll go from there. In the meantime, I’m on the bike and in the boot. Fingers crossed that the end is in sight…
Saturday, March 31, 2012
I saw Dr. Staker again on Tuesday. He said for me to go ahead and run on Thursday, so on Thursday I went out and ran 9 miles with Duncan in Carolina North. My foot felt really good, the best it’s felt in weeks. There was hardly any pain during the run. It hurt a bit on the top of it/toes in the afternoon evening and when I iced, it got considerably better, so I went out again on Friday and ran 9 miles in the forest. My foot still felt pretty good. The pain seems to be completely gone from the ball of it and has moved to the top/toes. The pain seemed like it couldn’t make up its mind. It started out a bit in my toes and then moved to the top of my foot and then back to my toes and finally settled in the top, among the metatarsals. It was always manageable and didn’t seem like much of a problem, and it felt better yesterday after the run than it had the day before. I am taking today off and am planning on taking tomorrow off as well. The pain is somewhat concentrated in my metatarsals, which has me a bit worried, but it seems to be feeling better as the day goes on. It hurts a bit to bounce on but that goes away when I put my shoes on, which is nice, I suppose. But I really need to not hurt at all. I need to start running again full-time soon. Not just for racing purposes, but for my sanity. I experience rather profound emotional swings which don’t last long, but a couple of times per day, I become incredibly frustrated in response to almost nothing. I don’t like it because that’s not me. And I know that running will restore my mental balance which makes me miss it all the more.
I went down to the Raleigh Relays last night with Adam, Reed, Monk and Sarah Anne Swiss and had a ton of fun, but it was really, really hard being there and knowing that I should have been on the track running fast as well. The weather was perfect which made it even worse. It was fun to watch and see everyone perform, but being on the outside looking in makes me miserable at the same time.
On top of that, I have a really sweet pair of wear test shoes from Nike that I would kill to run in, but can’t. They’re just sitting on the floor, staring at me and begging to be taken for a spin.