I’m failing at adaptive evolution, Charlie Darwin.

Last Saturday, I was doing this.

No time for losers.

For the next three weeks, I’ll be doing this.

Left foot calls it.

(My left foot has become unbearably cocky.)

My heel and ankle were feeling sloshy as I drove home from the race. It’s gotten worse instead of better over the past few days, and in the evenings I find myself wincing and walking around on the ball of my foot. Diagnosis? Stress fracture, right heel.

Ortho Doc: You need to immobilize it in the boot for three weeks.

Me: This might sound crazy, but can I take it out of the boot for a few hours on the 17th to run another 5K with my daughter?

Ortho Doc: I think you know the answer to that question.

Me: Last year I had three stress fractures in my left leg. Now I have one in my right heel. What am I doing wrong?

Ortho Doc: Some people are prone to stress fractures. Your bone density is great and your labs are great. I think you’re just one of those people.

Me: Are you saying that I’m not graceful?

Ortho Doc: I would never.

So, Jeff will be running the Girls on the Run 5K in my place. And I’m bummed. Like, the most bummed I’ve been in awhile. (I just reached the point where I can run for thirty minutes without wanting to die. This stress fracture has squashed my delusions of invincibility.)

Go on with your day. I’ll be sitting over here in the corner eating Halloween crap and fighting the urge to take a nap in our hornet bed. Sort of like Macaulay Culkin in My Girl. But not really. (Know that I know that I’m being dramatic. I’m giving myself 24 hours for operatics. And Indian food.)

Oh, wait. One more thing. Please don’t tell me that I should probably stop running. My ortho doctor and I both disagree with you. My road to “Status: Runner” simply has more than the average amount of hiccups and blips. I’m not closing down my shop. ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

31 thoughts on “I’m failing at adaptive evolution, Charlie Darwin.”

  1. DUDE. Can you go to one of those professional types that watches you run on a treadmill underwater or something and then corrects all your crap? Is that a real thing or did I dream that? Are you heel-striking? Do I sound like I know what I’m talking about? Can I hop a plane and take you out for Indian food?

  2. Oh man! (About the ankle.) I wish I was up there. I would go for some Indian food. I am considering trying again next week to run. I hope my old bones handle it okay. I hope you heel quickly!

  3. I’m sorry about this temporary setback but I don’t doubt you’ll be “up and running” again when you want to be.

    Take care of yourself. Dr. M. suggests liberal doses of tasty-yet-not-too-guilt-inducing food therapy.

  4. Oh, I love you in that you don’t want to complain too much.

    YOUR BONES BREAK. That sounds bad. Don’t call it a stress fracture. Be like ‘remember that movie where there was the guy whose bones would break? I’m that guy!’

    Enjoy the look of horror on people’s faces. Seriously–it sucks to be injured. And you were being heroic racing. I would wallow! But that’s me.

    ‘I had to immobilize it in a boot’ also sounds really ominous. You should get Indian food very, very frequently just based on that.

  5. Don’t, Don’t give up, get with a therapist and have them check your running style, Kathy may have a point. It could be you or it could be you are running wrong. Personally, it there is nobody or anything chasing you I see no need to run. But that’s just me.

  6. I almost cried reading this. I was in the absolute depths of depression all summer with my own issues so I empathize. btw – my 1st run which I thought was so fabulous the other day resulted in a swollen ankle by night fall… I don’t even want to think about what this means. Hang tough woman.

  7. Sorry to hear about the foot. Your stick-to-it-iveness (sp?) is laudable! Thanks for introducing me to The Low Anthem.

  8. On of my best running friends was recently diagnosed with a stress fracture and given the boot.

    (Get it? THE BOOT?)

    She and I talked a lot about it and she found herself getting really depressed because her runs had become her “HER” time. Just her. No kids. No husband. No work. No chores. Without that she said she felt like she was getting depressed and she had NEVER dealt with that before.

    My point? It sucks. It’s not just you who thinks it sucks. Everyone it happens to struggles so hang in there. I saw her a few weeks ago and she excitedly exclaimed, “I ran half a mile yesterday!” :) She did track her recovery based on what her doctor told her and found a local race to target as her “GOAL” race for when she returned. Maybe you could do that? Look forward to something down the road?

    Hang in there.

  9. Well, that sucks. I want to join the posters asking if you’ve had your stride evaluated and also your shoe choice? Maybe you need a little something extra in terms of orthotics or something?
    I admire your “sticktoitiveness”.

  10. I don’t run, but I play volleyball. Two weeks in a row I have hurt my back and not been able to play. I sit on the sideline and watch them play and I feel like a million years old and depressed. I hear ya. Keep at it. I guess we all need to take the time to heal before we jump up and run/play again. Glad to hear you are not giving up though.

  11. i think these dialogs with your doctors are hilarious. i feel like saying ‘keep em coming’, but i would actually be very happy for you if you were doctor-free.
    sometimes it’s just Scheisse, right? hang in there.

  12. It’s your toes. Seriously. You have Morton’s Toe (and boy is Morton pissed… ba dum dum… I’m here all week people, tip your waitresses), it’s when your second metatarsel is longer than your first, screws up how you walk, run, totally messes up your stride. Here’s the wiki (the picture clearly is of a cadaver or someone totally in need of a chemical peel). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morton%27s_toe

  13. I was doing a modified RT5k thing about 16 mos ago. Ankle swelled every night (but it did with just walking and standing). Finally saw a doc and discovered tendons holding ankle in place had snapped off and were retracted back up behind achilles. I’d been ignoring it for FIVE years. After surgery and six months therapy, I’m back at exercise (walking, biking, Zumba). I long to get back into running. Point? I will never tell you to give up. Rock the boot and then get back on the horse.

  14. Ohhh, Angie — so sorry! But so “Good For You, Girl!” for not even considering calling it quits. I was one of the voices a while back who raised that question on your behalf, and I applaud (and personally envy) your strong reaction against doing so. This is a temporary setback — your foot will run again! From personal experience (and you may well already be on top of this) be super sure that while your right foot is in the boot, your left foot is in a shoe that is about the same “height” in terms of how far off the ground the actual soles of your feet both are (Does that make sense/ You know what I mean, right?) That way your body will be in better balance, and your opposing hip (in this case, the left one) won’t bear too much of the brunt while you are gimping around unevenly. Even if you have to walk very slowly to make this happen, the less you “limp”, the better off your body will be overall. (Flashback: broken left ankle/resulting right hip bursitis) <–( don't do that!)

    ((Happier flashback: Me in boot at SJC holding up sign to greet "Buckethead"! :-D ))

  15. So sorry to hear. How frustrating ! What a great husband/dad taking your place. Hope you are back in action soon.

  16. I’m really afraid to try running. Went running about 15 years ago with my husband and our group home kids. Got shin splints in both legs the first day and boy did it hurt! Think I should try again?

  17. Indian food does heal all ailments. Proven fact. I am sorry about the latest foot problems. I hope you mend soon and can have more marathons to look forward to.

  18. I’ve broken both arms (luckily not at the same time) and I vaguely remember a doctor saying something about bones growing back together are stronger or something like that. You’re just building stronger bones for running, that’s all.

  19. Get well soon! Indian food is a soothing balm to the soul. Boots have their times and places, I hope three weeks will do the trick.

  20. I hate to be a downer, but again, not everyone is made to be a runner. I’ve accepted that my joints won’t let me become a runner, and that’s why I’ve been biking instead. Good for you for keeping a positive attitude, but keep the “it’s OK if not everyone can run” in the back of your mind.

  21. Have you perhaps considered competitive swimming instead?

    I don’t like that you keep getting broken!

  22. I hope you still come to the 5K even though you aren’t able to run!! We’d love to have your there for moral support! :) Feel better…

  23. I broke both legs at once, 2 days before Christmas 2004, falling down the top half of the stairs from the Magic House to the middle school parking lot next door. The first thing I learned was that it is infinitely easier to say ‘broke’ than explain the types of fractures I had. The second thing I learned is that my days of open-backed clogs were over.
    p.s. nice nail polish

  24. I’m not a doctor, and I try not to play one on the internet, but when my running led to multiple stress fractures, I had to have a bunch of blood tests to rule out thyroid and hormone imbalance issues. Might be worth investigating. I am super bummed for you. I know how much that sucks.

  25. I dealt with stress fractures several years ago when I was training for a half-marathon; part of my training was running on concrete trails which I’d never done before, and that definitely was a HUGE part of my problem. I can only run on a treadmill now (with no problems). But my ortho can ONLY run outside and NOT on treadmills. Weird, right? Plus I pronate really badly so super supportive shoes plus custom inserts, blah blah blah. tl;dr: I’m sorry you’re hurt. :(

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