Three weeks from today, I was supposed to be crossing the finish line of my first marathon. Sadly, this is no longer possible.
As I mentioned in my last post, I had been experiencing pain in my lower right leg. I saw an orthopedist who was pretty confident that I had a stress fracture but wanted to see a bone scan to be sure.
I went back in for the scan yesterday. As I laid on the weird (yet oddly comfortable) table, I stared at the ceiling, hoping that my doctor was wrong and that somehow I’d still become a marathoner by the end of the year. About halfway through the 10 minute scan, I carefully turned my head towards the monitors to avoid moving my legs at all. I’m no doctor, but I was pretty sure the bright yellow orb that was showing up right where my pain is was not a good sign. A little over an hour later my doctor called with the bad news: confirmed stress fracture.
My sentence: at least 2 weeks on crutches followed by 4-6 weeks in a boot. This not only knocks me out for the Kiawah Island Marathon, but also the Surf-n-Santa 5 Miler that I was so looking forward to.
My doctor talked at length with me about my nutrition, my training plan, and my running history on our first visit. He told me I’ve done everything right – this isn’t an overtraining issue or some other stupid thing, it just happens to endurance athletes of all levels. This is comforting but also infuriating at the same time. Had I done something wrong, I could point to the problem and never, ever do it again.
I’m not trying to sound like I’m the only one who has ever trained for a marathon, but I’ve worked so hard and now I can’t even cross the finish line to prove it. I’ve logged countless hours since August towards this one goal. I’ve paid close attention to what I’ve been eating and drinking to make sure I’m properly fueled. I’ve said no to fun things so I could get extra sleep or make sure I could get up early for my long runs.
To come this close to completing a marathon and not being able to do it is maddening. I’ve cried. I’ve dropped F-bombs. I’ve cancelled hotel reservations and deferred my entry. I’ve cried some more.
But one thing’s for sure: as soon as I am cleared to run again, I’m immediately going home, changing into my gear, and heading out.
Any advice or encouraging stories for an injured runner? Leave me a comment or send me a tweet.