I should be posting about long runs and tempo paces right now, but I’m not. Why? Because I am officially dealing with my first injury. Last Saturday I woke up ready to run my first long run in my Eugene Marathon training cycle, but could tell instantly that something wasn’t right in my foot. It hurt to walk on. Not a lot, but enough to make me wait a day to run. I lounged around on Saturday and didn’t do anything, and my foot felt better by the evening. On Sunday morning, it hurt again. The pain was along the ball of my foot, and was worst when I pressed on that part of my foot. I consulted Dr. Google and figured it was probably metatarsalgia, a common running injury. The treatment? Rest. So I decided to take the entire week off. I could still lose a week of training and hit my goal long runs for Eugene, and I figured that it’d be better to give my foot too much time to heal than not enough.
Monday and Tuesday it still hurt in the mornings but was better in the evenings, and it wasn’t unbearable. Wednesday, however, I woke up and could hardly walk. The pain had shifted to the middle of my foot, and I spent the first half of the day limping around the office. The weird part was, by late afternoon, my foot felt fine again! I was completely confused. I was starting to worry that I was developing a stress fracture, but because it didn’t hurt in the evening, I figured that wasn’t possible.
Wednesday night I hardly slept. For the first time, the pain in my foot kept me awake at night. I finally rolled out of bed before my alarm. This time, I couldn’t walk at all. My foot was seriously swollen and was throbbing. I hopped on one foot to the kitchen for coffee (not even a busted foot will keep me from coffee!), and waited for The BF to get up. When he did I told him I thought it was time to go to the hospital. He pointed out that even if it was a stress fracture, we’d be paying a boatload to go sit in the ER and get told as much. I had made a PT appointment for the next morning, so we decided we’d either get into the PT that day, or just wait until Friday morning.
We never got in that day, and I spent the rest of Thursday hobbling around. Towards the end of the day I could put just enough pressure on the foot to shuffle along in a pathetic, slow, hobbling way, but man, it hurt. I was more than ready to get a diagnosis on Friday! I was sure I had a stress fracture, that I’d be in a boot for weeks, and that Eugene was not going to happen.
And yet, when I got into the PT and they did X-Rays, there was no stress fracture! That was great news. The bad news? They don’t really know what is wrong. They did an ultrasound on my foot and found swelling in my third metatarsal joint, but have no explanation as to why it was swollen (mind you, I hadn’t done anything to aggravate my foot). They decided to inject the joint with steroids, a move that was as much diagnostic as it was curative. Either the steroids would work, and that would be that, or they wouldn’t, and we’d reevaluate.
Since the shot, my foot got 80% better. The next morning I could walk on it almost normally. This morning, I can walk normally as long as I intentionally pronate. I’m not going to run until it’s completely pain-free, or until I get the go-ahead from my PT. But if the steroids work, I just may make it to Eugene after all.I am still completely baffled by all of this: why my foot hurt in the first place, why it got worse so suddenly, how the steroids could work so quickly.. but I’m not complaining!
Here’s hoping my next post is a run report!