Wednesday, October 23, 2013

SANITY NOW - Stress Fracture Status: 2 1/2 Weeks In

So it has been around 2 ½ weeks now since my diagnosis of a right foot 3rd metatarsal stress fracture. A range of emotion has been experienced in that time. Some of feeling good about the time off while some of it being frustrated at not being out in fall weather doing what I love. And that is just the running perspective. Life in general has been tossed about. For the first week, walking was painful, especially when trying to find shoes to get around in. Normally, my commute to work was via bicycle. Not at the moment. At the advice of my doctor, I ditched running shoes due to the flex in the front. I bounced from dress shoes to work boots to cowboy boots trying to find the best fit from a function standpoint. Despite having an injury, I had responsibilities in the home, one of which is walking the dog, especially on days when my partner has to leave early for her classes at university. So it was vital for me to find something I could do without setting me back. Towards the end of the week, the cowboy boots seemed to produce the best results. Mentally this was going in the right direction.

On the Saturday after my injury, I decided to order a pair of Hoka One One’s. Really, I did not want to drop 160 on a pair of shoes. But I felt, they might be worth the investment. Luckily, I got the Bondi’s for 101. Most expensive shoes I have EVER purchased but I felt, if they did not work, I would know quickly so I could send them right back. (Thank you Running Warehouse for your awesome shipping and return policies.)

Desperate times call for desperate measures, right? My logic for pursuing these shoes was due to the maximalist sole. I figured such a large sole would not have the same flex in the front.

As I arrived home a week ago, the Hokas were waiting for me. Once I settled in from my day, I took them out of the box and did the flex test. YAY! They did not bend like I hoped. So, with this positive result, I put them on and walked around the house. For the first time, I felt I could walk normally. Progress?

Since then, the Hokas have been my get around shoe. Except in the office, where I make due with some dress shoes when I have to leave my desk.

With the benefit of the shoes, I have been thrust through more emotions. Wanting to run and healing. It is a balance I am doing my best to maintain for the sake of my sanity. After the two week off from running, (okay, so I made it 12 days), I have done some running. Most of it has been limited to 2 miles and not everyday. However, I have done two 5K’s. The first of which, I brought 3 pairs of various shoes types. Before racing, I tried each set and ran around 50-100 meters to see which was the best. On that particular day, the Hokas won out. It was a weird experience doing essentially a sprint in them as I did feel my stride off some. This is probably due to the sole magnifying any imperfections caused by one leg longer than the other. On the second day oddly enough, the Hokas did not feel right so I ended up using a pair of cross country spikes with a stiff (but not plastic) sole. I had no problem at all in either case with post run discomfort.

Obviously, this makes me want to run more but I know running the Harrisburg Marathon is not going to happen. Such would set me back months trying to race it under 6 minute pace. I would not be surprised, if I am extending the recovery period just a bit with some short runs. But my goal is balance. I would be willing to trade a few extra weeks for peace of mind. Part of it, I admit, is the fact this time of year is when I love to run and race. Last weekend showed me I can do short bursts. Right now, those will be how I maintain balance. Next week, I do hope to try bike riding into work. I’d like to do that since it is expensive taking the train daily.

Come Nov 4th when I have a follow-up, I will have a better understanding if I am going about things the right way.

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