Where Have I Been?!

None of the following is in any way meant to be an excuse for my hiatus from blogging for the past few months…I have no excuse for that and I will be better!  Here’s the quick version of what’s been going on in my world:

-[Thought] I had plantar fasciitis at the end of my summer of racing
-Took two weeks off, then started training again
-Got engaged!
-Walked the runway for Oiselle at Nolcha Fashion Week
-Built up my mileage with some pretty tough training…got a really great base!
-Raced Dash to the Finish- Not the greatest of races…
-Worked at the GNC table for USATF Foundation at the NYC Marathon Expo
-Wedding plans, wedding plans, wedding plans
-Raced Manchester Road Race on Thanksgiving- Awesome day! 2nd Place after a not-so-good week of training
-Dealt with some foot pain before finally getting an MRI…
-…Found out I don’t have plantar fasciitis, but a stress reaction in my calcaneus instead

Let’s go back to the mileage build up bullet point.  This past spring Gag told me over and over again that he was very pleased with how I was doing, but next year I need to be stronger.  Whether I went out too hard, fell asleep in the middle, got outkicked at the end, or even had a solid race, his response was always, “We’re gonna build up your strength”.  And we certainly did.  For about two months my mileage was way up and we were all doing great workouts.  With the exception of my race at Dash to the Finish, I felt amazing!  Sometimes my “plantar” was a little sore at the start of my runs, but it always seemed to warm up eventually.  I had a week when I felt pretty tired before Manchester, but everyone assured me that was totally fine with all the hard work we were doing and just relax a little bit…I’d be fine.  And I was!  Maybe it was a combination of taking the pressure off of myself a bit because I knew I might still be tired and the miles of hard work I put in already this fall, but by the time the gun went off I felt awesome and had fun doing it.

I felt a little beat up the day after Manchester, but that’s pretty normal coming off a road race with such drastic uphills and downhills.  I kept pushing through, wanting to get my mileage back up after one bad week of training and one week with a race in it.  My foot continued to hurt a little, and the top of it was pretty sore too.  I had a good workout on Friday, but then before heading off to my Saturday long run I noticed it was swollen and I couldn’t convince myself it would be fine anymore.  

I had an MRI scheduled for Monday afternoon, but by that morning the swelling had gone down and the top of my foot didn’t hurt too much to the touch anymore (though the bottom was still tender to walk).  Never having had something more serious before (note to self: don’t say that out loud apparently it’s bad luck), I always wonder if something is actually wrong or if I’m just being a wimp.  I was pretty convinced that the MRI wouldn’t show anything but a little inflamation in my plantar and the doctor would tell me I was fine.

Turns out the top of my foot was fine! And my plantar too! Unfortunately my heel bone was not, and the pain on the top of my foot came from altering how I was landing on my foot to avoid the heel.  He showed me the screen comparing the healthy bone to what my heel looked like, and told me there wasn’t really a time frame, just that I can’t run on it until it calms down and I’m pain free.  Not what I wanted to see or hear.  

Positive things to be thankful for:

1. I’m not a crazy wimp…there actually was something.
2. It’s not a stress fracture.
3. I put in a lot of base work already this fall.
4. Though cross training is far from my favorite thing to do, at least it’s happening now and not when the weather is warm and beautiful and all I want to do is run in it.
5. I’ve got support and help and advice from coaches, doctors, family, and teammates who have been through it before.

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