Unfortunately, this is not an April Fool’s joke. A few days ago, while out for my regular weekday morning run, I somehow managed to stumble along the sidewalk, take a tumble and roll, and managed to fracture the fifth metatarsal bone in my right foot. Until the other day I could not identify this bone either. It’s the bone that is along the outside edge of your foot, between the heal and the small toe.
After cussing at myself I got up, started to walk. It did not feel too bad and in fact had thoughts about resuming my run home, i only had a little more than a mile to go. But since the remaining route was mostly uphill, I decided to walk home. I could feel something with my foot, but it wasn’t terrible.
Just to be sure, I went to my local urgent care facility. The staff there took good care of me but unfortunately, they confirmed what I feared and already knew, I had fractured my foot. The good news was that it was a relatively small fracture or crack and it could have been much worse. I followed up with a specialist the following day and have worn this wonderful boot ever since. My boot will likely be my friend for the next 6 to 8 weeks too! The doc has scheduled another x-ray in two weeks to determine the progress of the healing. I am hopeful that in the next 4-6 weeks I will be cleared to resume some cardio work on a stationary bike until my fracture fully heals.
So, my injury has totally destroyed my spring and likely even summer racing plans I had for this year. Instead, I am determined to remain optimistic as I look forward to returning to run my favorite race of all in late summer, the Crim 10 Mile in Flint MI. I have an extra incentive to run Crim this year as it will be the 35th time I have raced the Crim, and myself along with a handful of other runners are to be recognized at the start of the race later this August.
As a very seasoned runner with over 50 years of running experience, I have similar injury related experiences that have significantly impacted my training. In every case I was able to return to training and eventually resume my running ambitions.
In high school I beat my friend who was one of the fastest distance runners in Michigan at the time and who later went on to become the state champ in the mile, during a half mile time trial. I leaned into the finish line, beating my friend and also managed to sprain my ankle as it landed on a ramp in the hall of our school. I missed about 6 weeks of good training but still managed to finish that track year strong.
In the mid 1990’s I started running marathons and qualified to run Boston very easily. At that time the Boston organizers were planning the 100th running of the Boston Marathon. It was also much easier to actually enter Boston back then too. I had toyed with the idea of running the 100th Boston but alas, I once again seriously sprained my ankle again. Back then I errored in attempting to return to running too soon too. That decision only stretched my return to running out by many months. Needless to say I learned a very valuable lesson then. I did eventually decide to run Boston for the first time 6 years later.
More recently I have dealt with non-running related setbacks. In the spring of 2018, I required knee surgery to repair my meniscus. I injured my knee while slipping on a wet floor. I did manage to return in time to run The Crim 10 Mile however, my running career was interrupted a year later when I suffered a very significant intestinal infection and required surgery again. The doctor cut a 10 inch long gash in my gut and removed a significant length of my large intestine. The next day I struggled to walk 20 feet in the hospital corridor. But 8 weeks later, I was cleared to return to running again!
So, I have been in this position many times before. While frustrating and very uncomfortable, I know there is an end. I know my doctors are doing all they can to provide an aggressive treatment and I need to be very conservative in my return and rehab. In the meantime, I look forward to continuing to coach my running clients, continue with special architectural projects, and tasks to keep me very occupied. This time will pass before I know it and I will be standing on the bricks of Saginaw Street in beautiful downtown Flint MI come August 27.
Thanks for taking the time to read my post. I look forward to your comments.