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I've been dealing with foot pain since completing the Clearwater Marathon, over a month ago, and while I surely thought I'd be past it by the time the Gasparilla race weekend rolled around, I am not. My meager attempts at resting my foot (in between little trial runs every few days) have not been sufficient. So I decided this past weekend to let go of my hope to run the Gasparilla half marathon. It was a really hard decision, as I look forward to this local race each year. It's my favorite. The Gasparilla 15k was my first long(er than a 5k) distance race, and the half marathon has been a great PR (personal record) course for me in recent years. But I knew that if I ran it, I'd want to run hard and try to PR, and that would possibly seriously injury my foot and certainly set my recovery time back even further.

So I emailed the Gasparilla folks to see if I could get a deferment of my race registration for next year, almost entirely expecting a firm "no" but hoping for a "yes" nonetheless. Most races these days don't offer deferments, especially this late. But to my delight, almost within an hour of sending my email, I received the following positive reply:

I was so happy that I didn't have to lose yet another race registration fee because of this injury, and it made me appreciate the GDCA even more. So you know what I did? I signed up to volunteer for registration and packet pick-up. That's what I'll be doing tomorrow (Friday) from 1-5pm. (Yeah, I'm using annual leave time from work. What of it?)

Next, I knew I needed to go see a doctor. Based on my experiences with previous running injuries, I had an idea of how this appointment would go. I'd get an X-ray, it probably wouldn't show a fracture, and I'd need to get an MRI. And that's what happened. So while it's good that the X-ray didn't show a fracture, meaning if there is one it's not major, my doctor still was "concerned" that I have a stress fracture and encouraged me to get an MRI, which I went ahead and scheduled for next week (I love insurance, but I hate waiting on authorizations).

Somehow this is my left foot; I can't figure it out. But no obvious fracture.

The other possibility is that the pain is from tendinitis. If that were the case, I'd be able to run through it, as long as I could tolerate the pain. This makes me think it's not tendinitis, because I actually don't feel the pain when I'm running; it's the days afterward when I'm just walking around that I feel it the most.

In the meantime, while I wait to get my MRI, the doc suggested that if I wanted to be proactive about healing (I do), I should go ahead and start wearing a "cam walker," or a boot, as it's most often referred to. Here's a simple 10-step process to putting the boot on, from the brochure my doctor's office gave me:

Nothin' to it, right?

Luckily my insurance plan fully covers this designer footwear, although I did have to call the doctor's office to have a prescription faxed over to one of the accepted retailers on my plan. I *can't wait* to go pick it up . . .

In the meantime, I've been doing lots of yoga. It's a practice I always return to when I can no longer run; it's good for my body and soul. And while it doesn't keep me in the same cardio shape as running does, I think it's okay to come down from that intensity for a little while, let my body heal, and refocus my energy.

So this weekend, when many of my friends will be running in the various Gasparilla races, I'll be in the crowd, spectating. I'll be the one wearing the boot.


shirley said…
I think I've read enough of your FB posts and blog posts to understand what NOT running this race means to you. However, I'm so happy that you have decided to forgo the race and be a 'helper'.

I'm glad there was no fracture and I know waiting to have the MRI done can be an anxious wait.

All in all, your words in this blog make me very proud of you. I'm your aunt, I'm allowed to be proud when you make right decisions. Love you Sweet Girl!
B.o.B. said…
Boo for boots! :(

I won't be out there this year either. I can't make it work with my training schedule and a bridal shower and my birthday. It's a busy weekend.

I hope hope hope it's not a SF.

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