Dang it! The training for the Portland Marathon (and just perhaps my age too) has finally done me in. Just a month after I ran 26.2 miles, I ended up with a stress fracture on my right foot. And I have over-training to blame.
I am so frustrated! Running is my stress relief, my religion, my saving grace on a crappy day. Not only that, but coming up on age 40 seems to have slowed my metabolism such that I have to work extra hard to keep the pounds at bay.
Now, I get news today that there shall be no running for 4-6 weeks. What can I do? Swim? Um.... no. Not only am I not that great of a swimmer (I couldn't do a flip turn to save my life), but the thought of all the extra effort of pulling on a swimsuit and getting all wet in a pool, makes me want to run as fast as my kitten from a running bathtub. If that wasn't insult enough, I have to wear an ugly post-op "shoe" that has a stiff sole and keeps me from bending my toes when I walk.
I found out that it is not uncommon for women like me to suffer a stress fracture. Women my age (pre-menopausal - gulp!) are more likely to have issues with bone density. The amount of running I was doing - about 30 miles per week - also had something to do with it. So, how to keep injuries at bay in the future? Slowly increase mileage (check), make sure you have good, supportive shoes (OK, I need to work on that), and don't run when you are feeling any pain (my bad - I ran on Sunday even though my toes were hurting). If only I could be like this guy in the pole-vaulting video and continue my sport while I am healing:
What can I do for the next month or two after being diagnosed with a stress fracture? Starve myself - since I'm not burning off 500+ calories per day with exercise? Nope. I can't do that. I love food too much! To help me in that department, however, I have taken on Julie's no-sugar challenge, which has at least three times today kept me out of the Halloween candy. No leftover birthday cake for me either. I have considered starting to ride my bike to work - I live only 4 miles from downtown Bend - so that would be theoretically easy. But its November. Waaaah! I don't want to cycle in the snow.
I guess the bottom line is that the stress fracture is nature's little way of telling me to slow down. Heck, it was dark today at 4:30, so who wants to go out and exercise in the rain in these conditions? OK, yes, it would have been me....