Recovery sucks.

I went to a party this weekend and a friend was bragging to people that I ran a marathon (the party was full of runners). I’m still uncomfortable saying I ran a marathon. Clearly I did not have a good marathon experience. I told her this. She responded, “You were in a boot this year!” And, yes, she’s right. I was completely out for 6 weeks and partially our for about 9 or 10 weeks due to injury. So I guess completing a marathon less than six months later is pretty awesome.

At least someone found something useful to do with my boot.

At least someone found something useful to do with my boot.

Last winter, I was training to run the Rock‘n’Roll marathon in DC in March. Four weeks before the race I had to quit around mile 12.5 of 16 because of intense pain in my foot. I cried and told my friends to finish without me and got in a taxi. The tears weren’t because of the pain in my foot, it didn’t seem that bad (maybe endorphins?) but because I knew if I was stopping a run, I probably wouldn’t be able to do the marathon.

I knew before the doctor told me a few days later that I had a stress fracture. He was great, he fast tracked the x-rays and MRI since he knew I wanted to race less than four weeks later. He told me if it was a stress fracture I couldn’t run, but if it was anything else I could. But, after 5 days my foot was still too swollen to comfortably wear shoes.

I spent weeks randomly crying because I was so upset I wouldn’t be able to do the marathon. I had made training my most important job.

I was in a boot for about five weeks My doctor gave me a return to run physical therapy plan so I was able to start running as usual within about 4 weeks of being out of the boot and I did the Virginia Wine Country Half Marathon just 3.5 months after the injury (5 weeks after starting to run again).

Recovery was hard. I went through a lot of shoes in the months following injury and began to hate running because it was uncomfortable and hard. It took about four months before I found a pair of shoes I liked. I only kept running because I am stubborn and was determined to start liking it again. And, I finally do!

Recovery is hard. It was much more emotional than I thought it would be. Every run was simultaneously a way to remind myself how much I’d lost and a huge accomplishment that I was running again. I had to basically start running from nothing again, which was really hard. As I’ve mentioned before, running is a mind game more than a physical sport, and having to go back and basically start over was really tough.