After my foot continued to hurt during my runs, I realized that I needed to know what was going on. I’m optimistic by nature, but I’m also an avid amateur medical researcher. Let me loose on WebMD and the Mayo Clinic site, and I stand right on the line between ‘informed patient’ and ‘hypochondriac.’
The more I read, the more my symptoms sounded like an emerging stress fracture, or stress reaction. This would put my plans in jeopardy. Running on a stress fracture can cause it to progress to a full break, which could ultimately require surgery. I needed to know if running would put me at risk and how I could get myself as race-ready as possible.
1 X-Ray, 1 MRI and 3 doctors later, I emerged with a much better diagnosis: Metatarsalgia, which basically means that some of the soft tissues around the metatarsals are in pain. I was also given the term “chronic pressure injury,” which is a not-infrequent complication of repetitive activities, like running.
The great news is that this does not rule out running in London. I need to continue to baby my foot between now and then and avoid anything that causes it pain so that it can heal as much as possible. I’ll be doing short, gentle runs on the treadmill to keep my muscle memory intact, but I will stop if my foot protests.
On April 26th, I am not expecting to be completely pain-free, but it’s good to know that I can run without risking a severe injury. I was prepared to walk the marathon if needed, but after all this training and your inspiring support, I’d much rather run it.
Just 1 week from right now, I’ll be boarding the plane for London. It’s great to be cleared for takeoff.
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