Thursday, August 23, 2012

Pain in the... foot!

by Rachel

On August 9th, I raced in the TCSD Aquathlon (club race put on once a month during the summer months). An aquathlon is a swim followed by a run - in this case, 1000 meter swim followed by a 3 mile run. I had a great time - and thought I did a great job pushing!

*in hindsight, running with the stupid/dumb/idiotic plantar warts on my right foot, along with extra sand in my shoe, and me thinking about pushing and ONLY pushing, may have contributed. Also, I was running in my Merrell Pace Gloves (minimalist shoe), and when you're running barefoot or minimalist you really need to be conscious that you're not pushing too hard off your toes - but it was the furthest thing from my mind and since I was pushing the pace, I probably started pushing off my toes too much*

My foot was slightly sore, but I didn't think much about it. So that was a Thursday, and then I went running for a ocean swim then 5 mile run with my friend Kim! The swim was AWESOME! I could feel pain in my foot during the run, but it didn't get unbearable until close to the end... and when we were finished, I couldn't even step on my foot - any pressure on the front of my foot would just send shooting pain through my foot.

I went to urgent care the following day (Sunday) and they took X-rays, but it didn't show anything. The doctor said that doesn't necessarily mean anything because it can take up to 2 weeks for a fracture to show up on an X-ray. She told me to take 3 Ibuprofen 3 times a day, and ice as often as I could take it. So I started up that regiment, and then I went ahead and stopped on Wednesday. I'm just not into feeding my body ibuprofen over and over knowing it's not that great for my stomach. Plus, I was just ready for my body to start handling the healing itself.

Well, the pain subsided a little, and the swelling went down a little, but it's still there. So I talked with my doctor and he had me go get a bone scan done.

This morning, they injected me with a radioactive isotope (fun!) and scanned my feet using a gamma camera - it showed a lot of blood flow to the top of my foot - way more than normal. Then, this afternoon I went back for a longer, more indepth scan now that the isotope had been in my body for a longer period of time. Here's the results:


On top is my right foot - bottom is my left foot. Immediately you can see something's going on at the top of my right foot.

This is looking up at my feet from below - the extra blood flow is absolutely restricted to my second metatarsal on my right foot.

This is from the top looking down onto my feet.

And this is looking at my feet from the heels towards the front.

So there it is. I have a stress fracture, and I have 5 weeks until my 70.3 triathlon. I have cried several times since this occurred, but I have gotten over it pretty quickly. I go back and forth being optimistic and extremely pessimistic. I know that I can do that damn 70.3. To get injured this close to the race really stinks - and I have never had a stress fracture so the unknown of how long it will take to be OK is driving me crazy.


  1. oh no!! I hope you're okay for your race! :( I was all into your xrays and how interesting it was to look at them until you said you had a stress fracture. boooo :(

  2. Wow... so much for minimalist running being good for you... good luck with your fracture, and find some shoes with better support.

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