But what can I do?
That’s the question I asked the orthopaedic Doctor Matthew Nott in his rooms late Thursday night…
I know what I can’t do; that’s run for 6 months…but his consult gave me so much hope of coming back better than before.
I know I am tough physically and mentally and I am capable of using this experience to make me a better person and athlete. It won’t be easy but it will be worth it.
So the story… after a great few weeks of training and feeling like superwoman after my iron infusion I sneakily signed up for the M7 marathon..I could use it to try and run a controlled race and under 2.40; pocket some spending money for Europe and be my last hit out before going overseas…
However after a week of sore feet and after my biggest ever training run of 56.5km on the previous Sunday I had my first unofficial DNF in a Parkrun on July 28th when my left foot at 2 k said no more and pulled me up lame and unable to weightbear and hopping in tears to get a lift home.
The Marathon the next day was off the cards but took it as a sign to reset and recover before going overseas.
I remained optimistic- something that would settle- it was warming up with movement and although I would get up and it be crippling it would warm up as the day went on- i managed 2 weeks of modified loading / a mix of jogging/xtrainer/rowing/swimming and bike.
It wasn’t right and its improvement plateaued- i got stressed and worried so I pulled out of the OCC at UTMB and decided focus on the event in mid September. After a discussion with my college Charlie a week later he sensibly reasoned that a MRI was warrented with the concern that I had a stress rxn or fracture….for myself I was still reasoning it could be a little plantar fascial tear…either way it wasn’t getting better and again to take off the pressure I pulled out of the sky running world champs and organised an MRI- knowing that at the best case scenario I should not try and race in only a months time with it still being so sore.
The MRI was on Wednesday and I was exhausted by the time I actually had the scan- a mix of worrying of the resultso not much sleeping and hobbling round at work.
Well the image was quite shocking and conclusive! I had a severe dark line straight through my calcaneous and on MRI looked like my heel bone was nearly in half.
I was so upset. I got to the car and cried before driving to work to grab crutches and a boot. At this point Charlie called me and recommended- after talking to our boss and head physio Adam – to go completely NWB and get ortho review asap while they consulted some head physios.
I drove home in my manual car (which was not recommended but had no choice) and hoped inside in tears- I crawled up the stairs managed to shower and then tried to drive to James place…the car wouldn’t start (cue tears again) and I called him for a pick up- my car was not broken but the boot stopped my ability to use the clutch…
I got to his place and got a call after dinner from Adam summarised in the email below…
Needless to say I didn’t sleep well that night…so many questions….would I be able to work, would I need surgery, how am going to get around in my manual car, could I do anything for that first 12 weeks, was my running over for good?
I hoped around Work on Thursday and was so grateful to have a lift from my house mate Erin to Work and to my X-ray and from James to see Dr Nott late that night…
I was exhausted from hoping at work (5000steps I managed!) my good leg was sore and my hamstring from holding up the heavy boot and I stressed about the outcome..
However my news was much better than expected!
he was honest- no running for 6 months….but due to my poor bone density that I needed to WB through it…so there was so much I could do and I was so relieved I could make a full recovery and stay fit even though it will take time!!
I want to run for life and was willing to take the time and conservative way to ensure that happened.
It’s through adversity that you can build strength and certainly my mental strength muscle is going to get a good workout!
I just felt so grateful that day- all the things I could still do, I could bounce back and how I could let it make me a better athlete in the long term.
Not that it will be easy…mentally and physically and emotionally today I am exhausted! Friday saw 10000 steps on crutches and my lats and hands are so sore…I am coming down with a flu now too (all the stress) but thankful I have no pain in my foot and look forward to some good nights of sleep and recovery over this weekend….
Then Monday the 6 month rehab begins…
There is so much that I can do.
I am going to document my journey each week.
The good the bad and the bounce back.
It wont be easy and I have already cried a lot of it so far! But I am now so hopeful for what I can do, what it will teach me and hopefully others aswell…
I have goals… a Australian qualifier marathon next year is one of them…and PBs across all distances….
I also am looking into my health too….why is my iron and bone density so bad??? I feel I eat well I am not on a diet but try and get a wide range of dairy and meats and carbohydrates from all sources in plus I supplement all of the above….
I am looking into these further with the question of an absorption gut problem a possibility…
I am also looking as an opportunity to learn to go slow (I don’t have a choice at the moment!), to learn how to stop and actuall y rest and better myself as a person…certainly as a physio I have gained so many insights around the difficulty of being NWB already!
So stay positive, stay tuned and always ask what can I do?