Tuesday, January 12, 2016


I had some great highs the past few months with running. I ran some races I didn't even believe I was capable of.  My left foot has been my nemesis the entire time.  I took some time off and was rewarded with some great runs. I thought things were moving in the right direction

As the highs kept coming, I started thinking I was over reacting to my foot issue. I kept telling myself, relax! My stress fracture last year (tibia) has plagued me with the worry bug, at every little ache and pulse.
I did make a podiatrist appointment in late December.  At that point, I had missed some runs (November and December), and it worried me.
I had picked out a race.
I had a plan.
I just wanted a Doc to give me the official, it's okay to train.

I have felt better since the New Year started and thought I had taken enough time off to nip the problem. My doctor appointment isn't until January 20th, so I made the decision to proceed as if things were okay.

I had a hope this year would be different than last. I hadn't talked about it much because I was afraid to jinx myself.
I also had some other races I penciled into my calendar, if my doctor appointment went well.

Things came to a halt January 8th. Geesh! That didn't take long.
My last run 

The last long run was a strange experience. I just had a few pinches that quickly went away, but somehow I just knew...something inside of me said you are done.

I had my little whining session in my head...
  • I don't want to be the "injured" runner again
  • I can't go through five or six weeks off again
  • I don't want to be defeated
  • I don't want to be the failure who just talks and never achieves
  • I tried to rest when it hurt
  • I tried to stretch more
  • I have made improvements
  • How the heck am I going to keep my weight under control
  • I can not deal with losing all my fitness
  • I may never restart this time
  • Why can't my old bones cooperate with my heart
The emotions of coming to terms with no running...

So currently, I am not running, but I have NO idea what is officially wrong, so let's just say I am on a break.
I really don't want to be "injured" again. 

I am registered for a February (28th) half marathon. I intend to make it to the start line if at all possible. I am saddened to think I won't be in great racing shape.
I don't have a close affordable pool option. Last year I had a medical membership, but it wasn't close to home, so I will be relying on the cycle mostly, and of course I will weight train.

The foot pain has been moving around and hurting in different places the past few months. As soon as I get rid of one pain, some new area hurts. The current pain is mostly in my toes...so strange.
Should I have taken more time off in December...probably. Would things be different? I don't know.  I had about 18 runless days in December, but I also had that March marathon goal in my heart.

I didn't really want to do foot pics, but just to show you the swelling...it's nothing too crazy, but the left is puffier (toes) than the right for sure.

The pain is mostly where I am pointing. 

I am committed to no impact until my dr. appt. on Jan. 20th for sure. I am very curious to see what the doc says.

I debated, many times, whether I should post about this or just stay silent for a few weeks, but this is my journey. This is my current...

My heart has goals, things I want to do...
My body says, be a five mile runner around the neighborhood...
I am just trying to weed through it...learn from it. 

Since I started running, I always pictured myself  completing a marathon before I turned 50.
I turn 50 in August...it is highly likely, I'll still only be "half crazy" and maybe that is just fine. I don't know...

Some part of me thinks maybe it is silly to try to hang on to his marathon goal...

I am not sure what I will do when I feel better. 

  • Be really conservative this year...so I can run happy? 
  • Accept my limits?
  • Try again? 

Anyway, for now, I am on a break, cycling in VA. 

What is your current?
How is your running going so far in 2016? ( I still like to talk running and hear about it!!)
How many years did you run before you completed a marathon? 


  1. Wow! This is a tough one. Good for you for listening to your body but I also know how much you are itching to run. Some how the bike and swimming just don't fill the same void. I am the opposite of you. I plan to stay away from the Marathon after my LA Marathon. I am tired.

    1. I am trying to be patient, and hope for the best. How many marathons have you run? I just wanted to have the experience once...but for the second year in a row...nope!
      You should be tired- it is a long way!!!

  2. You are not alone! No one wants to be an injured runner and it's a really hard thing to come to terms with. I think it's smart to take a little time off while you wait to talk to the doc. It's hardest mentally when you don't know what's up. Hopefully the doc will have some answers for you!

    1. I am feeling better about it all today! It isn't the end of the world, but it sure isn't fun lol
      This foot guy is supposed to be top notch in our area :) I sure hope I like him.

  3. Man Karen, so many of your worries... there are several times I have wondered the exact same things you have wondered. These are the ones that resonated with me:

    "I don't want to be the "injured" runner again
    I tried to rest when it hurt
    I tried to stretch more
    How the heck am I going to keep my weight under control
    I can not deal with losing all my fitness
    Why can't my old bones cooperate with my heart"

    All we can do is take one day at a time. I am glad you are resting before your appt. You will already be one week ahead of the game in case your dr. recommends a couple weeks of rest! Also, it will be good info for your dr. I often rest before a dr. appt so I can report back "this is how it feels when I was running xxx miles per week, this is how it feels with 1-2 weeks of rest."

    I take HUGE issue with you saying "I don't want to be the failure who just talks and never achieves". DO NOT TALK ABOUT MY FRIEND KAREN THAT WAY. You just run an amazing 5k and 1/2 marathon. Just reading your weekly workouts make me tired. You put 45s on the freaking smith machine bar. You are a BEAST and you have DRIVE and HEART and you do achieve.

    Okay, I'm done now.

    Also, how do you keep your feet looking so pretty? If I posted a pic of mine right now, it would be censored for being too gory.

    1. Thank you so much Megan :) xo
      That is a good point about resting before the appt., I will be about 12 days of rest in. One day at a time.
      Thank you for the pep talk!! I want to be a beast! I don't quite feel like one yet LOL When I can let the 45's drop all the way down, i will feel pretty bad ass lol That has been goal for freaking long!! I am closer now than before o:)
      My heart and drive are good, it is my bones that aren't...
      My feet...I try to scrub them and put oil on them :) are feet ever really pretty???
      You made my day! :)))))

    2. Well your feet are pretty. :) Mine look like a crime scene.

      Sending you love and hugs, Karen. Chin up, and CONFIDENCE girl.

    3. thanks Megan xoxo
      I am trying to get it together this week. I have a stomach bug that is killing me currently...ugh, I went to bed at 8:00 last night.
      I need to hit the reset button next week!

  4. I hope the appointment goes well on the 20th! It is frustrating but I hope you find a way to both run happy and achieve your goals. I think we all struggle with that balance at times but I really hope there is a happy medium for all of us that we just have to find.

    1. Thank you!
      SO true! It is a delicate balance :)
      Maybe eventually I will get it, right.

  5. Karen, you will never be a failure! I so admire and respect you. Also, for what it's worth, I have never run a marathon. I have always been a "run around the 'hood type of runner". However, I did have a turning point in my training back in 2009 when I spent 6 months in a boot (stress fracture then a torn ankle ligament). I had so many of the thoughts that you are having right now. Totally normal but very frustrating. I pray nothing serious is wrong and that you can get back to doing what you LOVE. We are all here to support you. Chin up, girl!

    1. Thank you Susan :) You are so sweet!
      Oh, 6 months sounds tortuous :( I am sure that was quite an experience! That would be a huge turning point. I was miserable in the boot for five weeks, I can not even imagine that long... I think that boot also contributed to some of my foot issues. Mine was flat inside and I swear I feel like my foot started to change right there at the end of it...I don't know maybe I am crazy lol
      I am currently rolling the run around the neighborhood thing in head right now over and over. I appreciate your support and pep talk!

  6. So sad for you.

    I guess you'll have to be patient.

    I hope it's not a metatarsal stress fracture. Maybe it's nothing!!

    I again have my usual winter bunion pain.

    1. Stress fracture has been my worry the whole time.
      I hope not, but I will have to deal with it whether I want to or not...
      I appreciate you letting me whine! lol at least I can get it off my chest.
      Booo, it stinks something has to hurt. We both need pain free runs.

  7. THat is frustrating. I think taking time off until the MD appt is wise. YOU ARE AN ACCOMPLISHED RUNNER, that's why you don't like taking time off!!!
    MY training is not going too great. I am trying to get back on track--If worry were miles, we'd be home free!!

    1. Thank you Cheryl. I am telling myself today, it just cupcakes lol I really liked that post!
      I am sorry the training isn't off to a smooth start, you had a lot going on with moving and all. I hope your (family) Dad is doing okay.
      We need to trade in that worrying, but it is so hard sometimes!

  8. I am so sorry - I know that has to work on your brain more then anything. It's so hard to NOT run when you are a runner to the core of you.
    Praying you get some answers. I'm anxious to hear what he says it is. Maybe its just something that needs some good time off & you can get in that marathon this year... & if not, its not the end of the world, right? Its OK... I hate the idea of "accepting limits" but you know -we all have them. Even the Olympic marathons have limits. Its what makes us human. Its OK. You just see what works best for you & make that your new thing - & do it proudly that you are still working on making a better you!
    Sending you well wishes, good vibes & hope for enjoyment on the bike :)

    1. Thank you :)
      I appreciate the prayers.
      I am still rolling around in my head what is reasonable, and why things changed so much this past year. You are right, limits are okay and I have been wrestling with trying to overcome my genes.
      I need to get off the sofa this week and get on the bike!
      I always battle weight, so it is messing my head a bit, but I am trying to quiet that ;)

  9. Stay positive, you are doing the right thing and the Dr appt will be the true assessment then you have figure out your plan. Praying for good results.

    2016 is starting out great. I was running about 2 years before my first disaster that was the marathon. Redemption is coming next month.

    1. Feet are so annoying! I know you know :) Mine usually behave...
      Thanks for the prayers.
      You still finished that marathon! I know your next one will feel more like you want it to though :)

  10. Stay positive, you are doing the right thing and the Dr appt will be the true assessment then you have figure out your plan. Praying for good results.

    2016 is starting out great. I was running about 2 years before my first disaster that was the marathon. Redemption is coming next month.

  11. Sorry to hear this! Even though it's not the same, I put in a lot of bike miles when I can't run. It helps!

    1. Thanks Tina :)
      I will heal up eventually. I have been sluggish this week getting on the bike, but I will do it!

  12. Ah, man, so sorry for your frustrating situation! Hope you figure something out soon!

    1. Thanks!! Up and down...I don't like the up and downs, eventually I will figure out a way to make things work :)

  13. So about 2 years ago, I went through this. Constant niggles, pains, stress fractures in the foot...that's when I decided I needed to change what I was doing. I went to interview a running coach (nope!) and then Becky. At first Becky did a lot to correct some imbalances (she's a corrective exercise specialist) which helped immensely. Then she started with the weight training. You know the rest of the story. Injuries have been minimal--right now I have PF which is responding nicely to rest.

    My point is that maybe you need to try a different approach to your training? If you really want that marathon, and I think you do, then it's time to try another approach. You got this!

    1. I have been mulling it over. I ran for a very long time never needing more than a few days off, so I can't figure out what is so different now and you know what is weird...I do more strength training and other things I wasn't doing the first few years I ran.
      I want to get to that minimal place bad...and it seems runner go through these periods but then can come out and run for along time gives me hope. I feel like this is never ending sometimes.

  14. so frustrating, although Wendy has some great advice! Rest up and hopefully you will be back at it soon, that is strange how the pain migrates around.
    I had so many issues during and after my one and only marathon that I haven't been tempted to go for another yet.
    and this is your blog and your story so whine all you want!

    1. Thanks Christy! I am trying to be patient, and not whine too much lol This past year has been challenging, but I will figure it out eventually...
      maybe I really don't need to run a marathon, I just can't decided how important it is to me. My body doesn't seem to appreciate distance running.

  15. I think your break is very smart. And age is just a number. If you don't meet your marathon by 50 goal, and still want to do one after, you will be just as awesome for making that goal and accomplishing it.

    I do hope this pain goes away. It's concerning that it's moving around!

    1. Thanks Kim:)
      Maybe one day when I am 51 or 52 I will do it and you are right- I am sure I will think it is just as awesome!
      It is bothering me after being off so many days nothing has changed but I won't push - I will wait it out till I feel better :)

  16. I know how much it sucks to take a break from training, but it's an investment in long-term health. I've learned the hard way not to rush back into training too aggressively because it extended my recovery period even further. I completely second Kim's thoughts. Age is just a number, and finishing a marathon is an amazing accomplishment ANY DAY. I am praying for you and hoping things heal quickly! BIG HUGS!!!

    1. Thanks Emily :) I appreciate the prayers and (((hugs))) and will be patient. I really do want to feel better before I start running again :)

  17. The run injuries are so tough but so much better to catch them early than pretend everything's okay and make them worse (not that any runner has ever done that before!). Good luck getting through it. I hope you'll find that cycling is a good alternate and preserves your fitness as much as possible. Heal fast!

    1. I was shocked the first time I was injured a year ago, and I never thought I would be in that position again...womp, womp... I will try to cycle as much as I can :)

  18. Better to take time off than to be seriously injured. Run / walk is doing wonders for me!

    1. I think I may be using it for the longer hauls after this experience. That is awesome how well you are doing!


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