Watch your step …….. or how I broke my foot

By | December 18, 2013

So, remember my last post about looking for new challenges? I was pumped and ready to get started with the 30-week Don Fink ironman training plan.  I completed the first week and a half, and was already starting to love my early morning dates with the pool and post-work trainer sessions (watching House of Cards makes any trainer sesh pass quickly!) It was all going great.

The best laid plans, so they say…

Last week we were dog sitting.  My husband and I have two gorgeous pups – Eli and Gus. Big labs. Gus is just 12 months old, and doesn’t realize how big he is.  Eli is 7 years old, and knows exactly how big he is.  We were dog-sitting little Mookie Wilson, who is an adorable Chihuahua mix. Here they are, the three amigos:

Three amigos at the sight of the crime

Three amigos at the site of the crime

On Wednesday morning, I convinced Mark to walk the dogs because it was approximately -500 degrees outside and I didn’t want to go out.  He obliged, and I went about collecting all the dog bowls to set up breakfast.  As I was walking down the stairs, Eli (the black one on the right) rushed down the stairs behind me, knocking me off balance.  I was on the 3rd stair up, and I stepped out with my left foot.  I fell to the bottom of the stairs, where my left foot made contact with the floor.  I basically stepped with my entire body-weight on the top out-side of my foot.  I crashed to the ground, and knew immediately that I had broken a bone.  I felt the crack, and couldn’t put any weight on my foot.

We rushed off to the ER, where the break was confirmed. A fracture of the fifth metatarsal.  I was given a splint and crutches and told to get in with an orthopaedic as soon as I could.  I spent the afternoon desperately trying to find an ortho that took my insurance (Aetna! Why is it so hard to find a participating doctor?!) I found one and made an appointment for the next day.

The doctor took additional x-rays, and noted that it looked like there was a fracture on the fourth metatarsal as well.  Luckily, both breaks are “good breaks” and should heal quickly (*fingers crossed*)  He gave me a walking boot, instructions to slowly transition to walking in the boot without crutches, and scheduled a follow up appointment for this week.  He said that once the swelling goes down, I can start swimming and biking, though I’ll be stuck with the boot for at least 4 weeks.

Endurance athlete or 80 year old with cankles?

Endurance athlete or 80 year old with cankles?

So, here I am, icing as much as I can to try to get the swelling down.  Six days post-injury, and I can finally wiggle my toes.  I just want to get back in the pool. Luckily, the doctor was really excited when I asked about starting exercise again.  He said with these kinds of breaks, swimming and biking can be beneficial because it will increase blood-flow to the foot, which will promote healing.  Sounds good to me.

I think my vigilant icing is paying off already:


It’s still too soon to say what this really means for the Paris marathon, scheduled for April 6.  I am a little nervous that I won’t be able to run at all until mid-February (8 weeks from the fall).  If that’s the case, I’ll have a month and a half in which to build up for the marathon.  I am sure cardio-wise I can be there, and I didn’t plan on racing this marathon, I just don’t want to be in a situation where I overtax the foot as its healing.  I’ve never come back from this kind of injury, so I am unsure.  I asked the doctor and he said he wanted to see how the first few weeks play out before making a recommendation.  He didn’t think that Challenge-AC will be a problem, which was encouraging.  Now I just have to get back in the pool/on the bike!

Has anyone out there ever come back from this kind of injury? Any tips on what to expect?

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