5 days to go until the marathon… and guess who gets injured?

Stupid feet.

Stupid feet.

Of course. After a solid 17 weeks of training, guess who gets injured during taper? This girl.

I’m not sure exactly what it is, but my guess is either plantar fasciitis or a stress fracture, based on the dull ache in my instep, arch and top of my foot when I start running. The ache continues during the first part of my run, comes and goes throughout, then comes up again once I stop running and start walking. During the rest of my day I don’t feel anything.

No, I have not been to a physiotherapist or doctor, and yes, I’m self diagnosing. To be honest, I haven’t had a spare moment in the last few weeks to make an appointment and also cannot afford to see a specialist right now. I am covered by my work, but don’t have the cash to front for an appointment at the moment. I am a penny-less writer. So, Dr. Google to the rescue!

The pain appeared right after a weekend in Vancouver when I decided to wear wedge-heeled shoes instead of flats. After spending the summer in running shoes and flip-flops, my feet were very achy and sore after only a few hours in the wedge shoes. The following weekend, I got a fresh pair of running shoes (the same pair I was already running in) and ran 36 km. (I know I shouldn’t have waited so long to get new runners, but again, penny-less writer.) My foot was sort-of achy during the first part of that run, but otherwise it felt okay. It was during my last 20 km run the following weekend that I really started to notice it. It’s not painful, but annoying. Oh, and to top it off, I got a blood blister on my big toe on that same foot that causes shooting pain every now and then during a run. Fun times.

With just five days to go until race day, my plan is to stretch my toes and feet, ice my instep and try this taping technique my friend Jackie recommended. Jackie has dealt with plantar fasciitis before and found this was the only thing that helped.If it’s a stress fracture, there isn’t really much I can do other than not run, which is not an option at this point. I have two easy runs left, plus a few days of stretching and core work. It’s not painful, so I think I’ll manage okay. If it starts to hurt during my easy run this morning, I’ll rest up until race day. Because plantar fasciitis/stress fracture or not, I’m still running this marathon as fast as I can. There will be plenty of time to rest and heal up later.

*UPDATE*

After I posted this, I got messages from several runners who went ahead and raced with a stress fracture and ended up breaking their foot/making the fracture more severe and wearing a cast for six weeks. Yikes. I told my supervisor at work and she let me make an appointment that afternoon to go get x-rays.

I had to see my GP first, who really had no advice to give regarding my foot — he’s used to dealing with chronic health problems and heart disease, not running injuries, so fair enough. I brought up metatarsalgia, but he dismissed it and said just go get x-rays. Before he left he asked why anyone would want to run a marathon. I replied, “Because it’s awesome.” He just shook his head.

So I guess for the next few days while I wait for the results I’m going to rest up and ice my foot. In case it is metatarsalgia, I stuck TP in between my toes to stretch them out until I can pick up a pair of toe socks on Friday. It actually feels a lot better with my toes like that, so maybe it is metatarsalgia?

Oh, and on top of all of that, I woke up this morning with a stuffy nose and headache. Seriously??? My body must really not want me to run this race πŸ™

Anyway, fingers (and toes) crossed I can still somehow get rid of this cold that’s coming on AND heal my foot before Sunday.

Ugh.

**UPDATE AGAIN**

I just heard back from my doctor and they found no bony fractures or soft tissue damage on the X-rays! Because it’s not painful to run — and if this head cold doesn’t get any worse over the next few days — I’m going to do the marathon. My legs feel great otherwise, and my cardio is good. I’m resting today and will hopefully improve by Sunday!

Have you had plantar fasciitis or a stress fracture before? Did you race when you had it? What did you do to treat it?