Fresh Delivery of Lemons!

I’ve been rather quiet since beginning my internship in San Diego.  That is largely due to my busy schedule.  I’ve been training almost daily (Fridays are the off day) with a workout both before and after work… when you have to be at work by 0700 and you don’t leave until 1600 or later, that can make for a tiring day.  Despite my silence and exhaustion, I believe that I’ve been performing well, overall.  Training has been great and I feel like I’m doing well at my internship site.  On top of that, I LOVE being back in uniform and finally being able to provide mental health care for our military members.  I LOVE my job.  It’s hard to beat that!

So, life is good and San Diego has year-round training weather so I’m daily contemplating how lucky I am.  A few weeks ago, I went for a 16 mile run (was supposed to be 17) with my new tri-training buddy, Ann.  She planned the entire route out for me to run roughly 6 miles before meeting her and then she would drive me home at the end.  It was fabulous… except about halfway through my right foot REALLY started hurting.  My pinky toe and the toe next to it had been oddly sore for a few days after I rolled my ankle and ran with no socks (so my toes were scrunching up in my shoe to keep a blister from forming on my arch) but it was very mild pain and hardly noticeable to an athlete who is accustomed to little niggles here and there.  Sadly, by the end of my 16 miler, I could barely hobble back to the car.  Ann is a nifty training partner to have; not only did she supply me with a stream of motivating quotes from athletes like Chrissie Wellington throughout my run BUT she is also a physical therapist and caringly worked on my sweaty foot immediately following our run.  We were convinced that it was a soft tissue problem and I followed up the next day with an appointment at Fix Body Group in San Diego.  As they worked on it, it continued to feel better though the pain did not go away.  I stayed off my foot – no running.  One week went by and my foot had stopped showing improvement.  It wasn’t as painful as it had been the previous weekend but walking was still painful and running was unthinkable.  Another 5 days went by and nothing changed.  That’s when I KNEW I had a problem.

Wednesday, I was x-rayed and diagnosed with a stress fracture under my 4th metatarsal.  Goodbye Holiday Half Marathon.  Goodbye Carlsbad Marathon.  See ya next year, Navy XC Championship application.  It was very disappointing.  I allowed myself Wednesday to mourn and be angry and pout.  My poor husband wanted very much to make me feel better but I really needed that time to just be upset.  Thursday, I began trying to look on the bright side.  Unfortunately, I’ve run into some problems with my medical care.  I’m hoping to get it worked out on Monday but I spent Wednesday through Friday trying to get clear recommendations from the physicians assistant that is responsible for my care.  I had a very unpleasant interaction with an active duty nurse who informed me that I was being “just like every other athlete and  refusing to accept that you’re injured or take medical advice.”  Well, that’s not who I am.  I wanted specific information about what activities I CAN still do and whether or not I could be placed in a walking boot since my job requires me to walk around the hospital a LOT on a daily basis.  I’ve not gotten anywhere with that clinic so tomorrow (Monday), I’m taking matters into my own hands.  It was an emotional three days, though, and it was very painful to hear those things from someone who is supposed to be helping me heal.  How frustrating!

The good news is, I have a 70.3 at the end of March that I can start looking forward to and my training will now focus on preparing me for that and keeping me as fit as possible.  I needed to work on my swim, anyway, so I’ll take this as a less-than-subtle hint from above. 🙂  I’ll be racing Oceanside 70.3 and I have also volunteered to raise money for the Challenged Athletes Foundation.  You can donate to my fundraiser at this link: http://www.kintera.org/faf/donorReg/donorPledge.asp?ievent=1117610&supId=413326407&msource=CHIODOEM.  As a currently injured runner, I have to say that I am thankful for organizations like CAF.  If I were to ever be permanently disabled in some manner, they are there to offer grants that will allow me to remain active and experience the positive, life-altering impact of athletics!  Please consider donating – I know it’s the holiday season and budgets are tight but I hope that you will consider giving even a few dollars to this fundraise.  Think of it as my Christmas present.  OR… even better, why not donate to the fundraiser in honor of someone you care about for Christmas?

Thanks for being with me through these ups and downs.  I hope everyone is having a wonderful December and looking forward to the New Year.  Time to crank out some lemonade!