A couple of weeks ago I was diagnosed with 3 stress reactions, a sprained ligament, and tendinopathy in my right foot.
For weeks I endured chronic pain, stubbornly pushing through to make starting lines. Even though distance running is synonymous with discomfort we are asked to disassociate the good from bad pain. As runners we need to be the protectors and the pushers of our bodies because only you can know exactly how you are feeling. But deciding to take time off based only on subjective feelings is tough, especially when you have big races on the horizon and even bigger races that you need qualifying times for.
At first, when the MRI came back clearly proving my feelings were unfeigned, I felt a sense of relief - a validation that this brand of torture isn’t necessary or beneficial. I also had a simple answer - take a few weeks off and let my body heal. There was no amount of pushing through that would heal bones.
Unfortunately, all of this went down around the same time as the new Olympic Standards were released. My performance from last November’s NYC Marathon is outside of the qualifying window for Tokyo 2020, and because of the multitude of issues in my right foot I will have to miss the London Marathon, and the amazing opportunity there to get the time qualification for the Olympics.
The past few weeks have felt like a ticking clock, but as of a few days ago I am back running! Thankfully I only had a stress reaction and not a full fracture, so I didn’t miss too much training. I have plenty of time to get ready for a fall marathon and each break reaffirms that I’m in the right profession. I don’t want to be on vacation, or go out to the bars, or live the typical lifestyle of a single 31-year-old - I want to run!