What Happened?

by - Tuesday, December 11, 2012

"What happened?"

That's the question I have heard countless times in the last few weeks since I've been wearing my air cast.

Still rocking the boot.

The short answer I give most people is "Running."

But then they want to know if I tripped and fell, rolled an ankle or actually did something to cause the injury while on a run.

And the answer to those questions is always "no."

I didn't do anything in the sense that it wasn't one event that caused this injury.

Doctors office

It was actually probably a lot of little things that built up over time and eventually ended up just being too much. The best part about having a blog is you can go back and look at what was going on and sort of put the pieces together. After having several weeks to think on it, here's the combination of factors that I sort of think might answer the "What happened?" question.

1. Marathon training

Jess and Megan post race

Between the middle of August and the end of October, I significantly increased my training volume. Yes, I've trained for marathons before, but this time around I selected a much more ambitious training plan, with several 20+ mile runs. That's a lot of impact and stress on my legs. And it was probably more than they could handle.

2. Problems with dairy

At the end of summer and the beginning of fall, I was having serious problems eating dairy, and I was worried I was developing a lactose intolerance. As a result, I eliminated almost all dairy products from my diet to give my poor stomach a break. I used to eat a ton of dairy products because they were delicious and because they were packed with calcium. When I eliminated them from my diet, I didn't really do anything to replace all that calcium. Luckily, I've been able to eat dairy products again without any problems, but it's definitely at a reduced amount compared to what I used to eat.

3. Playing flag football in cleats


Cleats are probably one of the least supportive pieces of footwear I've ever had the displeasure of wearing. But since our fields aren't always in the world's best conditions, they're a necessary evil. My cleats are old, crappy lax cleats from high school. They are far from comfortable and my feet were always kind of sore after games. I will be investing in a new pair before softball season rolls around.

4. Ignoring first signs of problems

I wrote this post about having weird pain in my right foot and ankle during one of my training runs. I cut the run short at the time and walked back home, super annoyed that I couldn't finish my run. After some time off resting, everything felt fine, so I didn't think anything of it, and certainly didn't think it was a sign of some larger injury. But it probably was.

Lots of little things here, that put all together blew up into a stress fracture in my foot. None of this is a perfect answer, but it's all I've got. I definitely think the major decrease in calcium while marathon training played a huge role. It's unfortunate, but I guess it is what it is.

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  1. I have been having the same problem with dairy and have also significantly cut back. Thank you for the reminder that I need to make sure I am still getting an adequate amount of calcium, even if I no longer consume as much dairy.

    I hope your foot feels better soon!

  2. I'm sorry you are dealing with this - been there and it isn't any fun. I still have people telling me I should quit running because of my stress injury. It just pisses me off and makes me want to train harder. You will get through it and come out stronger in the end. ((hugs))

  3. hang in there, this is an overuse problem. and it could have been much worse.

  4. I had a walking boot when I lived in PA because I thought I broke my foot, but the doctor couldn't find anything wrong...I wore the boot anyway since the only way my foot didn't hurt while walking was to wear it. Got me a lot of sympathy from my patients at work and they called me less, ha.

    But most people were like, "Really? You maybe broke your foot RUNNING?" Excellent.