Training: Just Like That, It’s Over

Location of my break, in red. (Original image from MedlinePlus)

And just like that, my training season is over, three weeks too early.

I broke my foot last night. I was wrestling alligators. No, wait, I was skydiving and landed on it wrong. No, let me start over: I spent the weekend in the mountains with Kathy Bates (thanks for that one, Will Sansbury). Good stories, right? The horrible truth is that I don’t have a good story to tell. I tripped in my own living room and heard a loud crack, which turned out to be my 5th metatarsal snapping in two. Surprisingly, ignoring it overnight and hoping for the best didn’t make it go away; I’ll spare you the photo of my foot, but I can assure you that you don’t ever want to hear your doctor exclaim, “Oh my god! That looks bad!” when she first sees the bruising.

I haven’t yet seen the orthopedist, but according to the attending doc at urgent care, my best case scenario is six weeks in a cast, during which time I can’t put any weight on it. No Nike Women’s half marathon on October 17, no Title 9k on November 7. I’ll be lucky if I can be racing again by January.

I’m crushed. Deeply, deeply crushed. I’ve never trained so hard or so long, and I’ve never seen such improvement in my physical abilities. By the time the six weeks are up, I’ll likely be starting from scratch, particularly on my right side.

But the thing that’s probably most difficult — emotionally, anyway — is feeling like I let Bob down. I was running in his memory, running to honor his life, and now the best that I can do is stand on the sidelines. It’s hard.

My temporarily splinted foot, and crutches.

More than a few people have pointed out certain ironies to me. By making the wrong turns, I ran a half marathon yesterday, so at least I can say that I ran a half marathon in San Francisco this year. I also used the word “unexpected” in the title of my training post, and what could be more unexpected than going from a 13-mile run to being unable to walk in a span of less than 12 hours?

I want to thank everyone who supported me during this crazy training cycle: physically, mentally and yes, financially through your donations to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. You’ve all been wonderful. I’m grateful to each and every one of you, and words can’t possibly begin to express how much I appreciate it.

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5 Responses

  1. Stacey says:

    My heart is crying for you sweetie … let me know if there’s anything at all I can do.

  2. Greg O. says:

    Alisa, I am so seriously bummed. Hurts me hard to think about it. But as I have said, you will come back. And stronger than ever.

  3. Julie says:

    I’m sorry to hear about your accident! I completely understand your frustration and disappointment at this moment, having been through something similar. Hang in there. Those months will go by quickly and you’ll be back out running before you know it.

    For the race, consider volunteering. Look into handing out water or something. Just take a chair for breaks. Or help with registration. I’m sure there’s something. You’ll be in the thick of it and won’t miss the race and in that way, be able to meet your goal.

  4. my mom did the same break last summer, doing normal things at home and just stepping off one of her stepping stones the wrong way, wanking her ankle out to the side like we all do. only this time, the tendon attached to the metatarsal pulled it and broke it. apparently this is a very common type of fracture, and you want to be very careful to make sure it heals completely, or you may have pain running in the future.

    here’s some interesting info my friend in medicine gave me: my mom’s doctor recommended she stay in a cast longer than normal, and it worried her at first [though i figured it’s just because she’s 65 and he wanted to be careful]. so i tell my friend the progress, and she laughs and says, “yeah, well, some doctors, if they can read that the person is active and will overdo it in a boot, they keep them in a cast to slow them down.” and i thought, wow, that is kinda funny, but it makes sense. so i guess my takeaway from it is to rest up so you can heal all you need to.

    not sure what your house is like, but 2 of my friends who had this fracture rented one of these knee scooters complete with delivery & pick up, and it helps a ton for getting around:
    [disclaimer: my mom didn’t rent from this company, i’m just posting these people for reference.]

    feel better, alisa!

  5. Heather says:

    Oooooh, yikes. I don’t have the right words at the moment – I can only imagine how crushed you are. I’m so sorry. You really did an outstanding job.

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