Thursday, February 7, 2013


Last march, I was training for the Illinois marathon. I was training well. I was running three days a week with a training plan, tempo runs, long runs, intervals - and I was killing it. My foot started to hurt, but it wasn't a significant amount of pain. I've been training for different races for 20 years - I can usually tell when I need to slow down and when I'm able to push through it. That doesn't mean I make the right decision to stop training, but at least I recognize when I'm being stupid. A month later, the pain was getting pretty intense. I saw the doctor at the university health clinic who told me to rest and to use crutches and that I would be fine. I followed directions, using crutches for the final week of rotations and through all the fun end-of-vet-school things. After two weeks, I started walking again and the pain wasn't too bad. My friends and I went to Maine for a 10 day vacation before graduation and we hiked all over Acadia National Park and drank our way through Bar Harbor afterwards. It was a blast. Wearing heels at graduation was painful. I started my job at the animal hospital the day after graduation and wore crocs. Every. Single. Day. I could no longer wear running shoes, gym shoes, any kind of shoes or a dull burning sensation would creep along the edge of my foot. Unfortunately, my insurance didn't start until July 1st. On July 2nd, I met my new primary care physician who immediately referred me to the podiatrist, suspecting a bunion as the cause of the pain. He diagnosed my issue as "Joplin's neuroma", telling me that it would take 6+ months to heal or I would need to have a neurectomy. That would lead to permanent numbness along the side of my big toe and foot - not ideal for an athlete... or anyone really. 6 weeks later, I got a steroid injection in the nerve, which helped for exactly 3 weeks. He sent me over to the foot surgeon and finally, finally, finally said the bunion itself was the problem and leading to the nasty nerve pain. Three weeks ago, he shaved the side of the metatarsal bone in a neat, quick, 15 minute outpatient surgery. I was up and walking right away, went to work the next day (which doc said I could, but mistake! ouch!). I've been recovering well since then, but I still have 2.5 weeks until I can run again. I'm excited, I'm excited to train, to run pain free (I hope) and to wear normal shoes again! I'm going to try to document training and keep myself accountable. Hubs and I have been trying to eat healthy - I'm trying to see how long I can go without any fast food (minus the chipotle, pancheros, qdoba type places, I have healthy options there... and I love it). We didn't eat a lot of fast food before, but when we travel or on sundays we sometimes get McDonalds... eek. This is the only "restaurant" within 10 minutes of our house, sadly. Here's to a happy, healthy new year :)