cautionary tale (updated, with pictures!)

Well, to all y'all that told me not to do the half marathon, congratulations. I'm not gonna do it.

Here are some tips from the American Association of Orthopedic Surgeons:

Slowly increase any new sports activity. For example, do not immediately start running five miles a day; instead gradually build up your mileage on a weekly basis. Or, y'know, don't try and train for a half marathon in three weeks.

Use the proper equipment. Do not wear old or worn running shoes. Mine are 3 years old and have about as much cushion as Birkenstocks. I bought some new ones last week, but, y'know, too little too late.

Essentially, my last month has been spent following the Recipe For Stress Fractures to the letter. So I got one. Two and a half weeks ago, eight miles into a ten and a half miler, the top of my right foot started hurting a bit, but we were almost done, so I kept going. By the time we finished it felt like someone was stabbing a knife into the top of my foot, and I could barely walk for the rest of the day. (And I got kicked out of the hot tub too, the assholes. But you already know about that.)

But then it got better, and a few days later it didn't hurt at all. The scientist in me refuses to believe in something unless the results can be replicated, so did I stop running? Hell no. And the shorter 6.5 milers didn't hurt at all. However, another 10.5'er on Sunday brought it back, albeit as a dull pain instead of a stabbing one, but I once again found myself limping for the rest of the day and all the next day. And while I'm stubborn as hell, I'm not retarded, so this morning I went to see a carefully selected orthopedic doctor who used to be an elite triathlete, still runs marathons, and specializes in running injuries. She gave me the tough-love treatment and a huge-ass neoprene boot that goes almost to my knee and makes it impossible to go down stairs. She also told me not to ride my bike for three weeks, and while I dutifully lied and said I wouldn't, she saw right through my bullshit and called me on it. I guess that's what I get for picking a doctor who knows athletes. So then she informed me that it was my body and if I wanted to heal slower it was my decision, but I am not to stand on the pedals at all for the next month. Which is going to suck with a front derailleur that doesn't work, but I guess I'll deal.

So Tim was right. Running is bad for your health!

Now, about this half marathon. My original plan was to go ahead and do it, foot be damned, but apparently this has the potential to stick a fork in my cycling season around mid-May when all the little stresses I've been putting on it catch up to me and "bite me in the butt," in the doctor's words. Here I'd been assuming that if it doesn't hurt, it's okay, and that it was only my running career that was in danger, not cycling. And who really gives a rat's ass about my running career anyway. But, doctor knows best, and as an elite athlete herself I guess I have to believe her. But I'm pre-registered for the race, and dammit, I want my mug, if only so I have something to drink out of at the Drink Out Of Your Mug party that night. So you know what I'm going to do? I'm going to walk the 5k. In my neoprene boot. Wool socks, here I come!

Oh, and I'm going to go to Target and pick up some neon colored paint pens, so if anybody wants to drop by and sign my boot tonight or tomorrow, let me know! I'll be stylin' for sure.


Blogger Pete said...

Yet another reason I shouldn't feel guilty about not running.

2/02/2006 1:09 PM  
Blogger the old bag said...

This is a drag -- so sorry to hear!

2/02/2006 7:34 PM  
Blogger Smithers said...

Sorry to hear about your injury.

Can you screw a pedal cleat to your boot?

2/03/2006 3:22 PM  
Blogger annie said...

Naw, the boot comes off. Don't tell Doc, but I went to spinning class this morning. I didn't stand up at all, but I was there.

TOB, thanks for the sympathies! Too bad about the half marathon, but never fear, I will be available for long freeze-yer-ass-off rides in the rain again this spring, if you want to make that an annual tradition.

2/03/2006 3:39 PM  
Blogger Caloi-Rider said...

I just want you to know that I hate those boots. I lasted for a week with one of those things after I completely destroyed my ankle a couple of years ago.
I agree with smithers, you've got to see if you can get a pedal cleat hooked up so you don't lose all that ride time. Back to the Caloi now, eh? Was there any swelling? Are you having to do the foot-in-the-bucket-of-ice thing? You never know, that might make it feel better anyway.

2/03/2006 4:19 PM  
Blogger KM said...


I know from experience a cleat won't last. Bolted an spd cleat to one to use on a trainer -- you know, got to keep up the miles -- and the plastic sole disintegrated around the cleat.

But, if you ever break your hand, I do know how to duct tape a cast to your handlebars so you can ride the entire St Paul Bike classic.



2/03/2006 5:03 PM  
Blogger annie said...

comments? do comments work again yet? grrrr.

2/05/2006 12:15 PM  
Blogger annie said...

All right, I don't know what's up with comments, but here are the comments that people tried to post over the last couple days. For some reason I got them in my email but they didn't show up here.

Jill said: That's awful. Get well soon.

Tim/Masi Guy said: Oh yeah- bummer about the foot. I hope you recover quickly. Be careful even walking the event this weekend. Don't shorten your season for a mug.

Tim/Masi Guy said: "So Tim was right. Running is bad for your health!" Do you know what this means? This means that I am once again right about something. I am right more often than not (buy a Masi). Really, I'm a lot smarter than you might think (buy a Masi). You should be asking yourself, "what would Tim do/ say/ think" all the time. (Buy a Masi)

Tim/Masi Guy said: Damn Blogger! I posted a very witty comment late last night and now it doesn't even show up? Why does this happen? I can't leave any comments at all with Sascha right now... stpid Blogger!

(Man, that Tim just talks and talks and talks, doesn't he....)

2/05/2006 12:21 PM  
Blogger annie said...

ANYWAY, now that that is (hopefully) straightened out, everyone here should know that I do not have to try and screw a cleat into my boot because the boot is removable, not like a real cast, and my foot isn't swollen at all so it fits into cycling shoes just fine. So never fear, I can still ride the trainer. I probably shouldn't ride outside, since I'm not supposed to put any pressure on the foot, but I can ride the trainer just fine. In fact, I should go do that now.

KM, if I ever break my hand I know where to go for help. Did you really tape your cast to your handlebar? That is dedication.

2/05/2006 12:25 PM  
Blogger KM said...


It was the only way my wife would in any way let me do it. Afterwards, we both agreed it was probably more dangerous. It was a great conversation starter, believe me.

Hope you heal fast.



2/05/2006 5:28 PM  
Blogger Tim Jackson- Masi Guy said...

Yes, that Tim does do a lot of talking... that damned Tim...

2/06/2006 12:33 AM  
Blogger annie said...

aw, Tim, it's okay, we all love you. You can talk all you want, right guys?

2/06/2006 9:14 AM  

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