The first 3.8 miles of my workout with the City Sports Run Club were a lot of fun (read more about it here), but things went downhill pretty quickly in the hours after crossing M & 23rd St. NW.
It wasn’t anything unusual; I caught the wrong part of a crosswalk curb-cut and twisted my ankle. This happens. It’s definitely not the first time I’ve dropped my foot unsteadily on a surface and tweaked my ankle/knee. I didn’t fall and was able to continue my stride into a post-twisted ankle hobble. Within 6-10 steps, the initial shock and pain had subsided and I felt good enough to keep running at a normal pace. I finished the 0.4 miles of the run with a little tightness in my ankle, but nothing out of the ordinary for a tweaked ankle.
When I got back to City Sports, I grabbed a water and hung around for about 10 minutes to cool off. That’s when my foot started feeling weird. It wasn’t my ankle, it was my 5th metatarsal – a bone I had fractured pretty badly 7 years ago. I took off my sock and saw a large, localized purple lump on the outside of my left foot with an odd cut right in the middle. My heart sank because it looked a lot like bones I had broken in the past. I was still able to stand and walk without much pain, so I had some hope to hold onto. I Metro/walked home with an increasingly strong throbbing sensation but no direct pain.
I got home and consulted Kathleen and Mike. At this point the bruising was darker, felt like a bone fracture, hurt to be touched, but could bear weight. Honestly, I was 90% sure it was a hairline or chip fracture. I took Kathleen’s walking boot from one of her injuries and spent the next several hours with my foot iced and elevated.
This is when I mentally prepared myself to defer my Richmond bib until 2014. It was frustrating to think about because I am actually excited to run 26.2 miles. Even a generous 6 week bone recovery would make participating at Richmond very difficult.
I woke up Wednesday morning to very similar conditions as Tuesday night. A lot of swelling (can’t forget the ankle took a beating in this episode too) and more defined bruising, but it could still bear weight without any pain. I scheduled an appointment with Dr. Lazar of Capital Podiatry for Thursday morning (ironically located about 200’ from City Sports). Dr. Lazar was rated as a top podiatrist by Washingtonian Magazine, so I was very relieved to know I could trust my upcoming diagnosis.
On Wednesday night, it still looked a lot like a break. I felt pain when I touched the area and when my foot experienced any lateral forces. At this point, I was thinking 75-80% chance of a break. The throbbing, bruising and swelling still looked really concerning.
Thursday morning, it looked worse, but felt better. I dropped my chance of a bone break down to 50-50. I honestly couldn’t tell if it was broken or not at this point.
Dr. Lazar examined the foot and said the placement of the bruising looks like an injury to the cuboid (where the metatarsal meets the mass of small bones that connect to the ankle). It sounded like injuries to the cuboid are typically chip fractures given the sturdy shape of the bone. He was a bit concerned given my history of a broken 5th metatarsal.
Dr. Lazar spent some time time manipulating my foot, flexing it in different directions, poking it with tools and finally taking an X-ray. Going into the X-ray, he wasn’t thinking it was a break considering I didn’t feel any pain during his foot manipulations.
THANKFULLY the X-ray came back negative. He saw no indication of any chipping, fractures, etc. with the cuboid or surrounding bones. He said I had a pretty intense bone contusion, but got by break-free.
My treatment is 6 days off of running, Celebrex for a week to decrease the swelling, a topical pain-relieving gel and a foot brace. I’m not a big fan of the brace. It seems to put too much pressure on my midfoot causing me some pain in my arch when walking. Needless to say, the foot brace has not been used since mid-Friday.
I’m taking off running until next Saturday and will only run an abbreviated 6-10 miles based on how my legs feel. I’m not concerned about getting in my 19 and 20 miler before the marathon.
In the hours I spent coming to terms with deferring my marathon bib, I did some research for spring marathons and convinced myself to consider a couple (which are unfortunately on the same day). The RnR USA race offers a full marathon option and Virginia Beach hosts a half/full Yuengling Shamrock Marathon. As of now, I’m not sure which race and which distance I’ll do. I’m tempted by a race sponsored by Yuengling.
Speaking of beer, after 2 days of apprehension and anticipated disappointment, Thursday’s beer was definitely necessary. Nothing says comfort like a favorite from home (Magic Hat) in glassware from my new home (DC Brau). In this variety pack, I prefer Magic Hat’s hI.P.A, but the Séance (below) is an alright fall choice.