Not just yet…

This past weekend was the big day. November 5th was the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon I’d trained 16 weeks to run. I had my bags packed, hotel reservation, dinner reservation, and babysitter all lined up. Then, it happened.

Thursday, I did some more cleaning like I had been all week. I swept and mopped all of the floors and I let my youngest take a duster to all the wood surfaces. We went to get my son from his bus stop in the afternoon. Walking down the street, I noticed a man was raking his leaves. I decided to be playful and I told my little girl that we’d jump over the leaves across the sidewalk. Up and over, that was it. I lifted off and felt a horrible pain in my foot and ankle and I fell to the ground straight into the leaves writhing in pain. After lying on the ground a minute and assuring the man raking that I was fine and just needed to walk it off, I made my way to the bus stop and messaged my husband and closest friend to let them know I was hurt. Neither thought I was serious.

I went home and wrapped an ice pack around my foot and ankle and placed my foot up high on the back of the couch while laying down. I sat and freaked out while crying. I cried mostly out of frustration and worry that my hope of racing had been dashed. I reached out from my computer to get some perspective and comfort. Everyone was really positive and said I had probably just tweaked it a little and it would be fine by Saturday morning. I messaged a coach, Julie, to tell her that I was in the process of freaking out. She replied that she understood, but that this wasn’t the only race there was and that even if I didn’t get to do it this weekend, I would soon. It calmed me down enough to make me come up with a contingency plan just in case. I still had faith that I’d somehow wake up fine and go to Indianapolis with a ‘little scare’ that only lasted a few hours.

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I woke up like this. Friday. Fat foot.

My hotel room was non refundable within 72 hours and I already had a sitter lined up. Besides, I could somehow rally and end up able to run the race.  I iced it and kept it elevated even as I slept Thursday night into Friday morning. Friday, I woke up to an oddly shaped and very swollen foot and ankle. I cried some more, popped some ibuprofen, and started to unpack  my running stuff. My husband asked me what it would impact if we brought the running stuff with us. I answered that it would affect my pride, but that wasn’t good enough, so we put it in the minivan and headed to Indy once my in laws arrived to watch the kids for us.

I put a yoga mat under my leg and propped my foot up on the dashboard for the ride to Indy, which was a little more than 2 hours. We checked into our hotel and set off to find food for lunch. We stopped in at a place and had beer and appetizers. The food was incredible. We had bbq sliders and fried portabella mushrooms. I was feeling better for a little while, but that may have been the yummy food and the alcohol that was bringing relief.

We went to the race expo where I started to feel the reality that a run was not in my near future and had a few moments of teary eyes. I went to the help desk and I asked for a deferral, to which they declined and said that they weren’t offering any. I checked the website and it said they wouldn’t offer a deferral after October 7th. I was bummed out about it and I was a little angry that I was going to miss out the race.  I made the best of it and got myself some new headbands and some fun freebies. There was no shortage of free lip balm tubes. I rested at the hotel awhile before heading out to dinner with a group of running friends. The dinner experience from the restaurant was not enjoyable, but at least the company was good to chat with. Returning to the hotel room, I unwrapped my foot and saw bruising that hadn’t been there before and the same icky appearance to my foot from swelling. I picked up my phone and set my wake up alarm for an hour later than I had originally planned on waking up. I exchanged my race clothes for the ones I’d packed for post race and I added my group t shirt to the pile. I was going to spectate the hell out of that race.

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Lovely shade of bruised Friday night

I set out in the morning with my husband to see everyone off for the race and wish them luck. I also got to pose for a group photo with my fellow running friends and my training program group. I acquired a cowbell from a race volunteer giving them away and found a spot to cheer everyone on as they set out from the start. After the crowd passed, my husband and I got some coffee before going back to the hotel to rest a little while until the half marathon was about over. The race was on the TV news in segments and I kept looking to see if anyone I knew went across the view of the camera. We headed back out to the race finish area and I messaged Julie to let her know that I was ready to go spectate. She was running the half marathon and had invited me to meet up with her to cheer on runners from the full marathon. Once she had cleaned up and changed clothes, we met around mile 25.5 of the race and cheered everyone as they ran by. It went by pretty quickly and I really enjoyed seeing my friends run by. I even felt my mood lighten as I saw my running friends pass by and the women I’d trained with pass by.

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I look pretty good at mile 25.5, don’t I?

My husband and I headed back to the finish line and met up with the group and chatted awhile. We left there and lunch at a pub. My fish tacos and beer were a fabulous way to end our trip. I climbed into our minivan middle row seat and reclined the seat in front of me to rest my foot elevated for the ride home. I fell asleep on the ride. By the time we were home and I looked at my feet, I had more bruising.

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My toes looked black.

I relaxed all day Sunday and called the office of my doctor after helping get the kids off to school. I was growing more impatient, when the nurse finally called to tell me that the doctor could see me in the afternoon.

Once at the dr, the nurse that took my vitals looked at my bruises and told me that she hoped it would stop hurting soon. The doctor came in shortly after she left, examined my ankle, and sent me to the x-ray area of the building. The x-ray tech spoke with me about how people who said that the ability to walk on a leg means it isn’t broken is a wive’s tale and that I could bear weight fine with a break along the side. My husband and I went back up to the dr office to wait and we saw the x-ray tech come up for a few moments. When the dr came to discuss the results, he said that he and the technician were surprised to see no fracture in the initial reading of the x-ray. My doctor was pretty specific that I would resume normal activity in about 2 weeks, but running would need to wait at least 4 or 5 weeks. He told me no playing in leaves before a marathon again. He also said that the results were only preliminary and that they’d call later in the day if they located a fracture that they missed on the initial review of the films.

I was relieved that it wasn’t broken, but I was also feeling like I’ve been such a spaz when I get hurt and I’ve gone to the doctor for things that were minor. I cried a little at the thought of not running for over a month. I’m considering alternatives, but what I really want to do is run.

My husband has tried to reassure me that I got hurt just being a good mom. It doesn’t really help. I don’t get to be in my cold weather running group that just started up last week. I can only hope I’ll have enough time to train to complete a challenge I signed up for in early January in Chicago.

This is just a setback. I’ll probably need to start the journey over again, but some trips never really were about the destination in the first place….

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