Inflammation of the Foot.

On Tuesday I got the call I have been desperately waiting for.  When I requested an MRI, I really wanted the MRI but this was 3 or 4 weeks ago.  I didn’t want to get an MRI when I felt as though I had seen a lot of improvement and my foot was healing.  So when the time came on Monday to get an MRI I was feeling indifferent.  I had been running relatively pain free.  At this point insurance was still covering an MRI and I would be at peace of mind to make sure I had no ripped muscles, torn tendons or anything more serious.  So I went in, got my MRI on both my ankle and foot, and left with a bunch of photos.  After staring at my MRI photos, I determined that I had a foot and ankle.  I waited for the doctor to call so we could compare notes.

So when they called on Tuesday my heart sank.  I always get nervous when doctors call me.  My doctor said “You have no torn muscles.  The last time a doctor called me was when he told me I had a large growth inside my foot which caused the muscle to rip off the bone.

This time the doctor said no ripped or torn tendons.  You have no broken bones and your foot is midly inflammed.  In a different location than PF so we ruled that out too.  Yes it’s in the arch of your foot but it’s just inflammed.  It looks like you are healing appropriately and can resume serious training”.

At first I was upset. (In my mind I heard: We have absolutely no idea what is going in your foot.) You are telling me this pain has all come from mild inflammation?  You don’t have a clear cut answer that I was injured?  Where is my ripped muscle that is healing?  Where is my proof that I was in pain?  Where is the proof to tell me I wasted a month?

I just wasted all of July poking around for a bunch of inflammation.  All I could think was…LOLZ “the one who always gets bootleg injuries”.  Then I realized…my inflammation has clearly decreased and that was indeed good news.If I had continued to run my inflammation would have continued to build up.  It went down because I decreased mileage and was smart about it.  My initial thought of “so that’s it?” was silly.

So with that I’m cleared to run…a lot…or a little…whatever I want to do.  (As long as I’m smart about it). I don’t really know where this takes me.  Technically I have 8 weeks to prepare for Wineglass.  I could be ready.  I wouldn’t be nearly as ready as I wanted to be but I would be ready.  I know many people could be ready for a marathon easily in 8 weeks.  One: this is my second marathon.  I haven’t done one in almost a year.  Two: I want to do well…finishing a marathon is great but I desperately wanted to PR.  That is a huge reason I chose Wineglass.  Could I still PR?  Maybe…that will take lady luck.

All of that being said I have still chosen the risky move.  I have decided that I will play it by ear and hopefully run the Wineglass full marathon.  If my foot gets worse, then I would stop training.  If it continues to get better I will begin to up my mileage.  As I’ve said the last month, it has been getting better, however, I haven’t raced on it (which I’m very much afraid too).

To be honest, I feel like I’ve lost all confidence in my running and in myself as a runner.  Both mentally and physically I am struggling to get back into the swing of things.  As I said earlier in the week, I found myself sick so this week isn’t even a celebratory “run all the miles” type of week.  Hopefully it’s a “run any sort of miles.

Right now while I want to complete Wineglass and I would love to PR, I also want to regain my confidence as a runner.  I have all the intentions to run Wineglass but my goals as a runner and a person have changed.  I want to feel confident in my running and as a person again.

So in cliff notes version: I spent a month cross training because my foot was inflammed.  I want to run Wineglass but I don’t want to injure myself by forcing miles nor do I want to feel pressured to hit a certain amount of miles.   I have no time goal for now.  I’ll let you know in another month if everything is going smoothly.

Question for you: Have you ever had an MRI?  On what?

This MRI stunk because I didn’t even get music to listen to.  I had to stare at a wall for an hour with no entertainment.  Not even the internet!  (insert shocked emojiX100 here)






  1. Overall that’s good news. And inflammation can become really serious so the fact that it’s down now shows your body’s been healing. That rest and cross-training was essential! But confidence is key. How badly do you want to run this race? Could you be okay skipping and and possibly doing a later season marathon or a spring? Sounds like you might need a running recharge and might not need the stress of wanting to PR and not having adequate time. That being said if you have your heart set on it then you have to follow that. Go with your gut!

  2. I know the feeling, sometimes you want to see the problem so that you can fix the problem. In my job I like to see code that’s broken, makes it easy to fix. When things just aren’t right, it makes things a lot harder and a lot more frustrating. I’m coming off a foot injury where it was basically a strained muscle and tendon. So now it’s like 90% better, but if it’s extra sore the next day, I just move around a workout for that extra rest on it. This seems to be working. Just listen to the body, but also know the difference between it hurts and it HURTS. That is my mental issue now.

    1. I agree with you completely. I like to solve problems. I would prefer to a clear cut answer. That being said I’m not taking any risks!

  3. Im sure its frustrating not to have a clear diagnosis but it sounds like whatever was going on had the potential to turn into something worse and you made some really smart decisions before you were actually injured! I have had two MRIs and for both of them I was wearing headphones with really fuzzy music playing. It was still really boring.

  4. I hope you get to run the marathon, but I totally understand you don’t want to just finish, you want to do well.

    I had an MRI in June 2013 to diagnose my first stress fracture. Then I had another one in August 2013 to diagnose the next two. Both MRIs on my left foot. In June 2014 I had an MRI on my left lower leg because they thought I had a stress fracture. It came back completely clear. But then I had the compartment syndrome test and my pressure readings were off the charts. I don’t mind MRIs, they are so much better than compartment syndrome test! To test for it they stick needles in your leg, check the pressure, leave the needles in your leg and make you run 20 minutes on the treadmill, and then check the pressure again. For 2 weeks before the test I physically couldn’t run because of the pain, and then was forced to run with needles! It was terrible!

    1. Hi Kennedy, I was just wondering what compartment syndrome felt like for you? Weirdly I also had a stress fracture in my left foot, and now think I may have a stress fracture in my lower left leg… but it doesn’t hurt like my last stress fracture so I’m curious if there’s something else it could be.

      1. People have four compartments in their leg. I had compartment syndrome in my lateral and anterior compartment. My calf would cramp up and be really painful. On the front of my leg there was a big bump and the inside of ankle was really sore and tight. The symptoms started late during exercise at first, but started sooner and sooner and eventually was all the time.

        The needle pressure test is the only way to know for sure if you have it, image tests come back normal. I had compartment syndrome release surgery on June 24. During surgery the surgeon damaged nerves in my leg, and my physical therapist and the surgeon both said that the damaged nerves will take a very long time to heal. Nerve damage is really painful. When I run now my leg still cramps up, but they both said it’s probably because I hadn’t ran for almost 2 months.

        If you have any other questions just ask or you can email me at I hope you get it figured out soon!

  5. First of all, just saying… I laughed so hard at “After staring at my MRI photos, I determined that I had a foot and ankle.” That’s pretty much what I get from MRI photos, too.

    I’m sorry you feel like you’ve lost confidence in your running… I know what that feels like too, but there will always be ups and downs to training (and in real life). I hope things start on the up swing for you soon. I’ve always admired your dedication and ability to come back from injury.

    Good luck in training for the Wineglass marathon! Regardless of whether you try for a PR or not, it sounds like a fun race.

  6. that’s good that it was nothing serious–but i can see your frustration. not like we hope for legitimate injuries but sometimes it’s good to know the step back was for a valid reason.
    you’re smart–you’ll figure out what’s the best for you regarding Wineglass. Hope you’re feeling better 🙂

  7. I think that’s good news and I think you’ve made smart decisions so far. As far as staying off of it for those weeks, yeah it sucks not to have a definitive answer. Sometimes I never feel like I got one either.

    Looking back, I’m running okay now and if I had started running on my foot earlier or kept running on it, I might have gotten hurt very seriously and had to take months off, or have surgery, or something really serious… so it was a better idea for me to just take the time off. Who knows, if you had started running sooner or trained through it, Wineglass might not even be an option :(. In the end, a few weeks isn’t too long in the scheme of life- just seems extra long when you’re injured! And stress is tough to deal with when you don’t have running as a release.

    Good luck with your training- I’m glad you can get back out there and I hope you regain your confidence. It is scary to get back out there after an injury. And yeah, I agree with you on the pictures!!

  8. I had an MRI of my neck because I fell in target. I sat in a chair that I didn’t know was broken and fell straight to the ground. I got myself a good case of whiplash. I hated the MRI. Sorry about your foot!

    1. Wow I’ve always feared getting an MRI on my neck or head. I am rather claustrophobic so it would not end well for me.

  9. I have had numerous MRIs on my head. Once because I had a suspicious looking growth (luckily it was nadda) and many times because I work in brain scanning research (so I have had them as a test subject). For my legs I have only ever had an xray.

    Glad you have some answers!!!

    1. That happened to me. I had a serious growth which ended up being a cyst in my foot. I’m glad your issue was nothing.

      MRI on the head would make me claustrophobic!

  10. Thing is, I don’t think you wasted the time on “just inflammation,” because the time cross training probably allowed it to die down and possibly prevented an eventual stress reaction or torn muscle. If you’d kept beating it up you might be looking at much worse MRI results right now.

    It’s not like you sat on your ass and let your VO2 max drop down to nothing, so it seems like you made the wise decision.

    1. I agree with you 100% Victoria. I know if I had pushed it I would have a torn or ripped a muscle.

  11. Glad to hear that you’ve been cleared to train seriously! I know it is kind of frustrating to not know exactly and play things by ear, but at least now you know you can play it by ear and continue listening to your body. I also can relate to you needing to find your confidence again, and because I know you will, I look forward to hearing about it (I think I will be able to learn a few things from you along the way).

  12. Boo for the lack of answer beyond inflamed foot, but that’s awesome that you handled it well enough to be able to run again as much as you want/can. I hope training finishes up well for you hun. I think you’ll surprise yourself come race day if you keep playing it smart 🙂

  13. I’m glad that you got the news that you did but can understand the frustration of not getting answers as to WHY you had to deal with all of this. I think the fact that you continued cross training and now can resume full training will really help. i think you will surprise yourself with what you can do come race day…don’t doubt yourself!

  14. I think it’s good news, really. I’m glad there is nothing serious going on and that you are healing. And just take it one day at a time. Another option might be deferring Wineglass if that’s an option, and picking a later in the fall marathon. Food for thought!

    1. I’ve thought about deferring too. Luckily I have until September 1st to make that decision!

  15. I can empathize with where you are at, and I know the confidence will come back soon because you are an amazing runner. There was something wrong with your foot because it hurt. You took it easy and it got better. By the time you got your MRI, it wasn’t something that showed up…which means you did everything right! Running is a lifetime sport. No matter what you are able to accomplish at Wineglass, you’ll have so many opportunities in your running career to do more, go faster, give more side fives. Set a reasonable set of goals – including just finishing – and there is no way you can have a disappointing day. I just hope I can keep up! I’m looking forward to seeing you at Wineglass!!!

  16. I hate those non-answer answers, but I’m glad to hear that it was nothing serious and that your foot is healing up and feeling better. As for the confidence… it will come back. You’re an amazing runner, Hollie, and you always come back from these kind of things stronger than ever. Have faith, train hard, and everything will fall into place like it always does 🙂

  17. Let the training resume! Even though it’s just inflammation, you made the right (read: smart) choice by backing off. Who knows what could’ve happened if you kept running on it?

  18. Glad you are able to resume training Hollie and I wish you the best moving forward as you prep for wineglass. I have had an MRI years ago for my knees and it showed I have small cysts on both that can cause discomfort at times but the discomfort mysteriously went away and I’ve had no problems since even running wise

  19. The fact that they can still see inflammation, after all of your time off, goes to show that you needed to back off, and you did the right thing. I don’t know what was inflamed in your foot, (bone, tendon, muscle), but inflammation is usually a precursor for a much serious injury. I don’t think you wasted July one bit, and now, you get to run again! So much better than having to take off 6 weeks or more. I hope your training continues to get better, and you get to run Wineglass with confidence! 🙂

  20. Oh Hollie, thats annoying! I am sorry! I have had plenty of MRIs in my time, I had them in college a lot. It is not fun with how long they can take, but at least now you know. You are looking at it the right way, IF you kept running and did not back off, you would have made it worse, and then started running funny, so your gait would be off, which would most likely lead to another, bigger injury. That is how I had my stress reaction (I had blood blisters on the soles of my feet so I ran on the outside).

    You were smart, and you should be applauded for that. I know you do not feel ready, but you should feel confident in your body, it has done it before, you listened to it, and it will pay you back. Just believe, and continue to do as best you can. All these struggles will lead to one incredible race, maybe it is wineglass, maybe not, but somewhere along the line, this will all be worthwhile!

  21. I’m glad it was just inflammation and nothing serious, but it is a bummer that they couldn’t give you more of a reason why you’re in pain. I hope your marathon training goes well and that you get your speed back quickly! (I’m sure you will.) I had an MRI done on my head when I first was diagnosed with migraines and I had one in my hip a couple years ago to rule out a stress fracture in my femur. I just closed my eyes and pretended all the crazy MRI noises were some sort of crazy techno music, which kept me from getting too bored.

  22. Hey! Just catching up on your posts and drew to this one as I can relate… Yes I have had a few MRIs so many I’ve lost count and just 2 weeks ago which was nice to inform me that I have a sacral stress fracture (and not just one crack 2 little cracks) so it’s really frustrating and I haven’t started any real cross training yet that I just feel like a lazy whale… :/ Anyway, to there’s my whinge and response to your MRI question hehe… Hope you get to do the Marathon… I am sure you will be fine, your fit, you kept cross training through it, you’ve got nothing to worry about… you will probably shock yourself again!!! 🙂

  23. oh oh and when I was in mine they had music playing alright but I would have preferred nothing as there was an old man in there before me and it had like 40s music or something, really weird stuff… Also annoying they were like ‘stay still’ but I have a tendency to have ants in my pants, I can never stay still so that was a slight problem! 😀

  24. I had an MRI on my foot after it had been injured and misdiagnosed for 6 friggin months. Luckily for me, it was finally able to reveal my stress fracture meaning it could be properly treated.
    Good luck to you Hollie, I really admire you. Sometimes if you want to achieve something incredible, you have to take a risk!

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