So Why?

I’m no stranger to fractured bones, but that’s the problem.

In summary, last week my orthopedist sent for me to get an MRI.  For the last month, I’ve walked normally, and I’ve felt no pain.  I’ve felt a dull ache occasionally in my foot but not often.  Nothing that ever altered my stride or even anything that was enough to cause concern.

Never the less, after two weeks of rest I still felt my ankle, so I got an X-ray.  The X-Ray came out fine, and I felt dumb and like a worry wort.

My foot had been poked, prodded, tuning forked and grastoned with no major issue.

Was my bone broken here? Maybe.
Was my bone broken here? Maybe.

Finally, my newly found orthopedist ordered an MRI.  She was looking for inflamed muscles and tendons or possibly a sprained ankle.  Due to everything else appearing normal, it made sense to look for those sorts of issues.  Then the news of the dreaded news of a rebroken fifth metatarsal happened.

The injury doesn’t make any sense.

How was I able to walk, run and live a normal life with a fifth metatarsal fracture?

How was I able to PR at Broad Street or the Newport 10k? Or run a mile on the track?

All of those must have happened a fractured foot.  My injury hasn’t presented itself normally at all.  Often fifth metatarsal fractures are from blunt force or rolling your ankle. To be honest, I can’t remember doing either.  Maybe I did and didn’t realize it.  Could I have rolled my ankle but never felt it?

If the MRI hadn’t come back with a fracture, I would have probably gone for a short run last weekend.  I’m not limping and my foot feels the same.

However, I’m not running on a broken foot.  
A fracture is a break. 
My foot is broken.

Mentally, I’ve already come to terms with not running. I haven’t run in 3 weeks, what’s couple more?  I know I’ve lost running fitness, and that’s fine. If I heal well, the end of June will mark 6 weeks of not running. I could be running again by then. Since I’ve already taken 3 weeks of being lazy, I’ve had the urge to begin working out again.

Since I’ve already taken 3 weeks of being lazy, I’ve had the urge to begin working out again.  The motivation is the easier part.

I’m more worried about how the stress fracture appeared.

I’m no stranger to broken bones.

Broken bones with no cause are a huge red flag to bone density, eating enough for high mileage and overtraining. 

I’m 5’7 and 130 pounds.  I don’t track calories daily but when I’m running, I typically consume 3000+ calories.  Is it all healthy 3000 calories?  No, but I like diner cake and whipped cream.  It’s not all sugar calories either.  Do I think undereating or being underweight is the issue? No, but it’s something that should always be thought about when dealing with this issue.

With my last bone fracture, two years ago, I received a bone density test. While the results were surprising, I was in the healthy calcium and vitamin D range.  This year the test was the same, and I’m once again in the normal healthy range.  So low bone density is not the issue.

Another hard fact is the wear pattern and my running gait. I put a lot of pressure on my metatarsals.  As you can see from my training over the last few years, I don’t get a lot of muscle injuries.  For the most part, my injuries are foot and bone related.

Last year at the Runners World, Golden, the owner of Altra running was mentioning something about injury.  He said if you run on the forefront of your foot, then you are more susceptible to metatarsal fractures and injuries.  I strike at the very front of my foot so unless I change my stride this could be something I deal with every few years (which seems to be how it goes).

I’m open to having my gait looked at and I’ve already found a great physical therapist to go too.  Since you need to run to be able to have your gait looked at, I must wait.

Finally, the last and most common cause of my fracture could be I rolled or sprained my ankle. The problem with that idea is that I never felt an ankle roll.  There was not a point during any of my runs I felt myself “roll and crack.”  The only aspect of that diagnosis is that it wouldn’t hurt to be weight bearing, and I could run right through and not realize it.

So there begins the processing of thinking about everything I’ve done in the last month.  It reminds me of the TV Show “I didn’t know I was pregnant”, only “I didn’t know I had a fractured foot”.  As I said yesterday, I do have the best case scenario.  The summer was a down time of year for me with no major races on the radar.  Since I’ve already been resting, if all goes well I could run by the end of the month.

Questions for you:

Have you ever rolled your ankle?

What type of cross training should I do next?