The Connection Runners + training

Whats a talus anyway?

In this journey that we call life you're going to have good times and bad times. How you respond to those bad times determines how quickly the "good" times return.

Today was a bad day. For my regular followers you'll know that I've been having some LEFT heel issues. I talked about it HERE. I saw a doctor last week who decided the heel pain was simple bursitis. He handed over a prescription of steroids, instructed me to wear mens running shoes to better support my "large" frame, and to continue running. Yes, I asked if I should stay off of it and he said it wasn't necessary.

Well, that doctor just rubbed me the wrong way so I went for a second opinion on Monday. I asked specifically if the new doctor worked with athletes and was told that yes, he did. As I was sitting in his waiting room I was surrounded by TONS of tennis awards. Apparently the guy used to be a professional tennis player. Pretty cool.

After talking to me, and feeling around he decided to send me for an MRI to rule out a stress fracture in my left heel(apparently they don't show up very well on regular xrays). He said he has worked with alot of marathoners and ultra marathoners and had seen that kind of injury before.

He also ordered me to stay off my foot. I reluctantly agreed to take a 4 day break until my follow up. Monday I came home from the doctor worried. I knew a stress fracture would mean 4-6 weeks off. My 1/2 marathon is 1 month from today.

I decided if that was the diagnosis I would try to "suck it up" for the next 30 days and then take time off after the race. It would give me a good chance to get into swimming and cycling.

As I was cooking dinner on Monday I suddenly started having a stabbing pain in my RIGHT heel. Each time I would put pressure on the heel it would feel like I was stepping on a sharp piece of gravel. I instantly thought "bone spur" but figured the few days of rest would help it.

So, I had my MRI and then followed up with the doctor today. He did a quick xray on my right food and said I do have a bone spur. Here is the definition:

A bone spur (osteophyte) is a bony growth formed on normal bone. The long ligament on the bottom of the foot (plantar fascia) can become stressed or tight and pull on the heel, causing the ligament to become inflamed (plantar fasciitis). As the bone tries to mend itself, a bone spur can form on the bottom of the heel.

I wasn't thrilled with having this, but it's fairly common. Rest, NSAIDS and sometimes orthotics can help. I've had issues with plantar fasciitis for years so this wasn't a huge surprise.

But the right heel was the one with the ongoing problem so I was anxious to hear my results. Drum roll please... ...

Talus Stress Fracture.

The talus is the ankle bone that sits between your heel bone and your leg bones.

From what I've read runners that over-pronate and don't wear the correct shoes are more susceptible to these injuries. As I talked about before I was only recently told I over pronate. More so in my left than in my right. I visited a running store twice last year and was told my arches were regular and so didn't worry about special shoes. It wasn't until I visited a different store (Fleet Feet) last week that I was put in shoes with more stability. Seems to be a connection there, although there's no way to say for sure.

Whatever caused it, the outcome is the same. I have a light plaster cast/splint, with an air boot over it. I will be in this cast and boot for the next 6 weeks. I am not allowed to swim or cycle or even walk for exercise.

I broke down in tears in the doctors office. I asked if there was a "temporary" fix to just get me through the next 30 days until my race. He basically told me I would be an idiot to run on it. I have already been running on it for at least 5 weeks, and I could further injure myself to keep it up. He stated the bone could break all the way through and I'd have to have surgery, with screws and could basically kiss a YEAR of running goodbye after that. Giving up 6 weeks was nothing compared to that.

I composed myself and said, ok I would just focus on swimming and cycling. Thats when he broke the news of the cast. And the absolute need to keep the ankle stationary.

I cried again.

You see, I've poured my heart and soul into this training. Its a huge goal of mine and I've been so proud of myself for coming so far. I was also worried about coming on here and telling everyone.

I write a blog which is centered around fitness and yet I plan on spending the next 6 weeks off my feet. Would my readers leave?

I came home and cried over my crushed dreams. I know it sounds overly dramatic, but it was just such a huge, unexpected set back that I was at a loss.

Then my sister called. She reminded me that I didn't write a "running only" blog. I started writing this to tell my story, and to let others know it's possible to lead a healthy life.

I can still be healthy while healing. We all come across setbacks whether through injury or illness. Life isn't perfect.

I will spend the next 6 weeks proving it IS possible to maintain a healthy, happy life even if a lot of it is spent with my foot elevated. There will be a lot of strength training involved and even alternate forms of cardio.

I'm going to spend the weekend researching how best to accomplish this goal. Monday I will return, plan in hand.

I may not be able to control the situation, but I CAN control the outcome.I am down, but not out.

And in the meantime I'll be ROCKING this boot!

(running ensemble by Oiselle Running.Full review and giveaway of their products soon.)

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Whats a talus anyway? + training