SeekingBostonMarathon is an amateur's journey to race in the ultimate annual marathon--the Boston Athletic Association's Boston Marathon. This is not an olympic runner or professional runner's advice site, but an "average joe" who got hooked on running and finally reached hallowed ground in 2010 and is constantly seeking to get back to Boston.
Self-doubt and self-pity are two traits that are unbecoming of an endurance runner, but I have them both right now. One week ago, I had my first competitive race in nearly eight months in the Ft. Collins triathlon. Another great chapter in my (don't call it a comeback) comeback trail. Trail.."F that" word and I'm not even sure I want to say excuse the french. I podiumed in the race, second in my age group, and the best part was I didn't feel sore that evening. All was grand. The race was on Sunday and I headed out the door Monday for work and would join my wife for a little time off in Sonoma.
My first podium in my first competitive race in nearly eight months
I'll blame Marriott for the lousy night of sleep last Friday night. For the second night in a row, I didn't get any sleep with what felt like a kids soccer game going on at all hours of the night through the thin ceiling and floor--it sounded like they were in my room. Perhaps I should blame the guy I stopped earlier on Friday asking about run trails around Sonoma. He said the bike path was short, but at the edge of town above the cemetery, there was a switchback trail going up the hill with a some great views. He mumbled something about nearly twisting an ankle. I should have listened.
Top of the trail that ended my '16 season
Almost near the top, the terrain was quite rugged. I was not going fast, but I wasn't walking either. I planted my left foot and it rolled awkwardly to the left. I heard a pop, and pain immediately rushed to the side of my left foot. Same foot that I just got done rehabilitating with a stress fracture. I went a few more strides then realized this was not good. I called my wife from the top of the trail and asked her to pick me up. I took a wrong turn and ironically walked through the cemetery to find my way back to the trail head.
The rest of the short ugly story was an unplanned trip to the urgent care for x-rays. By the time we got there, the egg-sized knot was morphing into a swollen foot. Not a surprise, the physician's assistant came back with crutches and a diagnosis of a non-displaced fracture proximal aspect of the fifth metatarsal. At this point, I think my wife was ready to trade me in. This would be the third summer in a row of dealing with "Mr. Grumpy" with a season-ending injury.
I rallied and hobbled around Sonoma the rest of the weekend and made the most of it, but all the ugly feelings were starting to creep in; doubt, pity, depression. We had phenomenal meals, rested by the pool, and indulged in some great wine. I felt I "covered it up" pretty well, but my wife knows me too well. It wasn't fair to her. She needed this trip...almost more than I did. Sorry honey. I will make it up to you.
Acting like the broken foot doesn't both me overlooking San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge
Arriving back into town, I went to my normal orthopedic surgeon; Steadman Hawkins Clinic in Denver. Jeremy walked in with almost a sad look on his face as he knows how hard I battled the last two years to get back to running and racing. "What have you done now?," he asked. Upon review of the x-ray, he had me in "full on" panic talking potential surgery. The only good luck I had was with the holiday weekend, their foot specialist was in and able to consult my x-ray. No surgery--whew!, but another 6-8 weeks in a boot and another race season shot. The least of my worries is that I deferred the NYC Marathon last year with my stress fracture. I did the quick calendar math, and there's no way I'll be able to rehab and get to New York City. #FUBAR
I know I have perhaps inspired others that have battled stress fractures, torn hip labrums, or perhaps come back from a serious bike accident as I have, but my mental tank is empty. I'm really having a hard time putting a positive spin on this one. Who the F did I piss off in the runinverse? I question if I have the mental strength to do this once again while trying to be clever and funny and entertaining on these pages. Over the weekend, I had serious thoughts of shutting down Seeking Boston Marathon. What's the point of tweeting and Facebooking about running, when I'm back on the donut (or do NOT run) team? Somebody please slap me, or tell me this is some cruel nightmare that I'll wake up from.
And don't forget, you can vote DAILY for me and my run buddy Liam in the Runner's World Cover Search contest HERE.