1. I’ve been booted 😦
When I last left you, I had a diagnosis of peroneal tendonitis from the physical therapist and instructions to go to the doctor early this week if it didn’t get better. Despite taking it fairly easy for most of last week–I didn’t hit 10,000 steps any day except Sunday, obviously, since I ran the marathon that day, and Saturday, post-booting, when I did Open House Chicago–my foot did not get any better at all. I couldn’t walk without wanting to cry, and on Thursday my ankle started doing this extremely concerning thing where it felt like my peroneal tendon was popped out of the groove where its supposed to live in my ankle and would pop back in after several steps. Panicked, I called my podiatrist and changed my appointment from this past Monday up to last Friday.
The podiatrist poked my foot a bit and seemed a bit worried at the fact that I noted discomfort when she poked one particular location. She thought I may have a stress reaction or a stress fracture and ordered an x-ray, which they did in-office in this fancy foot x-raying machine. The x-ray came back clean, but the doctor also noted that stress fractures usually don’t show up on x-rays until two weeks after the fact, so she said I’d need to come back in two weeks and get it checked out again. She also offered the option of an MRI, as that would yield a clearer picture, but she said she would treat me the same way regardless of whether I got the MRI or not, so I opted to not get one for the moment. She gave me a boot with instructions to wear it at all times I was weight bearing, told me I could bike and swim as long as I wore the boot to the bike/pool, and told me I would not be running Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas.
So that’s where things stand right now. To be honest, I don’t really know what to think. Stress fractures and tendonitis are both overuse injuries, and while I would be the first to acknowledge that two marathons in three weeks most certainly fall under the category of “overuse,” at least for someone at my training level, it seems…odd, to put it mildly, that I would go from “no pain whatsoever, not even a twinge” to “unable to walk” over the course of 25 minutes (which was the amount of time it took me to get through the finisher’s chute, to my gear check bag, and up from sitting down on the grass) from an overuse injury. At the same time, I also did not have an “event” that would indicate an acute injury: I didn’t twist my ankle the wrong way, I didn’t fall, I didn’t run into something, etc. The popping sensation is consistent with peronal tendon sublaxation, but that usually comes from ankle sprains, and while I did once sprain my right ankle, that “once” was in gym class in eighth grade, 12 and a half years ago. Now, I suppose it’s possible I tore my retinaculum (the piece of body that keeps your peroneal tendon where it belongs in its groove in your ankle) 12 and a half years ago and somehow had just never pushed my foot/ankle to the point where it would be a problem until I ran two marathons in three weeks, but you would think I would’ve noticed this in SOME capacity over that time. This may have been the stupidest thing I’ve done running-wise, but it is certainly not the first time I’ve done long distance running, and it seems insane, to say the least, that I could’ve injured myself over a decade ago and not had one single symptom until now.
In retrospect, I wish I had gotten the MRI, because even if it didn’t show a stress fracture, it would’ve probably shown what’s going on with my peroneal tendon, which an x-ray can’t do (plus my weekly therapy appointments did an excellent job of getting me to my out-of-pocket limit on my health insurance, after which point everything but emergency room visits is covered at 100%, so it’s not like it’d be anything more than an inconvenience to get an MRI.). I also wish I had gone to my sports doctor rather than the podiatrist, because I feel like my sports doctor listens, while the podiatrist…not so much. This is the same podiatrist who told me I had plantar fasciitis last year, which I somehow managed to contract while making a weird move on a climbing wall (there’s no way I had plantar fasciitis. Nothing about that injury matched anything about plantar fasciitis, other than the fact that the pain was in my foot.). I specifically noted that my foot and ankle hurt, and I don’t think a stress fracture in my foot would make my ankle hurt. My ankle was the FIRST thing that hurt in this whole ordeal – the foot pain came later.
Regardless of what’s going on with my foot, my boot makes it so I can actually walk again, which has been a most welcome change. I feel kind of badass walking around the gym in a boot and working out anyway, and this has been a good way to force me to do upper body and core strength training, since that’s all I can do, and cardio other than running, since I can’t do that at the moment (though biking made my ankle hurt on Tuesday, so I’m not sure I can do that really, either – or at least, I can’t do it on a difficult level). But I do hope to get this all resolved sooner rather than later, both for the sake of my pocketbook (I don’t want to still deal with this after Jan. 1, when my insurance will reset) and for the races I’ve registered for later this year. I’m not making any final calls on Vegas until I get a better idea of what’s actually going on with my foot. I could potentially drop down to the 10K and probably would be able to run/walk or jog that, assuming, of course, that I don’t actually have a stress fracture or subluxation. In those cases, I imagine running at all is a bit out of the question for quite some time.
2. This past weekend I went to TWO different housewarming parties. Those were housewarming parties #2 and #3 that I have been invited to since June, and it makes me feel uncomfortably old. Never once in my life had anyone I known ever hosted a housewarming party until June, but apparently this is a thing that people in their mid-late 20s do. I’ve never even considered hosting a housewarming party. I guess I’ve only ever moved in with people, though, not into a place that wasn’t previously occupied by those who will be my new roommates, and I couldn’t exactly host a housewarming when I originally moved to Chicago and knew no one. My landlord has mentioned possibly selling my current place next year, at which point I would have to move, so maybe I can host a housewarming party then. Or, more likely, move and not really tell anyone about it until long after the fact.
3. When I wasn’t at housewarming parties this weekend (or hiking through the city for Open House Chicago), I was busy getting my fall on. A handful of friends and I went to Indiana on Sunday to County Line Orchard to go apple picking and generally indulge in fall-y goodness (by which I mean eating apple cider donuts and drinking apple cider, naturally).
Holy smokes, was this place a production. Growing up, my family went apple picking at a pretty low key orchard in West Michigan, where you brought your own bags and paid for them at a shed. If you were hungry, you could go to the pie pantry, a simple restaurant/bakery with your standard American fare and fruit-based desserts. Not so at County Line Orchard! They have a barn that seemed to be about the size of my hometown filled with individual stations for buying fudge, desserts, donuts, pies and beverages, a gift shop, all sorts of pumpkin-decorating accessories, and more baking/cooking aids than you could shake a stick at (mixes, jams, spices, etc.). And that was just the main barn. There was also a kitchen barn, which we didn’t even enter, and an entire children’s area with a miniature “train,” petting zoo, and more. And then, of course, the raison d’etre: the apples themselves. We took a tractor ride out to the produce, which, beyond multiple apple orchards, also included a pumpkin patch and a sunflower patch. After filling up the bags the orchard provided (after you paid your $1 admission fee to pick, that is), the tractor dropped us back off at the barn to pay for our spoils. While it was thoroughly unlike any other apple picking experience I’ve ever had, I certainly still enjoyed it. I haven’t been apple picking since college, and it was wonderful to go again.
When was the last time you went apple picking?
Are housewarming parties some marker of adulthood that I’ve missed out on until now? I feel inadequate 😦 Haha (not really, don’t worry)