It was a very eventful week for me. On Sunday I ran an uncomfortable 16 mile long run at Salem Lake in Winston Salem and then quickly turned around and got an MRI on Monday evening. After overnighting the disc to Dr. Brian Fullem on Tuesday, I found out on Wednesday morning that I had broken my Sustentaculum Tali bone. This small shelf-like bone is a part of the calcaneus and is usually only injured during car accidents or landing on your feet from a decent height.
Apparently, the MRI showed a clean break of this bone but that didn’t make a lot of sense to Dr. Fullem due to my type of activity. He said he had never seen this injury in a distance runner and wanted to get a CT scan to have a clearer picture of the bone. Regardless of the severity, there was some type of fracture present.
The following day I made my way to Watauga Medical Center to get my CT scan and then mailed it off to Dr. Fullem. He quickly reported back that the CT scan did not show a clean break but “only” a stress fracture. After getting the news of a clean break only 24 hours before, I was actually excited with the update as it meant a much shorter recovery stint.
If I had in fact broken the bone cleanly I would have been out for months with very little hope of making it to the starting line of the Olympic Trials in February. With a stress fracture I’m still not entirely sure on how long I will be away from running but generally stress fractures are, optimistically, a 4-6 week injury.
The silver lining in this whole situation is that ZAP has everything I need to maintain fitness and get healthy as quickly as possible. I have access to the pool at the Wellness Center in Boone for swimming and aqua jogging as well as the Alter-G at ZAP when that time comes. Pete is confident that with these tools I can be running quite soon even if at 50% weight on the Alter-G. Even running at that light weight it is immensely helpful when I am actually able to get outside again.
And although it’s terrible to be injured I have put in a lot of miles the past few years and I know that base will serve me well when I am able to train fully again. In fact, over the past 15 weeks of training I’ve averaged 91 miles per week. That is 1,365 miles over the past few months. I will certainly need that strength as I try to quickly work my way back to fitness this winter.
Thanks for reading!
My last week of training (10/18-10/24):
Sunday: AM: 16 miles (Salem Lake)
Monday: AM: OFF
Tuesday: AM: OFF
Wednesday: AM: 70 min elliptical (stress fracture confirmed)
Thursday: AM: 50 min pool session
Friday: AM: 1hr 30 min pool session
Saturday: AM: 1hr 30 min pool session
Total: 16 miles, 1 run, 4x cross training sessions