I have been getting in a running groove the last few weeks. Consistently running 5-8 miles averaging under an eight minute pace. It doesn't get me in the Olympics, but it was excellent for me.
About a month ago I started having some soreness in my left foot. It began as a minor inconvenience. Typically after a mile or so it limbered up and it had no effect on my running distance or time. That was until about ten days ago. I went for a "prior to church" Sunday run. The foot was a little sore, but I continued on with my previous "in about a mile it will loosen up" mantra The problem was it didn't. I, however, continued to run. I got in five miles, but toward the end I had slowed to barely a ten minute pace. It was sore!
I decided to take a week off from running. Instead I focused on elliptical and bicycle. This past Sunday (August 3) I decided to give it another try. I got one-quarter mile down the road. It was evident it would not be happening. I turned and limped home. At the prompting of my wife I called the doctor and set an appointment. In the mean time I set about my own therapy.
I returned to the elliptical to allow my foot to rest. This past Tuesday it was feeling much better. Could be I didn't need that doctor appointment after all. I put in four miles on the treadmill, but when I was done it was evident that it was a baaaadddd idea. Back to elliptical.
Today I visited the doctor. After pushing on my foot, asking questions and taking x-rays the diagnosis was in: I have a stress fracture.
I have to admit I felt a bit honored by this. After all, lots of athletes get these. It is from working out hard and regular. I imagined myself an elite athlete.
Once beyond my world of elite status, I inquired of the treatment. And when he told me I was both happy and sad. Sad, as I am unable to run for the next 4-6 weeks. But I can do other forms of fitness. I will learn to love the elliptical. Happy as he told me that it would be best to wear Birkenstocks as often as possible. Awesome!
I get, I mean have, to wear comfortable sandals. Even to work! I can hardly wait. When my co-workers see this their initial reaction will be, "There is Stevenson trying to push the casual envelop again." And I get to tell them, "Doctor's orders!" I might even wear a suit and tie (which I seldom do), but to offset them with Birkenstocks...now that would be worth it.
This is a reminder to me that all of life has upsides and downsides. Frankly, I would rather be healthy enough to run...but the Birkenstock trade off will be lots of fun.