Not a Natural Optimist.

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This past Saturday, I ran the farthest I have ever run in my life – 11 miles.  Now I can hardly walk.

[[If you don’t want to read a long-winded, self-serving rant, you may want to skip this post]]

I try to keep my posts from becoming perpetual “I hate what my life is right now” rants – so I generally stick to the good stuff.  Mostly food, some fun, some other little things.  Which is why you, readers, don’t know much about the inner workings of my mind at the moment.

If I shared everything on my mind, this blog would be no fun.  My thoughts are mostly filled with school stress, and trying to figure out what I’m doing after graduation.  Which happens to be in less than 2 months. (cue minor freakout).

Things that keep me sane? Good friends, good food, and working out/running.  Especially running.

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That was my gorgeous view, stuck in the single rain cloud over the east river on a recovery run last week.  Even just seeing these views and being out in nature was a nearly instant stress reliever.  Then comes the endorphin high.  I always feel SO much more relaxed after a good run, that I don’t care how fast or slow or whatever it was.

With just two weeks left until my race, I decided to indulge a bit and get all my gear together.  I upgraded my headphones from these cheapies:

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To these beauties.

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Oh, a WORLD of difference!  They’re not completely noise-cancelling if you wear a smaller ear piece (yes, mom and dad, I make sure I can still hear my surroundings).  I was SUPER excited for my longest-ever training run this past Saturday – 11 miles! After that, all the hard work would be done, and I just had to maintain for two weeks. So I grabbed my gear and headed out in the gorgeous 45 degree sun (FINALLY).

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After about 3 miles, I started to feel a weird cramp in my left foot – but it would go away after I stopped and stretched and rolled my foot around a bit.

Then around mile 7 or 8, the feeling got stronger.  I don’t know if I’d call it pain, but it was uncomfortable.  Side note: I think I have a very odd sense of pain.  I don’t notice it’s there until it’s either really bad, or gone.  But by that time I realized the feeling wasn’t going away, I was already at my turnaround, heading home to finish the 11 miles. So I kept running.  In hindsight, stupid move. And I knew it wasn’t good at the time.

But I kept running.  I was determined to finish my training and be ready for this half.

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I spent the rest of Saturday like this.  As soon as I took my foot out of the shoe, it started throbbing, and hurt to walk.  I had plans to meet up with friends in Central Park for a picnic, but I couldn’t do it.

There are few things that make me sadder than being unable to go outside on a beautiful day.  And unable to see my friends.  It was a lonely weekend, and I was having a really hard time seeing the bright side of things.

I wanted so badly to be proud of my 11 mile run.  But I was fixated on the future. Would I be able to train this week? Would I be able to run the half? Would I be able to walk tomorrow?

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I still went to work on Sunday (I work at a cafe on weekends), but took a cab there, and tried to avoid walking as much as I could.  I managed pretty well, as my job doesn’t require me to move around too much.  And standing didn’t bother my foot. And my barista made me a capp with a heart.

I managed to get myself out for a dinner with some lovely friends as well.  It’s amazing how a simple social even can lift my spirits.  Like I said, I’m not very good at being positive. I usually need help.

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I made myself some warm, frothy, spiced almond milk before bed for a bit of comfort.  And to take my mind off my aching foot, and all the studying and work I had to get done.

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(attempted to study for my last midterm – but my mind was elsewhere.  Thank goodness the prof. is offering a redo, I already know I did horribly on the exam)

The foot didn’t get any better after two days.  I was really starting to get down on myself.  Running the half marathon was looking less and less likely.

So I finally went to the doctor.  And, as I figured, my gut was right.  It’s a stress fracture of the 3rd metatarsal.  It didn’t show up on the X-ray, but both the orthopedic guy and the sports med specialist said that is usually the case if you come in a couple of days after the worst of it.

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So now I can barely walk without pain.  I have to wear this silly shoe, and use crutches if walking with the shoe hurts (which right now, it does).

I can’t run or do anything high-impact for 6 weeks.

Which means what was supposed to by my first half marathon will have to wait.  And I can’t get refunded or anything.  So I’m out $90 and don’t get to run.  (I can still pick up my t-shirt at the expo though. oh, lucky me)

I decided to pull out of this round of Best Body Bootcamp.  I didn’t want to – I so badly don’t want to lose my fitness levels that I have worked so hard to build. But I know myself, and I know I would push myself too hard and get in the way of healing. (p.s. – Thank you Tina for being so understanding, and letting me participate in the next round)

Frustrated doesn’t even cover it.  Discouraged. Depressed. I have lost so much motivation over the past few days – my number one stress reliever was exercise.  Now I feel sedentary and set back.

I am trying hard  to be positive.  I am really pushing to get the frustration out of mind and put what’s past in the past.  But I feel like I have reached my limit for the moment.  Am I giving up? NO.  Things will get better, and I know it.

But it takes a lot of effort on my part to see the bright side.  I feel helpless but I hate asking for help.  I know I need to give up the pride, and just surround myself with good people.  I know I need to accept what has happened and do what I need to feel good now.

It will take work.  And some days will be better than others – but I will not let this injury define who I am now.

No questions – but if you have a story to share on overcoming the mental struggles of an injury, I’d love for you to share :-)

[[and for those of you who read the entire post – wow.  kudos to you. much love, my friends]]

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12 thoughts on “Not a Natural Optimist.

  1. Tina @ Best Body Fitness

    Of course I understood and my heart still aches for you having to deal with this and so close to what you had worked SO SO hard for. Know I’m sending you the biggest virtual hug right now and pray for a fast recovery for you. I wish I could make it all go away for you. Surround yourself with friends and other things that help take away some of the stress and always feel free to email if you need anything at all.
    Tina @ Best Body Fitness recently posted..Saturday SharesMy Profile

    1. Rachel Post author

      Tina you are amazing, you have no idea how much I appreciate the support. Got email as well – been super busy, really behind on my inbox, but expect a reply soon!

  2. Sarah French

    Hey Rachel,

    I’m really sorry to hear about your injury.

    It’s hard to stay positive under those situations, but you should be very proud of yourself for what you have achieved regarding the 11 mile run you nailed!

    Try and take this time to relax as much as you can mentally, so that by the time your foot is on the mend you’ll feel raring to go.

    Maybe give meditating a go?

    Take care,

    Sarah x
    Sarah French recently posted..Hair Loss In Women, Are The Causes Curable?My Profile

    1. Rachel Post author

      Thanks for this, Sarah – you definitely made me feel better here. And I know I need to commit to a regular meditation practice – thanks for the suggestion :-)

  3. Hollie

    I’ve been wanting to comment all day but haven’t been near a computer and typing on my phone would not go over well.

    A stress fracture is not bad news…why? Because it will heal. My only stress fracture knocked me out for 6 weeks exactly. It cost me over 250 dollars in race costs, a good running cross country season. BUT I healed completely and I came back from it. Muscle problems are not like that at all. You think muscle problems are healing but it could take weeks…months…years…whatever to fully heal. Some even need surgery! I know it stinks right now (believe me I know the feeling) but you will be running again and there are always going to be more races for you. Sending you well wishes friend. :-)
    Hollie recently posted..Party Pants and Weekend MusingsMy Profile

    1. Rachel Post author

      Thanks for this – I actually never thought about it that way. In that case, I guess I’m glad it’s not a muscle problem! I have a feeling I may be out for longer than 6 weeks, because it’s really difficult to stay off your foot when your primary mode of transport is walking! But I’m determined to completely heal and get back in the game as safely as possible.

      thank you for lifting my spirits <3.

  4. Yaara Leve

    Hey Rachel,
    I came across your blog a little while ago and thought I’d finally comment. We have some stuff in common! I’m also a Chicago girl and actually did my undergrad at NYU. I graduated in 2004 as an English and Classics major. I live back in Chicago now though.
    I am so sorry about your stress fracture!! I’m actually still healing from mine. I received a stress fracture in and torn ligaments in my right ankle from too much high impact workouts–ie kickboxing, HIIT interval stuff, running etc.
    It is slowly healing but it definitely still hurts. During this time I’ve been swimming laps and trying to do more low impact dancey aerobics type workouts. You might want to try swimming as its a great full body workout and puts no stress on your joints. You could even get a waterproof mp3 player to help you out. Your body will heal, just give it time.
    I know how painful both physically and emotionally this can be. Just try to keep moving forward and try not to read blogs where you compare yourself to others. That was the hardest for me–being injured and reading about everyone else’s “omg amazing workouts.”
    Just give yourself time to heal and you will! If you ever want to talk, you can always email me.
    Sending you healing energy :)

  5. Pingback: Random Rambles & Ridiculous Recollections | Eat, Learn, Discover

  6. Ttrockwood

    I see this was posted a while ago, i hope you are able to get around with less pain now!
    You can definately re- sell your race entry online on craigslist! Maybe that could at least get you back some of the cash….


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