Stress. Fracture.

So um, this happened today.

Oh yes my friends, welcome to the world of a Calcaneal Stress Fracture.

Basically, it’s a heel stress fracture. It’s a pretty common spot for runners to injure, and typically stress fractures are a result of overuse, and happen over a period of several months. I imagine the dull nagging of last week coupled with running the half on Sunday was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Or heel in my case. (Or at least this is what I’ve been told from the wonders of the internet/the sports medicine doctor.)

The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons agrees:

A stress fracture is a small crack in a bone. Stress fractures often develop from overuse, such as from high-impact sports like distance running or basketball.


Most stress fractures occur in the weight-bearing bones of the foot and lower leg. Studies show that athletes

participating in tennis, track and field, gymnastics, dance, and basketball are at high risk for stress fractures. In all of these sports, the repeated stress of the foot striking the ground can cause problems.


Rest is the key element to recovery from a stress fracture.


The bone we’re caring about is on the lower left. You know the large one that helps you run.

The good: It was caught early enough that 10-14 days on crutches should be all I need. A return to running can than happen (albeit slowly.) I’m cleared for biking/swimming/strength training. What that means is that I will probably go out and buy a road bike, all of Lululemon’s biking gear and register for a century ride tomorrow while simultaneously joining a master’s swim team.

(Joking… kind of.)

The bad: Um no running for 10-14 days. That’s like telling Lindsey Lohan she can’t drink for 5 minutes. It’s that long. Goodbye Healdsburg Half Marathon. I hardly even knew you. Or your delicious wine tasting that would have happened at the finish line.

The ugly: The crutches. Need I say more? After 5 hours of these bad boys I’m more than ready for a boot.

The MRI confirmed that there is in fact a fracture. What happens next? The radiologist diagnoses me, sends my scans to my doctor I saw this morning, and he lets me know how bad is bad. Preparing for the worst (6-8 weeks in a boot) but hoping for the best (10-14 days on crutches/in a boot).

After my MRI I naturally did what any normal person would do when throwing themselves a pity party – I spoiled myself rotten. We’re talking pedicure, haircut, the works.

I also came up with a list of benefits to being on crutches. Try not to be jealous.

-Always get a seat at a bar/restaurant/what-have-you

-Convincing MUNI drivers to take me 4 blocks up the street to my bus stop just got easier

-Get really familiar with celebrity gossip magazines on the stationary/spin bike

-Get reacquainted with my swimcap and goggles

-Rekindle my high-school self and wear a pretty sweet backpack at all times

-Have dog owners feel sorry for me and quickly agree to let me pet their dogs on the street without throwing me wary/weird/creeped out looks

-Develop arms of steel

Any other suggestions?

I’ll leave you with some happy thoughts. This is Charlie. He’s almost a year old and he is the cutest, most adorable Golden Retriever since the one I met last week at work.


(Also if you can… go for a run tonight. It’s been 72 hours of no running and I’m already judging people as they run by me on the street. Do me a favor please and go out on a solid run… and enjoy it the entire time no matter what your splits/the weather/whatever is/are 🙂 )


12 thoughts on “Stress. Fracture.

  1. I’m so sorry! I know how you feel. I am still recovering from a tibial stress fracture that happened, believe it or not, the beginning of JULY. Ugh. I can’t believe I have gone so long without running. It is very close to being healed, but boy it must have been a bad one if it took this long. Lucky that yours doesn’t seem too severe! I never got crutches or a boot which probably slowed my healing process. I know I’ll appreciate running that much more when I’m able to run again – and I’ll be extra careful to not overwork my body. Everything happens for a reason. Good luck in your recovery and keep spoiling yourself! 🙂

  2. Runners nightmare!…At least you have a strong plan B and positive outlook on recovery which are most important. BTW Cycling will be so much fun. Most of the popular centuries will start up after the new year. By then you’ll have some good base, mad skills and a bike butt that can handle the + 100 mile rides. good luck!

  3. Oh no! I’ve never had a stress fracture but I have been sidelined from running enough to know that it sucks. I hope you heal quickly, and bonus, apparently you’ll be a triathlete by the end of this!

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