Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Fingers Crossed for Return from Stress Fracture

After having to stop running on August 10th because of a stress fracture of the third metatarsal I have ventured to test the foot with a run this past Saturday and this evening. I had been having pain and strange sensation in the foot a good part of the summer but after a hard run on August 9th I felt as if I was one run away from a complete failure at the fracture site so I decided it was time to give it a rest.

I didn't run at all, but went for a few walks between one and two miles and participated in regular activities in regular footwear. I tried to hasten my return to running on August 21st by going out for three miles, which was clearly an error. On Saturday, Sept 3rd I ran 5 trail miles with a fair amount of up and down terrain, favoring the right foot a bit, but it felt OK, but I still want to give it rest. I went out this evening for just 3 miles on pavement at about 9:30/mile pace doing a low impact heel strike and the foot felt fine. I am happy that on both outings I felt as if I had the energy to run for a couple of hours. Three and a half weeks of inactivity did not wipe out all of my conditioning.

I'm sure people who break arms return to many normal activities before the arm fully heals, but they don't repetitively do the action that caused the break as a runner with a stress fracture does. I speculate a stress fracture needs to be fairly close to 100% repaired before it can handle the repeated load that caused the fracture in the first place. I hope I'm close to 100% and for now when I run I hope I am able to change up the stride somewhat to not load the bone with the same stress over and over and over.

I plan to not run for the next three or four days and try a longer trail run this weekend.