Training for this year's Grandma's Marathon Half was going great, better than expected.  My time had improved by 1:30 per mile because I had started "toe running", I had one 13.1 and one 14.3 mile under my belt.  Then less than two weeks out from my 15th consecutive half marathon, I was told I couldn't run.


I was feeling especially confident this year because I have had three left ankle surgeries in the past and I was always starting over with training.  Not this year, I was on track to PR (personal record) based on the speed and distance of my training runs.  But, after my last long run of 14.3 miles it started and progressive got worse.

It began as a tiny bit of pain, almost like it was bruised under the inside of my ankle bone on the left foot.  Then it began to radiate to the outer side and soon it was under my heel.  We were concerned that it was referred pain from the location of my previous ankle surgeries, but I knew in my heart that wasn't it, the pain was very different than in the past.

Other possibilities? Plantar fasciitis  or a problem with my Achilles?  But again, while some things made sense with each of those diagnosis, other things didn't.  I was told by a local doctor that if it was an Achilles problem I should be able to run through it and after it warmed up I would be able to run.  I tried four times.  Twice I could barely make it, the third, I became angry and stubborn and managed to run two miles in pain, but it never warmed up to the point of running normal.  The fourth, I couldn't raise up to run, couldn't push off and the next day, could barely walk.  Because of my previous ankle surgeries, I chose to go to my Orthopedic Surgeon, Dr. J. Chris Coetzee.  HE IS THE BEST!  I love him, his personality and his patients with me, his patient.

We took x-rays, I describing my pain's progression and explained my training thus far.  Then he sent me through the roof by pushing in certain areas along the side of my heel.  It was determined I had a fracture of the calcaneus bone.  No Grandma's Half Marathon for me this year.  It has shattered my hopes to run 20 consecutive Grandma's Half Marathons.  I only made it to 14, this would have been my 15th.  I'm also in a boot for 3-6 weeks, depending on how quickly it heals and the pain subsides. (and suppose to lessen the weight on that side with crutches, we'll see).

I am trying to grasp the fact that 11 days away from the race I've been told I can no longer run.  I am trying to put things into perspective, I'm lucky that this is my problem and I don't need another ankle surgery.  There are so many other people in the world with problems and issues much, much bigger than this, still I can't help but feel sad, mad and cheated that I trained so hard for so long and I am unable to reach my goal.

I want to wish all the runners in all four of Grandma's Races (Whipper Snappers too!) the best of luck to PR this year.  Enjoy the course, the excitement and the camaraderie you'll experience during the race.  You'll feel it, from the other runners, the volunteers and our fantastic supportive community.  Push yourself to achieve your goal, don't give up too easily, you've worked hard for this and most of all, believe in yourself.  You've got this and I'll be cheering you to the finish from the sidelines.


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