This will be my last blog until December, or maybe January next year, unfortunately. My right foot is broken. More specifically, I have a metatarsal stress fracture.
I saw a podiatrist last week, had x-rays, and just came back from my follow up visit. He had also suspected a leg length discrepancy, and so had me x-rayed for that too. He was right: my left leg is 1.4cm longer than the right. He was amazed I had no back or knee problems. Said I was lucky I was skinny, or I would have.
I took a closer look at all my shoes, and I can see that while I have a decent strike pattern on my left (land on left side of heal and toe off the big toe side), on the right I'm landing on the outside midfoot and toeing off normally. That puts a lot of extra stress on those metatarsals. He chalked the difference up to the leg length discrepancy.
As far as a solution goes, he suggested seeing this as a one off, given that it has not been a problem until now. Basically, at my age, going for that 2-3% improvement in my marathon time may have just pushed me over the edge. Neither of us wanted to look at an orthotic lift, as it would mean messing with my whole kinetic chain. It took me years to get that part of my running down just right.
So, in the short term, no running for 11 more weeks. That puts me into mid-December. He said I can shorten that by a few weeks if I decided to wear a surgical boot, but that in any event I should be careful about weight bearing and certainly should not think of running.
In the long term, he sees no reason why I couldn't go back to training as I am now. I'll give it more thought over the next few months or so, but what I'm toying with is going back up to the Ultra distances. The training mileage is basically the same, but at a much slower pace, and on trails. We'll see. For now, I'm going to switch to bulking up a bit this Fall with weights. I'll certainly miss running. Oh, and the race I was supposed to do on Sunday? PERFECT conditions! Sunny, 40F at the start line and 55F at the finish. I would have nailed it!