I am very happy when I hear from people who are running after 5 or 6 weeks after their stress fractures. The short times saves oneself from accumulating adipose tissue while simultaneously losing their mind. I am on week 8 and suffering from both. In all fairness I did start running; rehab running with the Pete Pfitzinger, “Return to running after a stress fracture program. ” While my friends were out doing an 18 miler I was running 5 minutes walking 5 minutes x 3. But at least I was doing some movement that looked somewhat like running and it was not in the water.
The first week of the program was good. There are three runs in 7 days. They were not without pain. My foot ached but stopped as soon as I began walking. The pain was not in the 3rd metatarsal but rather it is a general pain that moves around under my big toe and second toe and occasionally on the bottom of my foot and the top. Because it was not localized I completed the workout.
Over the weekend I also found the excellent source of The Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Dept of Rehab. They have a great Running Injury Prevention Tips & Return to Running Program. In fact they take you through a 4 phase program. Phase 1: You should be able to walk, pain free, aggressively in a controlled environment. Phase 11 is a plyomeric program consisting of 470 jumps first with both feet then on each foot. Once a person can do that pain free they can move onto Phase 111 which begins with walking 5 minutes, running 1 x 5 and progresses over 5 stages. I am not pain free in the plyo but I am still adding Phase III, I spoke with my PT about it and we are monitoring it closely. This is a long program. Once Phase 111 is complete which is variable based on each runners healing the runner should be able to run 30 minutes every other day without pain in order to go into Phase IV. Phase IV takes you from 30 minutes every other day up to 45 minutes multiple days in a row over a 12 week progression. That’s right week one starts with 4 runs, 3 at 30 min and 1 at 35. By week 11 you run 4 days at 45 mins., 1 days at 40 and 1 day at 35. Twelve weeks to run only 4.25 hours. I thought within 12 weeks I would be running at least 10 hours a week.
Fourteen weeks from now is the NYC marathon. Obviously I am out. There is no way even if I could double up this program could I run it. Thank goodness I qualified for Boston last year. I decided my next big race goal will be the Boston Marathon. In the meantime I am reading Brad Hudson’s, Run Faster from 5k to marathons. Hudson is the coach of Dathan Ritzenhein who often comes up in conversations about elite runners and injury, since Ritzenheim had suffered many injuries prior to working with Hudson. While I work my running legs back up I am swimming 3x a week and building some nice upper body muscles. From now until the end of the year it will be all about building strength and aerobic base and dealing with the unfortunate depression of standing on the sidelines watching all the racers go by.