"Doctor, my elbow really hurts when I rub it."
"Then stop rubbing it".
That's how I'm feeling about my wee foot injury and I can even hear a gruff doctor voice in my head telling me to stop checking to see if it still hurts.
It's been fifteen days since I got home from Israel. Fifteen days since I stopped walking for 8+ hours every day. Fifteen days since it stopped hurting every time I put weight on it. I got on the plane in pain and, after almost 15 hours of hardly moving it, I got off with no pain at all.
During the last fifteen days, I ran a grand total of once. After four days of no pain, I tested it first with a walk (no problem) and the next day with a run (problem). It felt fabulous during but hurt a lot afterwards. That was eleven days ago.
Six days ago, I went to see my massage therapist. She poked and prodded around and was able to isolate the exact spot where the problem was. Spots actually. My fourth and fifth metatarsal on my right foot. If you think of your hand, essentially it's my pinkie and my ring finger bones that hurt, right along the top. If you push anywhere else - nothing. If you push there - ouch!!
Then don't push there...right?
My foot hurt for a few days after the massage because of all the poking and prodding. My massage therapist and I are both hoping that it is simply bruised from all of the walking I did. She told me to take a month off and then try an easy 15 minute run to test it out.
Can I cycle and swim?
If it doesn't hurt during or after was the answer I got.
So I swim. I cycle. I walk around and I carry on with my day with not even a twinge of discomfort.
Unless I rub the top of my foot. Then I feel it.
Then don't rub it!
It's my new daily test. I wake up and immediately think about my foot. I rub it gently against the blankets - nothing. I walk to the washroom. Nothing. I get in the shower and take a deep breath before I get to the point where I scrub my foot. I pass my hand along the top and it hurts. A tiny bit less every day but it hurts.
I want it to stop hurting. I'm used to having injuries that, after a few days, don't hurt. I am used to just waiting out my no running for x number of weeks sentence and then I rebuild and carry on. I'm not used to the pain lingering and encroaching on my going back to running time. I was told to wait four weeks before running. I'm already nearly two weeks done. That doesn't leave much time for the pain to be completely gone and the injury to heal.
I'm starting to psych myself up that it might look more like 6 weeks (or even 8). That's entering stress fracture recovery time so, if it's more than just a bruised foot, I'll be playing it pretty safe. Still though, it's getting nice out. I'm itching to run. My legs want to. My feet want to. It's just my metatarsals that are a little hesitant about the whole idea.