So, on November 2nd, 2010, I was running at moderate pace on a treadmill. I was doing 8 miles at marathon pace, and at the very end of the workout, my left foot went "pop". Not snap or crackle, but pop. It wasn't particularly painful; it felt like any joint cracking. But, the foot felt slightly uncoordinated, so I decided to skip the cool down, and hit "stop". Went back to the locker room, showered and changed, and then requested some ice from the front desk.
At the time, I thought the injury was at worst a mild sprain. I have a history of osteopenia, but a decade of working out hard plus good nutrition have managed to improve my femur and hip to the point where they are OUT of the osteopenic range (no small feat for a woman in her later 30s). Plus I had gotten a free bone density scan of my right foot a few days before at the Marine Corps Marathon Expo, and had been told that the foot bone density was great. And, though the top of the foot was growing increasingly sore, and the bottom was cramping a bit, there wasn't any excruciating pain to the touch,and I had not had any previous pain in this foot. It had to be acute tendonitis (which I've had several times before), or possibly a sprain.
I went to the podiatrist the next morning. This podiatrist is a runner, and a fairly accomplished one -- I believe he ran 3:04 at Boston this year (others check out their doctors' medical degrees; I check out their PRs).
I've seen him several times before for my injuries, and I've always appreciated his honesty, and his focus on getting someone up and running as soon as practical, rather than the hyper-obsessive focus on rest that I associate with doctors who treat primarily sedentary patients. He palpated, and then had some x-rays done.
The fracture was clear as day on the x-rays. Oblique fracture of the shaft of the second metatarsal of the left foot. The podiatrist gently instructed me that he expected 6 weeks in a boot, with no weight-bearing exercise, and 6 more weeks of cycling and elliptical, before I could run. I got the boot, hailed a cab home, and sat in shock. And that was when the foot started to really hurt.
(I didn't cry until I also got a call from the plumber that the replacement of my hot water heater would be delayed another 24 hours. I could handle no hot water. I could handle a broken foot. Together, they were too much).
In the days since then, I've acquired a boot, crutches, various pool memberships, a running coach, fancy machines to accelerate healing, and now a blog.