The Boot


Good morning friends. Well, not a very good morning for me. As some of you saw on my Twitter and Facebook yesterday, I am not confined to the boot.  Meet my new friend. accessory.


You may remember I have been complaining of foot pain for about a month. I even took two complete weeks off running, and only logged about 20 miles in the month of November. In case you are catching up…it started hurting SLIGHTLY, more of just pressure on the top of my left foot, during the Rock n Roll St. Louis half marathon. I rested a couple days after the half, then ran an easy 3 miler in which my foot hurt AFTER I got back and for the next day or so. I took another couple days off, then ran 6 miles with Bobby, and it hurt badly about halfway through the run. That’s when I decided to ice it, take ibeprofin, and two weeks off.

After two weeks I ran twice, a 2.5 miler and a 3 miler. Both of which I got a little pressure towards the end of the run but not really pain if that makes any sense. So, I decided to run the Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving. My foot started throbbing at mile 2, but I still managed to place in my age group! But, I knew something was really wrong after that. My foot hurt for days, so on Monday morning I made a Tuesday appointment to see an orthopedist. The doctor said it could have been a combination of things, but was most likely the fact that I raced half’s 3 weekends out of five while working three expos on my feet all day.

So This morning off I went, had x-rays done, and the doctor said they looked normal, BUT stress fractures often don’t show up on x-rays. So, as I suspected, it’s one of two things: a stress fracture or bad tendonitis. He said treatment for both is relatively the same, so I am to stay in the boot for three weeks, come back for more x-rays and to test it out. If it still hurts, it is likely a stress fracture and I stay in the boot another 2-3 weeks. If not, I can ease my way back into running.


I’m really ok with this!


Who am I kidding? this sucks!

Please excuse the mess, I was folding laundry today on the couch.

Anyway, I am really discouraged right now. I can’t run, I can’t do cardio. I can only lift upper body weights. And our YMCA isn’t officially open yet, just my luck.

Also, in an effort to keep it real here on RWS, which I always try to do, I am going to admit another fear I have….I am afraid I am going to gain weight. Some of you may be rolling your eyes, but I am just trying to be honest. I struggle with maintaining and indulging a bit too much around the holidays, so what’s going to happen when I can’t do much moving around? I have already sat around for two weeks not running, and now another three? I haven’t been inactive for FIVE weeks in several years. Maybe not ever now that I think of it.


I am being very careful how I word this, because I want you all to know I love food and would never starve myself to look a certain way, ever, but also I am not the type of person who says “I don’t know where it all goes, I eat whatever I want and I stay at my same weight!” I have to work HARD to maintain my weight, it has never come easy for me. I do not want to fall into a deadly trap of restriction, especially around Christmas, but I also don’t want to pack on several unnecessary pounds I have worked hard to keep away. I have always had a very healthy relationship with food, but I have also never been in a situation where I could not work out, so I am very curious to see how this all plays out.  I would much rather gain a little than starve myself, but I worry most about it constantly being on my mind every time I eat something. I will keep you posted on how I am physically and emotionally handling my new situation as we go.

QOTD: Have you ever had to wear a boot? Or a cast of any kind?

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41 Responses to The Boot

  1. 1
    Sarah says:

    I told you a few weeks ago I was having pain too in my foot but that ended up being tenditious. But beyond the xray my dr did a bone scan bc that picks up stress fractures. Did you go to sports med?? They usually are really good about finding stress fractures and not jumping to a boot. So I have not run in 4 weeks and have 2 more to go and no boot bc my stress fracture is on the inside of my leg so it will only be affected if I do high impact. But being on your foot I can see just walking affecting it. Good luck with recovery. It does go by quickly! Yoga and things like that become your friend!

    • 1.1
      Heather says:

      yeah unfortunately walking does affect it, anytime I go up on my toes, point my toes, flex those foot muscles, so thats why I have to keep it still. :(

    • 1.2
      Laura puckett says:

      I’ve been wearing a boot for about a month. Mine is work- related for being in the restaurant biz for 34 yrs. it doesn’t seem to be getting better( I can’t take off work), do I don’t know what’s next.

  2. 2

    I had to wear a boot for 4 weeks when I sprained my ankle on both sides of my right foot. I took it off after 2 weeks because I thought I knew better than the doctor (and I lived on the 3rd floor of an apartment building with no elevator). My ankle still looks larger than it should thanks to my stubbornness! Listen to your doctor and get better soon! And you can do cardio that doesn’t involve your foot – shadow boxing, holding 3-5lb weights will get your heart rate up! Good luck!

  3. 3
    Amy Lauren says:

    I understand your fear of gaining weight with the boot and not being able to work out, especially with the holidays and all kinds of high-calorie foods around. But, it’s a pretty good time to be out of commission, I guess, because there is a lot going on with the holidays to stay busy with :). Plus, you could definitely try yoga videos or something, I’m sure that would help and give you another fitness option to explore while you can’t run.

  4. 4

    awww so sad for you. hope you heal quickly!!!!

  5. 5
    Jenn says:

    Ugh, I’m so sorry heather! :( Hopefully you’ll be back to running in no time. And as for gaining weight? It’s not bad to worry about that. I worry about it every time I’m not running as much. Just be conscious of what you’re eating but don’t beat yourself up over any indulgences.

  6. 6
    laura says:

    I’ve had to wear a boot too! For the same “mystery pain that may or may not be a stress fracture that just didn’t show up on x-ray.” I wore that boot for ~4 weeks and, while the not running part helped a bit, I didn’t think I ‘healed’.

    Cut to 8 months later of persisting slight (but not debilitating pain), now my doc is thinking its a combination of peroneal tendonitis/tendonosis (the attachment sites for the peroneus brevis and longus are in/on the metatarsals, and if your peroneal muscles are tight, it can pull on the ends of the muscles causing weakness at the attachment sites) and plantar fasciitis. So my whole ‘stress fracture’ experience wasn’t a good one. My advice is to be careful when you get the green light to go back to running. If it hurts – go back to the doc and insist that something isn’t right and get some PT for your feet/calf muscles.

    As for the weight thing: Since it is a non-impact activity, I was allowed to jump on a stationary bike when I was put in my boot. (I’m sure it was odd to see a girl show up at the gym in a boot, sit on the bike and put on a tennis shoe, cycle, then put the boot back on.) I just had to keep the resistance on the bike low. Ask your doc if that’s ok for you, too.

    • 6.1
      Heather says:

      was your pain on the top of your foot when you ran? I would get pressure on the top of it too when just walking in my running shoes.

      • 6.1.1
        laura says:

        Yup. It felt like my shoes were always tied too tight even when they were really loose.

        My pain was kind of in the center of my foot (not the top or bottom) and it hurt worst when toe-ing off (not the impact from running), or really anything where I was using my calf muscles like running up hills. I think that the whole downward spiral starts when I have pain on the outside top of my calf (where the peroneus longus muscle starts) – If I stop and roll it out w/my tiger tail, it seems to keep me from any big issues.

  7. 7
    Samantha says:

    I’ve never had a boot but last year I had to take a 2 month hiatus from running. I missed my marathon and everthing! It was my IT band. It sucks! I had all the thoughts that you were having. All I can say is taking this time off is for the best. It’d be worse if you didn’t and needed surgery or something! Just relax, enjoy this time off and be sure to hit the gym. I hear swimming is a great, low-impact, total body exercise. Maybe you could take the boot off for that? Good luck! I look forward to updates.

    • 7.1
      Heather says:

      Oh girl I have been there done that with my IT band. I was out for 6 weeks in Feb/march and had some awful races last fall/winter due to it. hope you are well now!

  8. 8
    Katie says:

    you can still get your cardio/sweat on!!…check out the blog sweatonceaday! emily can show you how its done! enjoy your holiday goodies :)

  9. 9

    I had surgery on my ankle in 2005 (I snapped the tendon) and was in a real cast for 4 weeks and a boot for months. It was the worst. I have to echo the comment of the person above me and say enjoy the rest so you can get better and not need surgery!

  10. 10
    Emily says:

    Yuck! So sorry about the boot!

    I totally understand where you are coming from with the worry about gaining weight. When I hurt my knee last November that was a huge concern for me as well since I couldn’t run (eventually I was able to start walking and swimming). And I did gain some weight (but it wasn’t as bad as I first thought – the low impact activity and trying to control portions helped). With the decreased activity level, it can be hard to find a balance of maintaining. But I wouldn’t restrict yourself. I look forward to hearing of your progress!!

  11. 11
    Suzanne says:

    I’m so sorry Heather! On the upside you can focus on your arms and abs and who doesn’t want a six pack for Christmas?! Hopefully in three weeks you’ll feel much better and you’ll be able to ease back into running. I understand what you mean about the weight. I’ve worked really hard to lose 20 lbs this year (still want to lose about 10 more) and I know that being active and running has played just as big a role as eating healthier and on the weeks I eat poorly I know I can run more and my body won’t gain. Thanks for being honest about this! I think too often it’s not talked about.

  12. 12
    Katye says:

    i’m no good for advice on this one. When I broke my foot two years ago, I ended up on the elliptical (boot and all) after a week. Got some strange stares on that one at the gym.

  13. 13
    elizabeth says:

    i was out with a stress fracture during this exact same time 2 years ago. he didn’t put me in a boot though-just PT. same thing-didn’t show up on a xray. I wouldn’t worry too much about the weight. Do your best to not overindulge (set a daily limit)-I get it though. I, like you, cannot eat whatever i want and stay thin. i would do pushups, situps, dips, etc. things you can still do at home without weights (since Y isn’t open). I bet you don’t gain as much as you think. do you have a place to swim??

    • 13.1
      Heather says:

      the indoor pool is 35 minutes away, and my car is a gas guzzler so its not exactly economical to go swim :( I am in the boot b/c he wants my foot still, no pointing, flexing, going up on my toes. wah.

  14. 14
    Rach says:

    Oh girl, I would have the exact same fears. I’m so sorry you are stuck in the boot for now. But know that you have a supportive community here. I really think you will be able to find a good balance with your portion control/what exercise you are allowed. You got this, girl. :)

  15. 15
    Crystal says:

    oh no! Sorry you are in a boot! Don’t rush back into things too fast, though. Hopefully you can do elliptical or recumbent bike soon, though.

  16. 16
    @WirelessJake says:

    Sorry about the boot. :( hang in there. When I had a boot, I told the doc I won’t wear it since it was on my driving foot. She said using a cane actually works almost as well taking (some percentage) weight off the hurt foot. So if you are just sick of it for a day, try a cane! Walgreens had some fun ones too. LOL. Get better soon!

    • 16.1
      Heather says:

      I would so bling out a cane lol!
      unfortunately, its not as much about the weight for me as it is keeping it still (not pointing my toes, stretching those tendons) and the only way I can be sitll is in a boot, I run around so much during the day!

  17. 17
    Lifeisarun says:

    Aww, sorry to hear this!! Definitely understand your concerns about weight gain and am also glad to hear you have a healthy relationship with food. It is hard to be use to working out hard and knowing when and where you can indulge to maintain. At least you could be strict for a week or two then back off some? Wishing you the best, but know you’ll be fine!

  18. 18
    Kerrie says:

    Ugh!!! I am so sorry. That is awful!!!!!!!!! I hope its not a stress fracture. That would stink!!!!

  19. 19
    Karen says:

    I got myself a boot to wear the exact same day! Same kind of story, but pain is on the inside of my ankle. Same wearing schedule by the MD… hope the boot only lasts 3 weeks, I’m already sick of it after 2 days! I feel ya on the weight worries. :-(

  20. 20

    […] some work, house cleaning, and I also did some ab work and arm work, you know, things I can do in the boot. Today I plan to do more of the same, and finish hanging our outside Christmas lights so I can have […]

  21. 21
    Julie says:

    I’m so sorry! I got foot surgery a year and a half ago – crutches for 8 weeks, a walking boot for a month, and then I wasn’t able to run for a total of EIGHT MONTHS. It was rough! As far as not gaining weight, it was all about: 1) Eating less (you probably won’t feel as hungry without intense cardio); 2) Staying active (it’s great that you’re doing upper body stuff!); 3) Really listening to your doctor (better to fix it for real the first time and not have to go through this again!). I hope it gets better quickly! And just remember, if you do put on a few pounds, it’ll be all the more motivation to get back in shape after you’re better!

  22. 22
    Anna Crouch says:

    Hi! I found you blog through Tina’s blog (Best Body Fitness)! I wanted to comment because I’ve been injured before, having to take time off running/working out, and each time I’ve never actually gained any weight. I’ve realized that my body adjusts to the amount of activity I’m doing and my APPETITE goes down. I too am one that has always have a very healthy appetite….meaning, I have always wanted to eat. And a lot! However, I’ve noticed that when I’m not working out because I can’t, it’s like my body knows. I don’t think you should be too worried about it. Maybe also do some strengthening work, using your own body weight. I know that gets my heart pumping, and it feels oh so good! Lay on your side, back, and etc and do leg lifts. Maybe lay down and do some hip thrusts (feels soooo good on your hamstrings, hips and butt!). Ya know, just low impact exercises that will get your heart rate up (even if it does take 30 reps!). Break out the resistance bands, too!! Hope this helps. All in all, don’t let it worry you, because when you get worried and stressed, that’s when everything goes down hill. Anxiety has never done a person well :)

    • 22.1
      Heather says:

      thanks! I have been doing a lot of ab and arm workouts, so hopefully I can keep it up!
      My problem with eating is I eat out of boredom a lot, and also with Christmas coming I eat a lot of things I “only eat around Christmas” even when not hungry, so I don’t want to miss out, so it’s tough! :)

  23. 23

    […] would even be feasible for myself financially, as far as time/seasons go, etc. Since I have been in the boot all I have been thinking about is racing and it’s making me bonkers! So, I thought listing it all […]

  24. 24

    […] it’s here! The day I have been waiting for! No, not Christmas, it’s the day I HOPEFULLY get my boot off! It has been three weeks, and I will be honest, they have FLOWN by. Has the boot been an […]

  25. 25

    […] I was cursed with a stress fracture in my foot back in November, I have been doing a lot of research of running shoes. I knew I had […]

  26. 26
    27 | says:

    […] learned that getting a stress fracture will really try your patience and […]

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