Last week, I was on a runner’s high. It was the peak of my training for Grandma’s Marathon. I had run nearly 76 miles (holy smokes!) and was feeling great!
Maybe I was temping fate. Maybe you were thinking, “that girl is going to get injured.”
Well, you were right. Sort of.
The week started off good…Let me recap it for you.
Monday: 7 miles with my friend Kelly at a decent pace
But that evening after work, things changed…
I was grabbing laundry off the drying racks in the basement when I jammed my toe against a rolled up rug that we have been meaning to get rid of (why haven’t we thrown that away??) It hurt pretty badly right away, so I started icing it. It started to swell and become very colorful.
I didn’t sleep well that night as it was really hurting. So, I made the executive decision Tuesday morning to go to Urgent Care.
After loads of time in the waiting room (apparently pinkie toes are not urgent), I had an x-ray taken.
There it was- a fracture on the base of my pinkie toe.
I ran all those miles with no injury, but now a rogue rug and a broken pinkie toe would lead to my demise!
Fortunately, the doctor at Urgent Care was a runner. He had run Grandma’s Marathon multiple times in the past and he sympathized with my situation.
He told me a broken pinkie toe is not a deal breaker. As long as I could handle the pain, I could still run as much as I wanted. Even 26.2 miles in a few weeks.
Now before you get worried that I’m doing something stupid, let me repeat that a medical doctor who saw the x-ray told me that I would not be doing any additional harm by running on a broken toe. It’s actually quite easy to break a pinkie toe (obviously!) and they heal pretty quickly. The treatment is the same as a “jam”- I just have to “buddy tape” it to its neighbor and ice it when I can. In 4-5 weeks, it will be completely healed.
His professional opinion was supported by my friend Julia’s testimony; basically the exact same thing happened to her (how random!) two weeks before the Boston Marathon this year. She broke her pinkie toe, but still ran Boston, and ran it very well for that matter! Her story was very reassuring to me. A little broken pinkie toe isn’t going to slow me down!
Remember when I told you I had registered for Grandma’s Marathon even though it didn’t fit into my 50-state goal? I said I was running Grandma’s because “every Minnesota runner needs their own Grandma’s story.”
It turns out my Grandma’s Marathon story will be, “the one I ran with a broken toe!”
After receiving this news, I took Tuesday as a rest day. The doctor (and my coach) both said I could run, but instead I iced the black-and-blue toe, poured myself a glass of wine, and kept the foot elevated while catching up on all the bad TV on my TiVo.
By Wednesday morning, I was ready to get back to running. And what better day than National Running Day!
Wednesday: 8 miles to celebrate National Running Day with several of my fellow CBRC runner friends! Did my toe hurt? Sure did, but not that badly. I tried to focus on making sure I wasn’t compromising my form because of a sore toe.
Running actually felt better than walking. Putting on my secure, supportive running shoe made my toe feel better than how it felt in my work shoes walking around the office.
…doesn’t everything feel better in running shoes?
Guess what did NOT feel good? Yoga.
I had Wednesday evening open so I decided to finally make it to a yoga class; it had been awhile. I figured it would be okay since my run felt okay, but it was NOT.
My balance was all off. I couldn’t stand on one foot (the injured foot) and any pose that put pressure on my toes or the side of my foot hurt. It didn’t hurt a LOT, but it hurt. I made a lot of modifications and spent a lot of time in child’s pose. I still felt like I got something out of the class though and it was worth it for a good stretch.
Thursday: Another run that felt just fine! A little tenderness when I had to go downhill (which would increase pressure on the front of my toe) but I guess it helps that I’m a heel striker! I had a speed workout- 2 mile warm-up, five 1,000m repeats, 2 mile cool-down, with 2 minutes rest between each 1,000m. 8 miles total.
Friday: Easy run in the morning with a few run club friends: 5 miles total
Saturday: One last 20 miler at an easy pace. My friend Gina organized a route for three of us who still had another 20 on the schedule, separate from our running club’s route. My coach is having me do a 2-week taper instead of our running club’s 3-week taper (same as I did for Tokyo).
The other two ladies had similar plans, so our unique (and beautiful) route went from her house in St. Louis Park on the crushed limestone trail all the way to to Victoria where we had a ride (and snacks!) arranged to drive us back.
Sunday: Easy 3 miles and yoga. I know that I just wrote that yoga was a bad idea, but I was given two tickets to Q.Cumbers 25th anniversary celebration several weeks ago, which included a yoga class with Corepower Edina followed by a tasty brunch at Q.Cumbers. I couldn’t pass that up! I did a lot of modifications again and wasn’t afraid to take breaks in child’s pose, but my toe felt a lot better. It’s definitely improving and I was able to balance a bit more on one foot. The rest of the class felt really good…especially pigeon-pose! My hips were definitely tight from all that running. The brunch afterwards was great too. Dustin joined me and he said he wants to come back on a Saturday after a long run in the future!
Summary: About 50 miles of running and 2 yoga classes
My pinkie/little hiccup in training is not really that serious. Had it been my BIG toe, well, that would definitely be a deal breaker. It could be a whole lot worse so I apologize for the “drama.”
I’m confident that Grandma’s will still be an awesome experience!
Have you ever broke a toe? Tell me about your experience please!
By the way, if you’re looking for a race next Saturday, check out the Flag Day 5k! One of my blogger friends told me about this race and it sounds really fun! I know that there are a ton of 5k’s in the summer, but this one is chip-timed, fast, and for a good cause. Here are the details:
- WHAT: The fourth-annual Minnesota State Flag Day 5K run/walk, sponsored by the Daughters of the American Revolution with proceeds to benefit the Fisher House. **NEW THIS YEAR: A flat and fast, one loop race course. Also, a prize for whoever comes dressed with the most Flag Day spirit (How fun!)
- WHEN: Saturday, June 13, 2015. Race starts at 8 a.m. Registration and packet pick up starts at 7 a.m.
- WHERE: Northwest Metro VA Clinic, 7545 Veterans Drive, Ramsey, MN 55303. Free parking available.
- REGISTRATION: $30 in advance at www.midwestevents.com or www.active.com, $35 race day registration.
It’s too close to Grandma’s for me to be racing, but check it out for me and report back!
Oh NO! Your poor toe 🙁 I’m convinced that toe things are the WORST — mainly because you can’t do much for them and anytime you’re on your feet it aggravates it!
Glad you’ll still be able to run Grandmas, though!
Thanks Hyedi! Toe stuff isn’t great- like you said, just not a lot you can do for it…hoping the pain goes away quickly.
Argh! Poor you. I’ve broken a pinkie toe doing a very similar thing (kicked a hoover…). Its just irritating after a while!
I’m glad its still good to run on!
Did you really break it by kicking a Hoover (vacuum?)!! How random! But that seems to be how these things go. How long did it take to heal?
I’ve never broken a toe, but I’m dealing with some pretty awesome sports-related toenail situations right now. And by awesome I mean kind of disgusting. Those darn pinkie toes, though! Glad it’s nothing worse! This post actually made me giggle quite a bit– loved it! Nice work! Also, pigeon pose is the BEST yoga pose!
Eeks! I am sorry to hear about your toe situations too! Not fun. Are you wearing the right size running shoe? I know I have to go up a 1/2 size vs my normal shoe size.
Pigeon pose is probably one of my favorites, but I’m really there for savasana 🙂
Thank goodness you are (mostly) OK! The title of your post had to instill dread in all of your running readers – the taper-injury!! And you dropped a 20 miler on it already – way to get after it!
Thanks for reading Eric and commenting 🙂
The 20 miler wasn’t my strongest, but if I can do 20, it should (hopefully) hold up for 26.2 without causing any major issues!
Thank you! I have 5 weeks to go before my first marathon and a rock jumped up and bit my pinky toe this weekend AFTER 18 miles the day before and AFTER climbing a trad route with some friends that day. It is swollen and black and blue. I will take tomorrow off and see what Wednesday brings. Your story is the one I will choose to remember…not the others I have found online about months and months of healing!
Suz, glad I could help! I think you can definitely run your marathon on a broken pinkie toe, as long as the pain is manageable. Definitely ice it, tape it, and elevate it if you can. Good luck!
[…] toe on a rogue rolled-up rug before Grandma’s Marathon 2015 (remember that? Read about it here) After that, no more walking around the house barefoot for me! Instead, I slip my feet into these […]