Houston, We Have A {Foot} Problem

by tinareale on March 26, 2012

Or, more accurately…Cleveland.

You all know that I have been training for the past 12 weeks towards my first full marathon – the Cleveland Marathon. Over that training time, I have felt good overall with the occasional twinges or pain after runs. Usually, they go away within a few days by icing, stretching, and doing exercises to take care of my calf/ankle strength and flexibility (since most of my pain stems from tight calves, I believe). I fear I have a different sort of pain on my hands this time, though.

all happy after my 18 miles…before I realized something is really not right


Two weeks ago, I had my first 18 mile run. It was my first run of that distance and I ran it with my pals from the running group, which usually means on the faster end of my long run pace. I felt fine most of the run, with some discomfort the last 2 miles or so. I chalked it up to being my first run of that distance. After stretching out, I felt fine again. However, over the rest of that weekend, I began to notice a dull pain in the top of my foot and my left lower leg felt very stiff and achy. I did my usual ice/stretch/etc routine and the pain went away.

However, I wasn’t running. That was the week I got sick. I ran somewhere between 2-3 miles one day at the end of the week and my left lower leg felt very stiff with the dull aches again. Then, came the half marathon. As you may remember, I didn’t feel well that race. I don’t remember much foot pain in the race, but the overall crappy feeling I had may have masked it. I do know it didn’t hurt after that run though until the next day. The overall lower calf/ankle stiffness came back with the same dull ache on the top of my foot.

All last week, I could run fine as long as I kept the pace on the lighter side. I would feel some discomfort for the first 1-2 miles, then nothing the remainder of my runs – the 6 miles, the 9 miles, and the 18 miles. An hour or two after Saturday’s 18 miler things got a bit more iffy, though. The pain became more marked and it even hurt a fair amount to walk. And this morning? I’m officially a full-fledged limper.

Having pain for two weeks makes me very cautious and the “symptoms” have me worried it could be a stress fracture. I’m not messing with one of those! At the same time, it could be soft tissue related, with a form of tendonitis. It’s so confusing because the symptoms I have relate to both a stress fracture or soft tissue damage.

anyone want to buy me a pedicure??? Winking smile

My Symptoms

  • I have had pain for 2 weeks, despite icing and stretching, which makes me think it’s a stress fracture. It started off as mild, but is now much more noticeable. Whatever it is, it is making me limp and enough to have me concerned.
  • Ankle stiffness, tight calves, and some arch discomfort have been around as well – which seems more related to soft tissue damage, but could still cause imbalances leading to a stress fracture too.
  • The area of my pain correlates to a stress fracture of either the 3rd or 4th metatarsal.
  • The pain in the top of my foot is centered to one spot and not all along my foot, also corresponding with a stress fracture.
  • I don’t feel discomfort after the initial warm-up of my runs. I actually feel great running, but afterwards notice pain walking and putting weight on my left foot. Not unbearable or sharp – but noticeable and disconcerting.
  • It hurts much worse when going barefoot.
  • I have a gut feeling it’s a stress fracture.

What do I plan to do??

Well, I don’t want to push my luck. My body is telling me something isn’t right. I plan on taking time off running and either focusing on spin classes, weights, non impact activity, and stretching or resting completely until I hopefully get some answers. I plan to call a foot and ankle sports doctor right at 8 am to hopefully get an appointment this week. It pains me to do that because I hate going to doctors, paying loads of money with our high deductible plan, and taking the chance of being told “rest” or “I don’t see a stress fracture” when really there is one but it was too soon for an X-Ray to pick it up. I’m sucking up my general frustration with doctors, though, to get answers and take care of myself. Better playing things safe right now. I’m hoping and praying that by looking into it sooner rather than later, whatever it is will heal quickly and I can still do Cleveland. If not, well…I’m not going to think about that until I have to…and hopefully I won’t!

Have you ever had experience with a stress fracture or injury like this?


1 Miz March 26, 2012 at 6:46 am

oh GIRL I wish I had footadvice—I do have all around bod advice though.
rest rest rest rest rest.


2 Glenneth March 26, 2012 at 6:54 am

I am so sorry to hear about your foot. You know that I can certainly relate. Definitely give it a chance to heal. Keep us posted!

3 Lauren March 26, 2012 at 6:56 am

I totally relate! I started to notice some pain in the bottom of my foot (heel) last week and it’s been hurting me ever since. Enough to where I limp when I walk. Now it’s slightly better but more in my ankle. Ugh, I hate these little injuries! Especially with upcoming races. I have one this weekend. :(

4 Liz (Little Bitty Bakes) March 26, 2012 at 7:11 am

Yikes! Doesn’t sound fun, but it seems like you’re doing everything right now — i.e., resting and calling a doctor to get it checked out. If I’ve learned anything from training for 2 fulls, it’s that you can and SHOULD take a week or so off during the long training cycle to rest if something is acting up. More often than not it’s just fallout from the heavy training, but that can quickly change if you try to run through it. I hope you’re back to your injury-free running self soon!

5 lindsay March 26, 2012 at 7:16 am

I don’t think it’s a stress fracture quite yet. At least i hope not. Usually if it is, you wouldn’t be able to walk at all. So lets up hope it can be prevented. It might be close. Rest it! go see a sports therapist or get an ultrasound just in case. everytime we train past that 13-14 miles, our bodies breakdown even more so. And if you are already stressed, tired, etc. then your run form can also go out the door. Oh tina, i feel ya! but THINK positive. Praying for you. Take care of YOU right now so that you can FEEL Your best and be healthy.

6 lindsay March 26, 2012 at 7:16 am

if you can aqua jog, then i’d go for that. It will keep your running in good form!

7 Kelly March 26, 2012 at 5:25 pm

No! I had multiple stress fractures on the top of my foot and I was walking almost normal. It hurt like a b*tch to run but walking gave me no problems. I was in a boot and not cleared to run for 6 months. Get it checked out by a professional…you can do more harm than good by not having it properly diagnosed!

8 lindsay March 26, 2012 at 5:33 pm

eek, kelly! Did not know thats how yours was! Good advice. Take care of it ASAP if you canTina.

9 Lindsay @ In Sweetness and In Health March 26, 2012 at 7:26 am

Oh Tina I’m so sorry! As annoying as it is to go to the doctor and spend money, I think it’s totally worth it to figure out what’s going on. Plus, if it isn’t a stress fracture, you could probably get better faster! Good luck with everything…keep us posted!

10 Carissa @Fit2Flex March 26, 2012 at 7:28 am

I’m so sorry Tina! I don’t have any advice for this type of injury but I feel for you. You’re doing the right thing. Remember you have accomplished so much this year running wise, so listen to your body!

11 Coco March 26, 2012 at 7:29 am

I’ve never had this issue (knock-on-wood) but a friend just did and her doctor said 2 weeks OFF if it’s not a stress fracture, and 4-6 if it is. So, hopefully you can get an x-ray that definitively shows that it’s not a fracture. But either way you are doing the right thing. Limping around the house must not be ignored.

12 Lindsay @ The Lean Green Bean March 26, 2012 at 7:35 am

oh no! thinking of you…hoping it’s nothing major.

13 Maryea @ Happy Healthy Mama March 26, 2012 at 7:36 am

I had a similar foot issue in my senior year of college track. I had to wear a big boot around (you know what I’m talking about, right?) at all times when I wasn’t running. I kept training because it was the end of the season and conference meet and nationals were right around the corner. I took massive amounts of ibuprofen to help the pain. And I mean massive amounts. So I guess my advice is to stay off it as much as possible when you aren’t running or working out. After the season I was able to rest and it healed.

14 Janine @ThePurpleGiraffe March 26, 2012 at 7:55 am

I had “top of foot pain” when I transitioned to minimalist shoes at first – I did too much too soon. I’d get your bum to a doctor, stat, to make sure it’s nothing major and reduce your risk of injuring it further. My most recent foot issue turned out to be nothing more than a need for new shoes – but it took a doctor telling me that after 4 weeks of running in pain avoiding it!

15 Colleen @ The Lunchbox Diaries March 26, 2012 at 8:02 am

Tina, I don’t have an answer – but that is EXACTLY where/how my foot hurt after I ran my half marathon. It also hurt along the outside edge as well. It felt like it needed to CRACK so badly. I could hardly walk for 3 days! It went away after taking a week or so off of all kinds of exercise. I hope it gets better soon!!

16 Lindsay @ Lindsay's List March 26, 2012 at 8:05 am

REST for sure!! (Which is SO very impossible!) But do your best!
If you could see my mental prayerlist, you’d see that you’re on it!! love you!

17 Melissa K March 26, 2012 at 8:24 am

I had the same issue last fall, on my right foot. Mine was indeed a stress fracture. I was told that the doctor really couldn’t do much for it except to give me pain medication. He also recommended that I wear only supportive shoes (no flip flops or dress shoes), and to do only non/low-impact exercises. Mine happened while I was running, and I went about 2 weeks before getting it checked out. I estimate I took about a month off from running but I haven’t had an issue since then. I hope your foot heals quickly!

18 Heather (Where's the Beach) March 26, 2012 at 8:30 am

Yep, dealing with injuries right now so I feel you. I really really hope it’s nothing that is going to sideline the marathon. It is so frustrating. I know I have been a rollercoaster of emotions over the injuries. I think having a solid support system and someone who really gets it is crucial.

19 Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table March 26, 2012 at 8:31 am

Oh no! I feel for you… hopefully it will be something small and just a little rest will fix you up. :(

20 Cheryl @ Happy is the new healthy March 26, 2012 at 8:34 am

I HOPE EVERYTHING IS OKAY! Injuries are the worst, but you’re being smart and proactive and that’s huge!! Fingers crossed.

21 Becky Przy March 26, 2012 at 8:36 am

If you bend your toes and push along the bones on the top of your foot does it hurt? Is it exactly on the bone? My chiropractor had me do that when I had that similiar foot pain, it ended up being in between the bones (soft tissue). I had Graston done to break up the scar tissue and it was fine. I am not a dr, but usually w/a stress fx it hurts all the time and it would hurt too much to even run/walk upon waking.

It sounds like you are doing everything you can==rest, ice, etc. You are right that an x-ray might not pick up the fracture–I had a pelvic stress fx and it took an MRI to find it. Crossing my fingers that is just a soft tissue issue that will clear up w/a few days of rest!

22 Victoria (District Chocoholic) March 26, 2012 at 8:48 am

I had something very similar 2 weeks ago – I was convinced that I had a stress fracture, so I went to a podiatrist to have it looked at immediately, figuring that the sooner I treated it, the shorter the recovery time would be. It turned out that it was an inflamed muscle, triggered by tying my shoes too tight after lacing a timing chip in the shoe for a race a week earlier. It was just a few days of ice, stretching, and self massage before I was all better. Hopefully it turns out to the be same thing for you – but DO go get the bones checked out ASAP. Good luck!

23 Lauren @ Oatmeal after Spinning March 26, 2012 at 8:53 am

I have major foot issues, but they’re not the same as yours (but mine is livable). Mine unfortunately requires surgery to fix, which would also require about 6 month of recovery (which scares the daylights out of me!!). But seriously- good for you for listening to your body and not making it worse. So many people push through injuries and then permanently damage themselves! It sounds weird, but maybe your body is just trying to emphasize the importance of cross-training to you and saying that it needs a break from running.

24 Tiff @ Love Sweat and Beers March 26, 2012 at 8:58 am

I once had a stress fracture in my foot. A cortisone shot and some time in an air cast cleared it right up, but sadly, it was a lot of time in an air cast. On the other hand, I more recently just had foot pain that was muscle related. Some at-home stretching and strengthening (and icing!) really made a huge difference.

25 Jess March 26, 2012 at 9:00 am

Oh man, I wish I knew what to do or say to help you feel better about this situation. UGH. It’s just not a fun thing to go through – any sort of injury, minor or major. But I am SO GLAD you’re going the right route – going to the doctor, laying off the running and listening to what your body is telling you. Hang in there friend.

And PS. way to rock your 18 miler, even if right after that is when the pain worsened. :-/

26 erin March 26, 2012 at 9:02 am

I had a very similar experience when I was training for my first marathon. I ran a 10 mile race and then the following week I had a lot of pain in my foot. It was in the same spot you described. Mine was so bad during one run that I had to stop and walk home and I was very worried that i had a stress fracture. I ended up going to an orthopedist to get it checked out. They did an x-ray and determined that it was not a stress fracture, but rather some bruising due to me not having a lot of fat to cushion the ball of my foot. This happened the week before I was supposed to do my 20 mile run. So I took it easy and did some cross training for a few weeks. After that the pain went away and didn’t come back.. I ended up getting another 18 mile run in but never did any distance longer than that before the marathon. Ran with marathon with no issues.

Good luck and listen to your body!

27 Karen March 26, 2012 at 9:05 am

I would get it checked out if it has been going on for a couple of weeks, you don’t want to do further damage, a stress frcture can lead to an actual fracture if you don’t take care of it.

Just to give you some hope – I will say I was having foot pain when I was doing longer runs a while back and it turned out to be an issue with the way my shoe fit as opposed to anything with my foot itself. The longer you run, your foot tends to expand a bit (or so I was told) so if your shoes are not fitted properly, it is possible that might be the cause. Similar to Victoria’s comment about her shoelaces.

28 Michelle March 26, 2012 at 9:07 am

I really hope this is NOT a stress fracture. Hopefully the Dr. will a) do x-rays immediately and b) give you some kind of anti-inflammatory. Rest, ice, rest… you know what to do. Doesn’t make it suck any less though!

29 Anna March 26, 2012 at 9:08 am

I had a friend who had a pain very similar to that (top of her foot). It started hurting a month before her first half. It ended up being arthritis. She is also in her 20s. Her doctor gave her a foot insert and pain pills for it.

I hope everything heals well!

30 jobo March 26, 2012 at 9:16 am

So glad you are listening to your body and not going to push it. I hope the doctor’s appt sheds light on it and it isn’t too serious. Good luck and take it easy!!

31 gabriella March 26, 2012 at 9:19 am

Tina, I am having the SAME problem. I’m training for my first marathon, May 6, and this past week was experiencing really, REALLY tight calves, especially my left side. Even the most mild of stretches felt incredibly deep. I can tell that my tight calves are pulling on my shins and come Friday, I could barely complete a 3 mile run. I cut out my long run of 18 miles this weekend and opted for the elliptical, which is what I’m doing today as well. A lot of ice, stretching, and foam rolling is in my future, as well as a doctor’s appointment, but I am obviously nervous about the whole situation. Hope everything works out for you!

32 runblondie26 March 26, 2012 at 9:31 am

Ack, sorry to hear about htis Tina. I’ve had stress feactures, metatarsil bursitis, and tendonitis in the area of my foot before.

They all feel very similar, however a stress fracture will gives me shooting little bolts of pain through the bone when I actually try to run on it. From your dexcription I think it may be one of the latter two. Both of those can be easily fixed with a cortisone shot or oral steroids. May be worth a visit to your doctor.

33 Madeline @ Food, Fitness, and Family March 26, 2012 at 9:33 am

EEK! Rest!!! I chronically get stress fractures in my left ankle due to a genetic joint fusion (FUN times). Whenever I get them my dad (aka my Dr) has me ice and elevate and rest. Definitely don’t push it because it can/will just get worse! Seeing a Dr is always a good thing too ;)

Hope you feel better soon lady!! I know you have been working SO hard!

34 Amanda Perry @ Sistas of Strength March 26, 2012 at 9:39 am

Yuck! Injuries stink. Hopefully it’s something simple…glad to hear you’re getting to the docs to check it out. My friend/coworker just found out she has a stress fracture too. Boo.

35 Amy Lauren March 26, 2012 at 9:40 am

I think it’s a good idea to play it safe. It sounds like you’re doing the right thing, and gut feelings DO matter. Hopefully it’s just soft tissue *crosses fingers*, but you do have years to run and not taking it easy, etc, might threaten that. So, good plan to back off on the running until you get some answers.

My mom got a stress fracture walking on the treadmill (she was 59-60), she first noticed it hurt and went to her doctor for a yearly physical, and just casually brought it up… well the doc took action and did x-rays, and that’s how they found the fracture. She had to wear a boot for awhile, but it healed up and she walks now but is terrified of treadmills.

36 cindy March 26, 2012 at 9:45 am

Stress fractures can be so difficult to diagnose and are even more difficult to treat. Usually the treatment is rest, ice and a boot. That said, IF it is a stress fracture, you can aqua jog, and sometimes spin to keep your cardiovascular fitness up. Think length of time rather than distance (3-4 hours). If allowed by your doc, you could still run the race, absolutely do-able on 2 18 mile training runs if you continue cardio. I won’t tell you it will be fun, but it will DEFINITELY be a PR for you ;) . Maybe not the time you had hoped for, but a PR regardless.

37 Lindsay @ FuelMyFamily March 26, 2012 at 9:49 am

I fractured my foot (not workout related though, just me tripping over a dog, haha). I got it xrayed and they said they saw nothing. 6 weeks later, still hurting, got it re scanned and they now saw a fracture. 6 weeks later still hurting, then it had broken all the way through! They told me elevating it was the only way for it to heal because it was in a place they couldn’t cast. It was just hard to sit around and elevate my foot when my husband was deployed for 9 months and I stay at home with my then 1 year old!
Good luck, my advice is relaxation and elevation!

38 Gina @ Running to the Kitchen March 26, 2012 at 9:55 am

Girl, I hear ya on the high deductible plan thing. I’ve sat at home in excruciating pain before because I know something’s not broken and I’m just going to be told, rest, blah blah blah and then pay that doctor like $350 for that wisdom. U-g-h. I could go on forever with health plans… I won’t though ;)
I hope it starts to feel better for you soon. Foot pain is one of the worst b/c it’s pretty darn debilitating. I get pain on the top of my foot in that same area often but I have a bone spur there so it makes sense why. Really hope you get some answers soon!

39 Laura is Undeterrable March 26, 2012 at 9:59 am

I had similar pain when I trained for my first half. We did X-Rays, nothing showed up, and he told me that I needed to take 3 weeks off anyway. He cleared me to use a golf ball to roll it out. I rolled it out so hard that I actually thought I hurt myself worse. The next day, no pain. I just had a cramp.

I have heard from a dancer friend of mine that the definitive test for stress fractures is a tuning fork. Haven’t tried it though.

Good luck!

40 Cat @ Breakfast to Bed March 26, 2012 at 10:05 am

I’d get it X-ray’d to be sure. lo siento, senorita.

41 Katie @ Peace Love & Oats March 26, 2012 at 10:06 am

Ahhh I’m so sorry Tina! I’ve never had a stress fracture, but I had some IT band issues that were a huge problem last summer and then some plantar fasciitis currently, which I’ve managed to keep under control for my half this Sunday. I hope you get into a doctor asap and get it figured out! You’ve worked so hard, you deserve to run in Cleveland!!!

42 sarah k @ the pajama chef March 26, 2012 at 10:08 am

oh man. hope you get an appt soon… hope it gets better quickly! just keep doing what you’re doing til then!

43 Amanda @ Click. The Good News March 26, 2012 at 10:19 am

Urgh- that totally stinks! I hope it’s not a stress fracture.

44 Mary @ food and fun on the run March 26, 2012 at 10:19 am

I really hope it is just tendonittis. I swore one time that I had a broken foot because it hurt so bad, and it ended up just being the tendons. But it hurt like no other! I definitely hope it is the same for you!

45 Emilia March 26, 2012 at 10:26 am

Good luck with the foot issues, injuries (or could-be injuries) are always so frustrating, aren’t they?!
I hope that you get an appointment quickly and can get everything sorted out. In the meantime, enjoy resting easy! :)

46 Michele @ nycrunningmama March 26, 2012 at 10:30 am

Tina, you should see my toes/feet :)
I’m so sorry that you are having foot problems…It can be so many things – I think it’s definitely a safe and smart idea to get it checked out by a professional – it’s really hard to diagnose things…could just be a strain or something, but it could also be more serious…
Keep us updated on how it feels and if you see someone! My fingers are crossed!!!

47 Rachel @RunningRachel March 26, 2012 at 10:33 am

I have no sage advice except a virtual hug. Get it checked out and rest!! Running injured just keeps your running injured. HUGS!!

48 Parita @ myinnershakti March 26, 2012 at 10:37 am

My fingers are crossed for you!

After my first half, I experienced some knee pain that I never got checked out (very stupid of me), but after taking a running break and focusing on low impact workouts, my knee feels good as new. I think my issue had a lot to do with wearing the wrong shoes during training (again very stupid of me). I would say just get it checked out…better safe than sorry!

49 Heather @ Better With Veggies March 26, 2012 at 10:50 am

Stress fractures rarely show up on an x-ray, you will probably need a bone scan or MRI to actually be able to determine if that’s it. I had a tibial stress fracture before the NYC marathon a few years ago and it sucks. It’s a lot of rest and it’s frustrating – I hope that not what’s going on with your foot. Honestly, if you’re able to run on it, it sounds different than what I experienced. I’m so not a doctor though – glad you’re going to see a doc!!

Praying for you!!

50 STUFT Mama March 26, 2012 at 11:05 am

Oh Tina- so sorry you’re dealing with this. I wish I had some good advice, but I’ve never really had a stress fracture (that I know of anyway). :) All I can say is that, don’t push yourself. There will always be an other race. There will not always be another foot. :) Rest your foot and listen to your body. I’ve learned the hard way by not doing this. Praying for you friend.

51 Carol @ Lucky Zucca March 26, 2012 at 11:11 am

I hope you get to feeling better soon Tina!! I am really sorry this is happening. Hopefully some rest will help it heal right up quickly. I think you’re smart to go to the doctor despite your HDHP. I hate going to the doctor too but sometimes we just have to.

52 [email protected] a Colorado Gal March 26, 2012 at 11:16 am

Oh no, I’m sorry to hear this! I’ve been having foot issues too and I’ve thought my problems were a stress fracture about 500 times :) Mine were totally different things, but I think it’s good to head to a doc– at least you’ll know where to go from here. Good luck!

53 Stacy @ Stacy Eats March 26, 2012 at 11:17 am

Oh no! I sure hope it’s not a stress fracture. I’ve had a stress fracture from running in my right ankle/shin. It’s a strange pain that more feels like you don’t want to put weight on it. It made me limp and simply the thought of jumping and landing sounded painful. The doc made me use crutches for about a month, if I remember correctly.
I sure hope you don’t have a stress fracture. Have you considered if you are tying your shoes too tight? My friend was having pain on top of her foot and figured out it was simply because she had been tying her shoes too tight. Once she loosened her laces the pain went away!

54 [email protected] March 26, 2012 at 11:54 am

I’m so sorry to hear about you pain! Take it easy, still getting runs in isn’t worth the risk of injuring yourself even more and having to miss out on cleveland. I can totally relate to not wanting to go see a doctor, I avoid them at all costs! But some times its worth it, and this is one of those times. Take it easy, I’m keeping my fingers crossed for you that it gets better soon.

55 Lisa March 26, 2012 at 11:58 am

So sorry about the foot pain! I’d be super careful. Make sure to take lots of rest! I know how frustrating it can be though. A couple weeks ago when I was at the gym i was doing weighted side bends and I felt a cramp like ache and just kept working out. Only to realize later that night something was definitely not right. Of course I ignored it a bit, only to get an x-ray that resulted in a fractured rib. Not fun! Holy cow, those hurt! Now after 3 weeks off most exercise I am being super careful.

56 Lisa March 26, 2012 at 12:03 pm

I’m sorry! I hope you feel better soon. I went into Hood to Coast with an injury that I ignored and ended up hurting myself more. I hope you take some time off and let your body heal!

57 kristy March 26, 2012 at 12:33 pm

i’m so sorry :( i hope you get an appt ASAP and get a diagnosis.

rest is the best thing you can do. running through pain is never good and will always do more harm then good.

58 janetha March 26, 2012 at 12:40 pm

Ow.. I am sorry you are in pain! Keep us posted. xo

59 Ali March 26, 2012 at 1:15 pm

Yes, I have some advice for you. First, rule out fracture. But, e-mail me if you want we can chat.

60 Kristen March 26, 2012 at 2:02 pm

Oh no! I really hope it’s not a stress fracture. I hope you find out what it is ASAP so you can figure out what to do next. Hang in there!

61 Robin March 26, 2012 at 2:20 pm

I have been dealing with tight calves, shin aches and ankles aches for a few weeks. I ended up taking 11 full days off from running and did tons of stretching, icing and strengthening on the shins. I thought it was a stress fracture until I noticed the inflammation was going away with rest. I hated taking the time off but it was worth it as I am running again. I would definitely go to the DR and rest that foot! Tendonitis is such an annoying injury!

62 Sabrina @ Radioactive Runner March 26, 2012 at 3:00 pm

Oh no, Tina.. I hope you get things figured out! I think some rest is a good idea until you for sure know what it is and to hopefully allow for recovery/healing before your race. Good luck!

63 [email protected] March 26, 2012 at 3:22 pm

Sounds very painful, I’m really sorry you have to deal with this! Hopefully you can get an appointment this week.

64 Paige @ Running Around Normal March 26, 2012 at 3:30 pm

Eek! I hope it’s not a stress fracture! You’ve been working so hard, Tina!! But, you’re obviously being very smart to rest it and figure out what’s going on, for sure. I know you’er all about doing what’s best for the body :)

65 Danielle March 26, 2012 at 3:54 pm

Have you tried shortening your stride? The same thing happened to me during my marathon training and I went to the doctor (who is also a runner) and she said that the pain I was experiencing was from my tendon basically freaking out from the impact of a too-long stride. She told me to count how many strides I took per minute and try to get it closer to 180 strides per minute, which is the ideal stride rate. I tried this out for a few runs (it’s a bit tedious), but after a bit of stride shortening, stretching and icing the pain was gone!

66 Lauren @ Sassy Molassy March 26, 2012 at 5:04 pm

Hope your foot heals quickly in the next few weeks. Just saw your tweet about the update from the doc. Hang in there and like you said, you can focus on other things like spinning that can let your body heal. Sending happy, healthy thoughts your way!

67 Annie @ What's Annie Making? March 26, 2012 at 5:06 pm

I’ve never had a foot problem, but plenty of knee and shin problems in my life. I hope everything is okay. Praying for you Tina!

68 Kelly March 26, 2012 at 5:22 pm

I have a had a stress fracture before and my symptom mimiced yours. I didn’t listen to my body though and I continued running with occasional extra rest day and my stress fracture ended up splintering off into multiple other little fractures. I was in a boot and couldn’t run for 6 months!!! Trust me you do not mess around with stress fractures. I would definitely get it checked out (better to be safe than sorry in my opinion). So sorry honey!!

69 Carly March 26, 2012 at 5:25 pm

I had a stress fracture in my foot a year and a half ago. I was training for my 2nd half marathon with NO problems what-s0-ever. Then 2 days before the race I noticed a dull pain in my foot, almost like I had dropped something on my foot and I had a bruise there, but NO bruise… I (like a dumbass) ran the race anyway and ended up throwing in the towel by mile 8 because I could barely even walk. I ended up on crutches for a week and I didn’t RUN another step for 4-5 months. Since then I have had absolutely zero desire to run a race. It’s just not worth not being able to live my life because of a stupid running injury. Running races is now what defines a runner. I’m much more content with HIIT workouts that are pain free (well in my foot at least!)

70 Moe October 7, 2012 at 1:28 pm

Thanks for your post. I’m fairly certain I have a stress fracture in my foot and have been out of training for 2 weeks already with a half marathon coming up in a week. I have been debating running on it and just dealing with the pain, but after reading your post, I am definitely not going to run.
Thanks for the help!

71 Claire @ Live and Love to Eat March 26, 2012 at 5:34 pm

Injuries are SO annoying. Hope you recouperate quickly! <3

72 Ro @ Eat Live Move March 26, 2012 at 7:12 pm

I haven’t had an injury like this. However, I did injury my foot a few years ago. The best thing I did was rest and switch up my exercises. The more I rested, the faster the injury healed. I wish you a fast and happy recovery.

73 Kristen March 26, 2012 at 7:33 pm

Morton’s Neuroma.

Is it causing your third or fourth toes to be numb or tingly? Does it hurt on the top or bottom of your foot? If it is a neuroma, it can be treated with a simple corticosteroid injection – well worth the hassle of the doctor’s visit if you can get it treated and over with!

Good Luck!

74 Stephanie March 26, 2012 at 7:40 pm

I had the same problem this winter while training for a half marathon! Because of prior injury I went to the doctor as soon as I began limping since I was skeptical of a stress fracture, too. After some x-rays and tests it was diagnosed as tendonitis(which will feel a lot like a fracture after it’s irritated enough). The podiatrist encouraged me to take some more cross training days, do specific exercises to strengthen the muscles throughout the foot and avoid hilly runs for a little. About a week and a half later the pain subsided in my foot, but took about two and a half to leave my calf and ankle. I hope you figure out what’s up soon!! :)

75 Megan S March 26, 2012 at 8:45 pm

When I trained for my first marathon, I had a similar experience but more around 10 mile run. Extreme pain in the top/outer part of my foot but not into my leg…it usually occurred for me towards the end of the run and got to the point where I could not run at all…each step was extreme pain. I assumed stress fracture as well and went to a foot doctor who we know and is a runner. It ended being that even though I went to a running store and was tested and fitted for my shoes, they were not the correct shoes for my unique feet:) Once I had custom insoles made and correct “brick” shoes for my flat feet, a nice boot, PT and some rest…I was up and running again. Unfortunately, I never got to do my 18 or 20 mile run prior to the marathon due to recovery…but I made it through the marathon anyway…pain free! The boot and pain did come back the next day after the marathon (I don’t have runners feet)but goal accomplished! I think seeing a foot doc would be the best!!!

76 Toni @ Running, Loving, Living March 26, 2012 at 9:22 pm

Feel better Tina, I just death with a stress fracture in my tibia and it sux but if you don’t take care of it you will just injure yourself further :(

77 [email protected] March 26, 2012 at 9:46 pm

Lots of rest!!!!! Feel better :)

78 Laura March 26, 2012 at 9:59 pm

Looks like you’ve gotten tons of great advice… I’ll just say that I’m SO sorry, I know how frustrating injuries are, when all you want to do is get out there and run. Hoping for a very speedy recovery!

79 natalie @ southern fit foodie March 26, 2012 at 11:11 pm

I am so terribly sorry you have to through this – no fun at all! Last year, I was teaching several back to back Zumba classes, and I developed a bone spur on the top of my foot. It was very painful and made it difficult to do pretty much anything (especially wearing all my cute heels!). I cut back on my classes and tried to baby my feet as much as possible, and it eventually started to feel quite a bit better.

I will say a prayer that it all gets worked out soon!

80 Tanya @ Vegan Faith March 27, 2012 at 8:10 am

Marathon training pains can be so obscure and it is frustrating! When my husband was training for a half, he kept having pain in the top of his foot and the doctor recommended lacing his shoes differently to relieve the pressure on that area of his foot. He has never again complained of pain in the same spot. Sometimes it can be as simple as that, and other times it can be much more complicated. I wish you luck!

81 Erica March 27, 2012 at 8:16 am

Hey girl! I read your post yesterday from my phone and didn’t get to comment, but I am experiencing foot issues too…boo! I have been doing every google search known to man to try and figure out whether or not I have a stress fracture, and came across this site this morning, watching the video has helped me decide that I don’t think I’m dealing with a stress fracture, but rather an inflammation/tendonitis issue. Whew. But when I watched it I immediately thought of you, too. So hopefully it will help;)


82 Heather March 27, 2012 at 9:41 am

GIRL this is what I had in Noveber/december and they put me in a boot. Same spot, 3rd metatarsal. Check out these posts on it:

83 Leonor @FoodFaithFitness March 27, 2012 at 11:12 am

Everyone gave great advice. My advice to you, being injury-prone and all, is to not push the pace on your long runs. I have only been running a few years and this is how I hurt myself for the last marathon training. I was trying to keep up with faster runners, and in doing so, injured myself. I felt like I was building confidence, but it only hurts you in the end. I was talking to a running coach friend of mine and she said (and I’m sure you’ve read it before), “Long runs are to build endurance, run them 1-2 minutes slower than your marathon goal pace.”

84 Michelle July 15, 2012 at 11:12 am

What was the outcome? I have been plagued with this but it is actually peroneal and extensor tendonitis. The pain will either be on the outside middle of the foot and on the top of the foot. has been bothering me since I ran my last half marathon. Very frustrating.

85 tinareale July 15, 2012 at 4:44 pm

Hi there! It was diagnosed as a “stress reaction” bec it couldn’t definitively be classified as a stress fracture (nothing on an xray) or tendonitis without any MRI. I took two weeks off of running completely and cross trained with non weight bearing activity. I was able to get back to my training after that. I think it was tendonitis personally because the pain went away but occasionally I will still have the same feeling of tenderness along the top of my foot if I’m not careful to stretch my calves and ice after longer runs. Hope that helps! :)

86 Michelle July 15, 2012 at 5:46 pm

I have had this for 3 months already. Some weeks it does not really bother me. I was running 30-35 miles a week; training for my first full in December. I am on day 4 with no running. I am getting ready to go on vacation so this may just be the timing I need to rest it and hope it gets better once and for all! I am icing and stretching and doing strengthening exercises for the peroneal tendon so I hope it will respond favorably. Thanks for getting back with me!

87 Michelle July 15, 2012 at 6:21 pm

Oh yes, I thought I would add that from all the problems in the right foot and trying to compensate for it, I think the IT band in my LEFT hip is acting up now. I have never had this injury so not sure what to expect as to how long it takes to heal – ugh! Thanks again for letting me vent!

88 serjio November 12, 2012 at 5:32 am

This is good info! Where else can i find out more Keep up the good work

89 Jenelle @Mile Twenty Eight April 30, 2013 at 1:06 pm

Hi, in my many google searches, I keep finding myself on this page on your blog! I am suspecting a foot stress fracture, and it sounds similar to what you wrote in this entry. Did yours end up being a fracture? Were you able to cross train? Did you have to wear a boot? I’m SO bumming out right now :(

90 tinareale April 30, 2013 at 1:21 pm

Mine ended up being a stress reaction (so I caught it before it officially became a stress fracture). I had to take 2 weeks off running and anything that put weight on my foot. Recumbent bike was okay so I did a good bit of that. After the 2 weeks it felt a lot better and I finished training and completing my marathon. I ended up with compensation injuries after that though since it still wasn’t 100%. If you have more time I personally would have preferred taking a longer time off then to have dealt with extra injuries for months afterwards. Literally a year later is when I have finally felt almost 100% again.

91 christina k May 13, 2013 at 2:16 am


Did you end up finding out what it was? iam having the same problem with my left foot and the X-ray showed no stress fracture, however it has been 4 weeks and it still hurts and iam unable to run or jump on my foot.

92 callie-rose November 10, 2013 at 2:03 am

All I can say is use RICE… Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation

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