Diagnosis: stress fractures

So. I’ve got stress fractures – note the ‘s’ in that sentence.

When my phone rang yesterday morning at 7:30 a.m. I didn’t recognize the number and because I was running late, I didn’t think twice to let it go to voicemail. It wasn’t until 10 minutes later, when I was in the car park, that I checked the message. And the second I heard the voice of my doctor’s secretary, I knew something was wrong. Remember that blue stuff injected in me a couple of weeks ago? The results were in. It took everything I had to call his office, I didn’t want to know the truth, I’m happy living in a world of ignorance and denial really. My doctor came on the line right away and there was no beating around the bush: “You’ve got stress fractures all through both ankles and one shin,” he said. So what does that mean, I asked, again not really wanting to hear his answer. “Stop running.”

And the floodgates gushed open! (Poor Mario, the last time I called him up crying like that I’d been in a car accident). I didn’t know what this meant, I thought my running season was over, I didn’t want it to be over, I didn’t want to stop running with my girls, I didn’t want my race entries (three in total so far) to be a waste of money. All I know is that my doctor, who by the way is not a runner, told me to stop running and he couldn’t tell me for how long. “Until it doesn’t hurt,” he said. Well, here’s the funny thing, it hadn’t hurt for like three weeks of runs, until that brutal Sunday run when I felt a slight tightness. Damn you ankle!

Stress fractures are a small crack in the bone and often develop from overuse with high-impact sports like (surprise-surprise) distance running. Mine are still the effects of my first marathon training, it’s just taken this long to get a proper diagnosis, despite several visits to the doctors. According to Google, my symptoms were textbook:
• pain at the site that develops gradually and increases with weight-bearing activities and diminishes with rest
• tender to touch
• tight calves

Thankfully I’ve got a favourite iron chickie who’s in the know about these sorts of things. The two of us were supposed to go for a run on Tuesday after work, but when I got the news, I canceled the run, and instead we got together for tea and an audiobook trade. The first thing she told me was that my running wasn’t over, my marathon wasn’t out of the picture, I just had to rethink my training is all.
Have I mentioned how much I love this girl?

She also told me that because stress fractures are so small, when they show up in x-rays that’s generally a sign the bone is on the mend … not sure if the same holds true with a bone scan though. And that because I’m already heavy on the cross training with cycling and pilates, I’ve got an advantage and can keep doing those things to keep my fitness up while waiting for my bones to heel. And she  offered to teach me how to aqua jog. “I know you don’t like public pools, but you don’t have to put your head under,” she said. “It’s a bloody hard, good workout and great for form and core.” And I actually agreed!!! Now I’ve just got to figure out how to go into the pool with my insulin pump. Any suggestions?

So folks, all that being said, here’s my plan: I’m taking it day-to-day. I’m not giving up on my marathon goals, not giving up on my half marathon goals, not giving up on my running. I’m getting reacquainted with my hot pink compression socks. I’ve included calcium and vitamin d into my vitamin regime. And I’m giving my bike quite the workout.


  • Dinner bolus equation: 60g carbs – 24g (40%) = 36g
  • 7 p.m. BG before: 6.8
  • Temp basal: -20 per cent
  • Time: 90 MINUTES!!!
  • @35 minutes BG: 3.1 (1/2c orange juice) @60 minutes: 4.0
  • 8:45 p.m. BG after: 5.7

What methods do you use to recover from injury?

5 thoughts on “Diagnosis: stress fractures”

  1. Peter Schofield

    Good for you Katie! Don’t give up! Don’t let the b@#$%^&s get you down.
    When you finish healing you will be stronger 😉

  2. oh no! well guess you’re a ‘serious’ now it’s a shitty milestone to achieve though. hear aquajogging is a very tough workout and will serve you well. hope the recovery is swift and full

  3. Ugh Katie, so sorry. I know how frustrating that is! When I had a stress fracture in my femur, I wasn’t allowed to do ANYTHING for about 2 months aside from hobble around on crutches. Then I was able to slowly add in low-impact exercise. Anyway, your friend is right, and because they showed up in the x-ray it means your bones are growing back stronger!

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