Okay. Here it is...
I went to the orthopedic doctor yesterday. He was extraordinarily nice. He asked me about my racing season, past and future, and we discovered we are both registered for Skinnyman in September. After getting a very thorough history, he started examining my foot. He would press on a spot and ask me if there was any pain. At first I just said no. I mean, it was a little uncomfortable, but it didn't hurt. Then he started really manipulating my foot with a lot of force. And, yes, it hurt. And I told him.
After a little bit, he said he wanted to get an X-ray and a bone scan, but that he was almost positive it is an overuse stress injury in the metatarsal region of my foot. It could possibly be a stress fracture, but if it's not it is headed in that direction if I don't lay off running.
He told me the marathon is definitely out. I asked him about Skinnyman, which is a sprint tri during Labor Day weekend. He said, basically, it is up to me. What he wants from me is 6 pain-free weeks. He said that could start as soon as I was feeling no pain. If that is today, my six weeks starts today. If I race Skinnyman in 3 weeks, and my foot is sore afterward, then my six weeks begins once my foot is pain-free again. He also said something very wise to me. He said, "Don't sacrifice next season for the end of this season." He said that if it were him, he would say, "I had a great season. I completed my first half-ironman and I had a great sprint at Irongirl...now it's time to rest and get ready for 2010."
I was surprisingly calm and collected about the news. After my not-so-hot run in NYC on Saturday, I think I was kind of prepared for him to say no running for a time. The hard thing is, now I'm not sure what to do. He said I can still bike and swim as long as it doesn't hurt, but I think if I'm not going to be racing, I might like to change my focus for a few weeks.
I still haven't decided about Skinnyman. I'm already registered, and Kel is racing too, and my in-laws are taking the boys for the night. I think I'm going to wait a couple of days before I decide.
Another interesting thing that came up at the appointment, is that the dr. wants me to do a full osteoporosis evaluation. I was surprised by this, since I am only 35. He said given that I am a fair skinned, blue eyed, female athlete, it is most likely that I have a vitamin D deficiency, especially since I use sunscreen religiously. He said there is a lot of new research on vitamin D and that it might be even more important for health and bone posterity than calcium! I'll definitely keep you posted on this, since, chances are if I'm not getting enough vitamin D, you aren't either!!
Sidenote: This appointment was light years away from the experience I had with the stupidest and most unprofessional medical provider known to the history of modern female athletes. I have learned my lesson, and from now on I will know who I am seeing before I go.