When I was a freshman in high school, I was actually still in junior high. Our high school was grades 10-12, with 9th graders in junior high. Anyway, I played basketball, even though in ninth grade, I was 14, short (5'6" or so), pudgy and not terribly skilled. But, in the spring, they sent us up to the high school to practice against the big guys. One day I was up at the big gym playing the varsity and made perhaps the best move of my life. I was under the hoop and faked going up. These two giant seniors both fell for the fake, jumped, and they both landed on me. I was bent over backwards and crushed to the ground. Foul. The coaches hooted, gave the seniors unbelievable grief for falling my (apparently) lame fake. The game moved on. Except, that night my parents asked why my feet were clicking when I walked. I had no idea. The doctor the next day looked at my toes and bent each one. Then he had an Xray taken.
I had seven broken toes. All five toes on my left foot, broken. Two on my right, too. There isn't that much you can do except tape the toes, I got a wooden soled shoe for the left foot and hope. I eventually forgot about that incident, and that was the only bone I have ever broken. But I am vigilant about toe issues, because I have a bunch of them in my running. But don't we all.
After my race Sunday, the top of my right foot hurt. I assumed I tied my shoe too tightly, and it hurt across the top of my foot. I loosened my shoelaces right after the race, but it was still a little tender that day. Monday, it didn't hurt. Today, at work, I didn't think anything of it.
Then I got to the gym. I laced up my running shoes and felt the bruise across the top of my foot immediately. When I started running on the treadmill, it hurt. But as I warmed up, it got bearable and better. Towards the end of my run, I didn't notice it at all.
But it bothered me. I felt my foot after the run and the big bone behind my big toe (the metatarsal) had pain. I was relieved it wasn't a soft tissue issue. I assumed it was a bone bruise. Tonight, after a little googling, I found out that the bone is the metatarsal. And a common metatarsal injury is a stress fracture. Which is characterized by sharp pain felt on the top of the metatarsal bone when applying pressure on the top of the foot. That's a bingo for me.
But I don't have any swelling. I can hop on my foot. And the pain actually decreased as I ran more, like a sprain.
Before googling, I had assumed it was a bruise. The night before my race, after dealing with two year old in the middle of night, I accidentally kicked my wife's suitcase. (The family is in Bahamas this week while I work.) It REALLY hurt, and I thought this is exactly the kind of thing I worry about during the week before a marathon. I actually kicked one of the wheels, and I didn't jam my toe into it. I don't remember if it was my right or left foot, but when I felt the pain the next day I assumed it was a bruise from that incident.
Stress fractures usually occur on the second and third metatarsal. My pain is in the first. And normally pain appears gradually and gets progressively worse. Mine appeared suddenly Sunday, after my run. And it doesn't hurt during the day. The pain is not incapcitating, and I have no pain in the ball of my foot.
Something to keep an eye on tomorrow and this weekend. And the downside if it is a stress fracture is 6 weeks of nada. Or, maybe I just tied my shoes too tightly and then ran 9.3 miles like that.