You are not a doctor, you are not my doctor, etc. I’m just looking for ideas and possibly tips on what to do next.
So: I am a 57-year-old female and I run 5k about 3-6 times a week, outside on the asphalt. I had been using the same running shoes for at least 1500k, maybe more. I know they should have been replaced sooner, but they had the Nike sensor slot, and you can’t buy those anymore. (I have since invested in a Garmin fitness tracker, so that’s now a non-issue.)
A few days ago I noticed that my foot was slightly painful on the top center - a bit below the middle 3 toes - and slightly swollen. Uncle Google suggested a stress fracture. I trashed the shoes and went to the doctor, not expecting much (our medical care in Indonesia is so-so). Indeed, he x-rayed the foot (although Google sources say that you cannot see a stress fracture on x-ray, you need an MRI), pronounced my bones fine, and said it was tendonitis and that it was up to me whether or not I wanted to keep running on it. (Google confirms this is a possible diagnosis although tendonitis in that spot seems fairly rare. However, I’ve occasionally had the mother of all foot cramps in that area; perhaps that could contribute to getting tendonitis?)
I didn’t argue - I was in a hurry and figured I’d just take a conservative approach myself. I am planning a three-week vacation in February during which I want to run 5 to 10 k most days; if my foot is injured and I can’t do that I will be SERIOUSLY pissed off.
So, I’ve stopped running and I’m just using my stationary bicycle (whimper…I hate it, but what can you do?) I have not walked much and my foot has been unchanged; not particularly painful, but the swelling has not abated.
The other day I did walk about half a kilometer carrying a heavyish computer bag and that seemed to noticeably up the pain (which is still fairly mild; I’m not in agony or anything) and possibly increase the swelling a little.
My plan is to go 6 weeks without running, just using the bike. If it’s really tendonitis, that may be unnecessarily conservative but I can’t see how it would worsen matters. If it is a stress fracture, hopefully it will be better in 6 weeks and I can start running again just in time to build my endurance back up to an easy 5k before I go on vacation.
Has anyone been through this kind of injury? How did the diagnosis, pain, and recovery process go? What do you think of my plan to just use the bike for 6 weeks?
Other possible questions:
The doc prescribed Celebrex but said don’t take it unless the pain is bad, so I have not. Would I get any information about the likely nature of the injury if I took one and saw if the swelling decreased?
Does anyone have tips on how to transfer the same quality workout from running to using a stationary bike? I feel like I’m not getting anywhere near the same quality of workout, but it’s very tiring and boring. Will it get any better if I persist? Are there any rules of thumb about how far you have to bike to match a run? (I imagine it depends on the resistance you have the pedals set to.)