Coping (or Not) With Injuries in Training for Marathon

The New York Times—September 26, 2008

It's the fall marathon season, as runners around the world know all too well, and as the training miles pile up, countless runners are feeling unexpected aches and pains — and desperation. Will they recover in time to continue training and run 26.2 miles? Should they try to run through the pain to stay on schedule? Or would it be better to just give up on the marathon?

Well, injured runners, I feel your pain. I am one of you, the anxious masses of aspiring marathoners who are finding out that the journey to the start line may be more painful than the run to the finish.

I am entered in the New York City Marathon, scheduled for Nov. 2, and in my moments of pain and panic I knew I would never be ready. But I tried just about any remedy that might relieve the pain in my right forefoot, which has been screaming with each step since Sept. 8.

On Tuesday, I gave up and saw an orthopedist, Dr. John Kennedy at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York.

He gave me the bad news. The bike ride was really bad for the injury. And the injury, he says, is a serious stress fracture, a hairline crack in a metatarsal bone of my foot. Even under the best scenario, I'm out for at least a few more weeks.

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