Attitude of Gratitude

by Jodi 

It's crazy to me how much life can shift in a matter of minutes.  Last week I ran fifty miles, including one nineteen mile monster training run.  Today I charted the shortest route through the grocery store because every step hurt and I was noticeably limping.  This is not how the week was supposed to go.

I felt strong, confident, and equipped going into another huge week of training.  My schedule called for fifty-five miles.  That's a lot of Jodi and God time.  While I wasn't necessarily looking forward to pounding that much pavement, I was mentally geared up and ready to get 'er done.

Monday is my speed work day.  I ran a hilly 10k route as a tempo run and was excited to have two sub-seven minute miles in the speed portion.  HOORAY!  My speed is coming back.

Tuesday was a middle distance run on another hilly and scenic course.  You know you're in the thick of marathon training when ten miles is considered "middle distance." Three miles into my run, I planted my foot and it felt like someone jabbed a knife through the top of it.  A few steps later, it happened again.  Same foot.  Same place.  It wasn't pleasant, but I assumed like most random running pains it would go away in another few steps.  

I was wrong.

The more I ran, the more consistent the pain got.  It was worse when I was climbing and mile three to four was all uphill.  I briefly considered turning around, but I've never abandoned a run so I pushed on.  The sharp pain continued and by the start of mile five it came with almost every step.  Dang it all!!!!

I LOVE this gate in the spring.  It's my favorite.  I took this picture right when I was considering turning around.
I knew this was not normal.  I knew I needed to stop.  

Pride almost prevented me from doing both.  

I don't like needing help.  Asking for help is even harder.  

I felt God telling me, "Don't be an idiot.  Get out your phone and call for help." (Of course He said it with a very loving tone...)  I called my BFF Kelly who lives a mile down the road.  She willingly and sympathetically drove me home while I stewed and worried and whined.
my mad, grouchy face
Having a husband who works in orthopedics is a big blessing, especially when you have an active family with frequent mishaps.  Curt gave me a thorough exam when he got home from work.  He also ran my symptoms by a foot specialist and a sports medicine specialist that he works with.  They all concurred that I am presenting like I have a probable stress fracture in the top of my foot.  

There are several problems with this diagnosis.  
  1. Stress fractures don't show up on an x-ray until they are healing - usually two to three weeks post-injury.  
  2. The treatment is rest, rest, and more rest.  
  3. Until we know for sure one way or another, we have to treat this injury like it's a stress fracture.  And that treatment is rest, rest, and more rest.
  4. Recovery from a stress fracture is six to eight weeks.  No running.  Only biking and swimming as pain allows.
  5. I am ten weeks into an eighteen week marathon training schedule.  My race is eight weeks away.  if this is a stress fracture, I'm out for this race.  
This is so aggravating, not to mention painful.  

It is so tempting to throw myself a pity party, stomp my good foot, and whine to anyone will listen.  If I'm honest I've done a bit of that to Curt and to my group of Sistas. 

But the reality is this.  I can't control my circumstances, but I can control my attitude.  

I can choose to have an attitude of gratitude, even when things don't go my way.

Paul, a Biblical author, wrote a letter to the church at Philippi.  He tells them at the conclusion of his letter, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

His advice is my plan for rehabbing this injury.  When I'm tempted to whine or worry, I will choose instead to pray and be thankful.  I continue to present to God my request that this is NOT a stress fracture and that I will still be able to run my race.   

You girls are my Sole Sisters.  If I'm whining, will you remind me to choose an attitude of gratitude instead? How have you coped with injuries that got in the way of races you planned and trained for?


  1. I am so sorry Jodi! I really hope it isn't a stress fracture. :( I have thought on a couple of occasions that I had a stress fracture, but it was ruled out by an x ray after being in pain for a couple of weeks. Of course after the x ray the pain went away. Go figure!
    I did run through a very serious injury for from December 2011 until I was officially diagnosed in May. I missed out on 2 half marathons, 1 marathon and 2 relays. I was so devastated, but tried to see the positive in it. I still went to both half marathons and cheered on my girlfriends and supported them.

    1. Hi Tasha. I just typed up this long response and then lost it. At any rate, I'm sorry to hear you've experienced significant injuries in the past and am glad you worked your way through them. I was able to bike yesterday and today while different members of my family ran. While it wasn't the same as running, it was still great to be together and be outside. Thanks for your encouragement.

  2. Ugh. I am so sorry that you are going through this. It is so HARD to know when you feel a pain if it is the type that will go away quickly with running.
    I hope that it is not a SFX, but even those can heal faster/easier than other types of injuries. Praying that you are not out for the race, but only sidelined for a week. When will you know? Two weeks? Praying for you Jodi, as I know there is a huge emotional toll that comes with this. I know you have a solid foundation and are keeping things in perspective, but it's still a big test.

    1. Thanks Raina. I so appreciate your prayers and your support. I know you understand firsthand how frustrating this can be! I've been praying for renewed healing for you too.