How I got my comeuppance – Speedbump on the road to fitness through walking!

Remember, I said I had a sore foot? I now officially have a metatarsal-stress-fractured foot.

In December I pulled an old pair of heavy stiff hiking boots out of a cupboard and decided to “wear them out” through the winter. Instead I wore out my foot by marching around mostly on concrete sidewalks for 50-70 km each week. One day in January I was in a hurry and virtually jogged 7 km in the boots. Since then, my foot has been sore. Duh. I put the boots in a donation box and bought some new shoes.

I even stopped recreational walking for a 4 week period and it got significantly better. However some soreness persisted, particularly after a 10-km walk. I tried anti-inflammatories, ignoring it, glucosamine, discussing with everyone who would listen, etc. Finally after 4 months of little improvement (maybe those 10-km walks had something to do with it), I consulted a podiatrist, who sent me for a bone scan. Sure, I pondered the ethics of having an arguably unnecessary bone scan in order to get ready for an inarguably unnecessary Camino in October. However, my thirst for knowledge triumphed and the scan showed at least one fracture and some other stressed spots. Having this confirmation will force me to manage future walking with more care. After all, that was/is my plan for staying fit in old age.

It seems that stress fractures “typically” need 6-8 weeks rest from the offending activity and as little motion as possible. The podiatrist recommended one of these things as the best protection.


I rejected it as being unnecessary, not to mention melodramatic. All I do these days is sit at the computer, wander around the house and weed the garden, which I do mainly from a sitting or kneeling position on the ground. We agreed that this would not be suitable for gardening. Around the house I have zero pain in the foot as long as I wear my croc-type shoes and never go barefoot.

He gave me the option of a “spring plate” which is a stiff carbon graphite inner sole. So that’s what I now have in my left outdoor shoe. It keeps my shoe so stiff that I am not tempted to walk much, and I can’t accidentally bend my foot when I rise from my weeding position. I am skeptical but will try it out.

So… no walking until early August.

After this is healed, I may have to start searching for new stiffer walking boots. That will be difficult as I am happy with my perfectly fitted Salomons. They were not to blame for the stress fracture!
Training will start again in August and I will have 2 months to prepare for the Camino. I do still expect to go in October, although there is a tiny bit of doubt in the back of my mind. Maybe I should develop a Plan B, just in case. I welcome suggestions.

14 thoughts on “How I got my comeuppance – Speedbump on the road to fitness through walking!

  1. Clare, don’t even consider a Plan B. You’ll be fine for Oct. Don’t allow even a smidgen of doubt or negativity. Your body will heal itself… (says he, requiring major surgery on his knee… 🙂 )

  2. At least you now know what the problem is and can treat it properly. I hope it heals as expected. Two months will be more than sufficient to get back in camino fitness.

    • Thanks I hope so. The problem is that one is supposed to train slowly after I start real walking again, building up only 10% each week. That would mean I should keep reduced distances during the first few weeks of the camino. If so, I might have to take the bus, perhaps on long approaches into the cities on concrete.

    • Good word – dotage – so I decided to look it up. It should not have surprised me, but I had never connected it in my mind to “dote” as in to “dote upon.”

  3. Hello Clare,

    Sorry to hear about the stress fracture, Jennie has the same malady. Jennie took up jogging a year ago and she ran a half marathon in April, her foot started to hurt at 11KM mark. She completed the race, but an x-ray verified she had a stress fracture, she has had ” the boot ” on since then, it comes off today.

    You are partners in frustration. Hoping for the best..Sue

    • I rejected “the boot” as being inconsistent with my style (and not necessary in my case). You would point out that is is very urban utilitarian in style, but it is still too dramatic for me.

    • Hey, You could put the same clothes on every day when you wear the boot , I would accept that as in keeping with your “urban utilitarian ” signature look !!!

      Jennie’s foot didn’t hurt too much either. Your fashion sense is keeping you from doing the right thing – give it ” the boot “.

    • I seriously think the boot. Is not necessary now. I injured it 5 months ago and it is halfway healed. I just never gave it quite enough time. I am being very strict with my activity now and have no pain at all.

  4. I hope it heals quickly!! When I saw the boot–I thought of my own! I wear one at night for plantar fasciitis. I felt like I had a nail in my heel. But with proper shoes and the boot at night I am on the mend. I love a good walk!

    Thinking of you!

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