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.