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Just Keep Falling Forward

On this week’s episode of “I have an iron distance race in 8 weeks, so it must be time to hurt myself” …I decided this time, for this particular instance, I would try and take the stairs.  

So I did.

I took a nice fall down the stairs.  At 5:30 AM.  Getting ready to run.  

How cliche.

I didn’t feel the fall coming.

Which was probably good because I had no time to brace or react. Instead I just landed in a pile of Spandex with my legs buckled behind me… Hearing the audible crack of my toes underneath my butt (Thank God you’re down some pounds, Fatty!)…

Six hours later and instead of running, I was getting x-rayed and setting up appointments to see my Dr. Miracle Man Hands.

The x-rays, according to urgent care, show no broken bones.  Thank goodness.

But I know I am hurting like a mamma-jamma… and I can’t run …or walk very well for that matter. I am frustrated to say the least.  Today would have been a 14 mile run on my way to 140.6. And now, I am not running anywhere. Clearly.

I mentioned recently that I needed to swim more. #carefulwhatyouwishfor

I have been here before. Injury. Broken foot. Sprained foot. Broken Ribs. Knee. Ankle. Hip dysplasia. Whatever.

[Dr. Miracle Man Hands is on speed dial for a reason.]

I texted Coach Brett.  Who reminded me that sh*t happens, and it’s time to adapt and perservere.  I’m  on it!  Adaption and perserverance are my two middle names.

Later, the Expert – who was asleep at the time – said he had heard the “thud” this morning and braced himself for the screaming and/or calling for him. Then when he heard nothing from me, he assumed I had dropped my gym bag or bottle by the door. Because it was just ONE sound… Not a series of crash, slide, bang, expletives (*&$^!) and falling down stair sounds, followed by me screaming and crying.

There was one sound. Thud.  [Ummm, if there was only one thud, wouldn’t that seem like I dropped dead?  Wouldn’t ya check on that? #justsayin ]  🙂

So the truth of what happened?

I missed two stairs.  I was carrying my shoes and phone in the dark, down the stairs to head out for my run.  And I stepped like I was at the bottom of the stairs… to head to the kitchen…but I wasn’t at the bottom. I was two up. So I essentially leapt off stairs and landed. I hit the ground, feet cracking underneath me, ending up on my knees and forearms.

And then, I immediately popped up.

I said, outloud, “Nope. No. No.”

Then I hobbled quickly to the kitchen, sat down on floor, rubbed Body Glide on my feet, and put on my socks and shoes for my 14 Mile run. The toes were throbbing.

“Nope,” I said again, shaking my head harder this time.  Like shaking the head would make it go away.

I stood up. Two toes on my left foot instantly giving me that familiar  you-ain’t-running-ANYWHERE  sensation. The big toe on my right foot was talking too, just not as loudly.


“I am fine,” I repeated over and over in my head.

Then outloud, “I am fine. Go run.”

I filled up my coffee and water and grabbed my backpack to head to the car. I unlocked the door to the house, and stepped out into the dark. Carefully.

The neighbor was out with his dog.


Yep. “Morning!”

I shuffled a little to the car. Opened the door. Put my backpack on the front seat. Closed the passenger door.  Started to walk around to the driver’s side.  Owwwwww.  Oh my lawd, ow.  Then I stopped.  Took another step.  Nope. Stared at the car. Looked at the sky. Give it up, Mere.  I sighed.

Hobbled back.  Opened the door again, quietly. Grabbed my backpack and limped inside.

I took off my socks. My shoes. My visor.  The ugly toes now purple and burning.

I grabbed the all-too-familiar ice packs out of the freezer.

Sat down, feet up.   I told myself that it’s just a bunch of toes, and it could have been worse. Could have been a femur or a hip or anything.

Just toes.  Just toes.

But I need my toes to run.  

NO. No.  You’re fine.  It’s just a couple of  toes.

And then I did all I knew how to do:


And then I decided that then, and only then, I would cry.


  • katie

    August 29, 2014 at 10:46 am

    Thinking of you!! Thankfully at week 8 you can consider it an extended taper. I think 12 weeks out would be worse. take care of yourself and see what can happen!

  • Wendy

    August 29, 2014 at 11:05 am

    I’m crying….oh girl I’m crying….crying because I’ve been there. No, haven’t been in the “I’m heading to an Ironman” but been there in the “I have trained hard, have a race coming and now I’m injured” part. This summer has been a summer of pain and injury for me. Neck, upper back issue which lasted for weeks and weeks. That started to clear up (thanks to a jammed vertabrae and shifted rib that my physio who I call “Check” Mark found), then I changed it up and had swimmers ear (never had that before so it was a “nice” change) and then after lifting something I shouldn’t have have been dealing with lower back issues which has been my achilles heal for years. More weeks of pain, jammed L4 vertebra, stiff SI joint and twisted pelvis….and basically I’ve been a bag of cranky horror all summer. I’ve done the talk of “no not now, I’m okay I’m okay” and done the cry…oh I’ve done the cry. One step at a time….know that there are many of “us” out there feeling your pain girl.

  • Rachel T

    August 29, 2014 at 11:13 am

    My first thought was “At least you have 8 weeks!” Second thought was “Can you still swim and bike?” Hopefully they heal up fast.

  • Heather C

    August 29, 2014 at 11:55 am

    OMG no joke, same thing happened to me and I am now 4 week out from Ironman Chattanooga…walked out my front door at 0’dark thirty somehow forgetting we had 3 steps down to the sidewalk and not 2. There I lay in the dark, on the sidewalk thinking how much of a clutz I am….luckily beer seems to make it feel better!

  • Kristin

    August 29, 2014 at 11:56 am

    Holy bananas!! I thought it was bad when I wiped out on my bike while crossing some water, just weeks before my first sprint tri…and that was just a displaced collarbone (albeit painful).
    8 wks out on an ironman and the toes are, well, kinda vital for two of the three legs; hope it heals quickly and completely! I’m sure you’ll persevere. Thinking of you!

  • Regina Drennan

    August 29, 2014 at 12:07 pm

    I just broke my middle toe in a hit and run car accident in May 2 weeks before my third sprint tri. During the accident I thought “THIS CAN”T BE HAPPENING – I HAVE A RACE IN TWO WEEKS” Not to be a debbie downer, but I couldn’t beleive how much this stupid toe hurt – it took a full 4 weeks before it stopped hurting. I told people I broke a bone in my foot because it wa so ridiculous that I had to wear a walking boot and buddy tape my toes. Hang in there – I did a lot of pull training in the pool so I wouldn’t kick and after about 2 weeks I was able to bike ride using regular sneakers – not toe clips. On the bright side I am good as new even though I have a crooked toe. This too shall pass – just make sure you do what the doctor says 🙂

  • Beth

    August 29, 2014 at 12:15 pm

    Bless your heart! Sending healing thoughts! Why does this always happen to us?

    Four days before a 70.3 race last summer, I split my head open on a sharp piece of metal in a closet. I went to the ER, and the doc wanted to do stitches. I explained that in four days I was doing a half-Ironman race in open water, so stitches wouldn’t work. As you can imagine, he wasn’t too much in favor of that, but after much discussion and he saw that I wasn’t going to budge or consider not racing, he agreed to glue it, then delivered a STERN and lengthy warning about possible infection, permanent scarring, etc., etc. I had to sign a form indicating that I understood this was not his preferred medical treatment and that he wasn’t responsible for it coming open in the water or subsequent infection. He later told me, as I was ready to leave, that his wife was a triathlete. If she hadn’t been, things wouldn’t have turned out in my favor, I don’t think.
    Take care of yourself!

  • Amy Ferguson

    August 29, 2014 at 1:10 pm

    So sorry Meredith. That just sucks. Glad nothing is broken. I have a great foot doc who will see you very quickly if you need it. Just saw her Wednesday. Hopefully you will only be out for a week. If you were scheduled to do 14 this week, you are ahead of the game. You’ll be fine for B2B. Looks like you see my Dr. Magic Hands, Dr. Nick? He’s awesome. I’ve been seeing him since 2011. He’ll at least make everything else feel better! Now, go swim!

  • Christine C

    August 29, 2014 at 1:12 pm

    You don’t need me to tell you, but that sucks!! Hope heals quickly. This will just make your more determined though!

    And I get the not checking thing. My husband would have said, well if you needed me you should have called for help:)

  • Martine

    August 29, 2014 at 1:16 pm

    Well, misery loves company… I broke my ankle last year and was on crutches and in a boot for 5 months due to the severity…. missed my entire race season, gained weight, felt sorry for myself…etc….
    8 weeks ago I was carrying the pile of laundry to fold and tripped over a pant leg and went down in a heap… I refused to go to the doc because I knew it was going to be crutches and a boot again from the way it feels… so I said I’ll just take it easy…. it is not healed and is in fact getting worse so guess who’s going to the ortho guy next week after the kiddos are back in school? This girl…. apparently my coordination is not what it used to be! Grrrrr
    Feel better soon and maybe we can swap stoires in person one day…

  • Jen

    August 30, 2014 at 9:27 am

    It’s important that your toes match your polish. I am on week 7 of a heel stress fracture. It sucks.I loathe the run, but this was uncalled for.

  • Kerry Fletcher

    September 2, 2014 at 9:30 pm

    Hi Meredith: One of my running partners shared your blog with me today. Could be because I lay here, ankle wrapped in an ice pack. Two weeks ago today I played tennis. It was an easy, relaxed game of doubles. Something I’d done every Tuesday morning, Spring and Fall, for three years. Later that day, I noticed my inner ankle bone was sensitive to the touch. Just figured my shoes were rubbing it wrong. Run 6 miles the next day without issue, but the lingering soreness was still there. Workout the next morning, lots of stretching leaving me thinking my calf muscles were just a little restricted. I had, btw, just run an 18-miler less than a week before. You see, I’m training for my first Marathon. It is in less than 40 days and I’m a week and a half out from the Sprint Triathlon where my ankle decided to take our relationship to the next level. I am hopeful that both of us will fully heal and compete at 100%. Best of Luck! PS: I’m impressed that you have incredibly intact toenails!


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