My Left Foot

I’ve been avoiding this post.  Not just writing it, but thinking about it.  I kept hoping that if I just ignored the situation, a miracle would appear before me.  But, alas, that is not how life works. Or at least not when it comes to running.

My Western States dreams are over.  I sent Greg Soderland, the RD, an e-mail last night. Sigh.  As stupid as it sounds, because I know it is just a race, I felt like such a failure when I hit “Send”.  I know I’m just feeling sorry for myself, but I’ve been training for this race all year, and in my mental “checks and balance” sheet, that should mean that I should get to go (can you see me lying on the floor, kicking and screaming like a four year-old right now?).  But my foot had other ideas.  While I haven’t run on it for four weeks, it is still not completely healed.  My doc finally had a “come to Jesus” with me, and said, “You will not make it through 100 miles on that foot without permanently injuring it.”  Oh.

So there it is.  Thank you for reading all the obsessive training posts, even though there was no race at the end of the road.  I hope I can do you proud and start obsessing about something new soon.  Like yard darning.  Or sock monkeys.  Or David Beckham.  Oooooh!


Happy Running!




  • Rob

    Rats, but I admire you for making the right call. The risk of a permanent (or even very prolonged) injury isn’t something to toy around with.

  • Carilyn

    Hi Olga! Borderline stress fracture with (hopefully temporary) nerve damage. Doc seemed more concerned about the nerve damage than the “almost” fracture, but thinks it will be okay if I can get the tissue damage to heal. Doing tons of cross training and should be running soon, I hope 🙂

  • Carilyn

    Thanks, Rob. Yes, I think it is one of those injuries that I wouldn’t worry so much about if there wasn’t a nerve component to it. But, things are looking up 🙂

  • SteveQ

    I, of course, would try to prove the doc wrong, but 100 miles at WS is not like 100 on flat ground; trails will chew up perfectly healthy feet. The sad part is that it’s just so difficult to get into WS that another chance may not come for years.

  • KENT

    Soooo sorry to here about you having to drop out, but it definitely sounds like you made the right decision. Do you have any races you’ve been thinking about instead to prepare for September?

  • Carilyn

    Exactly, Steve, that is why I kept hoping if I rested I still run it – I know it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I’d been trying to get in for years. But, I don’t want to cause permanent damage – no race is worth that 🙂

  • Carilyn

    Thank you, Kent. I doubt I will do any racing before September because I don’t want to risk it. My Born to Run 100k was the undoing of me, and I don’t want to make the same mistake again. You’d think I’d have learned by now, but my enthusiasm often exceeds my good judgment 🙂

  • Kirstin C (@ultrarunnergirl)

    Bummer, Carilyn. I know that has to hurt, a lot.
    Smart of you to make that call. At least right now you know you will heal, and you can cross train. If you went ahead and ran, you might fracture it mid-race and get slapped in a cast with very few cross-training options and a very long process to health.
    Hope you heal quickly.

  • mark kreuzer

    Bummer 🙁 Learning to live to fight another day is hard enough. Being an ultra runner and learning that lesson seems almost impossible. You’re the smart one even though it might not feel like that. Wish they had a wait list and they you’d probably feel much better.

  • Carilyn

    Thanks, Kirsten! It’s always hard to pull out of something even if it is the smart thing to do – and I usually don’t do the smart thing. 🙂

  • Carilyn

    Thanks, Mark! It is no fun to be injured, but definitely just part of the sport. I was told that they have a “cushion” of entrants since they don’t allow a wait list because they know people get sick, hurt, etc. I know this was my last shot at getting to run it, so I am really bummed 🙁

  • Marcia

    Oh Carolyn, my heart breaks for you. I know how you looked forward to this and how hard it must have been to make this decision. Tough as it is, you are wise to sit this one out and heal fully. Easier said than done, I know. Big hugs my friend!

  • Carilyn

    Thank you, Marcia. I feel pretty lousy about the whole thing, but I don’t know what else to do. Thank you for your kind words.

  • Char

    I’m so sorry Carilyn. I know how frustrating it can be to have your body let you down when your head and heart wants to do something so much. I’m kicking and screaming for you too. So unfair. But you know that you’ve made the right choice – not like there really is an alternative. Time wasn’t on your side for this one.

  • Suann

    I know how hard that decision was for you. I’m so sorry. Even though it’s the right decision, it sucks and hurts. The running stuff is is tough. It’s even tougher when you have to make a hard decision such as this. Make me a sock monkey! 🙂

  • Sarah

    I’m sorry you had to drop out of WS. What a tough decision. We should all be so smart. Hope your foot heals up quickly and you’re back running pain free soon!

  • Carilyn

    Thanks, Char – I’m still a little down about it, but I know it’s part of the deal. There’s always another challenge 🙂

  • Jeff Dinkin

    I’m also bummed for you Carilyn, but your upbeat attitude about this ordeal is awesome. Lessons are being learned – and you’ll move onto the next challenge stronger and wiser……

    Heal up soon……..

  • Kate

    I’m late to the party, but I’m so sorry to hear this. You’re making the smart decision though; in this case, DNS is far greater than DNF. And you do have the little matter of your race with the national team ahead of you. Much better to heal and be able to perform at your peak than to hurt yourself worse at WS and prolong the injury. Too bad the smart decisions often sting so much, huh?

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