At 9:25 this evening I received a phone call that changed my life in a heartbeat. My podiatrist had just spoken to the radiologist about the emergency MRI I had today and the news was as bad as it can get 10 days before an Ironman. My nagging plantar fasciitis turned out to be much more. I have a partial rupture of the plantar fascia, an injury that if worsened could cause permanent damage and end a lot more than just one Ironman dream.
I feel like the wind has been knocked out of me. I feel like this is a horrible nightmare that I will wake up from and be able to move on. But it's not. It's reality and it's unfair. I sacrificed so much, worked so hard and dedicated myself to this 100% and for what?
It's a pretty firm diagnosis, but I'll get final word on just how grave it is either late tonight or early tomorrow. The only decision I have yet to make is how to handle the race. I'll still go to be with my friends and family and share in some of the experience, but I have to decide if I will start and do the parts I'm allowed to do before making the hardest choice in the world to voluntarily DNF. The other option is to DNS and just be a spectator.
In my heart I know I want to race. I begged the doctor to let me walk it and I swore I'd never walk an Ironman. I thought there was no point. But when I made that speculation I wasn't at the end of 30 weeks of putting my heart and soul into the preparation so I could never understand being in the shoes of those who've decided to walk. Now that I'm there I can see why they do it. If the doctor said I could without risking permanent damage, I would. But if I'm truly setting myself up for long term rehabilitation and another lost season, then I'll do what I'm told and likely race what I can and then stop.
This is one of the lowest points of my life. Ironman is so much more than a race and those outside of the sport may never understand it. It will take me quite some time to be able to get over this and move on. For now I have to take it one day at a time and try to move toward acceptance.