So I'm now pretty sure the foot problem is stress fracture related. I saw my sports chiro guy, Dr. Jamie, on Thursday and he did some work that helped clear out some of the other aches in my foot and at that point it was feeling pretty okay.
However, a three mile test run the next day helped verify a pain right on the bone (top of the foot, metatarsal) that grew increasingly painful as the run went on. I was glad that Dr. Jamie had worked on the foot the day prior, as I think the other aches were making it hard to pinpoint the source of the pain. But with those out of the way, it made it pretty apparent it's a stress fracture.
So, what next? Well, for now, I don't plan on getting x-rays. What's the point? This NY Times article underscores it pretty nicely. A doctor who is a runner is quoted in the article as saying the following in regards to seeing a doctor for certain running injuries:
“I think most folks should not go, because most general doctors don’t know a lot about running injuries,” he said, adding, “Most docs, often even the good sports docs, then will just tell you to stop running anyway, so the first thing is to stop running yourself.”
I don't feel like going through the charade of paying a $25 copay to allow my primary care doctor to lecture me on running too much, then paying an additional $25 for x-rays, and then fighting with him to get a referral to a sports doc to get another opinion (two previous running injuries were misdiagnosed by the primary care doc). Then, pay another $25 copay to the sports doc on top of dealing with all of the hassle.
No thanks. I can think of better ways to spend $50-$75, and better ways to spend my time. And sure, I could get another primary care doc, but I also don't feel like dealing with the annoyance of researching a decent one and taking a chance that another will be like the one I have now.
So to go through all of that knowing they will simply say to rest it 6-8 weeks just doesn't seem worthwhile when I plan on taking that course of action anyway. I'm also wearing my walking boot again, and plan on doing so for a week or two to help keep pressure off of my foot.
I'm also finally realizing that I get hurt too often and need to spread my training around even more. Mountain biking is likely going to be my next option. So I'll be fine, and something like this isn't going to stop me. I might cut back on my running mileage for a while in favor of other activities, but by hopefully spreading things around some, everything will work out great in the long term.