Being new to competitive running, I have to admit that I didn't understand that. I didn't have a clue. I thought that my biggest obstacle to success was my time constraints and not my musculoskeletal system. I had already run a hundred mile week and had never heard of stress fractures. In retrospect, that is incredible.
I will soon turn 25, and I will still be wearing a walking boot. I have no idea how soon I can return to running. I don't know if I will be back to 70mpw in July, September or December. I'm not interested in competing when I am not in peak condition, and I know that will be quite some time from now. In my first year of running I will have seen 8 months with accomplishments measured in leaps and bounds, followed by at least 4 months of serious injury. If in the next several months I can return to this sport and find a sustainable path in which I continue to improve marginally over time before immediately re-injuring myself I can see a long future for myself in this sport. I truly believe that this is the most likely scenario. If however, I try to return to running with my current cautious and thoughtful attitude and quickly re-injure myself, I would be left with no option but to hang up my flats and put my energy elsewhere. I truly hope that that later scenario does not play out. I have only recently fallen in love with running, and it has been one of the great passions of my life.
Indeed, I truly believe that I was born to run, I just hope that my bones were as well. I also now realize that this struggle with injury is fundamental to the sport, In running it is not the hits and blows from the opponents that you recover from. It is the injuries that you incur through the testing of your own limits that you must overcome. Finding the training stimuli that causes your body to strengthen itself rather than crumble under the stress is where the magic happens in this sport.