Tag Archives: Broken Ankle

Happy National Running Day 2017!

This is another excellent way to celebration National Running Day.

Happy National Running Day!  This year I celebrated by going for a run in Central Park!  That’s right, I’m finally back in the park after my broken ankle sidelined me for a year.

 

I also officially graduated myself from the Couch to 5K program, because even though I’m only in week 7 of the 9 week program, I’ve been able to cover 3.1 miles three times now.  The last few C25K workouts are just continuous jogging for 25 minutes anyway, so it didn’t make sense to go back down to long (3 minute) walk breaks.  Thanks, C25K, for getting me back out there, though!

Oh god, run!

Since I’m no longer using the C25K app, I tried the “Zombies, Run” app today for the first time!  If you’re not familiar with the app, it basically narrates a story by playing short clips of people talking to you as if you’re running through a post-apocalyptic zombie-filled world… and occasionally you get chased by zombies so you have to speed up or lose items you virtually “gather” along the way.  I really enjoyed the first episode (especially the British radio announcer) but the zombies scared me exactly like I feared they would, and I ran too fast and was nervous.  Luckily, I was going downhill, so I escaped the zombies and ran the fastest mile (by far) that I’ve run in over a year.  Even better, you can turn the zombie chase feature off, which I think I’ll do because I’m just too agitated by stuff like that.  (Says the girl who would have heart palpitations playing the “PAWS” typing test game in elementary school as she watched the cat’s paw prints slowly chase her text across the screen…) (By the way I looked everywhere online for that game and can’t find it.)

The zombies seriously scared me – in contrast, my first mile was 11:40!

It’s also only 22 short weeks until the NYC Marathon!  I even signed up for the NYRR virtual trainer because I really want my hand held for this race.  And since Nike hasn’t offered me their Tesla pacer car (yet), I needed to look for other support.  Luckily the cute PT is also offering me help along the way (and telling me to stretch my quads and hamstrings to reduce knee pain – who knew?!).

 

If you missed running today, Global Running Day is coming up next Wednesday!  Hope to see you out there!

 

Did you notice NYRR doesn’t celebrate National Running Day anymore?  How did you celebrate National Running Day?  Did you ever play the PAWS typing game in school?  Share in the comments!

Anniversaries & Graduations

Today is the 1-year anniversary of when I broke my ankle (I didn’t know I broke it until much later).  And while I’m not anywhere near where I want to be, running-wise, at least I’m running a little again, and for that I’m very thankful.  In fact, today my knees hurt more than my ankle, which made me feel almost normal again.  😉

 

It’s also springtime and graduation time, both of which make me think about how fleeting everything is (death and change everywhere).  So just remember that wherever you are in your running journey (or school or career or Netflix marathon session), it will change whether you like it or not, so enjoy the moment if it’s good, and take comfort in the knowledge that it will change if it sucks.  I also recommend eating an ice cream cone, because they are delicious.

 

It’s also Mother’s Day today – Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!  Did you remember to call your mom today?   What’s the best Mother’s Day present?  Does your mom run?  Share in the comments!

Couch to 5K – Finally “Running” Again

April showers bring April flowers.

11 months after breaking my ankle, I’ve finally started running again (for real this time, I hope, knock wood!).  The best part has been seeing all the beautiful spring flowers!

Last week I started the Couch to 5K program (using the free app).  The first week has you walk for 5 minutes, then run for 60 seconds and walk for 90 seconds for eight repetitions, followed by another 5 minutes of walking.  The entire workout is only 30 minutes, which I appreciated more than I’d like to admit.  The timer (a bell plus a woman’s voice telling you to “start running” or “begin walking“) keeps me honest as I ease back into this whole running thing again after so long.  I’m basically starting over as a runner, only this time I’m 13 years older and have a deep-seated fear of breaking my ankle again.  On the plus side I know which flavors of Gu I like and I have all sorts of gear.  I feel like such a poser heading out in my bright tights and fancy shoes and running belt for my 60 seconds of jogging!  Maybe bringing all the snacks is overkill?  Nah…

 

I’m doing the second week now, which has bumped me up to a full 90 seconds of running and 2 minutes of walking (but only six repetitions of each, so it’s still only 20 minutes long).  The saddest thing is that I really feel those additional 30 seconds of running.  If you saw me out there with my slow trot and constant starting and stopping, you’d be more likely to suggest I take up knitting than try running the NYC Marathon in 27 weeks.

Even this squirrel is skeptical.

I hope there are no more 11-month tapers in my future, and that running nonstop for 30 minutes doesn’t ever seem like an insurmountable goal again, because all this not running has really put a damper on my fun-times candy-consumption.  My Garmin also seems to have given up the ghost during this long time off.  Time to buy a new watch?

 

Do you have any GPS & heart rate watch recommendations?  Have you ever taken a year off from running?  Did you score any good deals on Easter candy?  Share in the comments!

I got into the NYC Marathon!

It already has!

I was just finishing my dinner when my email dinged – I checked and my stomach dropped – I got into the NYC marathon lottery!  Hooooooo boy…  I did not see that coming.

 

First, apologies for the incredibly long break in posting.  I still can’t run due to injury, so I haven’t been in the running mindset, so this blog has been gathering as much dust as my running shoes.  I was going to write a post about what I have been doing besides running, but I kept putting that off because, well, it is profoundly uninteresting.  I’ve been resting a lot, and walking a little, and just started rowing and going to the gym again, but then I played tourist in this beautiful weather we’ve been having and overdid it, compressing my ankle and causing pain and swelling, helping keep my PT busy and my running shoes dusty.

 

On a lark, I applied for the NYC Marathon lottery two weeks ago – the last day they accepted applications.  The odds of a local resident getting selected for the lottery were only about 23%.  Well, apparently I am one of the 23%, because I got in!  (You might remember I was only 2 races away from qualifying last year, but I couldn’t make it because of the injury.)

 

I really didn’t think I’d get selected, and I was okay with that.  I still can’t even run a block, so the idea of running a marathon seems farfetched.  But I also rationalized that if I did get in, it might be a good way to test the waters – I ran the NYC Marathon in 2005 (good lord, has it really already been 12 years?!), so there would be no pressure to finish for my 50 States quest, plus it’s a local race so I wouldn’t have the added expense and stress of travel and hotel.  But now I’m realizing it’s only 8 months away, which seems so so so very soon to learn how to run 26.2 miles.

It’s making my stomach do flips, that’s for sure.

 

So, I just won probably the worst lottery in the world and I paid $255 for the privilege.  As the immortal Forrest Gump(‘s momma) said, “stupid is as stupid does.”  I guess I’m back to being a stupid runner, even without the running!  Huzzah!

 

Did you get into the 2017 NYC Marathon?  Have you ever won any sort of lottery or prize?  How much would you pay to not have to run the NYC Marathon?  Share in the comments!

2016 Year in Review

It feels like I have more range of motion now, but the photos don’t really show it…

There’s a bit of poetic symmetry (is that a thing?) in that 2015 was the best year ever and 2016 was the worst.  If you’ve been living in the woods this year and missed all the happenings, first, I’m jealous, and second, you can watch this trailer to catch up on what 2016 was like:

That was basically my year, but throw in a sprained ankle, a broken fibula, multiple weeks on crutches (spread across multiple months), multiple weeks in a aircast boot, a cortisone shot deep into my joint, and general declining health and a total loss of fitness, and that’s my 2016.

 

Before my injury, I was doing almost a marathon per month (the Mississippi Blues Marathon in Jackson, the Little Rock Marathon in Arkansas, the Garmin Marathon in Olathe, Kansas, and the Delaware Marathon in Wilmington), and I was convinced that 2016 would be the “Year of Ugly Medals.”  Sadly, it just became the “Year of Ugly.”

 

I still don’t know when (if?!) I’ll ever run again, let alone run a marathon.  But I really, really, really, truly, madly, deeply hope that 2017 is better than 2016.  It isn’t a high bar, but if 2016 has taught me anything, it’s that almost anything horrible can happen.  🙁

 

Luckily, there are only a couple more days left in 2016 (plus one extra leap second), and poetic symmetry (it’s now a thing) indicates 2017 will be a good year.  I wish all of you health and happiness and health in the New Year!  (Health twice because it’s so important.)

 

How was your 2016?  Are you super glad it’s almost over?  Did you make any resolutions for the New Year?  Share in the comments!

The Ankle Injury Continues

Mini nightmare on a sterile drape.

Mini nightmare on a sterile drape.

I haven’t been writing much here because there’s not much to say since I’m not running, and what there is to say just depresses me so I just don’t bother.  For those just tuning in, I sprained/broke my ankle on May 14th, 2016, and am still dealing with it now in December.  There have been a few new developments since my last update, so here they are:

 

  1. I stayed in the boot for 5 full weeks before going back to the doctors at HSS for a follow-up appointment.  My entire right side is now atrophied, and I basically forgot how to walk.
  2. At my follow-up, I got a cortisone injection (!) in my ankle.  It’s the first time I’ve ever gotten a cortisone shot.  As a needle-phobe, it wasn’t fun, mostly because my mind kept replaying how they explained the procedure – the doctor would “manipulate the joint and hold it in place” while the assistant would “drive the needle deep into the joint to inject the fluid.”  Yipes.  My ankle felt really bloated and stiff after the injection, and as soon as the painkiller wore off it started to really hurt the rest of the evening, but after about 9 hours the pain started to diminish and after a few days I felt like it was about what it was like before I ever got the injection.  So… meh?
  3. But in the weeks since I haven’t had my nightly swelling!  So ultimately I think it helped!  (I still have an overall thickness in my injured ankle that might never go away – yep, I officially have a cankle.)  And I know cortisone shots wear off, but the doctor said it might be the only thing I need to get back to normal… Yeah, it doesn’t make total sense to me, either, but in this one case I hope the doctor is right.  Otherwise he said I could get surgery to remove the scar tissue, but ugh I hope I don’t need that.
  4. I stopped wearing the boot after the injection, and have finally started walking around the city a bit.  The first time I rode the subway to midtown and ran some errands I felt like I had just been released from jail.  There were some snowflakes in the air and I bought chocolates and a hot cup of meatballs from a meatball shop and it was like the greatest moment of my life.
  5. I just started my third (!) round of PT with yet another physical therapist.  This place doesn’t take my insurance so I’m paying a bajillion dollars out-of-pocket for the therapy, but it’s more private and you get one-on-one attention for each 45 minute session (vs Professional PT where it was an open free-for-all).  It’s not as convenient as Professional and there aren’t any cute guys there, but I think the therapist is good and I hope she can fix my broken and withered flabby body.
  6. I missed my 6th marathon yesterday (the Baton Rouge Beach Marathon), and it was the last marathon (and race) that I had signed up for before my injury.  So now I have nothing on my calendar, which is good and bad.  Good that I won’t be missing any more races I pre-paid for, bad that I don’t know when (if?!?) I’ll ever get back to running.  I’m also feeling disturbingly ambivalent about running.  A part of me still wants to get right back to it, but a new part of me is really just meh and blah about the whole thing.  It just seems like so much work!  And I’m so tired.  And doing nothing is so easy.  (And I do mean nothing.  I’m not even cross-training right now.)  I totally get the whole non-running culture now.  Bring on the meatballs.

 

How was your fall running season?  What have I missed in the world of running recently?  Are you excited for the Westworld season finale tonight, or are you more devastated that it means no more Westworld for a long time?  Share in the comments!

Broken Ankle Update & So Many Cancellations

I'm Breakable Kimmy Schmidt. :(

I’m Breakable Kimmy Schmidt. 🙁

Since my last ankle hell update wherein I learned from my MRI that I’ve had a broken fibula for the past 6 months, I spoke with my new orthopedic doctor and visited a new physical therapist at Columbia.  I’m not 100% thrilled with the advice of either one and I have more questions that I’ll try to get answered next week.  In a nutshell, I’m broken and not healing and life sucks.

 

The doctor said I didn’t have to wear a boot or use crutches, despite my leg still being broken after 6 months.  She said I only had to wear that little Darco shoe that didn’t protect my ankle at all.  That seemed wrong to me, and since I continued to have pain, I put myself back in the boot and on crutches to take the weight off and give the bone time to heal.  Going back on crutches has been maddening, yes, but honestly the last 6 months have been such a nightmare, what’s another 6 weeks of hell?  She did prescribe physical therapy that included ultrasound stimulation, and said I could bear weight as tolerated.

 

I got a second opinion from my new physical therapist and he agreed with me that I should stay in the boot and on crutches for now.  He said this weekend I could start using a single crutch to give the bone a little bit of weight to promote bone formation, as it’ll have been 2 weeks since I took the weight off by putting myself on my boot/crutch regimen.  He also pointed out my fracture on my X-rays – YES, that’s right, the doctor (from the Hospital of Special Surgery, no less!) should have known immediately from the X-rays that my ankle was broken.  It’s truly astonishing the incompetency I’ve encountered in this debacle.

 

However, he disagreed with the ultrasound stimulation prescription, claiming it’s contra-indicated for fractures.  This led me down a google-hole of research on ultrasound & electrical stimulation for nonunion or delayed union fractures (aka any fracture that hasn’t healed in over 6 months, like mine).  It appears that contrary to being a contra-indication, ultrasound stimulation (or, even more so, electrical stimulation) is a well-established therapy for nonunion fractures.  Unfortunately it’s not a magic cure-all, and it seems like many nonunion fractures do end up needing surgery.  However, since surgery comes with all sorts of other risks and pain, I’m planning on trying every possible non-surgical therapy I can and using surgery only as a last resort.  Also, since the prospect of ankle surgery truly freaks me out (and not in a fun Halloween way), I’m trying not to dwell on it as much as possible.  Surgery!

 

Overall, I’m still totally dissatisfied by the incompetent medical care I’ve been receiving, from the initial orthopedist to the doctors at Hospital for Special Surgery to my various physical therapists.  No one has caught on to anything, and it’s forcing me to be my own doctor, which is outrageous and frustrating and ridiculous and maddening.  Sadly, I am learning an important lesson – don’t trust doctors with your well-being, let alone your life.  I dread the day when I’m sick and even more mentally incapacitated than I am now, because I won’t be able to spend hours on google reading articles and trying to diagnose and fix myself, and my illness will probably be more severe, and I will be royally screwed.  Ah, what fun things to look forward to in the future!

 

In other running news, I won’t be doing the Poland Spring Marathon Kickoff tomorrow, of course.  But I picked up the shirt anyway, with faraway dreams of wearing it with an unbroken leg in the future.  I’m also not going to be able to do the NYRR Dash to the Finish, which makes 5 NYRR races and 5 marathons I will have missed due to this injury.  Oh, and for anyone keeping track, that means I’ll be 2 races short of qualifying for the NYC Marathon in 2017.  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯  Again, I’m less upset about that than the waste of time and money, and the fear/constant dread that I’ll never run again.

Front and back of the Poland Spring Marathon Kickoff shirt - it's a 50/50 cotton poly short sleeve unisex cut. Meh.

Front and back of the Poland Spring Marathon Kickoff shirt – it’s a 50/50 cotton poly short-sleeve unisex cut. Meh.

I also cancelled my NYC Marathon volunteer shift because even if I worked comms/dispatch instead of in the ambulance, I’d still have to be in a tent in Central Park, which would be a challenge to get to.  Plus I’d still be in the boot, so I’d be a minor liability during a mass casualty event – not a good thing.  I’m really disappointed about the marathon volunteering, because last year was truly such a high point for me (before I mistrusted everyone with a medical degree, sigh…), and it’ll be another full year before I’ll have that kind of opportunity again — an opportunity of which there are only a handful more of in my future.

 

I’ve also officially cancelled my backpacking trip to Patagonia this December.  It was a tough (and expensive) decision but ultimately it’s a huge relief.  Even if my bone was completely healed by then (which is actually unlikely), it still would have been too much for my atrophied legs to hike up to 8 hours every day with a fully loaded pack.  I’ve lost a literal inch of muscle from my calf compared to my normal leg – a full inch!  🙁  I can only imagine how many years of my life I’m losing by being so sedentary.  That plus the incompetency of the medical profession and it’s a wonder I’m still alive.

 

Happy Halloween!

 

How many races have you missed in your running career?  How much do you distrust doctors?  What are you going as for Halloween?  Share in the comments!