Tag Archives: Foot Injury

MRI Report – Insert Emoji Cry Face

The worst part is this is nothing compared to what's coming next...

The worst part is this is nothing compared to what’s coming next…

Today I got the preliminary MRI report from the hospital.  It included a summary of the findings as determined by a doctor, but I haven’t spoken to my orthopedic doctor yet about what I’ll have to do in particular.  But, since this big news to me, and by extension to this running blog, I thought I’d share the findings right away.

 

Turns out, my ankle was broken after all!  <she said with no trace of joy>  I have an “avulsion fracture” which is when a tendon or ligament takes a small piece of the bone with it when it’s wrenched out of place.  Since it still hasn’t healed yet (because the first orthopedic doctor told me to walk on it, despite my protests of pain), I’ll probably have to take all the weight off that foot for the next 6-7 weeks (or 2-3 months).  That means I’ll probably have to be in a full boot and/or on crutches until early December.  (!!!!!!???!!?!?!?!)

 

Yep, that means I’ll have been severely disabled from May to December, and not in a romantic way.  After December, who knows what else I’ll have to do or how long it will take to actually get back to operating in a normal fashion, if that’s even possible.  I’ve never been so thoroughly disgusted with doctors in my life, and I’ve had my fair share of incompetent doctoring before.  Seriously, if you know of a good medical malpractice attorney, I’m interested.

 

I also have a wedding this weekend in which I’m a bridesmaid.  I hope the bride is cool with me buzzing down the aisle in a motorized grocery cart.  The good news is the new waterproof mascara I tested today passed with flying colors.  🙁

 

Have you ever been injured for more than half a year?  Have you ever wanted to burn the entire world down?  But seriously, do you know a good malpractice attorney?  Share in the comments!

Getting the Boot (or Shoe)

My stylish new footwear, fall leaves for time reference.

My stylish new footwear, fall leaves for time reference.

I went to the doctor today and left with one new shoe and a big bag of pity party.  As you know, I sprained my ankle all the way back on May 14th.  I’ve had some big downs and small ups since then, but since it’s been 20 weeks (5 whole months!  3 different seasons!) and I’m still having pain, swelling, and general problems with my foot and ankle, I decided to see another doctor to get it checked out again.

 

Foot bone stuff for fun.

Not my X-rays.

I went to the Hospital for Special Surgery this time and they took comprehensive X-rays of my foot and ankle.  The X-rays didn’t reveal any existing fractures but the doctor did say I had swelling in my 4th metatarsal.  She said that’s a precursor to a stress fracture and it’s what’s been causing me pain at the top of my foot.  She prescribed the beautiful shoe above to keep it stable (which I immediately ordered from Amazon so my germaphobic self can have a second one for indoor wear only), with directions to wear the shoe for 4 weeks, do absolutely no jumping or running, and to generally “take it easy” for 2 weeks.  She said I could do non-impact exercise like the elliptical or biking, but it has to be in the shoe (so let’s be honest, I don’t think I’ll be doing any biking), and if there is any pain I have to stop.  She said my cuboid bone might also be inflamed, but again that rest was the best option.

 

She also prescribed an MRI (that I’ll have to schedule in the next week or so) that will give her a look at the soft tissues.  She’s specifically interested in the scar tissue (she mentioned something about “entrapment” but I’m pretty sure she didn’t mean it in the legal sense) and my cartilage (or what’s left of it!).

 

The doctor did say I could walk, but after wearing this shoe for 30 seconds I see now that she was joking.  This shoe makes it almost impossible to walk.  My current stride makes John Wayne look like a runway model.  They’ve hobbled me while claiming I can walk – it’s like handing someone an empty soda can and telling them to drink as much as they want.  In fact, wearing this shoe makes my ankle hurt even more.  So no, I won’t be walking.  I’ll be here at home sulking and gaining weight and feeling sorry for myself.*  This is how you turn a marathon runner into a diabetic.

 

*Ok, but actually, I’m almost done feeling sorry for myself today.  I ate an entire bag of cookies and complained to my friends, but ultimately it is what it is.  I’m glad it was caught early and didn’t turn into a real fracture.  And I’m hopeful that this plus whatever the MRI will show will lead to treatments that will actually get me back out there running, hopefully before the heat death of the universe.  But yes, 4 weeks in this shoe is 4 more weeks of torture after a torturous 5 months.  Are we done with 2016 yet?

 

Have you ever had to wear an orthopedic boot or shoe?  What stupid series on HBO or Netflix should I watch next?  Is all this pain and time spent off my feet reducing my sentence in purgatory?  Share in the comments!

Happy 3rd Birthday, Where’s The Finish!

Me in my dreams.

Me in my dreams.

Whelp, I did not see that coming.  As you know, I sprained my ankle what feels like a million years ago (aka a little over 12 weeks) and I still can’t run.  So what do you write about if you can’t run but have a running blog?  Apparently a bunch of posts about spraining your ankle, and not much else.

 

A year ago I was just coming off EMT camp and loving life.  I’m happy to say that after that I mostly stuck to my goals, running lots of marathons (Twin Cities, PhiladelphiaRocket CityMississippi BluesLittle Rock, Garmin, and Delaware), qualifying for Marathon Maniacscross-training and getting in better and better shape – until The Injury.  I was also on a really good marathon schedule, running one every month or two – until The Injury.  Volunteering as an EMT at the NYC Marathon was great, and I got another volunteer EMT position in the city which was also wonderful – until The Injury.  So, state of the union-wise, the last 12 months weren’t totally terrible, just the last three – you know, since The Injury.

Artist's rendering of The Injury.

Artist’s rendering of The Injury.

Oddly enough, I’m more optimistic now about finishing the 50 states than I was two years ago.  Yes, I can’t run at all right now, and I still have no idea when my ankle will be well enough to do so, but after 24 states, my feelings towards covering 26.2 miles have changed a bit.  Maybe it’s because I allow myself to walk a lot (a lot) more than I used to, or maybe because I’m almost halfway to my goal, but I think it’s do-able and it’s still my main running goal.

Oh yes, I will.

Oh yes, I will.

It’s also kind of amazing to look back and realize how differently I feel in only two years (and I honestly don’t remember being injured that much, either, but apparently I was?).  All these changes happened so gradually I could’ve sworn I haven’t changed at all, and yet here there’s internet proof.  Now I’m Class Passing (aka cross-training) up a storm, I’m optimistic about 50 states, and I’m finally admitting that I have no immediate plans to esthetically improve this site, despite the fact that it is begging for it.

 

I also still might get my 9+1 NYRR races in this year (to qualify for the NYC Marathon in 2017), as my physical therapist is reluctantly allowing me to walk the social 5K this Thursday.  And yes, I’m still going to PT twice a week (and doing all the exercises at home every day), although since the cute guy isn’t at PT anymore I have to go solely for health reasons.  Booooring!

 

Finally, various other updates:  I walked 2.5 miles on Sunday without much problem, I’m still going to spin classes where I’m very much behind where I was 3 months ago but slowly improving, I started going to yoga again and can’t do child’s pose but my squats are improving in depth, and I’m going to Nashville this weekend for a bachelorette party.  Somehow those are all actually related, but I can’t explain how.

 

How have you changed as a runner over the last few years?  Are you watching Bachelor in Paradise?  Is it not the show we deserve, but the show we need?  Share in the comments!

You Spin Me Right Round

There's no bitmoji with a bike, so this duck will have to do.

There’s no bitmoji with a bike, so this duck will have to do.

I went to a spin class today!  It was the first time in 11 weeks that I broke a sweat that wasn’t due to heat or pain.  I’m not doing a full, normal spin class, but my therapist ok’d me to try it if I didn’t do any biking off the seat (aka standing) and generally took it easy.

 

In the first five minutes I almost cried because I was so happy to be back.  In the next five minutes I almost cried because I was so out of shape.  In the final five minutes I almost cried because my butt hurt so much from being on a bike seat without a break for 45 minutes.  But I made it!  After class I was so hungry I ate ALL THE THINGS, but my ankle seems no worse for wear (yet…).   So while I still can’t run yet, and can’t row because my ankle doesn’t have enough flexibility to get close enough to the catch to do a proper stroke (think deep squat), I’m happy to be able to have this one small thing back in my life.  And while I still hate 2016, it will eventually be over, and I’ll be able to rail against some fresh new injury in 2017.

 

How’s your summer running going?  Do you cross-train in a gym to escape the heat?  Have you ever binge-watched Girls on HBO and wondered how you could have possibly watched so many seasons in a day?  Share in the comments!

What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Weaker

Icing my stupid ankle after my physical therapy exercises.

Icing my stupid ankle after my physical therapy exercises.

It’s been nine (9!) whole weeks since I sprained my ankle.  I’ve thought about writing posts several times since then, but never got around to it, because, to be honest, my thoughts on the last 9 weeks have been scattered, and mostly very negative, and not really fun to dwell on.  But a post about this ankle nonsense is overdue, so instead of trying to write some perfect essay on how I’m recovering with grace and aplomb, I’m gonna let you know what I really think about this bs.

 

How have you been?

My withered leg.  :(

My withered leg. 🙁

First, let me say the last 9 weeks have truly, epically sucked.  My last post was hastily written in a brief moment I didn’t want to smash everything in the world, and it definitely did not reflect my almost constant bad mood these last couple of months.  The first two weeks were physically the worst, as I was 100% reliant on crutches and could barely do anything.  (You ever have to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night, when you’re groggy and can barely move your legs and kinda stumble around in the dark?  Yeah, imagine that but with crutches.)  It was three full weeks before I hazarded driving short distances, and over five weeks before I could start physical therapy (and started walking short distances without a full brace).  At eight weeks I could walk a mile on flat ground with rest breaks, but I overdid it on my trip home from Missoula and my foot puffed up again for several days (my physical therapist was not happy with me).  And as of yesterday I’m finally not in constant pain – as long as my foot is elevated and I haven’t overdone it in the days before.  (So, yes, I’ve been in constant (usually low-level) pain for the last 9 weeks.  Walking or standing still hurts.)

 

Mentally, I think the worst weeks were around week 5 to now (yes, it’s ongoing).  The lack of being able to do any sort of workout has really taken a toll.  And while most people have good intentions by telling me about their past injuries and quick recoveries (lol a sprain doesn’t disappear overnight, that wasn’t a sprain, dude), or even worse, what they expect my personal recovery timeline will be, it is the most infuriating thing to hear.  You don’t know my injury.  You don’t know my body.  And you have no idea what my progress or lack thereof has been.  So for you to tell me I’ll be fine in a “couple weeks,” or never, or whatever non-medically based prediction you make for me, makes me want to punch you in the face.

 

You ever hear that cliche saying about running being cheaper than therapy?  Or those shirts that say “I run to stay sane”?  Yeah, well, I haven’t been able to walk, let alone run, for 9 weeks, and I don’t see long walks or running anywhere on the horizon yet, so I’m pretty certifiable by now.  Yes, yes, I still count my blessings (which don’t include being thankful I didn’t break any bones, as I’ve learned that fractures are often faster and easier to heal than soft tissue injuries), and yes, yes, I’m still thankful for all that I have and the luxuries and opportunities I’m provided (e.g. doctors, physical therapy, grocery delivery, Amazon, etc.).  But that doesn’t mean I can’t also be pissed, and fed up, and occasionally depressed, and constantly frustrated by all of this.

 

But how’s the ankle?

About 3 weeks after injury, when the swelling was more pronounced and the crutches were in  heavy use.

About 3 weeks after injury, when the swelling was more pronounced and the crutches were in heavy use.

My ankle and the connected areas are still swollen, but it’s slooooooowly getting better.  It still puffs up if I walk or stand too much (and “too much” right now is about over a mile total in a day, depending).  It hasn’t been a linear progression, so some days are worse than others, and I don’t expect that I’ll wake up one magical day and everything will be ok.  My range of motion is still pretty limited, but I’m doing PT exercises at home every day and go to PT twice a week, where my therapist uses a metal torture device on my injured leg to break up the scar tissue (it’s called the “Graston technique” – it’s like foam rolling but with a stainless steel pick and it’s as painful as you’d imagine – I break into a full-body sweat every time – sexy!).  But it seems to be helping, and I’ll happily suffer whatever pain my PT wants to dish out if it means I’ll get to run again this year.  Surprisingly, I’m not even as worried about “permanent damage” as I was when I first got injured, because at this point I’ve almost made my peace with permanent damage and I just want my mobility back.

 

Everything happens for a reason, right?

I definitely don’t think everything happens for a reason or even that every cloud has a silver lining, but if there ever will be a silver lining to all of this, it’ll probably be my increased empathy to others who are sick, injured, or have chronic pain.  The greatest gift my immobility has given me was the discovery of Below Deck: Mediterranean, which is the best worst show ever.  Or maybe the silver lining to my injury is the cute guy at PT…  But seriously, this whole experience sucks, and I do not recommend.

 

So when will you be running again?

I don’t know.  No doctor or therapist has been able to answer that for me, either, because I think even they don’t know.  The closest I’ve gotten to a real answer (besides the bs “you could run a marathon in 2 months from date of injury” I got from my orthopedist, who clearly just wanted me out of his office) is that my backpacking trip to Patagonia in December shouldn’t be a problem.  No, that’s not running, but it is hiking long distances with a pack, so I imagine I’ll be able to run short distances without a pack before then…  maybe?  Honestly, at this point, I’m still taking it day by day.  I thought for sure I’d be running my fall marathons, but now even that’s not looking very likely.  More rage!  Where’s that gd silver lining?

 

And yes, I’ve missed numerous NYRR races and the first of several marathons I had scheduled (check out the gallery below for some pictures from the Missoula Marathon last weekend).  I probably won’t make the 9+1 program this year, so I won’t qualify for the NYC Marathon next year, which is ok – I’m definitely more disappointed about missing so many marathons and having to delay my 50 States quest.

In conclusion…

I think I speak for most of humanity by saying that 2016 can kiss my ass and die in a fire.  Let’s fast-forward through this slag heap of a year and hope that 2017 is better.

 

When do you think I’ll be healed?  Haha, just kidding, don’t tell me that – tell me what I should binge-watch instead!  Is the most recent season of Orange is the New Black worth it?  Are you, like me, only barely holding it together before Bachelor in Paradise starts again in August?  Share in the comments!

Celebrating Global Running Day with a Sprained Ankle

Elevating my ankle next to the Deschutes River in Bend, Oregon.

Elevating my ankle next to the Deschutes River in Bend, Oregon.

Happy Global Running Day 2016!  After spraining my ankle 2.5 weeks ago, I knew I wouldn’t be running today, but I didn’t know where on the scale from “totally couch-ridden” to “running grapevines” I would be.  Turns out that I’m still on crutches somewhat, but this morning was the first time in 2.5 weeks that I can finally see some definition in my foot and it doesn’t look like 1,000 bees made it their pincushion.  The bruising is still there (and some pain and tenderness), but this is as close to normal as I’ve been, which makes me hopeful that I won’t need surgery…

 

So, yeah, this has been a very painful and excruciatingly slow healing process.  It also made me realize that the best place to injure your right leg is in NYC because you don’t need to drive there like you do almost every other place in the United States.  I also learned that you can’t river kayak with a sprained ankle because you need to put pressure on various points on your legs (including your feet and ankles) to control the boat.  So, my kayaking trip planned months ago to Bend, Oregon, resulted in me hitching a ride with my friend, crutching down to the riverside, and taking pictures like an injured stalker.  At least it was a beautiful place to spend a few days, and it was nice to get out of the house.

So much pretty in Bend, Oregon.

So much pretty in Bend, Oregon.

I hope to look back on today’s Global Running Day as only a brief interruption in my running life, and the start of a newfound ability to do one-legged squats (which, yes, I honestly thought were impossible or only for Olympic-level athletes, until I had to live with basically one leg for 2.5 weeks and realized just how easy my legs have had it all these years).

 

How did you celebrate today’s Global Running Day?  Did you know it’s also National Go Barefoot Day, National Hazelnut Cake Day, and National Heimlich Maneuver Day?  Have you ever gone river kayaking?  Share in the comments!

5 Things I Learned From Spraining My Ankle

My constant companions.

My constant companions.

A week and a day ago I sprained my ankle during the NYRR Healthy Kidney 10K.  Needless to say, it’s been a really bad week since then.  I thought I’d be walking in a couple of days but it took a full 8 days before I was finally able to take my first few non-excruiciating steps (albeit still with an exaggerated limp).  Since this is the first time I’ve ever sprained my ankle, I’ve had the ‘pleasure’ of learning a few things from this experience and wanted to share them with you.

 

Things I Learned From Spraining My Ankle:

 

  1. Ankle sprains can take forever to heal.  While the doctor at Urgent Care said I’d be walking in 3 days and basically back to normal in a week, that was obviously a (damned dirty) lie.  The orthopedist I visited on Wednesday gave me an X-ray to make sure nothing was broken (nothing was) and said I could start walking on it as long as I wore a brace (I switched that day from the flimsy air cast I got at Urgent Care to this pretty sweet air cast brace I ordered from Amazon).  Per the doctor’s suggestion, I tried walking just a little bit that day, but woke up that night with intense pain which led me to believe I couldn’t actually walk on it yet, so the next day I was back to crutching around.  The orthopedist also recommended this compression wrap to help with the swelling and speed the healing (it’s still swollen, by the way, mostly on the top of the foot).  The wrap has helped tremendously, as I felt instant pain relief when I first put it on and have had more healing progress in the days since I’ve been wearing it (nonstop).  The doctor didn’t ok me yet for physical therapy, but he didn’t entirely rule out doing a marathon in 2 months, either (which I honestly think he said just because he didn’t want to crush my spirit even more).  Chatting with other people about times they’ve sprained their ankles leads me to anticipate many months of recovery with periodic pain lasting for years.  No bueno.
  2. Patience.  Ok, I didn’t really learn this.  I know it’s hard to believe (-dripping with sarcasm-), but I’m not a patient person, and my bum ankle didn’t transform me into a zen master, but I did learn some patience simply because everything I did this week took at least twice as long as usual.  And it wasn’t only a factor of my speed on my crutches – it seemed that once I finally got to my “destination” like the kitchen or my bedroom, everything took longer once there.  Maybe because I had to move more slowly as I balanced on one leg, maybe because it took a few moments to set aside my crutches so they didn’t tip over, maybe because after the fall I was bruised and sore in general and it made my whole body slow, but even simple things like doing the dishes or brushing my teeth took more time this week.
  3. How easy life is when you can walk (and how difficult it becomes when you cannot).  This week my apartment was in (more of a) shambles (than it usually is).  I had a growing pile of dirty laundry spilling across my floor because I couldn’t carry it downstairs to wash.  I dreaded having to get up to do anything because it was such a production (and painful to boot).  I still haven’t drunk from a glass since last Friday since I can’t carry it without spilling (I’ve only drunk from bottles and thermoses – whatever I can throw in a bag and carry with my crutches).  And if I wanted to eat something on a plate or bowl (instead of the bags of chips or candy bars I ate the first day), I had to wrap it up in saran wrap, place it in a flat-bottomed bag, and crutch over to my seat to eat it.  Today I can finally manage with only one crutch and it has opened a whole world of possibilities!  (Laundry!  Eating without saran wrap!  Moving things around!)  Seriously, if you’re looking for something to be grateful for tonight, be grateful that you can move around your home with relative ease and that getting up to go to the bathroom doesn’t require complicated procedures and metal props.
  4. How plans have to change day by day, hour by hour, and can affect plans years into the future.  While I kept hoping I’d wake up one morning magically healed, it hasn’t happened like that, so I’ve had to play everything by ear.   I initially thought I’d be able to work an EMT shift this weekend which is laughable now.  I at least thought I’d be able to do my kayaking trip this upcoming Memorial Day weekend (kayaking doesn’t require much ankle use!), until I realized there would be no way for me to walk down to the river or stand on a rocky bottom with water rushing around me. And while I hope to be running by mid-July, I don’t think I’ll be able to run a full marathon, which means Missoula is out AGAIN!  (I had to defer two years ago due to plantar fasciitis and last year I was at EMT camp.  The Missoula Marathon is turning into my white whale.)  I’m also probably not running Mesa Falls in Idaho in August, which really throws a wrench in my 3.5 year marathon schedule.  So instead of finishing the 50 States in December of 2019, I will be finishing it in ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ .
  5. When you order two Thai lunch specials from Senn Thai and you have nothing you can do but sit on the couch and watch Master of None on Netflix, you will eat both lunches in a row and enjoy it until you feel sick.  Or is that just me?  Surprisingly, that only happened once, but I can also tell you my appetite has not decreased at all despite my activity level going from four workouts per week to zero with zero walking.  Clearly I’m burning tons of calories via the healing process.

 

Things I Didn’t Learn:

  1. How to spell “ankle”, as 99% of the time I still type “ankel.”

 

Have you ever deferred a race for more than 3 years in a row?  Did you know how long ankle sprains take to heal?  What’s your favorite Thai dish?  Share in the comments!

Healthy Kidney 10K – My First DNF – May 14, 2016 – Race Recap

The start of NYRR's Healthy Kidney 10K, before my face-plant.

The start of NYRR’s Healthy Kidney 10K, before my face-plant.

You run long enough, and it’s bound to happen – a DNF and a running injury.  I just didn’t think it would happen in Central Park during a 10K this morning, and I didn’t think the injury would include my face.

The typical long line of runners at a NYRR race in Central Park.

The typical long line of runners at a NYRR race in Central Park.

 

The Healthy Kidney 10K started out well enough – the day was beautiful and warmer than expected (already in the mid 60s at the 9 am start), and I was finally on the downhill of my cold that started last week.  I felt pretty good considering I ran 26 miles 6 days ago, and was able to run the first three miles at about a 10:35 pace (fast for me at this point).  Everything was going well!  I came up the final Harlem Hill, passed the 5K mark, and was enjoying the flat stretch near the 102nd Street Transverse heading towards the reservoir.  But then, BAM!  My foot got caught in a little pothole, and I went down HARD.  Harder than hard.  I hit my face, hands, and then the rest of my body.  Hard enough to rip my CW-X tights.  Hard enough to make me wonder if I broke my cell phone around my waist.  Hard enough to make me worried I broke the bones in my face.  And apparently hard enough to give me a concussion.  But I’m getting ahead of myself.  (Blame my recent concussion.)

 

Right after I went down, there were plenty of kind runners who stopped to make sure nobody ran over me and to make sure I was ok.  I kept saying I was ok, and eventually I rolled over, got up, and limped to the side because I didn’t want to cause a(nother) accident.  My friend Ben was actually there, too!  He was running by and came upon my prostrate figure and recognized my Discover Bank Delaware Marathon hat (which, by the way, I got blood on – it was the first time I wore it, too)!

 

Props to the on-point race volunteer who immediately radioed for an ambulance the second I fell, saying “runner down,” which sounds very dramatic, but was effective.  I was sitting on the grass next to the course when the medics arrived (probably not more than 1 or 2 minutes after my fall – it was really fast).  I assured them I was ok, until I suddenly wasn’t – my vision started to go dark.  That’s when I really started to worry.  I’m too youngish to die!

 

Originally I thought I would walk the rest of the race – I clearly had no idea how bad my fall was.  But when the world started to go dim, they offered to transport me to the med tent, and I accepted – I didn’t want to pass out 30 seconds after they left and cause a huge hassle.  So, onto the stretcher and into the ambulance I went!  It was… embarrassing.   And it felt almost like I was playing out a scenario for class, except I was actually injured.  The ambulance was a small “van” ambulance, so it was cozy inside, but still familiar.  I feel like I’ve jinxed myself by becoming an EMT – just as I’ve started working on an ambulance, for the first time in my life I find myself as a patient in the back of one.

 

After a leisurely ride down the west side of the park, my vision had cleared up and I was feeling beat up but better.  They delivered me to the med tent where Dr. Stu (the head NYRR doctor who I knew from training sessions, but who of course didn’t know me) checked me out.  He pushed on the bones all over my face and determined nothing was broken (thank god).  He said I had started blacking out probably because I had a mild concussion.  And as I sat there icing my face, I finally noticed how much my ankle was hurting.  I got an ice wrap for that, too, and after sitting there for more than enough time to make sure I probably wasn’t going to die from an aneurism or whatever scary fake medical thing I was worried about, finally made my way out of the park with my friend Ben, who had found me at the finish.

 

I painfully, slowly limped out of the park, still thinking my ankle was just bruised or something, but I did take a cab for the 5 blocks home.  Only after a quick shower did I realize just how bad my ankle was – it was stiff, painful, and looked like there was a lemon implanted underneath my skin.  As a first-time ankle sprainer, this really freaked me out.  I thought maybe something had ruptured and there was blood pooling under my skin or something – there’s also a small bruise and cut on the side of my foot, probably from the jagged edge of the pothole (and I suspect there’s a tear in my shoe, too).  So, I immediately emailed Ben and started googling “sprained ankle.”

 

After icing it and wrapping it, I still wasn’t satisfied with my self-treatment options, and since it hurt so much that walking was incredibly difficult, I decided to go to a nearby urgent care center to get an aircast (as recommended by Ben).  After a surprisingly long wait, the doctor there checked me out, pushed on the bones around my foot and ankle, thankfully determined without an X-ray that there were no broken bones, and diagnosed me with a sprained ankle.  He put me in an aircast, gave me instructions to take naproxen (aka Aleve) and to only ice 3 times a day, and sent me off with some crutches.  The crutches help a lot, but I quickly learned that walking with crutches is about 80 times more difficult than just walking, and I feel like I got a full day’s workout by crutching the two blocks home.

 

Ugh.

Ugh.  Ugh.

Now I’m sitting on my couch with my leg propped up, feeling some sweet relief from the painkiller (although it still hurts, it doesn’t hurt like a mofo anymore), and feeling both angry at and sad for myself.  I know “these things happen” but it was a stupid mistake to step into that pothole – I should have been looking down more than up.  And now I can’t work my EMT shift tomorrow, nor can I run the Brooklyn Half Marathon next weekend, not to mention that I can’t walk or run for several days (plus the pain, plus the current inconvenience, plus the lifetime threat of re-injury and arthritis (“In a 10-year fol­low-up of patients suffering ankle sprains, 72 percent showed signs of arthritis in the ankle joint.”).  Ugh!  (And yes, the more I read online about this, the more freaked out I’m getting.)

 

The funny thing is that my face feels (and looks) bruised but it’s definitely not the most painful or lasting injury I sustained in my fall – it reminds me of the “distracting injury” thing we learned about at EMT camp.  Of course, hitting your face is more life-threatening than spraining your ankle, so it didn’t distract in that way, but it certainly made me ignore my ankle for a long time.  (“But not anymore, b*tch!” said my ankle just now.)

 

But before I start feeling too sorry for myself, I do want to send out a big internet “thank you” to all the runners and medical people who helped me today.  It was seriously nice of Ben to stick with me for so long, both at mile 3 and at the finish, and for emailing me a lot of info about sprained ankles.

The shirt this year.  I didn't get a medal because I didn't finish.  :(

The shirt this year. I didn’t get a medal because I didn’t finish. 🙁

So, please pray to the running gods for me that I’ll recover in a relatively rapid fashion…  Till then, I’ll see you on the couch.

 

Have you ever sprained your ankle?  Have you ever visited an urgent care?  Have you ever ridden in the back of an ambulance that wasn’t for your job?  Share in the comments!

Goofus Gallant WTFinish Blerch

The Blerch Beats Me?

Goofus Gallant WTFinish Blerch

Today I admitted that there’s no way I can run a full marathon on September 21st (Beat the Blerch in Carnation, Washington, only 3.5 weeks from now), since my “long” run is currently only 6 miles, so I transferred my full marathon registration to the half (an easy process via the Beat the Blerch Registration site, along with a payment of about $12).

 

Right now it feels like a bit of a defeat, but ultimately I know it’s absolutely the right thing to do.  It’s also about the right amount of mileage for me to do that weekend in preparation for Chicago (which is only 6.5 weeks away, yikes).  None of this is recommended, by the way, in case you think I’m following some authorized marathon plan.  I’m like the “what not to do” photo in your marathon guidebook.  Do not ignore injuries in hopes they will go away.  Do not then self-diagnose your injury, thereby misdiagnosing.  Do not then attempt to run a marathon only a couple months after you start running again.  I’m definitely the Goofus of the Goofus and Gallant marathon world.

 

But changing the Blerch to a half marathon is my step in the Gallant direction.  I also like to imagine that I’ll still feel energized and really good that day after covering only 13 miles, instead of like my usual walking dead after a full 26.  The best thing for my health, however, will be that I’ll only pass 13 miles of Nutella sandwiches and birthday cake, as we all know that I will be eating everything at every opportunity, and ultimately consume so much that even the Blerch would be horrified.  (There are only 4 Nutella/cake stations along the half, so actually I’ll be eating about a quarter of the normal amount of birthday cake I eat on any given Sunday.)

 

Did you think both Goofus and Gallant were both horrible children in their own way?  Are you watching the US Open?  Are you caught up on The Walking Dead?  Did you ever see Any Given Sunday?  Share in the comments!

Back from Montana & OK’d to Run

Not exactly Glacier, but at least it's a park.

Not exactly Glacier, but at least it’s a park.

A lot has happened in the last couple of weeks.  I went out to Missoula for the marathon that I wasn’t going to run, then spent the week I had already planned in Glacier National Park.  The trip was absolutely incredible and I can’t wait to go back next year.  I’ll post a lot more on my time there, but I’m still going through photos and digesting it all.

 

Now I’m back in NYC and visited my doctor today, who confirmed from the MRI that I had slight plantar fasciitis (with some visible scar tissue in my heel) that probably led me to favor my heel and run in a weird way that led to the tendonitis (my arch pain).  I told her I’ve been mostly pain-free the last couple weeks and she tested my foot again and noticed it was doing much better, and she ok’d me to start running again (but gradually and with variation in speed and terrain).  She warned me that I’m at risk for stress fractures now that I’ve taken so long off from running to heal my other injuries (doh!).

 

She asked me when my next marathon was scheduled and I told her September 22nd, exactly 2 months away.  She definitely made a face at that and thought it was too soon, but she also didn’t tell me not to do it.  Basically, it’s on me to be smart about getting back into running, not doing too much too fast (almost never a problem for my lazy butt), and backing down if I feel pain.  She didn’t recommend orthotics (besides the gel heel cups I’ve already been wearing), since they can cause more problems in someone who doesn’t have current injuries and they take about 6 weeks to even get used to, which would mean not running regularly or properly for my two fall marathons (not that I’ll be doing proper training anyway, but orthotics would be an even bigger wrench in my monkey wrench stew).

 

I celebrated my diagnosis by walking back home across Central Park and taking the picture above.  I feel like I haven’t been in the park in ages and I can’t wait to return to its endless loops.  Since I have plans tonight, my first run won’t be until tomorrow, and I can only imagine how lung-searingly difficult it’s going to be, but with every gasp and drop of sweat, I’ll be happy I can finally return to my running home.

 

How’s your summer running going?  Have you ever been to Montana?  Are you surprised I wasn’t killed by a bear?  Share in the comments!