Das Boot Part Deux

YOU GUYS.

Today I said goodbye to my cast and hello again to Das Boot!

Das Boot

*chair dance*

And more good news from my doc. My ankle is looking great! (Ok, really, it looks like a gross rainbow, but medical-wise, it’s looking good). Incisions are healing well. Doc says I’ve been doing everything right. Wahoo! I can start putting weight on my foot as tolerated and in a week or two I can start weaning off the crutches!

*chair dance*

There’s even more good news! I can go to my friend’s wedding Saturday (just the ceremony, but still, wahoo!). I was so worried that I wouldn’t be able to attend. Oh, AND, I was cleared to start working part-time from home next week and then to head back to the office (as tolerated) on the 25th! SQUEE! You guys, I was so worried I was going to be out of the office for another month (which I would not be able to afford).

So, overall, today was pretty awesome. Oh, and I got to go to Target again. You know what that means.

Motorized cart at Target
Motorized cart at Target
Wheee!
Wheee!

WARNING: Graphic photos in links below!

For those of you curious (and have a strong stomach), here’s a photo of the outside of my left ankle. It’s where the ligaments were repaired. Here’s a photo of the inside of my ankle, which is where the screw was inserted to repair a fracture. I’m not sure which side they went in to remove the bone spurs. Not like it matters when looking at gross photos of my foot.

 

 

Day 4

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It’s been three days since my lateral ligament reconstruction, bone spur removal and bone fracture surgery.

Today started out a bit rough. I was in a lot of pain this morning and spent more time sleeping than I did yesterday. I’ve had a really upset stomach (let’s just say  that the narcotics are doing a number on my digestive system).

I was told that today would be the first day I could attempt to shower, but I was feeling so exhausted that I just washed up and threw on a Bondi Band. I may attempt a shower tomorrow, but only if I have the energy to stand up on one leg long enough. My ankle is non-weight bearing for at least three weeks, if not longer.

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And then these beautiful flowers arrived.

My sister and her boyfriend had them delivered from Whole Foods. They are so beautiful and were the ray of sunshine I needed on this rough morning.

Thankfully, mom was home today and answered the door when they arrived. I’m not sure how I would have gotten them in the house otherwise!

Today I napped, watched Netflix, played some games on my computer and designed new business cards for my LLC. I can’t wait to see them!

photoTomorrow, the plan is to do some knitting. I’m working out a pattern for a bootie of sorts over my cast to keep my toes warm! Here’s what I have so far. –>

And, let’s not forget about my adorable nurse.

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I’m alive.

Ligaments fixed. Bone spurs removed. Surprise fracture fixed with a screw.

LOL, I got screwed today.

HAHAHHahahahha.

Shut up, it’s the drugs talking. Very, very powerful drugs.

PS. Apparently, my ligaments were so bad, that the doc could have popped the ankle out of the socket easily. It would have basically slid right out.

 

 

Day 9: Running to beat stress

Day 9/210: 2.85 mi in 40:45. Average pace: 14:11.

Tunes: Dan Savage Podcast. AWESOME.

Headed out for a run after work. And boy did I need a good run. It wasn’t as cathartic as I would have liked, but it helped nonetheless. (Stressful couple of days).

Was great to see Marge G. around the lagoon at McCarty Park!!! I loved catching up with my TC buddy! 😀

Keep on keeping on.

BTW – it’s hard to take self portraits while running. Exhibit A:

 

Day 6: 3 miles of bribery

Day 6 of marathon training. First “long” run. Truth be told I didn’t know if I’d be able to do it. Haven’t ran more than 1-2 mi at a time since the beginning of the year (thanks to slipping on ice and throwing out my back and some other health related issues). But I did it, and much faster than I thought I would be. Yayz. I got some of my confidence back. Oh did I mention I didn’t walk? Eek. See also: wearing a singlet to run on March 17 IN WISCONSIN.

3.1 miles in 44 min (14:11 pace)

On my run today I came across a group of young girls. Here is our conversation:

Little girl: why are you running?
Me: because I’m training for a marathon.
Little girl: why would you do something like that?
Me: because I want to
Little girl: that’s weird.

Touché, little girl. Touché.

 

PS: The reason it was 3 miles of bribery is that I told myself if I went for a run I could eat a cupcake. But I got home and never ended up eating that cupcake. WOAH. WILLPOWER. I HAS IT.

Race Report: Dances With Dirt – Devil’s Lake

” I realize that my participation in this event entails the risk of injury or even death.”

Perhaps, just perhaps, I should have paid closer attention to the Dances with Dirt waiver.

“I realize that the course for the (DWD) presents a number of potential dangers to me and I hereby assume the risk arising from all of them. I realize that I will be running on a variety of surfaces, some of them far less than perfect, including but not limited to roads, unimproved trails, mud, swamps, cliffs, lumpy fields covered with waist high grass and river crossings. The roads are open to motor vehicle traffic that has the right of way. I know that broken bones, reactions to poison ivy, insect bites and bruising are common occurrences in this extreme event and that I will be far into the wilderness away from medical support. I realize that the danger of injury and even death exists as well and I hereby assume all the risks that may be present on the (DWD) course.”

Let’s move on to the race info that was emailed out to participants the week before the race:

  • DWD is an adventurous trail run with difficult and stupid sections. Crying is acceptable.
  • IF YOU’VE RUN FOR 3 MINUTES WITHOUT SEEING A RIBBON OR FLAG, YOUR DECISION TO CONTINUE FORWARD IS MORONIC.
  • 10K Virgin voyage 2011 (first year)

What in the HELL did I get myself into? Read on.

It all started Friday night when Rochelle, Annie, Tracey, Matt, Marty and I drove up to meet Krista and Evan at Devil’s Head Resort in Merrimac. Rochelle, Annie and Tracey headed to the resort to check in and the rest of us set up camp.

Me and Krista, representing Dailymile while beering and camping

We headed into Baraboo for some good ol’ fashioned spaghetti and meatballs. The Mama Mia’s staff were so sweet and stayed open late just for us!

Then it was back to camp for more beer and this awesome campfire:

Why yes, that IS two citronella candles chillin’ on a smokey joe. Don’t judge. You’re just jealous you didn’t think of it first.

I woke up early enough to see my friends off to their races. Annie, Rochelle, Tracey, Krista and Marty all did the marathon. Evan and Matt did the half marathon… then there was me. The lone 10k-er.

I wasn’t really worried or all that nervous before the race. This was just a fun run on the trails while my friends ran a marathon. I’d finish and head back to camp for beer.

I headed to the start line just before 8 a.m. Then I heard the announcer say, “Oh hey 10k-ers. By the way, you’re going to wish you signed up for the half marathon. This is the most difficult 10k I’ve ever seen.”

Um. No.

What?

Then the race started. So I ran. Then we got to the ski hill. You know, the one we had to RUN UP.

I know. Who in the hell runs up a ski hill?

The race bottle-necked at the base of the hill, which was fine with me. “I’m good with this pace. Carry on,” I proclaimed to much laughter.

After the initial incline, the pack began to thin out. I couldn’t help but wonder what I had gotten myself into. It was HOT.

It doesn’t look steep, but trust me, it’s not fun.

When I reached the top of the hill, I was pretty excited. I was only a little slower than I had planned and it was uphill. Winning! Just do a 5k up here then I get to head back down! Wheeee!

I picked up speed and ran through the woods. I passed two or three people. Hells yeah. I’m doing this. I’m rocking this.

Oh fuck.

Yep. I fell. Hard. Forward.

I cut up my legs, arms and even got a hole in my summer running tights. Oh, and I landed right on my left thumb. But more on that later.

I shook it off and kept going.

Then, I came to what can only be described as a steep steep hill (yes, double steep) with shoulder-high grass where race organizers  probably sent someone the day before to stomp a path down the hill. So there was this tiny itty bitty path on this double steep hill and the only path was slippery grass mixed with fresh mud. You see where this is going, right?

I basically fell down this hill. For more than half a mile. Every few steps I would slip and slide down further on my ass. It got pretty comical. Step step step step BOOM slide. Repeat. I counted seven falls down the hill. I grabbed anything and everything to maintain my balance, including thorny bushes. I even got my hair stuck in a small tree while the rest of my body tried to fall down the hill. I took baby steps, sideways down the hill to maintain balance. I went so slow. Then I reached the bottom. Yay! Water stop! Yay! Catching up with the other slow people.

Confession: I don’t know these ladies or their names. But we commiserated at 3.5 miles into the 10k. Notice the smiles? Those were gone in about 60 seconds.

Why? The colored flags denoting the race path started sneaking…. up. Yes, UP. UP ANOTHER DAMN SKI HILL. This one was so much worse than the first.

The heat and humidity were starting to hit me and my asthma… hard. Every 5-10 steps I had to stop to catch my breath and pray I didn’t die. I sent the ladies pictured above along with a nice man named Mark on ahead. I was overly dramatic and told them to “Save yourselves. Leave me be. I’m gonna puke. It’s not going to be pretty. I’ll catch up later.”

And now we come to the part of the day where I completely lost about 30 minutes of my life. Seriously. Somehow it took me 30  minutes to go half a mile up a hill. And I don’t really remember any of it. I was dizzy. I was hallucinating. I’m pretty sure it was heat exhaustion. I drank some of my water. Took a couple sport beans. I dreamed of laying down and passing out. I know that I never let myself sit down or lay down, but I really don’t know what happened. But then I got to (what I thought was) the top of the ski hill! WINNING! Here’s what the look down was like.

I entered a wooded area. Yay! Shade! Less than a quarter mile later, this is what I saw:

I was only half way up the damn ski hill. I started sobbing. I couldn’t believe what a tease the course was. I thought I was at the top of the hill. I wasn’t even close. Luckily, it wasn’t nearly as steep, but it was still UP.

I struggled to the top and then started to feel a bit better. I did some jogging as I headed back in and out of the wooded areas and down the “easy” ski hill. I didn’t push my speed because I really didn’t want to pass out. I knew I was going to be the last person to finish the 10k so there really wasn’t any type of time goal. Just finish. And, #dontdie.

Eventually, I heard some music. I heard cheering. I knew I was getting close to the finish line. I stumbled through the finish line and was given my medal. No one cheered. I don’t think anyone even knew I was running the race because I looked like a stumbling drunk.

How badass is this? EXTREME 10k indeed!

One of the volunteers gave me an ice cold bottle of water. That water was heaven. She asked how I was doing. I think she could tell something was off. I told her I didn’t know if I was ok. She offered to walk me to the med tent but I said I could do it. I didn’t know if I needed it though. So I kind of wandered like a crazy person at the finish, drinking gatorade, water, whatever I could get my hands on.

I saw Matt. He said he and Evan were worried about me because they thought I was going to finish an hour earlier. Yeah, me too. He offered to get me things. I just sort of mumbled and started throwing down my ipod, garmin, spibelt and kicked off my shoes. I walked straight to the make-shift shower near the finish line and stood under the cool stream of water for 5-10 minutes. That was the most amazing ghetto shower I’ve ever taken. It cooled me off enough I didn’t need to go to the med tent. I washed off all my cuts and scrapes and scrubbed off the mud. Then I stumbled to the food table and sloppily ate half a chocolate muffin. omg. chocolate. muffin.

I changed, grabbed my chair and the beer and chilled at the finish line with Evan and Matt to await our friends’ arrival. Mmmm beer.

No amount of training could have adequately prepared me for this race. Based on previous trail runs, I expected to finish in about 2:05 with an ultimate goal of 1:50. My official time: 2:41:26.

Injuries: countless bruises, cuts, scrapes, thorns, sunburn, a bunch of busted blood vessels and a sprained thumb.

SPLITS: 21:55, 22:03, 19:33, 48:31, 32:10, 17:15*

*NOTE: these are incorrect, as when I practically crawled up the ski hill (2nd) my garmin kept jacking up with the satellites, so it said I did 5.85 mi when it was really 6.2. I’m sure the trees didn’t help, either.

Race Recap: Wisconsin Half Marathon

NOTE: I started writing this two days after the race but finally was able to finish writing it this week. Sue me.

Saturday morning, I completed my second half marathon with an official chip time of 3:33:45, an improvement of 15:54 overall or 1:18 per mile. Basically, I improved my time/pace by 14.4%! That’s pretty damn good, if I do say so myself. Now, granted, with a previous half marathon time of 3:49:39, there is much room for improvement, but I look forward to many more PR’s in my future!

Now that we have some of the technical stuff out of the way, let’s get to the report.

Friday night, I met up with some of my running besties, Annie, Rochelle, Krista and Tracey. We went down to Kenosha, stayed overnight at the Holiday Inn Express, ate lots of cookies and candy and had a good ol’ fashioned sleepover. Never mind we’re between the ages of 28-33. We can still be kids whenever we want.

We got all our gear ready for the race, pinning ribbons with names of friends/loved ones to our gear.

LEFT: Orange ribbons for my Aunt Janice, Uncle Will and Grandma Kant. RIGHT: Pink ribbon for my friend and coworker, Anne, who is battling breast cancer.

Because I was unable to do the Las Vegas Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon with the rest of my Team Challenge friends, this race was my “replacement” in honor of my loved ones who’ve battled (and are battling) Crohn’s and Colitis. So of course, I ran in honor of them on Saturday, hence the orange ribbons on my water bottle. I also ran in honor of my coworker, Anne, who is one kickass woman. She is fighting breast cancer, raising 3 precious kids and still coming in to work as she is able between treatments. Her humor and determination to kick this disease in the balls are nothing short of inspiring. The station I work for sponsored the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer 5k Walk along the lakefront Saturday morning, and since I was not able to join my colleagues, I ran three of my 13.1 miles in honor of Anne and all the women fighting breast cancer.

Some of my Real Milwaukee coworkers, including Anne (right). If she isn't a BAMF, I don't know what is.

Ok, now that we’ve gotten all sappy, let’s get back to talking about me.

Even though I’ve been through this before, I was physically ill about this race. I put so much pressure on myself and was nauseous all morning (and actually, for the week leading up to the race).

Here’s my view before the race started. There were only signs up to a 12 minute pace group, so I lined up behind them. And laughed because there was no way in hell I was going to run a 12 minute pace.

Jodi, Rachel & Me

The night before the race I was dead-set on running the race alone, but it was nice to see some familiar faces (Jodi and Rachel) while waiting for the race to start. Just in case they wanted me to run with them, I warned before the gun went off that I was going to walk the first mile or so and then start my run/walking and that there was nothing against them, I just had a plan and I was sticking with it. We saw Karla shortly after starting the race and all walked together for the first 10-15 min. Then I told the girls I was gonna start my intervals and Jodi joined me.

Lake Michigan - about mile 2 or so

Jodi is faster than me so I remember repeatedly telling her she didn’t have to slow down – that she could take off whenever she wanted to and I wouldn’t be upset. But she said she didn’t mind because she didn’t really train the way she wanted to and said it would be better for her to stay with someone who had a plan (run 5min, walk 3). She said it would also keep her from going too fast at the start.

It only took a couple of miles for the field to really start to thin out. This is most evident to slow runners like myself. You don’t really have to fight for a spot on the road when you’re at the back of the pack.

Me, smiling at mile 3-ish.

Jodi and I began giving other runners nicknames. Don’t judge. I know you ALL do it too. There’s the weird breather, tutu girl, crazy hat lady, guy in jeans, etc. Well we had Shuffleupagus (the guy who was constantly shuffling his feet – for 7+ miles. The sound became worse than nails on a chalkboard. I wanted to punch him). There was cane lady, who we were dead set on passing early on (C’mon. Who wants to get beaten by a lady with a cane?). There was also das boot – the lady running with a stress fracture boot. INSANITY.

It was great to see familiar faces out on the course – Marty, Kelly, Laura, John, Marge, Becky, Courtney, Lisa and of course my parents! It was also pretty cool to see friends running back to the finish (much of the course was an out-and-back so you saw runners headed the other direction). I high-fived Matt, Tracey, Krista, Annie and Rochelle.  I’m sure I’m forgetting to mention someone, so please forgive me if I forgot to post your name).

Looking back, the middle of the race is a bit of a blur. I remember it getting overcast and a bit cooler. I remember drinking some gatorade that had obviously not been mixed properly (hello syrupy electrolytes) and playing leap frog with the same groups of people the entire race, thinking “My God, when are we going to hit a turnaround point?”

At some point, I told Jodi I was turning up my music to drown out shuffleupagus and to focus on my intervals. Seriously, this man made my blood boil. We took advantage of downhills to burst ahead.

We got to the turnaround point at Carthage College a few minutes before they started taking down the course and moving the runners/walkers to the sidewalks. I knew this was going to happen, but it was a little startling nonetheless. (Race directors said participants would be moved to sidewalks if they were slower than a 15 min pace).

Shortly after the turnaround point, I saw my parents in the distance. I’ll be honest. I kind of started crying when I saw them. I stopped and gave them each a huge hug.

 

Oh hi mom and dad – I seeeee you! If you look carefully, you can see shuffleupagus in the back. He’s wearing a blue shirt and black sweatpants.

Hiiiii mom! Hiiii dad! oh, and hiiiiii gullet!

The pictures above were taken around mile 8 or 9 I think. It was the right time in the race to get a little pick me up from my parents (also, the course didn’t have any spectators at this point).

I remember my dad trying to run ahead to get more pictures. I know I yelled at him, “Hey dad! I’m running a half marathon and you’re making me look bad! Stop it.” He replied, “I need to get a picture!”

Giggles. I love my dad.

Jodi and I trudged on. I started to fade (read: slow down) and we parted ways around mile 10.5. I never lost sight of Jodi but just couldn’t move my legs any faster than they were going.

As I ran into downtown Kenosha I saw my parents again!

Note the other participants and I maneuvering around pedestrians.

Me: Dad, stop. I look like shit. It's mile 11.

Just as I passed the mile 11 marker, I saw someone taking down the mile markers, cones, etc. By this point we were running/walking on the sidewalks of downtown Kenosha – me trying to get around people “Hello! I’m running a race here people!” Again, I expected us to get moved to the sidewalk. I didn’t expect the mile markers/guides to be taken away. Luckily, this didn’t affect me and to be honest with you, I was so focused on finishing I didn’t think about it.

The last 1.5-2 miles of this race are such a tease. You see the finish line but have to head south almost a mile before you can turn around and head to the finish… So you have to run past all the people who are almost done – who have those looks like “yes! almost there!” when you’re hitting the wall. It’s pretty NOT awesome.

I got to the final little turnaround and it started to hit me – I was almost done with my second half marathon. I could crawl the last mile and I’d still beat my previous time. I had this in the bag. Of course, that didn’t keep me from ignoring the pain, it just helped me to keep my mind off it.

With less than a quarter mile to go, I remember a marathoner whizzing past me as a spectator yelled at me, “Looking good! You got this!” I was clearly struggling and the marathon douchebag replied, “Oh please, this is easy.” I’m pretty sure that if someone was videotaping me at this point they would have seen my jaw hit the pavement. For one, she wasn’t talking to you. She was looking at me, the fat girl, clearly struggling through the last quarter mile of the race. Secondly, you’re an a-hole. Shut up. Even the woman was shocked by his douchebaggery.

As I approached the finish line and the final tenth of a mile, emotions overcame me. I saw my mom at the corner, cheering and waving. I started blowing kisses and I heard a group of people erupt ahead. It was my besties! One of the benefits of being a slow runner is that every single one of your friends has crossed the finish line waaaay before you. So they’re obligated to stand there and wait for you to finish. It’s a rule.

kisses!

high-fiving my besties! Note: Shuffleupagus beat me to the finish. Bastard with shuffling feet.
Throw your hands up!
Oh.Mah.Gawd. I’m done.
Oh wait! Garmin! Stop! Garmin!
Cue the tears
Yay! Cheese medal! And a banana! Note: I loathe bananas.

So there you have it. My race recap. Like a million years late. 😉

Splits: 16:16, 15:19, 16:10, 16:10, 15:16, 15:46, 15:51, 16:37, 16:26, 16:28, 16:46, 17:51, 16:51, 13:17 (pace for .15)

Favorite Race Photo

I actually purchased a race photo! This is at the end of my half marathon a couple of weeks ago (yes, race recap still in draft mode)… I’m at the last tenth of a mile or so and I see my mom. I’m blowing kisses to her and to my besties who are just beyond her. I’m gonna frame this picture, I <3 it so.