Just when you think things can’t get worse… they do. I am a walking limping example of Murphy’s Law.
Things were progressing well with my ankle. The swelling was down, the lump of scar tissue/fluid was barely there. Then, as I was walking to the car Sunday afternoon, my ankle gave out on me and I fell… hard. I felt something “go” in my ankle. Not sure if it was a snap, rip or whatever. But something happened that shouldn’t have happened.
I stayed off my foot the rest of the night and have been nursing it with ibuprofen, ice and continued to wear my brace.
But as each day passed, it got worse. The pain intensified. There’s a constant pain, just varying in intensity. Walking hurts. Sitting hurts. Everything hurts.
So I went back to my ortho today. Another set of x-rays showed a couple new spurs, but thankfully no fractures. In order to stabilize my ankle, I was given a fancy aircast boot. It’s huge. But it’s keeping things in place, so I guess there’s that.
My ortho guy (he’s a PA – so he’s not a doctor, but I don’t really know how to refer to him except for as my ortho guy) said that if things don’t get better in the next 2-3 weeks, he will order an MRI and refer me to an ankle/foot specialist where we will discuss the next steps. There’s a possibility I have a torn tendon. AWESOME.
I thought I had hit a low earlier this month, but I’ve hit an even lower low.
Will I ever run again? I HAVEN’T RAN SINCE JULY 22. That’s more than three months. I feel like I’ve lost my identity. I’ve lost three months of my life to the never-healing ankle.
I don’t know what comes next, but I do know that today, I will eat (and drink) some feelings. And maybe, just maybe, some of yours as well.
About three weeks ago (after finally being cleared to workout), my ankle started getting worse, instead of better. It was swollen. It hurt like hell.
And there was a weird lump.
Turns out, I tore a muscle on the inside of my ankle, just above the joint. (Chances are, this tear happened back in July/August when the injury first developed. My doc thinks the tear got worse last month, and that’s why I had the increased swelling and pain).
Here’s the gross part:
That lump on my ankle? I later was told it was scar tissue, blood and other fluid pooling at my ankle. Awesome. Super sexy.
I was told that I couldn’t work out (again) and that I had to take it easy. That meant Kinesio tape, ankle brace, icing and anti-inflammatory meds. Of course, did I listen? (you know the answer).
Nope. I spent a good 12+ hours setting up, working and cleaning up at Paxton’s Pablove Fest that weekend. I was in charge of the merchandise tent, so I was able to sit down pretty often. But, not enough. The next morning, my ankle was even more swollen and painful. I wore my calf compression sleeve, the kinesio tape and my brace the next day. And it just kept getting worse. Don’t get me wrong – I wouldn’t have missed out on Paxton’s Pablove Fest for anything. NOTHING would have kept me away. NOTHING. Luckily, my doctor recognized how important it was for me to be there at the event, not only personally, but also to fulfill my commitments to Team Paxton.
That didn’t stop him from scolding me though.
That Monday at work, I was in so much pain – just sitting at my desk. I couldn’t take it any longer and called to get an earlier appointment at the doctor. They did x-rays, e-stim and ultrasound therapy. The x-rays confirmed there was no break (they wanted to make sure), but my doc said there was significant inflammation (duh) along with the aforementioned scar tissue and blood. The doctor said he knew I did what I needed to do that Saturday, but that now I needed to focus on my own health.
So, I’ve been on crutches for two weeks. I *just* got off them yesterday. I’ve worn my calf sleeves more in the past two weeks than in the last year! There’s been a lot of tape, ice, meds, resting, brace wearing and elevating. I’m finally in a place where I’m not in constant, horrible pain. Right now, it’s more like a really bad ache.
“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.”
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
I have had so many setbacks in my training and journey to health. It seems like each time I take one step forward, something sets me two steps back.
I have worked hard to not let this affect me but, to be honest, it tears me up. I’ve tried to put up a strong front. I’ve tried to be nonchalant about it all. I’ve had some moments of public disappointment about my injuries and setbacks. Mostly, I’ve tried to convince myself it was ok.
Truthfully, it’s been blow after blow after blow, both physically and mentally.
It’s draining to stay positive when all you want to do is ask God, “Why does this keep happening to me? Why do I keep having injuries? Why do I have to be so freaking cautious in my training? Why is it easy for everyone else to train without setbacks?”
I’ve tried to be strong. I’ve tried to set a good example for others who say they are inspired by me. I don’t want to let them down. I don’t want to let you down.
But it’s all a lie.
From knee problems and a sprained foot/ankle to plantar fasciitis and a subluxated rib, I’m sick of it. I’m sick of it all.
I am sick of being excited about an accomplishment, only to a short time later have to pull back.
I want to run. I want to run far. I want to run fast. I want to be the best. I want to compete. I want to race.
I don’t want to be the last to finish. In fact, I don’t want to be anywhere near the back of the pack.
But that’s where I am.
Why can’t I be happy with where I’m at? Why am I constantly comparing myself to others who’ve been at this so much longer than I have? Why can’t I be happy, knowing that I have completed a half marathon, instead of being disappointed I walked more than 10 miles of it?
Why does it kill me to know — that despite my hopes, my prayers, my careful and smart training post Napa and during training for Vegas — that there’s no way I will be able to run a full 13.1 miles in 11 weeks? That was the plan all along. Just finish the race in Napa. Then run the hell outta Vegas. I’m 11 weeks from the race and the furthest I’ve gone is 3.8 miles, and that was mostly walking. Yesterday I ran for a mile without walking, and while I’m so freaking happy about that, the accomplishment is clouded by the knowledge that I can’t keep that pace going for more than a mile.
I know I need to focus on the positive, but I’m tired of focusing on that. I need to vent. I need to cry.
I’m trying to be smart. I’m trying not to push myself too hard. I’m trying to listen to my body. I’m trying to listen to my trainer. I’m trying to listen to my coaches. I’m trying to be positive.
“The miracle isn’t that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start.” – John Bingham
It started out like any normal Sunday. Well, any normal Sunday where you get up at 4 a.m. to get ready and catch a bus at 5 a.m. to your first half marathon. You know, the usual. My first half marathon experience was nothing short of amazing. God spoke to me through Freddy Mercury, I never stopped to use the bathroom, I ran about 3 miles, I kept smiling and joking throughout and got to see almost every single teammate along the way. I am so grateful for this experience.
Me and Coach Anne – the cool kids in the back of the bus.
Team Challenge Wisconsin met for one last team cheer before the walkers nervously boarded our fancy bus to Napa. I was a ball of nerves. Yes, I’m smiling in the photos above, but my stomach was in knots. What had I done? Did I really sign up for this? What the hell was I thinking? Who in their right mind – at 249 lbs – would do a half marathon? I mean, really…
This is what happens when your Garmin is upset you can’t run for 2 weeks.
One week ago, I did a half marathon. All week long, I’ve been a lazy bum. I need to kick my butt in gear but I’ve been in so much pain with my left foot.
Went to the doc Friday afternoon and she said that since my foot felt better before the race, it probably wasn’t a stress fracture. Dr. H. thinks it’s one of the following – bad sprain, torn tendon or tendonitis. Lovely, eh? If it still hurts in 2 weeks, she’s sending me to an orthopedic specialist who’ll likely do a bone scan or ct scan. yay.
So, I can’t run or walk (everyday kind of walking is ok. Walking to work out is not) for 2 weeks. No elliptical either (not that I mind). Basically, anything that means I’m putting all my weight on my feet is out.
This basically leaves me with biking and swimming. I love biking and I love swimming. I just don’t have access to a pool. Sure, there’s a lake but with all the rain we’ve had lately, I’m pretty sure that’s the last place I want to be right now. If anyone has a pool I could swim laps in for free, lemme know. Or, if you know of a place I could use for a nominal fee, I’m all ears. I need to do cardio and I don’t want to only bike. Besides, the trail I usually use is all effed up because of the rain. (UPDATE: My friend Jane may have solved the pool access dilemma. Stay tuned).
Yes, I’m making excuses, but I’m just trying to air out my options. I’ll probably hit up yoga this week, even though that requires weight on my feet. I don’t know what else to do! At least with yoga, it’s not constant moving and pounding on my feet.
Also: I got a good foot/ankle brace now. Icing a few times a day and sucking down the ibuprofen.
I’ve been struggling with something for awhile now and I can’t keep it bottled up anymore. I’ve tried to be upbeat and positive about this whole sprained foot fiasco. Oh wait, you don’t know about this do you?
Yeah, that’s right. I never blogged about it. Why? Well, I kept putting it off… and off… and off… until I started getting bitter today about he whole thing. Sure, I tweeted about it and made posts on DailyMile, but I never really blogged about how it made me feel. Here goes.
My left foot pain is getting worse, not better. I’m so scared something is wrong that will knock me out of training for Napa. Please send some healing thoughts/prayers my way. Pretty sure I’ll be going to the doctor today. 🙁
Last month, I had to “take it easy” for the Great Milwaukee Race. I wasn’t supposed to run. But, I didn’t want to let my teammates down so I ran a bit (this was before I knew the foot was sprained). Then I had my long build-up run/walks for training for the half marathon. I did 8 miles… then almost 9… then just over 10 miles. All on a sprained foot. Yep. I am pretty badass. Or stubborn. One of the two.
Luckily, the diagnosis came a week before my taper was to begin, so instead of doing my last long run/walk of 12 miles… I started taking it easy and tapering back early. On the one hand, awesome. On the other, crap.
I had a “come to Jesus” conversation with my trainer via text message the day I went to the doctor. Here’s how it went:
Me: This sucks.
John: Why? It will be fine!
Me: Because I want to do it all 🙁
John: U will just not this week, u wanna be fit for life, not just a couple of months, right?
Me: Yeah. You’re right. I know I need to listen I just don’t want to. Haven’t had an “easy” week since I began training for the half
John: That could be part of the reason u are hurt at the moment.
Me: Prolly. Guess I’m just afraid of going back to my old routine of nothing. Know what I mean?
John: I will drag ur punk ass out of ur house and make u workout if u do!
I have tried to accept the fact that I had to stop running. I have tried to accept the fact that I had to drop out of a 5k two weeks ago. I have tried (and failed) to accept the fact that I can’t run the Storm the Bastille 5k tomorrow. This race is especially hard for me to miss because back when I decided to start this journey, my goal race was to run the Storm the Bastille on July 8. Sure, I am freaking doing a half marathon next week, but I can’t help but feel like a complete failure. My one, measly goal – Run the Storm the Bastille – #amyfail. Yes, my goals have changed. I can do 3.1 miles in my sleep. But I haven’t actually RAN a full 5k yet. This has been a psychological barrier for me and I have been eagerly anticipating the chance to show myself I can RUN a 5k.
Then there’s this whole all-these-people-donated-money-for-charity-because-I-said-I-would-do-a-half-marathon-and-I-went-and-overdid-things-and-may-have-put-the-whole-race-at-risk factor. Yup. I’m doing this whole get healthy journey for me. And I am worried about what my family and friends will think if I fail miserably next weekend. When I started training, my goal was to be at a solid 15 minute mile pace (4mph). I’m quite certain if I was able to run more, I would have no problem maintaining this pace. However, due to all of my training setbacks (including the knee problems a few months ago), I have been logging a solid 16:30-17:30 walking pace. So now, my new time goal is in the 3:30-4:00 range. I know I shouldn’t compare myself to others… but I have friends who are in the sub-4:00 MARATHON time range. And I’m just praying I can do a sub-4:00 HALF MARATHON. It’s a kick to the ol’ ego, that’s for sure.
I need to stop putting myself through this, but I can’t help it. There was a time (just months ago), where I couldn’t understand why some of my friends were working out ALL the time. They were running 7-8 miles FOR FUN. My idea of a good time was ordering a pizza, drinking a 6-pack of beer and watching basic cable Law & Order: SVU marathons. My idea of a good time was certainly not training for a HALF MARATHON. SVU Marathons are much more entertaining. Now, ordering a pizza, drinking beer and watching SVU Marathons is still high on my list of fun times… but the times I’ve been able to run – actually RUN – I can’t describe the feeling as anything short of euphoric. It’s amazing what the human body is capable of. And I know mine is capable of running.
I know I need to listen to my trainer, my coach, my doctors… but I can’t help feeling like I’m a failure. I feel like giving up. I feel like putting on my fat pants. I feel like burying my sorrow in peanut butter M&Ms, fruity cocktails, microbrews, high-carb, high-fat meals… (and trust me, I have done this in recent weeks). But I know that is giving in. I can’t fall back to the old Amy. I can’t let the old fat girl win. The new fat girl is so much more fun. She feels better. She can walk up flights of stairs without losing her breath. She is 10 days away from completing a half marathon (at 250 lbs, none the less). She needs to get over herself, put on her big-girl underwear and stop being such a baby.
I guess what I’m trying to say is… don’t be stupid like I’ve been. Be smart. Accept your setbacks. Grow a pair.
First it was good. Then it was really good. Then it was ok. Then it was meh. Then it was bad. Then it was really bad. Then it was oh-my-god-I’m-going-to-die. Then it was over.
My left foot/ankle bothered me quite a bit yesterday. I’m not sure what happened. I iced it on and off all afternoon and evening, hoping it would feel better.
When I woke up today it was a little bit better, but not great. I did not have high expectations for today’s run/walk. I was completely prepared to do a couple of miles and go home.
Around the first half mile mark, Coach Anne asked if I was going to run down the hill (I like to run down the hill at Lincoln Memorial Drive cuz it makes me feel fast). I told her that I would probably run down the hill and how I felt at the end would determine if I’d run any more today.
Well I started running. And I kept running. Before I knew it, I was by the Northpoint custard stand which is the 2mi mark of the route. And I was running. woah. I walked for the next 3/4 of a mile. Then I started running again. And I kept running. My pace was slowing considerably but I just kept going because I was afraid of what would happen when I stopped. I continued running til I got to Lake Shore State Park and then walked the first half to 3/4 mi of the loop. Then I started running again. I continued running (ok at this point it was more like a shuffle) to Discovery World. Then I realized that the route I thought was 10 miles was actually going to be more like 9 and I got mad and I went up Michigan past Discovery World out onto the pier to add some mileage. It was about half a mile but whatever. It was some additional mileage.
By this point my foot was starting to hurt more, but I kept alternating between walking and running for a bit longer. As I passed the lagoon the pain started getting worse. My pace was slowing. And slowing. And slowing. I ran out of water and bought a bottle from a vendor at the entrance to Veterans Park. I kept going even though the pain was getting worse. I was determined to show the lakefront who’s boss. As I reached McKinley Marina, I knew there was no way I would be running any more. The pain was getting worse. I was glad I had sunglasses on because I’m pretty sure I was crying a bit.
I’ll be honest. There were times during the last couple of miles that all I wanted to do was sit down and cry and call someone to come pick me up. But I didn’t. I kept going, despite the pain.
When I got to the Lake Park Bistro stairs and stared up Lincoln Memorial I knew there was no way I was going to make the last mile of our normal loop. So I cut it short and practically crawled up the stairs. No joke. It was so painful going up those stairs. My knees were aching. My ankle/foot was throbbing. I made it to the top and collapsed near the picnic bench Becky was sitting at. I almost lost it then but managed to keep my shiz together as I talked about what happened.
The rest of the day I was really depressed about what happened today. I focused on the bad so much I forgot that I RAN 1.5 miles today. And then another mile. And then a half mile. And then another mile or so.
I’m going to spend the next couple of days resting my foot and hoping that some RICE action will get it better so I don’t throw off my training. Here’s hoping my workouts at the beginning of the week are more strength-focused than cardio. Cuz the treadmill and eliptical aren’t happening.
I just got the shoes yesterday at Kohl’s. Already I can feel a difference… the gel cushioning is great for shock absorption, which, let’s be honest… when you weigh 267 and you’re jumping around, there’s BOUND to be some stress to the knees and ankles. I’m hoping that these shoes will help alleviate some of that stress, because my knees are killing me.
I thought that a day of rest would help, but it didn’t. I tried just walking the past 2 days, but it hasn’t gotten better. I’m sure that standing for four hours on cement at the Pettitt didn’t help, but seriously, WTH.
I’ve been using biofreeze and that helps, but I’m not sure what else to do. Do I rest another day? Do I push through it?
I’m sure they just hurt because I haven’t worked out in so long and carrying around 267 pounds can’t be easy.
Ok, enough complaining. Today I did day 6 of the shred and it was ok. I haven’t done the shred since Wednesday, so I feel like I went backwards a li’l bit. I will have to be more diligent with it to complete my 30 day shred challenge.
I’ve been doing pretty well as far as my diet goes… Friday night I went to Comet Cafe with my sis and I got the Baked Chili Mac… which was ahhh-mazing (see below). I ate less than half of it and felt sick the rest of the night. Lesson learned.