Returned to the Treadmill: Talus Recovery (7 Months)

I felt very defeated at the end of the year with the fact that my injury still required daily maintenance, I readjusted my expectations, put my big girl pants on, and was determined through the month of January.

I had no idea how quickly I’d be making progress in my physical recovery!

Within a few weeks I surprised myself with a new found gains: running on a trampoline (high knee steps) and running on the ground.

I had done some of my exercises in physical therapy for the morning, and my ankle felt pretty limber, so I decided to try to bend my knee over my ankle against the leg of one of the tables. I was expecting to still be a few inches away, but my knee was able to completely touch with my foot remaining flat on the table. My PT had transitioned towards his next patient because I was about to start cool down. I scanned the room for him, and caught him looking up in my direction, I pointed down at my knee/ankle excitedly and he smiled, thumbs up’d back!

The next few weeks I continued to make similar gains in PT, I was never able to limber my ankle enough to bend it over my knee to touch the wall outside of PT, but each day in PT I was able to maintain this progress.

I returned to dance using dance tennis shoes, so much more supportive for my feet/arches at this point in my recovery. I felt slow most days as the teacher was now different and I wasn’t used to her style/pace yet. More and more I found that my body remembered some things and I felt like a ballerina again. One of the first days as I was rediscovering my ballet groove I woke up the following morning with muscle soreness, to the point that it hurt to put full weight on that ankle. I was able to walk around at a park later that day, but it scared me a bit.

After a check in visit with my surgeon he decided go order me an MRI to continue to assess the damage and check against necrosis. The x ray scans show that the bone is completely healed.

The MRI was an interesting experience, I laid on a table for what felt like forever listening to the various tones of humming as the machine ran and obtained various images. You never realize how hard it is to lay still until these moments. My right leg felt stuck in such an uncomfortable position, but I didn’t want to move myself and have to start all over again.

Right after my MRI I had physical therapy. I began through the normal exercises for about the first half of the appointment. Then, my physical therapist surprises me by moving us towards the treadmill. I was skeptical that my ankle would cooperate to this level, but I knew he wouldn’t suggest it unless I was ready. We started out at a fast walk, then he tells me to move the speed up to 5.5/6. Well whenever I jogged on the treadmill previously it was never that fast. I bargained with him as I moved it up, 4.5? Him: how about 5? Well…okay….

You guys! I ran on the treadmill 4 times for about a minute each time at a speed of 5!! Despite the fact that my chest was dying from the cardio the rest of me felt amazing. I have a love/hate relationship with running, but I was so humbled to be able to try and succeed at something that I’d have no idea if I’d ever be able to run again.

This reassured me that its okay to work harder at dance and be able to participate in the show in May. Epppp!

Cheered at a Half Marathon

This past weekend I had the awesome opportunity to cheer on one of my best friends as she completed her first half marathon. She had been training for several months, and it was finally that weekend!

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I felt close to her running journey because we did our first 5k together, and I was able to babysit several times while her hubby was out of town so she could keep up with her running.

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It was incredible to watch her persist over the winter months, as it’s often too cold for me to even want to go to the gym, let alone run outside.

I admire this lady so much as a Christian, wife, mother, friend, and dancer. She is often filled with joy in her various roles, and to see her carve out time to discipline herself was truly inspiring!

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So how could I not insist on documenting this experience?!

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This half marathon was a little ways away, and it included an over night stay with another best friend from college!

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As always we stayed up way too late chatting that night, I have no idea how R was ready to run 13.1 miles the next day!

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In the dark we drove into the city center. I was more outwardly excited than R; This was the biggest race I’d been to and the energy was great!

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We saw her start the race, then walked over to get coffee. It was very windy, I didn’t envy R at all. B and I were very content with our hot beverages and savory breakfast items. I felt a little guilty.

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While enjoying our breakfast B and I worked on our encouragement posters. I really wanted to write something ridiculous and make her laugh, but I had no creative phrases. Also, I apparently have no art skills.

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R told us that she would finish in 2.5 hours. B predicted that she’d push faster with the energy in the race. We got in place to wait. I wanted to tear up as each person crossed the finish line. There is so much on their faces, mostly dogged determination. I felt honored to witness these moments.

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Then came R! I excitedly snapped all of the pictures. She crossed the mark at 2:22:43. I was so proud of her.

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We walked a bit before deciding to return to B’s place. R had a chance to wash the race off and then we went to Cup of Noodles. And we are such good friends that we insisted that she wear her medal out to lunch! Seriously, she just ran her feet off, might as well show it off a little.

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Little did we know the depth of conversations we’d have among the noodle fare. But, it taught me a lot about true friendship. We’ve known each other for 8 years and we are definitely not done learning about ourselves and life. I’m lucky to have such wonderful ladies in my journey :).

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Designed a Race Bib Holder

After jogging my first 5k I had 2 race bibs! This past year I’ve tried to be more practical about nostalgia coming up with the rule that I’m only allowed to keep stuff if I have a designated place to store it. For example: an organized scrapbook/album etc. There are many different ways to collect race bibs…but I decided to build a plague to store them!

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Needed Supplies: Paint, brushes, sharpie markers, decorations, hooks, painters tape, pencil, drill, ruler, plague. The plague I purchased for less than $10 at Michaels. (PS they continuously offer coupons).

After deciding upon a nautical theme, I painted the back. I know its not necessary, but I enjoy knowing that it is solidly painted.

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Then I painted the edges. I’d forgotten how much fun it could be to cover something in paint!

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Next, I outlined the lines for the nautical theme. It was difficult to get these straight/proportioned.

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I used regular masking tape. Pressed down completely, I think it would work fine, however, mine produced uneven paint lines.

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Each line I did a couple of layers, until I was happy with the color.

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I had to do some slight touch up to straighten the lines, but I liked the rough look.

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Then, I measured out where I wanted the hooks to be placed.

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Using the silver sharpie marker I wrote out the phrase “Refuse to Sink.” I went back and defined some of the letters after the first sketching.

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Lucky for me, I get to employ the Husband for more difficult tasks like drilling the hole for the hooks.

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In congruence with the nautical theme I found a really cool anchor themed hook from amazon. The small hooks will hold the race bibs, while the anchor hook will be used to hold medals (one day ;0) ).

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Voila! The final product. Let me know what you think!

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Completely Jogged a 5k

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Saturday morning, the morning of the race, came way too quickly. I’d tried to get good sleep the night before, but woke up a few times in the early morning. I dreamed that I forgot something important and necessary to complete the race.

Poor husband and I were literally grumbling and whining during the drive to the event. I’d asked him months ago to come and take pictures of us…I just don’t think he had any concept of how early this would be occurring.

The worst part was waking up to discover that the previous night’s overcast weather was now a “delightful” cold wet mist. I brought a rain slack, but couldn’t see myself running in it, since I hadn’t trained in it.

Getting to the field, hearing music, and announcements, I began to feel the excitement. Despite that almost everyone was cowering near the gym/locker room area.

I found my friend, and we decided to go ahead and walk a few quick laps around the track. I was afraid of having a “cold” start especially with the cold rainy mist.

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Then, we saw where we could have a name written on our arms in permanent marker. One of the coolest things about this race, the reason that we chose it, is its important cause. Freedom 424 arose after the founder discovered that a girl’s “company” could be purchased for $24. It was thought that $24 could buy a girl one night of freedom, one night of staying some place safe, where she could hear the gospel, feel love, and share how she could get out of her lifestyle of forced sexual slavery. This organization discovered that the best way to raise that money would be to engage people in races. Each participant could run with the name of a survivor on their arm, to pray for her, to dedicate the race to her, to buy one night of freedom for other girls just like her. Many safe houses have been created in those overseas locations (and in the US) where Freedom 424 works.

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The volunteer approached me to ask which name I wanted (looking down at her mobile device). I asked her to give me one that no one else had picked for the day. She gave me “Maria.”

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Right before the race they called everyone together for a quick announcement. Sara, a sex traffic survivor from the US was there to share a quick word…saying how incredible it was when people ran with her name on their arms last year. We lifted our arms with the adorned names, and prayed together that God would break free the captives.

Then we walked over the beginning of the race. They had volunteers with signs to help organize everyone based on their running time…my friend and I got in line at the 10 minute mile sign (as it was the last one listed). However, I knew I was closer to a 15 minute mile.

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When the gun sounded my friend and I quickly lost each other. This wasn’t a surprise since her pace would be much closer to 10 minute/mile.

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It was cool to be caught up in the crowd, of everyone running around me. This made it less scary when I discovered the rough inclines that would become the theme of this race course!

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The most difficult chunks for me where at mile mark 1.5 till 2.25. At that point we were just about to turn around, and it was difficult to see people returned and waiting for your own turn around point to come. Plus, the return way had a slow yet drawn out incline. At this point there were less people around me, and all of them were walking…most of them were walking at a faster pace that I was jogging. Part of me was wondering what the point even was, why didn’t I just walk? Instead, I argued with myself…just one more step, just keep putting one foot in front of the other, you’re so close! I challenged myself to at least jog further than I had previously in training (2.25), and then it was just about teasing myself to mile mark 2.5.

Once I had less than a mile to run I knew I’d be able to finish. Thinking about that while jogging I began to tear up, in thankfulness of what God had allowed me to accomplish. This combined with one last massive hill led to my breathing becoming very shallow. So the last .1 of a mile I was trying to concentrate so as not to begin to hyperventilate.

Once I reached the track my best friend showed back up to jog the rest of it back with me! I was so touched by her encouragement, care, and faithfulness…to help see me accomplish my goal! I panicked a minute when I first saw her, seeing the walkers around me suddenly sprint in. I thought she was asking me to give a last burst in…and with my inability to breath deeply I couldn’t do it. I chugged like the train that I was, over the ramp, under the finish line banner.

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I think I would have been more excited, if those breaths were excruciating at that point. I tried walking a little further to help recover better. I walked to the refreshment stand with fruit and water. I couldn’t manage the drink the water in between my shallow gasps. Husband finally recommended that I take a deep breath in, and then slowly release it. Man did my lungs seem to ache!

We didn’t stay for the end ceremony, as my friend needed to get back to her baby, and my husband was interested in leaving before there was traffic. I hobbled to the car, surprised that I wasn’t more sore…knowing I’d feel it in the next few days.

Luckily, the rain had subsided during the race, but it was picking back up again as we left. One thing that was disappointing to compared to the color run we did in April was the lack of energy for this race. Some of that was the weather, but the race seemed to be missing some of the faces that I would have expected from last year’s race. I remember seeing everyone posting pictures to their Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook’s after last year’s events…but I’ve barely seen anything this year. I spoke with a few friends who said that the race completely bypassed them, so maybe there was some different in advertising this year? I don’t have any sort of concept to be able to compare the amount of runners since I was not involved in the event last year.

One thing I will say is that the organization was superb! My friend had a problem with her registration…that she only discovered the day before the race with the realization she had not received any emails. It had turned out that she’d donated instead of registering. She emailed, and then I showed up to pick up our packets. In mentioning the situation to a volunteer she asked (what I assumed to be a supervisor) and he turned and said my friend’s name. I said “yes” to which he offered his hand out, shook mine, and introduced himself. :0) It was stress free and simple to get some of those problems sorted out!

Later that evening our times were posted. (I’m still hoping the pictures will be posted somewhere…even if I was a beet red tomato!)

My official time was  47: 28.7, my time back from the female who finished first was 27: 57.4, with a pace of 15:19 min/mile. I ranked 834/1028…not too shabby! I was impressed that I finished, that was my goal…in the future I’ll work on my pace ;0). My friend was even able to finish around her goal of 30 minutes placing as 373/1028. I was so proud of her pace of 10:12 min/mile! (She kicked butt consistently at training this summer).

Something that has been neat, is even a few days later I don’t feel as terrible as I did after walking the other 5k! My upper thighs have been in pain, but not so much that I couldn’t move.

So in the future, more 5k’s and trainings are a must! I’m hoping to create a new plan on myself that focuses on picking up the pace, and then continuing that quicker pace on longer runs. Also, I’m creating a cool plague to hang my bibs and future medals on.

God is so incredibly faithful!!!

 

Prepared to Jog a 5k (C25k Week #21)

So….my jogging training continued…even if my posts about it didn’t :-/ Right now I’m finalizing the awesome (awesome to the max) playlist for tomorrow’s race. Seriously? Where did the time go!!!

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Here is my epic Monstercat playlist:

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Over the past several weeks I completed the training for weeks 5,6,7 and most of week 8. During that time my runs changed from short intervals to larger solid blocks of running. I figured that it would be easier to run these throughout the neighborhood, instead of running laps on the same road. A couple of times I saw other people jogging, and we cheered each other on; the running community is awesome (awesome to the max!).

Surprisingly, it was more challenging to push myself through those hills, not being as prepared for them…versus running multiple laps on the same road. In knowing where the difficult parts were it was easier to “zone out” into the run and push through those hills.

One of the most exciting moments was actually breaking 2 miles in my run time. The last time that I jogged, it was for 28 minutes and I reached 2.25 miles…a pretty awesome feeling.

Vacation at the beach affected my disciplined running schedule, as did the subsequent cold obtained via an adorable baby vacationing with us. So I’m skeptical about being able to jog 3.1 miles since I’ve never done that before, and its been almost 2 weeks since I last jogged. However, I also understand that there must be a certain level of conditioning for which you’re able to push through and stretch a little bit further…so I think I’ll be able to do it, albeit slowly, and that it’ll hurt afterwards.

No matter what I’m able to accomplish tomorrow I’d like to reflect back on some of the hurdles that have affected my training:

-Getting a cold after walking the other 5k

-Graduation/family visit

-Pushing through the intervals

-Car accident: breaking my back

-Rolling my ankle

-Decreasing summer light

-Guest visiting from out of town

-Beach trip

-Cold from beach trip

So I think it is safe to say that I’ve tried really hard despite everything that has affected my training. :0)

I’m grateful to be able to jog this race, and will do so as a testament of God’s grace and my quick recovery from the car accident. I’m just completely humbled. When I finish the race I might start crying.

 

Completed Week 4 (C25k Week 15)

Most of week 15 was spent walking around waiting for my ankle to feel better. It honestly didn’t feel that bad, but I didn’t want to hurt myself worse by running on it. It only hurt if I pressed my ankle or twisted my foot a certain way.

I waited and waited and then finally was able to do Day 3 of Week 4 at the end of that week. The run was much shorter compared to the previous runs the week before (only 1.25 miles) and much slower. But slow and steady wins the race?

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Rolled My Ankle in Vibrams (C25K Week 14)

ankleWell…I was well on my way to completing the Couch to 5k plan. I’d completely day 1 and 2 which by the way totally kicked by butt, by the way. Then, the weekend happened and I was unable to run that Saturday or Sunday evening. I was finally able to get around to it Monday.

I put on all of my running gear, and headed outside, surprised how dark it already was at 8:30 pm…more proof that the summer is slipping away that I guess. I was pumped…so much so that when the dubstep filled my ear buds I started head bobbing, only later to realize that there were people sitting out front in the cars who probably saw me.

I did my 5 minute warm up walk. Then, as the buzzer sounded to begin the 3 minute walk…I took that first quick step and rolled my ankle. There was a searing and then numbing pain as I stood there wanting to cry, and in surprise. I stood there for a moment, as my foot didn’t seem to be able to support my wait. A moment later I trudge back to the apartment.

Husband immediately instructed me to elevate my foot, and to watch for swelling. Surprisingly it didn’t swell too badly. Mostly, I think that I was just disappointed that I was stuck delaying my running -again-. I seriously just can’t seem to win. I was also surprised due to the fact that when I was younger I used to roll my ankle all of the time. Frequently, on the play ground, I’d be bouncing around, walking on the wooden edgings, when suddenly I’d roll my ankle and need to sit down. Rolling your ankle and other types of ankle injuries are supposed to be less likely to occur in minimalist and Vibram shoes as your foot is more connected with it’s surroundings. I couldn’t tell you if I stepped on a rock or what, but I think that my shoes have helped to reduce the frequency of this type of move.

Hopefully, I can heal quickly with maybe just another day or so of rest and return to running!

Completed Week 3 (C25k Week 13)

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This past week I actually completed the 3rd week of training, yay! I miss feeling excited, but that happened when I felt like my body was beasting week 1 (after SEVERAL weeks of running it). Now, I may be completeing the weekly program…but let me tell you I’m totally fighting with myself each step of the way!

Day 1 I jogged 1.52 miles with an average pace of 16:39 minutes.

Day 2 I jogged 1.5 miles with an average pace of 16:32 minutes.

Day 3 my gps bugged out, but it seemed to be about the same time/distance as my previous days that week.

I need to learn to better encourage myself. At this point when I finish a week, I just know the next week’s training is going to be even that more excruciating, so I kind of dread it. However, I’ve officially registered for the 5k in October…yikes!

 

 

Completed Week 2 (C25k Week 12)

This week was the first time in 12 weeks of training that I was going to be moving onto the 2nd program week of Couch 2 5k, and I was very nervous!

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Monday, I got myself out there, preparing my mind and body with how much tougher week 2 would be. I did my standard, counting down each lap. Each lap is a fight in my mind, “just one more, you’re 1/4 of the way, you’re 1/2 of the way, just one more lap.” The increase of jogging from 1 minute to 1.5 minute felt excruciating, given how much training I’d been doing at that level. Then, all of a sudden, I heard a beep. I began jogging for my 7th lap…but the beep sounded different. I looked at the screen and it read, “work out complete.” I was beyond excited that week 2 was 6 sets, not 8 sets. Woohoo! I found that because I was jogging more my time and distance naturally increased. I jogged 1.53 miles at an average pace of 17:52.

Wednesday, I felt thirsty going into the run, so I was skeptical about my performance. I did a bad job talking myself into this jog. I’d told myself, “oh, its only 6 sets…so it is easier than what you have been doing.” So I let my guard down…and had to really push myself each jogging set. But, I did complete the workout, even if I was slower. I clocked in at 1.14 miles and an average pace of 23:15.

This week and really most of the summer has been littered with rain clouds. With the high humidity that exists without them, I’ve been hoping that the sky would burst open while I was jogging, crying out for that refreshment. Well, Saturday I received my wish!

I began the jog after playing Dungeons and Dragons for the first time at a friend’s birthday hangout.

The sky was growing darker, so I wondered if I’d be able to finish before the sky let loose. Counting down the sets of the program, it began to sprinkle in my fourth set. I just had two more sets to complete, so I was determined to finish. Then, the rain began to fall down harder and harder as streams began to form, sloshing the rain down the road. I worried about my cell phone in my armband, but I wasn’t ready to quit just yet. In the final lap, my neighbors came out, and upon seeing me, sweetly began to cheer me on! It was an incredible feeling! They saw me hobbling out front right after the accident, so its awesome to be able to use this as a testimony of God’s faithfulness! The distance was 1.6 miles with an average pace of 15:34!

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I was dripping from my tank top and running skirt when I got inside, but at least I wouldn’t need a cold shower to cool down! My husband just starred at me, as the drops began to pool on our carpet. I think he was pretty impressed!

Now that I’ve completed week 2, it means moving onto week 3. This means 1.5 jogging, 1.5 walking, 3 minutes jogging, 3 minutes walking, and repeating that twice! I’m nervous, as it keeps getting harder. However, it is awesome, I’m less tired right after a run, and my legs feel sooo much stronger! :0)

Returned to Jogging (C25k Week 10)

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After week #4 of my recovery I decided to try returning to jogging, as the specialist said this would be okay.

I was very excited, but when I attempted that Monday my pelvic bone would have none of it. My body didn’t feel exhausted, but each step was sending pain up my leg to my pelvis. After 2/8 sets I decided that it would be better to simply walk the rest, as I limped for 20 more minutes.

The rest of the week I was leery to try running again. Instead of at least walking, I kind of avoided it and felt very discouraged.

Saturday, I decided to try again. I got all of the gear on, and began to coach myself again. Seriously, I wonder what my face looks like when I’m doing this self talk coaching. I imagine myself become very sassy, teasing and challenging my mind/body saying things like “You just did # set, c’mon, you can do one more. Oh you just finished that one, you are almost half way there. You can do this!” My leg was sore, but I realized that if I ran more on my forefoot (in my special spiffy Vibrams) that there was less shock/impact sent up my heels. By doing this I was able to complete Day 1 of Week 1. I couldn’t believe it! I literally “woohooed” again out loud in my neighborhood.

It was overwhelming to see the kind of recovery that God has given me. It was astounding to me that I’d not jogged/ really walked at all for 3 weeks, walked intentionally 3 times for one week, and then on the second attempt at jogging was able to re-complete was it’d taken 8 weeks or so of training to do previously! God has definitely designed our bodies to remember, which is incredible! :0) 5k in October, here I come!