Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Chronicles of The Boot.

Well, hello there! It's been a little while, but absense makes the heart grow fonder, no?

About a week after my last entry about my busted ankle, I had to return to the Sports Doctor because the pain hadn't lessed. We had no choice but to Boot Up.
I will spare you a "these boots were made for walking" joke, because, c'mon. Grow up.

I will, however, mention that the Boot is -- by far -- the most flattering piece of clothing I have ever worn. It complements any outfit to a T.

The Boot and I have been together for about 10 days now, and I think we are learning to accept one another's faults. Although The Boot may not necessarily make me the trendiest person at "the club," it does -- on occasion -- get me a subway seat offered. The Boot may not provide the necessary mobility to bound up four flights of stairs to my apartment, but it does allow me the pleasure of annoying people when I walk down subway stairs. And take pleasure in it, I do. Because The Boot not only controls the movement of my ankle, but also -- to some extent -- the level of kindness in my heart.

Aside from the happy marriage of The Boot and me, I also have added another fun little activity to my schedule since we last spoke ( last read). I have signed up for 'Deep Water Running' class in order to keep my muscles conditioned and my cardio level up for when I start running again.

Deep Water Running class looks awkward. I'm not going to lie to you.

As a point of comparison, please see the woman in this photo next to me. This is kind of what we look like. Except we do not wear water shoes. Or carry water weights. And our belts are actually -- believe it or not -- NOT as cool as what she's wearing.

What I'm saying is, we put a belt of glorified styrofoam blocks around our waist, hop into the water, and listen to a guy tell us to kick our legs and pump our arms in various fashions for 45 minutes. But before you judge, let me just say that it is one of the most phenomenal workouts I've had in a while. And impact free.

The class is full of formerly fat-men, old men, injured women, and formerly-injured women who got addicted to the class (i.e. me in two months). There are no young, in shape men in the class because I evidently repel them.

Although we look incredibly awkward just with our heads bobbing around kicking our feet for 45 minutes, I'm really happy I took the plunge (haha, joke) and signed up for the six week class. The people in the class are really friendly and nice, and incredibly supportive of me in this time of Bootness. Many of them have been there before.

I'm adjusting to the idea of not running. I'm trying out new things. I'm being positive!

Meh. Too much joy.

Really, I'm still sad a lot of days that I wasn't able to fulfill my goal this year. It's also frustrating that it takes so long to heal this thing. Some days the pain isn't bad and I want to be liberated of The Boot, but I know that if I do that I could be set back weeks. The problem is that because of the nature of New York and my apartment located many floors up into the sky, I can't "rest" in the way a Doctor means to rest. When she says "rest" she doesn't mean, watch an hour of TV a night. She means, STAY OFF YOUR DAMN FOOT. I try. I usually fail.

So I sit and ice as much as possible. Pop some aspirin. "Rest" when I can. Minimize stairs. Man up and Boot up. Most days, it's all good. The others? I can drown my sorrows in beer and unhealthy food, because I don't need to run the next day. Either way, it works.

This whole 'thing' has been an interesting process in patience, adjustment, and calorie-control (oh, did I mention that my body is still marathon hungry even though I'm not burning marathon calories? Awesome....) Everything happens for a reason, they say, so this whole saga has got to be -- on some level -- meant to be. Perhaps I am destined to be a water runner, forever awkwardly bobbing in the Pool at the basement of the Church across the street from my office. Who knows, but it's a glorious image.

To close, here is an inferior -- yet also awesome -- Boot. Enjoy with my compliments.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The plot thickens.

Before I begin, let's recap where we are. I think the best way to do this is to share with you a letter I sent out many friends and family this week. If you have already read it, please feel free to scroll down. I won't tell.

Hello to my wonderful friends and family,

Just wanted to send a note to let you know what's been going on in my world the past week or so.

After running 16 miles a week ago Saturday, I had foot and ankle pain. It was slight, so I iced and rested, and it seemed to be fine. I ran an easy 7 mile run on Sunday after Irene came through, and was in pain again afterwards. Although it wasn't excruciating, I decided it would be best to see a Sports Doctor yesterday. She seemed troubled, and sent me to Beth Israel for an MRI and XRay.

The results came back today, and I have a pretty significant stress fracture in my ankle. I can not run -- and am really not supposed to even walk around that much -- for 6-8 weeks.

So, I won't be running the marathon in 2011.

And I will need someone to carry me up my four-floor walk-up every day. Volunteers? (Kidding...kind of....)

As you can imagine, I am devastated. But I am looking for the silver lining. I have contacted Team for Kids, and I am able to defer my spot for one year and run the 2012 race. All the money you have so generously donated to get me to 95% of my goal to date will count next year. (If you were planning on donating, I still have $124.20 to go. Next year I will not be soliciting any additional funds.)

I can't thank you all enough for your support both financially and emotionally through this. It's been a rough couple of days, but I will be fine. I have a plan. The next week I eat and drink whatever the heck I want. Then I'll start swimming, spinning, and strengthening my body in low impact ways. Starting in October I will run again, and I plan on easing my way back into things so that I am well enough for halves next Spring and -- if my body allows -- the NYC Marathon in 2012.

Despite my disappointment at this turn of events, I really can't help but feel incredibly lucky today. It took me a lot of time to capture all the names of the many amazing people I have in my life. I'm a lucky lady (a limping lucky lady, but a lucky lady nonetheless) and I won't forget it.

Thanks again for everything,

P.S. I know a few of you must be wondering...what happens now to I will still [periodically] be blogging, so don't fret. I actually think that this whole experience may really be of use to other amateur marathon runners. So, as I learn to adjust my habits once again and strengthen my body for next year, I'll chronicle the experience there.

So now you're up to speed.

I know. TWIST!

Like I said, I am going to keep blogging. Frankly, blogging was half the fun, and no one has stress fractured MY MIND so I am still going to do this. I think the publishers of my future book will enjoy this turn of events. In theatrical terms, I have added conflict to the story, which now requires resolution. And a love interest. And some sort of martial arts fight scene.

But let's get back to the matter at hand. How have I been holding up? Well, that's a complicated question. My Dad said something very profound to me the other day [also, there's your blog mention, Pops!]. He said that it was almost like I was grieving. And he was -- and still is -- oddly correct! Let's run through the classic "five stages of grief" model, shall we?

After my 7 mile run last Sunday (see previous entry re: running whilest injured...foreshadowing!) I awoke in the midst of the night and was hardly able to support my own weight. Not because of my monsterous size, but because of ankle pain.

"Oh, no!" I said to myself. And decided to call a Sports Dr. the next day. Due to Post-Irene cancellations, she was able to see me on the same-day. During the exam, she told me I definitely had tendonitis and she was almost positive I had a stress fracture as well. I was very upset, but in my mind I had decided it could simply not be a stress fracture. Because I was walking around. And, look, if you poke at the bone it doesn't even... "OW!!!!!" Yes. Yes it did hurt if you poked around at the bone.

[Pre-emptive that's what she said.]

I cried. But mostly I decided it still was only major tendonitis. Because I found a site off of The Google that said so.

The rest of the day and night leading up to the MRI the next morning I was pissed. Really pissed. I had done everything right with this damn marathon. RICE! I RICED! All the TIME! I ate better. I hardly drank. I went to bed at 9 pm. I bought a ton of expensive stuff. I have the most successful damn blog this side of the Mississippi!

How could this be happening to me when I know other people do what I can only imagine to be a drug binge and wake up and run 18 miles barefoot through glass and are fine!? Noooooooo.

While laying on the awkward MRI bed (the technology of which, while we're on the subject, it appears no one has updated since 1950...someone want to get on that?), I was thinking to myself thoughts such as:

If this MRI comes back as just tendonitis...I will stretch double the time I have been.

If this MRI comes back as just tendonities...I will start doing more ankle strengthening exercises and go to physical therapy.

If this MRI comes back as just tendonitis...I will sacrifice my first-born child to some sort of nunnery or to be a monk, just like in old times..

My life is over. This was my social life. I am done for. Finished. Next year something will happen and I will never do this and then my bucket list shall not have had this crossed off when it is time to kick said bucket. Oh no! Oh me! Oh my! (Dramatic hand to forehead; Exit stage left.)

This brings us to current date. I have signed up for a swimming class and purchased a lovely one-piece garment for this purpose. And bright blue goggles. (Because what's the point of a hobby without expensive gear, right?!) I have sent out an email to which I have received the most wonderful, amazing responses anyone could ask for. I have confirmation that I will run next year and -- more importantly -- the confidence that not only will I be rich and famous from my blog by then, but also I will be stronger and will literally win in 2012. Actually, not literally. But I will definitely kick butt [Author's note: the use of the word "ass" was removed here because my Mom told me it makes my blog sound crude].

So here we are. I will blog when things come up to fill you in on my ankle rehabilitation as well as the new sports and activites I find along the way. Hopefully some will not involve drinking and eating. Perhaps. The "deep water running" class alone promises to provide some great material.

My ankle -- nay, my soul -- might be fractured, but RunMeriGRun lives on.

Did that sound overly dramatic? Good.

And scene.