The Journey to Five Miles

August 2010

August 2012

October 2012

October 2012

November 2012

November 2012

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December 2012.  The first mile back.

December 2012. The first mile back.

A little further.

A little further.

March 2103.  First 5k.

March 2103. First 5k.

 May 2013.  Memorial Day 5k.

May 2013. Memorial Day 5k.

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June 2013

Five.

Five.

10 months and six days (last Sunday) after a freak accident with glass and a partial ruptured left Achille’s tendon, I ran 5 miles.  I was so happy while I was running I waved at every person I passed.

I’ve missed you, running.  Welcome back to my life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A Return to Yoga

ashtanga primary series

It has been five months and 11 days since I partially ruptured my Achilles tendon. I finally deemed myself strong enough to attend a yoga class about two weeks ago, but had some trouble getting there.  Partly because I’ve gotten out of the routine of exercising and am lazy and partly because I was nervous about how my first class back would go.

On Wednesday night, I finally went. I took the Beginner’s Om Flow at Om Time. It was a hour long class but slower paced for beginners (or people with a bum foot). It was a perfectly paced class for me.  I wish I could tell you that I fell right back into the rhythm of a flow class and that I felt great the whole time, but the reality is that it was a pretty awkward class.  I am incredibly stiff and perhaps more inflexible that I was pre-accident.  Didn’t think that was possible.  I almost felt brittle, like I could snap in half I didn’t bend my knees to touch my toes.

I won’t sugar coat it and during class I felt pretty frustrated.  It’s abundantly clear how much this accident set me back fitness and strength wise.  Make no mistake that I had a lot of strength pre-accident, but I had some.  I feel like Ole Man Rivers, now, but the female version, whatever that is.  But, I am glad that I went.  I started get less frustrated and focus more on the class when we started flowing through the warrior series.  That’s my favorite series, especially reverse warrior.  (That’s the pose right between “Ashtanga Yoga” and “As It Is” in the title in the picture.  The one with the person’s hand up.)  It feels very free to me, like I’ve just dropped something from my hand and can surrender now.  I like to think about dropping all the “What ifs” in my life in this pose.

So, I’ll probably be back this week to do yoga and cut myself a little slack in class.  It’s nice to be back, despite how geriatric I look.

Achille’s Tendon Update: The Journey Back to Walking

The Front Range. It’s an ok view, right? 😉

My PT told me to start walking around more in two shoes; as in not just around work but actually walking.  I could not be more thrilled!  Running is so deeply engrained in me as a form of mental healthy release and I have missed it terribly.  Walking will have to suffice for now.  Steve and I went and got Georgie and took him to the Dry Creek Trail yesterday.  It’s about a mile loop and flat; no uneven surfaces for me for a while.

 

WINDOW! I LOVE windows! Let me sit in your lap. I HAVE to be in the front seat to look out the window.

Poor Georgie and Steve and to walk at a snail’s pace with me while we were walking.  I kind of feel like a toddler learning how to walk for the first time.  One little twig or rock on the ground and suddenly I’m unstable and wobbling around.  It’s amazing how three months of not using my foot set me back so far physically.  I couldn’t even make it the whole mile!  We probably did about half of it before I called it quits.

Forcing Steve to take pictures. He has to get ready for engagement and wedding photos, right?

I was tired after our walk and my legs were twitching a little bit, like when you hike all day.  I’ll admit that I’m a little embarrassed and flustered by my lack of physical fitness.  It’s been a weird year with school limiting my time to run and then the Achille’s injury.  I’m just so damn happy to be walking again though.  I haven’t spent that much time outside in the sunshine for what feels like forever.  I’m going to try walking again today, but my poor foot is sore today.

The other thing I am slightly embarrassed about is the size of my left calf.  It atrophied way more that I thought it would, and it still looks small to me.  I’m a pretty short gal, but I’ve got calves that reasonably large.  My surgeon for my foot has commented every time I go in to see him how large my calves are, and how tight they are.  In fact, my scar is longer that most people’s with this injury because of my calf’s tightness.  I won’t go into much more detail to explain why it’s longer; look it up.  It gives me the willies thinking about it.

Nearly healed!

This goes almost all the way to the bottom of my heel.

I will show you some pictures of my scar now though.  It’s healed up enough to the point where I don’t feel gross sharing it on a blog that is mostly about food.  I never really realized how long it is until I put my shoes on yesterday and saw how far it extended.  Now I have glass scars on both of my feet.  When I was younger, I put my right foot through a window and have about six scars all around my heel.  Luckily, I miss my Achille’s tendon in that accident.  My friend said there’s a place that exists where there’s no sharp objects and glass…a mental institution.  Ha ha, I don’t think I’ll have to be committed unless I get into another accident.  Then, I will lose it.

Pretty damn close to the Achille’s.

I have a three day work week this week and then I’m headed home for Thanksgiving.  I haven’t been home since last Christmas and I can’t wait!

 

 

 

Three Months In Photos

Post surgery, in wheel chair

Scooter riding

Crutches

Hard cast.

Cast off! 9/27/12

Boot

walking

Two shoes 11/13/12

Almost to the day exactly, I started walking with two shoes three months after my accident.  I still feel a little unstable and a bit like a toddler learning how to walk.  Despite that, I feel great.  It’s hard to describe the feeling of walking normally again after months of mechanical aid.  I just feel lucky that I did get to walk again, because there’s many people out there who’s handicap is not temporary.  I’m still a little ways off from being completely normal ( I can’t walk down the stairs normally yet.) but I’ll always remember these last few days.  Never ever will I talk walking for granted.

 

Walking For Recovery

I just got done walking 1.5 miles.  This is a pretty big feat for me these days.

 

This is right around my apartment and I would frequently run around that lake and in the neighborhoods pre-injury.  Today, I just walked the above path.  It felt pretty great to be outside, in the sunshine and exercising a little bit.  This walk took me approximately 45 minutes, which is super damn slow.  Slow walking is better than no walking at all.  It’s actually good for me to walk right now, as it puts a little pressure on my tendon and helps it get stronger.

What’s weird is that the bottom of my heel starts to hurt, not my actual tendon.  Also, the muscles around my tendon hurt, but not the actual tendon itself.  I guess I didn’t use my entire foot for 7 weeks, so it make sense that all of it hurt.  Slowly, but surely, my left calf is getting back to it’s normal size.  My calf also has this very deep seated pain right in the center of it.  It’s going to be a while before my calf is even close to normal.

Maybe I’ll be able to do my walk faster by the end of this week.  I had an overwhelming urge to rip my boot off and start running though the grass barefoot.  Instead, I just got out my phone to distract me.  Heal up, Achilles Tendon.  We’ve got races to run next year.

An Achilles Tendon Update

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I’m on my way to Las Vegas! I’ve been waiting to go on this trip for a long time and I’m excited that it’s finally here! What’s almost more exciting is that on Wednesday, I walked without the aid of crutches for the first time. The last time I walked was on August 15th. It is a strange experience to be upright after being hunched over for so long.

It certainly isn’t close to normal walking, but even the slow, limping shuffle I am doing now is way better than using my crutches or the scooter. My back and right leg were starting to get messed up from all the scootering. It was time to walk and walk I did. I still have to wear my boot when I walk and I have to wear shoes that match the height of my boot. I’ve been wearing my Danskos, which seem to be the only pair of shoes that match the height of the boot.

I am still a little ways off from walking all on my own, but even just to walk without any mechanical aid is exciting. The world looks very different when you are bent over and gimpy. I instantly felt more confident and more like myself when I could stand up right. I am looking forward to the day when I can wear two pairs of shoes.

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I guess one of the perks to traveling with a bum foot is boarding the plane first. That and at security when they made me take my boot off to run I through the x ray machine. It wasn’t too big of a hassle; I found it more
amusing than annoying that they treated my boot so seriously.

I’m off to eat gummy bears and nap on the plane. When I wake up, I’ll be in Vegas. No matter how gimpy I am, this trip is sure to be fun. Happy weekend!

People Are Nice

I’ve been in this world for a little while now, and it’s been just enough time to give me a cynical outlook humankind.  When you have worked in customer service for several years like I did, it doesn’t foster a positive image of fellow humans.  You tend to leave work wondering where all the decent people went.

But, lately, I’ve been reading Pema Chödrön and she just might change my mind on humanity.  I’m reading When Things Fall Apart, Heart Advice for Difficult Times, which I fittingly picked up the week before my foot accident.  I was struggling with some other personal issues and needed a fresh perspective.  Today I read the chapter on compassion, which is a subject that I have learned a lot about during this time of injury.  It’s pretty easy to have a cynical outlook on others, but it actually takes more courage to see the good in everyone.  “As we learn to have compassion for ourselves, the circle of compassion for others-what and whom we can work with and how-becomes wider.”

It got me thinking of all the nice encounters I’ve had since I hurt myself.  I discovered that I’ve actually experienced more good than bad during this time.

  • My mom drove out here and spent the week with me after my surgery.
  • Getting dinner made for me by my sister’s boyfriend’s parents.
  • Having a boyfriend who has been unwaveringly supportive during my time of struggle.
  • My friend who carried my bag to my apartment door for me this afternoon.
  • My co workers who still invite me to happy hour and go somewhere close, so I don’t have to go as far.
  • The man who offered to wipe the snow off my car the morning it snowed.
  • Countless people who have held the door open for me so I could get through more easily.
  • My sister and her boyfriend hauling me up three flights of stairs so I could hang out at their apartment.
  • All of my co workers who are pulling for me.
  • My best friend, who called today, the first thing she said was, “You got your cast off!”
  • Every person I’ve eaten lunch with at work who has cleared my plate for me.
  • My boyfriend, who stills talks about our vacation we’re going on in two weeks and all the fun we’ll have, even if I can’t really walk.
  • The person who goes in the door before me at my apartment complex and latches the door open so I can get through it easier.

I guess people might be pretty nice after all.  Others compassion has stood out to me more than ever these days.  It’s something we can all work on, right?  Just a few more hours in the weekend and then back to the grind.  Happy Sunday night.