walk before run: a progress report

Walk before run: it’s the natural progression of things. Before running was ever a blip on my radar, I walked. I enjoyed getting out there for brisk strides around my neighborhood, and I always liked walking in cities or downtown areas or even parks for the air, movement and change of scenery.

Now, with my mind and rehab focused on running, walking is back on the table, and I am here for it.

Welcome, to the Runner’s Roundup!

walk before run

When I had my last appointment with the surgeon, he told me I was clear for the (non-spin) bike, the elliptical and swimming. I was, by no means, to attempt walking for exercise.

As the weeks passed, however, the idea of walking at all became easier and more reasonable. I was able to walk without crutches, then without a boot, and now I can even walk around without my brace. Some days, it’s just incredibly uncomfortable and I feel stable enough without it, so I skip it (the surgeon said that was ok, too).

My PTs and I are working on some fundamentals, but the treadmill hadn’t made an appearance in my sessions yet. I know it’s important not to rush things, but walking has been on my mind.

In order to graduate to a place where I can walk before run, I’ve been spending lots of time on my dorsiflexion (as I’ve mentioned), strength, and balance. I repeat exercises at home to reinforce what I’m learning in therapy, and build as often as I feel comfortable.

On Sunday, we took a family trip to a nearby venue to hunt for Pokemon and get some fresh air. There is a half mile path around a beautiful lake, and Mr. PugRunner forged ahead while little man and I caught critters, visited gyms, and did battle. After one lap, I told Mr. PugRunner that I wanted to go again, but this time, with purpose.

I turned on my Garmin, for the first time in forever, and we set out.

The effort was not entirely in vain. While my pace was dismal, I didn’t get winded (which has been a concern), and paid close attention to taking even steps and not limping or dragging my injured leg. At the time, I was not wearing my brace, so I had to be extra mindful of rocks and twigs. All in all, it was a solid effort, and I felt decent when I stopped my watch.

walk before run

On Monday, I shared with the PT what I had done, and she said that was just fine. I was extra motivated and felt like I doubled my efforts that day. I pressed more weight on the shuttle, and I finally balanced on my right foot for 23 seconds (they are looking for 30, but 15-17 has been my limit).

walk before run

Tuesday morning, rather than going to the gym and griping at the elliptical, I decided to try again. I picked a goal landmark and hit the road (brace on, this time). Again, I focused on even weight distribution and not dragging. I could feel my efforts just slightly on the inside of my ankle, as well as in my right hip and my right glute.

But, oh, when I was finished… I can’t quite describe that happiness. I totaled 1.2 miles for the outing, and it was about the best day since the surgeon took off my boot.

walk before run

Things feel rather real now. I am going to keep this up, as best I can. I’m almost halfway to my goal distance, but I don’t want to neglect the rest of my leg. The atrophy has left it a little weak. There’s an opportunity to relearn my running without some of my bad habits (limited strength training, lack of attention to my weak hip, etc) and I want to take advantage.

walk before run

Join the Runner’s Roundup!

Link up each week to post your favorite running tips, experiences, race and training recaps, workouts, gear, and coaching ideas. Join your hosts Coach Debbie RunsRunning on HappyConfessions of a Mother RunnerMile by MileRuns with Pugs, and Fauxrunner each week for the Runners’ Roundup linkup! Your link must be running related. Unrelated links will be removed. You must link back to your hosts — it’s common courtesy and a lot more fun! Spread the link-up love by visiting at least two other #running bloggers! Leave a comment and find new blogs to read! Use hashtags #running and #RunnersRoundup to stay in touch and promote your content!

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Click here to enter

Have you ever had to relearn how to walk or run?

Do you have any bad habits with running or exercise?

week 10 (20): women’s day edition

Happy International Women’s Day! March 8 is the day of equality and empowerment, and I consider myself lucky to be surrounded by a tribe of absolutely incredible women.

women's day

Of course, my Women’s Day hero is my mother. She is just beyond incredible and we are so lucky to have her.

Women's Day

Sunday – gym (bike, elliptical, weighted squats)

I woke up Sunday, feeling fairly refreshed and ready to take on the day. The gym was quiet, and I put in time on the elliptical and bike, then did some weighted squat.

women's day

Sundays are for laundry, grocery shopping, and getting ready for the school and work week, and so that’s how we spent the rest of the day.

Monday – physical therapy

I felt super strong at physical therapy. There is a lot I can do on my own, but L pays attention to my form, and then starts adding therabands, or new equipment to keep me progressing. Dorsiflexion is the name of my game right now, so she showed me some moves I can do at home to work on my flex.

Tuesday – gym (bike, elliptical, arms)

At the gym on Tuesday, I had this genius idea to start with the elliptical rather than the bike. For whatever reason, I’m stuck on this idea that I have to warm up on the bike, but honestly, I don’t. I was able to get to 20 whole minutes on my nemesis, and felt so much better than when I do it second. So yay!

I also worked on lunges, as instructed. I’m supposed to do these every day.

Wednesday – gym (bike, elliptical, weights)

I repeated yesterday’s routine and it’s definitely making such a difference. After I finished a total of 40 minutes of cardio, I spent some time with the free weights, and did some inverted rows and deadlifts. My arm strength has lapsed a little, because I get so tired after spending so much time on my lower body, but I’m trying to balance it all.

women's day

Thursday – rest

For some reason, I felt awful on Thursday. My ankle was tight and pinched all day, and I just didn’t want to do anything. Delilah snuck upstairs before I got out of bed, so I just snuggled with her sweet self for an hour or so, rather than being productive.

To compensate for my lack of energy, I did my PT moves at home, while the pugs did their best to distract me by whining for food from the kitchen.

In the evening, I stepped up to attend a meeting for Scout leaders. I’m back on that leadership team for little man’s troop, and I am finally in a place where I can get myself to a monthly evening meeting.

Friday – physical therapy

TGIF and happy PT day. While I don’t have any photos of it, I got to do lunges on the bosu ball, which felt like a big reward. Also, I’m starting to track my calorie burn and workouts again.

Since I was feeling great, I did try to do a bit of spring cleaning. Every few months, I like to scrub all the walls with white vinegar and hot water, and mop all the floors with the same. I’m not able to really get down and dirty with the closets and drawers, but I could at least do this. So very glamorous.

Saturday – gym (bike, elliptical, weighted squats)

I had a fabulous gym session. Not only did I manage to go for 20 minutes on the elliptical again, I also increased the resistance a little. It’s these tiny gains that are going to start adding up to something great, I know it. On a side note, the gym was fairly crowded for a change, so it helped me get through some of that anxiety working out with people.

women's day

Oh, and little man made waffles for the whole family.

women's day

The weather was so gorgeous but we weren’t super motivated to do too much, until little man’s friend invited us over to watch a movie outside that evening. We brought all our warmest clothes and blankets, and had pizza and rosemary popcorn with wine. The kids wanted to do an 80s movie, so we ended up with The Lost Boys. Sigh, memories of the two Coreys. Oh, and the kids thought it was cheesy and hilarious. We are absolutely making it a thing.

women's day

Goal-getting

I’m pretty proud of this week. There were ups and downs, for sure. I am almost finished with the medication for my nerve pain, and that’s definitely changing the way I feel just a little bit, but not enough for concern. It’s just something else I need to adjust to.

Beyond that, I don’t have much new to report. This week will be busy as Spring Break kicks off on Friday and we are looking forward to a fun weekend and break!

I am linking up with the Weekly Rundown, with Confessions of A Mother Runner and Running on the Fly! Check them out!

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Will you be joining me at any of the Best Damn Races? Don’t forget to register with my BDR discount code RUNSWITHPUGS to save on any distance at any BDR location! Remember, the code for New Orleans expires FRIDAY, MARCH 13 so don’t miss out!

bdr discount code

How was your week in training?

What’s your Favorite 80s Movie?

What inspired you on International Women’s Day?


a super lucky ultimate coffee date

And so we head into March, holding on to all the luck we can. This is probably the first month where I’m starting to feel hopeful about things really looking up. It’s taken a while to genuinely get to this point, and I am very grateful.

With that out of the way, let’s get down to our coffee!

Over coffee, I would tell you…

That I have registered for that “comeback” 5K. I believe this is going to be a walking situation, and I’m ok with that (it’s a race that benefits Girls on the Run of Northeast Florida, and is friendly to all abilities). I’m fortunate to have some really incredible support with me for the event, and it’s lucky that the timing for this one worked out so well.

cupcake run

Over coffee, I would tell you…

That I’ve been doing really well committing to real life things again. Injury is very isolating, and I’ve been the hermitiest of hermits for months. Last night, I went to my first Roundtable meeting for Scouts (it’s meeting of the key leaders in the local troop sand Packs) – after some time off, I’ve stepped up as Committee Chair and it’s time to really start doing my (volunteer) job.

Over coffee, I would tell you…

That I’m thinking about a YMCA membership. We have a great community gym, but I’ve kind of exceeded its limits at this point, and I’m at the point where I definitely need some more equipment (hello, leg press). My membership at 9Round has been on hold, and much as I hate to admit it, I think I’ll be ready to run long before I’m ready to kickbox again. Little man has asked to start going to the gym (he’ll be 12), and it’s lucky there’s a brand new facility right by our house, so it might be something we can do together.

recovery progress

Over coffee, I would tell you…

That I finally got a Shamrock Shake! I kept seeing them on Instagram, and couldn’t hold back! Lord knows why I love them so much (what IS that flavor anyway?), but I have one every year. I’m so lucky that Mr PugRunner was kind enough to swing by the drive-thru for me.

Over coffee, I would tell you…

That I am so grateful for this space and the support I’ve had from so many amazing bloggers through the years. I know I’ve had some bouts of whining and sadness, which is never fun, but I appreciate everyone letting get it out and work through it. It’s not my nature to be incredibly negative, but sometimes life has other plans, and I’m lucky to have somewhere to be open about emotions and fears.


Join us for this month’s Ultimate Coffee Date. After reading here, head on over to visit Coco and Deborah, our awesome link-up hosts.

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What would you tell me over coffee?

Have you been lucky lately?

using pt to reach your {running} goals

Happy Wednesday, and thanks for joining us for another Runners’ Roundup! We have been so glad to welcome so many voices to this weekly community!

I’m not doing much (any) running at all, these days. Instead, my calorie burn comes from twice-a-week physical therapy, gym cardio and weights, and at-home pt exercises. It’s hard to envision running evolving from the series of stretches and flexes I do every day, but that’s the end game.

pt running goals

Be clear about your goals.

There were no questions that my goal, apart from recovering from two broken bones, was to run again. Specifically, to run half marathons, and maybe one spite marathon. Everyone in PT has different goals, whether they include getting back to functional life or going on to a competitive level of activity, and it’s important that everyone is on the same page.

Ask questions, but also trust.

The other day, we tried a new move: lunges on a slider with a thera-band around my ankles. I repeated the move a few times, and felt absolutely nothing. Thinking I was doing something wrong, I opened my mouth and asked what I was supposed to be experiencing and how it would help me. My PT came right over to adjust my form and show me where I needed to concentrate my efforts and why. It still doesn’t feel like I’m getting a ton from this particular motion, but I also trust that the (runner) PT, knowing my goals, is using them to help assign exercises.

Push yourself.

Again this week, I got on the shuttle and my PT set the resistance. I tested it with a single leg press, and it was not quite easy, but certainly not challenging. Instead of letting it be, I asked if we could try a slightly more difficult setting. The PT obliged and asked me how that felt. I was honest when I said I wasn’t happy about the increased weight, but I could do it, and so I did. It was hard, but I can do hard things. While I don’t want to aggravate anything, I’m not going to get anywhere without challenging my comfort zone either. It also explains why I leave PT in a full sweat, every time, without fail.

Ask for recommendations.

Obviously, not every home is equipped with a full suite of PT equipment, and not every patient has access to a gym, so it can be difficult to replicate exercises independently. Your PT can show you ways to modify things for when you’re not in their office. I have used towels for straps and paper plates for sliders. Tall, plastic, drinking cups can fill in for cones and throw pillows can replace foam mats. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. As an added benefit, these are all stretches and workouts that will continue to help me when I am running again.

one month post-op

Do the work.

Friends, I don’t even want to tell you how many hours I spend doing PT exercises at home. Some days, it feels like that’s ALL I do. The fact is, the more consistent I am at home, the better my sessions at PT will go, and the more I can build and improve. If I only do PT moves while at PT, I lose entire days of fitness, strength and improvement. I’ve worked too hard to get to this point, and while I can’t rush healing, I can certainly help it along so I can get back to what I love.

Join the Runner’s Roundup!

Link up each week to post your favorite running tips, experiences, race and training recaps, workouts, gear, and coaching ideas. Join your hosts Coach Debbie RunsRunning on HappyConfessions of a Mother RunnerMile by MileRuns with Pugs, and Fauxrunner each week for the Runners’ Roundup linkup! Your link must be running related. Unrelated links will be removed. You must link back to your hosts — it’s common courtesy and a lot more fun! Spread the link-up love by visiting at least two other #running bloggers! Leave a comment and find new blogs to read! Use hashtags #running and #RunnersRoundup to stay in touch and promote your content!

runners' roundup

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

If you’ve been to PT, how did you use it to reach your goals?

Any crazy modifications you’ve had to employ in order to make PT exercises more home-friendly?

taking a running hiatus: be back soon

I have been on a running hiatus since November 23, thanks to a freak accident and some bad luck. Since I started running seven years ago, I have not taken any kind of extended break. There may have been a rest period of a week or two, here and there, but that was about it. Now that I’m unable to run and have lost months of miles, the only thing on my mind is getting back to it.

running hiatus

Breaks and rest are incredibly important for the body, and I don’t want to discount that. We need to use other muscles and make use of other skill sets in order to be well-rounded and stay healthy. It’s just fact. However, when you really love something, it’s hard to let it go.

A forced hiatus definitely changes the perception of the rest period. This break is to heal, quite literally, a break (two, actually). While my body is spending pretty much all its time and energy on that pursuit, I suppose the rest of my muscles are benefitting from the R&R. I wish I was cleared for things like yoga or barre, but my right leg isn’t ready for the twisting or flexibility required at even the most beginner level.

On the positive side, not running means more time dedicated to other activities. I’m reading more, crafting more, sleeping more, and spending more time on this blog. I have pushed myself to cross train and strength train in different ways, and fill the void with low-impact cardio. My PT told me that my hips will be so much better off when this is over, and I will admit I am excited about that.

I’m not sure what I’m expecting once I get the all clear. There will surely be some self-doubt and anxiety about my abilities. However, there will also be a newfound appreciation for my favorite sport.

Clearly, I’m not on board with this running hiatus. I worked hard to get to a certain level of fitness and “expertise” and losing that stings. Bad runs aside, I love running. I miss getting up first thing in the morning and joining a friend (or not) for some miles and conversation. This isn’t for everyone, I know, but I really thrived on that routine: it was like my coffee.

Like all challenges, however, the goal is to overcome and learn some lessons. The best thing to come of this hiatus is the perseverance and dedication to get it all back. And, one way or the other, I will be back.

It’s Tuesday, so we are linking up for Tuesday Thoughts with KookyRunner and Zenaida!

Please visit these lovely bloggers, plus check out some of the other blogs on the link-up, and don’t forget to share your own post, as well!

Have you ever taken a break from running?

How do you fill your time during that break?

week 9 (20): recovery progress

On this gorgeous Sunday, I am so happy to report I am feeling some serious recovery progress. It has been a LONG time coming, but something clicked this past week and my hopes are high.

It’s been very easy to lose track of the recovery progress I’ve made. I get stuck feeling very behind and “wrong” and suddenly, everything was very right.

Sunday – gym (bike, elliptical, weighted squats)

I’m continuing with my plan to get in cardio and gym time on my non-PT days, and doing quite well. This is absolutely part of the recovery progress plan, and I’m proud that I’m staying on track. In addition to strength and rebuilding muscles, my endurance needs some work. I’m humbly reminded of this every time I get on the elliptical. I added weighted squats to my 15 minutes of cycling and 12 minutes of elliptical (I’m no longer feeling discomfort in my right glute!)

recovery progress

After a weekend at camp, little man came home to us. He had a fabulous time with great weather. I love that every campout leads to him being more confident and sure of himself with his skills.

recovery progress

Monday – physical therapy

On Monday, I drove myself to PT. While I’m still not going far, I do have some of my independence back, and that’s certainly encouraging. The session itself was great, too. The PT and I both saw marked improvement in my balance, and I think that’s what set me on a much more positive path this week.

recovery progress

Tuesday – gym (bike, elliptical, core)

Now that things were feeling better, I started bumping up my times on the cardio equipment: 20 minutes on the bike and 13 on the elliptical. It’s nowhere near as entertaining or motivating as running, but it’s something. I was tired afterwards, but still got in some crunches and flutter kicks.

recovery progress

Wednesday – gym (bike, elliptical, weights)

Off to the gym again in the morning and I added another minute to the elliptical. It’s exhausting, but I’m feeling so much more dorsal flexion in my right foot and my leg isn’t getting quite as tired. This is all so positive. Upper body came left with some upright rows, hammer curls and shoulder presses.

recovery progress

That afternoon, rather than being tuckered, I felt energized. My right foot felt more flexible, and not quite as cold (since the surgery, that one foot has felt freezing cold to the point that I always have to wear a sock or slipper). I can sleep in even more positions than a week ago, and I can even sit with my right leg tucked up! Winning!

In the evening, I had a meeting for volunteers for a local 5K. I haven’t been able to put in quite as much time with it this year, but I am still helping as best I can.

Thursday – physical therapy

Usually, my PT sessions take place in the morning, but I had a small event for a client on Thursday morning and had to push my session back. It was my first attempt at doing it in the afternoon, but it ended up being my best hour yet.

recovery progress

All the good feelings from yesterday persisted. At the end of my hour, my PT pointed out how well thing are going and how I’m looking really strong. We agreed that balance and strength building are the two big things we need to work on, even though my balance is visibly better. She then asked if I could do heel raises on just my right foot. It’s something I haven’t been able to master at home, so she said just to try right then and there.

And would you believe? I did one! It wasn’t high, but it was enough to count! So she told me to do ten before leaving and I was on cloud 9! Talk about seeing recovery progress!

Friday – Sea World field trip

Prior to my fall, Mr PugRunner and I had both volunteered to chaperone the 6th grade field trip to Sea World. As luck would have it, we were both selected to join. The teachers in charge were fine with me being in a wheelchair, and so we decided to be good sports about the whole thing.

We ended up in a group with another adult and five students, and it ended up being a fun, though long, day. Chaperoning middle schoolers is way different than elementary students, but it was very rewarding in its own way.

recovery progress

The weather was perfect, the kids got along great, and the crowds were fairly low. We drove our own vehicle with another parents (the kids all had to take charter busses to the trip) and then we checked out our kids and one of their friends and drove home on our own. It was a fabulous, exhausting day, and I couldn’t wait to shower and get in bed.

Saturday – rest

For about a minute, I thought about getting up and going to the gym, but I was bone-tired after the field trip and decided to make Leap Day a rest day.

My parents have been getting over an illness, but have finally recovered so they came for a bit of a visit and we shared an early dinner. It was so nice to see them.

Goal-getting

I have one confession about my recovery. Over the last few days, I’m sort of forgetting that I am dealing with an injury. I like to think of it that walking and getting around are becoming ingrained back into my subconscious, rather than something about which I need to be mindful. This is great. Really.

Except I was going down the stairs (injured foot first, and then step together with my left foot), and I completely forgot about my step together. I realized, halfway through the motion, what I was doing, tried to correct myself, and ended up slipping on the same heel! Since I do navigate the stairs with a death grip on the wall and railing, I was able to catch myself, but my heart was in my throat until I was steady again. I’m still counting it as recovery progress.

Other than that, I’m feeling better and better and looking forward to see where this week will bring me!

I am linking up with the Weekly Rundown, with Confessions of A Mother Runner and Running on the Fly! Check them out!

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Will you be joining me at any of the Best Damn Races? Don’t forget to register with my BDR discount code RUNSWITHPUGS to save on any distance at any BDR location! Remember, the code for New Orleans expires FRIDAY, MARCH 13 so don’t miss out!

bdr discount code

How was your week in training?

Team Elliptical or no thank you?


runfessions: embarrassed by limitations

Today, I’m opening up about being embarrassed by limitations. I’m not proud of how I feel, but I do try to be honest about this journey with all its ups and downs.

Let’s join up with Marcia’s Healthy Slice and talk it out in our February Runfessions

runfessions

I runfess…

That I hate to be in the gym with other people. It’s ridiculous, but I’m embarrassed by limitations. I feel like like people stare at my brace or my limp. Sometimes, they straight up ask me about it, and since we are sharing a small-ish space, I feel that saying “none of your business” would make things uncomfortable. And I don’t mind sharing that information if people are interested, but I also just want to get in, do my workout, and leave. I feel awkward enough navigating the equipment with a not-so-strong leg and the less time I have to spend there, the better.

embarrassed by limitations

I runfess…

That I don’t think I will ever be at one with the elliptical. I can’t put my finger on it, but we just don’t mesh. I’m grateful that I am able to put in more time and distance on it, but there’s just no taking away from the fact that it’s miserable for me

embarrassed of limitations

I runfess…

That I am so embarrassed by my injured leg. I was always so proud of my legs and how strong the were, especially my calves. My ankles were pretty, in my opinion. I even loved my feet: long toes, high arches, and incredible flexibility. Recovering from a broken leg has changed everything. The muscles in my right leg are atrophied and the flexibility in my foot will never be the same. My ankle is “fat” from the hardware and scarred from the surgery. I can’t stand the sight of it. I’m not vain about a lot of things, but this has been hard to get over.

embarrassed by limitations

I runfess…

That I am really anxious about being refitted for shoes. Even though I know I am coming back from injury, I am embarrassed of the scrutiny my lower limbs will get at the running store. I’ve worked in the industry, so I am aware of the exercises they will want to see, but I also worry that it’s going to be one of those longer, more grueling fittings. Everything has to be just right for my foot and ankle, with and without the brace, and it’s just going to be a thing. It’s just me borrowing trouble, of course, but these are the things that keep me up at night.

I runfess…

That I’m missing another two fantastic race weekends: Best Damn Race Orlando tomorrow and the Gate River Run next weekend. These are staples in my running diet, and not being at either one is hard. I really look forward to these big community events, and not being a part of them cuts deep.

embarrassed by limitations

And there you have it. My runfessions for the month.

What dark running secrets would you runfess?

5 things to say to injured runner friends

It seems that it can be a bit of a struggle coming up with things to say to injured runner friends. I have never been one to police what people’s words, but this past week, I received some truly mind-boggling comments from otherwise well-meaning folk. Providing a list of things NOT to say wasn’t in keeping with my positive nature, so here’s some suggestions for things that might really brighten your injured runner friend’s day.

things to say to injured runner friends

Looking for things to say to injured runner friends? Here are just a few of the statements that would really put a smile on my face.

“You look great.”

Injury means losing a major part of our fitness, and chances are, it’s written all over our bodies. Injured runners may exhibit a noticeable weight gain or loss. Additionally, their injured limbs will most likely show significant atrophy or wasting. Maybe there are surgical scars or wounds. The point is, injury can be a time of great self-consciousness, and it can be buoying to receive a heartfelt compliment.

things to say to injured runner friends

“How’s physical therapy going?”

Since your injured runner friend certainly isn’t hitting any new PRs, it might be nice to ask about PT. Physical therapy is difficult, emotional, and often absolutely draining. To anyone but the client, it’s probably not very interesting, but it’s certainly

things to say to injured runner friends

“Can I join you at the gym?”

If your friend is rehabbing, but unable to run, an offer to join in a workout session would be so appreciated. Runners who are out of the game can miss out on so much socialization and miss fitness with their friends. I can almost guarantee they would love to have someone with whom to chat while they lift weights, stretch or take on the elliptical. It’s not the same as those long run conversations, but it would be welcome all the same.

things to say to injured runner friends

“Let’s go do this [insert non-running activity]!”

Injury is an isolating experience and your injured runner friend could probably greatly benefit from some distraction. It may be difficult for her to ask due to anxiety, depression, or countless other residual feelings, so you broaching the topic would be a kindness. Suggest takeout and a movie rental on the couch, or coffee or cocktails at a fun restaurant. If your friend is up to it, you can even offer a movie or craft outing. No matter what, your friend will appreciate being included.

things to say to injured runner friends

“I’m proud of you.”

Everyone appreciates the boost of a “job well done”, so tell your friend you’re proud of her hard work. Coming back from injury is hard, lonely, somtimes even unrewarding, work, and sometimes one just needs to hear that they are doing a great job. Hearing it from someone loved and trusted is even better.

things to say to injured runner friends

As an injured runner, it’s been difficult to find a place in my new normal. I am incredibly lucky to have such supportive friends and family who have been amazing through this time, but it’s definitely been tough.

What encouragement do you offer to your injured runner friends when they are down and out?

Join the Runner’s Roundup!

Link up each week to post your favorite running tips, experiences, race and training recaps, workouts, gear, and coaching ideas. Join your hosts Coach Debbie RunsRunning on HappyConfessions of a Mother RunnerMile by MileRuns with Pugs, and Fauxrunner each week for the Runners’ Roundup linkup! Your link must be running related. Unrelated links will be removed. You must link back to your hosts — it’s common courtesy and a lot more fun! Spread the link-up love by visiting at least two other #running bloggers! Leave a comment and find new blogs to read! Use hashtags #running and #RunnersRoundup to stay in touch and promote your content!

runners' roundup

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

I am also linking up for Tuesday Topics with KookyRunner and Zenaida.

Please visit these lovely bloggers, plus check out some of the other blogs on the link-up, and don’t forget to share your own post, as well!

week 8 (20): 12 weeks post op

Here we are, 12 weeks post op. Almost six weeks of getting the big thumbs-up from the surgeon and starting to bear weight. To be honest, it feels like forever. Even longer when you add in the weeks between the fall and the surgery date.

I point this out because I need the reminder that I have done so much. In the moment, I struggle with, what I consider, my lack of progress, and my limitations. Sometimes, I need a kick in the yoga (or pajama) pants so I don’t lose sight of the reality of my situation.

Sunday – pt exercises

The weekend weather has been so lovely, so we decided to get out of the house for a bit and try a movie at the new theatre. I LOVE going to the movies, but it’s been really hard because I can’t drive there, and it’s also hard to sit in one spot for very long.

Little man chose Sonic The Hedgehog, which I will admit was amusing and very watchable. They also loved the new theatre, so it looks like we have a new favorite.

12 weeks post op

I was a little sore afterwards, and tried to make up for it with PT stretches.

Monday – physical therapy

I felt fabulous at PT to start the week: I did well, and I felt strong and rejuvenated. My second therapist and I talked more about my recovery plan and it was a good conversation.

Later on, I had another conversation that really upset me. It led to a three day crying jag, where I just felt so empty and directionless. I know I shouldn’t let outside opinions bother me, but I’m human and words can sting.

I’m not proud to admit it, but I fell apart pretty hard for a few days.

Tuesday – gym (bike, elliptical, core)

Tuesday morning, I managed to get myself together enough to drive to the gym. I did my 15 minutes on the recumbent bike, and then I pushed to 12 on the elliptical. It doesn’t sound like much (at least, not to me), but muscle atrophy is no joke. When I was finished with my cardio, I did some weights, and worked on my seated squats.

12 weeks post op

While I would have loved taking it back to bed the rest of the day, we had a chaperone meeting for little man’s upcoming field trip. We had both put in to help out before I broke my leg, and as luck would have it, both of us got picked. The teachers in charge are ok with my situation, and we have a great plan for the day, so it should all work out just fine.

Wednesday – pt exercises

I had a lot of work to catch up with on Wednesday, and the weather was starting to turn cold again.

My new Road ID showed up, and I was so happy with the rose gold plate.

12 weeks post op

Mr PugRunner and little man asked if I would go to karate that night, so I did, although their seating isn’t the most comfortable. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned, but little man has been invited to test for his black belt in July. He’s working so hard and we are very proud.

Thursday – gym (bike, elliptical)

I overdid it on Thursday. From the minute I got to the gym, I knew I was pushing it, but I went ahead and did it all anyway. Whoops.

12 weeks post op

Sure, there was the gym. But there was also my first solo trip to Publix since November.

12 weeks post op

And then I went to visit my friend’s new baby (I did get a ride, but it was just one more outing in an already packed day).

Friday – physical therapy

PT was early on Friday, but I got in and did fairly well. From there, the day just got hard. I thought I would start cutting back on my nerve pain meds (I need to wean off them instead of just stopping when the scrip is up), and that was a mistake.

I had a hard time focusing during the day, and I really struggled. Mr PugRunner volunteered to drive little man and some of his troop-mates to their campout, so I tried watching some tv and then headed to bed.

Saturday – pt exercises

I thought about going to the gym, but I was still a little achy so I opted to sleep in and do my stretches and balance work at home, instead.

Since we had the day to ourselves, we made the drive to St. Augustine Beach to try a new-to-us Mexican restaurant. It was, after all, National Margarita Day, and I had a craving.

Afterwards, I asked if we could go to the Alligator Farm to get in a little walking. We have a family annual pass, so I thought it would be nice to stroll somewhere different. The chilly weather made it very pleasant and I enjoyed getting to see some of the animals. I didn’t last too long, but I felt good about what I managed.

That night, we stayed in and watched A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood, about Mr. Rogers, and it just about wrecked me. I went one step further and also read the Esquire article, “Can You Say… Hero?” by Tom Junod, on which the movie was based. The movie made a lot more sense after reading the Junod piece, but it still left a lot of food for thought and was nothing like what we expected.

Goal-getting

Friends! I joined a book club in my neighborhood! Sure, I don’t know any of the other people involved, and they are having a bit of difficulty setting a first meeting date, but I joined! I even offered to host if they need it one week! Our selection is Such A Fun Age, by Kiley Reid, and so far, it’s really powerful.

Another bright spot is that we’ve decided on a summer vacation and I am over the moon about it. The details aren’t all finalized yet, but it’s in the mountains with friends and I am so looking forward to it. Our travel was so restricted by my accident, and I know our whole family will benefit from a good trip.

Everything else is moving along. I’m driving and keeping on track. I’ve got myself set in some good systems. It will be ok.

I am linking up with the Weekly Rundown, with Confessions of A Mother Runner and Running on the Fly! Check them out!

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Will you be joining me at any of the Best Damn Races? Don’t forget to register with my BDR discount code RUNSWITHPUGS to save on any distance at any BDR location! Remember, the code for New Orleans expires FRIDAY, MARCH 13 so don’t miss out!

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How was your week in training?

Any big goals on your horizon? I would love to hear about them!


{recovery} doubt comes in

I know that recovery doubt seems a little dark after yesterday’s post, but here we are. My plan was to share “The Plan,” complete with full excitement and enthusiasm. I accomplished that, but there is an emotional setback that popped up this week and left me reeling.

recovery doubt

There will be some whining ahead. I’m sorry. I have to get it out.

I Needed A Direction, So I Devised An Idea

The point of The Plan was to give me focus. At the moment, I feel unmoored, and just a little lost. I’m isolated and lonely, and I don’t know which way to go. Having a plan gives me something on which to set my sights. As a goal-oriented person, it’s healthy for me to know what I’m working towards so I can take the steps to accomplish it.

Physical Therapists On Board

I shared my thoughts with two of my physical therapists. One is a runner and one is not. Neither one laughed, nor did they tell me I was out of my mind. They were both very clear that they could guarantee nothing, and that I needed to be realistic about things. My response is that I’m not going for Boston. I’m ok with never making it to a podium as long as I live. But I miss running. I miss my people and the community of races. the lack of having something to work towards is driving me insane. I’m not too proud to walk (quickly) and I am ok with all of that.

So were they.

Face-to-Face With Deflation

And then I was hit with some comments that hurt me to the core. It was suggested to me that perhaps the reason I broke my leg had to do with the stress on my body from running. That perhaps I should be extra careful because if I do this again, it might mean not being able to walk properly, let alone.

(I will remind everyone that I fell with my entire weight on my right heel. There was no way I was walking away from that unharmed. There was nothing wrong with me short of a spell of klutziness that resulted in a very unfortunate trauma).

It was exactly what I didn’t need to hear. While I don’t need people to tell me what I WANT to hear, it had never once been a consideration that I couldn’t get back to semi-normal. Until those words were spoken to me, I never imagined I wouldn’t get better. Recovery doubt absolutely washed over me and I’m shaken.

So many people come back from trauma and injury. Will it be the same? Probably not. Will it require tons of hard work? Of course. But they come back. I laid awake Monday night, thinking about all the recovery doubt I didn’t have before. What if I can’t hike anymore, or walk on the beach without pain? The thought of never being able to get up on a stand up paddle board or do yoga or 9Round again shatters me.

It Goes Beyond Running

It goes deeper, too. My blog is “Runs With Pugs.” It’s not a huge moneymaker, but I have worked on curating and cultivating this space through the past seven years. So many of my friendships are built on running and travel and adventure – if I can no longer be a part of those people and things, what happens to me?

It’s been an emotional week. I’ve been crying quite a bit more than I have in a while. I’m just… sad. There has been a target I’m shooting for and it was never a consideration that I wouldn’t hit it. In the meantime, I’m so lonely and isolated, alone with all the awful thoughts. When you’re so out of the loop, it’s kind of like you stop existing. It’s not intentional, just out of sight and out of mind.

From here, I’m not sure what to do. It’s just one of those unexpected side effects from injury. To be sure, I’m wallowing quite a bit. I don’t feel like myself: I’m hurt and bone-tired. I’m not motivated to work on My Plan or anything, really.

What Am I Going To Do?

I haven’t decided. At the moment, sleeping and chilling in pajamas seems the reasonable option, but I know that’s not the answer. From this point, I have to figure out a way to get past the fear and recovery doubt. I’m a mostly positive person, so I think I need to find that next small victory and find my gratitude again.

This is a hurdle I didn’t expect to have to encounter on top of everything else, but I’m accepting that it’s out of my control and now I have to take that control back. I need to believe that I can come back from this, strong and whole (and hopefully, slightly more careful on the stairs).

Join the Runner’s Roundup!

Link up each week to post your favorite running tips, experiences, race and training recaps, workouts, gear, and coaching ideas. Join your hosts Coach Debbie RunsRunning on HappyConfessions of a Mother RunnerMile by MileRuns with Pugs, and Fauxrunner each week for the Runners’ Roundup linkup! Your link must be running related. Unrelated links will be removed. You must link back to your hosts — it’s common courtesy and a lot more fun! Spread the link-up love by visiting at least two other #running bloggers! Leave a comment and find new blogs to read! Use hashtags #running and #RunnersRoundup to stay in touch and promote your content!

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Have you ever doubted your own recovery?

What are your coping mechanisms when sadness comes in?

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