Tuesday, November 1, 2011
Sunday, October 23, 2011
I am in love with this shoe and think I will be forever. So, hear me Brooks - please do not change a thing!
These are very light weight. Cushioned without a bunch of medial support. Even when a shoe is proclaimed "neutral," there still always seems to be something built up on the medial side, or there's just a weak lateral side, making the shoe worthless for we rare supinators. Not so with the Launch. Just look at the above photo and see that nice lateral edge. No rolling over the edge of my shoe. They feel fast and springy. They also feel lower to the ground, but that might be imagined.
Since receiving them from the nice Brooks rep, I have not worn anything else. Not even my beloved Cascadias. I've put about 40 miles on them in the last few weeks on pavement, gravel, and trail. My feet did get pretty wet during a rainy trail run, but I expected that. I'd probably still use my Cascadias on several trails just because the Launch doesn't have much for tread.
Last, they look great too.
10 month update on injury: This week's follow up appointment was positive. The tear is healing; there's less scar tissue to work on each time. I haven't had much swelling or pain in several weeks and very little after my A.R.T sessions. I'm able to work out 1-2 hours several days per week. Never a true cross trainer, I've finally become one. Usually two rides, either road or mountain bike, per week; 3-4 runs of 45-75 minutes; 2-3 strength training sessions; and walking on my rest days. The walk breaks during runs have pretty much been eliminated. The biking has been amazing. My hips and glutes are much stronger and are now fully engaged when I run. The weight is come off slowly and my clothes are fitting again. I'm hoping to have dodged the surgery bullet for good, but we'll see how it is next summer at the 18 month mark.
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Why the post?
I have to say something about customer service. It's a huge thing for me and good customer service usually makes me a pretty loyal fan. You can see where this is leading. I love, love, love my Cascadias. I discovered them four years ago and have gone through numerous pairs. (Favorite was the frog green ones - made me smile every time I put them on).
After wearing down my last pair of road shoes to a pulp, I went to Tread Lightly in search of a new pair - one that I'd love as much as my trail shoes. I left with a pair of Glycerin 9's. Long story short, ouch, ouch, ouch. SO MUCH PAIN. I couldn't take them back because I'd run outside, so I contacted Brooks through their "Ask a Question" link. Within a day, I'd heard from a rep with the offer of an exchange along with suggestions for a different shoe and why the Glycerin's probably didn't work.
How great is that? So, a big shout out to Brooks for making me one happy customer!
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
One of the highlights of the weekend was hiking the road from our campground to Porphyry Peak and fire tower. We've skiied Showdown several times, and I had never noticed the fire tower before. It was a 2 mile climb to 8,100 feet, but the views were so worth it. The forest ranger at the tower told us she usually has special prizes on hand for people who hike it. Kind of cool, but also creepy that she was watching us and cheering us on from way above. Our mileage was only 4 miles but my legs felt it. Another scary thing? Imagine one of these in bright yellow built up on huge tires barreling down the very narrow rocky forest road you are trying to hike up. Seriously, when the tires started to slide, I was ready to leap off the side of the mountain. Especially seeing the driver's panicked face. A movie moment for sure.
Buddy and I also explored the Little Belt mountains via forest service roads. We ran/walked our way a little more each day. My legs were tired, but no swelling or pain the entire weekend. I felt bad for a teenage girl at the campground. Obviously determined to get her workout in, she ran the campground loop over and over. So much more to see, but maybe she was the smart one - the mountain lion tracks we encountered were huge and frequent! Wish I had the pictures...
With only days left before school starts, we're trying to get in as many trails as possible. I'm trying to be careful not to overdo it, but there's so little time before the snow flies!
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
The scale. Weight gain. The thing no one wants to admit or talk about. Truth is, I've gained a lot of weight in these seven months. That's not just the former dancer talking. It's reality. As in the reality of having to buy new clothes and actually think every day about what I put in my mouth.
Luckily, earlier in life, I avoided the disordered eating that other dancers faced. I definitely don't want to pick up negative food patterns now. I know the weight will come off. I know I have to be patient and find some balance. It's just so blasted hard.
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
Sunday, August 7, 2011
For a long time, I did this...
and for sure, this...
What I didn't know was that over time the problem would become more complicated and lead to a kind of arthitic condition know as Hallux Rigidus. No, this is not my toe, but mine looks similar. Mine is not really a bunion, but definitely a deformity.
When I picked up running, I do recall the ball of my foot and the above area hurting. With better shoes and time, it quit hurting. Unfortunately, it probably stopped hurting because I started doing this in a major way...
Again, I am an anomaly because even though the above picture is supination, my supination wasn't necessarily seen from the ankle. And it wasn't caused by weak hips, or other areas of the body. My supination was/is directly from the foot; caused by a general avoidance of the entire ball of foot pain. Basically, I run on the outside edge of my entire foot. Of course, this led to all kinds of biomechanical issues including hip pain, back pain, knee pain, toe pain, ankle rolls, and eventually an avulsion tear and peroneal subluxation.
Not sure there is a moral of this story except that medical history is always important. Even the kind that happened 16 years ago.
Wildflowers, including Indian Paintbrush, were abundant.
Mountain biking has been a dream for awhile. It's still a bit risky getting on and off the bike because my ankle still isn't strong enough to take a lot of sudden weight. I've avoided trails because of that, so this forest service road was perfect. There was a lot of climbing even though it doesn't look like it in this photo.
Happy self portrait! The entire ride wasn't much in mileage, but my weak legs were still shaking by the time I was done. Each workout ended with a nice ice bath in the creek near our campsite. A very perfect weekend.
Monday, August 1, 2011
People may not think it's a big deal, but read this article. Not too funny, right?
My dog is not perfect. He occasionally runs after a deer, barks at the pizza delivery guy, or snarls at a stranger who get too close to me. Buddy was adopted from the Humane Society after spending years with someone who did not treat him well. Which also means he's got baggage. Combine that with his breed and you have a recipe for unpredictability.
That's why he's on a leash most of the time. At first, I felt bad about this. Border Collies need free space, a job, to run, etc. However, I've learned that he doesn't seem to mind his leash. He's just happy to be out with me. Which is a lot of the time. His leash reduces the possibility of conflict which makes every outing a happy one.
Why am I on this kick? Because I'm tired of other people allowing their dogs to charge full speed ahead at Buddy, get in his face, climb all over him, sniff his privates a little too well all the while calling out "don't worry, he, she, it is friendly." Especially when I've already asked my dog to sit off trail to wait for others to pass by. Even more so when I spot another dog acting aggressively and call out that my dog isn't always friendly. If I'm courteous to give a warning, can you be courteous and control your dog?
End of rant.
Saturday, July 30, 2011
The doc knocked a finger at my head, told me I needed to work on the mental aspect of recovery, and explained overcompensation of other muscles, tendons and ligaments because my brain refuses to use the injured area. My prescription for the next two weeks was to begin the return to previous activity. Exciting right? Tell that to my freaked out, obsessive brain.
feet straight. No more duck walk for this former dancer.
Oh, and for the peroneal tendon tear people. Turns out, I had an avulsion tear. Right from the bone. Explains a lot. Recovery estimates with or without surgery is a year to 18 months. So, I'm pretty stoked to be doing as much as I am. For the person who asked about surgery...I'm happy I did NOT have the surgery only because of my RSD risk. However, if I did not have the family history of RSD (or had been clueless about its existence) I'd probably have gone under the knife. Why? Recovery could have been much faster.
Thursday, June 9, 2011
Honestly, I have put myself entirely in the hands of Dr. Mark. No questions. I look forward to every visit because there is noticeable improvement each time. It's worth the drive. Old nagging hip and lower back pain is also relieved. For those of you who poo poo the chiropractor, I encourage you to give Active Release a try. Why?
Which is exactly what I did post ART session while still in the office. And then I ran in place with a goofy grin. WooHoo!
Monday, May 30, 2011
With that, I got on the dreaded stationary bike and did what I could do. Turns out, I got in a pretty good 30 minute intense (at least the current definition of it) workout. Adding my core work and an hour walk helped out a lot.
Another good step - Steve talked me into driving 90 miles to see an A.R.T. doc that he highly respects. The visit was sooo worth it. This guy explained more about my injury and lull in recovery than I had learned from an ortho surgeon, sports med doc, podiatrist and physical therapist all together. What these providers did not and may never get, is that it helps to give a patient information. Information like what exactly broke, why it's not feeling right, and what specifically they are doing to try and fix it.
I learned where the retinaculum is, where it tore based on the large amounts of scar tissue I've got, how the scar tissue works, why I need to work on the scar tissue before continuing physical therapy exercises, why my leg feels so tight I'm scared to move, and some possible biomechanical issues that might have caused it in the first place. Most of all, I was given a little bit of hope which goes an awful long way when you are sitting at 6 months post injury!
Monday, May 16, 2011
One thing is for sure, I was secretly thrilled that I got the OK to stop physical therapy. It's not that I hated going, I just felt like the last few appointments had not really been worthwhile. If anything, the appointments left me frustrated. Especially when I had to leave work to go. Once you've got a series of exercises, you can do them at home.
The second reason has to do with personal bubbles. We talk with students about bubbles a lot at school. I'm a person who does not like my bubble invaded by anyone, especially without warning. My therapist was a bit of a bubble breaker.
I do have some exciting news though. More to come...
Saturday, April 16, 2011
My workouts right now include 30-60 minutes of walking, 25 minutes of stationary bike, and 30 minutes of strength training every day. I can balance on my injured leg for 30 second intervals and made it to a minute last week. I've got three eccentric exercises that I do every other day because they really fatigue the tendon. On my non eccentric days, I get to "trot" (running reference but not toilet related) in place. My PT said she's "cautiously optimistic" about running and I may get to start pool running next week. Always hopeful!
Monday, March 28, 2011
Let me know your thoughts on the following:
Water purification - I've used the Aquamira but it's kind of a pain. Looking at the SteriPen with Iodine tablets as a backup... Shell - I want something reasonably inexpensive that is highly water and wind resistant. I get cold quickly when the temperatures drop. I've learned to carry layers, but would like this to help with warmth if needed. Anyone use the REI ultralight jacket?
Pack - I'd use my Nathan race vest all the time if I could, but I want a pack that has side bottle pockets. Not too many to choose from and I'm leaning toward this one by GoLite. Hoping REI has one in the store that I can put on. Some of the packs are just too big on me.
Any thoughts on trekking poles or other fun gear I haven't researched yet? Not that I necessarily need any of it, but it's fun right?
Sunday, March 20, 2011
Sunday, March 13, 2011
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
My first physical therapy appointment happened today, exactly 8 weeks from date of dislocation. I know the exact date because it's the most freakishly weird injury I've ever had. Google peroneal subluxation and you'll see why. I had specific instructions from the surgeon to pass on to the therapist. My hyper vigilant need to immediately share the exact information along with my extreme mental fear of the tendon viciously cracking against the bone must have made me look like a wild eyed crazy person. After our first hour, she kind of laughed and said "you are pretty intense!" I'm still trying to figure out if that is a good or bad thing.
2nd Disclaimer: It could also be that lack of sleep and intense fatigue from three very sad work related days have left me confused about date, time and the English language.
While I'm excited to be starting PT, I've got to say it was really hard. I have no strength left at all, but I learned a lot.
The first 20 minutes we just worked on standing correctly. Standing! I guess I stand on my heels which puts all stress on the peroneal tendons. My shoes also push my feet out adding to the problem. Combined with my genetically altered perching tendons -I was a predisposed waiting to happen mess. So, now I'm learning to stand straight with weight moved forward over the balls of my feet so my calves and the rest of me do some of the work.
Second, I got to do some ballet moves (tendu) with the weight centered over my injured foot. I worked on squaring my hips, pulling up from the center, and utilizing my entire foot and body to support my weight. ALL OF THIS I KNOW, but obviously have forgotten since becoming a lazy non-dancer. "Sigh" I used to be so disciplined. What happened?
Third, I'm doing isometrics to strengthen ankle support muscles. Pretty easy stuff, but it's so hard mentally. Some of the moves will replicate the exact moment of dislocation. Psychologically, I'm just not over it.
Absolutely no other exercise yet. In fact, I will start on an extreme core whole body strengthening program on Monday. Until I'm much stronger, I can't do anything else. We're rehabbing it just as if I'd had the surgery. She's confident I'll run again, but it could be another four months. Baby steps. At least I've got a plan. Remember? I'm good with plans.
Monday, February 21, 2011
Sunday, February 20, 2011
No surgery yet. This is the start of week 8. I'm walking better, have less pain, and start physical therapy on Wednesday. There's been no major crack/snap of the tendon, just the "normal to me" clicking. Not that clicking should be normal, but both my feet, ankles, knees, hips, etc. do it.
After watching Natalie Portman's feet in Black Swan, I totally understand why I'm falling apart.
I believe this almost two month period of time is the longest in my lifetime that I've gone without ANY sort of exercise. What amazes me the most about it is how much my body aches. Not the injury site, I expect pain there, but the rest of me. Some of that is from compensation, but some is just doing nothing. It's rather sad.
Thursday, February 3, 2011
When the call came, the first thing he asked is if I was teaching, and if I needed to find someone to cover while he waited. How nice was that? He also took quite a bit of time to explain everything and answer my questions.
The recap - MRI shows "high signaling" in the area of the retinaculum (tissue that holds peroneals in place) and bone edema. Which means that I had a tear which has started healing on its own, explaining the lack of current dislocation. For now, we're going to continue treating it conservatively in hopes that it will repair itself completely. Dr. T would have still done surgery to suture it in place, but with a family history of nerve disease he wants to do surgery on me only as a last result. After two more weeks in a brace, I'll start PT. If during PT, no dislocation, we'll start to build back up to normal activity. If it dislocates again, we'll do surgery at that time. Even surgery won't be the end of the world after he explained the proces and rehab.
What impressed me most was the concern regarding my sister's surgery experiences and lifetime with RSD. That fact that he was aware of current research, and the risks it presented to me, was very reassuring. Even if I have to eventually go that route, I feel like I'm in good hands. Either way, it will be awhile before I get to run.
But, I'm ok. Knowledge is amazing when it comes to easing anxiety.
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
My feet are abnormal. I've said this before. Now, it's been confirmed by two doctors and an orthotic specialist. According to the surgeon, my peroneal tendon sits "perched" on the outside of my ankle bone, rather than behind. Genetics determined this, not anything I've done along the way. This might have predisposed me to injury.
Surgeons are cutters. They like to cut. End of topic.
Insurance companies are difficult. I was told I could not have the MRI for a week and not until the surgeon's notes were reviewed. The next day I was told I didn't need a prior authorization, so had to drive all the way back up today for the MRI.
The MRI machine sounds almost like jazz. I tried to pick out the patterns and come up with musical arrangements as I waited.
Orthotics are expensive. I just put down a whole lot of money to be told that I probably don't need them. Then, I talk to the orthotic guy who tells me I'm going to be difficult to fit because my feet are strange. I badly overpronate with a small part of my foot but the rest of it supinates. Go figure.
Hopefully, I'll have the results tomorrow.
Also, to any local readers/friends, thank you for the support. The emails, calls, invites for coffee, flowers, food, volunteering to walk the dog, etc. are all very appreciated. Sometimes the not so good things remind me of how good I've really got it.
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Monday morning, I'm going to meet with a surgeon and hopefully have more of a plan. This plain and simply sucks. Not because I can't run, but because I can't walk my dog, clean the house, carry on my normal work routine. It sucks because I'll have to take time off from work, find a new dog walker (the one I'm using now just got a new job - happy for her, not for Bud), and find another way to deal with the increasing anxiety.
Oh, and I'm buying a road bike. As much as I love to run, I'm not sure it's worth the endless misery of injury. How's that for good cheer?