Injury Timeline

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Run Girl Run

I cried through most of my 3rd leg.  Not because of the pain, but because I was going to finish what I never thought would be possible.

Let me back up a bit.  My lisfranc injury happened in June 2015, when I had an accident during a Spartan Race.  A week before that race however, my husband had decided to run the Ragnar Relay race.  I very much wanted to do it with him, but I was worried about doing those 2 races back to back, and promised to do it with him next year.  The next week though, I shattered my foot and changed my life forever, and those promises went out the window.

The doctor said my running days were over.  He said I'd never run again.  He encouraged me to take up biking and swimming; anything else but running.  I was devastated by the news, but eventually learned to embrace it.  I bought a spin bike, went to spin classes like a good basic white girl :)  I weight trained, I did the rowing machine, the stairmaster and mostly followed doctor's orders.  I started going on walks and hikes again in March, slowly improving every time I went out. I focused on exercises to strengthen my right leg.  Progress seemed to take forever.  And I missed running.

Nate did Ragnar again in June this year.  I was an emotional wreck.  I wanted to do it so badly, but knew I wanted to accomplish the impossible.  

But, when I had my yearly check-up, Dr. Van Boerum told me I could occasionally run short distances.  I was cleared to run!  Short distances only occasionally, but I heard that I was clear to run.  So I started slowly working some running into my walks.  It was painful at first, but the more I did it, the pain would start to lessen and I could recover a lot easier.

Then I committed to doing the Las Vegas Ragnar.  Yeah.

I didn't feel ready for it.  But I was doing it.  And I was going to finish all of my legs no matter how long it took me.  I was self-conscious about my pace (a 14 minute mile) and worried that I'd be too slow for my team.  I worried that my legs (3.1, 6.1, and 2.4) wouldn't be considered "Ragnar-worthy" and it hurt my pride to take the easy runner spot.

I didn't have to worry though.  My team was the most amazing group of people and they were so supportive.

I was the first runner out for Van 2, and started off my leg at noon in the middle of the Vegas heat.  Rachel slapped the sweaty slap bracelet on my wrist and off I ran 3.1 miles, adrenaline surging through me.  I mostly didn't care about my foot at this point, I was more concerned about the heat, which quickly creeped up on me and affected my pace more than I had anticipated.  My van-mates met me halfway through my run, dunked water on me and made sure I was doing OK.  I hit a stretch of gravely road, which I had to be a bit more slow and careful than I wanted.  The rocks made my stride a bit unstable, and I was super careful with every step, because my foot was going in all sorts of wonky directions.  With what seemed like a blur, I hit the one mile to go sign and blasted through to the exchange.  I handed off the bracelet to Nate, who was the runner behind me, and off he went to complete his leg in the race.  I sat in the van to recover, mostly happy that I'd completed my first run, but I knew it was going to get worse from here.

Eventually we got through all of our runners.  My foot was a bit sore, but I had it wrapped up tight during my run and it actually wasn't bad.  I also only ran 3.1 miles.  My next leg was over 6 miles, and I was terrified of that run because of the pain I knew was sure to come.  We grabbed some dinner after our last runner handed back off to Van 1.  Luckily, we were able to crash at an AirBnB place that the team rented, so I got about an hour of sleep.  I laid there, "What the hell was I thinking?  I'm not ready for this!  There's no way I can do 2 more runs!"  But, we soon got the call that Van 1 was ready to hand off, and adrenaline quickly solved my problem.  I was so pumped for my next leg.  Sure, it was 6.1 miles, and I was scared.  But I was also ready.  

We got to the next exchange to wait for our runner.  The atmosphere was electrifying.  There was music, people running around in costumes (I actually ran in my Guy Fawkes mask), and such positivity!  Also, sleep deprivation had set in for many of us!  Travis made his way through the chute and nailed me with the sweaty slap bracelet and I took off again.  The weather was amazing.  It was cool, and I started my run around midnight.  I blazed through my first 2.5 miles (I clocked a 12 minute mile!!!!)  but settled in for a slower pace during my last half of the run.  Which took me across a freeway and windy sidewalks.  I started getting a bit of foot pain with about a mile left, but manageable, and I pushed through to the end of my run.  I got to see my sweet husband's face again and hand off to him, as he started his 6.9 run.

I started to get a little cold.  I could tell I was dehydrated.  I started limping pretty good and was pretty sore.  I knew that was going to happen after doing my 2nd leg.  We ended up in Boulder City to finish out all of our runners in Van 2, and headed out to grab some breakfast after handing back off to Van 1.  I think my body started to shut down at this point.  Every step was painful.  I was sick to my stomach and couldn't eat.  I was anxious about running that last leg.  We headed to the final exchange to wait for our runner and try to get some rest.  I couldn't fall asleep.  The exhaustion and the heat were starting to get to me, and get into my head.  I didn't think I could do my last leg.  I was convinced I couldn't do it.  I had a full-on meltdown.  But my husband, forever my rock, held me and talked me through it as I sobbed.  It was only 2.4 miles.  That's all I had to do.  No one cared how long it was going to take me, even if I had to walk it.  Rachel was coming to hand off the sweat bracelet.  I got my clothes on, and I was ready.

I took off running, and ran as long as I could before the pain was too much.  I slowed to a very brisk walk, but kept pushing myself into little jogging sprints.  I started to cry.  Not because of the pain, but because I realized that I was going to finish this.  I was going to accomplish what I thought was impossible for the last year and a half.  Before I knew it, I saw the last mile marker.  I rounded the corner and saw Nate waiting for me.  I pushed whatever I had left into those final 100 yards.  I collapsed into Nate and handed off the bracelet.  He whispered, "You did it.  I love you!" and I sobbed in his arms for a minute.  It was so emotional for both of us.  I'm sure the people at the exchange thought I was a crazy woman and had no idea what had just happened.  He took off running and I continued some sniffly sobs with some of my very supportive van-mates!  They were so happy for me and didn't care that it had taken me over a half hour to run 2.4 miles.

We cycled through everyone's runs, and the sleep deprivation started to set in pretty hardcore.  We were out of our gourds.  We invented emoji games and broke out into song.  

We re-united with Van 1 and awaited our last runner's arrival at the finish line.  We ran as a team to cross the finish, and got all of our medals!

I catch myself wondering how I would have done pre-Lisfranc injury.  What legs would I have been doing, how much better would my pace have been?  But, I am very grateful and thankful that I had the opportunity to do this.  It was an unforgettable experience, this whole race, and the bond that I created with my team.  Thank you: Sunshine, Mindy, John, Travis, Calley, Joel, Kate, Tom, Bryan, Rachel, and Nate!  

You guys.....I DID IT!!

I already started looking at Wasatch Back.  Maybe I can try for a few more miles next time!

Monday, October 3, 2016


I thought it was time for me to make another blog post!

September was the month for redemption.

Last year, my Lisfranc injury caused me to miss out on a lot of things from July through December.  I am making up for all of the time lost with a fury this year.

I missed Comic Con last year.  So, naturally this year, we went all in.  We stayed at a hotel right across the street from the Convention Center, so we had easy access to the Con and it made for some great people watching!  I actually saw a couple of people on a knee scooter.  I didn't actually stop to chat with any of those people, but I thought that they were just so brave to attend Comic Con that way.  I found that it was pretty accessible friendly, and there were different lines and areas marked specifically for ADA needs.  I thought that was pretty rad, and had some immediate regret for not going last year.  I could have gotten a wheelchair and worked that into my cosplay somehow - Professor X??  I had a great time, clocked in about 6 miles of walking each day (3 days), met some super cool geeks and celebrity types.  I certainly was a bit sore at the end of each day but not enough to concern myself with it.  A nice soak in the tub and some foot rubs from my hubby did wonders!  Can't wait for next year!
Nate's Stormtrooper/Galactic Empire Flagbearer Costume
Meeting Billy Boyd!  (Pippin the Hobbit from LOTR)

Best part about the Con is the art!  Here we have a Cat Khaleesi with Kitten Dragons

Of course, my next redemption was attending the Utah Utes home games in the stadium with no crutches, no scooter, and no boot!  I didn't have to get into the stadium an hour prior to kick-off, just so that we could get to our seats and store my scooter at Guest Services before the game.  I also could leave with the crowd, not having to wait for traffic to clear so Nate could go pickup my scooter.  I always try to offer words of encouragement when I see people attending the game with assitance devices.  I've been there, admire your spirit, and just know it will get better and you'll be glad you came!

I of course also got to host and coordinate our annual rib-cook off for our tailgate group (which didn't happen last year because I was on injured reserve).  We had mountains of meat and it was awesome!

In the bleachers!  No boot.  No crutches.  No scooters.  No nothin'!  Just my own two feet in flipflops.

Teriyaki Ribs - smoked by Chef Nate

I got on the treadmill today for the very first time since June 2015.  Not to run on it - ugh never again - but just to try walking.  It was super weird!  It felt really unnatural.  I started out with a really slow pace, like 1 mph.  I didn't have pain or anything, but I had some serious balance issues.  Definitely not used to the ground moving at any sort of consistent pace, and I had to hold on to the side rails!  I eventually got the hang of it, and increased my pace ever so slowly as I felt comfortable.  I did about 15 minutes, ending at about 3.5 mph.  I think I'll stick to normal walking for now.  Or the stair stepper.  I've been working on the stair stepper as my main cardio at the gym.  I think it helps me practice pushing off my foot, which I still think is my weakest after all this time.  And it really is killer cardio.

No hikes this month.  I've actually been training for......

...........drum roll please.............


I may just be insane, that's what you surely must be thinking?  I know, I think I might be crazy too.  But, I really, really, really want to do it.  I've signed up, paid my race dues and booked my flight and hotel in Las Vegas for the weekend of November 4th.  So it's official, ,and there's no backing out now.  I took the easiest legs (Runner 7), which hurt my pride a bit, but I didn't want to push myself too much and get into a situation where I wasn't able to complete the race.  I'm at a slowish turtle pace of about 14:00 minutes per mile, and I'll be clocking in 11 miles total, over the course of about 30 hours or so.  The first leg is 3.1 miles, the second is 6.1 (the one I'm most scared of), and the third is 2.4 miles.  My team is aware that I can do some running or very brisk walking.  They know about my injury and know that I may or may not be able to complete or may need to skip all or part of some legs.  I'm giving it my very best though, and I'll go as long as I can, as fast as I can.  And I'll be a pretty awesome directions navigator and van cheerleader if nothing else.  I'm scared though.  I'm scared of not being able to finish.  I'm scared of the pain.  I'm scared of stepping wrong, or coming down funny on my foot.  I'm scared my teammates will resent me if I have to give up.  But, I'm doing it, and that's that.  It might be my "version" of Ragnar....but it'll be all mine!!


Oh wait......

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Pushing Limits

I finally got back to doing some hiking these past couple of weekends!  And I'm really trying to find out where my foot limit is.  I can push it further and further every week, as long as I keep challenging myself.

The last hike I did was in the beginning of June, and it was about a 6 mile round trip hike, and I was almost in tears by the end because of my foot pain.  I got myself back out there again, this time to Red Pine Lake.  This hike ended up being about 7 miles....and guess what?  It felt awesome!  Sure, by the end of the hike, I was pretty sore.  But, I felt so much more confident with my foot!  Especially with the descent.  Going up the trail, it was so steep and rocky, I was dreading coming back down.  It usually takes me a lot longer to go down on hikes than it is to go up!  But, I tackled the descent like a boss, and I descended about 1000 feet in maybe 15 or 20 minutes.  I definitely surprised the hubby.  We had a blast on our hike and I was so happy with my improvement.  It goes to show that I'm still making lots of progress.

There were also some demons tackled last weekend as well.  The Spartan Super returned to Utah, and it just so happened to occur on our 13th anniversary on August 13th.  I felt that the race was somehow doomed.  I didn't run in the race, but my hubby ran with some of his friends.  I cheered on from the sidelines, but this time I had my own group of friends.  I think that helped for sure with the depression and remorse I was feeling not being out there running.  I tried to bounce around the course, but this time there was lots of elevation gain so I wasn't able to hit as many obstacles as I would have liked.  Everyone survived and finished the race!  I was super proud of my hubby.  And I felt genuinely happy.  We are going to try doing a Spartan Race together next year in Phoenix.  I won't do any obstacles that I am not comfortable doing.  But I will be ready and it will be time.

I also managed to squeeze another hike in on Sunday.  It was a bit of a shit show, but I survived :)  We'd planned on doing a hike to Wasatch Mine.  Each hike available in the valley is charted out on my spreadsheet, complete with ratings, which include things like total roundtrip miles, elevation gain, maximum ascent, and special considerations.  I have been gradually increasing the difficulty week to week and trying not to do too much too fast.  So, this hike was carefully selected as the next step in progression and I'd mentally prepared for it all week.  We got all of the gear and food together that we would need the night before, and got up at the ass crack of dawn to head up the canyon.  We drank our coffee and pre-workout on the way, so that when we arrived at the trailhead, we were ready to crush it!  However, the US National Park Service had other plans.  On the way up the canyon, we saw a ton of smoke and a raging fire.  Upon arriving at the trailhead, we discovered that it was closed due to a "managed fire".  Are you kidding me?  We had to improvise and change plans.  Another hike close to the area was Lake Blanche, so we decided to head there.  It was a lot more difficulty and elevation than I had planned for.  I've done the hike before, and I thought that by the beginning of fall, my foot might be ready to tackle it.  But, those plans were thrust out the window and I plunged feet first (see what I did there?) onto the Lake Blanche trail.  It ended up being at least half a mile more, 600 more feet of elevation gain (with a different of 600 feet per mile to 913 per mile!!), and a lot steeper and rockier than planned.  I was scared.  Nate even said "We don't have to go the whole way, don't worry!"  Did he really ask that?  Does he know who he is talking to?  No.  We were going the whole way.

By the end of the hike, I was sore.  But not like OMG I need to ice and elevate and rest kind of sore.  I took it fairly easy for the rest of the day.  It was my other muscles like my quads and calves that were paying the price.  So, needless to say, I was super pleased with how the day turned out, because I felt like it had the set up for a disastrous, tear-filled morning.  We made it to a quiet, beautiful lake, except for the huge ass moose that was just hanging out...

I feel like I'm getting mostly back to my normal level of activity.  Between my two hikes and my weekly walk/jog, I managed to clock about 18 miles this week.  Yay!

I've got some serious training to do before a commitment I made in November!  Stay tuned...   Time to get my ass into gear!

Thursday, August 4, 2016

1 Year Post-Op Visit

This day has finally come!

I had my one year post-op visit with Dr. Van Boeurm at TOSH this week.  I got really positive news and I am feeling so relieved after the appointment.  I have to admit, I was really nervous/anxious in the days leading up to the visit.  Was everything healing like it was supposed to?  Do I have arthritis already?  Is he going to tell me I need another surgery to re-align a bone that has gotten out of whack?  Have I been pushing it too hard with my workouts causing damage?  What's next?

It felt really weird to be back at TOSH, because I think my last visit was in February?  4 months is the longest I've gone without seeing the doctor and his staff.  I guess they trusted me not to screw my foot up too much in that amount of time.  I laughed because while I was waiting to see the doctor, I checked in on Facebook from my phone, it asked a couple of questions about TOSH so Facebook could learn more about it.  "Does this place have Wi-Fi available?"  "Are you at a restaurant?"  "Is this a good place for dancing?"  Dancing?!  If you are at TOSH, you are probably not doing any dancing.  In fact, it's probably an anti-dance establishment.

Anyway, finally I got called back, sat in the Dr's office for a few minutes and then got called for x-rays.  I've had.. I don't know.. 5 x-rays at least on my foot here, so the first thing I did when I got into the x-ray room was announce that I was not pregnant, just to clear that up.  Because she asks every single time.  I know she has to.  I got my normal set of x-rays taken; three pictures, all weight bearing with my foot in different positions.  I remember getting x-rays was always kind of painful, because I would be barefoot putting weight on my foot.  It would always ache afterwards.  But this time, it was just totally normal, and I didn't have any pain at all.  It was hard for me to believe that this was actually painful and stressful at one time.

I was told the doctor would be in to see me next.  However, while I was waiting, a surgeon ran back into Dr. Van Boerum's office looking for him.  He had a trauma patient that was just in a rollover car accident and needed his help.  I don't know exactly what happened to the poor guy who was in the accident, only that his blood pressure was dangerously high and that it was a bad accident.  There was a large projection screen in the front room where they quickly loaded up his x-rays and CT scans, and the two surgeons were talking it over.  I couldn't really hear anything but I could see the x-ray and the scans, and there were obvious serious fractures, bones going in all kinds of wonky ways.  It was scary.  I actually kind of felt comforted that Dr. Van Boerum was helping.  He is for sure amazing.  I don't know the fate of the gentleman in the accident, but I hope he's OK.

Finally, Dr. Van Boerum came to see me, and I reminded him that I was the Spartan girl.  He was so pleased with how my foot has healed!  He tested range of motion for my navicular fracture and was genuinely surprised at how much range I had.  He said that normally people with navicular fractures, especially like how bad mine ended up being, never get this level of motion back.  All my other bones in my Lisfranc joint have healed wonderfully and are all lined up like they are supposed to.    I don't really have any signs of arthritis yet, except for a small space between my navicular (in the above, the bone that has the bright metal plate over it) and talus bones.  He also confirmed that the plate and screws over my navicular bone will stay in place permanently.  The navicular just does not get enough blood supply to be able to heal on it's own the way it should, and it is risky to remove the hardware.  It doesn't bother me too much, other than I can feel it when I poke around my foot, and I can visibly see the bump where the plate is.  The only time it ever bothers me is when a storm is coming.  I'm more accurate than a meteorologist by most standards.  Hey... I always wanted to be a meteorologist !

He also cleared me to RUN SHORT DISTANCES!!!  Like a 5K.  In moderation.  No marathons.  I'm just fine with that news!  It is better than his firm stance of "NO RUNNING EVER UNLESS YOU ARE GOING TO BE HIT BY A BUS" in the past.  He recommended that I still take up biking, hiking, or swimming as kind of my main exercise and to steer clear of any hard impacts/jumping still.  

I still do have some pain in my big toe area (he referred to it as 1st MTP Joint) when coming up or pushing off on my toes.  He recommended that a stiff-soled shoe, or even a trail running shoe would help out with that.  And arch supports will still help, like my Superfeet.  Then our conversation kind of drifted off into talking about his hiking/climbing trip to the Grand Tetons, and I told him about Nate and I's trip to King's Peak.

He said that typically the one year mark is where most of my improvements will be, and that's kind of where my foot is going to be, as far as healing goes.  It will most likely plateau between 12-18 months post-op, and then I might see some minor improvements after that.  Then, he just shook our hands and told me that the foot is looking good.  And bye!

So... that was it?  No follow-up appointments to schedule.  No more check-ups.  Just to come in if something changes or if I start getting a lot of pain.  I guess I'm kind of an adult now.

I do have some fitness goals.  I will do a Spartan race again.  It will most likely be heavily modified, and there will be some skipped obstacles.  Anyone scoffing at that or any of you Spartan purists can very nicely go EAD.  You have no idea what I've been through this year.

I will summit King's Peak.

I will do Ragnar.  Someday.

I still blubber sometimes, mainly when I'm watching sports-y team things.  Or seeing someone getting injured and the team rallying around them (Spartan Ultimate Team Challenge, anyone?).  I wish the injury wouldn't have happened.  But there are no regrets.  I went through a year of hell and here I am on the other side.  

There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think about my injury.  I have some sort of pain or discomfort everyday.  Whether that is feeling stiff in the mornings, or trying to go down a set of stairs, or feeling like my foot is some alien otherworldly being from "Stranger Things"...But really it is not that big of deal, not anything I can't tolerate, and it doesn't stop me or even slow me down on doing a lot of the things I want to do.

My promise though is that I will keep updating, and checking in with everyone who has followed me for this last year!

Lots of love, and thank you all for your support,


Friday, July 8, 2016


The anniversary of my injury was 6/27.  I am 1 year post op today.  So I am calling this my "footiversary"!

I wish I had something profound or awesome to update.  But, I don't really.  I've spent a lot of time thinking and reflecting on what the injury has meant for me and what it has changed in my life.  I have had plenty of emotional moments over the last few weeks, but that seems to be passing and I'm back on track to being my normal self again.  Despite getting all of the "You have memories on Facebook today!" notifications on my phone, and seeing all of the struggles I went through last year during this time.  My first trip out with the scooter, the night of my surgery (where I was in so much pain, I posted a billion cat videos on my wall apparently to distract myself), getting discharged from the hospital.  I'll be getting those foot memories for a while!

I have seen some really good progress within the last few weeks as well, and I'm still amazed that I continue to progress even a year after surgery.  The doctor said one of the last things to come back usually was coming up on the toes, and that has been true.  I've seen some awesome improvement in being able to do that - the muscles are finally starting to engage and it is becoming second nature again with minimal discomfort/pain.  I thought I was never going to be able to come up on my toes on my right foot ever again.  But a year later, I can!  It is something so small that you don't even think about until you can't do it.

On the left, sitting in the ER shortly after my fall.
On the right, 1 year and 3 surgeries later!
Toes are still cute AF

I called Dr. Van Boerum's office at TOSH to schedule my yearly post-op appointment.  I've been so excited and anxious to go in, get my x-ray, and just talk to the doctor.  He is a really busy man, however, and the first available appointment wasn't until August!  So, the post about my year op visit will have to wait until then.

I've also started up my walking routine again.  I had stopped for a while, frustrated with progress and feeling remorseful about being unable to run.  I really do enjoy being outside and walking along the trails out on the lake near our house, especially with an earful of music and a pocketful of sunshine.  When I did my first attempt at a fast walking pace back in March, I walked a 5k in 1 hour, 17 minutes.  Now I can do it in just under 50 minutes.  I'm hovering just around a 15 minute mile.  Pretty good for a lisfrancer and I'm hoping to work at it so that I just get better and better.  I think I look kind of silly (I look like one of those race walkers that I've seen during the Olympics!) when I am trying to walk fast.  It feels awesome to be out there.  For the most part, my foot doesn't bother me during my walk...unless a storm is coming... and I'm not too sore or have much pain afterwards.  I'm only going maybe a couple of times a week for now.

I'm also very close to my pre-surgery weight again!  I gained quite a bit after surgery being unable to move, walk or be my normal active self.  Mostly that's been attributed to the ketogenic diet I am following.  That's for sure helped my confidence and physical well-being.

So, what's next?  I don't know.  I feel pretty normal.  Even though my foot feels alien, and I limp sometimes.  The new normal.  I'm always aware of my injury, but I refused to be defined by it.

Hang in there everyone!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

You're Invited! To my pity party....

The self-pity party returned in full force this week.  I have been feeling quite emotional about my injury, and it's been quite some time since I've felt this way.  And I am not liking it.  I hate having feels and just wish they would go away!

I don't know why I'm feeling so terrible.  I think it's just a combination of my year anniversary right around the corner, and being confronted with not being able to race this week in a huge way. Little things have been setting me off, even things not related to my foot like work stuff.  I just can't even, apparently.  Also, if people could STOP being an expert about my limp, that'd be great!  I don't want to hear about it, I don't want to think about it, and I don't want to hear that because you recovered from a limp from your knee injury means that I will from my completely identical foot injury!  K.  Now that that's out of the way....

I did have an eventful week/weekend.

To start things off, my A/C pooped out.  Right in the middle of our heat wave, and 2 nights before leaving on vacation to Park City for Ragnar.   So that was a stellar beginning to things.  It ended up getting fixed 2 hours before I was to check in to our hotel (it's about an hour drive) so I guess the stars aligned and everything turned out peachy.

I also got to help Nate get ready for the Ragnar race.  I obviously didn't run it, but I helped him coordinate team meetings, van logistics, set agendas, and helped him draft and proof-read all team communications.  I'm a project manager and I was doing some practical application of my skills in the "real world."  At least I was able to help in some way.  I got to meet all of the members in his van, and they were all inspiring and amazing people!

Ragnar is a relay race, where you are on a team of 12 people and together you run 200-ish miles, with each runner having 3 legs.  It's an overnight race, so it takes a normal team 2 days and 1 night to complete.  It ran from Logan, UT, all the way to Heber (Soldier Hollow).   They call this one the Wastach Back, since you are running along the back side of the Wastach Mountain Range.  It's incredible.   I stayed in a hotel in Park City with my mom and spent the time shopping and drinking wine.  Also crying a lot.  

His legs were at odd times this year.  He was runner #1 so his start time ended up being at 5AM.  The other legs happened late and night and then again very early morning so I didn't have an opportunity to meet him out on the course.  I did however meet him at the finish line!  

The race ended at Soldier Hollow, which is exactly the place where I injured myself almost a year ago.  The Ragnar festival area was literally right on top of the exact spot that I fell off the wall at Spartan.  It felt so odd and sobering to finally revisit the scene of the crime.  This was where it all changed.

So yeah, this week has been really challenging for the feels.  Next week is one year!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Storm's Comin'

My posts have been really positive lately!  So I apologize....

But, I do have a sad.  I miss running.  Maybe it's the fact that it is so close to my year anniversary of my accident, and I'm thinking about it more.  I've reconciled long ago my severed relationship with running and thought it was all behind me.  But lately I have been craving the solace of the open road ahead with music blaring in my ears.  Clearing my mind completely, focusing on my breathing and my stride, lungs burning, and getting that sweet endorphin rush that comes with a long run.  Right now, I don't remember how I also use to hate it!  It has been hard to even hear songs that come up on my iPod that used to be on my running playlist.  I sometimes ride my stationary bike, close my eyes, and just imagine that I am running... Walking just ain't the same.

Nate has also been prepping for Ragnar this weekend (and I'm helping to organize and plan...putting my project management skills to practical use!) and before my accident, the plan was always to run it in 2016.  A week later, everything changed, and that was no longer the plan.  I wanted to train to walk it (fast) but recovery wasn't quite as fast as I'd hoped and I'm not ready for that.  I think I could do one leg, but probably would be too sore to attempt 2 or even 3.  Plus, who wants a girl that can't run on their Ragnar team?  No one.

So, I'll be there cheering on.   Trying to smile and not to think about how I could be out there running too, if I'd just held on to that stupid obstacle and not changed my life forever.  I want to see Nate cross the finish line.  Ugh.  I am so down about this right now and I don't want to think about it anymore.  I thought I was fine!  I want to be able to just not think about my foot anymore.  Or stop getting into situations where I feel like, "Oh crap, can I do this?"  Like an unexpected staircase.  Or worse, one without railings.  Not being able to reach something, and being unable to jump or come up on my tippy toes.  Or a sudden drop off/curb, where I have to figure out how to land.  Or my extreme fear of heights now, or stumbling and falling.  Also, I wish people would stop asking about why I'm limping or when is my foot going to "heal" because it's been so long!  It's a long story.   But, I guess that is to be expected.  I'll have ups and downs forever, and I've been really great with how things are for the last few months!

On a more positive note, I've been "practicing" walking barefoot more often.  I miss running walking around barefoot.  My arch is a little sore from it, but I am getting so much more comfortable with it, and eventually I'll be able to do it again without much thought.

I've also been gifted with the precog of when a storm is coming.  I feel it.  In my booonnes.  On Friday, I was in horrible foot pain, to the point of tears at work.  More frustration than pain tears - like "why am I hurting so bad, this is not normal."  A huge storm rolled in that night.  And the next day the foot was all better.

I do still feel grateful of all the things that I can still do, and that I'm still progressing on things almost a year later.  I'll get through this little rough patch.  I enjoy when I get to go hiking (as long as the weather cooperates!) and I just get better each time I go.   I'm a little intimidated to go with normal people.  I feel self-conscious about how slow I am, especially on the descents and my husband is a patient man. 

It will be a year since my injury on 6/27.  I haven't quite figured out how I am going to tackle that day.  Mourn?  Celebrate?  Cry to myself while eating a cupcake?  Break my other lisfranc?

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Life is Grand

...for the most part with all things concerning the foot!

General Status Report for 11 months post-op (I really can't believe it's been almost a year!):

- Pain:  My pain is pretty minimal unless I really over-do it.  I still think about my foot with every step in some way.  Not that it hurts, but I can just feel the difference between my left and right foot.  My left foot feels completely normal and just like an extension of my leg.  My right foot still feels a bit... alien, I guess is the best way to describe it.  It doesn't feel natural.  That could be the hunk of metal that is still in there, and all of my bones and tendons still healing after all of the trauma.   I've learned to live with the alien foot though, so I can't say that it really bothers me.

- Limp:  Minimal, but it still shows up at times.  Mostly if I've been on my foot a lot during the day or I have done a lot of walking or activity.  I think my shoes also determine if I'll limp or not.  Some shoes still feel a lot better than others, and some days I just don't want to have to deal with the pain of walking around, so I wear tennis shoes that don't match my outfit.  It does feel a bit weird because I'm super self-conscious about it, but it's my body and I'd rather strangers judge my fashion choices than deal with pain and limping all day because I wore a cute shoe.

- Coming up on my toes is still an issue!  But, it is starting to get better little by little.  It's just taking a really, really long time.  The doctor did tell me that it was basically the last thing to come back.  So, I'm patiently waiting for that, and I'll do some calf raises when the foot will tolerate it.  I do much better with an assisted calf raise, like holding on to a wall or bar so that my weight is supported a bit.

- Big toe pain seems to have mostly resolved itself.  I get it from time to time, but just stretching my toes against the wall clears it up pretty quickly.

- Walking barefoot is still not my favorite.  I much prefer my orthopedic slippers or my pair of flip flops.  I never thought I'd ever feel like that!  How your perspective changes...

- Working out is pretty much back to normal (aside from my running/jumping/impact restrictions).  I lift.  I do the bike.  I go for walks.  I'm working on doing a pull-up.

And for the "grand" finale for this post, I summited my first peak since my injury - Grandeur Peak at 8300ft!   The trail was just over 6 miles round trip, and about 2700 feet of elevation gain.  If I'm being honest, I don't think my foot was quite ready for a hike like that.  Nate allowed me to pick the hike (we have done this one before my injury but in super crappy weather), and he said afterwards that had he actually looked at the stats, he would have told me no.  The ascent was slow and steady, and I just went at a pace where I was comfortable and had no pain.  There were some super rocky parts which I absolutely hated!  I have balance issues still so the foot was going all kinds of wonky directions and freaking me out.  Plus if I stepped wrong I'd get a shot of pain for a second, so I just had to be careful.  Going down was another story, it probably took me longer to get down than to go up.  With a little over a mile left to go, my foot really started to hurt.  But, I had to power through and stay strong.  I was on the verge of tears at that point from frustration, pain, and wanting to go faster.  Eventually I did hit the bottom and it felt great to have accomplished this peak!

Of course I was sore the next day.  But it mainly was from my other muscles and not my foot.

I will be going back in for my 1 year post-op check up next month.  I promise to keep updating!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

My First Race

The doctor told me before surgery that I would never be doing obstacle course races again.

Well, OK, he clarified that I would be done with running, jumping and high impact exercises, so naturally that included obstacle course racing.

But, I am stubborn and always find a way around the rules.  He said that I could walk and hike just fine.  And as as long as things were low to minimum impact, that was also fine.

He never said that I couldn't walk an obstacle course race.  Or skip the obstacles that required jumping or landing more than a couple of feet off the ground.....right?  So, loophole was found.

I henceforth made my racing debut at the Greater Salt Lake Battlefrog Race, which was a very last minute decision.  Nate had signed up for it as a prep for Spartan in August and I kind of was sick of being cheerleader and being stuck on the sidelines.  So, we talked about it at length, and we agreed that I would only walk the course.  And I would skip any obstacle that had the potential of falling or landing more than a couple of feet off the ground.  I warned him it might be slow, and zombie-like-ish, but he was totally fine with it...or so he said.. :)  

So we drove an hour out to Tooele on Saturday morning, to the Miller Motor Sports Park, where the event was held.  It was a course mainly used for BMX style bike racing, so mostly flat but with some rolling hills.  I would describe the race more low-key than Spartan and not quite as intense.  That was fine with me.  I wasn't there to compete or be the fastest racer.  I was just there to prove to myself that I could do it.

This video was taken at the beginning of the race for the 9 AM racers.  Nate and I are at the very back.  Needless to say, I started the race, on my knees sobbing.  Full on sobbing.  Shoulder-shaking, tears streaming down my face.  There was so much emotion in this moment for me as I sat and waited for the race to start and listened to this speech.  Sacrifice.  Every obstacle representing an obstacle in life.  Embracing the moment and living your life.

A rush of adrenaline hit and I took off at a slight jog to start the race.  (Shhhh don't tell Dr. Van Boeurm!) but I didn't last very long and only kept it up for maybe a 1/4th of a mile or so.  Then I settled into my race-walk, which according to Nate's GPS watch, was about 4MPH.  Not bad!  I held true to my commitment not to try to tackle any obstacles which required more than a few feet or climbing or had any chance of falling off.  I was able to complete 8 out of the 24 obstacles, so, a third.  I pretty much shredded my strength based obstacles, like the tire pull, bag carry, and gas can carries.  I attempted a few obstacles that didn't feel quite as comfortable as I liked so I didn't try to finish them (mainly ones which required a lot of weight coming up on my toes... argh!).  I think looking back I would like to have attempted/completed more of them, but there's plenty of time to improve before I try again.

The course ended up being a little over 5 miles, and we completed it in a little under 2 hours!  I was very pleased with myself and was so glad to cross the finish line after 10 months of not racing at all.  Some of the obstacle race purists might be pissed off...that I didn't "earn" my medal by not doing all the obstacles.  IDGAF.  I don't.  I was out there doing it, and that's all that matters to me.  There were a few staffers yelling at me that it was too early in the course to be walking... I just smirked... if he only knew what I'd been through to get here.

The next day, my foot was pretty damn sore. Like everywhere.  Lisfranc joint, toes, ankle, shins, heel, arch.   And the day after that.  It started to be less sore by Monday.  And today (Tuesday), it's back to it's good ol' self!

Totally worth it.


Pre-race/Start Line
Climbing over a fence - just a baby, only about 4 feet tall!

Nate climbing this huge pyramid.  Me?  NOPE!  Just nope.

Post-race - got our medals!!

All cleaned up!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Average...and that's OK!

I'm really starting to believe that there is hope for recovery!  This week I started to feel like my foot was no longer controlling my life, something that I have not felt in 10 long months.

I treated myself to another hike over the weekend, this time to the Avenues Twin Peaks.  It was more challenging than the other two I have done so far this season, 3.7 miles round trip and over 1,000 ft of elevation gain, so a lot steeper!  I completed it in 2 hours, which is the average pace for the average hiker.  I'm totally cool with being average at this point :)

I was amazed at my foot's progress since my last hike 2 weeks ago, and I feel like I'm getting so much better every time.  I felt a lot more comfortable on my feet, and navigating through the rocks and mud.  I didn't lose my balance or slip and fall for the duration of the hike, which is quite an accomplishment for me, even pre-injury.  I still rely on my poles pretty heavily for balance and for steep uphill and downhill, but that's fine.  That is why I invested a lot on good trekking poles!

There were two summits on the hike, lots of elevation gains and losses throughout.   The ascent of each peak right before was definitely the steepest.  The uphill was fine, except for burning out my glutes and testing the limits of my cardio.  Downhill was a pretty steep descent and was a tad bit terrifying, but I took it slow and grounded my poles in front of me.  I actually kind of turned side-ways on the way down those steep parts so I would have a little more surface area and better balance.  I'd say it was a success because there were no falls :D  For the rest of the downhill, always the most painful for my foot in general, I tried a new technique to help offload some of the impact and weight on the forefoot.  I put my body in sort of a mini-squat position, and stepped down that way.  This sent pretty much everything into my quads, glutes, and calves.  It seemed to work because my foot didn't get sore at all on the way down.  Usually when I hit 2.5/3 miles, it starts to get pretty angry.  The only drawback was how sore I ended up being in my quads and other muscles the next day! To sweeten the deal even more, after the hike, we took my niece to the Natural History of Utah Museum to see the geckos exhibit (and the lizards and chameleons too - she says!), where I did plenty more walking.  My foot really didn't bother me much!  I clocked about 18,000 steps for the day, so I was pretty stoked!

Hike pictures - because I love sharing! I got Nate a GoPro for his birthday and it took some awesome photos!

I have a lot to be happy about right now.  I've worn several different pairs of shoes.  I finally took the stool out of the shower.  I haven't needed it in quite a long time but I've always left it there " just incase"  But, this weekend I finally said the hell with it and got it out of there!  I still have my slipmat, and I don't think I need that anymore either, but it's there just for security.  Maybe in a month or so I'll take that out too!  And yes, there are still "bad" foot days.  But not quite as bad as I imagined they would be and not as often as I thought there would be.  Sometimes it just feels stiff or more sore on some days.  But it isn't really bothersome - just a part of me now.  The good is outweighing the bad and I am extremely positive. 

Coming up on the toes has gotten a lot easier.  My right foot doesn't feel as strong still, but I can come up all the way now (if I'm in shoes) and even do multiple calf raises.  Going down stairs is still kind of a challenge.  I do OK on long stretches of stairs where I can get into a rhythm; it is the little flights or onesy-twosy steps that kill me.  I also found another "first" I can do....which is squat all the way down so my butt is almost on the floor then come up on my toes from there.  I didn't even know I could do it, but I was cleaning the other day and needed to squat down to get some leverage on scrubbing the bathroom tile.  I was very excited.   Also, I went to the movies with the hubby yesterday and decided to race him up the stairs to our seats.  I got about 4 rows up before I even thought about my foot or if I should be doing this.  It was an awesome feeling because I took off bounding up the stairs without a thought in the world about my injury.

I will keep updating this blog.  Even if I have no readers! (Today I noticed I have had over 6,000 views.  Wow you guys!  Thank you!)

You may have a "new normal."


Lisfranc recovery is possible!!

Please stay positive everyone :)

Monday, April 11, 2016

Stepping Up My Game

I had another great week!  I hope you guys don't start to get bored with my updates.  I hope they inspire you so that you keep pushing and moving forward.  I started this blog with the intention of turning it into a positive recovery story, so that anyone suffering a Lisfranc injury has hope, and a light at the end of the tunnel that it will eventually be over, and eventually be just a memory.  My injury ended up being on the severe side of things, so yes, there are things that I will never be able to do again (at least, they aren't recommended if I don't want another surgery in 2 years, so yep, taking the doctor's advice), but there are plenty of things that you still CAN do.

I was hoping that this feeling of encouragement and happiness about recovery would have come maybe a few months ago and I really didn't expect the injury to take this long to heal.  Patience is the key and you just have to have it.

So what did I do this week that has me so excited?  Another hike!  I increased my distance and elevation gain with this one, last week's was more of just a baseline on where I was.  Last week's hike was about 2 miles round trip, 0.75 each way and then some tooling around the reservoir, with overall about 450 ft. of elevation gain.  On Friday, I had the day off work and we celebrated my hubby's birthday by going on a hike that was a little more challenging than last week's.

This hike was located in Millcreek Canyon,  on a trail called Rattlesnake Gulch (I'm in Utah, not Colorado) and led to a beautiful overlook of the Salt Lake Valley.  It almost double the distance of last week's adventure, 3.4 miles roundtrip with about 750 ft of elevation gain.  My foot held up so great.  I actually didn't have much pain at all during the entire hike, and it started to get kind of sore about a third of the way back down the trail.  I did have to kind of think about my foot in general though, since the trail was super rocky.  I was conscious of every step, where I was putting my feet, and my weight on each foot.  I was trying not to put too much weight on the right foot, especially on the steep parts.  I tried to lead with my right foot as much as possible so that I wasn't pushing off too much on it.  I let my left foot be the back foot to push myself up the hills.

The rocks really tested my balance and I was grateful for my trekking poles.  There was one section that was almost all rocks, and I tweaked my ankle just a bit.  My foot is seriously not used to this type of activity and this is helping to work on stability.  As anxious as I might be for pushing the foot, I am seeing huge leaps of progress the more active I am.  

I also found out that my cardio totally sucks.  Definitely need to work on that aspect!  During the steepest part of the hike my heart rate got up to 203, according to my Polar Heart Rate Monitor.  I didn't die though.  Overall, it took me about 1hr 50 min to do the hike, exactly on point with the average hiker pace for the Wasatch Mountain Club.  (Slow clap?)  I honestly don't care about pace or speed.   Maybe next year that can be a goal.  Right now it is just about completing the hikes!  I burned about 1300 calories on the hike which had me feeling awesome afterwards.  And yes, we treated ourselves to a birthday dinner at Ruth's Chris later in the evening.


Going up the trail (this was the non-rocky part :) )

At the top - if you zoom in you can see the Salt Lake downtown skyline!
Looking west to the other side of the valley; Oquirrh Mountains in the distance

Looking down at Salt Lake Valley.  The abandoned pipeline is in view, which Google tells me used to power parts of the valley years ago!

The next day, my legs were for sure sore, especially my calves and quads.  Most importantly, my foot was only mildly sore.  Compared to last week's 2 mile hike, and this week's 3.4, it definitely felt more sore this week than last week.  But not really enough to bother me much.  I some gardening that Saturday and we hung another bird feeder, ran errands, and did some shopping, so I still was able to be on my feet and fairly active throughout the day!  There was one point where we had gone to pick up some flowers for the garden at our favorite nursery, and the hubby told me that I was WALKING TOO FAST for him.  What!  (In his defense, I had a pair of tennis shoes on, and he had flip flops, but still)

As I think about it, maybe a year ago if I had gone on this hike pre-injury, I might have noticed the pain or the differences in my two feet.  Maybe it would have bothered me.  Other than getting used to how to hike all over again, I am so pleased with how my foot held up.  I wasn't bothered.  A little sore, but not bothered.  Considering all the time, surgeries and trauma my foot has been through, this was exciting.  This is my new normal now.

And I'm fine with that!