Saturday, October 29, 2011

Run, run, as fast as you can. You can't catch me, I'm the donut man?

It all started in September 2010, when I took a nasty spill down the stairs thanks to a ginormous load of laundry and a slippery step.  After writhing on the floor for a few minutes, I figured that I'd try out my throbbing ankle to see if I'd broken it.  It hurt, but  I could walk ok and I didn't see any bones poking out.  I even grabbed some frozen peas to ice it down and prevent swelling before I limped off to finish my wifely duties at the grocery store for the day.  

That night it hurt so bad I couldn't even get off the sofa to go pee! I had to scoot on the floor from the sofa to the bathroom and lord knows I had to take the stairs by scooting up one at a time on my rear. The next day I made it down to the couch for breakfast and I didn't move again for 36 hours.  It took me three months to go see a doctor-- Why, you ask?  Because I'm like that. I kept thinking it would heal on its own. After all, it was only a sprained ankle. The doctor that I finally saw was a podiatrist.  He wanted to jam a needle in my ankle and give me a cortisone shot.  I said no thanks (because my Internet research had told me that cortisone actually impedes ligament healing time and I hate needles) and limped out with a brace instead.... a brace that cost me the last bits of my ankle mobility and nearly 400 buckaroos after the freaking insurance monies paid.  Yes.. after insurance that dang brace was $400!  In January, I made an appointment with an orthopaedist.  He told me the brace made my ankle worse by weakening it further and prescribed some physical therapy.

Finally I started to see some improvement!  I went from not being able to walk without a limp to being able to walk gently uphill and finally to being able to jog again.  At this point, It had been 5 months since I'd gotten any cardio... 5 months since I'd run a mile or even been able to walk a lap around the neighborhood.  Don't let that happen to you friends.  It's not pretty.

In the springtime when I was able to run one mile again (albeit wheezing and breathing like a banshee), my friend talked me into signing up for a half-marathon in October and I said yes because I needed a big goal to get back to my old self... my wedding self if you know what I mean.  All spring and summer I huffed and I puffed and I ran my tush around the neighborhood so many times that I swear I wore a new path in the asphalt. The months flew by.  I was doing great. I could run 3, 4, 5, even 6 miles at a time!  Then I got this thing called a "new job," and I started this thing called a "new semester" in graduate school.  By the time October rolled around, the furthest I could run was still 6 miles...less than half of the 13.1 required to complete my upcoming race.

You know what?  I did it anyway.  I wasn't happy about it, (I was pretty anxious about it which turned into pretty up tight about it which turned into pretty annoying to be around) but I sucked it up and I did it.  You know what else?  2 hours and 13 minutes of running later I had a lot of fun.  In fact, that's a picture of me at the finish line! I did it!  Now I know why crazy people run marathons.  They may be crazy, but man when you complete something like that it's like nothing on earth can stop you.  When I crossed the finish line on my half marathon I felt relief and joy like I haven't felt since I graduated high school.  Grinning ear to ear, I couldn't believe I had it in me.  My legs were telling me no, but my head kept saying yes!  After the race was over, my wonderful husband brought me a pink donut-- one that matched my pink running shirt and my pink half-marathon medal.  He's the one who really deserved the donut for listening to me whine about my ankle and about running all year.  He's the best, really... and so are pink donuts. In honor of Dave and donuts, I think October 16th should hereby be known as Donut Day.  I plan to celebrate annually (after I go for a run, of course).