Sunday, December 30, 2012


I'm on my third week on crutches (for this time around anyway) ... since my second stress fracture was diagnosed  right before Christmas.

Looking at a previous post of mine (see here, "cereal"), I remember I wasn't able to even prepare a bowl of cereal on crutches.  That part hasn't really changed ... you would only know if you've been on crutches.  BOTH of your hands are full, all the time, so you can't do anything ... can't carry a cup of coffee, glass of water, book, etc.

But this time around I feel like a pro.  In the morning I get up, put my knee on my wheeled office chair, and scoot to the bathroom to get ready.  I even figured out how to get in and out of the shower on my knees, on my hands, on my butt, from the chair, from the floor, whatever.  I slide up and down the stairs like I was on a playground ... AND ... the big new development this time around is this --- a knee scooter!

I wasn't able to use one for the first injury, because it involved my hip, the right femoral neck.  This time the injury involves my left tibia, so I scoot around the house on this thing.  Not bad.  It's bulkier and a bit heavier than I imagined in would be, and to this day I have not yet swallowed my pride to bring the thing to work.  My excuse is that it's a pain to get up and down the three steps to my garage, fold it and put it in my trunk, and take it out and set it up ... all on one foot.  All that is true.  But the time it would potential save at work in terms of speed would be negated by the conversation, the questions, the explanations, the "wow that's cool," "wow look at you," "what is that thing?" etc.  I'll stick to my clumsy crutches, at least people know what they are, they're used to seeing me on it, and damn I got skills on them now.

But onward!

I WILL be participating in the NYC 13.1 Half Marathon in March.  Now, I did not yet say I was "running" it.  And no, I won't be "crutching" it like others out to prove something ...

That's great if you want to do that, all the power to you.  Just not my choice right now.  I will heal and get back to walking.  And I will WALK that half marathon if I have to.  I can swallow my pride and do that.  I can't wait.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012


I am in good spirits today.
Everytime someone (who's not my doctor) sees me injured again and tells me to stop running, the more excited I get about getting back into running.

things I heard today,
"this is a sign."
"God is telling you to find another sport."
"Stop exercising."

Now, many are well meaning too with concern about why I got injured again,

"Something is going on."
"Something's not right, you should not be getting another stress fracture."

Now, although I believe that my erratic training schedule plus my technique and form caused my stress fractures, I realize that I am NOT my own doctor.

I am taking this seriously; I am seeing an endocrinologist as well .. had some labs done last week: ionized calcium, parathyroid hormone, spep, and upeo.

So we'll see.

But I'm not worried. I am focused on healing properly and getting back in shape properly so that I can fulfill my goals.

It is mainly for me. But yes, proving naysayers wrong would be icing on the cake.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

The Plan

When I got injured the first time, I had to cancel or defer my entry to several races.  There was the Spring Lake Five, the largest five mile race in the country, and a huge local summer tradition here.  And of course there was the Atlantic City Half Marathon, which was to be my first "big" goal.

I am now injured again, but this time I will NOT be cancelling or deferring the races I have already registered for.  I have already decided that I will heal and complete these races.

I am not doing this haphazardly or irresponsibly, however.

Of course I want to heal again properly and return to running properly and train properly, under a physician's guidance.  But last night I came to terms that while I would love to run these races, I don't necessarily have to.  I've seen that races generally have a 16 minute per mile time limit, which is fine for brisk walking

There is a lot of debate about the Galloway method (walk-run) and general walking in these races.  If you walk, did you "run" the race?  You can't say you "ran" a marathon if you walked part of it, they say
When I started running, I did not want to walk, and a very deep part of me still has the goal of truly "running" a marathon, and "running" Goofy.  To each his own, but I will not be personally satisfied until I RUN the entire Goofy.

Here's what we have laid out for the next year or so:

Now through January 2013 -- heal smart, heal responsibly, be patient.  When I return to running again, will get gait and form analyzed.

March 23, 2013 -- Allstate 13.1 Marathon, New York -- I understand that when I heal and recover, there will only be a short time to train for a half marathon, and I want to avoid injury again.  The thing is, I realized I can WALK this if I have to!

May 5, 2013 --  New Jersey Marathon -- this is to be my first full marathon.  Again, I do not want to get injured.  I want to train smart and accelerate mileage only as appropriate.  But I can WALK this to if I need to.

(13.1 Marathon + NJ Marathon = NY/NJ Challenge!)

October 13, 2013 -- Atlantic City Half Marathon -- I deferred this from this year.  This will simply be a training run for ...

January 11-12, 2014 -- Walt Disney World Goofy's Race and Half Challenge -- That's the half marathon on Saturday, followed by the full marathon on sunday.
This is the point and purpose of this whole blog.  And my goal.  I see it!  I'm there.  In my mind, it is accomplished.  Thank you.

Saturday, December 22, 2012


Tonight I'm more motivated to run again than ever before.

I want to prove the naysayers wrong. I cannot wait until I run my first half marathon, my first marathon, and my first Goofy just to show them that they were wrong.

Do NOT tell me I can't do something.

I've gotten a lot of words of discouragement, the most striking in my mind,

"Your running days are over," and even, "your dreams of running again are shattered."

And to set the record straight, they were NOT from my doctor. Heck, most comments are from NONrunners.

Don't tell me what I can't do. I'll prove you wrong.

Friday, December 21, 2012

The Answer

Before the answer, there must be a question.
And right now, for me, the question is this:

"Should I run again?"

I started running about one year ago, and two weeks ago I suffered my third injury, my second stress fracture in eight months, serious enough to require non-weight bearing status and crutches.  Major sideline from training.  Major sideline off my feet.

All week I've been hearing the same thing from coworkers and pretty much everyone else who knows me and who just saw me get off months of crutches:  Criticism and "constructive" advice instead of encouragement:

"You ran again?"
"You should stop running!"
"Find another sport ... try biking or swimming."
"Your running days are over!"

And at first glance, the answer is obvious.  I ran, got injured, got better, ran again, got injured again.  So "obviously" I shouldn't run again.  Obvious answer, right?


Why?  Why should I stop running?  If my son falls off his bicycle, should I tell him to stop riding his bike?
When I was growing up, and made a mistake while playing the piano, did I stop?  The answer is NO.  You correct your mistakes, learn from then, get up and try again!

"But that's different, you're hurting yourself," they would say.  Well, technically, when I eat steak, I am hurting my self too, but I enjoy steak, so I will continue to eat it!

That's the point.  I enjoy running.  Truly.  I can't express how much of a joy it is.  Running.  Getting out there ... being outside, no matter the weather, no matter what time, how early ... and running.  And that feeling of accomplishment, when the run is done, looking at my time, looking at the distance, and just feeling good.  How can I give that up?  It would be like giving up piano because I made a mistake, or my son giving up trying to ride a bike because he fell off.  I can correct mistakes, get up, and run again.

But honestly this question, and this soul searching, has been a struggle.  If I run again, and I hurt myself a third or fourth, it will be like a "duh" moment, and frankly will just look stupid.  No one will have any sympathy.  But ... if I don't run again, I'll spend the rest of my life wondering "what if?"  and on top of that I will just be missing running.  It would be giving up a hobby, and giving up a joy.

Well, tonight I found the answer ... or the answer found me.
Tonight was our office's holiday party, and per tradition we the employers gave our staff gifts, and the staff gave us individual gifts.

The staff said, "this is for you when you get better ..." and presented me with this:

A GPS watch!!

How thoughtful.  Really, how very thoughtful.  Other from those extremely close to me, this was the first sign of encouragement that I got from anyone in regards to running since this most recent injury.

And for now, this is the answer:

Yes, I should run again.

Friday, December 14, 2012

The End ?

Yesterday I saw my orthopedic podiatrist, got an MRI, as confirmed a stress fracture in my distal tibia.

another stress fracture?!?!?!?!  another injury?!?!?!?!

This is my second stress fracture this year.

I'm in a boot and on crutches again. I had just gotten off 5 months of crutches and cane.

I came to the sad realization today that I probably should not run anymore. Even if and when I recover from this, it would just be stupid to run and get injured a THIRD time ... wouldn't it?

I finally found a sport that I loved. Running.

Couch to Goofy no more.
This is the end for now.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Ankle bone is connected to the ... ?

I haven't posted in a while. I was actually making good progress getting back into running after my injury, my right femoral neck stress fracture that had sidelined me for 6 months.

I started back up again, slowly ... or so I thought. I did the Couch to 5k again, or at least started again, then transferred over to the Hal Higdon Novice 1 Marathon training program. I followed it religiously, taking rest days when prescribed, only doing the miles indicated, no more. Cross training as scheduled. Furthermore, I ran half my miles on a supposedly less impact inducing treadmill. Even did a couple of soft surfaced trails. Everything was going great, my long run built up to 7 miles without being tired, and I felt awesome.

Then last weak I felt a twinge on the medial side of my left ankle. Great. I ran a couple more times. Ankle hurt more, so I stopped.

Still hurts now, but I can walk on it. i'm walking carefully. I'm taking naproxen, put a lidoderm patch on it, and wrapped in in an ACE bandage. i iced it last night and kept it elevated. It feels fine at rest, hurts on toe push off. There is point tenderness just posteriosuperior to the medial malleolus.

We'll see what happens.