Friday, June 21, 2013

Ankle Surgery Decision

Back in April I had my MRI and discussion with my Dr about my ankle pain.  You can read about that here. I managed to do my big races at the Flying Pig in the beginning of May with not much pain.  Granted, compression socks and Advil were a pivotal role in my success. My PTs were very surprised that I was able to finish all three races and were expecting a mess when I came in on the Monday after.  My ankle was sore and crunchy but I could walk w/o pain. 

My newest PT, I'll call her Michelle, who comes from a sports clinic, gave me the talk.  "You need to stop running for 2 weeks and completely rest it.  It's not about running now, it's about running in the future."  Yep.  She's right.  Grrr.  So, I was good.  I rested for long 10 days.  Meanwhile, Michelle looked at my new running shoes that showed up in and deemed them unfit for my foot.  I have always wore a Neutral shoe (Mizuno Wave Riders) but she showed me why I needed to be in a shoe for Supination.  I had 2 weeks to try out another pair of shoes and return the old (new) shoes.  I was getting close to 2 weeks but I hadn't got to run in them yet.  That was part of my reasoning for starting to run again but also, my ankle felt the same even with rest.   If I try to dorsaflex, stretch my calf, lounge, walk up hills, walk down stairs it still hurts.  (Michelle gave me her blessing to go ahead and run again)

Michelle asked me when I was going back to the Dr. for a follow up- I told her I wasn't.  My Dr. told me to come back when the spur was killing me and we could do a "scope" to clean it up and shave off the bone spur.    Michelle looked at me, nodded her head and said "Just do it, it's stopping you from doing what you want."  She explained to me the general recovery for it and said I'd be walking within a day or 2.   Ok, doesn't sound THAT bad.  
I'm not a radiologist, but I think that's a spur hanging down from my tibia (left hand side, in the middle of the red triangle)

So, here I am, waiting to have arthroscopic surgery on my ankle spur(s?) next Friday.  My Dr. told me that he might have to open me up a little bit more than just the portals for the arthroscope to get at the spur- just depends when he gets in there.  Recovery would be 5 weeks in the BOOT and nothing about being non-weight bearing so that's good, although I did clarify with the nurse and she told me to bring my crutches and boot to the hospital, so...fingers crossed that will only be for a little bit. 

 I do have my doubts.  I can run with little pain.  BUT, I'm in pain later.  Today, I went for a run and as usual I was hyper-focused on my ankle.  It didn't hurt to bad, just on hills (up and down) and I thought "Why am I having surgery on this? I can function, with some pain, but it's not horrible."  BUT, if I didn't do anything about it, I'd stay in this stupid, frustrating situation.  Run, then pain, repeat. 
I want to compete. I don't want to have to run every other day and only 3 miles. I don't want to be the person who can't run because it hurts her ankle too much.  I refuse to stop.  So, I guess that's it.  I have to get this taken care of.

My PT added some anxiety since she asked me if he was going to be doing a micro fracture on the ankle and asked if Dr brought up OCD (Osteochrondral defect).  He didn't, thank goodness, since Dr. Google brought up some scary stuff.    My real Dr. did not mention this, and when I look at my patient summary for the surgery it mentions "General or localized osteoarthrosis" which means I'm old that I have arthritis. If you google "localized arthritis" it is this OCD stuff. I looked at my MRI and at MRIs online of an OCD of the ankle and I think I'm good- but then again, I'm not a radiologist.  (Although it is fascinating, maybe a second career option...) 

my lovely ankle MRI of my talus
someone else's MRI with OCD in the talus
  Since, if I timed it right, 5 weeks in a boot gets me to Aug 2 (perfect for me-done with it before going back to work mid August), and gives me 6 weeks to train for the Air Force Half which stupidly I signed up for back on Jan 1.  I'm hoping this is an easy recovery. 

Has anyone had arthroscopic surgery on their ankle before?  I'd love read about your experiences.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Cincinnati Flying Pig 3 Way Challenge Race Recap: Sunday's 1/2 marathon


 After Saturday's races, I basically chilled out, iced,wore compression socks, and even tried an Epsom salt bath to help recover my legs.  There was also generous helpings of Advil.  My ankle felt pretty decent considering.  I thought I'd feel way worse. 

Before the race!
Running the Flying Pig on Sunday makes for a pretty early morning.  The race starts at 6:30 but to get there with time to spare meant a 3:30 wake up for me, and a pick up of my running partner by 4:30.  Bagel and coffee in the car for me. 

Fast forward to the race. 

My race plan was to finish.  I was going to run 5 mins/walk 1 min.  I decided to run the first mile or so without walk breaks since it was so packed with people.  I didn't want to be THAT runner that stops in front of others.  I made it to the first bridge which probably wasn't even a mile, my legs were tired.  Uh oh.  This was going to be a long race!  So, I took my walk break- that was so hard to walk with everyone running by me!!!! I'm so NOT used to doing races that way.  Anyways, for the first 5 miles my legs were feeling tired and sluggish and I used my walk breaks because I needed them.  I took my energy gels every 30 mins- thank goodness I had enough left over from my last 26.2. 
By mile 6, I was not feeling tired anymore and my ankle was feeling fine.  I just kept slugging through the miles, 5 minutes at a time.  I have to say it helped thinking I only have to run for 5 minutes then I get a break.  Also, since I was just trying to finish- I never looked at my Garmin. I
Yep, nothing like a race photo while you're walking!
was going on my interval timer on my iPhone.  At mile 6-7 I spent my time looking out for some friends from high school who was going to be cheering on a certain corner.  I found them! That gave me a boost to climb the hill. 

The rest  of the race was a blur.  I was so focused on putting one foot in front of the other and only for 5 minutes at  time.  Plus I had to remember e-gels for energy since I remember bonking at the Air Force marathon. 
Mile 11 is all down hill and I got a text from my running partner that she had finished.  I didn't look at my phone since it was strapped to my arm but who else would text me at that time of day? I knew she must of finished and here I was at mile 11 still.  Grrr. :-)  I was feeling pretty good though.
 At mile 12, I looked at my overall time finally and it was 1:54- hmmm, I'm 1.1 miles from the finish and I know I can run 8 min miles and I feel pretty good- hell- I'm going for it!   I like, at all.    Plus, I felt good after. 
finished in 2:04.  I'll take it.  That is only 13 mins slower that my normal time for a half and I didn't really train,
Ankle:  Sore, but not as swollen as I expected- I wore my heavy duty compression socks in the race and generally, ice and Advil and I was good.  My PTs were impressed when I came in on Mon with my ankle looking "normal". 

Can you tell where my walk breaks are in my timing chart?  Plus, love the elevation of the Pig- not for wimps!
 After I met up with my running partner and we found the 3 way challenge table to pick up my extra swag for finishing all the races. 

Front, nice Asics tech long sleeve shirt


All the shirts for the races, 5k &10k are a nice soft cotton, 13.1 tech shirt

Monday, June 10, 2013

Cincinnati Flying Pig 3 Way Challenge Race Recap: Saturday's races

I had decided to run the 3 way back in October and always had planned on running the 10k as best as I could and then do the 5k with the family.  So that's what I did.

My training had been spotty considering I was/still am coming back from my ankle injury which is BTW is taking way longer than expected.

Week 1 and 2 look good, then injury, then you can see my mileage per week is pathetic considering I was going to be doing 9.3 on Saturday and 13.1 on Sunday
Anyways, I knew I could run 6 miles since I had been spinning as well so I knew my cardio would be there but I wasn't sure how I would do with back to back races then a half the next day.

10k Race

The 10k race would be the only race that I knew I could really try at considering it was a distance I could do and no one would be running it with I decided to put on my music and just do what I could.
I felt pretty good during the whole thing, except mile 4-5 which was against the wind.  I like the 10k because there aren't a ton of people like the half and the 5k.  The "hills" are really the bridges with the exception of one and it's not bad.  My ankle felt decent- just would hurt a bit on the hills.  Finished in 51:31 and got 12th in my AG! WOOT! 

I had about an 1.5 hrs to warm-down/warm-up hang out with the family before the 5k.  This was going to be Buster's first 5k and my DH's first 5k in a few years.

tree climbing before the 5k while I stretched

This was going to be about finishing not about time.  Cub and I were going to run together since Buster and dh were a bit slower than us.  The 5k is so big, it was a bit too crazy.  We were dodging people/walkers the entire 3.1 miles.  It was fun though to go slow and talk Cub through it.  We walked only once which isn't bad at all considering Cub just has been training by playing soccer all spring.

Overall, my ankle felt decent- I was worried that it would be really sore after the 10k considering usually after my runs is when it is the sorest.   I think the compression socks help but also mentally just focusing on the races and not worrying about my ankle helped.  
2 races down, 1 big one to go!

Compression and carb loading for the next race!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Cincinnati Flying Pig 3 Way Challenge: Race Recap part 1

Sorry this has taken so long to post.  I've been dealing with the end of the school year stuff and too much soccer for Cub.  I've been busy to say the least. 

History:  I've run the Flying Pig 10k two years ago, 1/2 marathon last year, and this year:  Flying Pig 3 way challenge, which means you run a 10k, then a 5k on Saturday AM then the 1/2 marathon on Sunday AM.  I'd planned since October to do this and was completely bummed when I messed up my ankle in Jan and didn't think I'd run it.    I think it is so cool that you can run this!  Where else can you do that all in a weekend?  

Expo:  This expo is pretty darn extensive.  Packet pick up was pretty straight forward, they had the 3 way and 4 way challenge bibs set apart so no need to get in 3 separate lines.  I still did since I was getting my running partner (I guess I can still call her that) and my kids and dh's bibs for the 5k.

 The Flying Pig Marathon is sponsored by Procter and Gamble which means: tons of free samples!!! woot! woot!  They have a very well organized line that went fast and I now have a nice supply of Olay Regenerist lotion, Secret, Gain, Tampax, and a ton of other stuff which my dh squirreled away before I take a picture of the loot pile.  (We had 4 participant bags so we took handfuls of stuff). 

The normal venders were there and I did score a new sweaty band for my birthday and some blister powder (since I got a hot spot on foot on my last run before the races-I was paranoid). I also bought a new pair of running/athletic sunglasses since I hate squinting while running in the summer.  We checked out I have to say it's nice having your birthday always around the same time as the Pig-I just drag my dh with me to the expo and birthday shop! ;-)
My favorite Flying Pig and all my loot!
2013 Race Shirts
 At the end of the expo center (it took us a good 1.5hrs to get through) we got to the shirts and the premiums for the half/full runners.  This year they gave us a nice soft cooler with the flying pig logo, nice cotton tees for the 5k, 10k and  an Asics tech shirt for the half.  Then they give out these cool posters with the artwork from the shirt. 

I love this expo!  It's totally worth the extra trip down to Cinci! 

PS If you love my t-shirt "I run this body" check out

Tomorrow:  Flying Pig 3 way challenge 5k and 10k race recaps

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