August 3, 2011

Break, Rebound, Streak!

It has been 2 weeks since I have been able to run (from a physical standpoint). As if the mental challenges from my DNF at Grandma's Marathon wasn't enough to deal with, I managed to break a toe just 1 day after the long run (13 miles on the TM) that kicked off my training for the Nike Women's Marathon.  Granted, I didn't know I had any lingering mental negativity around the DNF but I had definitely been taking a lot of time off from running. Writing the recap was therapeutic and I gave myself a month to let it all sink in, but about 10 or 11 miles into this 13-mile training run (my first solo long distance run since Grandma's), I was questioning both my abilities and my motivation. I was able to finish the run, but those thoughts and feelings that came flooding back in an instant definitely caught me off-guard. I'm no stranger to mental challenges. I don't know a runner who is!  Never-the-less, I knew I had a little mental work to do but at least I figured it out early. I didn't have another long run scheduled for 2 weeks and it was only 15 miles. I can get through this, I know I can!

The very next day (Monday 7/18), as I was rushing around a corner near our bed, I ever-so gracefully slammed my pinky toe into the box springs under our mattress. Hubby and I have been living in a small apartment since we had to bail on that shady short sale crap deal with the house we were trying to buy and our bed frame is too big for the master bedroom which is why the box springs are on the floor. Much to my surprise, the corners are made of Titanium-reinforced steel solid wood. BAM!! It hurt - a lot. I'm instantly my grabbing foot (very carefully), expletives are flying out of my mouth that a trucker would be impressed with and all I can remember thinking (or maybe I was saying it out loud) - "OMG this hurts so bad, OMG this hurts so bad". Soon after, the initial shock of the pain is subsiding, but by the looks of my toe and my foot, I'm starting to consider the fact that my toe is possibly broken but it's way too early to tell. I grab a bag of ice, elevate my foot and finish out my work day.

By the end of the day, most of my smaller toes and the top half of my foot are very swollen. The top right side of my foot has turned into various shades of purple and blue. I thought about going to Urgent Care but it was after work hours and I knew both Urgent Care and the ER would be packed. I'd rather lay in bed with my foot icing and elevated and take 1/2 a Vicodin than be miserable waiting for hours to be seen. Not to mention I know there is nothing that can be done for a broken toe except tape the broken toe to the toe next to it, rest, ice, elevate and take pain meds if necessary.  I decided to wait until Tuesday morning to see if maybe this was just a sprain and hoped the pain and the swelling would be down considerably.
Needless to say, after a somewhat uncomfortable night, I drove myself to the ER first thing Tuesday morning.  There was no one in the waiting room. The triage nurse brings me into her station and takes all my vitals.  The ER Dr comes in, looks at my toe and says "it's probably broken but you know I can't really do anything about it, right?". Uh, yeah - but isn't this a hospital where you help injured and sick people? He calls for an XRay tech just to confirm the break. In the meantime, I'm wondering why the nurse has a strange look on her face as she is re-checking my BP for the third time. Instead of asking her, I just whipped the machine right around so I could read the digital face. 172/102. Got pain?!?! Holy crap. I'm going to have a stroke before they confirm I have a break in a tiny little bone in my toe. Sheesh! Then the nurse has to tell me the first reading was a lot higher. Okay thanks - I know how much pain I'm in. Let's move on so I can go home!

The break is confirmed via X-rays- it's in the tiny bone at the tip of my pinky toe. A hairline fracture that is maybe extending half the width of the bone. That's it? All this pain for THAT? Get outta here. Are you sure all the bones in my entire foot aren't shattered into tiny pieces?

The Dr comes back to see me and the first thing out of my mouth is "How long until I can start running again?". Dr: "Two weeks - minimum. Oh and here's this really cool and stylish awkward and ugly post op boot that may or may not help you, but other than give you more nasty drugs and a shitty taping job, this is the best we can do."  Awesome. I feel so much better now. :-(

I avoid taking Vicodin at all costs - I mean, I have to be in some serious pain before I'll put that crap in my body and that's after I've tried OTC's, including the super strength Ibuprofen prescriptions. I have a pretty high pain tolerance after living with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome since I was 15, but on this night I was overcome with how much pain I was in and was ready to do whatever it took to make it go away. I took not one, but TWO Vicodin pills (as prescribed by the Dr) as I crawled into bed, hoping I would just pass out and wake up in a land far, far away where pain didn't exist.  I made it to a land far, far away, but I wasn't anywhere near passing out. The "good news" is that I was so dizzy and nauseous from the Vicodin, I could barely move or feel any other sensations what-so-ever. Things just keep getting better and better.....

Eventually, hubby comes home and helps me get something in my stomach. Within 20-25 minutes I was feeling well enough to at least stand up and pretend like I was human. That was THE LAST TIME I take that shit again. I stopped taking it after I had knee surgery in high school. That's right - I stopped taking it as a teenager in the 80's - that's how much I hated how it made me feel.  I have taken it a few other times since then (as an adult within the last couple of years) - but only 1 pill in 1 day on maybe 4 or 5 occasions. I won't forget how much worse I felt after taking that drug relative to my pain level. I would have rather gutted out the pain than deal with the side effects of the drug. DONE!

Now for the fun and good news!  

I didn't let that toe stop me from enjoying 4 days at Comic Con International in San Diego just a few days later! I'll be posting a "Comic Con Review in Pics" blog later this week, but here's a sneak peak of a day in the life of hubs and I at SDCC this year:

I have already run 3 times this week! Monday was 2 weeks on the nose so that was my Rebound day #1. I wore my Lunar Glide +2s since they have a pretty wide toe box. I took it nice and easy, using 1 min run/1 min walk intervals and limited myself to 30 minutes. I made it 2.4 miles with hardly any noticeable pain. I upped the ante a little on Tuesday, increasing my total time to 45 minutes using 2:1 intervals and increased the speed. I made it 4 miles and felt even better than the day before.

I had planned to take a rest day today but then my Pearl Izumi Streak II's showed up on my doorstep just before lunch. How could I disrespect the shoe I've been waiting weeks for by leaving them unused in the box???
I managed to hold off for a couple of hours and then I just couldn't take it anymore. I loved the Isotransitions SO much and this shoe is similar but is marketed for longer distances. I ran just 1 mile on the TM and I LOVE LOVE LOVE them! I'm going to wear them again tomorrow for another 45 minute session. I can't wait to get more miles on them so I post a full review!

So there you have it..... broken, on the rebound and now I can finally Streak! Let the marathon training commence!

1 comment:

Johann said...

First, good to see you back in full force! I'm lucky that I have quite a few doctors and specialists as direct family, including dad, brother, uncle, niece and so on. My broken toe is now fine but has a lump on the one side. It also stays numb in the cold for long times. But my running is looking good and that is the most important. New shoes = joy! Love the pic at the Comic Con. I'm a huge comic fan!