Journeys & Writings of Paul

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Up and running!

OK, for those of you who didn't know this I sustained my first real running injury this summer after five years of blissful injury-free running.

Here's the back story: I started running in March of my senior year out of appreciation for my functional legs. Prior that I had nine months of being on and off crutches for what started out as a sprained ankle. Through repeated injuries, including a range of things including a group hug gone wrong to marching band of all things, I ruptured my peroneus brevis tendon in my left ankle thus requiring reconstructive surgery in November of 2005. I started running four months later in March of 2006 and haven't stopped since.

Running is my drug, my love, one of the simple pleasures in my life.

tendon rupture


graft jacket, repaired tendon 

Thanks to my fantastic podiatrist I have these amazing pictures (and a few more, all of which the nurse took) and a fully functional ankle that is as good as new!

Fast forward to this May: I sprained my ACL this summer right at the start! Literally, I was home from college for a total of six days. Mind you I didn't know that I sprained my ACL. 

Quickly, here's what went down: I was running down the road that fateful Tuesday morning, and already at 8am it was already pretty muggystickyhumid and 77° F so I decided to take some water along with me. As I was still in my first mile, I took a swig and with my head back and swerved off the road, stepped off the curb, rolled my ankle and torqued my knee pretty badly. My aforementioned left ankle. After a brief few seconds of panic, I realized I was fine and that my ankle still worked, so I continued on but decided to go only 3 miles that morning due to the heat.

Strangely enough my ankle felt fine. I had a bit of a high sprain in my ankle that I actually felt midway up my calf. I ran again on Thursday then competed in a small 5K race that was a fund raiser for Temple Christian Schools that Saturday and finished 1st Place Overall Female! That was a HOT day and not my fastest 5K time ever, but a great run!

First Place Overall Female - 26:55 minutes

The strange thing was that as I continued running over the course of the next days, weeks, and months, it was not my ankle that hurt, but my ITB, and not while running, but while sitting or laying down. So of course since I was experiencing pain I backed off. Wrong! I continued, for two months, then when the pain because extremely unbearable went to see a doctor. Diagnosis: sprained ACL, tendonitis in the ITB, and edema (bruising) of the bone. Prescription: 6 weeks of therapy and NO RUNNING. :(

The long and the short of the situation with my physical therapy is that it helped but didn't completely cure me. I still have a bit of tendonitis and will be revisiting my doctor this Tuesday since I'm on fall break.

However, I have begun running again. After 9 agonizing weeks of the most perfect running weather known to mankind that I haven't been able to take advantage of, I hit the trail last just over a week ago on October 4th. My mood spiked like you wouldn't believe, I feel great, and believe it or not, the pain in my ITB decreased! I have still been doing my therapy and stretching to make sure that nothing is reversed. An especially exciting part about my renewed running are my newest and second favorite possession, (second only to Richard, my MacBook Pro) my Vibram FiveFingers.

 Vibram FiveFinger BIKILA

You should read their website about barefoot sports. I have done a lot of research before purchasing these shoes, and I love them. I love barefoot running. It's not for everyone, but it is definitely for me. Also, you should check out this interactive ad for Vibrams. Click on the different words and pictures and learn! (disclaimer: there are two models wearing only the Vibrams and standing with strategically placed hands)

So, not only have I reached a new appreciation for running after this knee injury, but I have discovered the joy and love of barefoot running.

Do what you love, love what you do. I am so thankful to God for the ability to run and move and jump and play. Thank you Lord for health and well being!

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