Why I run (Part two, the journey)

At the time a broke my leg I was weighing around 275-280, and the one thing I was thinking was that if I was in better shape, I might not be sitting in this hospital bed.  I knew I had a long recovery in front of me, and I decided to make the best of it.

Me before I broke my Leg
Me before I broke my Leg, Sometime late 2010

The recovery process was a long one.  It started with 5 days in the hospital, and I started PT at home the Friday after the injury.  I actually only took a week off of work.  Though this was mainly because I had just started my job in December and had not accumulated that many sick days at that point.  I was cleared by my Dr. but was also told that I could not leave my desk.  This made things a little interesting when I needed a glass of water, I had to find a coworker to go get it for me.  The first few months of PT was not much more than mobility exercises with the ankle.  I was not able to actually put any weight on the leg until June, and by the end of just I was able to move around without crutches.  Though it was exhausting to walk around for any length of time.  (On another note I was out in Lake Tahoe and San Francisco area in June for my cousins wedding, neither of those places is any fun on crutches).

Once I got back from California I ditched the Crutches for good.  Progress was slow, but I was able to get out and walk after work.  Much better than previously where all I did was go to work eat and read (but it did allow me to read the first 5 books of A Song of Ice and Fire in 6 weeks).  It took a few weeks to be able to walk more than a mile before coming home and having to ice my leg, but eventually I was able to get a 5 mile walk without having to stop.  About this time I was starting to do some running at PT as well and was cleared to start running on my own.  That was a challenge, I was able to run for a little over 1.5 miles without stopping, and I was not even keeping record of my pace.  But then again that was not the point, I had a lot of strength and endurance to get back to where I was before i broke my leg.  It took a few weeks, but it was gradually coming back.

My last PT session was in late August, which was a big milestone as I had been there 2-3 times a feel for the better part of 5 months.  That was also the time practices were starting up, and while I was not able to play that Fall, at the time I was debating if I would ever step on the field again, I knew this would be a good time to get out of the house and do some running.  I would run to the field twice a week and do as much conditioning work as my leg would let me.  For the drills I would not do I would do sprint work on the side of the field if I could.  This continued all fall, and because I could not play that season I got back in to refereeing youth soccer on saturdays to get in more running.  Come that winter I made sure that I went out a few times a week for a run.  By Spring I was easily getting through 5 mile runs and starting to work on speed on those runs.  I also decided that I would give Rugby another shot that spring (The incident did not happen in a set play, but a bad play in open field, so I wanted to give it a try and not regret in years down the line).  A big part of me was very hesitant, but I knew that I would know very quickly If I would be able to play again.  I stayed out of contact for the first few practices, but realized if i kept doing that I would never get back in.  The first tackling drill I jumped in I had no hesitation in hitting or taking a hit, I knew I could play again.  The spring season was rather uneventful, but I was running more and getting faster and stronger.  I had lost a few pounds after the injury as I was being more active, but I decided i wanted to lose a lot more and get in better shape.

That spring I had a few friends run the Pittsburgh Marathon and seeing that I did not have anything to do that sunday I went down to cheer people on.  Seeing as I needed a workout I decided to take the bike down and try and see friends at a few places along the course.  I enjoyed it enough that I decided I would give it a try in 2012.

Looking back on my training for the 2013 Half marathon I had even less of a clue about what I was doing than I do now.  I figured my normal 4-5 mile runs, 4-5 times a week, would be good enough training.  I did a few slightly longer runs as well, but those were few and far between.  I was lucky enough that my friend Chelsea over at http://www.pittsburghcitygirl.com convinced me that I probably should do a few longer runs in preparation.   It was nice pushing myself, it also helped me eat better and overall become a healthier person.  During this training process I lost a bit of weight.

Taken about a month after my first half marathon.
Taken about a month after my first half marathon.

My First Half Marathon was the Pittsburgh Marathon in 2013, tomorrow will be my third.  I was very happy with my first, still a PR to this day 1:52.03.  I should have beat that last year, but I pulled a hamstring about the half way point.  I finished but was rather disappointed with my 1:57 finish.  When i signed up for this year my goal was a sub 1:40, and if this race was two months ago I think I would have hit it.  I am still hoping that tomorrow will be a new PR, but if not I know I have 2 more races coming up and I will break the 1:50 mark this summer.   As for the weight loss, I have put some back on in the last year or so, but with the warmer weather and being outside I know that I will take most of that off again soon.

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