Tag Archives: injury

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.

Why I Run (part one, the incident)

Everyone seems to have their own story or reason they run.  A few people I know got into it as a result, or because of weightless, some people because they thought it would be a less expensive sport to get into (the joke is on them).  But everyone seems to have their own reason as to why they started, and enjoy running.

I have always been an athlete, in middle school I even ran cross country, I was not the best but I did enjoy it.  High school I played soccer and swam.  With soccer i did a lot of running and sprint work as part of training.  When I hit college, that kind of stopped, I was not playing any organized sport the first semester I was on campus and started to put on a few pounds.  I tried out for the soccer team, and if I would have done any running over the summer I would have made it.  One of the last things we did for the open tryout, I think there were 3 of us left at this point, was a 2 mile run.  I saw i ran it in about 18 minutes and knew I had no chance.  By spring semester I missed the aspect of being on a team, so I joined the rowing team.  This did keep me in shape for the rest of college, even though I was not eating the healthiest, the amount I worked out kept me from adding on the pounds.

However after graduation I did not really do anything for about 8 months, the most I could say I ran was many a 2-3 mile jog in a week.  I knew I wanted to give Rugby a try, but I also knew I would not step on that field without health insurance, so that had to wait until I found a job with benefits.  Once I found a job with benefits, I joined the Pittsburgh Rugby Club.  This got me back into somewhat of a workout schedule, 2 practices and at least one match each week during the season.  But I still was not really working out all that much on my own.  That all changed with an incident 4 years ago today.

The Pittsburgh Rugby Club was playing the Detroit Rugby Club.  If you remember spring 4 years ago you will remember that it was a really rainy spring.  It was in the second half of the B side game.  Detroit had the ball, My teammate was going to make a tackle and I was running in support.  Instead of making a tackle, The Detroit player was hit then swung around…his hip into my shin.   This occurred in a very muddy area of the field so at this point my foot was basically buried in the mud.  When I was hit, my leg had no where to go so the Detroit player basically went through my shin.  I knew my leg was broken before I hit the ground, the sidelines said it sounded like a shotgun blast.  Both bones, well 4 because they were broken in half, were sticking through the side of my leg.  We are lucky enough to have an orthopedic surgeon, or one of his fellows, at all of our home matches.  He was able to somewhat clean off the area and splint it up the best he could under the situation.  While we waited for the ambulance, and we did wait for about 45 minutes, Dr. Sam was on the phone with the surgeon on call at Mercy letting him know what was heading on.  It took about 45 minutes for the ambulance to get to the field, and I’m not exaggerating much on that, Dr. Sam later told me that he was about the call in a life flight as he thought if I waited much longer I may bleed out of the field.  One thing that I am happy about with this is that I never saw the actual injury, other than x-rays, and I do not believe any pictures exist of it.

When I saw the surgeon in the ER, the first thing he told me was a worst case, as he had not yet seen the x-rays, and this was the possibility of an external splint and a few weeks in the hospital.  Lucky for me he cam back a short time late and said that I was lucky and it was a clean break, I should be out of the hospital in a few days.  The Surgery went fine, and I now have a to this day I still have a rod through my Tibia and a few interesting scars on my leg.  I spent the better part of a week in the hospital because they were worried about infection due to the muddy conditions which I broke my leg in.  But those 5 days in the hospital gave me some serious time to think, even if it was because of the drug induced state.  I was laying in a hospital bed with a broken leg, at the time I weighed 275-280lbs., and looking back I can honestly say I was not exactly happy with the shape I was in.  Something had to change, I was thinking to myself that if I were in better shape, I probably would not be sitting in the hospital bed.

(to be continued tomorrow)