This boot was NOT made for walking

Last October, I began noticing pain on the outer edge of my right foot during and after my runs.  At the time, I was running in Vibrams (those toe shoes) because I like to show off that I don’t have webbed toes.  Not really.  They just truly helped with my IT issues and knee pain.  I figured my new foot discomfort was due to the lack of support in my ankle, so I switched back to my regular running shoes, which helped at first…until it didn’t.  A doctor diagnosed tendonitis, so to let it heal, I gave up running for three months (but not Ultimate Frisbee, ‘cause I’m brilliant like that).  Long story short: I didn’t have tendonitis; I had torn my peroneus brevis tendon right below my anklebone and needed surgery.
I was told that after surgery I’d be in a walking boot for two weeks, after which, I’d be able to walk in a normal shoe, and then be back to running again in an additional four weeks.  Six weeks out would still keep me right on schedule for the beginning of my marathon training in April, so I went for it.  The reality was that I was in that damn boot for three full weeks, and then intermittently for an additional two weeks so I could build up hours of normal shoe wear vs. the boot.  And by “normal shoe,” I’m talking about supportive running shoes; not my beloved flat-soled Chucks.  I wasn’t cleared to run until eight weeks post surgery, and was told that Ultimate Frisbee was “the worst possible thing I could be doing to my foot” and I would need to ease myself back in, as tolerance would allow. (I’m still easing.)
Elevating my foot and being confined to a couch all day every day was torture!  I was forced to depend on people for every little thing.  I’m one of those independent types who gets off my ass to grab the remote sitting next to you just because I see no reason to make you get up and hand it to me when I’m perfectly capable of getting it myself.  So yes, Greg bringing me something to drink, or grabbing my Kindle from the bedroom, was torture, and a constant battle between us.  Being gimpy and in pain, I usually lost. 
At one point in my recovery, when I was still wearing the boot and using crutches, my pain had substantially subsided, so it was deemed okay to leave me home alone for the entire day.  When it came time for lunch, I was thrilled to be up at the stove heating up my soup and pouring my own juice.  However, once prepared, I suddenly realized that I needed to get the bowl of hot soup from the counter to the folding tray near the couch where I was stationed, and there was no way I could hold both my crutches and the heavy bowl at the same time while walking.  But I’m a problem solver.  I dropped carefully to my knees and placed the soup and juice on the ground.  Then slowly and carefully, I pushed the bowl and cup a few inches ahead of me, crawled forward on my hands and knees dragging my 20lb boot-foot behind me, and then pushed the dishes ahead of me again.  I tediously worked my way back to the couch in that manner.  I continued this ritual in secret for a few days until it was finally bearable to place some weight down on my boot clad foot; thus, making me able to walk a few steps sans crutches.
I was able to ditch the boot altogether after about six weeks, and continued exclusively wearing running shoes for an additional five weeks.  While I’m not a hundred percent better, and my marathon training is officially a wash, I’m at least glad that I’m finally back in flip flops and can carry my lunch easily to wherever I want it!  It’s the little things that I missed the most.
My boot would wait for me outside the bathroom door while I showered.
Now it waits for me in my storage unit.
  

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Marathon Woes

I ran my first, and possibly last, marathon on March 21, 2010.  Running the LA Marathon had been a dream of mine since high school, but being a competitive athlete, there was no way I could take off the weeks needed for recovery afterwards; the race is always held in the heart of Track season.  After a college injury and advice from my trainers, I reluctantly stopped competitive running altogether.  Without the motivation to race, I gradually discontinued any sort of training.  I still ran here and there, but it wasn’t until the summer of 2009 that I decided to get back into races. 
I use the word “races” as a term, not literally.  I was not willing to re-injure myself and do any all-out competitions; I just wanted to get out there with other people who shared my passion and run the best that I could.  So that October, I got my cousin Marissa, her husband Alex, and my friend Danny to join me in our first half-marathon.  With limited time for training, and all of us just getting back into running, it was surprising how easy the 13.1 miles were!  When I finished, I felt like I could have easily kept going.  This spurred our interest in a full-length marathon, and we quickly began a training program. 
Despite numerous long training runs (the last four Saturday runs being 16-22 miles each), I still managed to hit that wall during the actual marathon, and I hit it at mile 16.  Basically, the thought of going another 10 miles was messing with my head, and I started to feel discouraged.  Luckily, I had my cousin by my side, and with Marissa’s support, I was able to get over that mental block.  We were doing this together, dammit, and nothing was going to stop us! 

Then something happened that I was completely unprepared for.  Somewhere during mile 19, I peed my pants.  Yes, you read that right.  I straight peed on myself, and I couldn’t stop it!  I was so embarrassed, I couldn’t even tell Marissa what was happening to me.  It was the most horrible thing I’ve ever had to endure while running.  Small squirts of urine would seep out regardless of how hard I tried to keep it in.  Those who know me well, know I don’t drink a lot of water, even on runs, and I think that was my saving grace.  While my dark blue shorts slowly became saturated, nothing ran down my legs, and for that, I was grateful.  But the thought of having a dark spot in the crotch of my shorts gave me further motivation to finish the race.

My new goal was to quickly get to each water station so that I could create a façade of cooling myself by dumping water all over my front in an attempt to hide the ever-growing patch on my shorts.  And it worked!  When I was emailed my marathon photos, the first thing I looked for was my pee stain.  Fortunately, not even a hint of it could be seen!  Although I was mortified when it started, and worried that there would be photographic evidence, by the time I hit mile 22, I didn’t care if onlookers could tell.  I was the one butchering my body to complete 26.2 miles and they were just standing on the sidelines; judge away!

After 5 hours 4 minutes and 50 seconds, I crossed that finish line (relatively dry) with Marissa and Danny by my side, and it was one of the most intense feelings I have ever experienced.  Tears of pride, pain, and relief streamed down my face as I hugged Marissa and Danny.  We did it!  Will I do it again?  “Hell no!” was my immediate response for a long time.  However, lately, I’ve been contemplating running another.  Each time I think about it though, there’s a big question looming in my mind: Is it worth the possibility of urinating on myself to get a time under 5 hours? 

It just might be.