... my journey from ballerina to triathlete

Monday, August 8, 2016

Bone Contusion Blues

Yet again I managed to hurt my poor right foot, this time falling off (or, technically falling with) a ladder from about 12 feet up. The immediate pain was enough to bring tears to my eyes and dizziness and nausea to the rest of me, but it wore off significantly faster than when I broke my foot before so I was optimistic from early on that it was going to be okay. I immediately put ice on it, and was horrified 15 minutes later when I took the ice off and saw the ridiculous looking egg-sized swelling on the top of my foot where the ladder had landed. It looked like the type of thing that happens to the Coyote after the Road Runner drops a piano on his head in the cartoons.

I got an x-ray the next day (limping badly) and it didn't show a fracture, which I was thrilled about until my doctor examined it, diagnosed it as a probable "bone bruise" (bone contusion) and casually mentioned that it might be a Lisfranc injury. After googling Lisfranc injuries (basically an injury that means you can never run again) the nausea came back and I spent an entire afternoon sitting at my computer at work accomplishing nothing but compulsively trying to find a story of someone, somewhere who had a Lisfranc injury and recovered enough to do an Ironman. The doctor said there was no way to know until it started to heal, and that if the healing stopped, then it would be time to do an MRI.

Now, when I heard "bone bruise" I thought that a bone bruise is just like a normal bruise: broken blood vessels in the and around the bone. It wasn't until 3 weeks in (still swollen, tender, and all kinds of shades of black, blue, purple, and green) that I started freaking out and researched how long it takes for bone bruises to heal. News to me, but a bone bruise is actually a partial fracture of the bone -- some of the bone fibers break but not all of them, so it takes just as long to heal as a broken bone. Oh goody.

So here I am, just over 8 weeks later and finally beginning to exercise again. I've been able to walk normally since about week 4, but no jumping allowed and nothing tight across the top of my foot. So frustrating since I was all pumped and motivated, but such is life...

Anyway, I have been doing some walks for the past 2 weeks with little tiny increments of easy jogging, just to test the waters (and also my Garmin heart rate monitor, since my Ironman training program uses heart rate quite a lot). I've also been starting to swim again, which feels great despite being badly out of shape. It's been really fun to play with my Garmin watch (Forerunner 920 XT) and all the crazy stats it tracks when paired with the heart rate monitor. Granted I was walking for most of my workouts so far, but I can see that once I'm up and running again (get it?) the info will be really useful. It's really incredible to get real time feedback about heart rate. Amazing how quickly it jumps when I jog a little, and how little activity it takes at this point to get me to my target heart rate.

The walk/run itself was beautiful as well, as we went to Mana Rd. in Waimea. The air was clear and cool and Mauna Kea was in full view towering over us. I even ran past an owl sitting on a fencepost and he didn't even fly away, just swiveled his head all the way around to keep an eye on me as I went by.

I also used the Open Water Swim function for the first time, and I'm kind of obsessed with the satellite view of my workout. How bad ass is it to see your track headed through the breaking waves and out into the ocean?! Anyway, clearly my swimming has been very short and very slow, but I'm really just trying to get back into the habit or doing it, reawaken my muscles, and establish a routine so that when I'm really ready to start training, I can skip the whole bumbling-missteps stage. Plus, it's freaking gorgeous at Hapuna in the mornings and there is seriously no better way to start a day than letting the ocean push you around a little.

So far so good with my foot. We'll see how it goes as I add in more running!