Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to all you Lisfrancers! What are your plans and hopes for the coming year?

I have to get back to exercise and training…Christmas and a family emergency have become an excuse to get lazy. So my plans are to get back on track! I found that, despite my doubts, training really made a difference. Unfortunately, you don’t find that out until you stop!

Meanwhile, let’s keep posting success stories! I might move that post to a separate page, so people can find it more easily.

Keep up the PT, so we get a lot more of those stories!


The Famous Mural

Life has been pretty dull on the Lisfranc side, thank goodness, but there has been other excitement. My nephew, a senior at art school, designed a mural that was painted on a wall in Brooklyn. I am so  proud of him! Here’s a link to his design: link, link, link…

After it was finished, a famous graffiti artist added pigeons, and for a while was given credit for the whole thing, but it seems to be in the process of being straightened out. Here’s a site that shows the completed mural with the work by both artists. The actual painting was done by the artist Cern One. I plan on going over to see it next week, and to get a photo of my own I can post!

My take on it was…what a compliment to an artist who is still in school to have something he designed attributed to an established artist and no one says, “You gotta be kidding!” Better start collecting his stuff now!

So Life after Lisfranc continues apace!

Barefoot Running?

No, I’m not racing out to the park without shoes, although I run around barefoot in the apartment all the time. But recently, the New York Times ran an article on barefoot running, “The Once and Future Way to Run, ” which included a video of two exercises to help you run barefoot. (For the video, you click on the picture at the top of the article.) They immediately clicked for me. For one thing, they were a lot like the exercises I thought up for myself after I finished PT. Then, later in the article, the author references a barefoot running system called the Pose Method. So I looked up that on YouTube.  I really liked the exercises, and I have started doing some of them to help strengthen my mid-foot.

Mind you, I am already running barefoot on the mat, and I don’t intend to start barefoot running in Central Park. And I’m not suggesting everyone with a Lisfranc injury start doing them! My physical therapist had lots of tortuous exercises for me to do. But I am interested in getting my foot stronger than it was before the injury, so for me, they seemed just perfect.

I’ll see if I keep doing them, and if they seem to have a good effect.

A Lovely Day in the Park

Actually, it’s been a few nice days. First, I made my latest goal…jogging 9 minutes, walking 1 for an hour. I was painfully slow, but I had some extra at the end for a little sprint, so that was good. I have to keep reminding myself that the reason I started running was so that I could run for a bus, not so I could run a marathon (or a 5K). But now, running for the bus isn’t something I even think about. It’s just normal.

Then, yesterday I went to do my bike ride around the park. It was a beautiful day…there are actually some fall colors, and the elms were a lovely golden yellow. How often do you get to see a whole stand of elms these days? Sadly, there were a lot of crews out taking down trees that were damaged in the snowstorm. Not the elms, though.

Taking Down a Tree

A few more pictures to come. It was interesting to watch how the men were so comfortable walking around on tree limbs.

I actually got up the hill at the north end without stopping, and up the next one, too. So I didn’t stop to take pictures because I wanted to see how far I could go. Then I got to the marathon finish area and had to stop, because they were taking down the finish line. We had to detour. So then I took pictures.

What I hadn’t realized was how many people return to the scene of the crime the next day. The west drive was crowded with people walking back to the finish line, wearing their medals, to take the picture they couldn’t take the day before. Everyone was in a great mood, congratulating each other, so it was really fun to weave through them.

Then, as I approached the home stretch, who should I see but Zoe Koplowitz entering the park with her escort of Guardian Angels. Mind you, this is the day after the marathon! Zoe has multiple sclerosis but does the marathon every year, on crutches. This year, it took her 30 plus hours. I decided that I wanted to see her finish, so I rode around the north end (cutting off the big hill this time) to get the point where she would enter the park again, hung out with some Guardian Angels for a while, till she appeared, and we all walked up to the finish line, picking up people and photographers on the way. What guts, walking all night to do this. And I worry that I’m slow!

Zoe and Her Attendants

I got home late, but it was worth it!

The Snowstorm

I didn’t get to the park right after the freak snowstorm we had over the weekend…for one thing, it was closed because of all the downed trees and branches. The leaves aren’t off the trees yet, so the wet snow accumulated on them and did a huge amount of damage. Yesterday I went for my ride..the southeast section of the drive was bordered with cut-up branches waiting for collection for over  a mile…solid! And all along the drive there were other areas lined with leaves. None of the elms in the poets’ walk appeared to be down, but some had lost their tops, and others had branches down. All of those wounds have to be treated so Dutch Elm Disease has less chance of getting hold…I took a few pictures, but they don’t really give the full impression!

A Victim of the Storm

Another Downed Tree

A Decapitated Elm

Statue and Limbs

It’s heartbreaking to see all the damage…there are still piles of chipped wood from the microburst that devastated the northern end of the park. And the wood can’t be taken out and used because of the Asian Longhorn Beetle infestation. Meanwhile crews are trying to get the park safe for the Marathon! After that, I guess they will start taking out the trees that are too badly damaged to remain. Here’s a link

Van Cortlandt Park Running Trail

Yesterday I went to check out the Van Cortlandt Park Cross Country track that will be used for the 5K race I was hoping to run. Whoa, not so fast!! It’s a beautiful trail, but the hills are just too much for me. I actually managed to slow jog a lot of it, but ended up walking a lot, too. Some of the hills made me breathless just walking up them at a good clip. Maybe next year…

Beautiful, but hilly

Van Cortlandt Park Running Track

Fortunately, there’s another race the same weekend that I might be able to do. I’m not sure yet if it will work out. I think I found out another reason why I am having such a hard time getting back in condition. The night before my pre-op, so long ago, I went into atrial fibrillation, and kept it up all during the next day. They had to admit me into the hospital to get my heart back to normal so they could operate, and after the operation, I did it again a few times, though never for more than an hour…so I got put on medication to keep it from recurring, and never got taken off. I just realized how much it slows down  the heart, which means your muscles don’t get blood! So I have an appointment next month to discuss training and heart medication, and to see if I can be weaned off at least some of it.

Stiff toes…I have found that my toes on the foot-previously-known-as-broken are getting stiff, so it’s back to foot exercises. I’m also using a toe stretcher (in moderation) and interlacing my fingers between my toes when I do a foot massage. I’ll see how it goes…

Stagnant blood chi???

I was so excited because I found out that the Cancer Center now has an acupuncturist, and for a while, treatment will be free! So I went to see her, hoping that she will be able to counteract the gelling (getting “frozen” into a position after you’ve held it for a while, like having trouble straightening up after sitting at a table) I am experiencing. She went over a bunch of stuff, then told me that the purple tinge on my tongue meant I had stagnant blood chi. Whoooo, that doesn’t sound good. Gave me a bunch of suggestions to overcome that condition.
Then she went on to discuss additional suggestions, while I continued to muse…my tongue surely isn’t always purple…etc…when suddenly I remembered:

The Culprit

I slugged down a bunch of grape juice just before I left the house!
Shouldn’t one ask before diagnosing????

I Made My Goal!

Yesterday I made my goal of run/walk at 5 minutes jog/1 minute walk 10 times. Or maybe 11, because, of course, I lost count, and my method of keeping track didn’t work. I know it was at least 1 hour, though, so it counts. Yes, I could have walked it faster, but that’s not the point! I learned more about pacing…at the end, I actually had something left, so I could run a little bit. I was especially happy because I had to get up at 5 that morning to go to the airport, and when I got home, I took a “nap” and slept all morning! At least I got something done!

I did have a setback. I had planned to do a 5K in mid-October, in Van Cortland Park, but when I looked up the course, it’s a real cross-country, with lots of hills, so I don’t think I will be ready by then. Flat, I can do, but hills wipe me out. Even penguins have pride, and the idea is to run (jog) it, not crawl! Bummer. I was really looking forward to it. But there’s another one in November…

Wish me luck!

Hurray! I’m a Penguin!!!

I discovered there’s a name for us slow runners..It’s Penguins!!! Yay, I have a name!

Here’s a link to a youtube of a penguin running…OK, I don’t waddle, but I still think it’s pretty funny.

There’s also a website for us penguins, a penguin support group, and even a thread for people who claim to be the slowest penguin on the block!.Hey, penguins, I win! This penguin is so slow that she finishes her run earlier than she started, because she can’t keep up with the earth’s rotation.

The sites don’t seem that active, but they are fun to read.

I don’t know why, but I think it’s hysterical! Somehow it helps make everything better…OK, I have lost a good bit of flexibility, my legs don’t have the strength they used to, I can’t get up gracefully from a front roll, and I’m losing my mind, but HEY! I’m a PENGUIN! (Funny, I always thought of myself as a duck!)

So when people start learning to run again once the foot has healed, you have a nice image to have in your head! At least as long as you don’t intend to be in the Olympics next time, in which case a faster animal might be better…Are runners who knock over slower ones to get to the front known as Skuas?

And remember, what is making it hard is the Anastrozole, not the Lisfranc Injury! The foot is doing just fine…just a little sore in the morning after I push it the day before.

Run with a friend!

I did my last run with my sister…now that the travesty of the World Police and Fire Games was over, we had time. I had no idea how helpful it would be! She has been running for some years now, so she could make some suggestions. I hadn’t realized how much using my arms a bit more would help! I got my heartbeat up substantially higher than I had been able to before. And just having the company helped keep me going.

Now I just have to learn to use my heartbeat monitor more efficiently!

Today when I went running, I found that the benefits continued. I actually hit a stride for a few seconds at a time! So if you find you are kicked off PT before you have learned to run again (and it’s very likely), try to get a friend to run with you. It certainly helped me! By the way, if my only problem was the Lisfranc injury, I think I would be running easily now. It’s the anastrozole that’s holding me back.