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Starting Over

I hate to admit it, but after six years of running and watching my food like a nervous teen awaits a prom date, I am starting over. The broken leg has became the most disruptive event in my journey to fitness. I haven't gained back all my weight - not even close.

I have gained back 19 pounds. 11 of that since my fracture 8 weeks ago.

Worse is that I have lost my fitness. My resting heart rate was 48; today it was 72. That means all the efficiencies my body made to keep me running are quite a ways away. I honestly don't know what it will take to get back to my peak performance.

I now have until April 22nd to get it pulled together for the London Marathon.

I was sad on Sunday when the reminder for my 14-miler came up on the calendar. I had a nice simple Christmas. A few gifts with family and some special (but not huge) meals together. I saw my youngest Saturday, and Sunday I drove to see my middle daughter for Christmas day.

I love being with family - but my eldest lives 3000 miles away so we just chatted on the phone.

Today I have to get going. I have been cleared to run a little and get on the bike. So I am setting up the bike today, joining the gym, and going to try a little run. It's 26F out there today. The's below 0C.

I guess I am little scared to get running again.

Is it going to hurt? Will I re-injure myself? In my head, all this fracture business is behind me. In my body, there are certainly some strong signs that I need to take it easy. I don't really want to take it easy. I want to go on a fitness binge. Hearing "You got this."  won't make my body heal. :( I am also hoping that running a little will shake off the depression and lethargy. I feel like I did when I had congestive heart failure - I'm just lazy, bloated, and feel tired.

BUT - today is the day. Join the gym, get the bike on the trainer, and suit up for a cold run.

Wish me luck.

Oh, and Happy New Year.

94 votes + -


rachelleahsmom wrote 53 months ago:
All the best to you!
Knoxvilla5 wrote 53 months ago:
How about swimming for reconditioning your body? Low impact, but it'll do wonders for your heart I hear.
The_Movie_Chair wrote 53 months ago:
I wish you strengths. Trust your leg and the doctor, but listen to your instinct as well. I had two surgeries on my ankle last year and while everything is holding up just fine (knock on wood)it's always on the back of my mind and perhaps that's a good thing.Injuries happen and they leave scars, sometimes scars we cannot see.

Happy New Year!
ggeise14 wrote 53 months ago:
Wishing you luck! Part of life is about choices. Some we make & others that are made for us. I made some less than smart fitness choices over the last couple of days but am making better ones TODAY before the slide goes too far!
bisky wrote 53 months ago:
Our bodies are amazing and respond to exercise and training. You will get there. I think you are smart to be bicycling...less weight bearing. I just discovered You tube spinning classes for road cyclist...not those crazy aerobic classes that people try to dance while riding a bike but classes that mimic road cycling...I use my blue tooth head phones and can do my own spin class on my time and not a big noisy class with people inches away from me. That 11 lbs will melt away!
dsjohndrow wrote 53 months ago:
The urologist doesn’t want me on the bike. Cut my calcium back because of the cancer and that dropped my bone density. I’d rather be running.
kendallvon wrote 53 months ago:
best of luck to you, John. You are one of the most determined people I have ever had the pleasure to meet. You can do this.
kendallvon wrote 53 months ago:
I'm sorry, David. Don't know where John came from...
Aplant77 wrote 53 months ago:
It takes a while to recover strength and mobility after a broken bone. Take it slow at first or it will slow you down even more! You can do this :)
Hoppymom wrote 53 months ago:
It has to be daunting but at least you're starting in far better share than when you did after your heart issues. You have the experience and knowhow that you didn't have then. You have a big goal to work toward and you have the desire. I'm sure you will be successful. You haven't let cancer win. You won't let being out of shape for the short term determine this journey eigher. Keep us posted.
RodaRose wrote 53 months ago:
Good luck to you. You have a good mind set and a good body. The leg needs some time --- that's all. Be good to your leg and it will reward you, as you already know.
spiriteagle99 wrote 53 months ago:
Good luck. Take it easy coming back and listen if your body tells you you are pushing it too much. I had a pelvic stress fracture a few years ago. It took 7 months before I could run normally because I didn't take it easy enough. Even now I get occasional twinges that scare me that I'm not wholly healed. If you aren't ready for London, plan another race later in the year. Do you have access to a pool? Pool running is a really good way to get your muscles fit without putting impact on your bones. An Alter-G is even better, but sessions are expensive.
Anonymous wrote 53 months ago:
I agree with spiriteagle. Swim, my friend. ? Keep your head up. You will get back there. Give it the time it needs.
marlown wrote 53 months ago:
"Starting over" is an art form in this fitness journey. And it must be done "over and over...". Your journey has been one of my biggest inspirations, but it's not the one that runs the fastest or farthest that is successful, but the one that never gives up. That being said, our bodies change as we age, and we need to save what we have, so we can continue to be as active as possible. Pushing too hard can cause injuries from which we may not recover. Goals are awesome and certainly to be pursued, but sometimes we must modify, to prevent damage that could slow us down significantly, or stop us completely. Running got you started, but other activities may help you to be able to continue and finish strong. Change is hard, but necessary. I am living this, so I understand some of the process. Your determination will ultimately get you to your goals. So press on, but be flexible with your plans. I can't thank you enough for sharing your "stories"! Thoughts and prayers! Happy 2018.
farmboyphotography wrote 53 months ago:
You know how your body reacts to activity better than anyone, so you know what to do. But I'll put on my David Johndrow shoes for a moment, (not that I could fill your writing shoes) and say: Just get started. Do something. Even small steps are progress.

By the way, its -15°F and I am in one of the warmer areas of Minnesota today. :-) North of here, its -29°F. ANOTHER reason to get moving, just to stay warm.
dbhDeb wrote 53 months ago:
I was fit as a fiddle until I had a weird pneumonia (long recovery and no lasting issues but steroid treatment (UGH)) then knee surgery. Like you, I am scared to work out now. I have a new FitBit Charge II and and a renewed sense of "let's do this" for 2018 and for MYSELF! Good luck to you!!!
hopiemama33 wrote 53 months ago:
Take it easy and listen carefully to your body. You are coming from a degree of fitness that you did not have when you had CHF. Good luck!
HappyAnna2014 wrote 53 months ago:
I feel you. I had bone fusion surgery on two foot joints on October 25 (to get rid of arthritis caused by a horseback riding injury 20 years ago), and have gained a lot back...not near what I lost, but I hate it. I feel like a slug. I wanna be active. But I'm still only allowed limited walking. I think I'm going to start swimming. I've got to do something. We can do this. I started watching what I eat the new year (when my friend who drives me is back from holidaying, surgery was on my right foot so I can't drive), I will go to the pool and swim. :)
brightresolve wrote 53 months ago:
Have you considered deep water running? some do it with special equipment but when I got a knee injury from overtraining (a number of years ago) I was able to build back fitness by just treading water with a variety of intentionally-difficult techniques... for up to two hours, which was almost as long as 14 miles would have taken me. All the best to you as you rehab and come back -
jopapgh wrote 53 months ago:
I ran London in 2016 with a strained back. Probably the most "fun" marathon I have run. Lots of charity runners. Lots of runners in costume. Great crowd support.

You have plenty of time to be ready. Trust your training plan.
ladytinkerbell99 wrote 53 months ago:
Good luck to you.
solieco1 wrote 53 months ago:
I hear you and also broke a leg last year that then caused all sorts of stuff. The emotions and frustrations you've stated closely mirror mine.
I have set some goals for 2018 that are a bit different from my usual mileage ones. They are about finding the fun and consistency again and doing things I've never done, new sports for kicks too even if only for a day :)

One thought that strikes me: You are not starting over and neither am I. We are continuing on the winding path we are on and it's a good one. Straight roads may be easier but definitely more boring :)

Oh and "you got this" - couldn't resist :D
elisa123gal wrote 53 months ago:
losing ground stinks and it does make one sad for a is a downer. It is really hard for you ..because you really want to go for it.and your body may not be ready.
This will be an exercise in patience. i know a guy who was injured riding his bike like a maniac... he had some injuries..and then a great PT to showed him how to get well.. get conditioned..and prevent future injuries. He really listened to her...know he's back to his sport of riding and beating his all time records.

it will happen.. cheer up..
Pebblesmom7 wrote 53 months ago:
I came off a horse last year and had a massage scheduled. The therapist asked me before she started if I'd had any recent injuries, and I told her yes, I'd come off a horse a few months before. Even though my body was technically healed, she reminded me that trauma to our bodies can take a while to be fully healed. Even just the impact of falling that hard can affect the rest of our tissues & bones. So.. my advice is go easy on yourself at least emotionally. My therapist suggested I write out the story of what happened somewhere to sort of 'clear' it from my body. She said if I released it, my body wouldn't have to hold onto it any longer. All the best of you in your journey!
SassyCookieMe wrote 53 months ago:
You've got this, you can do it the proof is the fact you did it before.So its only natural you have what it takes to do it again. Just listen to your body and don't overdo it and you'll back to your old self before you know it.
roxannroxy wrote 53 months ago:
I have a screw and plate on my foot and my excuses were i hurt or i was scared that i would break my screw. it was just an excuse i lost a total of 20 pounds when i started running. now i been slacking and gained a total of 4 pounds. i lost focus and now reading this

guess I am little scared to get running again.

Is it going to hurt? Will I re-injure myself? In my head, all this fracture business is behind me. In my body, there are certainly some strong signs that I need to take it easy. I don't really want to take it easy. I want to go on a fitness binge. Hearing "You got this." won't make my body heal. :( I am also hoping that running a little will shake off the depression and lethargy. I feel like I did when I had congestive heart failure - I'm just lazy, bloated, and feel tired.

BUT - today is the day. Join the gym, get the bike on the trainer, and suit up for a cold run.

Wish me luck.

Oh, and Happy New Year.

Jabbarwocky wrote 53 months ago:
I've never broken a leg before but did pull a hamstring for the first time in my life a few months ago. Been struggling with getting back on the horse myself and the time of year doesn't help at all! Stick with it and take it easy. If you push yourself too much too fast you'll just injure yourself that much more. Especially as we get older, healing is a lot like weight loss. Slow and steady wins the race!
bhg0688 wrote 53 months ago:
best of luck to you, its an incredibly tough situation. sometimes mustering discipline means resisting the will to do something as much as it does keeping a schedule. get healthy first they'll be plenty more marathons in the next 30 years!
shanaber wrote 53 months ago:
If you need some additional support and motivation there is a great group of runners from beginners to Ultra and BQ runners in the monthly running challenge:
Come join us!
mneath443 wrote 53 months ago:
Hey Bud,
Been there too. It can feel a long road back but step by step you can do it. This time you know you can. Cheers and a share your progess - I found that helped me stay on track...
SummerSkier wrote 53 months ago:
The whole broken bone thing sucks. Been there done that (spiral femur fracture in 97) but the good news is that they heal and heal completely. I think once you get going again (take it easy to start) your RHR will come down quickly and so will your fitness. I think what we have to take away from injuries is the new lessons and the alternative things we can do. I was not weight bearing on my leg for 10 weeks! But it was summertime and what I did was CRUTCH my way to the pool and put a ski vest on and just get in and tread water. It felt SO good. Sounds like you are past the non weight bearing phase and ready to get going again. I think again that you will be pleasantly surprised at how easily your body gets back to fitness.
zimfour wrote 53 months ago:
I agree with the deep water running, Find a gym that has a hot water pool and get yourself an Aquajogger!!!! It helped me stay fit after my ACDF surgery. Then gradually increase. As you well know...Listen to your body!!!!
dougii wrote 53 months ago:
Having shattered my left leg in 3 places back in 2011 I can empathize with you completely. I was in a non-weight bearing cast for 14 weeks, followed by a walking boot for 12 more weeks. Although your fitness seems to have flown the coop you will be surprised at how quickly it returns with regular workouts and runs. Just do yourself a huge favor and don't push yourself to fast or to hard to begin with - in all likelihood this will result in new injury. Take your time and you will be back to where you were 8 weeks ago in no time at all. 6 years of running has not abandoned you, its just taken a little vacation. You may actually be surprised that the time off is beneficial and that you come back stronger than you were. Best of luck preparing for London!!
ndatt1 wrote 53 months ago:
Great day to get healthy and fit for the years. I know this will be difficult and a long journey. I did it once 5 years ago can do this again this time it's going to be very difficult my body has had a lot of falls
and injuries and is much slower now. Each day a work in progress. I am looking forward to be with my fitness pals...
ndatt1 wrote 53 months ago:
I am so new to the add comments and never did a blog before. Please be patient with me I have a lot to navigate and read. I would like to check in every day.
someone please guide me as to what is first.
Thank you for being there today
tdahl660 wrote 53 months ago:
Cheering you on and wishing you a successful 2018!
made247365 wrote 53 months ago:
Starting over can be super tough! Especially after an injury. My father had an injury not as bad as yours but still a broken bone in his foot. Prior to the injury he would run usually 5 miles a day. The pain in his foot made it very uncomfortable for him to walk. After many trips to the pediatric, the healing started. He just never gave up. 8 months after his last treatment he was able to finish a half triathlon in Maine this past August. Though the last 3 miles he had to walk. But heck he was 74 years old. My mom helped him a lot also though by providing all natural ways to stay in shape. One of her secrets was a natural detox drink.
MichelleB69 wrote 53 months ago:
Thank you for posting this. I am just checking back in with MFP after putting on 20 lbs in the last year and was feeling a "teensy" bit sorry for myself. No broken leg, but a broken heart led me down the path of least resistance. But I'm back and ready to saddle up! I have 3 half marathons to run this year and I can't wait to be back in shape. There are few things more awkward than being uncomfortable in your own skin.

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