Where Have I Been

Obviously it’s been a while since I have written anything in this blog. When I started this area, it was a place to vent my feelings and frustrations at learning to run, and the whole process of getting myself from an obese individual to a marathon runner. Since I’ve been absent from the writing world lately, I wanted to touch base and let folks know what is going on. Long story made short, I injured my Achilles tendon shortly before my marathon in October 2014, my first marathon ever. I did the race anyway, full knowing that I would probably pay for it afterwards. That, has indeed happened, much to my dismay.

The road to recovery is now 15 months long, and a lot has happened during that time. I went through a depressive state, where not running was absolutely messing up my psyche, totally. I found myself looking out the window, longing to be out on the roads, even just to walk. With the injury it was impossible to do any of the things that I loved doing outside. It just was too painful to deal with. I got complacent, and started binge eating.. and yes my weight started creeping up slowly. I had many conversations with my running coach Caleb Masland and close friends, about what I needed to do, to get back on track. However, talking about it, and actually doing it, are two very different things. I’m sure many of you can relate to that sentence!

Coach Caleb Masland, Elite runner for Skechers Performance



I lost touch with many of my running friends. It was just too painful emotionally, to see their posts on facebook about all the races they were doing, and how much they were enjoying themselves. It just made me feel worse, so I stopped reading them altogether. I picked up my knitting again, since I had put it away after my father passed in 2012. I quickly found that knitting was an escape from being depressed about not running. I decided that I needed something to focus on, so I came up with an idea to make some winter hats and mittens, and give them to the local police department, here in Bangor Maine. They would distribute them this winter. I put it out on facebook, hoping that maybe a few friends would join me, and before I knew it, I had 136 people in the group, knitting and crocheting, hats, mittens and scarves. The “Hats for the Homeless – Bangor” project was born and took off running. (pun intended) We ended up with about 450 hats, 55 scarves, and 36 pairs of mittens. I never in a million years imagined that there were so many people out there willing to help this cause.

While I was busy taking my knitting everywhere with me, I also was going to the doctors office, hoping that someone would have that magic fix, and get me back out on the roads. I was running out of options, and the only thing left now, was surgery. However, I did some more research, and found that there was a technique used by chiropractors and some physio and physical therapists called the Graston Technique. I could see by the Youtube videos that it wasn’t something for the wimpy to try. Seeing that I have a pretty high pain tolerance, I decided to look around and see who might be offering this in the Bangor area. I found a chiropractor in Brewer, Patrick Healy, at Healy Chiropractic, who did this technique, and others. He employs an athletic trainer and a massage therapist in his office, as well as working with the sports teams in Brewer. I was encouraged to think that maybe I had found another avenue to explore before heading to a surgery that could very well take away my ability to run altogether.

Dr Patrick Healy DC



I went to Dr Healy’s office, scared to death… not knowing how bad these Graston treatments were going to be, and worrying about the previous ankle surgery that I had. I was concerned that it might do damage to the peroneal tendon graft that I have in that same ankle. After emailing and discussing my concerns face to face, we decided to go ahead and start the Graston treatments. NOTE: It is brutal. Absolutely brutal. I can’t even begin to tell you what it feels like. But, when you get to the point that I am at, there’s nothing left and so you try whatever is out there, just to avoid surgery. If you are interesting in knowing more, Youtube videos show the technique pretty well. The fact that I had gone so long with this injury, meant there were a lot more adhesions etc.. built around the Achilles itself… thus the treatments were rough. It’s now been a couple of weeks seeing Dr Healy, and I am happy to say that I am much, much better. I can walk normally most of the time. Once in a while, I will get a painful twinge in the Achilles, but it doesn’t stay with me long. I am still paranoid that the Achilles will rupture, but that’s not likely to happen. I still have problems with walking up inclines, but as I am doing more stretching and Graston, it is getting better all the time. If you live in the Bangor Maine area, and are having any structural issues with your fitness, Dr Healy, is a great guy, and really knows his stuff. He will take the time to discuss with you, and get to the root of the issue.. so as to treat it most effectively. I am very pleased with the progress I have made there, so far. Give him a shout out at Healy Chiropractic.

In the meantime, while all of this was going on, I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease. Not being able to run was a big life changer for me… then add this? UGH!! Since I have had a terrible diet of eating out all my life, the facts that now I can’t eat all those foods that I love is totally overwhelming. I still am struggling bigtime, as I really don’t cook… but I know I need to buckle down and start doing it in order to get healthy again. Eating better and losing weight would be the best scenario since the extra weight is harder on the tendons, joints and bones when running. (Assuming I will be able to some day…)

So what is next for me? I have started working out at home, and just last night renewed my membership to the University Rec Center. I can do all the upper body work that I want, just have to be careful with the leg work, to not overdo. I kind of feel like I want to go for a run, but I don’t think I’m quite there yet. Maybe in a month, after starting up with my conditioning routine again, I can think about it. I am hopeful that next summer you might see me back on the roads here and there, maybe enjoying an occasional 5K and Beach to Beacon in August.
Thanks for taking the time to stop by…


One response to “Where Have I Been”

  1. Dana says:

    You are such an overcomer. It is nice to see I’m not the only one that seems to have a rollercoaster life. Hope you continue to post about your recovery back on the road.