Dec 17

Closing the Book: an Update (A Good One)

970316241_58b3713360_zMy 2nd marathon was supposed to have been this past Saturday, but instead of celebrating the conclusion of a 20 week training cycle with a race, I “celebrated” the end of those 20 weeks with another doctor’s appointment yesterday morning. My 6th (with the orthopedist–this does not include the annual visits to the gynocologist, the dermatologist, the flu shot clinic, or my personal favorite, the mammogram). Not that I am counting.

The verdict: I’m good. Or at least the stress fracture site is “out of danger” though it will still continue to heal for several months. I’ll likely be in various degrees of discomfort as I continue to build back my mileage, but the doctor said that’s pretty typical and not something I should freak out about as long as it’s discomfort and not sharp or severe pain. I’ve gotten pretty good at telling the difference of late. The bunion is just something that I’m going to have to manage as best I can until I can’t any more (hello, YogaToes!). But I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it. The x-ray showed good bone regeneration, etc. The best news of the day: the April marathon is still on the table.

In other words, Paris: I’m (still) coming for you.


My goals for Paris are this:

Make it to the starting line healthy.

Finish healthy.

I am not going for a specific time beyond the 5:40 cut-off. My speed will come back when it comes back (or it won’t, I suppose), but this training cycle is all about building the miles with as much common sense and body awareness as I can muster. I’ve been running (or run/walking) for 5 weeks now, and I’m up to a 5K. I have many miles to go before I sleep, this I know, and some of them will be on an elliptical or in the pool. That’s okay. I am really happy to have the ability to try. This one is not about speed or a BQ. It’s about appreciating the effort and the journey and doing my best to celebrate every single step whether I run, walk, or crawl. (Is it still a step if it’s crawled? Hmm). I’ll stop before this turns into a Hallmark card or motivational poster.

I won’t be leaving the pool behind, at least not entirely. I have gained an appreciation for that solid black line over the last several weeks. All in all, I spent 100 hours in the pool since mid-August. Some of it swimming laps, some of it aqua jogging, which never did get very exciting even with the savior that is my waterproof iPod. I also developed a full-on addiction to audiobooks, which I may or may not carry into the running as I progress.

So that’s where I am. It’s been a very difficult fall, and I am really glad to finish it out and start a new chapter. Thank you all for the support and the patience along the way.

[Creative Commons licensed image by Flickr user runner310]

Nov 24

Gear Review: UnderwaterAudio Swimbuds Sport Waterproof Headphones

By Erin E. Templeton


Several weeks ago, I reviewed the Underwater Audio Waterproof iPod, which I came upon over the course of several weeks of pool time thanks to a metatarsal stress fracture. The waterproof iPod may not have saved my life, but it …read more

Nov 14

Weekend Reading: Winter’s Come Early Edition

By Erin E. Templeton


Happy Friday, ProfHackers! We hope that where ever you are, you are staying warm as much of the United States is grappling with unseasonable cold and snow.

For your weekend reading, you might be interested in the resolution that Hachette and Amazon reached this week. The conflict began …read more

Oct 31

Weekend Reading: Trick or Treat Edition

By Erin E. Templeton


Happy Halloween ProfHackers! We hope that your day is full of treats and light on tricks.

For your weekend reading:

Apparently, Craigslist is not just for hook-ups and used furniture anymore. The Atlantic reports that people are also using it to list cemetery plots: “Shopping for Secondhand Graves on Craigslist.” …read more

Oct 17

Weekend Reading: Changing Leaves Edition

By Erin E. Templeton


Another Friday is here, and that means another edition of Weekend Reading.

Tuesday, October 14 was E. E. Cumming’s birthday. In honor of his birthday, a piece from The New Yorker by Paul Muldoon has been making the rounds on social media. In addition, check out …read more

Oct 10

Weekend Reading: Lunar Eclipse Edition

By Erin E. Templeton


Early Wednesday morning (6-7AM), there was a total lunar eclipse, an event where the whole of the moon turns a kind of reddish-orange. I was awake to see it, but despite my best efforts, it eluded me. According to Scientific American, the next full lunar eclipse won’t …read more

Oct 07

Towards clarity?

3020361085_f37fb25e92_zI went back to the doctor this morning for a check-up on my foot. Those of you who have been following the saga know that I was diagnosed with a metatarsal stress fracture seven weeks ago (for an injury that occurred on July 31). The good news is that the stress fracture has mostly healed, and I am cleared on that front to start working my way back to walking and then running.

The bad news is that my first metatarsal joint has other issues and is still both painful and inflamed. That is the source of my despair and why I haven’t made the transition out of the surgical shoe, why I gave up on walking after a few furtive attempts with Parker. To try and figure out what’s going on there, my doctor re-examined my MRI and X-Rays. There is evidence of a little arthritis, but no bone-chips, cracks or other damage. So he gave me a cortisone shot.

I’ve had several cortisone shots: two in my right knee (20 years apart), one in my left wrist, and one in my left ankle. Of those, the ankle was probably the most uncomfortable. Until today. Holy did that suck. Hopefully, it solves the problem, which as far as we can tell, is inflammation in that joint. I won’t know for a couple of days, but it is possible that this injection kicks the inflammation and lets me move on to start the reentry process. Best case scenario: I can start wearing regular shoes and walking a little at a time in a couple days.

But it is also possible that this is a temporary solution (or no solution at all) to a long-term problem. I will cross that bridge when I come to it. For now, I am going to grit my teeth until the cortisone kicks in (if you’ve experienced the joy that is cortisone, you low that these things get worse before they get better), and cross my fingers that it works.


[Creative Commons licensed image by Flickr user Steven Depolo]

Oct 03

Weekend Reading: Hello October Edition

By Erin E. Templeton


Happy Friday, ProfHackers!

The Atlantic confirms what many us have known for some time now: “Online Relationships Are Real.” Also from The Atlantic is an interesting look at they way NYU philosopher Helen Nissbaum is shaping national policy on privacy.

It’s football season, which means different things for …read more

Sep 28

A bit of despair.

4908973430_c739367fe9_zI am grateful for all the people in my life who care about how I’m doing. I really am. But I’m having a more and more difficult time answering questions about it. What I say, on a good day: “It’s getting there . . .” What I say on most days: “I have no idea” usually accompanied by some kind of shrug. This isn’t what my friends and family want to hear. This isn’t what most people want to hear. It’s definitely not what I would want to hear. There aren’t words for how badly I wish I could answer otherwise.

The truth?

Lately, I wonder if I’ll ever be able to run again. . .

It’s been 9 & a half weeks. I can’t remember what if felt like to be able to walk without a limp let alone do anything else. Running feels impossibly far away. I see photos of myself from Big Sur, and I wonder who that person is (or was) and where she she went. Why did she have to leave? Who am I without her? I catch a glimpse at the “run” badge on my RoadID and feel like an impostor. I read updates from my friends who are gearing up for their fall marathons, and I resent them for being able to do something that I can’t, for reminding me of my limitations. Then I get mad at myself for my resentment. I miss being outside. I miss racing. I miss sweating. I miss all of it.

I’ve been following orders. I’ve been conservative. I’ve stayed off it as much as I can and then some. I have given up my fall racing calendar. I have given up walking my dog. I have given up riding my bike. I have given up going to the store for myself. I don’t walk anymore; I drive or get rides pretty much everywhere. I’ve given up cutting the grass for myself. Doing any kind of yard work. Standing in class. Wearing actual shoes. I’ve been taking Vitamin D, Horsetail, Calcium & Magnesium, Symphytum Officinale, and the usual multivitamin, joint supplement, & Omega 3. It occurred to me yesterday that I could probably just skip food with breakfast and be fine with all these stupid pills. But they are supposed to help. All of these things are supposed to help.

And yet, here I am. It’s been 9 & a half weeks. WHY ISN’T IT BETTER? What else do I have to do? What other sacrifices can I possibly make? Of what else can I possibly let go? As if there’s some magic spell or curse that could be broken if only I knew the right fix. Would that it could be so.

I send this out into the world in part as an attempt to purge these feelings and send the negativity as far from me as possible. I also send it out in an attempt to be honest with myself and others. I am trying to be patient with myself and my limitations, but it’s hard.

[Creative Commons licensed image by Flickr user David DeHetre]

Sep 26

Weekend Reading: Pumpkin Spice Edition

By Erin E. Templeton


Autumn 2014 officially began this week. Less daylight and cooler temperatures are here (or on their way), and pumpkin spice is taking over: from Starbucks and beer to yogurt, bagels, PopTarts, and hummus (side note: yogurt?! PopTarts?!)–even Trident chewing gum. Alternately, you might consider using the …read more

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