Injury Timeline

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Run Girl Run

I cried through most of my 3rd leg.  Not because of the pain, but because I was going to finish what I never thought would be possible.

Let me back up a bit.  My lisfranc injury happened in June 2015, when I had an accident during a Spartan Race.  A week before that race however, my husband had decided to run the Ragnar Relay race.  I very much wanted to do it with him, but I was worried about doing those 2 races back to back, and promised to do it with him next year.  The next week though, I shattered my foot and changed my life forever, and those promises went out the window.

The doctor said my running days were over.  He said I'd never run again.  He encouraged me to take up biking and swimming; anything else but running.  I was devastated by the news, but eventually learned to embrace it.  I bought a spin bike, went to spin classes like a good basic white girl :)  I weight trained, I did the rowing machine, the stairmaster and mostly followed doctor's orders.  I started going on walks and hikes again in March, slowly improving every time I went out. I focused on exercises to strengthen my right leg.  Progress seemed to take forever.  And I missed running.

Nate did Ragnar again in June this year.  I was an emotional wreck.  I wanted to do it so badly, but knew I wanted to accomplish the impossible.  

But, when I had my yearly check-up, Dr. Van Boerum told me I could occasionally run short distances.  I was cleared to run!  Short distances only occasionally, but I heard that I was clear to run.  So I started slowly working some running into my walks.  It was painful at first, but the more I did it, the pain would start to lessen and I could recover a lot easier.

Then I committed to doing the Las Vegas Ragnar.  Yeah.

I didn't feel ready for it.  But I was doing it.  And I was going to finish all of my legs no matter how long it took me.  I was self-conscious about my pace (a 14 minute mile) and worried that I'd be too slow for my team.  I worried that my legs (3.1, 6.1, and 2.4) wouldn't be considered "Ragnar-worthy" and it hurt my pride to take the easy runner spot.

I didn't have to worry though.  My team was the most amazing group of people and they were so supportive.

I was the first runner out for Van 2, and started off my leg at noon in the middle of the Vegas heat.  Rachel slapped the sweaty slap bracelet on my wrist and off I ran 3.1 miles, adrenaline surging through me.  I mostly didn't care about my foot at this point, I was more concerned about the heat, which quickly creeped up on me and affected my pace more than I had anticipated.  My van-mates met me halfway through my run, dunked water on me and made sure I was doing OK.  I hit a stretch of gravely road, which I had to be a bit more slow and careful than I wanted.  The rocks made my stride a bit unstable, and I was super careful with every step, because my foot was going in all sorts of wonky directions.  With what seemed like a blur, I hit the one mile to go sign and blasted through to the exchange.  I handed off the bracelet to Nate, who was the runner behind me, and off he went to complete his leg in the race.  I sat in the van to recover, mostly happy that I'd completed my first run, but I knew it was going to get worse from here.

Eventually we got through all of our runners.  My foot was a bit sore, but I had it wrapped up tight during my run and it actually wasn't bad.  I also only ran 3.1 miles.  My next leg was over 6 miles, and I was terrified of that run because of the pain I knew was sure to come.  We grabbed some dinner after our last runner handed back off to Van 1.  Luckily, we were able to crash at an AirBnB place that the team rented, so I got about an hour of sleep.  I laid there, "What the hell was I thinking?  I'm not ready for this!  There's no way I can do 2 more runs!"  But, we soon got the call that Van 1 was ready to hand off, and adrenaline quickly solved my problem.  I was so pumped for my next leg.  Sure, it was 6.1 miles, and I was scared.  But I was also ready.  

We got to the next exchange to wait for our runner.  The atmosphere was electrifying.  There was music, people running around in costumes (I actually ran in my Guy Fawkes mask), and such positivity!  Also, sleep deprivation had set in for many of us!  Travis made his way through the chute and nailed me with the sweaty slap bracelet and I took off again.  The weather was amazing.  It was cool, and I started my run around midnight.  I blazed through my first 2.5 miles (I clocked a 12 minute mile!!!!)  but settled in for a slower pace during my last half of the run.  Which took me across a freeway and windy sidewalks.  I started getting a bit of foot pain with about a mile left, but manageable, and I pushed through to the end of my run.  I got to see my sweet husband's face again and hand off to him, as he started his 6.9 run.

I started to get a little cold.  I could tell I was dehydrated.  I started limping pretty good and was pretty sore.  I knew that was going to happen after doing my 2nd leg.  We ended up in Boulder City to finish out all of our runners in Van 2, and headed out to grab some breakfast after handing back off to Van 1.  I think my body started to shut down at this point.  Every step was painful.  I was sick to my stomach and couldn't eat.  I was anxious about running that last leg.  We headed to the final exchange to wait for our runner and try to get some rest.  I couldn't fall asleep.  The exhaustion and the heat were starting to get to me, and get into my head.  I didn't think I could do my last leg.  I was convinced I couldn't do it.  I had a full-on meltdown.  But my husband, forever my rock, held me and talked me through it as I sobbed.  It was only 2.4 miles.  That's all I had to do.  No one cared how long it was going to take me, even if I had to walk it.  Rachel was coming to hand off the sweat bracelet.  I got my clothes on, and I was ready.

I took off running, and ran as long as I could before the pain was too much.  I slowed to a very brisk walk, but kept pushing myself into little jogging sprints.  I started to cry.  Not because of the pain, but because I realized that I was going to finish this.  I was going to accomplish what I thought was impossible for the last year and a half.  Before I knew it, I saw the last mile marker.  I rounded the corner and saw Nate waiting for me.  I pushed whatever I had left into those final 100 yards.  I collapsed into Nate and handed off the bracelet.  He whispered, "You did it.  I love you!" and I sobbed in his arms for a minute.  It was so emotional for both of us.  I'm sure the people at the exchange thought I was a crazy woman and had no idea what had just happened.  He took off running and I continued some sniffly sobs with some of my very supportive van-mates!  They were so happy for me and didn't care that it had taken me over a half hour to run 2.4 miles.

We cycled through everyone's runs, and the sleep deprivation started to set in pretty hardcore.  We were out of our gourds.  We invented emoji games and broke out into song.  

We re-united with Van 1 and awaited our last runner's arrival at the finish line.  We ran as a team to cross the finish, and got all of our medals!

I catch myself wondering how I would have done pre-Lisfranc injury.  What legs would I have been doing, how much better would my pace have been?  But, I am very grateful and thankful that I had the opportunity to do this.  It was an unforgettable experience, this whole race, and the bond that I created with my team.  Thank you: Sunshine, Mindy, John, Travis, Calley, Joel, Kate, Tom, Bryan, Rachel, and Nate!  

You guys.....I DID IT!!

I already started looking at Wasatch Back.  Maybe I can try for a few more miles next time!