January 1st, 2016 Having just completed the NYC Marathon in November 2015, I thought it was a good idea to race the Philly Half two weeks later and race the Ashenfelter 8K to get my first mug, four days after that. On Christmas Day it was unseasonably warm. I ran three miles and puked at the end because the pain in my leg was unbearable. A couple days later, I was diagnosed with a stress fracture in my right tibia. I rang in the new year wearing a big, clunky boot. I didn’t get to race the spring marathon I was hoping to because I spent 8 weeks feeling sorry for myself and not running.
January 1st, 2017 I didn’t learn my lesson. After racing the Mohawk Hudson River Marathon to my first BQ, I continued running long distances every weekend and racing whenever I got the chance. On the downslope of the Across the Bridge 10K in Maryland, I pulled my peroneal tendon in my left leg. I limped the last two miles and still beat both my brothers to the finish line. That tendon took me out of running for a total of 12 weeks. On December 26th, 2016 I came down with the flu which quickly escalated to pneumonia. I spent the last week of the year, in bed, sicker than I’ve ever been before or since. Between the tendon and recovering from pneumonia I said good bye to my spring marathon goals, once again.
January 1st, 2018 I was coming off a mediocre performance at the Chicago Marathon and eager to start training for the New Jersey Marathon in the spring. On December 30th, I was forced to move the entire bakery retail operation from Walnut Street into the Label Street space in order to open for the the last big day of the year. Despite our best efforts, we were still brewing coffee on Walnut St and running shuttles back and forth to Label St. We were all surviving the second week of the polar vortex.
I was hosting a New Year’s Eve midnight run at the bakery and I spent most of the day preparing food for the event. Just before leaving home, I walked down the stairs with a basket full of laundry, slid off the bottom step and twisted my ankle. I spent the next two weeks icing, stretching, massaging and hoping to get back on the road in time for training to start. My spring training was less than ideal, all the way around. After a late start, I was plagued for a week with whatever stomach bug the kids’ brought home. I don’t think I was every operating at full capacity.
January 1st, 2019 Needless to say, 2018 didn’t go as planned. I thought I was going to complete my first 70.3 triathlon and get an opportunity to redo my NYC Marathon experience.
There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think back to where I was 20 weeks ago. I have flashbacks of being in the hospital with tubes and drains coming out of my body. I remember sitting on my sofa at home, so uncomfortable, unable to walk without someone’s help. Just this week, I was in CVS with an arm full of toiletries & batteries and I thought back to the last time I was there, on crutches. I couldn’t hold anything in my hands. I was completely dependent on my 6 year old.
As I made the kids’ beds this week, I thought back to the time my friend Jackie came over to clean and organize for me because I could barely manage to get to the bathroom, much less do laundry or vacuum. Every time I cook dinner, I think about all the meals my friends prepared for my family to help us all survive the accident. I am grateful for every, single, shower I am able to take…even the one before and after getting in the pool at the Y with the weird foamy soap.
As luck would have it, or maybe as wisdom from past injuries would have it, I am starting 2019 stronger than any other year in my personal history. I didn’t get the flu or bronchitis or pneumonia or strep throat over the busy holiday season at the bakery which is remarkable in this industry. The holidays take a baker’s body and pulverize it.
I am still rebuilding but in a lot of ways, my body is stronger than it was six months ago. I experience constant discomfort but I am not in pain. I still have little to no feeling in my left hip. It hurts when I stretch to get on and off a bike but I can get on and off a bike! I am balanced. I don’t have any weak muscles…injuries waiting to happen. I’ve worked hard to build core strength for stability in running, biking and swimming. I am focused on form, alignment and careful execution. I feel more love, support, kindness and concern from my community, my chosen family, than ever before.
I am not in a boot. I am not in a wheelchair. I am not on crutches. I am able to get out of bed, on my own, every morning.
Weekly Training Log
Sunday: BIKE 55:00 Cadence Work BOWLING: 1 game, 4 kids, my score: 53…the lowest in our family.
Had to abandon my workout today after a week of work, travel & chaos with the kids finally caught up to me and I just couldn’t squeeze in an hour for myself.
Chili dogs & Hamburgers for dinner.
Monday: RUN 50 minutes, easy. The intention was to run with Brad and allow ourselves to reflect on the past year as we look forward to the next. The reality, in order for us both to run, we took turns watching the kids and hitting the pavement.
Emptied out the fridge & freezer for NYE dinner: Chicken Nuggets, Meatballs, Tater Tots & Fries
Tuesday: RUN: (600, 600, 800) x 2 with 400 recovery after each interval. The whole family got on the Brookdale Track. We survived crazy wind gusts.
Tacos, American-style (ground beef, crispy shells, etc), for dinner.
Wednesday: STRENGTH: 45 Minute HIIT class at Architect Studio
SWIM: 4x300: 1,3 s; 2,4 p, 4x50 descending, 100 cd
Dinner 3 Ways: Mac & Josie ate Mac & Cheese, Keegan ate Pesto Pasta and I made pork fried rice for Brad & I.
Thursday: BIKE: 1:05:00 total, 3x10min 70-80% with 3min recovery
Dinner 3 Ways (again): Mac & Keegan ate plain noodles. Josie ate noodles with tomato sauce. I made grilled chicken and avocado on a tortilla for myself.
Friday: 100s, 4x50k, 200p, 5x100s, 300p, 5x100s
Chicken & Rice soup with a crispy French baguette for lunch and dinner. Brad’s recipe he learned from his grandma.
Saturday: RUN 60:00 Rainy run with Anne & Jess.
Homemade cheesesteaks on fresh MBCo buns for lunch.