321 days ago, my running career ground to a resounding halt.
321 days ago, I was out on a 23-mile training run.
321 days ago, I was preparing to run the New York Marathon, a dream race.
321 days ago, I took one wrong step.
321 days ago, I fractured my pelvis.
Today, I am a new runner.
Today, I have a new outlook on what success in running means.
Today, I recognize the beautiful gifts running has given my life.
Today, I take it one day at a time, one step at a time.
I haven’t written on here since the Parks Half Marathon in September of 2016. That was the third to last race I ran in 2016, and likely a defining moment in my ultimate injury trajectory. On October 8, 2016, I was out for a run with the DC Road Runners, as I did every Saturday morning. I was training for the New York Marathon, with grand goals in mind. I wanted to qualify for Boston, which required shaving over 20 minutes off my previous PR. I was on track to succeed.
Then, a sharp pain radiated from my pelvis. It took my breath away. I stopped running and tried to walk it off. I took a few steps at a jog. Sharp pain seared my entire pelvic region now. I stopped again, put my foot up on a fencepost and tried to stretch it out.
I put my foot back on the ground.
Now, pain seared at the most delicate of walks. My body weight was too much to bear. That stretch was the final straw, cracking my pelvis in two places – stress fractures where the hamstring muscle connects.
It took nearly a month for the orthopedist to diagnose the injury. He didn’t believe me when I said something was seriously wrong. X-rays proved inconclusive. It wasn’t until an MRI was ordered (3-weeks post-injury) that he finally came around to believing my story.
Meanwhile, I couldn’t walk more than a block. Putting on socks, pants, leggings was an exercise in pain tolerance.
It took 7 months to get to the point where I trusted my recovery enough to run more than a mile. I still don’t trust my recovery enough to push the pace much faster than 9-minutes per mile. At this time last summer, I was able to run sub 7-minute miles.
This is a fresh start.
This is my body forcing me to reconnect with why I run in the first place
This is me re-learning the fundamentals of running.
This is me refocusing on what matters most.
In May, when I began running again, I decided to give up (for now) on my dreams of a Boston Qualifier.
In May, I decided to pursue my other love in life: trail running.
I fell in love with the trails in High School, when I first started running cross country. The open fields, closed in forests, and the wilds of nature drew me into the sport that has thoroughly taken over my life since then.
It’s time to get back to the basics, to get back to why I run in the first place.
I’ve signed up for a 50k race on October 28th 2017. I have no goal other than finishing. And if for some reason I can’t get to the finish line, that’s OK too.
I am taking each day one step at a time.
Here’s to a fresh start, a fresh outlook, and a fresh state of mind.