September 17, 2009
Occupation: Account Executive at RN
Residence: Chicago, IL
Time since last race: 5 months
Official time: n/a
I crashed my bike riding really fast and I was wearing shorts and a tank top.
My back. (My favorite Lululemon top didn’t even rip, those things are solid!)
Sorry, I know this is kind of gross… A few days into recovery, hey look I am smiling!
My nurse Dolores and my sister Alicia were two angels:
All bandaged up!
Kind of cool, right? As painful as the whole thing was, it strengthened my relationship with my sister in a way I would never ever take back as she was the one who flew in from Seattle to take care of me for a week. When it was time for her to leave Chicago, it was probably the saddest moment of my life. I wanted to keep her here, hug her and love her, laugh with her and make up for all the years I was such a crappy, bully big sister.
It’s very likely that I made her set up that animal circle:
Rewind to May 2009. I mentioned in the last post that I was going to start working out with a trainer and the time had come to get serious about running again. I had done two marathons with little to no training and was ready to take it to the next level. My trainer put me on a rigorous lifting and running regiment which included (as mentioned before) running every.single.day. No rest days. Ok, even I knew this was wrong but I was willing to push myself to see if it could work. Plus, T1 claimed to be a very accomplished and good runner. I knew he was super successful in college cross country but was skeptical of the fact that he’d never run a marathon himself. Whatever, I let it go.
I never missed one day of running for 76 days straight. We lifted 2x a week. At the start of training I weight about 138-140lbs and I was hoping to slim down a little and become more streamlined but in fact, the exact opposite happened and I ended up looking like a body builder. In July ’09 I went Sabrina’s wedding and saw pictures of myself looking jacked but not defined or feminine. I am 5’6, weighed about 151 lbs and had a body fat percentage of like 15%
At Sabrina’s wedding:
I had the body of an Olympic softball player, not the streamlined runner/retired figure skater body that I wanted! Running everyday was all wrong too. In 3 weeks I went from running 25 miles/week to 40+ miles/week. My legs felt heavy, I was tired all.the.time. My shins hurt and I would wake up stiff as hell. One day in August after run #74 I felt the most piercing and lingering deep muscular pain in my right quad. I couldn’t even walk it hurt so badly. I got X-Ray’s and MRI’s and it was determined that I might have a femoral stress fracture. Luckily it was just a severe muscle strain, but it was enough to sideline me from running for a while.
**A note: up to this point, I had never had an injury from running. I guess you could say it was inevitable that if I’m going to run 50+ marathons then I will surely get injured, but that’s not what I thought at the time. I was so angry at T1 for putting together a training plan for me that I just felt was wrong from the very beginning.
But, what’s the point in getting angry when you can’t take back the past? I started cross training and swimming and eventually my leg started to feel better. I was just getting to the point of feeling ok enough to run when the bike incident happened. I said it then and I will say it now, sometimes it takes a good slam in the head to see things clearly.
With respect to training here is what I learned about myself:
- Lifting weights, of any weight, is a bad idea. My body takes so quickly to whatever activity I am making it do and lifting creates bulk. I imagine as I get older this might not be the case but for now, this is what happens.
- My body can’t handle running everyday. It literally crumbles under my own weight.
- As far as training plans go, if it intuitively feels wrong, then it probably is.
- Feeling the need to rest, take a day off or sleep late on Sunday means your body likely needs it. So listen.
With respect to life lessons, one thing was cemented in my mind: I know that my family loves me. That they will do anything for me and that they’ll always be there. My parents are incredible. However, it’s my sister that is number one. Without her I am only half a person. People mistake us for twins nine times out of ten and 100% of the time, I think we operate on that level. Why does a bike crash make you realize stuff like that? Why can’t we just see it clearly everyday?
Alicia and me in Hawaii Jan. ’08:
In October, I was slated to run the Milwaukee marathon but I broke my elbow in the crash and my leg was still healing so it was just out of the question. For October and November, I focused on the basics: base training, cardio only at 60-70% of my max heart rate and I was introduced to yoga by my running girlfriends. I set my sights on slimming down and simplifying my body, my mind and my life.
My brother and me kissing Alicia after her Ironman Triathlon in Arizona on 11/22/2009:
Photo courtesy of Dan Shaw Photography