“Heather,” my mom told me sternly this afternoon. “You owe me an update. Think of all those people who read your blog. They want to know how you’re doing.”
I sighed in response and said something to the effect that no one was reading my blog these days. She looked even more sternly at me and said emphatically,
“I read your blog.”
I cast my eyes downward. Point taken.
Where do I begin? If it’s all the same to you, I’d like to start with what happened today.
Today I reached an important milestone in what I have lovingly begun to call The Great Comeback of 2010. You see, today I ran 13.5 miles. Thirteen point five miles! All at once. Tears burned in my eyes at mile 12 and my throat ached with emotion. When I turned the corner on to the final stretch a grin spread over my face. Wow. I had forgotten how great it is to finish a long run on a Sunday morning.
Now normally I wouldn’t consider 13.5 miles a very long run. However, my running life has been so transformed in these past months I hardly recognize it. The 13. miles I completed this morning is the longest distance I’ve run since September. The fact that I ran it a perky 8:20 min/mile is tasty frosting on this runner’s cake.
There have been no marathons, no races and no fun runs in my life since September. Not even a track practice. That strained tendon in my foot that I blogged about all those months ago? It sidelined me bigtime. I suspect the strain was really a stress fracture and that whatever the problem was, it was more serious than I let on. While I could walk without difficulty, running was a painful and arduous experience. I was forced to throw out all my running goals for the fall/winter. My shoes stayed in my closet, the blog went stale and my weekly mileage plummeted. It was a dark and dreary time.
In November things got a bit better. I put in a few miles. Without my former speed, strength and endurance I felt pathetic. It was like I was convinced that if I couldn’t pick up from where I left off then I didn’t want to run at all. What a terrible attitude. I wanted desperately to be the runner I used to be, not a runner with a weak foot and low mileage. In December I had some harsh talks with myself, adjusted my attitude and ran slowly. Oh, so very slowly. But you know, at least i was running and at least it seemed like my foot might finally be better.
Then on January 6th I was hit by a car.
I was riding my bike to work when a truck failed to signal or look to see if anyone was in the bike lane. He turned right. We collided instantly. It is an awful feeling to know that you’re going to be hit and that there is nothing you can do to avoid it. My bike was either run over or dragged into the wheel well, I’m not sure. I ricocheted off the truck and fell to the ground. The driver got out of the truck, saw me crying, saw me clutching my left arm and then promptly got back into his truck and fled the scene of the accident.
I was taken to the ER. I broke my left hand. Here is a picture
Here is a picture of some of the bruising.
Besides the broken hand and some severe abrasions I was extremely lucky. Let’s not even think about how much worse it could have been, OK?
Since the crash I’ve had to deal with a temporary cast, a not-at-all sexy arm brace and very limited mobility. I could hardly type, sign my name (I’m left-handed) tie my shoes, wash my hair, shave my right armpit or button my pants. Every morning before work I played a game I invented called “Will it Fit?” It involved pulling out a long sleeve shirt and seeing if it would fit over the cast/brace. Sadly, much of my warddrobe did not win “Will it Fit.”
Despite the injuries I decided to continue running. I ran on a treadmill - for weeks. It was mind-numbingly boring. My arm ached with the blood that rushed into my fingers. The brace took on a “unique” odor and my hand would hit the console every so often and send shockwaves of discomfort into my broken wrist. But you know what? Not once did my foot hurt!
So this weekend, with the OK from the doctor, I ran outside for the first time in over a month. It was an amazing feeling. Somewhere deep inside me I feel like I might finally be coming back.