Tuesday, May 1, 2012

one year ago ...

May 1, 2011 started out like any other race day.

G and I met up in our matching outfits for Columbia Muddy Buddy Richmond.


We were ready to race and once we saw the rest of our age group, ready to win. As the race started, G jumped on the bike. Two minutes later, I set off on foot. We would swap at the first exchange point after climbing an 8 foot wall.

When I got to the obstacle, I had passed all but one or two of the other runners. I climbed the wall and thought, "This is insane. There is no way I am doing this again." Then, I hopped over to the other side, found our bike and took off.

100 meters later, I crashed.

Total user error.

I tried to slow down, but instead, I flipped the bike. All I could think was "duck and roll." So, that's what I did. I protected my head. And smashed my shoulder. Initially, I tried to get up and continue. Then I looked over at my shoulder. And it looked like this ...

Total AC Separation

I walked back to the first exchange, was carted off the course and rushed to the ER.

G, who had no clue this had happened, waited at the next exchange until another runner told her I wasn't coming.

It was horrible.

 


And I was in pain.

10 days later, I had my shoulder reconstructed. That would be the last day my shoulder held me back.

18 days after my surgery, I ran a 5K in a sling.

6 months later, I ran two marathons in one week.

11 months to the day after my crash, I finished my first Half Ironman.

And this morning, one year to the day, I cut my 70.3 Athlete Wristband off.


I wore it for an entire month. It signified how far I had come since last May and reminded me of how much further I want to go.

That crash changed me.

Am I over it? No
Do I ride without fear? No
Am I pain-free? No
Does any of that really matter? Not one bit.

It's just another thing to help define me as a person and an athlete ...

18 comments:

HEATHER @ runfastermommy! said...

Bad ass. I admire you. Really, truly do. You rock T!

MCM Mama said...

Amazing comeback!!! Can't wait to see you hit your full Ironman!

Jill said...

I can hardly look at your shoulder picture...looks so painful. Can't believe all you have done since then. Your joking right, you didn't cut off your him bracelet? What, you were supposed to keep it on until IM! Lol...you Rock. See you in August.

Elle said...

Amazing! Congratulations on getting over that terrible injury and moving forward so bravely and strongly.

Mustang said...

This makes me teary and so proud of you all at once. I met you and immediately loved you a few weeks after your surgery and watched you (and cheered for you) as you clawed your way back. Your strength and determination inspire me every day and I'm proud to call you my friend. Love you xo

BabyWeightMyFatAss said...

Kicking ass and taking names!
That shoulder pic ugh!! pains me!

Marnee said...

I get the 'not riding without fear part'. I took an epic spill on some tracks in June last year and still struggle with fear when I see them coming! Keep doing what you are doing. Every experience shapes us! You are awesome!!!

http://journeyforlifejourneytotri.blogspot.com/

Running Ricig said...

you are seriously awesome

Evolving Through Running said...

Wow ... good for you! Those pictures are tough to look at. Had a shoulder reconstruction many years ago for a recurrent dislocation, and I know the road to getting back to normal. Then to go from normal to what you've accomplished is awesome. Keep kicking butt.

Shellyrm ~ just a country runner said...

Hard to believe that was a year ago. I think you taught many people lessons in sharing that experience.

Your day in May is the reason why I told my husband, who I really want to share running with in any way I can, that I just couldn't do another mudder event. I enjoy suffering long hours of running, climbing steep acents and negotation technical decents but I'm not up for an injury.

Thanks for the lessons.

Michelle said...

You honeybadger, you!

Erika said...

Awesome story! Wow....you are amazing to come back from that. I think I would have hung up the bike as I would be terrified to fall again :)

Jason said...

Total F'N HoneyBadger.

I remember this post and can't believe it has been a year. Crazy talk I say.

Kurt @ Becoming An Ironman said...

I remember the post about that crash! It was incredible and you're absolutely right - you've truly risen above it.

Way to be the Honey Badger!! Here's to the upcoming 140.6!

longlegsontheloose.com said...

you are such a warrior! I don't know if I'd have the courage to get back on as quickly as you did and you have rocked the hell out of life ever since! You're such an inspiration!

Rene' said...

I still remember the day....emailing G and waiting to see if you were okay. You are a true inspiration my friend!

Cindy said...

i didn't read that post the first time...am i weird that i got a little teary?! you define the term honey badger!!!!

Colleen said...

I think it was a test of your strength... a test that you passed with flying colors! :)