Thursday, December 6, 2012

Finishing Some Unfinished Business

In November of 2010 I signed up for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Team-in-Training fund raising effort.  It had only been 2 years since we had lost Patty to Acute Lymphocyte Leukemia and I wanted to do something that would help me raise money to fight that horrible disease and I also wanted to do something that involved me in an activity greater than myself.  When I signed up for Team-in-Training, my goal was to raise over $4000 and train hard enough to complete the Canyonlands Half Marathon on March 19, 2011 in Moab, Utah.  I accomplished one of those two goals.  Through a little bit of self promotion and bugging the hell out of people I managed to raise $4600 for the cause.  However I never finished the half-marathon.

In the weeks leading up to race day I had experienced some pretty significant pain in my left leg.  No caring to think that there could possibly be anything significantly wrong, I continued my training as normal and just ran through the pain.  The day of the race my leg felt pretty good, but that quickly changed as I began to run.  Within a mile and a half of starting the race I felt a pop in my leg and then an excruciating rush of pain.  Being the utter idiot that I am, I decided to continue to run through the pain.  I could only make it for another 2 miles before I had to stop as I couldn't even stand due to the severe muscle spasms and pain that was running through my left leg.  As I sat by the side of the road waiting for the "sweep van" to pick me up I had no idea of the damage I had done to my leg and the long journey of recovery that lay ahead.

 Self-portrait of me from race day 2011 - about 30 minutes before I broke my fibula.

 Of course for those who have followed this blog since then, you are aware that pop I felt was the second largest bone in my calf - "the fibula" snapping in half.  Due to a bio-mechanical issue with my running gait, I had put so much pressure on my left leg throughout my training that I caused a severe stress fracture that sheared the bone the whole way through.  The impact of this broken bone cascaded throughout my body and eventually caused two discs in my back to herniate.

Almost two years after this injury I am still in the process of putting my body back together.  But there is some unfinished business of which I must take care, regardless of the condition of my body.  The 2013 Canyonlands Half Marathon is approximately 100 days away and today I found out that I had been selected through their lottery process to be one of the 4000 runners who compete in the race.  I am going back to Moab on March 16, 2013 and I am going to finish my unfinished business and complete the race.

The Canyonlands Half Marathon is a very popular run and the number of prospective runners is in excess of the 4000 slots that are available.  To ensure a fair shake for everyone, a lottery process is used to determine who gets the 4000 spots.  I submitted my application a while a go and the lottery took place within the last 24 hours and I was one of those selected.  This time around I will be running the race on my own without the support of the Team-in-Training program.  (For whatever reason TnT is not working with Canyonlands this year.

Perhaps it is stupid that I am attempting to run this race again.  But for me it is an important step to prove to myself that I am on my way to recovery from the the pain and suffering of the last two years.  I will cross the finish line this time.  There is not one doubt in my mind that I will reach my goal!

I hope that everyone is having a great week and is starting to look forward to the holidays.  We might finally get some weather here in Colorado that makes you think the holidays and winter are coming.  For most of the last month the temperatures have been running in the sixties and we haven't had a trace of snow but this weekend there is the possibility we might see up to six inches of snow in the Denver area.  We can only hope, as the drought conditions here in Colorado are getting worse and worse!

As always - thanks and peace to all! ~J.

1 comment:

Jessica Grant said...

all the best with reaching your goal, but please be steady!
pushing too much could be a final straw, so listen well to what your body tells you.
(I have a fair number of friends with various injuries and disabilities so know how un-fun things can get)
That said I hope it all works out and you get to the finish line.