Last night we had some major thunderstorms that shook me awake from deep inside a dream. I must have been dreaming about the past decade and my running that’s gotten me to running my dream race.
In 2006 I was working as a muralist around DC and after one last frightful fall off of some scaffolding onto my back, I threw out my back during my morning run so badly that I couldn’t straighten up and had to walk home bent over in half. I couldn’t work, couldn’t run, couldn’t breathe without pain. It was early spring and I was getting married in August and I was worried I’d be using some help to walk down the isle. There I was, in my early 20s, full of energy, creativity, and life and couldn’t move. I had no health insurance so I put off going to a specialist for a few weeks. Eventually I found a back specialist that would take cash and I set up and appointment. After some X-rays I was told, “give up running, take up swimming, your hips and pelvis are pretty deformed, probably always have been.” I was crushed. I thought back to all those years of hip pain in my teens that I just suffered through thinking it was growing pains. No. The hip sockets were deformed, I had been born with my leg twisted backwards but the foot was braced as an infant and corrected, though apparently not my pelvis. For months I was crushed. Unable to work and in a deep depression I drove the 8 hours home to my parents in Boston and re-evaluated my life. Being active and running and painting and seeking out adventures has always been my passion. What now?
Long story short, I found some postnatal pelvic specialists who encouraged me to press on with Physical Therapy and strengthening exercises. That November, with my newly wed husband cheering me on, I ran a 3 hour marathon. In 2006, I learned that giving up on dreams isn’t how I would live my life. If there’s a will, I’m going to find a way!(PC: Joe Mccladdie)
My subconscious brought it all back to me last night while I was sleeping because I have been having major imposter syndrome this taper. Why do I deserve to run this, who do I think I am even suggesting I can be competitive with those amazing women? I’m feeling like a fraud.
This March I had a freak accident and fell down some steps backwards onto my head. I had sustained a concussion and was unable to do much of anything for a month. Once I got the go ahead, however, I was right back to it in April. I did have a few weeks of self pity, wondering if I’d be able to train well for States, but I persisted, wanting to toe the line very badly.
Fortunately, every time I hit a low or want to give up, I can remember how I got here, my head reminds me; “remember you couldn’t walk in March 2006 and ran your first marathon that November in 3 hours, only after deciding to train with 7 weeks?! You can do anything you put your heart into.”
Lo and behold this morning Irunfar put out their #wser predictions and way at the bottom, in small print was my name. Someone else may think that I’m at least partly deserving of lining up with the elites in two weeks!
Since 2006 I have run dozens of races, more than 20 ultras, 5 100s and many, many thousands of miles; the lesson here of course is 1) get a second opinion 2) surround yourself with “yes you can” people— people that want to help you achieve your dreams. 3) marry/partner with someone who believes in you and your dreams.