Running [pt 1]

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Its raining. He does not see the problem.

It’s been awhile since I’ve had a chance to journal. I’ve been so busy – just slammed with one thing after another. Lately feeling a lot of pressure from certain people to act a certain way. Mostly, I’ve just been busy – most hours filled with obligations. Within the spaces, I think. Probably, just like you. And, probably, just like you, I lose the thoughts. Many of them, at least. They just get swept away in the busyness and in the flow of time. Moments and thoughts experienced like trees falling in the forest with time relentlessly pushing on.

Yesterday I went on my first 20 mile run. It wasn’t bad. I guess that story of knees and pain and avoidance and recovery began many years ago while I skied my knees into oblivion. Now, in just three weeks I run my first marathon. It will be long and difficult, but I am ready. I am not very good at going to bed early and getting up early. That will be a challenge. My pace was pretty much on track yesterday. I wanted to stay within the ten minute mile area and I did that. The half marathon I ran a few weeks ago was a little better time – but definitely the biggest challenge at first was just the need to be up and awake and ready for the race’s time frame. It isn’t early, 7am. I am just lazy. I know that during the marathon itself I wont fall into the lull of boredom I do when I run alone for that period of time. The energy of the race spectators, other runners and volunteers can carry you, so I think my pace will be ok.

The practice of running has been an adventure itself for me – more an inward adventure. Primarily because I had abandoned the idea of running since my knees were so bad. Basically what I had done – once on each side at different times – was break and hit ice which cause me to over strain my ACL and MCL. No tears that I know of. I’m too stubborn to go in for a doctor visit.

The first time, I had to make a sudden stop on Perry’s Peak, one of my favorite runs at Winter Park in Colorado. It was in about 2 or 3 feet of fresh powder – so had I fallen correctly I’d probably be okay. But there was a child in front of me and he had fallen and all I could see when I came around the bend was a leg and ski sticking straight up out of the snow. Really only his boot and ski were showing as the rest of him was buried. I dug my edge into the snow and it cut all the way down to the bottom. My knee buckled, but I came to a stop. I flipped around and helped the kid up out of the snow and we slid down 20 feet to get his other ski. After he went on, I had to stop. My knee went sideways. That night and the next few days my knee was the size of a basketball. I iced and bandaged it, but it still wanted to bend to the left and right rather than front to back. Not good.

The second time was a few years later at the same mountain, but this time we went up to an ice bowl at about 11,000 feet and skied along the ridge. Conditions were bad so we broke right and slid down the bowl which was purely ice, no snow. I accelerated rapidly and there weren’t many options for braking or slowing so I just went with it. The tree line was fast approaching so I began to dig in lightly left and right dodging gnarly ice balls along the way. I hit one and I hit the ground hard, tumbled and slid. (I really wish I would had a Garmin on me at the time as I always wondered how fast I was going.) I don’t ski on ice that often and, actually, I don’t recommend it at all.

Being the stubborn girl I am, I got up after swearing very loudly for about three minutes. I slid down through the trees mostly on one leg and it dumped me out around the glades where there was ample powdery goodness to sit in. I hadn’t realized it, but my friend called snow patrol. I kept going down the glade thinking I had about another solid 1500 or so feet to go at least to the bottom and then I’d have to work my way to the lodge. Luckily, snow patrol found me. It was the first time I was ever in the sled. They bundled me up and pulled me down to the med tent. It was kinda fun. They examined me as best they could, asked me if I wanted to go to the hospital (which I refused) and wrapped up my knee in a cardboard sling. They also gave me a handicap parking permit which we promptly used at the overcrowded bar in Mary Jane territory. I hobbled in with my cardboard sling and we laugh about how ridiculous it was and counted our blessings that it was about 4 and the last run of the day anyway.

Running, as a hobby, would not be a fun option for me.

So a tale of healing and redemption begins. Well, a tale of healing at least. The first thing to note, since I wasn’t about to have surgery, is that I knew I needed to strengthen the area somehow. Cycling seemed to work. After a few years of cycling, especially on hills, my legs were strong enough to run short distances. I entered a few 5k’s and sprint triathlons. After that I went to a mega sprint, olympic distance and half ironman.

Now, do not read into this any more than you have to. I am no super athlete and I certainly am not fast. Each race entry gave me a goal to aim for and train for. Some of them were sponsored, which makes it easier since they can get pricey. In 2012 I was dating the guest emcee for the Chicago triathlon and because CBS was a sponsor of the race, he could get entries. I believe it was about $275 each at the time. It was a very fun race and my first taste at a longer distance triathlon. I was pretty proud of Dave for taking on the challenge with me since he had back surgery just a few years prior and was also anxious to get his physicality back and get over his injuries.

We all have injuries, don’t we. Some seen, some unseen. Never the less, it is important to want to get over them and have the patience to work for that goal of temperance. It does take time. I spend a few hours a week as a fitness instructor also, and I see a lot of people ride the line of intimidation and being overwhelmed with courage and patience. It can be tough, but if you stop you never get there. Pause is okay. Stop is not okay. I see clients look at other people who have years under their belts and they think they are not good enough or they aren’t fit enough or they can’t do (insert activity here). But they can. They just have to persist. My favorite hat says, “Be Tenacious”. I got it because even though I was the super slowest newest triathlete at the training camp, I gave up my seat on the SAG van to someone who was having more serious issues than me and my overall weakness. I slogged out the rest of the hilly 60 miles back to the motel in Solvang outside Santa Barbara and a their dinner, they awarded me with the hat.

This is especially why it is important to stay focused on ones self – and the other side of the coin is kindness (to others and yourself). You never know what people will reveal to you or what you might learn about yourself: fears, phobias, injuries, past challenges to overcome, emotional issues. You never know. So you can’t really judge accurately – not that really we should be judgmental anyway, but it is in our nature to compare. Also, and more importantly, we are all on our own path. The journey is so personal even though it is physical. No one can do the work for you.

When I had gotten back from riding the hills in Santa Barbara, I went back to riding flats in Illinois and hot yoga. My knees touched as I went into utkatasana, chair pose. My quads were popping out of my legs protecting my knees and my knees felt great. I don’t think I kept track of things like elevation gain or mileage back then, but I wish I would have. We rode at least 200 miles in the week and I’m guessing maybe some of the rides had at least 2500 feet in elevation gain. It was tough. I can fully admit crying when I landed at Jalama Beach out of relief – the half way point – similar to that feeling of finishing a really difficult race.

Fast forward to another sponsored race. It was the half marathon this year. A good friend of mine is an owner at Two Brothers’ Brewing Company, a sponsor of the race, and he had given me and a few people I know the entries. I have run 13+ miles maybe just a handful of times. My goal was to stay within the ten minute mile pace and to use this as a training run for my first marathon. I managed to run that pace even with a potty stop and even though I walked through each water stop.

I think it is really good to have some practice races before the race you’re aiming at as a reminder of all the little things. This is especially true of triathlon because of transitions, but is good even just for a long run race.

Okay, wait. I am skipping too far ahead. How did this marathon entry even come about? I really never ever ever ever (ever!) thought I would run a marathon and I certainly never thought I would want to run a marathon. First of all, I didn’t think I could. Second of all, I don’t really even like running.

Back in May I met a guy, Sam. (Okay, I know, I know …. this is how all the worst stories begin. Just hold your horses and read.)

Sam and I met at an acro yoga workshop I was holding at our local studio. Everyone exchanged details so we could swap photos online and talk about the next workshop and so on. About a week later I sent out a message to a good dozen or so people because I had gotten free Cubs tickets – and they were really good seats. He said he could meet up after and that he would be downtown anyway. Alex, they guy I went with, suggested we all meet up at Pub Royale to grab some snacks and faux Pimm’s Cups. We went to Goldstar after that, played some pool and talked more. I would learn Sam is a special kind of crazy. Maybe even my kind of crazy. A rare type of person indeed.

Sam had cycled everywhere – mostly commuting – and had at least one hundo under his belt which he rode on a broken Specialized Rockhopper all the way from Chicago to Milwaukee. He never heard of Strava and he wasn’t really a cyclist. He liked being active and he liked being outdoors. He loves challenges and he loves doing things he loves to do and he’s done them all around the world.

So, I invited him to join Strava.

For me, it’s all very utilitarian with a smidge of fun. I love riding hills and I am always joining various Strava challenges. Some I complete, some I don’t. I mostly join them so that at the end of it all I can see how many trophies I acquire just naturally – from doing what I can and want to do. They create little mini goals for me. I’ve never considered myself a competitive person, but this way I can keep track of what I’m doing.

Out of pure randomness, I asked Sam if he wanted to do a climbing challenge and that I signed up for it – it was to spread awareness for the inequity in Nepal. The challenge was to get 29,029 feet in elevation gain by bicycle in the month of June. At first we didn’t realize that it was strictly cycling so we ran hills and stairs. Strava didn’t count the stairs because it couldn’t pick up the GPS (about 1000 feet) and the hill repeats didn’t count toward the challenge, but that was maybe only 800 feet lost. By near the end of June Strava had only calculated 22,826 feet for me and Sam had about 2500 more in elevation gain since he went out at least once, maybe twice without me. We pretty much almost killed each other. He took it very seriously. Year to date, I have 34,695 feet in cycling gain (1156 miles) and 5174 feet in running elevation gain (324 miles). It’s not much, but it is a PR for me.

After that Sam asked me if I wanted to do the Honolulu marathon with him. I knew he also had the Marine Corps Marathon and NYC on the books and he just added a local race called the Fox Valley 26.2. I couldn’t believe he was going to run 4 marathons. He later added the Naperville Marathon which means five marathons in 2015, three of which were one week apart from each other plus he ran 26.2 miles from Naperville to Chicago as a training and bucketlist run. Another bit of training and self challenge was his ten by ten: ten miles a day for ten days in a row. “It’s a thing,” he said. I don’t think so.

I told him I wasn’t a runner, but I would cross train with him. We did yoga, rock climbed and rode and I did a few other things for him like give him an old Forerunner I was no longer using since I bought a new riding Garmin. He asked me again. Of course Sam doesn’t really ask, it’s more like he challenges. And he is relatively kind on people considering how hard he is on himself. He said he’d even sponsor the entry and help me train and that he knew I could do it. So I agreed. Besides, doesn’t that sound like more fun than just taking money for the watch or whatever else?

On July 26th I completed my 8th triathlon with my friend, Danny, who was completing his first triathlon. It’s always a very special thing, that first triathlon. I was proud and honored to have been there to share it with him. He did great! I, however, will need to work a lot harder if I plan to run a marathon. The short 4 mile run killed me until I got to the end – the little hill put me in gear and my adrenaline kicked in, but it wasn’t enough to get me on the podium. I was less than a minute off third and less than six minutes for 1st in my age group and I had way too much energy left over.

[Danny:

July 26th, Game Day, how exciting! Except I would not be playing in a game, rather my first triathlon – The Holiday Man Mega Sprint Triathlon. Although I’ve played in hundreds of games throughout my life, those subtle, exciting and anxious feelings of competing in a race were all the same. I picked up my friend Michelle, who is not only an experienced triathlete, but was the person who encouraged me to get here.

I had just completed the Tough Mudder on May 9th for the 3rd year in a row and was sharing that experience with her. She shared her triathlon and biking experiences with me in return. Although I appreciated her stories and accomplishments, I could not relate never having gone through those experiences myself.

In mid-May, Michelle lent me one of her road bikes to try out, which turned out to be a fun experience. I believe we rode maybe 15 or 20 miles and my legs were pretty toasted. I thought, riding a bike regularly during the summer would be a fun way to keep in shape as I get older and save these abused knees of mine. Shortly, thereafter, Michelle brought up the idea of doing a triathlon.

I was currently signing up for Chicago Spartan races, so without hesitation, I signed up for the Holiday Man Sprint Triathlon. Had I given the thought more than two minutes, I would not have committed to the race due to my fear and lack of swimming experience.

Baseball, basketball, and football are sports I’ve had experience with and embrace the competition. When I line up against my opponent, I feel extremely confident regardless of their physical attributes or experience. A triathlon is completely out of my comfort zone and I was scared to death.
Running four miles at the end, okay, I can probably do that given I do mud races although I’m not a runner. 17.6 mile bike, well, I just did 15 or 20 miles on my first ride so that sounds doable. 700 meter swim, somebody please help me! Overcoming the fear of the swim leg of the race would be my primary focus.
During the last few years my emotional intelligence has grown leaps and bounds and is something I feel blessed to become aware of and try to understand. The primary reason I’ve seen growth has been due to trying things that I was emotionally a little afraid or uncomfortable with. As far as triathlon goes, the main challenge comes with the fact I don’t like being in water. When I was a kid, I would clean my parents’ pool for an hour to make sure it was spotless. I didn’t like dirt in a pool for some reason, but I could baseball all day with filthy hands and face and think nothing of it.

A few times during marco polo, I would get an extremely sharp pain in the left side of my head while swimming underwater. The handful of times it occurred it was scary. I’ve told nobody about it to this day.
As a kid, my dad took us on a friend’s boat in the lake. Everyone jumped in to go swimming except me. I knew how to swim; I just didn’t like dirty water. However, after the swim, the adults pulled out water skis. All the guys and a few of the older girls either did it or attempted it. Then they let a few of us kids try to water ski. My dad gave me some instructions, plus I was observant with everyone before me. I couldn’t wait to go in the water and try it! So there I was, sitting in the water holding the rope, skis up. The engine floored and the boat started forward. Believe it or not, I got up on my first try and I went for about 30 seconds to a minute or so. Everyone was so excited for me.
So I am good at marco polo and water skiing, big freakin deal. Now I need to practice freestyle swimming here at the X Sport pool in Naperville. I gave it a shot and swam all the way to the other end, 25 meters, then rested for about two minutes to catch my breath. That first day of training I swam 4 more lengths, but only made it to the end of the pool two out of the four lengths without stopping and touching the bottom of the pool. So I’m not a strong swimmer….and I call myself a natural athlete?
May 26th, I walked out of the Endure It bike shop in Naperville spending $3K after a bike fitting for a sweet Cervelo S2 road bike. The owner was very nice and she asked me about my intentions for purchasing this road bike. I explained I had my first triathlon sprint race scheduled in exactly 60 days and needed a bike. She gave me her training sessions and times for biking, running, and swimming.
I’m not sure what 60 day training plan I was expecting, but I didn’t worry about it. I’m a go with the flow person and sometimes lady luck follows those who are good natured, open and friendly with their energy. I took the advice from Endure It and booked a handful of compu trainer sessions. The instructor and fellow bikers were all very nice. I learned a lot from them. I took my road bike on the street a handful of times, usually 15 to 20 miles. Then one day in June I decided to go 50 miles. However, after eating lunch by the river in St. Charles after mile 40. I rode until I got tired and hit the 100 mile marker by the time I got home.
A few rides later, my friend Michelle invited me to ride with an experienced group for the 4th of July Joliet metric Century ride. That was truly a great experience riding with such a large group, I learned how to draft, shift gears efficiently and I completed my second century ride just over 5 weeks of owning my cool, new bike. I knew that evening I would probably enjoy fun future rides, let alone not have to worry at all about the 17 mile bike leg of the triathlon.
The running…. man! I’ve never enjoyed running to run. I enjoyed sprinting, running fast, and beating competition on the field, the court, or stealing bases on the diamond. What I don’t enjoy is running miles. So I joined the Endure It group and ran on the track with them for a handful of sessions. There were some good drills, training and exercises.
I was one of the slowest runners during the runs, but a) I was not in running shape, and b) I have knee issues. Aside from wearing patella tendon knee braces and looking like a 40 year old dude wearing knee braces, I thought I did pretty good overall. During the basic 50 or 100 meter dashes (including hill runs one day), I was in the top 3 every dash. It’s good to know I still got a gear left. One morning I ran 4 miles. My prior running times were around 9 minute miles, but that day I finished near 7 minute 30 second mile. I knew then the 4 miles for the triathlon post swim and bike would be fine …. as long as I didn’t drown in the lake swim.
6:00 p.m., Thursday, July 9th, Centennial Beach. I was working on my swim in the lanes trying to get better when I noticed I was off course. So I kicked my right leg out to get back on course when I twisted my knee. Holy mother fuckers! Talk about intense pain! At that moment, I knew I either sprained my knee or tore something. So just to mentally play it off I decided to go straight to yoga class that night as though everything was fine.
Months later in September I got an MRI to reveal torn meniscus, bone spurs, and grade 3 osteoarthritis. 80% lateral meniscus gone on the right side of knee and some quadriceps tendinitis. The leg kick that day did not cause all of that. ACL reconstruction at 17, plus years of athletics just brought conditions to that moment.
Back to July now, the entire race was in jeopardy, heck I couldn’t even straighten my leg, walk downstairs, or bend my knee 90 degrees. Despite all of this, I decided to go to two Monday triathlon open swims at Centennial Beach. Prior to those two weeks, I would have backed out of the race, especially given the knee pain. However, I received priceless training in the beginner’s group that became the game changer: How to site your targets, how to swim on your back to regain your breath, and how to swim in open water.
The defining moment occurred after the second practice as I knew I could keep cool, regain my breath by swimming on my back and knowing I would not drown come race day. It probably sounds silly to swimmers or those who do triathlons, but my longest freestyle swim prior to race day was 100 meters. So there you have it, aside from two swimming sessions and some yoga, I rested for the next two weeks. Thursday, July 23rd, I could walk downstairs! Knee would not straighten or bend 90 degrees, but I could at least walk downstairs!! All I need to know now is if I can ride my bike without pain. I rode 4 laps around the block, no pain. Check!
Now back to standing in the sand at Lake Holiday the morning of July 26th. The bike and gear is all set up in transition area. I’m gauging the energy and vibe off of the other racers. I realized most racers are probably trying to hit some personal goal. My goal was to not drown. After taking in the moment, I held my composure and didn’t let the moment get bigger than it needed to be. It was probably being in this similar moment a hundred times before, but right before the start I was relaxed, cool, focused, and confident. Most of the time, you need to be in that focus to excel or win.
“Wave two, go!”
I decided to take my time to enter the water to not slow down the other competitors. Sure I was a number of times while swimming, but it didn’t faze or distract me. I knew this would happen, and a few bumps are easier to manage than getting blown up by a linebacker on the football field. I made my way through the swim rather nicely. I rolled on my back a number of times to catch my breath, and then I turned around to swim again. I noticed a few times when I turned from my back to the swim that I saw the same people. I felt as though I was swimming rather swiftly in general, maybe that’s a good sign if I let some guys pass me while on my back only to catch them again and again during my freestyle swim.
Finally, the beach! The swim was coming to an end and I thought, “Awesome, I didn’t drown!” I thought, “Okay Danny, when you get out of the water sprint to the transition area!” I departed the water and what the hell? I am so flippin dizzy right now! Everybody is cheering, this is inspiring, so try not to fall from dizziness, you idiot. Just walk straight, don’t fall! After walking 30 seconds or so I jogged while dizzy to the transition area. I sat down, changed my shoes, put on my bike shirt, but I could not catch my breath. I watched a number of racers come and go. Finally, I started to get my breath and left the transition area. If my GPS didn’t fall off during the swim, I may have broken the record for worst post swim transition time ever in the history of Holiday Man!
Now it’s my favorite phase, biking! Two goals I set for myself: 1) nobody passes you, and 2) stay at/above 20 mph. Well, I passed over 20 or 30 bikers during the ride, so that felt good. But I failed goal 1, 4 bikers passed me, three of them women. They just didn’t pass me, they flew by me! I also realized more riders would have passed me but they were already ahead of me cause of the swim, whatev’s. Regardless, I held 20 mph for most of the ride, a few spots in the 19’s mph. My stupid lower back started to hurt around mile 13, so I had to constantly stand up and sit down to relieve the lower back pressure. The approach worked fine and I completed the bike.
Transition 2 went so much better than transition 1. I put on the mega knee brace and changed shoes rather quickly. Purpose of the mega knee brace was to prevent me from trying to burst during the run. The brace keeps my knee around 50 degrees, so I would never really straighten it or bend it too much, like you would a sprint. I was tired from the swim and bike, so odds of doing that anyway were low. With moderate knee pain aside, I ran okay and finished the race. I think the run was around 8:45 to 9:00 minute mile, I can’t recall exactly and it doesn’t matter anyway.
It was nice having my friend Michelle there at the race. While I’ve done the Spartan races alone, it was nice to have a fellow racer there for support and encouragement. I also found the crowds near the transition area and during the run to be encouraging. Everybody has strengths and weaknesses, confidence and fears. After crossing the finish line, I could not be more proud of the moment I entered the race. I knew not being an experienced swimmer, coupled with disliking water, would provide a huge mental challenge. I was extremely frustrated when I hurt my knee during the short training phase, but I was glad it was good enough to allow me to compete. I’m not a fan of excuses. I’m very grateful for the experience of my first triathlon, and the process leading up to it is something I will probably never forget.]

After Holiday Man, I started training. I ran a bunch of three and five milers and a few tens and thirteens. On October 17th, I ace bandaged my knees and ran my first fifteen miler. Just two months shy of Honolulu. My ankles and calves were all seized up. I dreaded it, complained and made jokes pretty much the whole last five miles. I thought to myself that I have to really careful to avoid injury this close to the race date and I want to continuously improve my recovery time.

I picked up some kale, spinach, beets, glucosamine and a new multivitamin from the Whole Foods and made a commitment to green smoothies and taking vitamins daily. Then on the 25th, just a week later, I ran 16.6 miles with my dog. I was aiming for 20, but he stopped running around 16 miles, we walked a bit and I turned off my GPS. I had forgotten water and gels. I could have stopped at a drinking fountain, but since I forgot his water too I opted to go without. I felt great after, but I think he slept for three days straight not even acknowledging my existence when I’d pass by.

Nearly a month later, on November 20th, I ran my first 20 miler. I wrapped knees up, filled up water bottles, threw some Salted Caramel Gu and Untapped maple syrup in my pocket and went out alone with a sad faced dog staring at me through the window. I really wanted to keep it within the ten minute mile pace, but I got bored half way through. If my body is feeling okay, it really becomes a mental game finding flow and getting singularly in the zone. I imagined myself on the marathon. I thought, I will be walking through water stations to pace myself. So, I stopped and stretched every so often. Even in the 30 degree weather I was warm so I took off my jacket. I took my gels about every hour. I stopped once to refill my water bottles. I paced myself and over came the boredom. Especially on the last few blocks to the finish – I noticed I had some steam left and bolted. I had my phone out because I was near the end and didn’t want to run short of the 20 mile mark. I looked at my phone. I was running in the 6 and 7 minute mile pace and because I only had .2 miles left I kept bookin’ it. I knew I couldn’t hold that pace for too long, but it felt good. Overall, I completed the 20 miles and managed to stay within the ten mile pace. The next day I ran 6 in 4 inches of snow which means my recovery time is also improving.

Just the year prior I had been training with my friend, Blane, who, near then end of the season started calling me gimpy because my knees were just that bad. We mostly cycled. He is another one of those people with that certain kind of crazy persistence. He is an animal when it comes to hills and one of the nicest people you will ever meet. The last time we ran together I knew I had to give it up – it was just no fun to run with me anymore and what is the point if it’s no fun? I remember that last run – My knee pinched so bad so I’d stop, then, knowing I had a few miles to go, I’d bolt. Then, I’d stop, hobble and bolt again just trying to get it over with. I’d run as fast and lightly as I could barely touching the ground with my left foot until it pinched again. It was just no fun and I cared way too much about my friend to drag him through that again so I shied away from running anymore committing myself to rides only.

So how did my legs change so much in just a year where I can run 15, 17, 20 miles without issue? Preparation? I’d bandage myself up a lot. Lots of extra hill riding. Dedication? I committed to running much more – including recovery time, but then right back to it. I considered nutrition more seriously as well knowing the damage running does to any body, but especially mine. Luck? Honestly, there has just got to be some luck in there – I mean, even all this training and nutrition is trial and error for the most part anyway. A hard ass partner? Yea, probably a little bit of that as well. A pill taken with temperance, tolerance and some serious ignoring every now and then too. You can grow some thick skin this way for sure.

Fast forward to Black Friday. Blane comes by to pick me up for Matt Wagner’s annual Black Friday ride at about 8:30. It’s estimated to be about 50 miles in cold, wet, hilly, rocky, rooty, muddy conditions and there will be booze informally starting at 10:30 am in the garage and one formal bar stop at Imperial Oak Brewery around 3pm, about 9 miles from the finish. Sam tells me I am not allowed to injure myself – we only have two weeks until Honolulu. The ride is exactly as predicted: cold, wet (rainy even), muddy, rocky, rooty, hilly, boozy, fast, exhausting, fun, crazy and… did I mention crazy? With a hint of Swallow Cliff stairs at the end… Did I mention I chose the steel framed mountain bike for this epic adventure? Don’t worry – It’s only 125 limestone stairs to climb in your clip ins with the 30 pound bike in the misty rain.

Survived. Injury Free.

If I remember correctly, Blane and I even saved enough energy to sit around with the guys for a few more hours after for garage libations and a lil chit chat.

Tuesday – time for office work.

I jump on my bike and head to work… riding along merrily on the sidewalk, on the road, through the grass… a route I’ve taken hundreds of times…. when my front wheel hits something causing it to turn, slip my grip and bam… I flip and break my collarbone on the handlebar. I lay there on the ground. I think for a moment, maybe it isn’t broken. I try to move; it’s broken. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Goddammit. I’m so pissed. I have to call Sue. I have to call Chief. I’m not going into work (fuck). I can’t make my bootcamp classes (goddammit). How am I going to run? (Shit fuck damn….) The pain is making me nauseous. I call Jim to see if he’s available to pick me up – he is. I lay there. It’s sunny. It’s chilly, but I’m not cold. I just wait quietly.

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