UPCOMING EVENTS for 2016: Puerto Rico Marathon (March), Virginia/Pennsylvania Marathon Double (April), Cedro Peak Ultra 45k (April), Quicksilver 50k (May) NUT 50k (June) Lake Tahoe Trail 50K (July), Cloudsplitter 55K (October)

It's never too late to be what you might have been. --George Eliot

Athena is the Goddess of wisdom and war. In 2005, I declared war on my own bad tendencies: sloth, being fat, compacency, and being too old for adventure. This is the story of how I went from being someone who never stood when she could sit, to being an ultrarunner, marathoner, and triathlete. Along the way I've cried, laughed, fallen, gotten up, lost, won, hallucinated, been dehydrated, DNF'ed, and been DFL.
I also swear. Alot.
"You're never too old to be what you might have been" --George Eliot

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Unbreakable (?)

Dear Diary,

More thinking out loud about it, and then I'll shut up.

In the week following my mishap--and I'm reluctant to call it anything more than that because of my general dislike of drama queens--I've eaten at Panda Express nearly every day and gained three pounds. Honestly, i hit that drive through line with a certain amount of resolve, i will not have starch, just vegetables and meat but then she says, over the loudspeaker, "rice or chow mein?" And I robotically reply, "chow mein". Then I order honey walnut shrimp and Shanghai beef. And an eggroll to eat on my way back to the office.

Also, Sweet Baboo had a cold when all this happened, so now I have that too.

I had, initially decided that I must have just been tapped. I had one bruise, one scrape, and one sore leg that is getting less sore by the day. An article I read stated,

"The bumper and the hood typically hit the person's legs and hips, meaning broken bones in those areas are very common. Depending on how fast the car is going, the patient can be thrown and then head injuries and internal injuries are quite common...if there are injuries to the blood vessels or major tissue damage then there could be amputation...injuries can be complicated, sometimes taking months to recover from or worse. Some patients are permanently disabled because of this. They are unable to go back to their livelihoods."

On Wednesday, I tried a quick, ten-foot jog to cross a street. After the first two painful steps I tried a nice long power stride. OW. Then I tried to just walk briskly. OW. Then I settled for limping across the other six feet. I walked a mile with the treadmill set on 2. Limping itself isn't so bad because you get attention and sympathy, but it's exhausting and hard on your back. That day, I reluctantly made an appointment to see a doctor about my leg.

found while looking for info on fractures.

Thursday, I tried to jog again. I wouldn't say my leg barked so much as it let out a deep, throaty warning WOOF, the kind that Great Danes make. But, I was able to take a few strong strides, pain-free. I walked a mile with the treadmill set on 2.5. Throughout the week I continued to stand at my standing workstation, with occasional breaks spent perched or leaning on a stool. My family doc once told me, "the worst thing you can do to most injuries is to completely immobilize them."

By Friday, I could walk normally, briskly even. I did not try to jog--no sense in poking the ferret. But by then I had decided, this must not have been much if a hit, because if I had, wouldn't I have snapped a leg? Wouldn't there be numerous mentions of contusions and lacerations on my chart? I thought this until I asked Dreadpirate what she remembered, and what she told me was that about twenty or more yards ahead of me, she heard the sound of the car hitting me over her ipod and the sound of me hitting the ground. "I didn't expect that a body hitting a car would be so loud."

Sweet Baboo, and the docs I work with, reminded me that I do a lot of weight-bearing exercise, especially on my legs. I do Olympic lifting at least twice every week, and running daily. I stand in my office and don't do much sitting except at home. I'm not your typical woman pushing fifty.

Now, a pessimist might point out that if I weren't so active I wouldn't have been out there anyway, running in front of inattentive drivers. I would argue that i could have just as easily been walking across a parking lot, from my car to the store or work, when I was hit. So the take away message here is this: get out there and start moving and lifting weights.

I've spent a week perseverating and processing and thinking about this and I've decided that as of midnight tonight, time's up. Suck it up, princess. Walk it off soldier. Drink some water. This race we call life is still ahead of you and you haven't reached the finish line yet, so keep moving.

...


 

Monday, February 10, 2014

THUMP.

Dear Diary,

I have discovered the six words guaranteed to get you sent home. The words nobody argues with. I know these words because I said them today. First, I had told my boss I wasn't feeling well, and I was going home aound 1:00.

"Are you sick?"

"No...i'm feeling a little weird, and kinda anxious." Then I said the words: I got hit by a car.

"When?"

"yesterday."

"And you were in a car? Right?"

"No. I was out running."

Blink. Blink.

"You were hit? By a car?" [emphasis on HIT and CAR] "Are you okay?"

"Yes. Mostly. I think so. I mean, nothing's broken."

Since I was just standing there, and not in a body cast, I suppose it was a strange thing to hear. No, I wasn't in another car. No, I didn't hit my head. At least I don't think I did. I didn't black out, but wham, it happened really, really fast. What I was able to piece together was that the guy was stopped behind the stop sign watching for oncoming traffic--coming from his left--and since nobody was coming he gunned it just as I shuffled--from his right--into the intersection.

All I remember was one moment shuffling up the hill on #2 of the hill repeats. I had my head down, watching the ground, and suddenly a green bumper in my periphery. I put my hands out and had a split second of surprise when the car didn't stop. Then, THUMP: I was tumbling over the hood and I was on my right side in the road, looking up at the back of a green car, with the improbable thought, "does he know he hit me?" Then car stopped, abruptly, and the guy jumped out, running towards me, shouting.

I know he was shouting, asking if I was alright, and so was the passerby who happened to be an off duty EMT. I know that now and I knew it relatively soon after, but at that very moment... All I knew, there on the ground, was that something horrible and fucking scary had just happened and these guys were standing above me, shouting at me, and I WANTED TO GET THE FUCK AWAY FROM THE SCARY AND AWAY THE SHOUTING so I tried to get up but OW, OW, fucking OW MY LEGS so I lurched over toward the nearest safe looking place, the curb and threw myself at it and sat down.

And the scary shouting guys followed, still shouting. I told Dreadpirate the next day, if I could have run away, I would have.

Within a few seconds my head cleared and the terror faded, and I knew that I was pretty much okay, and those guys were wanting to know if I was okay. I forgot about the terror of that moment until the next day. I looked up and saw Dread Pirate running down the hills towards me. She had heard the thump, turned around, and saw me lying in the road. She ran to me, shouting, what the fuck happened?

Somewhere during all this I pocket-dialed Sweet Baboo. I didn't know I'd dialed him, and he listened, puzzled, hearing my voice and then people asking me about allergies, blood pressure, etc. The off-duty EMT called 911 and the police were there in seconds. The guy who hit me seemed genuinely freaked out, asking repeatedly about me, even after they cuffed him because, well, he had two warrants. The ambulance was just a few seconds behind them.

This, to me, was horribly embarrassing. It seemed like such a rediculous fuss. I was sitting upright. I didn't have a head wound. There was just WAY too many people there. For me. Or maybe I was just uncomfortable with all the people standing around me, so close.

They checked me over, and wanted me to go to the ER to get cleared, but I decided I would have Dreadpirate take me and then I would call Baboo to come get me. Not long after deciding that my phone rang. "I'm on my way." He'd heard everything. By this time the EMTs had bandaged a nasty scrape on me wrist, examined the growing bump on my shin--gonna be a nasty bruise--and checked me all over. I was lucky. Somehow I'd been hit in just the right way, tumbled over the hood just the right way, landed just the right way on the pavement, all without getting seriously injured.

My friend SWTriGal once saw me take a spill running down a mountain path and declared it perfect. It was the best fall I've ever seen. Maybe I have a knack for this.

At the ER, they asked me that pain question. Scale of 1 to 10 ? I don't know how to answer that. Mile 50 at Javalina 100, I wanted to say, I don't know...a 4? Later on, I read that was "mild". So I was fine. I was joking about it. There was a sense of unease, but mostly, I was joking about how now, I have a story to tell.

I even forgot about the terror of those five or six seconds after it hit me until around two in the morning when I suddenly woke up, staring at the ceiling, thinking, holy fuck did I got hit by a car? I had a growing unease until around mid-morning when it came back, mixed with a small sense of shame because, after all, nothing was broken, and I was fine, so SUCK IT UP, PRINCESS. Except, I was in a fog. I couldn't concentrate. I looked at stuff on my computer and it didn't make sense. I didn't want to eat. I started feeling panicky. And then I remembered those moments after the car hit me.

So I told my boss I was going home. She wrote down the number of our EAP and insisted I consider calling them. I decided I wanted some Panda Express, except that, I looked in my purse, right at my debit card, and couldn't find it. I couldn't see what was in my purse. So I went home, and took a hot bath. By then my shoulder and neck were feeling stiff and spasmy. My left leg, where the car hit, hurts like crazy if I try to perform any torque on it, but there's no bruising or swelling.

So that's my story of getting hit by a car.

For the record, Sweet Baboo has been hit by a car. And a city bus.

Even in freak pedestrian accidents, he outpaces me.

...