Life became a little interesting after the Leadville Marathon. A trip to Dr. Barnes confirmed that I indeed had a broken rib. Small everyday tasks that we don’t normally think twice about were excruciating. Lucky for me I was able to stay at a friend’s place for a week after where I had some much needed help.
With only 3 weeks between the Leadville Marathon, and Silver Rush 50 I was nervous that it wouldn’t be enough time to heal or that I would even be able to run by that point. I took 9 days off after the marathon before trying to run again. I tested the waters by doing a lap at Wash Park. The good news was that my legs still worked, but my chest was pretty painful. After talking with my coach, and sports doc I knew that I couldn’t do any further damage (unless I fell again), and was cleared to run as long as I could tolerate the pain that came with it.
In those 9 days I was encouraged and assured by my friend and coach, Michele, that even though I wasn’t able to train how I originally hoped I could still do whatever I put my mind to.
I ended up only running and hiking 8 times in the 3 weeks between the 2 races, and spoiler alert: I fell again.
From an easy hike on Mt. Morrison with Allisa
The weekend before the 50 I headed back up to Leadville to hike the backside of Hope Pass. It was a gorgeous day for a hike, and I was happy to run into some familiar faces on the trail that day.
Pretty rad way to spend the 4th of July.
While the scenery was absolutely stunning, I struggled with chest pain, doubt, fear and frustration.
That night I was able to spend time watching fireworks with one of my favorite families on the face of this planet, and any worries, self-doubt or frustrations I had were replaced with laughter and good times.
I received an invite to hike a 13’er the next day that I couldn’t pass up. My goal was to have fun, pay attention to my breath (breathing from my stomach, and refraining from letting air fill up my lungs was much less painful), move with a purpose, and enjoy the new-to-me group of friends I was with.
It was a blast! We did manage to lose the trail, and opted to go straight up the side of the mountain, because what else would you do? Sure, I was bringing up the rear that day, but I felt confident about the effort I was putting in given the circumstances.
Richard, Stu and Meaghan
Loaded up on that mountain stoke I was feeling pretty decent with about a mile left on the day. I had managed to pick up my pace a bit, and was still trying to step gingerly on the technical parts of the trail. Meghan and Stu pulled ahead, while Richard and I were trailing not too far behind.
What happens next comes as a surprise to no one. I tripped, fell and essentially re-enacted the fall I had taken 2 weeks prior. However this time I managed to roll off the single track, and came to a stop against a tree. I laid there for approximately 1.5 seconds, before legit ugly crying ensued.
I don’t recall crying at the marathon, but July 5th was a tad different. My chest killed, the wounds that were trying to heal had been ripped open and felt like fire, and some personal stress I was trying to avoid seemed to find me in that moment. I was trying hard to be patient, accept what my body was capable of and be grateful for the day, but the feeling of defeat was pretty strong. Still ugly crying I tried to scramble to my feet, but was encouraged by Richard to sit and calm down for a few minutes. For once I actually listened to someone, and sat.
We walked back to the car, and tried flushing some dirt out of my hand with water. I don’t remember saying much on the way back to Denver other than laughing that Maroon 5’s, “This Summer’s Gonna Hurt Like a MotherF****er” came on the radio.
Big thanks to Stu for cutting the skin off my hand while I tried not to faint in Meaghan’s kitchen.
A little stunned, some blood, but I managed to not do anymore damage to my ribs. The week leading up to Silver Rush I managed to get in 3 more runs including a (failed) attempt to fully run up the jeep road on Green Mountain, and a breezy shake out run around Turquoise Lake the morning before Silver Rush 50.