Broken not beaten

On May 7th of this year, I toed the start line of the Miwok 100k.

It was to be my first 100k and my qualifying race for the Western States 100 Mile. I was nervous, excited, and confident. I was wearing my favorite Injinji toe socks and my Altra Lone Peak 2.5s.

In retrospect, I believe I was undertrained due to a hectic work schedule and a string of little nagging injuries that affected my ability to consume good quality miles on my Saturday long runs. As a consequence of this, I believe I reached a point of exhaustion far sooner than had I been properly prepared. This lead to heavy feet. Heavy feet led to me tripping on a…rock? …root? I’m still not sure. This exhaustion probably led to my decision, mid-fall, to try a “combat roll” instead of falling on my hands, then elbows, and then knees (like I normally do).

Midway through the “combat roll” I heard a pronounced CRACK! and before I had tumbled to a halt, sitting sideways mid-trail with my feet hanging off the edge, I knew exactly what had happened. A friendly runner (aren’t they all?) rushed to my aid and reached for my right arm to help me to my feet.

“Don’t touch my right arm please!” I said, probably too harshly. “I just broke my collarbone.”

And that was the end of my bid to run 100k. That was the end of my attempt to run a Western States qualifier. Granted, I would have had only a 5% chance of actually gaining entry into Western States, but a chance is a chance. I would have had a shot to run in the granddaddy of them all.

Now I have to wait another year.

But this is not a sad tale. This is the story of firsts: my first (attempt at) 100k, my first broken bone, and my first DNF (did not finish).

As the title says, broken (bone) but not beaten.

Exactly seven days after breaking my collarbone, I was pedaling furiously on a stationary bike at the gym. Fourteen days later, I was taking slow running steps on a treadmill with my right arm in a sling. Three weeks later, I was running on the trails near my house (still in the sling). I was still moving, still training, still growing.

I did not finish running 100km, since I fell at roughly the halfway point, but I emerged from this process more focused, more dedicated, and mentally stronger than ever.

I’ll be writing in more detail about my Miwok experience and the healing/recovery process in the weeks to come. Stay tuned!

Run on, Sisters and Brothers!

@rundemtrails
rundemtrails@gmail.com

#trailrunning #runwild #Miwok100k #100k #WesternStates #100Miles #run #running #runner

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