Sunday, November 5, 2017

Learning to Overcome

Overcoming – is best achieved when you become a partner with the reality of the situation and work in cooperation with it rather than fighting or trying to overpower it.

Where has time gone…it’s been over a year that I’ve blogged anything.  I apologize for being such a slacker. So I decided to start it back up now. As many of you know my year has been full of several trials and tribulations. I won’t go into all the details, but it seems like I just can’t get a break. Despite all that I’ve been through, I wanted to make sure that I learned from these experiences and found ways to grow as a person. Just as in ultras, if life, we are tested with situations that we never thought we’d make it through…however, with determination, strength, and perseverance we can find ways to do so. This has been what my year has taught me.

You ask, where is the Pixie Ninja now? What is she training for? She has been awfully quiet lately. Well to tell you the truth I have just finished my last race of the year two-weeks ago. The G.O.A.T.z. 50K here in Omaha. It was a great end to the season. I got to run and be with so many friends that day and see my mom run a PR. What didn’t go so well was that I wasn’t really planning to end my year at this race. Whoa…what?! Yes, that’s right…I had big audacious plans to kick-start my training in order to race Bandera 100K for a chance at a Golden Ticket to go back to Western States.
G.O.A.T.z. 50K race
What happened, you ask? Well it all happened in less than half a mile to the finish of the G.O.A.T.z. race that I felt a pop in the front of my left hip. It had been getting sore on downhills throughout the final loop, but I just blew it off as fatigue. After it popped it made me stumble a bit and then this horrible pain shot through my hip/groin. I considered walking it in, but with less than a half-mile left I pushed myself to finish. I crossed the line and stopped instantly. I stood there and was scared to take a step. When I did I felt the most excruciating pain in my hip that I have ever experienced. I thankfully had a couple friends to help me hobble over to a picnic table to sit. I’d never finished a race like this before and not been able to walk. I was scared, but figured I just pulled a muscle and would be back fine after a little rest or in a few days.

I got home and literally couldn’t walk. Every step with my left leg felt like knives being driven into my hip/groin. I didn’t know what to do. I put ice on my hip and rested the rest of the day. I figured by morning I’d be fine. Oh was I wrong! I couldn’t get out of bed or even stand on that leg. Tears welled up in my eyes as I was trying to figure out what I had injured. I thought to myself how am I going to work? Well I did what I don’t recommend to anyone and popped 4 ibuprofen. It numbed the pain enough for me to limp around. I literally hobbled all week thinking my leg should be healing by now. The days past and I was feeling no relief whatsoever. I felt desperate. I called one of my closest friends, Christy Nielsen, who is a Physical Therapist and long-time renowned distance runner. She told me to come see her that day.
When you don't have crutches improvise with trekking poles!
I went and saw Christy and she did several tests on me to see what she could find. Her initial thought was a pelvic stress fracture. She referred me to Dr. Arnold who had me see him the following day. He ordered x-rays and an MRI. The x-rays confirmed nothing. So, I had an MRI this past Wednesday. I was sitting on pins and needles waiting for the results. Sometimes 24 hours can feel like forever. The next day I got the call I had been waiting for…the call from Dr. Arnold with my MRI results.

The MRI had confirmed a stress fracture in my left inferior pubic ramus of my pelvis and also a slight moderate stress related bone marrow edema in the lateral superior pubic ramus. Additionally, I have a hemotoma and synovitis in the muscles around the fracture, and a lot of tendonosis/tendonitis going on in my hip muscles. In other words…my left hip is a hot mess. The prognosis for recovery is to have 4-weeks of being non-weight bearing (crutches) with no cross training besides upper body lifting. Then I will have a follow-up in 4 weeks to see how the healing has progressed. That will determine the next step. He expects me to be out from running for 2-3 months.
My MRI reading
Am I bummed? Oh yeah! However, I have come to terms with it and decided that I will not let myself get down. There are far too many things in life much worse than a broken bone. I just went through my grandma’s life and death situation…so this is nothing!! I witnessed my grandma rise up and prove that she wouldn’t let cancer or her almost fatal ulcer stop her from getting back to living her life. She is my inspiration. Plus, we’ve already made a goal to walk our first mile together!
My beautiful and strong grandma 
Remember our bodies are resilient and strong. The key is to be patient and let them heal. We put them through a lot of constant stress, and sometimes our minds are too strong for our own good. We’ve been preached to by so many about ‘listening to our bodies’. I didn’t and now I will pay the price. I’ve been very fortunate to have never gone through a lengthy time-off injury. It can happen to anyone at anytime. Until I return to running I will find ways to stay happy by spending more time with family and friends, going to the gym to lift for fun, volunteering at races, and living life in a positive manner. There will not be any pity-parties here! I pity-partied myself out at Western States aid station, Rucky-Chucky, this year. That’s a one and done for me!
The only pity-party I will allow myself this year. Besides they are LAME!
Since I have time I will keep my injury progress updated in my blog. Thank you for following and being my friends and fans. All of you mean a lot to me. I promise I will be back strong for 2018!! I am SO ready for the new year. 




21 comments:

  1. Sorry to hear of your injury. I wish you well with a strong recovery and then a great come back! See you in a few miles...roy

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  2. Thanks for sharing your story. Your grace under pressure is as much an inspiration as your running ability. Speedy recovery wishes!

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  3. Heal soon Kaci! I love your attitude and I believe positive outlooks will speed the body's healing ability. There is no doubt in my mind you will be back and at the front of the pack in good time. You are an inspiration and one incredibly strong and courageous young lady who is a great example how to handle adversity! Long may you run.

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  4. Kaci, I'm sending you heal-fast thoughts and prayers. Your attitude and perspective are beacons that shine for and guide me and many others through our own journeys. Take care my friend.

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  5. Thanks for starting the blog back up. I'm inspired by your consistent running, and I am ready to read about the way you translate that discipline to a smart recovery. Get well!

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  6. Praying for your speedy recovery!! You'll be back at it before you know it, and better than ever. But take this time now for you and heal mind, body, and soul. Looking forward to your blog and we'll see ya on the flip side!

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  7. Wonderfully positive outlook. Very sorry about your injury. Onward.

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  8. Sending you positive energy. It is through the tough lessons that we grow as people. Looking forward to hearing about your recovery period and how this effects your future outlook. Stay positive!

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  9. Kaci! I had the same exact injury a few years ago! IT SUCKS! SO SORRY! But if you need any workouts I have a whole "injury workout" folder filled with upper body workouts and swims with a pullbuoy......

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  10. Very pleased to see you are updating the site once again. Somewhat at ease to know you are recovering as we were shaken when we viewed your posts on Strava with crutches..we had no idea what went wrong! Strong words and great advice in this post and hope you continue to keep updating and recover quickly. Stay stong, you are a legend in this sport. Love & respect

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  11. Thank you for sharing, Kaci. You are a source of inspiration to me. I admire your strength and determination.

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  12. Kaci I am so sorry about your year ending in crutches! Time and PT really will heal. I'm sorry you have to miss out on Golden Ticket races but maybe you'll back & ready to race one in late spring. Meanwhile, injuries are great teachers, and the silver lining is there's something liberating and satisfying about starting training fresh from square one. I wrote an article a couple of years ago with quotes from many elite-level runners about the emotional/psychological effects of dealing with injury, and how to go through the different stages of it -- here's a link in case it might help you. Take care and take it day by day, week by week, being the best patient you can be and as serious about your recovery as you were about your training. http://trailrunnermag.com/training/injuries-and-treatment/the-injury-games.html

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  13. So sorry to hear you are injured. I hope you get to spend a lot of quality time with your grandma recovering. Heal well!

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  14. Wow, so sorry to read this. I’m sure the next couple of months will be difficult, but at least it’s the off season. Just take the time you need to heal, you will recharge your energy and enthusiasm and be back stronger than ever. There will be a Golden Ticket waiting for you at the Lake Sonoma finish line!

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  15. I had the exact same injury (on the right) and had to take SEVENTEEN months off because I did everything wrong for the first few months (including not using crutches...). Take full advantage of your time off and happy healing to you! You'll be back even stronger!

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  16. Kaci, you are a class act. I have no doubt that with patience, discipline, and your ever positive attitude you will be back stronger and more passionate than ever. Thoughts and well wishes to you

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  17. Thank you for reminding all of us that listening to our bodies and healthy rest is GOOD! Praying for a speedy recovery and growth along the way in this journey!

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  18. Oh we can be injury buddies! I got a metatarsal stress fracture at mile 41 of my 50 miler. I'm at the beginning of my 3rd week. We WILL be back!

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  19. Kaci, one only needs to look at your history to know what a talent you are. And you're a tough person to not just do so many challenging races in a short 5 years, but to also dominate them. You're super young and as long as you listen to your physio and coaches, you'll come back and will probably run better than before, AND SMARTER! Good luck in '18. -Albert Shank, Phoenix, AZ

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  20. Rock and roll. You’ll be back!

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  21. I'm glad you've overcome that ordeal. We all have bad chapters in our lives that can either make us stronger or keep us suffering. Thank goodness you didn't choose the latter. Getting the MRI surely helped a lot in you treatment and recovery. Not knowing what you're dealing with could double the suffering. Thanks for that inspiring story.

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