When I last updated about 2 months ago (sorry!), I was pretty frustrated– I wasn’t able to run because of my knee/IT issues, and I wasn’t seeing much progress. I was throwing myself a bit of a pity party, probably from the lack of endorphins and withdrawal from the bridle path.
And maybe I should re-name this blog “Lindsay Never Runs” because 2 months later, I’m back in the same place. Let’s rewind…
In early March, I started seeing Dr. Levine, a pseudo celeb in NYC running-land, for ART and Graston that really helped my leg. After a few weeks of seeing him 2x/week, I was seeing awesome progress. I also stopped cross-training because I thought spinning might not be resting my IT enough, and I wanted to get back to running ASAP. I finally eased into running…with no pain! I gradually worked my way up from a mile a few times a week (so. out. of. shape.) It felt SO good to reunite with my friends on the bridle path, and kickstart my day with some fresh air and sweat.
In mid-April, I had worked my way up to a long run of 6 miles (!) pain-free. While I was huffing and puffing slowly through Central Park, at least I was out there and nothing hurt. Times were good, friends!
In mid-April, I also got a bike and started bike commuting to and from work.
If you’re a fellow resident of the Upper East Side, you can empathize with how terrible the 4/5/6 train is each morning. My commute to work down on Spring St is easily the most rage-inducing part of my day, as the subways can be so ridiculously slow and crowded. Including a 10 min walk to the subway, my commute can take anywhere from 30-50 minutes depending on the day. It shouldn’t. However, it takes ~30 minutes to bike door to door and is so much nicer (except the part of 2nd ave where the bike & car lane are one. eeee).
The night of my bike’s one week birthday, I was riding home from hanging with my sister who was in town from LA for work. It was around 10 p.m., but still plenty of cars/people outside. I was biking up 1st Avenue in the bike lane, and as I approached 79th street, the light turned from green to yellow. I went through the yellow since I had full momentum on the bike.
Well, the cab heading east on 79th street had a different idea as he went through his red light, likely in anticipation of the light turning green soon. In the process, he hit me and knocked me off my bike. Thankfully, I was wearing my helmet, didn’t lose consciousness, or visibly break any limbs or worse. I even tried to get up and insist I was fine, I was only 9 blocks from home after all, but felt shooting pains in my lower back and side when I tried to lift myself up.
And so, kind strangers helped get me to the sidewalk and called me an ambulance. They helped me call my friend Noelle who lives close by, who met me as I was in the ambulance and came to the hospital with me and called my sister. Even though I knew I was okay physically for the most part, I couldn’t stop bawling. It was so scary, I don’t think I’ve ever been in an ambulance before?
I went to the ER (thanks, kind staff at NY Presbyterian Cornell!), bike and all, and got checked out. Thankfully, they thought it was just extreme muscle soreness and nothing was broken– I left close to 3am, prescription for pain meds in hand. It hurt to walk and bend, so I didn’t leave my apartment for 5 days. I half-worked from home on Thursday and Friday just to combat my boredom and feel productive.
I can’t express how thankful I am for the support of friends and family who kept me company when I couldn’t get out of bed or move far from my couch and delivered delicious things like flowers, Pinkberry and cupcakes to my door. Who walked with me from the 24/7 pharmacy to my apartment at 3:30 am so I wouldn’t have to leave the next day to fill my prescription. Who put up with me when all I wanted was extra sauce on my chicken parm hero and Luigi’s forgot it. Who brought me bagels and coffee while we were glued to the couch watching Boston coverage. Who came with bottles of wine and food to have a girls night in and plot my return to Boston ’14 (more on that another day). Who delivered my laptop from the office and a 6-pack and pint of ice cream. (Guys, I’m literally not moving from my bed, I don’t need any more food. But I’ll eat every last bite, thanks.)
And everyone who sent amazing emails, texts and tweets wishing me well and offering to help in any way. That meant the world to me! There is no better feeling than to know you have a large support network in such a big city that often times still doesn’t feel like home. And the biggest shoutout to my mom, who spent all of Wednesday cleaning my apartment, doing my laundry, and making me food. She is the best and I’m thankful to have family so close.
I returned to work (slowly) on Monday, still a bit out of it thanks to the Percocet. I went to my primary care doctor to get a referral for x-rays, as the sides of my ribs were a bit tender and I hadn’t felt that immediate after the accident. We also did a saline injection on the primary spot of pain in my lower/mid back which seemed to help alleviate some discomfort. Which was good, because on Thursday night I had vacation plans to head to Iceland!
Not gonna lie, the pain put a damper on the trip for me as the pain is pretty constant with every step, but I had a blast! Until one morning I was stretching out my back muscles and felt a ‘pop’ in the side of my rib cage followed by immediate shooting pain. I immediately thought I popped a rib out of place and panicked. There were tears and lots of ice packs, followed by slow movements the rest of the trip. I decided to wait it out until I returned home since I was scared to go to the ER in a foreign country and didn’t want to miss out on vacation.
We flew back to NYC on Monday night, and once I got back to my apartment, weirdly came down with a high fever and terrible aches/chills. Because I’m a symptom Google-r, I was immediately convinced my dislocated rib had led to an infection in my lung like pneumonia and I was dying. I tried to sleep it off but woke up at 3:30am and felt terrible. So, at 4 am I checked myself back into the hospital so they could take a look at my ribs and do an x-ray immediately. And because I’m a baby when I’m sick, I called my mom and she drove into the city to meet me as soon as I was done with x-rays. (I swear I’m an adult).
Thankfully, nothing is broken or fractured, though I’m still not sure what that ‘pop’ was in my ribs. Seems like I just severely tore/aggravated/inflammed the muscles around and in between my ribs after being weakened from the accident. It still really hurts, especially when moving from side to side when sleeping, and I can’t really cough or breathe deeply without feeling aggravation.
So, it’s been nearly 3 weeks since my accident, and thus, 3 weeks in which I haven’t done any type of exercise. Given that it still hurts to walk and breathe, I don’t think I’ll be returning to running anytime soon…
It’s also been 1 year since I last ran a race (Boston 2 Big Sur), which is probably the longest period since I started running 13 years ago. Depressing, to say the least. Due to crazy busyness/stress, I pulled out of Chicago ’12 in mid-August because I couldn’t handle high volume training at the time. I had to skip a few winter tune-up races and the NYC Half because of the stupid IT/knee issues, and I definitely won’t be able to run (even for fun!) the Brooklyn Half.
So many race fees down the drain, so many doctor’s co-pays, so many depressing thoughts and feelings of helplessness. It’s been a not-so-great year on the running front (and my bank account), to say the least.
At least I have a bit of time on my side, for now. While I’d like to be spending May building a semi-solid running base to kick off training for Chicago ’13 instead of on my couch, realistically I have until June to really start laying the foundation with 4 months out. I won’t attempt to run or exercise until the pain is fully gone. It’s also still too soon to tell if anything else is out of whack or misaligned from the accident that could pop up once I start running.
But I have my health, and I know that the accident could have been so much worse if the driver was going faster, he hit me at a different angle, I fell differently, etc. It also happened the day after the Boston Marathon, which really put everything in perspective. I will run again, it’s just a matter of when and how fast. ‘Till then, you can find me walking slowly, consuming mass amounts of froyo and margaritas, and watching terrible TV re-runs.
And yes, the bike came away entirely unscathed