Monday, August 8, 2011

Hanging in there!!

Life has been quite a whirl wind the last three weeks, but I thought I would start off by posting a picture of me with my new hair color. Been wanting to go darker for awhile, and I absolutely love my new hair color. I darkened it right before AC, & it's lightened up a ton in the last month since the pictures from above. It's fun, and I think fits me perfect. Jesse loves it to which really is all that matters to me anyways! LOL...

Above is a picture of my son on the Ernie Maxwell Trail in The San Jacinto Mountains. A couple weeks back myself, my son, and Jesse took a great little weekend trip up to Idyllwild, and had a ton of fun. We got some great little runs in, and it was a good taper before Angeles Crest 100. It was great because neither myself or Jesse could keep up with Tyler. He dropped us like it was nothing! Amazing that boy!! Interestingly enough though while up there I definitely felt some pain in my hip, and knew that it was same injury from before that occurred in my Labrum. I had actually started to feel in back in April @ Labor of Love 100, but was in complete denial it was bugging me again. I had a ton of prolotherapy treatments on it back in early 2010, and was pretty convinced it was healed. When my ITband started acting up back in December I could also feel pain in the hip area, and I knew the IT issue was all related to my Labrum tear. I spent all of April, May, & June just pushing through the pain in hopes that it would  subside, and I could make it through AC. Sometimes it would hurt, but then other times I wouldn't really feel it at all.

I have decided I do not want to spend a ton of time talking about what I went through at AC, and how I am recovering. The bottom line is I am on the path to recovery, and am doing great. I love my life so much and am just super focused on getting better. I have kept all that is going on between myself and my close circle of family & friends. My friends are my family, and I love you all to death(Jesse, Pammy, T, Jimmy & Kate, Wick & Faye, Anne & George, Erin, June, Bev, Scotty, Carmella, Molly, Dorrine, Skelley,&Karl) thanks for your support!!  My goal is to get better once and for all, and just come back stronger than ever!! I cannot imagine my life without my amazing Jesse, and I do want to touch on my experience at AC with him....

Cool Link & Video of me at AC:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=21PcMl0Zlzk

Jesse & Wick did all my training with me for AC. Two weeks before AC Jesse went and kicked ass at Harding Hussle 50k, and won. He is my superstar, and actually did the race in 4 hours...thats a 50k with about 7,500 feet of gain & loss. Him and Wick train a ton together also because Wick & Faye moved down the street from us so together those boys are just insane! Wick won Tahoe 50mile, and I cannot wait to see what he is gonna do @ Wasatch, and what my Jesse is gonna do at Mt.Dissapointment 50k.


Ok so back to Angeles Crest. When I toed the line at the race I felt ready, but knew my hip was gonna be an issue. Usually it would start to hurt after about 30-40 miles of running so my plan was to just get through the second half, and take ibuprofin if needed. Jesse was my crewing me during the day with Molly, Dorrine, and Charlie. Then at night he would pace me the last half, and Carmella would crew. Unfortunately my hip started to hurt me within the first 10 miles, and never let up. I was cuaght off guard by this forsure. Below is a picture of me coming into three points aid station(mile 40ish), and expressing to Pam what was going on. This picture speaks for itself....
So as the race progressed the pain just became unbearable. I picked up Faye at Mile 52, and she paced me for a bit to Shortcut where I picked up Jesse. We ran really strong for a bit, but the ibuprofin was just not working anymore, and he could tell I was struggling. My whole left side was in pain, and I was starting to feel serious pain in my left knee. When we left the Cloudburst aid station together the pain was almost unbearable. I struggled to run down into the canyon before the climb up to Chantry, and at some point had started to just limp. Walking was the only option, and I could feel the tears streaming down my cheek. My race was completely unraveling, and it was dark, and I was a mess. We still had about two miles to go to get up to the mile 74.5 aid station, and thats when Jesse stopped me. He turned off his headlamp, and said, " You are the most beautiful and amazing woman i know". He hugged and held me tight then kissed my forehead and wiped my tears. We could hear faint voices coming towards us, and he explained that it was Paulette, and to encourage her as she passed. When she passed her pacer David James shouted out some encouragement, and I told her to hold onto first place, and to not let Maggie catch her. I didn't want to tell her I was gonna drop @ Chantry because I wanted her to win, and i knew she would run harder if she thought I was chasing her. Once she passed me into the dark night, and I knew they were long gone I fell into Jesses arms. He held me so tight as we stood at the base of the creek that runs under the deep woods of the campground down below Chantry Flats. I could hear a party going on at a campground ahead, and he just held me as I cried. He whispered to me you are the bravest woman I know, and I am so proud of you. I love you with all my heart Keira, and all I want you to do is make it to Chantry without letting anyone else pass you. He grabbed my hand and we started to hike together side by side. We picked up the pace, and step by step hand in hand we somehow made it up to the aid station. I quickly gathered with my crew, and tried to just get out of there without talking to to many people. I was in a serious amount of pain, and knew I just needed to get home, and move forward in the direction of getting better, and back to being 100% healthy. Luckily that is what I have done, and am excited to announce I am doing great. One day at a time, but healing fast, and recovering well. It will be a little while before I race again, but when I do return I will finally be completely better.

A couple days after the race I had lunch with one of my best friends Jimmy Dean Freeman. He is without a doubt like family to me, and has seen me go through a ton of changes this last year. Jimmy and I have this really special bond that will always be, and we went into great discussion over lunch about the Ultra community, and our close circle of family and friends here in So-Cal. I explained to him how Jesse was blown away @ AC by  all the love and support he saw at all the aid stations for me & jimmy. Jesse had never seen this side of the sport before as he is new to it all, and for the first time saw first hand how connected we all our. Everyone knows everyone, and we all have each others backs. The So-Cal Ultra community is like one big huge family, and we all are connected by someone in a very cool sort of two degrees of separation. He was amazed how somehow everyone knew everyone by ways of pacing, crewing, and just all being a part of this amazing sport we call Ultra Running. It truly is a huge family, and I cannot imagine not having it in my life. I love the people, being out at the races, and just being a part of such a great group of human beings. We all help each other so much, and it's such a great family to be apart of. The sport is BOOMING, and it's so awesome to be at the heart of the So-cal movement!!! I have no problem taking a backseat for a bit to get better, and be on the other side of it crewing and supporting Jesse at his races. After Mt.D he has Bulldog. So excited!! To achieve anything requires faith & belief in yourself, vision, hard work, & sheer dedication. I am 100% committed to getting better, and still enjoying the love of my sport. ;o)

I also want to give a huge shout out to my friend Karl Stutleberg as he has started a new coaching program. Below is a little info about his program...

Karl Stutelberg (www.cuttingedgerunning.com) provides CUSTOM TRAINING PROGRAMS for all race distances from beginner to advanced runners, as well as COACHING SERVICES that will allow him to help guide you, with professional advice, through the training process. He uses his EXPERIENCE as a lifelong runner, his MEDICAL BACKGROUND as a licensed Physical Therapist in southern California, and his KNOWLEDGE as a USATF Level 1 coach when designing your program. This combination keeps his custom training programs on the "CUTTING EDGE" with the latest training tools that will propel you toward your goals! 
He also blogs weekly on his own training and writes short articles on running related topics.  He will answer questions submitted via his blog. 
His training programs include a core exercise program designed for runners that has been proven to help prevent injuries and improve form and running economy.  Finally, he offers phone consultation on any running related topics to help adjust your current program if you feel like you have plateaued. 
The motto of Cutting Edge Running is "helping runners of all levels achieve goals."  Karl has a passion for all aspects of running from track, to road racing, and trail running and enjoys seeing others succeed.  

I am also very excited to announce my amazing partnership with InkNburn for Griffith Park Half Marathon(http://griffithparktrailruns.com). They are such a cool company, and make incredibly great apparel for endurance sports. There clothes are extremely comfortable to run in, and what's great is they are one of the only companies out there putting art directly onto all of there apparel. Check out www.inknburn.com/ to see what all the buzz is about. There stuff rocks! I cannot wait to see what kinds of cool designs they come up with for  Griffith Park!!

I am in the works of a few more cool races I am putting together, and I cannot wait to be able to make those events happen! Sometimes life does not go exactly like we want it to, but every person and moment has a purpose and reason for happening. Here is what I firmly believe:
IN LIFE YOU CANNOT CONNECT THE DOTS LOOKING FORWARD; YOU CAN ONLY CONNECT THEM LOOKING BACKWARDS. YOU HAVE TO TRUST THE DOTS WILL SOMEHOW CONNECT IN YOUR FUTURE. ALL PEOPLE HAVE A PLACE IN YOUR LIFE, AND ALL THINGS HAPPEN FOR A REASON. 

**LIFE IS AWESOMESAUCE**




8 comments:

  1. Great write up! Keep on trucking!

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  2. Hello Keira! I missed you by minutes at Newcomb. There was a mix-up with drop bags (Mt Hillyer's bags ended up at Millard) and it was decided that I would run them out to Shortcut so nobody ran in the dark (flashlights in drop bags!). Thankfully, everyone got their missed bags by either Shortcut or Newcomb! Yea for the radio guys....again! It wasn't our fault and not our job to fix, but we did anyway! But enough about drop bags!

    Gerry said you looked great coming into Newcomb! He said you were smiling so imagine our shock when we got the word you dropped just 6-miles later! We even had them double check!

    I asked if they could get you over to the video monitor, but that didn't work out...my loss!

    You brighten up a check point when you come in and you hide the pain well! Also, no "poor me" attitude! You inspired the other runners which is a testament to your character as a woman, an ultra-runner, a mom, a friend! This is why its so easy to LOVE YOU!

    BTW, who is the Jesse guy and should I be worried?! ;-)

    I'm looking forward to working with you again!!!

    Dino (your) Darling - KX6D
    AC-100 Radio Communications

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  3. Sorry to hear about your AC race.
    Awesome that your are staying positive and loving life.

    I just had surgery for my torn labrum 2 weeks ago. They had to fix it, remove the shredded up cartlage, and then file down the hip socket. It sucked but I have been running injured on it for 2 years.

    Anyways if you need any info about the surgery let me know. The top doc in the nation is in Van Nuys. I should be off crutches in a week and running again by mid October. I might try to run Los Pinos but it will be under an alias because it will take over 12 hours to finish. HA!

    -Hone

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  4. First of all, thank you Dino for doing that. I wondered what happened to the drop bags at Mt Hillyer, but it wasn't a big deal to me as it didn't impact my race.

    Keira - You are the most awesome awesomesauce in my book, and can't wait til you return healthy.

    See you this weekend!

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  5. Love your post and your attitude!

    Might see you around the Mt. D race, not running it but I'm running around there with some other peeps.

    Can't wait for Los Pinos 50k!!!!!

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  6. Yay!! Love you Chris!! I will be there with my cane! Jesse bedazzled it with Rudy Project, Recover eas, & Salt Stick stickers...friggin hillarious! Yay Los Pinos!!!! You are gonna kill it, but you gotta race Jesse and Wick! ha! xoxoxo!!

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  7. Keira, dearest, I watched you go at AC and was so rooting for you, and then to wake up and see you not go anymore...I knew something's up! Man, don't I know injuries and pain!!! Sucks! Like Hone, I've been on labrum tear for 5 years now, and keep fooling myself as it gets better...then worse, then a bit better again (worse now). Then, got stress fracture at OD in June, took time off, came back too much, tore plantar piece 2 days ago. God tells me something, heal! I tell you, I am so with you on our community, our family. It is especially true as I am an immigrant to the country, and that's the only family I have. Went to help out at the race - missed all so much!!! And it's only been a month since the Hardrock I helped out at! Like, I need it like breathing.
    You go, girl, make the most out of life the way you do.

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