I’m not even sure where to begin. This past weekend was a glorious, laugh-filled, sleep-deprived adventure, one of those weekends that speeds by in a blur yet seems to contain a week’s worth of moments. It’s almost hard to write about it now. Sifting through all that happened, I find myself missing everything and everyone so much that my heart hurts.
From last Thursday through Sunday, I was lucky enough to spend all day and night with an incredible group of vegans. We laced up our running shoes in the wee hours of Friday morning and took turns running a 200(-ish)-mile relay through the Adirondack mountains, all wearing matching black gear boldly emblazoned with the words “Strong Hearts Vegan Power.” At four teams of twelve runners, plus a handful of van drivers, we were a force, representing not only vegan athletic prowess but compassion for all beings.
This race was significant for me for so many reasons. There’s the obvious: that it was amazing to spend several days with a massive group of vegans (more on that next), but it was also a huge milestone for me personally. The recovery from my stress fracture after the NYC Half in March was painfully slow—not physically painful, since I was pain-free from about two weeks post-injury, but mentally it was torturous. The initial MRI results were crushing, and when the follow up MRI eight weeks later still showed a small fracture I felt frustrated and betrayed by my body. Another eight weeks later, in mid-July, a third MRI showed no fracture but minimal residual fluid in the bone, enough for my conservative doc to give me another 4 weeks to go.
There were moments where I considered hanging it all up. The swimming I’d been doing during my recovery went from being a pleasant change of pace to this thing that I was doing because I still couldn’t run (in case my coach is reading, that came back around—yay swimming!). It became clear that there was no way I’d be able to build enough mileage to run the Philly Marathon in November and, since things hadn’t been trending so hot, I felt doubtful that the Philly Half or 8k that same weekend would even be possible alternate options. Completing my 9+1 for next year’s NYC Marathon was starting to look iffy, and then there was this Ragnar thing that I’d been dying to run with this group of vegans, which was in September and I wouldn’t be able to even start running until mid-August….