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Around the Lake 24-Hour Ultra - July 26 - 27 2013 - Wakefield, MA

Three days after I placed 3rd overall woman at the 2012 Around-the-Lake 24-hour ultra, I underwent a scheduled outpatient laparoscopic hysterectomy to remove massive fibroids on August 1. On August 8, I was readmitted to the hospital with a small bowel obstruction. On Labor Day, I woke up with a high fever and body chills. I was back in the operating room. I learned that my left ureter had been transected during the hysterectomy. My body was filled with urine and sepsis was setting in. That explained the non-stop leaking. A nephrostomy tube was inserted in my left kidney to drain the urine. A urine bag was strapped to my left leg for 7 weeks. My left ureter was successfully repaired on October 23.The first time I shared my ordeal publicly was in Huffington Post. You can read it here.

I was on medical leave for about 6 months. I was unable to run. I lost 20 pounds. My hair began to fall.  But little by little, I began to go for walks. My first walk in September 2012 - 1.7 miles - took me 1 hour. Then I went for mini runs.  I began training again. In March 2013, I ran my longest training distance - 13 miles. But life is filled with twists and turns. In April, I was diagnosed rheumatoid arthritis.

But despite my new medical challenge, my once broken but healing body was there for me when I ran the Around-the-Lake 24 hour ultra again. I was on Methotrexate and Plaquenil for my RA. At the 7 pm start, we were graced by cool rain and a beautiful rainbow before darkness set in. The next day the sky was postcard blue, the sun shone bright yellow, and the air was super hot and humid. 

But I was happy! On July 27, 2013, my 28th wedding anniversary, I placed 7th in the women's division. And I was grateful to have completed 64.28 miles (six laps shorter than the previous year) in 18:48:09. I was so grateful to be alive and to put in the miles. I was pleased and happy to know that I could still do the distance. It was a healing run and part of my healing journey. And I could not have done it without my faith, prayers, God, and my crew and pacers - my son and my husband.  

I am also the author of Come What May, I Want to Run: A Memoir of the Saving Grace of Ultrarunning in Overwhelming Times. Read excerpts, praise, and reviews, and order the book here from the publisher, Amazon, Bookshop, or Barnes & Noble. My second Around the Lake 24-hr ultra was part of my healing journey and is one of many ultramarathon experiences that weaves through my memoir. 


Read more about my medicare nightmare and how ultrarunning saved my life:

Come What May; I Want to Run: How Ultrarunning Saved my Life

I Tackled 10 Ultras After Surviving a Life Threatening Surgical Mistake

in Women's Running Magazine

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