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. You can read more about my ordeal 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.
Read more about my medicare nightmare and how ultrarunning saved my life:
in Women's Running Magazine