Monday, October 22, 2012

Facing the Facts

Once upon a time, about 10 years ago now to be precise, I fractured the L5 vertebrae in my back.

let's have an anatomy lesson, shall we?

 Does anyone else think that looks like an elephant?

That whole summer was full of a crap-ton of physical therapy, back braces and tears. It was me standing on the sidelines with my club volleyball team at the National Tournament down in Atlanta, half-cheering, half choked up. It was a hard summer.It also taught me a lot.

Also known as Spondylosis, a lower lumbar fracture such as mine doesn’t heal, ever. It’s always there. And so I was warned by my physical therapist at the time that my entire life would be a battle of keeping a strong enough core so that the fracture didn’t bother me. And I’m blessed to have made it through a collegiate volleyball career without it ever really becoming a problem.

Fast-forward 10 years, to about 2 weeks ago now. Day 1 of Physical Therapy with abusive Sean down in Baltimore, I was surprised when he randomly asked me ‘have you ever had any kind of lower back injury?’ 

Why yes, yes I have… and what does that have to do with my knee, and my IT band?

Funny how our bodies work, isn’t it? Actually, funny isn’t the world. Fascinating is more like it. And even in the midst of the lower back issues resurfacing early last week, I couldn’t help but be simultaneously fascinated along with frustrated. Sean called it, Day 1. It’s all connected. And as my weak hips/glutes (AKA ass muscles) slowly stopped working over the past 6 weeks, my IT band started overworking… eventually getting super angry, causing it to rub and cause that pain in my knee.

And my back? My back started trying to take over and help me where my hips and glutes no longer were. And today, as I sit here popping advil like it’s candy, icing my back and trying not to be bitter… I can officially say that I feel like I’m falling apart.

this came in the mail this week. perfect timing. i cried. 
So when I got home from my last ‘test’ three mile run last night, once again limping and in tears… I knew it would be nothing more than insane and irresponsible to try to run New York. And although the word insane has often been used on here to describe myself, and runners in general... well I’m just not that insane I guess. Because there’s too many other things I want to do than be injured for months on end.

who better to take advice from than Dumbledore.

Sidenote - whenever I'm sad, I often find myself turning to Pinterest for some encouragement...

You see, I have big plans. And at the age of 24, keeping the perspective that an IT band injury isn’t the end of my running career is what is helping me to keep my chin up. And after a long discussion with Sean this morning at PT, I know what it’s going to take to get where I want to be.  I 100% plan to run the Chicago Marathon next fall, and an abundance of halfs and even tris… possibly even a half ironman in summer/fall 2013.

Whaaaaaaat?? You don’t even know how to swim well Kait.

I know. But I can work on that.

I’m sad, but you guys already know that. And it helps me to do nothing but focus on forward progress at this point. I’ve been told coming back from an injury, if done the right way can be an extremely gratifying experience. That if I get strong where I need to get strong, and find some balance, that I can come back a stronger runner than I was say… this past September.

And I believe that, and will continue to tell myself that, even over these next couple weeks when running is completely out of the picture. (grimace)

So that’s the plan, there you have it. My evening will be full of putting together a ‘get strong’ workout plan for the time being, and getting creative with cross training options. That, and a whole lot of Taylor Swift's new album. Because let’s be honest, I’ll always be 14 at heart.

Would love some encouragement or any advice you guys. I’ll take anything I can get :)

Cheers to a chin-up type of week.


  1. HEY LADY! I love you and I'm SO sorry that you're missing ING :( I won't pretend like that doesn't SUCK. I'm so impressed with your attitude though and the Lord has a plan and a reason for you to muck through the crap, that I can promise. Chin up & keep on pushing through!



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