May 1, 2015

Artsy Endeavors + Life Updates: Stress Reaction

20 miles later...{throwback}
 filled a whole journal for the first time in forever
 even rainy days can be beautiful
 mint tea mornings
 when your food matches your outfit
stumbled upon this gem on our morning run
photos from my instagram

Two weeks ago, I ran twenty miles straight.

Today, it's a monumental task to even walk to class. 

My relieved return to normal training was an all-too-brief reverie. Reality soon shattered it--after a few runs, I could barely walk without excruciating foot pain. 

Monday's MRI identified the culprit--a stress reaction of my 5th metatarsal. In an MRI, normal bones should show up black, but this one lit up white. Had I run any longer, the base of my toe might've fractured. The picture also revealed a very strained achilles tendon, which had likely been compensating for the weakness in my bone. 

I'm now confined to a walking boot and crutches, but that's the least of my worries. The physical pain pales in comparison to the emotional battle. After my last injury, I vowed to do everything right: I gently eased back into running, cross trained half my workouts, and continued to do strengthening exercises. I felt bad enough that I had fallen short of my goal once already. I felt like I was falling behind--I couldn't help but feel wistful as I scrolled through updates of old teammates competing in college cross country races, or completing full marathons in impressive times. I wanted to be them for those moments. I was angry at my body for failing me. I was angry at myself.

Similar emotions have definitely resurfaced. I feel incapable, frail, and embarrassed that I've fallen short again. What if I actually can't physically handle a marathon? What else can I do to prevent injuries if I'm training carefully, eating well, and sleeping enough? Why do I keep hurting myself?

But what's happened has happened, and I can't change it. I can only adapt. There's a tough road ahead, especially if I want to tackle another race in five months. But first, I have to take care of my body.

While the result of my second attempt is deeply disappointing, it wasn't futile. The workouts have led me to discover trails I had always dreamed of exploring. Rehab has allowed me to meet the incredibly kind and patient sports med team at Amherst and connect with other injured athletes. Training has pushed me to run the farthest and feel the fittest I have in my life.

It might look like a sad ending, but this story is far from over.

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Join the conversation!

  1. boo, it really sucks when our health fails us and I so feel your pain! I have been on painkillers since Tuesday and am obviously not happy at all. so I really really really hope you will be as fine as you possibly can and me too. because summer is approaching and we just have to be fine then, right?! by the way, I'm in love with that leopard+gold+brown look. absolutely stunning! oh and that tiny cupcake looks tempting! :P have a beautiful new week, dear Lily!

    - Part of

  2. Please don't berate yourself. Sometimes our bodies can take things, other times they can't. You have SO much on your plate- perhaps this is a sign that you need to take it a bit easier. I hope it gets better soon dear girl. xxx

    Kezzie AG

  3. You are strong inside and outside. You are a warrior. Best of all is that you aren't letting these stressors defeat you. You've fought off several demons before, and these are no different. Much love to you, Lily.


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