Accidents Happen

For most people doing a race/event means a time for rest after. For me, after 24 hours I am up and ready to go mentally. After Ottawa memorial day came and went. The following Tuesday as I was lacing up my shoes Kevin said “Don’t go and run yet. You aren’t tired?”. Physically I was sore, and a bit fatigued. But nothing too crazy. Wouldn’t active recovery help?

Needless to say I sat down. Don’t argue with someone who has more experience and has done better than you. He was probably right–going to the bathroom upstairs was a bit of an effort. I was perfectly capable of looking for another race. I was pretty fired up to qualify for the Boston marathon. I have no explanation of this–until Ottawa it hadn’t even landed on my radar. But now that it was there–I was going. Low and behold, I found the Philadelphia Marathon. The weekend before Thanksgiving. Perfect. Being the JV Girls Soccer coach this wouldn’t conflict with the season. And the long training would be after the season was over.

We signed up, I booked the hotel and by Thursday I was off. I biked and ran all over the place. One of the students asked how fast I could run a mile. I honestly had no idea. So-one day after school I went to the track. Jogged a mile and ran one HARD. 6:25 min. Not bad. Then I wobbled another mile just to make it count as a workout. I began to read and look into plans. I decided to use Hal Higdon’s Advanced Plan. Begin July 1st. But until then–I had a relay leg in the local marathon and a lot of training to do.

I had signed the Girls Lacrosse team up to work an aid station for the Lake Placid marathon. That took up most of my day. It was good because I thought I was going to run 6 miles but I had been ‘downgraded’ to 4 by the ‘team’. At the time the team were some women I hardly knew. I’m still not sure how they ended up with me. They were all pretty hard-core athletes. Now—we are friends. That must have been our introduction.

I began to run quite a bit. And–needless to say that can be rough on the body. My knees started to ache while my brain pushed on. I ebbed and flowed with workouts; hard and easy for proper recovery. I truly had no idea what I was going. I started my plan on July 1st and was killing it.

It was like fate had another plan. On July 13-after a swim with a friend had been cancelled due to rain, I reluctantly decided to ride. Sometimes you should just stay home. As I was heading out, about a half mile from my house and large truck didn’t put on the their turn signal and turned. They were going FAST. I, a fairly inexperienced biker, couldn’t stop and smashed into the side of the truck. I took out the passengers mirror with the back of my head, which hit the top of the window coming out. What took seconds felt like years. Stunned, I didn’t know what to do. The driver, I knew–in fact—I worked with at school.

Just as a note–if this happens to you. You should really follow all legal guidelines. Get the authorities. File a report. Go to the doctor. The local police arrived and I told them I was going to walk home. They said they were the village police and this occurred on the village line so the state troopers would have to handle it if I wanted anything to be done. Truly–I wanted to go home. The driver who hit my offered me a ride–I was floored by that. I got around the corner from the accident and began yacking everywhere. Someone asked if they could help and I asked for a ride to the Urgent Care. They took me. Thank you for living in a small town and thank you to whoever drove me. I still have no idea who it was.

Urgent care was more enamored with the details of the accident, the lack of a police report, the disorientation of myself. I was there three hours. I was completely bruised and quite confused. Didn’t help that I had lowered my insulin and was now going through ‘some sort of shock’. They concluded my back was intact but I had a pretty serious concussion. The head of the Urgent Care, whose wife I worked with drove me home. He also called my work and told them I couldn’t work for a week. As a teacher with no summer income–this was quite devastating.

Went I got my bits of sleep I became more and more sore. Like–seriously sore. All of the bones. Especially the knees. It hurt to sit and to walk. It was my bike and helmet that brought me to tears. My helmet was in a million pieces and my bike was quite bent. Un-rideable.

The next day Kevin took me swimming. I got out to the dock in Mirror Lake and floated back in. I hung out on the beach with Flo until Jamie and Kevin were done swimming. It was a nice day but I couldn’t function. We went to the bike shop who said when if I needed their help filing with insurance to let them know. Whoopss—didn’t file any reports so no insurance. Need to buy a new bike.

My friend Joanne was adamant in getting me out on a bike again. I am to this day thankful for her persistence. Seven days after my accident we tried out bikes at the Ironman Village in Lake Placid. It helped me see that when accidents happen, two are involved. This one wasn’t me.

I got over this but it certainly has left a few thoughts:
a) if in an accident file all paperwork and push for justice (even if you know the person)
b) accidents hurt–physically and mentally. Heal both.
c) forgiveness is key–I would have back aches for the next few years. The guy who hit me would chuckle about it. It would make me hostile. In hind site–he wasn’t sure how to handle it and I shouldn’t have said anything to him. We were both at fault. He always uses his turn signal now. I am confident that has helped him at some point. For me, I learned about the value of forgiveness.

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