Today’s memory is about a fun race with my daughter, Karlee and my first broken bone on July 30th 2011.
The setting was a 5-mile obstacle, mud, slides, creeks, walls, balancing and climbing race in Marysville, OH. My daughter Karlee opted to do the race with me, promising to be super careful not to get injured since she was about to return to college in a week, starting her Junior year at Wilmington and also the cross country team.
The race started and right off the bat, we were all bottle-necked between trees and a chain link fence as we entered the woods and grassy trails. After getting out of the rat-pack, we proceeded right into a creek and five sets of walls and picnic tables that we had to climb over. We had to rely on the help of one another to get over many of the high walls. After that, we went through a tire obstacle course and that’s when it happened. I tripped up in one of the smaller tires, my ankle snapped and down I went. Karlee heard me fall (and probably the choice words I said) and yelled “MOM”! I sat there for a few seconds getting my bearings. I knew I’d done “something” but wasn’t sure “what” exactly. My ankle felt warm and tight but I was still able to bear weight, so I got up and walked through the rest of the tires and proceeded gingerly on through the rest of the course, telling Karlee to take off and finish, that I’d be ok; just a bit slow.
There were seven stacked straw bales and some tunnels, a very slippery, ribbed plastic balance beam (farm drainage tile I’m told) and that was covered in mud from the pit that we went through just before it, a low tunnel covered in black plastic to belly crawl through, a rocky hill to climb and then slide back down the other side, four giant slip n’ slides (my favorite part) and a tough, muddy finish at the Union County Fairgrounds. We made a lap around the horse race track and then a final zigzag through the middle of it as we made our way through the post-tractor pull muck and a few final mud and water pits. I passed a couple of buff military-looking dudes at the end as I sprinted to the finish so I felt pretty badass about that! My finish time was nowhere near where I’d planned, but with my ankle now starting to seriously hurt, I had slowed it down to a cautious pace for the remaining 4 miles after my fall. I took off my shoe and my friend Brandon found me a bag of ice and that’s when the swelling and pain hit me. I was finding it very tough to bear weight after that and so my other friend Peter gave me a piggyback ride to the food and awards area. We knew a few of our run group folks were most likely going to get age group medals so we all gathered to wait for the announcements. Little did I know, I was going to be one of them, considering how much time I had lost! Much to my surprise, my name was called for 3rd place in the 40-49 age group!
I ended up having a broken foot (cuboid avulsion fracture) and a severely sprained ankle! I didn’t learn this until almost 2 days after the race when my inability to bear weight on my left foot was starting to worry me. I was put in a walking boot for 4-6 weeks, as I refused to wear a cast. I healed up nicely and went on to run a half-marathon in Dayton 6 weeks later, with only a little aqua jogging in the pool as training.
Aside from the memories of my first bone break, the special part of this day that is always in mind and heart, was that I got to do something epic with my daughter. We had a blast. I never got to do fun things like this with my mother and I hope one day, she will look back on this day with fond memories and smiles. Not many mother/daughter duos can say they’ve competed together in a muddy, obstacle run!