Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Long Road Back...

Leading the women’s field by more than 30 minutes a third of the way through the Kettle 100 in June,  LPTRunner Christine Crawford complained of constant pain in her hip and kept contemplating dropping out at “the next aid-station”.  This went on for several aid-stations as she would fall back, pick it up and then pass me again, only to slow due to the pain.   Those who know her and her iron resolve will be sympathetic with me when I say I thought she might just be sand-bagging and about to really take off.   

Eventually, to everyone’s surprise, she did actually drop.   True to her competitive nature, she second-guessed herself somewhat, wondering if she could have gutted it out.   The early diagnosis was a strained muscle and she tried to be diligent with her rest and recovery.  This didn’t last long as the continued pain was intense, interrupting her sleep and making her unable to function. 

In a second visit to the doctor, further tests and an x-ray revealed an almost complete Femoral neck fracture  (This is technical jargon for a broken hip).  Fractures of this nature are very serious as they are often accompanied by internal bleeding that can be fatal.  I shudder to think what would have happened if the fracture completed itself out in the middle of the meadows.  (At least they would have named the section after her for next year…!)

A non-surgical solution was desired to ensure that Christine to could eventually return to her competitive form.  This led to months of complications including slow healing, dangerous blood clots and more slow healing.   The constant specter of emergency surgery was held over her head as she tried to be extremely careful so as not to fall and worsen the condition.  During the recovery process she did end up falling and damaging her shoulder to complicate things further.

Not running and being isolated from her running friends and routine was understandably depressing.  Christine tried to stay in the mix by coming out for several Wednesday night post-run socials and keeping up with emails, but it was extremely hard to stay positive.

Finally she has turned the corner and been given the go-ahead to start running again (SLOWLY!!!).  However, Christine has only one speed – INTENSE – so hopefully she will be able to resist the temptation to hit the trails too hard right away as we all look forward to her complete recovery.  

She will be running half (25k) of the Funk Rd. 50, a trail celebration for Jeff Mallach’s birthday.  Her company has been sorely missed and it will be incredible to see her back on the trails again.  Welcome back Christine!!!

1 comment:

  1. The hardest part of coming back is not being able to keep up with friends. I expect Christine will be back to beating me by hours before too long.