When Life Gives you Lemons – Race Year 2017

2017 was a rough year for me! Somehow despite it all, I managed to squeeze in a few races.

I started off  the year with knee pain and made several trips to the Orthopedist to dry to determine the issue. I was finally diagnosed with arthritis (thanks to my ACL surgery from 2001). I was cleared to run just in time to train up for two April races.

At the beginning of the month I paced my friend Cheryl during her Umstead 100 miler. I joined her for lap 5. We ran through complete darkness through beautiful Umstead park together for 12.5 miles. I was in awe of the energy she had 63 miles into her race! Cheryl is pretty freaking awesome.

Umstead 100

Next up was the Tar Heel 10 Miler in April. My training partner Jess encouraged me to join her and I figured, why not? It was a super hilly, super tough race but it was a lot of fun!

Tar Heel 10 Miler

My next goal was to get trained up on the bike for the Hincapie Gran Fondo but I continued to have knee pain while cycling. That took me to the physical therapist for the next two months. While there I learned how to strengthen my left gluteus medius and build back up to 20 miles. I had so much fun riding again.

August Cycling

Then the chronic daily headaches started. They continued to get worse over the course of two months.  For a short while this was accompanied with dizziness so I decided not to ride hincapie after all. It didn’t stop me from traveling down to South Carolina to cheer my teammates on!

Hincapie Gran Fondo

These headaches brought on a series of doctors visits with the chiropractor, primary care physician, eye doctor and finally the neurologist. The neurologist was able to temporarily break the headache cycle in and at least reduce them to a tolerable level. It was an amazing feeling be well enough to focus on simple things like cleaning the house! Anyway, I decided to take advantage and train just enough to complete the 13.1 mile distance.


This was probably my slowest race ever but it didn’t matter. I loved being out there, doing what I love and immersing myself in the race atmosphere which energizes me. It was a great way to end 2017.



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This entry was posted on January 30, 2018 and is filed under Jen's Journey. Written by: . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.