ANOTHER
MOTHER RUNNER

What Would Another Mother Runner Do?

Ready for her first race: Kelin before the start of the 2012 Chicago Marathon.

Previously, on What Would Another Mother Runner Do (WWAMRD), we learned of the crafty daring of Ellison, who scared off an overfriendly, possibly threatening driver by pretending her Garmin was a wrist-mounted camera transmitting live images and location to the police. (We don't make this stuff up!) This installment introduces you to Kelin, a mother runner with two kids we met in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, a few weeks ago. Kelin immediately caught our attention as she was wearing a knee-high, black "boot" and walking with a crutch. Dimity has a honing mechanism toward injured runners, so she swooped in and drew out Kelin's story.

Kelin had started running to lose weight, but she continued because of a deep love for the sport. She'd signed up for the 2012 Chicago Marathon--her first-ever race--because she wanted to complete a 26.2 before turning 30 in 2013. (Yes, Kelin fully admits she is crazy for having a marathon be her debut race.) Come race day on October 7, Kelin was so pumped up at the starting line, she cried. Wiping away her tears, she set off running. Kelin spied her husband at Mile 18 and waved--she was feeling good. A mile later, volunteers were passing out bananas. Giving no thought to the banana peels on the ground, Kelin kept faring forward, feeling good. Then she hit a patch of peels (or just one especially slick one) and slipped. She didn't fall to the ground, but she felt her hip pop out its socket (which had happened to her before, just not while running) and something painful happen to her foot.

What would you do?

Sarah answers: I'm a big woos: I would have started crying immediately, hobbled to the sidewalk (if I could), then begged to be carried to the nearest medical tent--or emergency room. I would have continued crying for, oh, about the next week to 10 days. Maybe I'd even still be shedding tears of pain--and disappointment.

Dimity answers: First of all, I probably would've hit the ground and not tried to control the wipe out. Then I would've cried. And depending upon what the situation was--where my family was, where medical aid was--I probably would've hobbled up to get to them, then called it good. Not finishing would've really stung, but my guess is that the injuries stung a lot worse.

We suspect badass pride--and adrenaline--were masking the pain at this point.

What Kelin did: Proving she's a badass mother runner of epic proportions, she pushed her hip back into place (she assures us, "it usually takes a lift and a push and it's in," which is 411 we hope to never need) and ran the next mile. When she got to Mile 20, she shifted to walking, then ran the final .2 of the race. ("I couldn't walk over the finish line!" says the proud newbie runner.) She insists she was thinking more about finishing than how much she hurt. "I give up on a lot of things if they get too hard, but I'm almost 30 and tired of that! This is why I finished: I had to prove to myself that I don't quit.

What happened: In addition to suffering a dislocated hip, Kelin had (still has) two broken bones in her foot. But she reached her goal of completing a marathon before she turns 30.

What would you, another mother runner, do?

And if you’ve got a running-related moment you’d like some clarity on, via WWAMRD, feel free to email us at runmother [at] gmail [dot] com. Thanks!

20 responses to “What Would Another Mother Runner Do?

  1. I tore at hamstring at mile 10 of a half-marathon and hopped to the end, and I’ve done a face plant on a timing mat at mile 6.2 of a marathon and kept plodding along, but somehow I doubt I could have done eight miles on a dislocated hip and broken foot. Congrats on the finish with hopes for rapid healing.

  2. I bow to her badassery!!!!! I would have found my hubby (a doc) and MAKE Him put it back in, and then even if I had to walk the rest, finish it. She was too close not to finish it!! And I would probably curse the banana hander-outers!

  3. What an awesome story! I’d like to think I would persevere but I’m a bit of a baby. Congrats to you, way to make it happen!

  4. I ran the Richmond Marathon thinking I had broken my toe at mile 9 — ran on the side of my foot. Miraculously, the pain was gone by the time I got to my car and took of my shoe! It happened again this Sunday at the MCM — podiatrist diagnosis, hallux rigidus — turf toe. I cannot imagine quitting — finished NYC with pneumonia by walking alot, but ran across the finish line. Lunacy, yes, but my motto is I gave birth to three kids, I can do anything.

  5. I remember you telling me about this in Lake Geneva. I think you guys should send her some BADASS MOTHER RUNNER stuff…a shirt and a hat and she NEEDS a BAM sparkly band!!!

  6. She is the BESTEST mother runner….er, RUNNER ever! That is insanely awesome! She gets to live in that victory forever, and how cool is that?! WOW!

  7. I ran Chicago and there were banana peels at 2 aid stations and I am not surprised this happened, it was SLIPPERY! But, what a BAMR! I’m so proud of her! I would have done the same thing, finish no matter what! I know another BAMR who finished, my cousin. She injured herself weeks before the race, only got up to 16 mile long run. She changed her plan to two shorter runs a day and included pool-running for hours on end! She started out not knowing how far she would make it, but she finished! I think I’m more proud of her finish than I am my own!

  8. If I had a history of dislocating my hip, I would have done the same thing Kelin did. If that was the first time that happened, I would have lay there cried (and maybe vomited – dislocated joints make me woozy).

    I ran a 1 mile, downhill race with my 6 y/o with un-dx’d, but painful nonetheless, stress fractures in my foot last summer. Moms do what must be done regardless of pain. It’s why we’re the moms. 😉

  9. I would have done the same thing (assuming that I knew ,like she did, what to do about the hip). Congrats on the finish and thanks for the cautionary tale of banana peels!

  10. Incredible! I have no idea what I would do under that circumstance but I can almost see myself with a “die trying” attitude being so close to the finish. I had a rough go at about the same spot on my first marathon. I plowed ahead too, repeating in my head the mantra, “A bad finish is better than no finish.”

  11. I would probably do just what Kelin did. She’s great. I’ve only run one marathon, but I had food poisoning the day before. I spent the afternoon and night before throwing up, getting chills, and not keeping anything down. I wasn’t sure I’d even get to the start line. But, I did. I just kept saying to myself that I was going to finish. Thought I’d feel better if I died, but I didn’t. I walked most of the back half, but like Kelin, I ran to the finish line – no way was I walking it. I wouldn’t say it’s the smartest thing I’ve done, but I was determined.

  12. Oh my god, I barely continue running with shin splints, so I can’t imagine a dislocated hip and two broken bones. Sheez woman! You are a true BAMR!!!!

  13. Honestly, I don’t know. If it didn’t hurt too badly, I’d probably push through–but then again, I have no idea how much (or little) it would hurt to break two bones in my foot.

    That said, I know another marathoner who broke her foot during a marathon and ran the rest of it anyhow. Go figure!

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