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.
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!