For Those Who Can't

August 26, 2016 is a day I’ll never forget. I was helping a friend at a school event in Bed Stuy and decided to walk four miles over to Fort Greene to visit my boyfriend’s family. I noticed something was wrong with my right ankle and as it started swelling, the pain grew unbearable. Being a runner, my gut reaction was to panic, but I tried to remain optimistic that it would go down and I would be back to running in a couple of days. Little did I know that the pain and swelling would last for more than a year.

My doctor referred me to a podiatrist who told me that I had Achilles Tendinitis. I had never heard of this, so I read up on it, but soon grew discouraged. I f you ask anyone, they will tell you: I am obsessed with running! It allows me to be completely free, fearless and enables me to stay grounded. But Achilles Tendinitis threw a monkey wrench in my plans -  I feared that I would never run again.

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The 2017 NYC Half came and went (I had to defer to 2018) and I began to get frustrated at my rate of recovery. I began to question myself and why my ankle just couldn’t get better. I decided to step out on faith: I realized that in order to get better, I had to start with believing in my ankle’s capacity to heal, even though its appearance suggested otherwise.

With that in mind, I decided to invest in my efforts and started seeing a physical therapist. My initial sessions were rough: my balance was off and my right ankle swelled after each session. But in late May I started to see a huge improvement in movement and the swelling started to go down. In June, I felt that I was ready to get back into the gym.

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In the summer of 2017, I trained with the idea of the NYC Marathon being my comeback race, but I had to defer to 2018 as well. However, after falling off track with my diet (hello “see food” diet, goodbye portion control) I decided to train as if I was starting all over, and I began with focusing on cardio and strength training. In February, I continued to get stronger I and saw a post about the Harlem Run Stairs event. Interested, I saw this as my test to see if I can handle running on pavement and I signed up at the last minute.

The day before the event, I was nervous. Was I ready? Will I injure myself again? All these questions and more filled my thoughts. By the morning of, my fear switched to excitement and I couldn’t wait to go uptown. It was great to reunite with my running community and see great people I hadn’t seen in years (literally!). Even better was that I did three laps (the Stairmaster pays off y’all) with NO PAIN. It was at this point I knew I was ready for the 2018 NYC Half.

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My healing and recovery had finally come full circle. Last year, if you told me that I was going to run that race, I would’ve looked at you as if you were crazy. Last year I sat on my butt watching the elites cross the finish line on TV. Now, on March 18, 2018, I stood freezing in my corral, but I knew there was no turning back. No more second guessing, no more time for doubt; I either believed in my recovery or not.

At mile seven, I was overcome with emotion as I ran through Times Square with my sole sista, Tricia. I could not believe that I was not only running but completing a marathon post-injury. I felt great the entire time and seeing Harlem Run’s cheer section at Mile 11 was the icing on the cake. I felt like a champ as everyone gave me high fives and hugs. I was grinning and smiling all the way to the finish line. Upon crossing, I knew in my heart that I was back and reunited with my passion.

This experience taught me to be patient and that I can not only endure but thrive. I am grateful that I recovered and I don’t take one ounce of it for granted. Learning from my past mistakes, I now foam roll, stretch, observe my rest days, take multivitamins, watch my diet while still eating what I like in moderation, and drink plenty of water.

There are some people out there who can’t ever be active or run again after an injury. I run for them; I run for those who can’t.

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- Danixa

Danixa CarrComment
My Break From Running

I haven't run a race since the 2016 NYC Marathon. There were several reasons I didn't want to race anymore -- I felt like it was getting expensive on my wallet and my body. I was getting so tired of always have to deal with running injuries that I decided a break would be good for my legs and my mind.

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Taking a break for 2017 was such a great idea because it made me take a step back and fall back in love with running on my own terms. I didn't run as much as I used to but I made it count when I hit the road for some miles.

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I have yet to sign up for any 2018 races but I can't wait to get back into it. My main concern is to stay injury free and have fun with it. In the meantime, I am working on building my strength, focusing on my form, and FOAM ROLLING!

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- Jeff

Amir FigueroaComment
Harlem Run News - April 2018

SHAPE WOMEN'S HALF

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Our cheer squad will be holding down Harlem Hill where we  will get to see runners twice as they do two loops of Central Park. We'll be out there by 8:00AM, so come through and join us!

Boston Marathon 122nd Running

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We have some representing in Saturday's #BAA5K and Monday's Marathon. For those looking to join our cheer squad we'll be positioned at Mile 18 in Newton. We look forward to you joining in on cheering everyone on! 

Harlem Run Hikes

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Hello hikers! We will be heading to Bear Mountain located in Highlands, NY for a 4.5 hike (moderate ~3 hours). Our leaders for the hike will be Philippa Godoy and Portia Dudley.

DETAILS:
Date - Saturday, April 28th
Time - 8:30am, catching 8:54am train (train runs every hour, please arrive early)
Place: Meet at MetroNorth Harlem Station (or first car if you depart from another station)
Ticket: Purchase R/T ticket to Manitou Station - $29 r/t ticket (off-peak) - GREEN Hudson Line.
(From Manitou Station its 2 mile walk to the trailhead. Pre-hike warm-up, taxi is optional)
Pace groups: Moderate (slightly faster) and Casual (for beginners)
Lunch: Restaurant 1915 located at the Bear Mountain Inn
Departure: Trains leave Manitou Station at 4:26pm/5:26pm. Plan to get back to city after 6:00pm.

Parking available for $10/car. Pets welcome!

FACEBOOK EVENT PAGE

Amir FigueroaComment