Posts tagged Raydime
#TheComeBackKid


My knees were hurting after running a pretty fast 5k in early December. I had knee pain before but this time it felt different. No amount of icing and ibuprofen could take away the pain in my calves, quads, and knees. I had taken a break from running before but this time, my knees made that decision for me.  

I couldn't run. I really couldn't run. I had seen several doctors, had an MRI and X-rays, bought another knee brace and finally went to a couple of physical therapy sessions. I kept getting different diagnoses. Between the anticipation of a slow recovery process, not being able to run, and being told to just quit running altogether, I was devastated. All the copays, hours on the phone with my insurance, referrals, and needing to take time off from my already hectic schedule to get to a series of appointments was unbelievably frustrating.


Alison referred me to Finishline, a well-known physical therapy clinic in Manhattan. My therapist Alicia was also a runner, and so she understood why I needed to run again. Finally! We were figuring out all the different aspects of my injury that I had to work on rather than just thinking of quitting as the only solution!

As we started to address some form & technique issues, I learned a lot about what I was doing incorrectly. Our short term goal was to get me to run the Brooklyn Half in May (one week to go!). Long term: being the gray-haired old lady running miles on miles on miles.

For the next couple of months I took the time to do my physical therapy exercises/stretches 2 - 4 times/week before bed. I signed up with a gym and had my gym buddies lined up. I had my support system and my weekly PT sessions scheduled. I focused my time on meal prepping. It became like a new routine: PT at home and cheering my friends on from the sidelines. 

Sometimes I would feel defeated and sad because I was benched, but at the end of each day I knew something was paying off because my knee pain was slowly diminishing. The trick to feeling better about it mentally was keeping busy behind the scenes and visualizing myself joining ya'll on a run soon. I kept hearing April's voice in my head saying "you will come back faster and stronger". I had so many high hopes for myself post-injury and lots of supporters in Harlem Run rooting for me.

So even though it wasn't guaranteed that I would be able to run the BK Half, I still signed up when I got an email notifying me of my acceptance. Meanwhile, at Harlem Run, I was pacing the Walk It Out crew and feeling like my old self again. I even started running once a week for 10 min per my therapist's instructions... which, let's face it, really means I'm going to push 15 minutes. Eventually, I was able to run the Washington Heights 5k and got a huge rush of endorphins and motivation.

Even though I ran it successfully, the pain will still come back on occasion. I was so confused! How could I mess up again? And thats when the hard part really starts: the mental aspect. Self doubt fluttered around me. Will I be able to ever run again without pain? Can I do this? Will I have to give up my spot in the BK Half? Soon, the pain became consistent. No running at all, again. I took a step back, stopped PT and stopped going to the gym. I felt sad, defeated, and depressed.

I started running 2 years ago as a way to combat my anxiety and depression and now I was missing my most effective weapon. After a few weeks of soul searching, apathy, anger, and self loathing, I scheduled another PT session. I remember laying on the massage table and just crying while my PT worked out one of the many knots on my quads. I was embarrassed and my therapist was clearly concerned.

I opened up to her about my fears of not running, my brother's incarceration, my struggles to keep one of the last rent stabilized apartments left in Harlem and I made my way home feeling discouraged. But I went back the week after and the week after that. I went back to the gym too. I did my awkward but effective PT at home and went back to Bikram. The pain subsided again and soon after I was able to run 5 miles during a Monday night run. It was the motivation, the confidence, the push I needed to finally say it out loud: I will run the 2016 Airbnb Brooklyn Half. But more importantly I will run.

The Women of Harlem Run

All month long, we’ve been proudly supporting and celebrating Women’s History Month and honoring amazing women who have made an impact on Harlem, NYC, and even the world. Women like Natasha Hastings, Tiffany Dufu, and Bevy Smith are all individuals who have taken the initiative, broken the mold, and pursued their passions in a world where they have often been told that they could not.

As a fitness group that strives to empower people to make positive changes in their lives as well as the community at large, we value the tenacity and strength that women show everyday. No one can deny the impact that well-known women have made, but we also want to honor the women that you pass everyday on the street or sit next to on the subway that do so much for our community. We also want to take a moment to honor the women at Harlem Run who work day in and day out to make this movement happen.

Alison, our fearless leader, founded Harlem Run over two years ago. Her passion for running and her belief in using sports as a tool for personal and social change gave way to this incredible movement. Alison works around the clock to think of new and exciting ways to engage people in the community. Warmly greeting everyone with a hug on Monday and Thursday nights, she makes sure that everyone feels at home. Perhaps most importantly, she has been very open with her vulnerabilities and has shared her story with thousands of people, encouraging other women to share their own struggles, insecurities, and dreams.

 

Raydime, HR Captain, has lived in Harlem for her whole life, and knows all the ins and outs of the neighborhood. When she joined Harlem Run, she knew that it was more than just a weekly run for her; it was the chance to be a part of something larger than herself and a way to give back to the community that means so much to her. Raydime works tirelessly to promote the group. Whether she’s organizing the best cheer station in NYC at any given race or posting quirky, yet inspiring posts on social media, nearly everything she does is with the goal of making Harlem Run a loving space.

Kayla, HR Captain, joined the movement when she moved to New York and was looking to meet a few people while getting a workout in. Instead, she met her running family and instantly fell in love with a neighborhood that she had never explored before. Kayla started the HR blog that you are currently reading and knew that this was a powerful way to allow people to tell their stories in a way that feels comfortable to them. Kayla speaks openly about her body image struggles and weight loss story with the hopes of encouraging other women to begin to feel comfortable talking about these topics.

Lisa, HR Pacer, loves to tell the story of how she got involved in the group. She was recruited by her cousin Raydime, and was reluctant to begin running. That reluctance quickly turned to love and passion, as Lisa is now known for leading the Run/Walk group every Monday night. Lisa’s kindheartedness can be felt (and heard!) from miles away. She makes everyone in the group feel welcome and confident, no matter what their pace or ability level may be.

These four women don’t even begin to scratch the surface of incredible ladies that can be found at our twice weekly runs… But we wanted to highlight their abilities this week because they are great examples of how women can take their passion and light it on fire. Even if they are scared. We hope that that may encourage some of our fellow ladies to do the same! 

xoxo

-The Women of Harlem Run