Through Pain, a 5-yr Finisher
November 16, 2012
by Colin Staubach
On the morning of June 19th I was struck by a full size pick-up truck while riding my bike to work. The impact sent me into another lane of traffic and my bike ended up under the front wheel of the truck. Fortunate not to have broken any bones, the impact from the truck bruised my left side from the neck down and the asphalt breaking my fall took out my right side. After the emergency room and an MRI, I laid in bed for 2 weeks, getting up only for food, the bathroom, and pain medicine.
Two months of doctor visits and physical therapy would follow before I was able to ride a bike again. I knew I had already signed up for the 2012 IMM and had been more excited after hearing about the recognition of 5 year participants. Even though I had not walked a pain free mile in over 3 months, I wanted that 5-year medal.
With the support of my wife and the help of a great physical therapist, I rode a bike for the first time since the accident on August 19th and went out for my first jog on August 24th. It was painful and every run that followed ended with 5-gallon bucket ice baths and ibuprofen. The thought of being able to complete this year's IMM half marathon was my motivation to push on.
Back in November of 2008, neither my wife nor I had ever run a distance longer than 10K (Dick Lugar/Butler) in our lives, but we decided the inaugural running of the Monumental Half Marathon would be our first half marathon as well. We both grew up on the Northside of Indianapolis and we fell in love with the course before we had even run the first race. The course goes by so many of Indianapolis's treasures, the more you know about the city, the more you appreciate the route. After completing the half in 2008 we both knew that this was going to be OUR race every year. We mark our calendars well in advance and we have started taking the Friday before as a personal day just to enjoy the expo and be at our best for race day morning.
I was as ready as I could be and I had used the idea to "just finish" the race to push me through the frustrating moments, however, deep down, I wanted to be under 2:00:00. In all my training runs a 9:09 pace was not possible for me to maintain over distance and would quickly bring about pains from my accident that would shut me down and keep me from finishing. I had accepted finishing at any time for this race, but if my body would let me, I was going to go for it. The first 2 miles went by and I was running faster than I should have been. I needed to start slower and I was already getting warning signs from my right knee and heel that I needed to slow it down. I fell back from my wife's pace and I "Settled In" (as a wise spectators sign advised). I found my comfort zone and began to enjoy running along the streets I have driven on all my life. The kindness of the volunteers and the little elevation change allowed me to conserve energy and gain confidence for a final push. When I saw the 11 mile marker I knew I had a chance to get under 2 hours, but I needed the last 2.1 in less than 18 minutes.
Every year there is so much motivation coming into the home stretch. The DJ blasting Van Halen in front of the beautiful Scottish Rite Church and my personal favoritye every year are the ladies dancing together at the corner of Meridian and New York Street. I gave it everything I had and, this year, this race, I was smiled upon.
I could hear my wife before my eyes could locate her, and when I did, it was just as I crossed the timing mats and I ran right into her arms. We were so excited and proud, we had completely forgotten to ask for our 5-year participation medal and I had forgotten to stop my Garmin. We didn't care. I was so happy to have completed this race after so many months of pain and frustration. We were almost home before we realized about the forgotten medals and then got out our phones to see the text messages for our finisher time. 1:59:22
Monumental 5 Year Finisher