Don’t fall. Breathe.

St Pauls - CardiologyThe last week has been a whirlwind.

One thing I know for sure is that falling on your face is quite disruptive to life. :) A weekend in the hospital {and the fall itself} left me completely drained and I had a brutal start to the week.

While in the hospital, the doctor said he would write me off work for a week. Tough girl Jillian said to him, “oh no… I don’t need that. I’ll be good to go for Monday.”

Truth be told, I probably needed one day. One day to process what had happened. One day to realize that I was totally scared to put on my runners again. One day to get some sleep and ice my face.

After I was discharged from St. Paul’s, I was given instructions to complete a round of Cardiology-related tests as an outpatient. The plan was I would get an ultrasound of my heart, spend 24 hours hooked up to a holter heart monitor and complete a heart stress test.

The tests went well and all I kept on thinking was – I’ve never had any issues with my heart, this ticker better be healthy. The heart stress test was by far the hardest. It was my first time putting on my runners since the accident and the nurse challenged me to hit up a hardcore incline on the treadmill. My knees are pretty banged up still and my legs are achy as hell, but I told her I’d give it my best shot. I made it to level 4 out of 7. 12 minutes. 16% incline. 5 miles per hour. 182 beats per minute.

While in the hospital, I don’t think I realized how much the accident screwed with my head. My immediate concerns were: 1) Is anything broken? 2) Can I still {physically} run? I didn’t think once about the impact falling on my face would have on my mental game.

I’ve had crazy anxiety all week. I’ve been thinking about my run goals for the year. I’ve been thinking about my upcoming half marathon in 2 weeks. And honestly, I’ve been debating if I’m capable of where I’m headed.

A week later, the doctors are still up in the air about how I fell, but leaning towards me fainting or that I had a cardiac issue. They told me that the tests may come back totally fine and I’ll have to accept the unknown.

Well I’ll know you what… the unknown is a scary place. It’s hard to accept the diagnosis of a ‘freak accident’.

Why?

Because who knows when it might happen again.

This morning I told myself that I had to run today. Just slip on those running shoes, layer up and get out there. I went back and forth in my head all day… to run… to not run… what if something happens?

Before you knew it, the clock struck 4:30pm and I still hadn’t left the house {doctor’s orders were to not run solo at night for a little bit}. Gah. Fail.

The fading blue sky was all I needed to motor out the door. I headed up the Granville Bridge and I just kept on repeating:

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Don’t fall. Breathe.

Don’t fall. Breathe.

Don’t fall. Breathe.

Most anxious run of my life.

Slowest 8k since I began this running journey. But I think I’m ok with that.

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.”  – Helen Keller

Back to the grind.

Note: A few days later, I was given the all clear from the Cardiologist. Tests came back a-ok and his advice was to be careful and keep running.

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