Following her debilitating injury in college which led to foot drop, Lisa shares her latest comeback story.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009 – I had just finished a pool workout and was running 800m repeats with hurdles to practice for the steeplechase (a track race that is 3000 meters with hurdles and a water barrier). On my last 800 I fell over a hurdle. I went to get back up to run, and as I ran the curve of the track my knee snapped and it felt as if it had been ripped off and then snapped back. I could not use my foot and had pain in my knee.  My amazing athletic trainers got me to the orthopedic surgeon where an MRI revealed an injury to the ligaments on the outside of my knee as well as a meniscus tear and ACL tear. I had surgery the following week and began the process of healing and recovering. My surgeon told me he didn’t know what running would look like for me after this injury to my knee and resulting foot drop from my peroneal nerve injury.

During this time I told one of my athletic trainers that I was going to run a marathon to prove this didn’t stop me. I didn’t care about how fast I would run, I wanted to do it because I loved it – and I refused to be told I couldn’t do something. A few months later I went to an orthotist who said he knew a woman with foot drop who had just run the Boston marathon. He put me in that same brace and got me in contact with Beth Deloria. About 3 months later I ran my first half marathon with her!

Fast forward to 2013, I ran my first marathon. Afterwards, one of the people from the group I was running with said he thought I could qualify for Boston and the seed was planted…

This past fall, after a half marathon, one of the runners from the group said they were thinking of a spring half marathon – and I got it in my brain I was going to run another marathon, train, and qualify for Boston.  I picked the Jim Thorpe marathon- a point to point race that’s down hill on a packed cinder path.

I read Greg McMillan’s “Run Faster Marathons”. I picked one of his plans from the book and got to work. I work full time and am married with two little kids so while I love running, it’s definitely work and a time commitment. I am extremely grateful for my husband who stays with the kids while I run, for my running buddies who meet me at 5 am, run hard track workouts with me, or coordinate so one person could run the first half of the run and another meet me for the second half or for my dad who would meet me and bike next to me for workouts. I would not have done as well as I did without this support.

The first week of training I got a cut on my leg, and it became infected. I had to have it irrigated and take antibiotics, which I ended up having an allergic reaction to. About halfway through, I fell off a step and sprained my ankle. Luckily it was minor. I rested for a day, then wrapped my ankle for some extra support and was able to continue running.


I followed the program, got in all my workouts and long runs, rested and stayed consistent. I made sure I got enough protein and carbs in my diet. I did a “carb load” three days leading up to the race. Going into the race, I felt I had done everything I could have done to prepare. I was confident and ready. I also knew I needed to run smart and pace well during the race. I had an old school watch to help keep my splits.
It was going to be perfect running weather at the start and get a little bit warm by the end. I had my hydration and nutrition plan dialed in, two sips every mile and 6 gels spaced through the race every 3-4 miles. I had practiced my positive mantras while training.

The race started and I ran a nice easy first mile, I wanted to pick it up slightly and settled into marathon pace for the next 20 miles. It’s not a huge race and there were a few people near me that we stayed together. I definitely felt my legs during this time. The first few miles felt easy, but I don’t really remember. By the time I got to 21 miles, the pace slowed ever so slightly, but I passed a few people and kept moving forward. By Mile 23, I kept telling myself just a 5k to go, and that’s the first time I looked at my overall time and knew if I kept going, I was going to run close to my goal time and qualify for Boston. The next couple miles were mentally and physically tough, I just kept my positive mantras going and kept moving forward. Once I hit mile 25, I knew I was doing it. I got that final wind and was able to pick up the pace slightly and smile! I was so happy to have been able to not only run, but run well! My mom was just around mile marker 26 and my dad was right over the finish line. 15 years ago, I didn’t know

what running would look like – today I feel so strong and happy to be able to run!. My Ypsilon® gives me the ability to run how I want to run. While mile 23 Lisa was questioning ever running another marathon, mile 26 Lisa says let’s go to Boston!