Krista DuChene is in the hospital for a couple more days after fracturing her femur on Sunday at the Canadian half-marathon championships. She underwent surgery at midnight on Monday morning to have a metal plate and three screws put into her leg.
She’s up and doing light movement on crutches. We talked to her to see how she’s doing.
How are you doing in the hospital?
You progress quickly, apparently. It’s just a rough morning recovering from the surgery because the surgery was at midnight, so it hasn’t even been 24 hours. I just did a lap of about eight feet using crutches and then I was back in bed.
— Krista DuChene (@kristaduchene) April 28, 2014
Talk to us about the race. What was going through your head at the end?
I’ve had this bad hip for about a year-and-a-half and I likely had a stress fracture at some point that was unknown. I did have a sore hip going into this race and there was a chance I wasn’t going to start, but I made the choice and we rolled the dice.
With 5K to go I started picking it up, trying to increase the gap [over Rachel Hannah] and then I started to really feel the fatigue and some pain. With the finish line in sight — about half of a kilometre — I couldn’t even bear weight. It was like a limb was removed from my body, so I hopped pretty much to the finish and fell into the arms of Alan Brookes.
At the time, did you know the fracture was as bad as it has turned out to be?
It was definitely a really bad break. It required a plate and one long screw and two small ones that the hospital will have to remove in a year.
I knew I was going to have to take time off after this race before I started my build to the Commonwealth Games. I think I just wished it was a little less dramatic than this. I can’t say for sure I knew it was broken because it’s new to me. So many runners I know have had stress fractures, so, in the future, if this ever happens again — let’s hope not — I’ll know what it is. You cannot tough it out. You are physically incapable, so I think I just knew it was bad when I just couldn’t move without extreme pain. Alan Picked me up in his arms and usually I would be like ‘no, no,’ but I was helpless. I mean, I can’t even go to the washroom without assistance.
Douglas Duncan, from Athletics Canada, was here with me the whole time and, along with Canada Running Series, has been remarkable the entire time looking after me through all of this. He got me to emergency, could translate and stood by me and just took the place of a husband until he got here this morning. I had never met the guy, but he is just an amazing individual.
What is your physiotherapy and recovery looking like?
I can partially weight bear. It’s going to be one step at a time. I’m looking at it like pregnancy. I’m going to be out of it mentally and physically for a year.
The surgeon already said I can be cross-training in less than a month. I won’t be looking at in in terms of marathon training and maintaining fitness, but more rather maintaining my sanity. I have incredible peace and God is still good. Something good will come out of this, just like my experience in Russia [at world championships].
Your faith plays a major role in your life. How will that affect your approach to the next year?
God is still good and, anytime I go through a huge disappointment like this in my life, that’s the first thing in my head. That means more to me than anything; more than an Olympic gold medal or anything. It’s an incredible thing for people to see that that is where my true strength lies in the best and the worst of times.
In the Bible, Job had everything taken from him, he suffered tremendously and he could still say ‘God is good.’
Any other comments?
I’ll be back. I was going to go after the [Olympic] standard before at the beginning of the qualification period but I’m looking at it at the end now.
This interview has been edited for length from its original form.