Eighteen months ago, Lauren Goodyear, 21, of Bedford, N.S. was hit by a truck while out for an evening run, dragged 60 feet, and suffered multiple injuries. This Sunday she will run the half-marathon at the 2018 Blue Nose Marathon, a distance she had never attempted before her accident.
Goodyear, a fourth-year neuroscience student at Dalhousie University, had been a casual runner all her life, running two or three times a week and participating in 5K and 10K races. But the experience of recovering from the accident made her want to set a bigger goal for her running.
The challenges in preparing for a longer distance were daunting, considering that the accident left her unable to sit up on her own at first. “I was very injured,” she says, “and there was a lot of physiotherapy.” It was weeks before she could stand and start walking again, and eventually jogging.
Goodyear’s injuries were not just physical. Goodyear has PTSD, which means she must try to avoid triggers like running in traffic or after dark. She had to work around her school schedule, running in the morning on trails or the track rather than the roads. “I have intrusive thoughts about the accident,” she says, “and I sometimes get emotional in the middle of a run. The challenge has been to make adaptions, and to keep going in spite of the challenges.”
Goodyear’s family has been fully supportive during her rehabilitation and training. Her mom has run the half-marathon distance, and one of her parents usually rides their bike beside her on her long runs. At her mom’s suggestion, Lauren signed up for a 5-days-a-week, 18-week training program with their local Running Room.
When asked about her time goal, Goodyear says “I just want to run the whole thing without stopping.” Then she admits her real goal is to finish in under two hours. Her family will be there waiting for her at the finish line.
“I’m so excited for Sunday!” she says.