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Inspiring Comeback: Overcoming Adversity On Way To A Half-Marathon

Inspiring Comeback Overcoming Adversity.

Welcome back, Joel! Joel is training for his first half marathon in several years, the Go! St. Louis Half Marathon on October 22nd. It’s been a challenging last month. He’s been hit with a series of unfortunate events, including injury, illness and even a bike crash. Read Joe’s inspiring comeback while overcoming adversity.

Joel ran through high school and college, but stopped for several years when he decided to cycle instead. His running revival has been one that has seen him defying age and a long hiatus. A lot has changed since he started training, even since we talked with him last.

How has training been going? When we last left you, you had a knee injury!

My month has been insane. When we last talked, I had developed knee pain from running too hard at a trail race. I’ve been working on recovery, and my knee fluctuates from good to bad. After we talked a few weeks ago, I also got a kidney stone. Then, I also got into a bike crash. I haven’t been overly lucky! I don’t even know where to begin.

Kidney Stone:

I developed intense pain, and after going to the doctor, they realized it was a kidney stone. Fortunately, it passed in a few days, but it still meant close to a week off from working out.

My Bike Crash:

Literally two days after my kidney stone, I was out riding while it was damp, and I touched my brakes at the wrong moment and fell on my left side. I got a road rash on my ankle, hip, knee (the same one I hurt), shoulder and face. I also sprained my wrist and my middle finger.

I’ve kept Tegaderm in business by covering this all as it heals. But I’ve only missed a few runs due to the bike crash while recovering. It hurts less to run than riding outside, since running doesn’t cause an impact on my wrist. So, it’s been a heck of a last few weeks.

All of that being said, I am slowly making progress with my training. I do feel as though I could run the half marathon right now, but I do want to be in better shape.

What Does A Typical Week of Training Look Like For You Right Now?

I play everything by ear with all that has happened in the last few weeks! A typical week for me is riding seven days a week under directions from my coach. The workouts are all power-based, so there is no hiding.

As far as running, I’ve switched to following my son’s run with Hal’s plan, so we train together at his pace. I mentioned this last time, but my son has also decided to run the half marathon. I’ve altered my goals to run with him and enjoy it, so we run five days a week and hold each other accountable to doing the workout as prescribed—no racing off and being dumb. I am currently running about 15 miles a week, which will slowly increase as we get closer to race day.

I was using Hal to start and had my plan focused on my pace, etc. I told my son about it, so he got it and created his plan, so I’m following what they are telling him. I originally heard about Hal from an influencer on Instagram who also works at Nike. She was training for the NYC marathon and talked about three options, one being Hal, which she said she used for her first 2 to 3 half marathons.

Has Work Affected Your Training?

While many things have affected my training (illness, injury, relationship, etc.), work has not been an issue. I’m even going to visit the Nike HQ in September, and I’ll be able to take advantage of all the running groups on campus to get my miles in.

So, this was a rough month, but I am slowly making progress on my goal to finish the half marathon. It’s been fun to spend this time with my son and work towards the plan together.

Inspiring Comeback: Overcoming Adversity

Come back next month as we continue to follow Joel’s inspiring comeback while overcoming adversity. Here is to a boring month of training.



Hollie is a runner, hiker, swimmer, residing in California. She has worked in run specialty for nearly 8 years and has fit hundreds of people for shoes. Outside of the running world, she enjoys the general aviation world, her two cats, and spending time with her spouse.