About Jessica Goldman

An underdog runner

Sometimes breaking your leg is a good thing!

I was bracing for the worst but this time the outcome was the best case scenario! No surgery! No permanent damage. The MRI showed all of my ligaments and menisci to be intact an undamaged. I cracked the head of my fibula which is apparently the best bone to break. It is non weight bearing and the fracture has already healed half way since the injury. The Dr. instructed me to start walking, spinning and doing strength exercises to help with the healing process and I will start PT this week. He said that I should be able to resume running in two more weeks! Most of the pain and discomfort is from all of the swelling and fluid in the joints, it was causing a tracking problem but the more I move the better it feels. I am guessing I will be without the brace in a few days. I still have trouble pivoting and doing deep squats but it feels so much better. What a relief!!!! The Dr. said that I have magnificent knees that many professional athletes would envy!

For those of you who are long time blog followers, you may recall my friend Matt. He was diagnosed with Hashimoto encephalitis when we were in school together. He was the reason why I chose the Brain Injury Association as my charity when I ran across America. When I had my encephalopathy last year he was like my emergency hotline for help. He was such a comfort and so kind to me though that experience. His condition still persists and he wakes up every morning and battles it with a smile on his face. He is one of the strongest human beings I have ever met in my life.He has been living in South Carolina but came home to visit this week. I have not driven very far since last year but I went out of my comfort zone to go see him. It was so wonderful to connect with him and my other friends.

It is so uplifting to be in Matt’s presence and he exudes the spirit of never giving up. It made me realize that despite the set backs I will get to VT100 in July! I also want to help other people by starting my 2017 fundraiser for Vermont Adaptive. They help people with disabilities to stay active in sports. Please visit my page to read about it. There are people out there with the fighting spirit who just need some support to accomplish their goals and turn their dreams into reality. Please donate if you are able. SIX03 Endurance was the top fundraiser last year and I hope we can do it again!  Please click here!!


Here we are! Another Sunday, another blog post, but still no answers. My paperwork got lost in the shuffle (feigned shock and surprise) so I am not scheduled for an MRI until Thursday. That also means that I may need to go through another whole week before someone interprets, transcribes and releases my results. The medical system is infuriating.

I am getting around much better and using only the brace and not the crutches. I wish that my improvement was an indicator that I was in the clear but unfortunately it will all come down to whether or not I tore something that requires surgery. If I am getting cut open than all of this healing is a moot point.

I am depressed that I can’t run right now but it goes deeper than that. If I need surgery I will possibly be down for an entire year. Many of these procedures require six full weeks of crutches and non weight bearing rest. I have anxiety about missing work. I feel sad that I am missing out on social events with my running friends and that I may have to drop all of the race goals that I have been preparing for the year. I worked so hard to get to where I am right now and it will break my heart to have to give up on everything. Being outside and running freely in the woods is what fills my heart and I have a strange sense of loss and loneliness because I can’t be out there. I am so healthy and strong, I just need a left leg. I apologize for being a grump but I am hanging by a thread. PLEASE let these results come back clean so I can get back on my feet.

On a positive note I am very lucky to have a beautiful and supportive mom who helps me get through the tough times. Happy Mothers Day Mom! We played enough games of shoots and ladders when I was little to know how this process works. Thank you for always being there for me during the good times and the bad. I love you! BeFunkyCollage

Again? Really?

I wish I had better news but I am currently in a knee brace and on crutches. I slipped on some leaves Thursday and landed with my leg in the shape of the letter L. It all happened so fast. I was initially able to get up and finish up the run. I got home, cleaned up and went to work. By the end of the day I could barely stand up. I saw my primary care who told me to stay off of it until Monday when I see the specialist because he believes I tore the meniscus and possibly ligaments. My knee currently wants to bend backwards. The pain level has improved and the swelling has come down so I am trying to have positive thoughts that maybe it is just a bad strain. If not, this could put me out for the entire season. This would make the third year in a row where something horrible happens, I work really hard to overcome it and then something horrible happens again. I am feeling pretty gutted and defeated right now. I also can not afford to be off of my feet because I need to return to work.

Before this disaster I had a great trail run with my friend Ryan. It was so nice to finally be out on trails in nice weather. I really hope that I am able to get back out there asap. I suffered long and hard to get my fitness back and endured a long and nasty winter, this is the time where I should be able to have fun. And right now I am NOT having fun. Day # 3 sitting on my arse, bored out of my mind.



Race Report

This might be the craziest race report that I have written thus far.  I ran the Dixon’s Revenge 20k trail race this weekend. The race is themed around a saloon owner back in the 1850’s. The course is a messy mud pit that rambles through the forests and fields and climbs a gnarly hill. I thought it would be hilarious to dress up in period clothing to get into the spirit. So despite the temps being in the 70’s I wheeled up in a full dress with a bonnet and parasol.  I also had a small speaker hiding in my bustle that was playing piano saloon songs and chase music from old silent films. 18194655_10155322505269048_5369590117244073600_n

Once I started running the skirt ripped up the side which allowed me to go a little faster. Things were actually going smoothly until my shoe broke. That’s right, my costume was holding up but my actual trail shoes fell apart. The plastic heel disc popped through my Innov8’s and started to cut my foot open. There was blood coming out of my sock and every step was excruciating.


Perhaps TMI for the faint of heart but I had made my own bra out of KT medical tape to wear with this outfit. I stopped in the middle of the course in a field and was swearing and trying to bite a section off of my KT tape bra to use as a bandage for my foot. (very unladylike) My foot was so bloody and muddy that it wouldn’t stick. Although I knew it was a bad idea, I ran wearing only one shoe for the next mile to get to the aid station. I was stepping on sticks and rocks and sinking in the mud, swinging my parasol around. When I arrived at the aid station (menacing piano music playing ) they had no band aids or tape. I pulled a MacGyver and ripped apart a Dixie cup and stuck it in the heel as a protective layer. I was still limping but it felt better. The water and mud in the next section was ankle to knee deep. I was clinging to the sides but the picker bushes were ripping my skirt and legs up. At this point the lead runners were passing me in the opposite direction so I made sure to curtsy to each one. Somehow I ended up on the wrong side of some shrubs and was wading in water while people were running on dry grass on the other side. I finally reached the base of Garrison Hill where the big climb was and I reached another aid station. My friend Sarah who is a really fast runner offered to run to her car for a first aid kit. She eventually ran back but…oops…forgot the keys. So she ran back again. When she came back we started trying to bandage my foot but the paper wouldn’t come off of the back of the band aids. When we finally had it all wrapped up I looked down and saw Sarah’s little daughter pointing a phone camera up my skirt and laughing hysterically. I ran off yelling to check and delete the pictures. Goodness gracious!!!!

My foot still hurt but I was able to run again. I started to pass people that got ahead of me while I was waiting. I began picking up my skirt and just bombing through the center of the deep water. I really wish that I had been wearing a go pro camera because the looks on peoples faces were hilarious when they heard and saw me coming up behind them. 18157683_10102614376525391_2054464472896155247_n

At the end of the race I had to keep stopping because my phone was shutting off my theme music. I later found out that it was because I was somehow butt texting my friend Heather. All the jostling about was somehow pressing buttons and I sent a message saying, “I am KPP I’d leaving as a assistant l a Zeo” And she texted back saying, “What? Please interpret!” I am still laughing about this one.

The after party was a blast and luckily my foot cleaned up well. I was able to run this morning. I am still trying to recover from a hip flexor injury so the slow running may be a blessing in disguise.




If At First You Don’t Succeed….

So I felt pretty terrible after dropping out of the Boston Marathon. I felt disappointed that I had trained so hard and didn’t get to finish a marathon. And I also felt like I let other people down. I frequently get messages from blog followers or brain injury survivors who tell me that I have helped to inspire them. I had all of you in my heart and I didn’t want this story to turn into one of defeat or despair.

So if at first you don’t succeed…I jumped into another marathon this Saturday. This one was way more my style. It was a trail marathon!! Much smaller crowd and it was out in the woods where I feel at home. And this time I finished! I was the second place female finisher and 5th place overall. For those of you familiar with the Barkley Marathons, John Fegyveresi was there and came in second! So cool!

Two of my friends were also out running the course which added to the fun. Some of the trails were flat and wide and you could pick up speed. Other areas were muddy and rocky and required more maneuvering. There were only a few little sections of hill that were steep enough to justify fast hiking and the rest was easy to run. There were some spots where you had to cross over mud and water on little wooden planks. I was all excited to wear my new sunglasses but the day turned out to be cold and rainy so I had them on top of my head the whole time. One of the bridge crossings was zig zagged planks and my eyeballs had trouble navigating. I slipped a bit and strained my hip flexor. I still had quite a way to go in the race so I just tried to shorten my stride and work with it. The course had two way traffic at times and I really enjoyed the camaraderie with the other runners. (I LOVE TRAIL RUNNERS) My leg was pretty sore but I was in good spirits. Certain sections of the trail would get bottle necked if people were walking across planks or if there was a line of racers picking their way across the rocky mud pit. I just waited patiently and took the opportunity to chat people up. I also kept having to pass dogs who were on the trail. I almost tripped over one who was dragging its leash.

I knew that I was slowing down due to my leg pain and the cold rain tightening my muscles. At mile 23.5 A woman passed me and I tried to speed up but it hurt too much. She was moving really fast. I knew that I was doing my very best for the conditions that I had so I didn’t feel discouraged. I just continued to run as fast as I could without exacerbating the pain.  I was so relived to cross the finish line. I felt like it ended a curse. Boston didn’t steal my mojo. Boston couldn’t take away everything that I worked so hard for. Although I had blue lips and was freezing cold at the end I hustled into my animal suit to try and cheer my friend Heather. She has come so far in her training and we will be doing a bunch of long runs together to get ready for VT100.

I still wont know if I could have achieved a new personal record in a road marathon. But I am ready to enter my ultra training now. Less speed and more distance. Less asphalt and more dirt. I am very lucky to have a coach helping me out for the next month. Her name is Corrine Malcolm and she was the winner of the 2016 US 50 mile trail championships. Her first assignment for me is to take a rest day tomorrow.  Haha! I am actually ok with that. My legs were pretty sore at work today. A rest sounds nice. Thank you for following my story!



So , I haven’t been in the mood to blog about my disappointing day in Boston but I guess that moment will never come and I owe it to my followers to do this.

After training so hard for 5 months, I did not get a chance to do what I have worked for. I had to drop out of the race at the halfway point. I am still confused and frustrated because I do not fully understand what went wrong. I knew that it was 74 degrees at the start so I decided to drop my planned pace in the downhill section by 10 seconds per mile. Even doing that I started to overheat and get goosebumps and had chattering teeth by the 3rd mile. THIRD MILE!!!! I have been running faster than that pace for 13-16 milers in training almost every week. I kept thinking that if I backed my speed off, I would start to feel better. By mile six my vertigo started in. I continued to drop my pace and hydrate and tried to cool off by pouring water on myself. The crowds were huge and the more they screamed and cheered the more it was rattling my head. I tried to slow down even more to get my bearings.

By mile 11 I was starting to stagger to the right from my vertigo. I was bumping into runners and almost crashed into some kid who was high fiving on the side of the road. I was also getting an unquenchable thirst. Despite the fact that I am very educated about hyponatremia, I was starting to drink more than I knew I  should.  There were people holding cups out every ten feet! The idea of dropping out of the race or what it would be like to make that decision had never even entered my mind. I wasn’t prepared for the moment when it came.

I watched another runner veer off to the right and start vomiting. I started to feel a little bit sick after that. I could feel the heat coming off of the other runners bodies and I felt like I was suffocating. No matter how much I slowed down, my symptoms kept getting worse. My legs were getting heavy and I kept scuffing my shoes on the asphalt and tripping. I realized that I was becoming a hazard to other runners and I made the decision to stop at the next medical tent. The screaming women of Wellesley College should have been inspiring but it almost made me fall down. The waves of sound were palpable and I felt like I was being pushed and pulled. By the time I entered the medical tent I was wobbling. I was grabbed by both sides and put into a chair. I was eventually put on a bus that brought us back to the finish line. I was happy but also sad to find two of my friends on the same bus. I guess a lot of people overheated and blew up on the course. Those that were lucky enough to finish were lamenting slow finish times. I am so impressed by those who were able to pull through and have a successful finish. Just to show you that I really did my best to slow down and make good decisions, here are my mile splits:


My current state is anger. I am mad that I spent 5 months training to perform and now I have lost my opportunity. I have been online looking for another local marathon but there is nothing soon enough. Once I start ultra training I will loose all of the speed that I just worked for. I also can’t think of what I could have done to have a better outcome in yesterdays race. I did not have the chance to run in hot weather so that was out of my hands. I struggle from sensory overload issues with my brain injury and that was definitely a factor but you can’t run Boston without the sounds, sights and smells. Perhaps I just need to stick to running in my quiet woods and country roads. Like I said, I am still processing and need to wrap my head around it. I thank you all for following my ups and downs and I truly felt bad that I couldn’t finish for you. Every time someone say’s, “I would wish you luck but you don’t need it”


Show Time

So if you are interested in tracking me in the Boston Marathon I am going to post that info at the end of this blog post so you are forced to click on the link and read the whole thing. (Master of trickery) Everyone keeps asking me how I am and the truth is that I am a bundle of nerves. I have been comforted by the fact that many of my friends who are elite and experienced athletes seem to be in the same boat.

I was realizing that I am so worked up about numbers and finish times but when it comes right down to it, I am the only one who cares about that part. As athletes, we are the only ones who will actually know at the finish line, whether we failed or succeeded. Here are some numbers to juggle:

What I need to re-qualify for Boston: 3:55

What My recent races and UNH data (VO2Max/lactate threshold) point to: 3:30

What I would need for a personal record: 3:25:22

What I plan on doing: trying to run faster than all of those and risking the possibility of blowing up.

I have put a lot of thought into this. I would much rather take a chance and attempt to run my full potential (risking disaster), than to run a conservative race and reach the finish line knowing that I didn’t use everything in the tank. I worked really hard to get where I am so I want to let the lead out.

I feel nervous and overwhelmed but I was taking note that it was 3 years ago almost to the day that I was embarking on my run across the entire nation. This time I only need to survive for a few hours, not a few months. Easy right? (breathing into a paper bag)

I want to thank everyone who has supported me through the tough training leading up to this day. My family, friends, training partners, Rebecca Boucher Capo from Anytime Fitness and all of my favorite nuts from SIX03 Endurance. It was great to see everyone one last time tonight. I can’t wait to see everyone post race. Best of luck to everyone else who will be joining me on the course. 17952940_10102586883816001_3585193174594900247_n

SO if you are interested in tracking me, here are some links I stole from my friends post:

BAA Boston Marathon Homepage

Spectator Information

AT&T Tracking Text Updates
Allows you to enter bib numbers for runners you want to track and receive text updates on their progress

Boston Marathon Mobile App (for iPhone and Android)
Allows you to enter bib numbers for runners you want to track and monitor their progress in the app

My bib number is # 17718 I am starting in Wave 3 Corral 2 (starting sometime after 11:00) If you are looking for me in person I will try to eventually make it out to the family and friend meet up area and I will be dressed like this during the race (note the amazing ostrich socks from my friend Christine):


For those of you who missed it, here is an article that just ran in the paper. Thanks again everyone!! It’s showtime! http://www.seacoastonline.com/sports/20170414/three-local-women-running-boston-marathon-for-first-time