I am not an athlete. Â Oh, no. Â DEFINITELY not an athlete! Â I was the girl who nearly cried when it was time for the “mile run” in gym class (and then walked most of it anyway). Â I generally hate working up a sweat for any reason and I could swear that when I am out of breath, death is upon me. Â When I can hear my heartbeat in my head, I’m pretty sure that means I am going to explode in a matter of seconds. Â And when I get a side ache, it is definitely time to give up whatever I am doing and lay down.
I should also probably throw in here that when I was 16, I was diagnosed with degenerative disc disease. Â I dealt with the pain for 5 years before having surgery and was pain-free for 5 years! Â Then, in October 2009, I gave birth to our first child and three months later, I was completely laid up– unable to move without excruciating pain. Â The doctor’s response was to put me on three heavy narcotics and schedule me for steroid injections since being a stay-at-home-mom with an infant and six weeks recovery from surgery just wasn’t going to cut it. Â Well, as it turns out, taking three heavy narcotics for the pain and trying to be a full-time mom didn’t cut it either: Â I was drugged up and tired ALL the time. Â And I was terrified. Â Here I was at 26, completely debilitated by pain…. What was it going to be like in 20 years? Â Would I even be able to move?
That was probably the moment I said, “I HAVE TO DO SOMETHING.” Â And thankfully, a friend who had a similar back problem recommended yoga. Â This was not a new idea to me, but I had resisted jumping on the yoga-train due to the misconception that it was a spiritual fad. Â I didn’t want to sit around and chant. Â But I knew that what I was doing obviously wasn’t working, and I needed to branch out.
LONG story shorter, yoga worked. Â In a matter of 12 weeks, I was able to drop all of my narcotic medication and now only take over-the-counter anti-inflammatories for any flare ups. Â But even more exciting for me, I could sit with my legs stretched out in front of me, bend at the waist and TOUCH MY TOES! Â I hadn’t been able to touch my toes in over a decade. Â It was in that moment that I said, “If I can touch my toes, I can make my body do just about anything.”
….And now I run.
My mom is a seasoned runner. Â And my mom is 50. Â AND she ran her very first marathon last spring! Â *insert proud daughter face here!* Â This fall, I decided I needed to make a goal for myself because while I would hit the treadmill every once in a while, I didn’t really have motivation to stick with it. Â My mom and I decided we were going to train together in preparation for the 2011 FM Half Marathon. Â We are using the Jeff Galloway interval method and I LOVE it. Â The running/walking combination provides both physical and mental breaks that make the run much more enjoyable and much less torturous (as would’ve been the experience of my prior-self.)
Each week requires one “long run,” with increasing distances. Â With only 9 weeks of training left, I have increased to 8 miles. Â EIGHT MILES!! Â And I haven’t cried, and I haven’t felt like I was going to explode, and I haven’t given up. Â If you would’ve told me, even a year ago, that I would be training for a half-marathon in the near future, I would’ve laughed. Â And I probably would’ve asked if you were feeling ok if you said I would actually be enjoying it! Â But alas, I call my mom after every long run, just to say, “MOM! Â I actually did it! Â It felt great! Â I feel amazing!”
To which she replies, “You’re hooked.”
I guess I am. Â