In an effort to keep myself honest and motivated I’m putting it out there that in two weeks time I’ll be running my first long distance race. I signed up for this particular one on kind of a whim, but the race itself has been a long time coming. Here’s the deal- I started training about three years ago with my Dad for a half marathon we were going to do in Alexandria, VA. I took to running very quickly, as everyone in my family does (except my Mom- she’s more of a NordicTrac lady). I was committed, running early in the morning before work, on the treadmill if it was raining, lifting weights and doing Pilates to keep my core strong. Needless to say, I was really enjoying running. Then one day, out of the blue, I started getting really bad hip pain. Turns out, I’d pulled my left hip flexor and as runners know, this is one of the most difficult injuries to recover from. You use your hip flexor ALL the time, for literally everything. Anyway, I got better in a few months, but I had started to notice my health was declining very rapidly. I was exhausted, in pain 100% of the time, had a headache that never went away, and lots of other, seemingly random, symptoms. In 2009, I was diagnosed with scoliosis but that didn’t explain all the issues I was having that were affecting my day to day life.
Literally two years went by, full of doctor’s appointments, MRI’s, CT scans, blood tests, probably a hundred different medications, 4 months of physical therapy and chiropractic adjustments and none of them resolved the issues.
This past summer, however, I was given a gift. Through the help of my dearest friend, Lauren and her mom, Diana, we discovered that what I’d actually been fighting all this time was Lyme’s Disease. Turns out I’ve had it for over a decade and the chronic Lyme’s had taken a hold in my muscles and joints. Loooong story short, I take handfuls of supplements and vitamins daily, go to the sauna and hot tub 4-5x a week and started running full-time again about 3 months ago. I feel fantastic! Two years ago I couldn’t even walk down our four flights of stairs without wincing in pain and here I am running for an hour and a half. I honestly didn’t realize how far I’d come until my parents and I were talking last night and my Mom reminded me how disabled I was for a period of time. I am so thankful to Lauren for passing along all she has learned and to Dr. Rind for being such an advocate in chronic Lyme treatment. It’s a battle that’s far from being over but I am happy to say I’ve started to see some real bounce back in regards to my Vitamin D, thyroid and overall energy levels which are my personal indicators that my body is in recovery mode.
SO… what’s the point in me telling you about my chronic pain issues? I’ve been running 5K’s the past few weekends to keep myself busy but realized that distance isn’t really one I want to be spending my registration money on. After all, I can complete a 5K in my sleep. It’s the longer distances that I need help finishing. Well, I signed up for a 12 miler a few weeks ago and it’s on March 19th!! Ahh!! My plan was to go for an 8 mile run this past weekend and then 10 this coming Saturday, but we had severe thunderstorms both days and I couldn’t go. I didn’t want to pound out the miles on the treadmill, because it’s just not the same (and you know it!). I’m counting on this weekend to be a good time for me to run but instead of 8 miles, I think I have to do 10! Good heavens, the most I’ve ever done is 8 or 9 and that was with my dad running next to me, keeping me from collapsing. I’m gonna need LOTS of motivation and dance tunes to keep me going.
The race I’m participating in is called Fall Creek Falls 12 Mile Trail Run. Fall Creek Falls State Park is in Pikeville, TN, about an hour away from us. I’ve reserved a room in the park’s lodge and I was lucky enough to snag a pet friendly room, so the boys will be coming with me. I’ve heard really great things about the trail and the park itself is a big attraction for local hikers and naturists as it boasts the highest free-falling waterfall east of the Rocky Mountains. If there’s anywhere in TN I want to spend 3 hours running, this is it.