|Me after the marathon with Flat Scotty (a small/flat version of my husband I bring for special occasions when my husband is gone)|
This weekend, I completed my fourth marathon. My time was nowhere close to my best time, but I finished it and I'm so happy I did. If you had asked me 6 years ago if I would ever run a marathon, I would've probably laughed. If you had asked me 5 years ago if I would ever run a marathon, I would've thought it was physically impossible.
Just over 5 years ago, I was diagnosed with Graves Disease (a form of hyperthyroidism). My symptoms were intense--123 resting heart rate. I went from a Division I college athlete to barely being able to do a push-up or even 3 jumping jacks. It was pretty terrifying. But the diagnosis triggered something in me. It was that whole "fight or flight" mentality. Either I could flee and sit on the sidelines the rest of my life using Graves Disease as an excuse, or I could fight to regain my health. So, under my doctor's supervision, I decided to fight. Little by little I regained my strength and health.
About a year later, I really wanted to prove to myself that I would not allow this illness to take over my life, so I set my mind to train for and complete a marathon. While I was training, my symptoms worsened and my medication needed to be adjusted. A few months later, I asked my doctor if I would be okay to do more long distance running and he gave me the thumbs up. My new years' resolution that year was to complete 4 road races--I completed 8 and signed up to complete a marathon in January of the following year. I seriously got hooked on running!
I ran my first marathon just over 2 years after my diagnosis; it was the Disney Marathon in January 2010. That year, Florida had record low temperatures and I ran my first marathon in 25 degree weather. I ran all 26.2 miles and I was amazed at what my body could do. The last 10 miles of my run, my iPod died and it was just me and my thoughts. I can't begin to tell you how many times I thanked God during that race. As I crossed the finish line, I had tears streaming down my face because I proved to myself that I could do it!
|Here's a picture of me just after I finished my first marathon|
|A picture of my mom, Lauren, and me at mile marker 25.|
|A picture of Lauren, Dennis, me, and Allison (pregnant) after Dennis arrived.|
I've had a lot of women tell me they could 'never' run a marathon. I tell them they can if they want to. Marathons aren't easy--at least for me they're not, but how much of life ever is?
So, if you're on the fence thinking about running a marathon, with proper training, you can do it!