Monday, September 12, 2011

My journey to 26.2

I have always loved to exercise, and be active. It's a part of me. About two years ago I began to change my exercise regiment (that's for another blog theme:), which over time invigorated me and essentially in part lead me to start training to run a marathon.

To some degree I had always wanted to do it, but never really felt motivated to put in the time and effort it takes to be able to do it and do it with some form of success (at least in my eyes). Over the course of the training I lost about 20 pounds, began to eat better, drink a lot more water, and honestly was feeling better than I ever had in some time. Surely there were some aches and pains, blisters, and the losing of some toe nails. For many, those are just part of the running experience. Especially when you first start out.

For several months I was feeling what is called, 'runners high.' I was running 50-60miles a week like nothing, training in the very hot Mississippi weather, pushing my limits beyond what I had ever done before. At one point I even decided to go ahead and run the distance of a marathon (26.2miles) on a treadmill!

Then it happened...injury! It's called Iliotibial Band Syndrome. It is a superficial thickening of tissue that essentially goes from your hip to your knee. It's a common injury among runners for different reasons. This was an injury I honestly knew nothing about. I asked around, even asked a few folks that are runners about it but honestly got very little help. I obviously read more than my share of what this injury was about online and did get some answers.

I ended up seeing an orthopedic who is a knee specialist and was a runner, got some physical therapy, and did everything they said and then some. It helped, but the worse part about it, yet the most important part was I needed to stop running in order to really allow for the injury to heal. If you know anything about running and runners this is torture!

I was humbled, upset, and to some degree worried. By this time I had already registered for my first marathon and now I was thinking would I be able to do it now that I was sidelined. Sure I was still about three months away from the race, nonetheless going from 50-60miles a week to zero was physically and emotionally painful.

Yet during this time of trying to shake off ITB syndrome, is when I believe I began to learn not just more about the sport of endurance running but about what I believe God wanted me to learn.

Stay tuned for more on the journey...


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