|Author at 2012 Boston Marathon|
" I run because it is so symbolic of life. You have to drive yourself to overcome the obstacles. You might feel that you can't. But then you find your inner strength and realize you are capable of so much more than you thought,"- Arthur Blank
Before I became a runner I scoffed at people who talked about the "runners high." I thought how come if running is so much fun you never see a runner smiling.
Well there is such a thing as runner's high. After a tempo run or speed workout I feel great for hours. I get euphoric on some of my long runs especially in the fall with the colors or on new fallen snow in early winter.
Well, no runners high the last two weeks. I am in the toughest part of my training program now. There are just 7 weeks to go. This weekend I did a 9 mile tempo run followed the next day by a long run of 20 miles.
I've overcome lots of challenges this year. No challenge is tougher than trying to do long mileage and having CMT. My legs hurt after running about 2 1/2 hours and it takes me over almost 5 hours to complete a marathon. My long this weekend was 4 1/2 hours.
If the workout was not bad enough, the after effects are even worse. The effects of the workout keep me from sleeping at night. I know what muscle soreness is. Ben gay and ibuprofen take care of muscle pain. This is different. It can feel like my whole body is on fire. Sometimes my lower legs jump like they are being shocked. Last night my nerves just felt like they were burnt out. I didn't sleep all night. I didn't fall asleep until 2 am the night before. This is pretty typical when I get into runs of more than 3 hours.
So I am a little down today physically. After a weekend like this, I still have to get up and go to work. I am dead tired and that makes me be a bit down mentally.
Still relief is here.....this week is an easy week. On the agenda tonight was a 6 mile tempo run. That seemed easy and fun even as tired as I was. I got a tiny bit of a runner high. I surprised myself by doing this run on no sleep.
So why do I do it? Why do I work so hard? I do it because there are people with CMT who would give their right arm to run even one mile. I am in pain for a few days, there are people with CMT living every day with life altering pain. I work this hard because very soon, there may come a time when I can't. I cherish every mile I am able to run. I run for those with CMT that can't. So pain or not, sleepless night and all I am going to keep running.
I work this hard because when I run that course in Boston and see the crowds it will all be worth it. When I cross that finish line all the pain and sleepless nights will be forgotten.
Just like I know all the money I raise and the awareness the members of Team CMT raise will help to find a cure and I know it will all be worth it. To me it's worth a few sleepless nights and a little pain.
Founder & Manager Team CMT
Team CMT is a group of athletes and supporters working to raise awareness and to find a cure for CMT. We have almost 119 members in 25 states. If you wish to join us visit our web site.
CMT or Charcot-Marie-Tooth is the most commonly inherited peripheral neuropathy. It affects over 155,000 Americans (as many as MS). It is a disease of the nerves that control the muscles. It is slowly progressive, causing loss of normal function and or sensation in the lower legs/feet and arms/hands.
Symptoms include; muscle wasting in the lower legs and feet leading to foot drop, poor balance and gait problems Atrophy in the hands causes difficulty with manual dexterity.
Structural foot deformities such as high arches and hammer toes are common.
Poor tolerance for cool or cold temperatures and many people have chronically cold hands and feet.
Additional symptoms may include fatigue, sleep apnea, breathing difficulties and hearing loss.