My running story
I always loved to run as a kid. And I was fast then. I'd win all of the field day competitions and beat the boys. But for some reason, I never really pursued running competitively when I was young, although I think I'd have been pretty good at it if I had.
In fact, it took years into adulthood for me to embrace running, largely because I developed asthma (and it wasn't well controlled) when I was about 13 and it made running hard. I distinctly remember having asthma attacks while trying to run the mile in gym class. Even though I played other sports, running outside was my asthma's nemesis.
And my current journey hasn't always been easy and it hasn't always been fun, but it's been quite an experience. I've dealt with extreme asthma and allergy issues, low iron and Vitamin D deficiency, and I ran through pregnancy.
In May 2012, after nearly a decade of talking about wanting to run, I finally got off the couch and did it. I was 32. And on that first run, I went out and ran 3 miles straight (no stopping and walking). I largely credit the two months of bootcamp (that included running loops throughout the workouts) plus a year of a elliptical training to the fact that I could go out and run that far right off the bat.
I ran my first 5K in June 2012 and finished in 26:51. And from that, I was hooked on racing. I immediately signed up for a local running group to train for a marathon (all in!), and in the process of training, ran my first 10K and half marathon plus a few more 5Ks. I ran that marathon in November 2012 on not nearly enough training (averaging about 18 miles per week?!). But I survived and loved the experience, and maybe I'll do it again some day.
I was off and running (literally) to a great start - in less than a year I ran two sub-2 hour half marathons, a sub-24 minute 5K, and a sub-50 minute 10K. Along the way I had a few age group wins and placements, and one 2nd female overall (it was a small race).
Key points in my journey
After that great start, I ran into several issues. But that's running, right? Peaks and valleys. Highs and lows.
In fall 2013, right after that 10K PR, I got pregnant. I ran through pregnancy, which was quite an unexpected journey, but a good one, nonetheless.
In spring 2015, right after I felt like I had come back from pregnancy and regained my speed and endurance, I got hit with some major asthma and allergy problems, along with crazy sleep deprivation from an infant who would not sleep (for 10 months).
Once the sleep issues let up, that's when the asthma and allergy issues were compounded by low iron and Vitamin D deficiency in 2016 and early 2017.
And every time I've thought I've been over the illness, something else hit.
I continued on this comedy of errors with a nasty, antibiotic-resistant infection that started in late summer 2017 and lasted through the holidays. Then the months of antibiotics (seriously, more antibiotics than I've ever been on in my life) caused a piriformis injury and sciatica - at least that's what I believe based on the potential side effects of the antibiotics I was on, the amount of antibiotics and the length of time I was on them, along with the timing of an injury that's typically caused by overuse when I was barely running 5 miles a week. Not fun at all.
I've basically been sick or injured for the past 3 years. Parenthood has not been particularly kind to me physically while I try to keep up with all of life's other demands.
I used to set goals for every race. Not PR goals, but goals. Now as I'm marching through 2018 and I've gotten myself mostly straightened out (for now, at least), my only goal is to stay healthy and injury-free, and I'm doing everything within my power to do that.