.39 miles

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39 miles.

That is the distance from the end of my driveway to the bend in the road.

Today I can run there without needing a walk break… or two.

Two months ago, that was not the case.

Tomorrow, who knows, but today, of this I am sure.

A decade ago I was an Ironman triathlete, had run more than a handful of marathons, had qualified for Boston and was looking forward to some rest and then gearing up for that prestigious event. My coaching business was blossoming. My life happily revolved around training and racing. Injury kept me from Boston in 2008, but I was there in 2009, soaking it all in, enjoying the crowds, stopping to pet dogs and just happy to be a part of a race that lived up to all the hoopla. I never imagined on that day, when I crossed the finish line, I would not cover that distance again.

The wheels came off slowly and I’ll try to keep the doldrums of it brief here. Suffice it to say I would spend the better part of the next several years in and out of doctor’s offices trying to find an explanation for the extreme fatigue that no amount of sleep could cure, the headaches, the body aches, the inability to focus, memory lapses that were totally out of character and the overwhelming feeling of being off, of just not being ME.
Various diagnosis were offered. A severe Vitamin D deficiency was first and that did indeed seem to solve the problem…for about 5 months, long enough to get me training and racing again before being hit with the reality that the solution was not so simple as a ginormous influx of the sunshine vitamin. The long and short of it is the doctors refused to acknowledge the possibility of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome because to them CFS was purely psychological. I begged and finally got them to test me for Lyme, and there was the answer.

I couldn’t complete the full course of antibiotic treatment, they absolutely wrecked me.
So, my symptoms persist and I do the best I can to manage them.

I try not to be bothered by the people who don’t understand, which I’ll admit is not always easy…I mean I don’t look sick…I’ve learned to hide my bad days well. Mostly I’ve learned my limitations, learned what my body needs to keep going. I know when I do something like go to late night concert I will spend the better part of the next week or 10 days recovering from it.

I’m also an athlete, a runner at heart.

I have not raced since 2014 – a 5K and the 10K portion of a triathlon relay. Even at that time I still believed I could just call on my fitness base and pull one out….it no longer worked like that for me.

September 3, 2017 was not my first attempt at running in 3 years. I’ve started and had to stop more times than I can count, always succumbing to the Lyme. So, no, this is the first restart…but this is the first time I think I’ve gotten it right.

I finally, FINALLY, cut myself some slack and stopped trying to train like the “old” me.

Yes, today I can run that .39 miles straight, even with a bit of speed, but today is Monday and I don’t run on Mondays!

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