Three months ago, I wrote about chasing after my dreams even though I have fibromyalgia. For 14 weeks, I have put in over 50 hours of training, burnt an extra 20,000 calories, completed over 80 workouts, and run over 200 miles. So on April 12, 2015, as I woke up to my alarm at 4 a.m., showered, dressed, and double checked my gear, I was ready for all of this half marathon training with fibromyalgia to pay off.
The race began at 7 a.m. sharp. Over 10,000 runners of all fitness levels joined me. The course was incredible. We crossed the Mississippi River twice, ran in two different states and passed by a handful of St. Louis’ best tourist attractions. The weather was overcast, with even a few rain sprinkles, too. The temperature was in the low to high 50s as the hours passed, with virtually no humidity. We couldn’t have asked for better conditions.
The mood was electric. I sunk into a good groove and I just went for it. I reminded myself that I’ve been half marathon training with fibromyalgia and this was the time to shine. When I was 5k into my race, I was blowing away my personal record. I knew I needed to slow down if I was ever going to last till the end, but my body felt good. When I was 10k into the race, I was still racing a personal record. I couldn’t believe it. I was halfway done and running nearly a minute per mile faster than I’d been doing during training. Around mile 9, the hurt started to settle in. I zoned out. My quads were cramping. My toes were throbbing. My sides ached, but I just kept talking myself through it.
|Post run with my biggest support|
I finished the race, completely in tears of happiness, sobbing actually to the point where I couldn’t breathe. I wrapped myself in a Mylar blanket, downed a bottle of water, and clung tight to my husband, who had finished his own first half marathon 25 minutes before me after conquering his own workout asthma. I finished the race with a pace just 1 second per mile slower than my all-time fastest time (which was previously a short 3-mile run) and nearly 30 seconds faster per mile than my average during long-run training. I wanted to chase my dreams and it turns out, I was way out front. I wasn’t chasing anything. I was strong. I was winning!
I knew going into this race that my days of long runs were numbered. My body was hurting. The extreme influx of cortisol levels from my training was throwing off my hormone balance, further messing up many other vital functions for a healthy body. My rule all along was to listen to my body. I pushed myself further than I ever thought I could go, but I knew why.
Now that I did half marathon training with fibromyalgia, it’s time for me to move on to other goals and dreams, too. Am I still a runner? Absolutely. I will always be a runner. I don’t have to run half marathons to prove that. I started running to burn off the crazy and I’ll continue to do so, but it’s time to make room for other things, too.
So what’s next for this mom? Chasing down more dreams, of course! In May, I will complete a 31-day challenge of daily yoga. In August, I will compete in a summer biathlon of running and biking. And after all of that? Don’t worry. I have big dreams. I want to hike the Appalachian Trail. I want to climb Mt. Shasta. I want to tour the gardens of France by bicycle. I want to kayak in Alaska. I want to LIVE.
I don’t conquer dreams to be an inspiration. I don’t even share my story to be an inspiration. But I do dream. And I think everyone should dream, no matter what obstacles are in front of them.
Have you ever done half marathon training with fibromyalgia? What was your experience?
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Tags: chasing dreams