MY STORY AS A RUNNER
I discovered running later in life at the age of 44. Wanting to exercise outside rather than at the health club, I chose to run. My running progressed slowly over the course of the year, running about two to three miles, three times per week. Then plagued by shin splints and winter, I succumbed to working out at the health club to keep up my newfound fitness schedule with a goal to run a 5k at my son’s elementary school. Over that year I realized I LOVED running! The feel of my legs moving underneath me, propelling me forward, listening to music that I never would find the time for otherwise gave me a profound sense of calm, solitude, and accomplishment.
After the 5k, I continued running about three times per week, increasing my distance slowly over the next year to three to four miles at a time. I set a goal to run around Meta Lake in Eagle River,Wi, a six and a half mile loop, where my family goes every summer. By this time I became serious about my running and began studying the art and science of running. I also was plagued by multiple running associated injuries. I sought out the support of my physical therapy friends for healing. Healing consisted of manual physical therapy as well as a functional rehab program in order to fine-tune my mechanics and muscle imbalances unearthed by my new found love of running. But I still questioned whether I was ready to do a half marathon, until my fifteen year old daughter convinced me to try by agreeing to run with me.
Completing the Chicago half marathon with my daughter was life changing. Not only did I get to spend quality, uninterrupted time with my daughter, I realized I accomplished something I never dreamed possible. I became a runner. I found a saying in a running magazine that is now my motto: “I used to run with doubt, now she can’t keep up.”
As an athlete, I understand how therapy can help you achieve your goals. As an active runner, I still get injuries. My most recent injury has been a year-long bout of Achilles tendonopathy. Along with therapy, I changed my running form by using the Chi Running Method (www.chirunning.com): this form change allowed me to keep running with this injury safely.