How Running Saved My Life

How Running Saved My Life

I recently saw a quote that said “I’m not running to be skinny.I’m running to be Badass.”

Two years ago I returned to running not to be skinny or badass, I began running to beat Diabetes. Type 2 Diabetes is a merciless thief. If it’s allowed to take control of its victim, it will slowly take nerves, limbs, eyesight, motivation, and happiness. It will destroy organs and often when its victim is at their lowest point physically and emotionally, it will finally steal their lives. The year I turned 49 was the year I drew the line in the sand and decided to take control of my life. I was 25 pounds overweight, tired and diagnosed with type 2 pre-diabetes. This diagnosis (coupled with the fact that I’m genetically predisposed with an extensive family history, plus I had experienced gestational diabetes with my last two children) created the need for me to take control of my health.

My plan of action was to begin running. I naively set a goal to run a marathon at the end of the year and decided to rally friends and family to join or support me. Talking and dreaming about getting in shape is easy, but actually doing the work is tough. I hated every minute of it. My lungs and muscles ached and I dreaded the daily sessions of jog, walk, and then repeat. Finally by the end of the month I was doing two miles of jogging without stopping! Soon it became three miles!
However patience has never been a virtue of mine. A week after running 3 miles, I saw a post on Facebook from my sister who is an avid distance runner. She and her running group had just completed a 10 mile run. My mind went back 30 years ago when I used to run that distance effortlessly. That day I set my mind to run 10 miles. I told myself if I could run 10 miles then I could run a marathon. It took me almost 3 hours to complete but I was able to jog the first three miles and then hobble the rest of the miles without stopping! I averaged a 16 minute per mile pace.

Mentally this run ignited me, but physically it landed me into 8 weeks of physical therapy under the care of Brad Magnum a wonderful PT in Payson Utah. With Brad I was humbled and learned the proper exercises to activate and strengthen muscles that had long lain dormant in me for many years.
3 months out of therapy, I began to feel stronger and again began racking up mileage. Unfortunately by training too aggressive, I caused an injury to my shins and hip which halted me for a month. Then 2 months later pain in my iliotibial band, sciatica, and piriformis muscle put me back into physical therapy again for a few months. Needless to say I was unable to run a full
marathon that first year although I did manage to limp though a half-marathon with a lot of discomfort.

All in all, this journey has been a wonderful experience for me to learn about ME. Improving my posture and balance and strengthening my entire body from my toes and arches to my shoulders and neck. From my body to my mind, it has given me physical and mental strength. Yes I am much stronger than I once believed.

Two years later, I can now run at an 8 to 9 minute per mile pace, and I am training wisely for another marathon. I have lost 20 lbs and I feel skinny. Occasionally, I allow myself to day-dream that I am Badass. Most importantly I have kept ahead of Type 2 Diabetes but I’m no fool. I know that it will always chase me. It will never give up. It’s a fierce competitor, but then again so am I