Running long distances isn’t just a physical challenge. In fact, it may be even more of a mental & emotional battle that in the end if not dealt with could be what ends up destroying your ambition…
I chose to apply to be a MS Run the US relay runner at such an inopportune time in my life some would say…maybe even myself if you happen to catch me on the wrong day.
I knew when I was considering applying to be a relay runner, I was only months away from marrying the man of my dreams & being on the opposite side of the country from my family & close friends that 100% of the planning would lie on my shoulders. Despite the challenges I had already foreseen, I shared my ambition with my fiancé & he was extremely supportive & encouraging at the thought of me participating in a cause that meant so much to me.
As a couple, we agreed that I would apply to be a runner both knowing that the next several months would not be easy, but we looked at it as an opportunity to work as a team that would only make us stronger as a unit both before & after our wedding scheduled for February 8th.
There was a waiting period of 4 months before I would know the results of my application. During this time, I tried to focus on wedding planning & it definitely was overwhelming all alone. In the back of my mind I had no idea how I would begin a long distance running program, raise funds for MS, and continue planning our wedding & our “other side of the globe” honeymoon, but I didn’t care. I knew I wanted to do it ALL!
Well, the time came & past for my phone interview, and I still had to wait another month before I would hear if I was a relay runner or not. During this month, the real emotional & mental battle officially began. I started thinking about the details….what being a relay runner actually meant. During my phone interview, I learned that I may be on TV, radio stations, in newspapers & the question came up if I wanted to share that I had the disease that I’d be running & raising funds for. I’ve kept it “quiet” from most of the people in my life. I had so much of an internal battle going on I didn’t know how to deal with it that I just decided I would deal with that decision later. My faith led me to believe God would let me know how to handle it.
Well, I got my letter that I was accepted as a runner & all of the questions & worrying were washed away….all the signs were there…I was MEANT to do this. I was MEANT to be a runner. I was MEANT to be diagnosed & tell my story and there was no better time than the present….the time was NOW…& I jumped in face first eager to take on the world!
I immediately wrote my running program that would begin on December 15th & end on the first day of my relay segment….May 5th. It consisted of 5 months of the greatest amount of running I’ve ever attempted before. The first week began with 5 days of running 3-10 miles each day to & ended with running 6 days a week of 12-28 miles each day. It was a journey I began & didn’t stop to look back.
My training dedication started off fantastic!!! I stuck with my plan exactly; never wavering away from it. Even if I was sick; I still went outside & did what I was supposed to do even if it meant jogging slow or even walking. As soon as I was about 80% I was back to my regimen without fault once again. I stuck with my running program up until the week of the wedding….
Stay tuned for Part 2…