Thursday, March 6, 2014

Let me introduce Pam - Today's Runner Spotlight

Today is Spotlight Thursday 
Each Thursday I spotlight a different runner from around the world.

This week I'd like to introduce Pam.
I asked Pam, to tell part of her story and introduce you all to her.  So sit back and enjoy and gain some inspiration!

Pam Blogs At:

Pam's headline on her blog is "YES, I have MS and love running." 

YES -- I DID IT!!!! I completed and ran the Garden Half Marathon in Madison, Wisconsin on Saturday, September 28, 2013 (that is 13.1 miles), 100% no walking, without falling, and I was not last!!!!!

My time was a respectable 2hrs and 40mins. I took one bathroom break but that was it.

This is a HUGE accomplishment for me. Not only am I 53 years old but I have Secondary Progressive MS.

What does that mean? It means that I experience various neurological symptoms, pain, spasms -- ALL THE TIME -- 24/7. It never goes away.
I have had to learn HOW to run with MS.

Why do I say that... imagine trying to run with a swim flipper on one foot, AND a very tight spank around your midriff and left leg, the feeling that your shoes are two sizes to small, your vision will blur now and again, your feet and legs are totally numb, AND you are using every bit of energy and concentration just to keep sequence of picking up one foot, move it forward, and repeating. THIS IS MY REALITY!!!!! Not only in everyday life but, to run is even more challenging.

That is why completing this half marathon was SUCH A HUGE TRIUMPH for me!!!!

When I arrived at the park early Saturday morning, Big Bird and Cookie Monster were there to send me off on my journey. I was SO EXCITED!!! Who would EVER have imagined that I would be doing this? Believe me - not me nor my doctors! But I did it!

Yes, it has taken me YEARS to get to the point of running this distance but, so worthwhile. I am the same person that ONLY 3 1/2 years ago became "cane-free". Yes, before that time I was using a cane and before that I was using a walker at times just to get around. Plus, the neuropathy (nerve pain) was SO intense in my feet that I could not wear regular shoes. Then there is the balance issue... let's just say not good. The ONLY shoes I could wear was Crocs. Plus the factor that I was grossly overweight topping the scales at over 270lbs. How did I get to this point? With ALOT of hard work and support from my wonderful family and friends. Without them - I don't know if I could have done it!!! I did it!!!!

When I was first diagnosed in 2006 (but had been experiencing symptoms for about 10 years prior) I started with water aerobics. This did not cause the intense pain in my legs and feet since, I was not putting any weight on them. Plus, the water helped stabilize me. Swimming had ALWAYS been my sport. I was on various swim teams growing up and in college.

Running -- NEVER!!! Hated it even when we did it in gym class, now I LOVE it!!! It goes to show you - how you change over the years. Distance running seems to be something that I have mastered. Not only have I learned to read my body but, also to concentrate on my footing and balance. This is not easy. When I am running I am generally looking down. This is because I literally cannot feel the pavement and its imperfections. This is also why I prefer not to run with other people. To have other people around me, takes my focus away on my footing and concentrating on my movement. I enjoy the solitude and I also know that I am NEVER alone.

Right now, I am celebrating my VICTORY OVER MS. MS is an unpredictable disease at any point, I may not be able to run or do many of the daily activities. But, TODAY I CAN. I celebrate that fact.

What is in my future? Right now, I am working on increasing my distance mileage. The goal is to be able to complete a FULL MARATHON (26.2 MILES) IN 2015. Why, why not!!! I don't believe in allowing MS to beat me. I am going to continue to battle that ugly monster! I will continue my vow -- "ALWAYS FORWARD"!



You can check out Pam's blog 
where she blogs about her journey's at:

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