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The Hardest Thing I have Ever Done

It is quiet.  The air is still. I hear a soft pounding in my chest and my feet on the asphalt.  My heart reminds me of the task at hand: kee...

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Eugene Marathon Asks

Tell Us Your Story...

So I did:

I have MS.  I was diagnosed 7 years ago when I was pregnant with my twin daughters.  At the time of my diagnosis, I was so afraid of what was to come.  Before my pregnancy, I was an amateur runner, mostly just running for fitness.  After the girls were born, and after they finished a course of 12 months of nursing, I started the MS Treatments.  Not many people know that the treatment for MS is often much worse that the disease itself.  I was taking intravenous beta-interferon, which made me feel sick and very tired all of the time. Last year, my doctor decided to give me a break from the meds (he called it a drug holiday).  During that time, I felt great.  My spirits were lifted.  My energy increased.  My running improved.  As a result, I thought I would try my hand at the half marathon here in Eugene.  I ran it in 2:22, which was pretty good considering the wait for the port-a-potty (nearly 7 minutes).  After that, I decided I would go for it and try my hand at an entire 26.2.  I trained for the Portland Marathon with Joe Henderson's group out of the Eugene Running club.  With the support of the coach and the team, and the love of my family, I made the distance in 4:49:27 (I know it by heart).  I cried like a baby at the finish line.  I ran in my singlet that says "I Have MS" right across the front.  Then I thought, what should I do next?  Well, I decided I would bring it home and run the Eugene Marathon on 2012. I was taking  big chance, because my drug holiday was nearing its end.  My MRI was coming up and I feared that if I had more disease activity and more lesions showed up on my scan, then my doctor would caution against another run of that distance...or worse, I might have to go back on the shots that kept me sick for so many years.  Well, needless to say, I went ahead with the training for Eugene.  Also, during that time I got hooked up with Crowdrise and started fund raising for the MS Society through the Eugene Marathon.  Things were going okay, but I felt tired in my running and slow in my progress with my training.  Then I had my MRI in February. Sure enough I had my first new brain lesion in years.  I panicked.  My doctor was very supportive and reassuring and so I pressed on with the training.  Well, we have just had our 21 miles training and I beat my pace by nearly 30 seconds per mile than when I trained for Portland.  I think the Eugene Marathon will be a wonderful and unique experience for me and for my family and friends who live here.  I especially want my daughters to see me doing what I am doing not only with this run, but also with the fundraiser.  I intend to wear that same singlet I wore in Portland (I Have MS), only this time it will be adorned with the names of those who have contributed to my Crowdrise fundraiser.  I want people to know that MS is not an end.  I can do this.  I am doing this.  I am honored and proud to do it in my home city of Eugene.

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