Circa 2013: My FIRST 1/2 Marathon Race Medal from the DRC Half (Nov 2013). This medal was 13 HALF marathons and one FULL marathon ago. It all ended in May 2015 after a visit from a sports doctor revealed I had CMP (Chondromalacia Patella) which simply means over my 20+ years of constant exercise and 18months of marathon running, I managed to wear down the cartilage in both knees (mostly my right knee) causing excruciating pain if overused. Anti-inflammatory medication is necessary and can takes weeks to heal. I retired my running shoes three days before my 44th birthday.
I was depressed for a couple of months knowing that which I had grown to love, I could no longer do. The air in my lungs on those cold morning runs alone. My thoughts free floating and as light as my stride. Yep. Those days are gone, but the memories remain. I accomplished some tremendous goals while running although I didn’t accomplish them all. One goal I set was to run a half marathon in all 50 states. At the time of my retirement, I had only run in three (TX, OK, IL) however all three were in an 18 month period. Wow. I accumulated all those medals in a year and a half! One of my BIGGEST accomplishments as a runner was running a full marathon (26.2mi) within 6mos of beginning my running career. That was a goal I set for myself. I ran two 5K races four half marathon races and went straight for a full marathon. Some asked me how did I do it when some people train for months at a time. I just knew I could do it. The race itself took me 5 hours to complete, but making good time was not my goal. FINISHING was. Running pushed me to set and achieve goals I never thought I would or could do. This spoke volumes in my life then and now. I can do what I set my mind to… AND YOU CAN TOO! I may not be an active runner anymore, but running will always be in me and a part of me.