In this episode we welcome Gretchen Schoenstein to the podcast who will share her inspirational story. Also, John and Gretchen will discuss runn the (very humid) 2016 Rock ‘n Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon
Just some of the things I’ve heard or been told, in no particular order:
“You’ll hurt yourself”
“You think too much when running”
“You’ll exhaust yourself”
“Perhaps too many?”
My response, in order:
I’m quite sane, thank you and thanks to running
I’ll strengthen my body
I let go when I run
I’ll empower myself
Would love your support to help the AI community as a whole as I get ever closer to taking the first step over the start line on my way to crossing the 50th finish line – donate today!
So it happened, somehow, someway, I ran #49. And thanks to a little faith and a lot of love and support from friends and family, I ran better than I expected I would. Maybe it’s the listening of “Gonna Fly Now” on the way to the start line. Maybe it’s just being in Rocky’s hometown. Maybe it’s letting go of expectations and allowing the enjoyment of the experience to take center stage.
Found a heads-up penny in the airport shortly after I landed so I went with the omen of good luck no matter what. That and I looked fear in the face and said “care to dance?” #eyeofthetiger
It was humid and soupy and weird weather from the get go. When the weather says 70 degrees at 5am and 85% humidity, you know it’s definitely not the same as the cool, almost too cold, fast course of last year, when #RnRPhilly was on Halloween. Gonna sound weird but: I’m more grateful to the Pope even now for coming to town last September and forcing the date move. 😉
Also grateful to KT tape and getting both ankles taped up the day before. Too many ankle rolls and wanted to be preventative. It worked. They felt strong and supported while maintaining flexibility. Until…
Mile .25. As in we just started. A runner in front of me purposefully and knowingly tossed a small water bottle. Turned around and looked at it. Then in slow motion as I looked to see what he was looking at, stepped my left ankle right on it and felt it completely roll to the left. Saw stars. I swear. I am a stubborn little s@#* so I decided to try to run it off. And if I could catch the guy, I would…nah, I wouldn’t. (seriously, runners, remember there are other runners and their limbs behind you. you too selfie stick folks. I saw more than one person nearly get clocked with one.) And, I’m lucky cause I could run it off. AND I really think already having the KT tape on already helped. YAY!
Did I mention it was humid? Quite. As in already dripping in sweat before the race started. Which makes for a, um, whiffy race with everyone in close quarters. Those wicking shirts we all wear? Doesn’t translate for this weather. Also known as humidity + wicking material = whiffy.
Saw a sign saying “you can’t drown in sweat.” Well, today, Mr. Sign, I bet a few would beg to differ. I think my eyes came close.
Oh, that might…….
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Full disclosure, true confession. This isn’t a FB post that’s about a victory, vacation or some delightful observation or political rant. I’ve hesitated to even share, because it’s a bit more raw and real than put together and strong. So many posts out there seem to intimidate at least some of us to only sharing when things are going swimmingly. And a lot of time they are. And a lot of time they’re not. Hell, I had an idea a while ago that someone should start a hashtag with pictures of all the nights we spend on a couch versus the nights out, the trips, the social times. #onmycouchwatchingreruns
The reality is, I have some pretty big goals I want to accomplish this fall. They’re incredibly and deeply meaningful to me. And right now, I don’t know how I’m going to do them. My health has taken a hit this summer and something in my immune system is yet again out of whack. Challenging to say the least. I’ve seen more doctors in the last 3 weeks than in the last two years. I’ve spent more time on my couch or on the floor than out for a run or a hike. I’ve cried more tears than I care to remember (including in front of colleagues this week who thankfully are incredibly compassionate friends too.) Sigh.
When your body is a breeding ground for auto immune diseases or disorders, you think you get used to living this way. That when there’s a flare up or a new diagnosis you just deal. Here we go again, go into auto pilot. But you don’t. Not me anyway. I’ve never taken this stuff lying down. Not for long anyway. And sure, for years I pretended or stuffed away the idea that my body and inflammation were like the Montagues and Capulets. Warring most times, silently stalked at others. For me, inflammation is like a poison in my body. It trips the triggers of my immune system and I don’t always know how, why, or when. The poison seems to seep insidiously and unchecked.
In fact, most people say “but you’re the healthiest person I know!” (first, you need more healthy friends, cause I’m not! ;)) And sure, I do watch what I eat and purposefully keep myself strong as I can. As the reporter said of me in June, when you’re betrayed by your body multiple times, you guard against it by keeping yourself healthy and strong. And this just proves that AI (auto immune) issues do not discriminate nor can be completely prevented. Even…….
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