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200 miles?

Posted Jan 01 2008 12:00am

I‘ll have to get to 100 miles per week first. It may take me well over a year to get there. But maybe I have a new long range goal. Maybe my body is just incapable of the endeavor. Maybe this maybe that.

Some have been critical of a certain runner who is a cancer survivor who decided a while back to attempt to run 200 miles. She ran 214. She had a goal, she had the desire, and her mind told her body to do it and it did. Simple as that…right? No, there is nothing simple about taking on a goal in the face of severe adversity. After months of chemo and complications from other medicines, common sense would dictate that her lungs were not capable of such a thing. But nobody told her that. Or if they did, she didn’t listen.

I’m quite possibly at the lowest point running-wise. I’ve hit rock bottom..again. The bottom keeps getting further and further down. But I’m not about to give up. I’m not about to ask the question. I’m not going to ask the doctor. I’m not going to ask Mr. Masochism. I’m not going to say it outloud. If it’s not uttered, it’s not real. I’m not done with thing. Not by a long shot.

My family questions me. At first, when I started running, in the back of their heads they thought it was just a phase. They thought they could humor me by telling me how fun it looks and how cute I look, etc etc. A year passes and I’m still running. They continue the platitudes until November of 2006. After the diabetes diagnosis, the tunes changed. (I still wonder if there wasn’t some big ‘ol conferance call so they could get their complaints on the same page).
I had to stop running they said. And it didn’t help the situation when I had a couple of fainting incidents on the highway and trails, but let’s not dwell on those. I was too damn stubborn to be scared enough to stop running. My doctor monitored me closely while I tested every possible food combination before during and after running. And that was just for the same 3 mile run, same pace, EVERY DAY FOR 2 MONTHS. When I got the all clear to vary my running, I had to test even more. But at least I was running.

I didn’t realize in August 2007 that a 6 mile memorial run for a very special little boy who lost his life to SIDS would be my last real run for a while. I didn’t realize I would have to forget all races and that here, in 2008, I’ve forgotten about racing for a while. I didn’t realize then that I would miss running like I would miss breathing. I didn’t realize that I would feel now as if my body is just a crippled shell mentally and physically. I didn’t realize it would hurt this bad. My heart just hurts.

With a disease such as diabetes, any run is a risk of losing my life. I’m not insulin-dependent so I can’t “program” or manually manipulate my pancreas. I have to be prepared for any whim it might choose to take. And until there is a cure, I will think about that before I take the first step. I test seconds before running. I double check and triple check my road ID’s (yes I have 2one for contact info, one for insurance/dr/drug info). I double triple check my emergency sugar sources that I stash on my body. I test one more time. . . just in case.
And through it all, I’ll be damned if Im going to let this control me. No way. I’m the one controlling the disease. And no disease is going to keep me from running. I feel normal, I feel free, I feel healthy, I feel…no imagine my healthy blood fighting back against the syrupy sugar molecules that my pancreas refuses to metabolize. I feel powerful when I run. I feel like Katrina. In the purest state I’ve ever been in, it’s been during a run.

When I run again, when the hip heals, and the leg is accustomed to being the same length as the other one, when my gait is corrected, when all the pieces fall into place, I will run, REALLy run. I will feel whole again. I will feel healed again. And even with the risk of death for the rest of my life, I will run. I’ll run smart. I’ll run safe. I’ll run complete. And one day, I may not stop until I’ve reached 200…200 in a month, 200 in 2 weeks, 200 in a week.

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