Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Fit For Life 10k

This weekend I ran an entire 10k pain free. I ran the entire time, and didn't stop once. The race I ran, the Fit for Life is special to me because I ran the half marathon last July, just a couple months before I got sick. It was the last race I ran before my RA Symptoms started, the longest distance I've done in the past year, and it was right before Ronnie and I became an official couple, and he came out with some of our other friends to cheer my friend Jackie and I on as we ran.

When I first got sick with RA and the doctors finally figured out what it was, they told me there was a possibility I might not run again. That my joints might not be able to handle that much impact, and even with medication, my running days may be over. Over the next six months, I started to believe that. I believed I would never feel good enough to run again, and to be honest, I had a season where I was in a dark place. I learned that I found my identity in being a runner, that I turned to running as my comfort, my stress release, my security.

I am not saying I think running is bad, because it isn't. It is so good for me, mentally and physically but I do believe that God took it away from me for a season to remind me that my identity isn't found in being a runner, it is found in Him. He showed me that He wanted me to come to him first with my emotions, with my anger and fear and stress and let him heal my heart before taking it to the streets and pounding those emotions into the pavement, never really dealing with them.

About three months ago, I saw a different doctor in my Rheumatologist office. He is the actual Rheumatologist doctor, and usually I see the Nurse Practioner. He saw how much pain I was still in, even six months after being treated with medication and said what I had known that that medicine was NOT working for me and we made a plan to switch me to Enbrel. I will never forget when he said to me "We are going to get you running again." I was scared to believe him, to even hope for that.

Little by little, my joint pain has all but disappeared. Karissa and I started running together, and I had to deal with some pride issues as my knees weren't quite ready at first, and then even when they were, when I couldn't run a whole mile without a walk break, and then when I could do that, my mile time was almost two minutes slower than before I got sick. But all that didn't matter this weekend when I completed an entire 10k, 6.2 miles, without a walk break. I didn't do it fast, I didn't beat any personal records, but I was running again. Pain free.

Karissa and I ran almost the entire race together. Our speed demon men took off right away, and we saw them about half way through the race as they were heading back to the finish line and we were heading to the turn-around. We chatted about life, weddings, trips, friends, dogs, and being homeowners and even felt bad about our lives when this lady doing a run, walk, run, walk pace was beating us.

I have to mention this small detail: the longest run we ran preparing for this race was 3.1 miles, and we had at least 2 walk breaks during that. The longeset we had ran before this race without stopping was maybe 2 miles and I might be stretching that. We ran approximately 2 times between the June 27th color run and the July 13th 10k. But when we reached the three mile turnaround, we were both still feeling great, and kept running. By 4.5 miles, I decided that I hadn't walked yet, so I sure as hell wasn't going to walk the last 1.5 miles. I decided to pick up my pace and try and get that dang race over with. I struggled probably the last half a mile, I was tired, my body was aching, and I was kind of bored without my running buddy to talk to. Finally I saw the entrance to the stadium where the finish line was and almost cried as I crossed that finish line.

I am so happy, so proud, so thankful. I really couldn't have ran that entire race without one of my best friends, and favorite running partner right next to me most of the way. Running now isn't something I take for granted, its not where I find myself , but it is an important part of my life I am so thankful that I am able to do. Yesterday morning I dragged myself out of bed early and ran 3 miles before work because I am going to try and accomplish one of my goals I set in January, to run a half marathon in 2013. To do that, I am going to need to get my butt out of bed before work because this girl doesn't do running in 102 degree heat. No way.

Not going to lie, never thought I'd get to the point that was even possible, but, I am once again in awe at just how BIG God is.


  1. Such a great story! So proud of you and all you have accomplished! You have so much ambishion and dertermnation to achieve your goals and anything you set your mind to! Way to go! Love you!

  2. Aw Brittany - this story makes me smile! Look at you go! You, my dear, are my inspiration for running. I can't imagine having to deal with an illness that attacks the one thing you love to do: be active.

    Continually praying for you and glad that doctor had enough faith in running for you to strengthen yours! :)

  3. I am so thrilled for you! It is amazing what God's strength within you can help you accomplish- far beyond what some doctors could believe!

  4. This makes me happy !! So glad you are back at running again. I run as well & I can't imagine someone telling me that I might not be able to run again. Wishing the best to you !


  5. Yay! So happy for you, this is amazing! Your true, God IS so big! :)