Runner’s World has been interesting the last couple of months. July was about the relationship between cancer and running, which is very strong. They talked about how distance running gives people back control over their lives. I agree with that 100%! Running gave me control over my body despite RA and I’ve seen it give people control when they felt they had lost it over illness, abuse, or just a bad run of luck. In the August issue there is an article about pain that asked at the end if people with chronic pain would react differently if they were feeling the same pain while crossing the finish line of a marathon with a cheering crowd. Well, DUH, of course, but there is no cheering section for chronic pain sufferers. We didn’t ask to be there, we didn’t work to be there, there is no gain from chronic pain.
People often wonder at why I would train for and run a marathon. Why would I want to put my body through that kind of pain? It is very simple. I have resigned myself to the fact that pain is part of my life. When I don’t run, I have RA pain, when I do run I have all the aches and pains that go with pushing your body to its limits. Obviously on the running side one has better health, a better figure, and a more positive outlook, but there is one other factor and that is CHOICE. If I’m hurting at the end of a speed work out or pushing the last mile of a race, I’m hurting because I choose to and I can make it stop any time. By choosing that pain and pushing the envelope, I am exempting myself (for the most part) from the uncontrollable, unchosen, unending pain of Rheumatoid Arthritis. I did not choose to have RA so when it takes over my life and rides roughshod over my decisions, it makes me bitter and angry. I choose to run and when I am sore and aching I know it means I am getting stronger. When months of my life were spent surviving and never getting on top of all the things I needed to do, let alone get around to something I wanted to do, it plunged me into the depths of despair for months at a time. When months of exhaustive efforts see me successfully crossing the finish line, I am elated and on a high that lasts far longer. To me that makes marathon training a no-brainer.
I ran 3 miles this morning. They were slow, but good. I didn’t start feeling wiped out until the last mile and considering I haven’t taken my Enbrel in over a week that is very good. My chest has cleared up, but my head has not, which means I’m still coughing from the gunk in my head, but no more of the deep chested stuff. I am better, but not yet well and it is okay. I ran today.