What keeps this Lymerunner running

Posted by admin | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 30-08-2010-05-2008

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I know people believe I have a special passion for running. To an extent I do, but this hasn’t always been the case and in fact, has only really just started to take hold of me. What I really have a passion for is raising awareness about long-term Lyme Disease and it’s devastating effects on those fighting it every day.

I’ve now  have met many people online, on the telephone and via email who have Lyme Disease and I continue to discover more and more people who have the same questions, concerns and fears about the disease as myself.  This week alone I received news of a Lyme fighter who I will never have the opportunity to meet, yet who’s story has inspired me to continue to spread the word about the disease one road race at a time.

This person’s name is Dr Terri Royer Macknight  and she passed away on Sunday Aug 15th due to complications from Lyme Disease.  Her friend Tracy Poland contacted the Maine LD because she wanted Terri’s story to be told as a means of helping fight this dreadful disease and for Terri’s memory to be kept alive by keeping the Lyme conversation alive.

Terri was one of the founders of the International Lyme and Associated Disease Society
and  was the society’s first president in 1999. As a lecturer and author, she strived to help the medical community and the public to recognize, treat and prevent Lyme Disease. Her desire to help others also took her to Barrow, Ala.; American Samoa and into rural areas where she was able to help those without access to medical care.

To many Terri will always be a Lyme hero. To Tracy, Terri’s strength, love, support and angelic voice will live in her heart forever.

Tracy’s one wish is this: “Please help others (with Lyme) by giving the support & love they deserve. Lyme disease can kill, it happened on Sunday, just like it has many other times before. Terry was not the first & she will not be the last,but you may be able to help someone not loose their life, just by passing on this story and listening to people who can help. Thank you for helping me to spread awareness in honor of Dr Theresa Royer Macknight. She deserves honoring.”

So here is my secret: THIS IS WHY I RUN! I run to keep the conversation about Lyme going. I run to promote awareness about Lyme disease. I run to give hope to others who like myself live with Lyme disease on a daily basis. But I especially  run to honour all those who fought the fight  against Lyme with courage and dignity, selflessly giving what they could to the Lyme community.

For Terri and so many others, this run’s for you.

Video: Lymerunner discussing weeks 6-7 of NYC Marathon Training.

Posted by admin | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 27-08-2010-05-2008

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Coping with rain and a tummy bug didn’t slow this Lymerunner down. Having tackled a 10 mile run, a 12 mile run and facing the challenge of running 1/2 marathon tomorrow, August 28, 2010, check out video footage of Lymerunner discussing how weeks 6-7 of NYC Marathon training have gone. Also, Lymerunner completed the Breakaway 5K race in OOB last Saturday, August 21, 2010, coming in second place for her age group!

Lymerunner NYC Marathon Training WK 6-7 from angela coulombe on Vimeo.

Marathon Training Academy interview another Lyme runner – Bart Yasso

Posted by admin | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 17-08-2010-05-2008

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Thank you again to Angie and Trevor Spenser, the good folks at Marathon Training Academy. Whether you’re thinking about running around the block, a 5k, 1/2 marathon or marathon, these two people have lots of information, advice and insight to share with you. They have also been very, very supportive of my efforts to train for the NYC Marathon this November and have given me tips, tricks and strategies to get through the training and ultimately the marathon. I can’t thank them enough!

Last week they interviewed on of my heroes, Bart Yasso, Chief Running Officer at Runner’s World magazine and author of the Book, My Life on the Run.  In  1991 and again in 1997, Bart was infected with Lyme Disease. Through email correspondence, I’ve learned more about Bart’s struggle with the disease and how it is that he continues to run with Lyme Disease. When I have a question about my joints, my training, Bart has happily answered my emails. It has been a tremendous help as I’ve never run with Lyme disease before and have often had questions!

Here is the recorded interview with Bart, and thank you to Angie for mentioning me, Lymerunner, (minute 22 of interview) to Bart, and Bart, again, thank you for your continued support and email help as I train to run the New York Marathon this November.

Debunking the Myth – I am not nor have I ever been a marathon runner

Posted by admin | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 11-08-2010-05-2008

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So many people have asked me now “What is the farthest distance you’ve ever run?”

Truth be told, not very far at all, and certainly nothing as far as a marathon! The most I’ve run in my life in one go is only about 12 miles (not even ½ a marathon!).

In fact, truth be told, when I was a kid, I thought marathon runners were crazy people – REALLY CRAZY PEOPLE!!! I would watch marathons on TV and would wonder what would compel these people to put themselves through so much self-inflicted pain and torture and this was BEFORE I even had an inkling about all the training that went into preparing for running a marathon! Looking at marathon runners on TV was almost the equivalent of watching junkies shoot up, both garnered that same repugnant, “I don’t ever want to go there with my life” sensation.

So why is it that I’ve now, with no real long-distance running experience (either pre or post Lyme Disease), decided to run a marathon and join the crazies?

I guess because after battling Lyme for 3 years, hitting what I consider rock bottom as far as being able to feel well and live with pain, having come through the other side where so many people I know with Lyme have not, this just seems like the best way to draw attention to this devastating disease.

It’s been said of Lyme, “you don’t get it until you get it”, and that’s how I now feel about this whole NYC Marathon training lark. I couldn’t understand as a child what would move and motivate someone enough to put such tremendous stress on their muscles and bodies and to push themselves beyond their physical means. But living with Lyme was like that for me. When I was really sick, every day I had to find a reason to push myself beyond the pain threshold the previous day brought. I had to push myself to endure sleepless nights followed by days of aches, pains, headaches, memory loss and the loss of my ability to do simple things like dress myself or walk upstairs. I had to deal with loss of appetite, strength and energy and the uncertainty of not knowing if I would ever regain those things I had suddenly and forcefully lost.

Running this marathon to me proves a couple of things that seem to by myths in certain medical circles:

  1. Your Lyme symptoms are just the every day aches and pains of living – If this were the case, there’d be NO WAY I’d be able to even think about training for a marathon let alone physically train for a marathon.
  2. Your symptoms have nothing to do with Lyme but are simply old age and arthritis – Again, if this were the case, I would still be as arthritic and even older than I was three years ago, so why train to run a marathon now?
  3. It’s all in your head – well, the one thing I’ve learned from both Lyme disease and marathon training, is that you have to be very mentally strong to dig up all your mental reserves to convince yourself that you can get through it – full stop!

So, for all those out there who have not made the recovery I have, I am also running this for you! I will continue to train for the New York Marathon. I will continue to get the word out there about Lyme Disease and its debilitating effects on those affected by it. I will continue to try to debunk the myths surrounding Long-term, Chronic Lyme Disease and I will continue to fight for the recognition that those suffering from the disease so rightly deserve! I will keep the Lyme conversation going in the hope that one day a swift and safe cure for all will be found and that unnecessary suffering comes to an end.
To help me achieve this goal, please consider sponsoring me a dollar per mile I run! Every penny goes to helping those with Lyme Disease! You can use the Chip In widget to the right of this page. Thanks.

Week 5 of Marathon Training

Posted by admin | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 09-08-2010-05-2008

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Week 5 of New York Marathon Training saw me running both a distance of 9 miles and a distance of 10 miles in one training session. It also afforded me the chance to do some nice cross training. The video below gives an update on how it all went.

Angela Coulombe, aka Lymerunner, discusses week 5 of NYC marathon training from angela coulombe on Vimeo.