Why run Marathons?

Well, it all started back in 2009 as I fought my way back from the most debilitating disease I’ve ever had to battle: Lyme disease.

I’ve always been a very active person. My family and friends describe me as having two speeds: on and asleep! Before my life with Lyme, running was a way to balance out daily stresses.  For me, it promotes a supple and flexible mind and body. After I contracted Lyme disease, I found myself in a battle for my very life, and running kept me alive.

I was diagnosed in Oct. 2007 after months of showing all the classical symptoms and more severe symptoms such as the loss of my of ability to walk, dress myself, climb stairs, remember how to drive a car, or look after my young children. I spent a year and a half under the care of a Lyme-literate DO. In April of 2009, a year and a half after my initial Lyme diagnosis, I felt it was time to try to run again. I felt about 80% better, but my progress had stopped. My joints still ached, and I wondered what a little exercise might to for me.  Prior to Lyme Disease, I could run a mile in under 7 minutes. My first mile that April day in 2009 took 45 minutes of jogging, crying, shouting, walking, stopping, nose blowing, laughing and trying harder than I had ever tried before to succeed.

But I really wanted to make a statement of defiance against the disease and send a message of hope to those who are just like me: not an elite athlete, but a mom from Maine who cares intensely about those battling such a prevalent disease. And then it struck me that someone who had never run more than 10 miles before in their life could run a marathon. And of course, it couldn’t be just any marathon — it had to be the largest marathon in the world. I decided to train for and run the NYC marathon. I became Lymerunner.

There are three reasons for me to continue to run marathons:

1. To raise awareness about long-term Lyme disease by training for an running a marathon with Lyme Disease (yeah, I have it!)

2. To inspire those with Lyme disease with a story of hope. When I was sick with Lyme, I had to resort to the internet for information about the disease. I desperately wanted to know when I’d get better and wanted to read stories about others who had been as ill as I had but had made sufficient recovery. I really didn’t find any stories like this, which made it hard for me to have hope and to hold on and push for my own recovery. I hope by doing this marathon, I can give hope to others with Lyme.

3. To raise money for LymeBuddies who give support to those with Lyme and their loved ones, including money towards Lyme research.

You can read my whole Lyme story here.

This year I set myself the goal of running a marathon to qualify for the Boston Marathon. I’m pleased to say that I achieved this goal. On Oct. 13, 2012 I ran the Hartford Marathon in 3:41:35 qualifying for my age group. I intend to run this in 2014. In the meantime, I plan to run the Chicago Marathon in Oct. 2013.

My big goal, set back in 2010 after I finished the NYC Marathon was to run the “Big 5 for Lyme” (New York Marathon, Boston Marathon, Chicago Marathon, London Marathon and Berlin Marathon). Maybe by the end of 2014 I’ll be a couple marathons closer to that goal!!!!

UPDATE: MAY 2014

Three of the big 5 marathons down and 2 to go. So, now I’ve got NYC, Chicago and Boston under my belt. I hope to run London in 2015 and Berlin, not sure, but soon after I hope. The “Big Five for Lyme” is becoming more of a reality every day and I hope that with this journey, a cure for Lyme will also be coming along.