Saturday, May 16, 2015

There Is Life After Running


No-More-Running

My running career ended in 1995 during the hottest summer ever recorded in Chicago. The heat wave of 1995 killed over 1000 people. I gave up running and instead took up cycling.

My running career started right after I graduated high school back in 1979. I thought that if I looked good, guys would notice me...not! Men actually love a confident woman but I didn't realize that at the time. Anyway, I ended up developing a passion for running and anything related to exercise. This new found love made me change what I was pursuing in the university from a business major to a physical education major. Running was still my friend when I was in school for my masters in exercise physiology and even when I met the man to be my future hubby. When I finished school, I started working, kept running and also taught fitness classes.

This all came crashing down in 1995 when I developed plantar fasciitis. I had to stop running and had to cut back on spinning, my step aerobics classes and everything else that involved any impact or pressure on my foot. When I got better which was in June of 1995, I took up cycling. My favorite thing to do was to cycle along the lakefront on Sunday mornings. I loved my morning 25 milers. From time to time, I would attempt to run a 5K but every time I tried, I ended up with a sore ankle that would last for weeks. Finally it dawned on me, that my body was telling me it was time to hang up my running shoes.

In September of 2014, I was diagnosed with moderate arthritis in my knees. Of course I was bummed about it because I thought I protected myself from developing arthritis by curtailing my impact activities. My doctor told me that it was good I had given up running many years ago because had I not; right now I probably would have needed a knee replacement...yikes!


This is a message for those who are running but are constantly going to physical therapy. I mean you are there so many days of the year; you know all of the staff and have even gone out with them for drinks a few times. I have encountered friends and family members like this but they keep trying to run even though their body is giving them plenty of signs to stop. It is time to let it go. There is life after running and believe me your body will thank you for it.

8 comments:

  1. I've been running for over 20 years--my knees are fine but I'm getting arthritis in my feet. I hope to keep running into old age, but only time will tell. I try to limit my miles and do a lot of weight lifting/yoga/crosstraining. That seems to have helped a ton, and has really curtailed a lot of stuff that was simmering. We'll see. Great post. Food for thought for sure.

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    1. Hopefully Wendy, you can have a few more years with the sport that you love. I'm was thinking about cross training last year but that has changed and now my new activity to try will be yoga.

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  2. I stopped running when my bunions became inflamed. I eventually had surgery on one of them, but haven't ran since. I'm afraid I will irritate the other one. I also used to take fitness classes every day, but switched to every other day after the tendinitis in my elbow healed - it was a long process. Now I walk a lot instead. You have to listen to your body. Surgery and injuries are expensive.

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    1. Tell me about it LOL! Running(no pun intended) to the doctor and physical therapy has taken a chunk out of my wallet.

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  3. I've had to take off running a few times the past year. PF is the worst! I am back now but listening to my body and not doing long distance runs. I love cycling too and there are lots of ways to keep fit. Thanks for sharing

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  4. Running injuries are the worst. Sometimes there are changes you can make to prevent further harm, but you're right, sometimes it is best to move on. I'm grateful to be injury-free now and hope to keep it that way for a long time! #wowlinup

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  5. My weak ankles prevent me from even trying running. You just have to listen to your body to know when it's time to stop or change your activities. I know some people just don't listen (take me before starting my journey) but you need to be in tune with your body to stay healthy.

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  6. I am thankful I am still able to run as much as I would like but for those who can't there are other options to get in as much cardio as before. That is also challenging like jumping rope - or does that aggravate it? Either way - elliptical, walking on an incline there is something that can be done to replace it. Great post. #wowlinkup

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