Living with M.S.

"Living with M.S. is sort of like training for a long race. The harder you try, and the longer you keep at it, the stronger you become.
Eventually, looking back, you may be amazed at the power you possessed, even when you had no idea it was within your reach." (Linda Ann Nickerson)


Coming back ... with an ambitious new fitness goal

Accountability is worth plenty when I’m facing a challenge. Maybe you know the feeling. And I am coming back from a too-long battle with MS-related vertigo, fatigue, pain, and overall funk.

But I tend to be a determined sort, so I have set myself a goal. It’s a pretty tall order, too.

I want to do another half marathon. I did one almost two years ago. My finishing time wasn’t anything impressive, but I actually finished the thing. I even felt pretty good afterwards.

That’s 13.1 miles of steady running. And I kept the same pace (tortoise-like though it was) for the entire duration, never breaking from a jog gait.

Ah, but that was nearly two years ago.

I am a little older now, and I carry a few more multiple sclerosis symptom battle scars, even if my MRIs have held constant for a few years. (This year’s edition comes up pretty soon, and I am hoping for a similar report.)

So here we go again.

I have recently returned to trail hiking, walking and running after a winter of sloth. (OK, so I had a doctor’s note, so to speak. But I still didn’t log many miles. And I now have a few pesky pounds to drop.)

However, armed with a new Fitbit Charge Wireless Activity Wristband (thanks to my mom on Mother’s Day), which counts every step I take daily, I have been getting up and getting out there. I can currently sustain my snail-like running pace for a little over 3 miles. That means I could finish a 5K. That reminds me: I need to sign up for a 5k race or fun run soon, just to keep my own motivation fired up.

I want to notch my distances up – all summer – and aim for a fall half marathon. (MSers know the hot midsummer is not a good time to try a long-distance run.)

If I can manage this, then I want to aim for an even bigger goal. I almost shudder to spell it out here.

This one is a biggie, but I want to see if I can shoot for it. And I have a very dear beneficiary in mind for the event sponsorship. So, if my training continues to progress, if the MS MonSter doesn’t mount a massive attack, and if my doctors say it’s OK, I want to test my own limits in the big game a year from now.

And, if the MS MonSter launches an angry onslaught in the meantime, I hope and pray I can accept a change of plans. (Life with MS does teach us about making flexible plans, doesn't it?)

I’ll post occasional progress reports here. Who’s with me? Think I can kick MS to the curb for a while?

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