by Pam Nyrose
The goal for my 55th birthday (in September 2018) was to run a full marathon. In November 2017, I suffered a concussion that took me out of training for four months. The recovery was tedious and painfully slow. I was so excited in March when I got the go-ahead to run for five minutes. By April, I had worked up to running for 30 minutes, which I did at a 10K event in Jasper. After a consultation with my healthcare professionals in June, I was encouraged to save my dream of a marathon for another year. In July, I injured my leg which took me out for another month. I was so disappointed and discouraged. Would I ever get my strength and endurance back? Now even a half marathon was looking doubtful.
One evening in August, I joined a group of athletes meeting with a sports psychologist. I was hoping that perhaps I would hear something that would provide some encouragement. I heard: “Do what you can, where you are at.” The next morning, I started strength training exercises.
On September 9, 2018, I ran a half marathon at the Queen City Marathon with a goal of bettering my previous personal best by 14 minutes—a rather lofty goal, given the year I just had. I chose to run with the 2:15 pace bunny for the first 15K. At 10K, an old knee injury made itself known. I said to it: “Oh no you don’t, you aren’t hurting. You just think you are getting tired, but we aren’t done yet.”
I kept going. Shortly thereafter, I remembered my mantra from a previous training run: “fast, healthy, strong.” Fast feet, healthy hips, strong legs.
I kept running. At 15K, I thought to myself, “I haven’t laid it all out on the course yet. I think I can give more.” I also remembered how in earlier training runs, I seemed to run faster as the distance increased. In my head, I also started repeating: “the farther you go, the faster you get.” The chanting continued and at 18K, I caught sight of the 2:10 pace bunny. I couldn’t believe it. I kept chanting and I did indeed get faster. My body stayed healthy and strong to the finish line. I finished in 2:07:51—22 minutes faster than a year ago. Not only am I back, but I am faster, healthier and stronger.