Friday, March 9, 2012

Sexy Mother Runner Featured Runner Friday: Meet Megan

Sexy Mother Runner is going to be featuring a different runner every Friday! Every runner has a story and we believe that sharing those stories is a great way to share
the gift of running while helping to motivate others.
Today's featured runner is our friend, Megan.

Not only is Megan our Nutritionist for Sexy Mother Runner, but she is an incredible wife, mother, friend, and runner. She gives of herself constantly without expecting anything in return. She is the best friend a girl could ask for and I am so thankful for her and her family. I think once you  read Megan's story you will be inspired to push through all adversity and just keep running!

Megan's Story
I remember when my best friend Danyelle Barlow told me she had started running. I was like wow, really? Running? I was very impressed and thought to myself that will not be something I will start. I had always enjoyed playing sports and “working out”, but never ever was running an activity I chose to pursue. I actually thought   it was something I couldn’t do and I was quite content in my life avoiding it at all costs. 

Then, in October 2009 my good friend Jen asked me to run a 5K race with her. She couldn’t get anyone to accept her proposal and didn’t want to run alone. I said no, I am not a runner, and that was that-so I thought.  I just couldn’t get the idea out of my head, and so I finally accepted. How hard could it be to run 3.1 miles?  I wasn’t in that bad of shape. But, I quickly learned that there is the kind of “in shape” that gets you through a 40 minute butts and guts class and another  kind of “ in shape”  that allows you to run 3.1 miles without stopping.  

On my first evening out running the air was warm and humid. I think I made it about 1.5 miles, developed the classic side stitch, and thought to myself this is so much more difficult than I thought it would be. This was going to be a challenge.  

The day finally came to run the Lake Manatee Trail Run in Bradenton, FL. I think the air temp was 80+ degrees at 7:00 in the morning with 95% humidity and half of the race was on grassy, bumpy trails around the “lake” a.k.a swamp. It was much harder than I thought it would be and I really thought I was going to pass out or puke after finishing, but I managed to hold it together. I remember the poor 10k folks had to run around the swamp again and I just couldn’t imagine being able to do that! Once I recovered, I enjoyed my first post-race runner’s high for the rest of the day and looked forward to the next one. 

Since that race day I have discovered that I prefer running in a fairly narrow temperature range of 50-70 degrees. I am not ashamed to admit that I am not “hard-core” and don’t even attempt running in Florida in the summer months. I just can’t get up early enough to beat the heat and humidity.  Wintertime in Florida is the time of year that I love to run outside; the air is clear, crisp, and cool and I can barely wait to get out the door. It makes me feel alive and I love the way the cool air feels going into my nose and lungs. I appreciate this cooler air because I know the hot humid air will be here soon enough. 

I recently started running again after a long period off due to an old injury in my left foot that gives me trouble from time to time. The original injury occurred 13 years ago during a very fun, college night out with Danyelle. I think I will leave that story at that. You can use your imagination! My foot recovered nicely and never gave me any trouble until after a year or two of regular running. In the beginning it would “flare up” and I would rest it, tape it and wait for a couple of weeks and then continue running.

Last spring I just couldn’t seem to give it enough time and through the entire summer I gave up running and had to tape it to go to the beach or pool. When the kids headed back to school in the fall I went to a sports medicine podiatrist, knowing I would probably walk out with a not-so fashionable boot on my foot. The doctors couldn’t agree on the official diagnosis. It was either a mild stress fracture or tendonitis and I declined an MRI figuring it didn’t really matter since the treatment was the same- the “bleeping” boot.  The boot was so much worse than I had anticipated even! It was huge!  It was an awful air cast boot that went all the way up to my knee, which I decided was way worse than the actual injury. But, I wanted to see if it would cure my foot so I wore the thing for 6 long weeks in the hot and humid Florida fall. I tried to keep it all in perspective. My legs worked, I am not permanently disabled in anyway, this is no big deal in the big scheme of life. Did I mention the incredibly nerdy shoe lift I had to get for my other foot to keep me from completely misaligning my body? Needless to say I only wore it at home and my husband laughed hysterically when he saw me in it. Ahhh, good times.  Initially I copped quite an attitude with the nurse who told me I would need it, only to gimp back to the office the next day to get one.  

The "Bleeping" Boot!
 The day finally came when I was able to take off the boot. I felt so light and free, but learning to walk normal again took a couple of weeks. Eventually my foot function returned and there was no pain. At this time I had sworn off running. People would ask me all the time, “running yet?” I told everyone, no way. I am not going to re-injure my foot. At this point I just liked being able to walk- absolutely NOT going to run again. 

Then, the weather changed.  The morning temps dropped to the 50s and 60s, the humidity eased up, Danyelle told me she was going to start writing a running blog, and whammo I just had to test out my foot and try running again. I started out gently; running as softly as one can, almost speed walker-like. It felt so good! One mile complete! A week later I was up to two miles. I started running a little harder and pushing myself. I cleared 3 miles wooo hooo! I was back, so I thought. After one of the best runs I had done in a year, that night my foot pain came back. I was so depressed. The thought of running any races this season in Florida was gone. I was back to pre-boot status. This time though I refused to wear the boot. I self-doctored, taping and wearing supportive shoes hoping it would get better in time. Again, I was done running. I am not a runner- again. 

After becoming a “non-runner” for the third time it seemed everyone was becoming a runner or planning future races that I had always wanted to run. I tried to stay content with basic exercise, but I really missed hitting the road and feeling the burn in my lungs. So once again I laced up my Sauconys and headed out into the not-as-warm-as-usual Florida air. This time I would really take it easy, just enjoy my surroundings and not push myself so hard. I have noticed the “flare ups” tend to occur after an interval run where I really pushed myself; only easy-paced runs from now on.

My attitude about running has changed completely this year since dealing with my foot injury. No longer do I run solely to prep for the next race, to beat my last time, or to place higher. Now when I hit the road I give thanks for just being able to physically run on that day in that moment in time in the refreshing Florida winter air.

Danyelle & Megan
(Check out Meg's amazing abs!!! Tweet Twoo! Sorry, Meg I couldn't resist! :)!)

1 comment:

  1. Loved reading this! Made me laugh at the whole "I actually thought it was something I couldn’t do and I was quite content in my life avoiding it at all costs." This was so me! LOL!
    Thanks for sharing, Megan!

    Love your hat, D! :)