Living with diabetes isn't fun. It is a lot of hard work, even more so if you are an athlete. Am I happy I have it? Absolutely not. But, it has instilled in me a perseverance and the desire to overcome obstacles. I'm not anything close to a "perfect diabetic," and don't believe such a person exists, but I am proud of my accomplishments in spite of the disease (qualifying for the Boston Marathon being the main one).
By the end of last week I stopped feeling sorry for myself and started to be proactive about my new health situation. By the end of the weekend, I loosely developed a plan of attack. I will be attempting to do things that doctors say are not possible, yet a select group of people have done in spite of them. I hope to join their ranks as a success story. My plan of attack to combat everything going on in my body includes:
- Not running for the entire month of July. If you know me at all, then you know how much running means to me. Yesterday I ran 6 miles with a friend. That will be my one and only run in this month. Instead, I will be biking (I'm doing a metric century on the 4th of July), walking, doing the elliptical machine and lifting weights. I know it will be a struggle, as it was when I had a stress fracture 3 years ago. But I made it through it then and will make it through now.
- Get stronger bones. According to a few different doctors, they think I have weak bones (side note: wouldn't I have gotten a stress fracture during marathon training if this was the case?). I've always hated milk but am now drinking it. I was pleasantly surprised how Chocolate Light Silk Milk tasted. I'm also going to eat more yogurt, which I already eat, and continue to take calcium pills.
- Rebuild the cartilage surrounding my left knee. Apparently the majority of the cartilage surrounding my left knee has deteriorated. According to doctors, it is impossible to build new cartilage in your body. Once it is gone, it does not come back. Yet, I read about people successfully rebuilding cartilage and running again. After some research about the best foods to eat and vitamins/supplements to take to do so, I feel hopeful that I, too, will be a success story.
By the end of July, I hope my knee is feeling good again. I know I will loose all of the endurance I have worked so hard to build over the past year. When I return to running in August, I'm sure I'll feel out of shape and a 9-minute mile will feel like a sprint.
I keep reminding myself why I am doing this. One year ago, I decided that I wanted to run the Boston Marathon. I did everything in my power to make it happen. On one magical day in April, I surprised myself and ran the race of my dreams. Boston was the celebration of achieving one of my goals. I will run Boston in 2013 no matter what, even if it means crawling across the finish line.