I love to run, my arthritis does not. I’m 36 years old and I’ve been fighting the beast inside for 10 years now. It is because of that fight that I dedicate my 2018 WDW run to Racing for a Cure. Without them and the research they have funded I would not be running today. Without the comradery and friends I made through them with other arthritic athletes because of Racing for a Cure I would not have the courage or belief I could continue.
My 2015-1016 have been honestly brutal. I’ve sustained 2 hip tears one on each side from enthesitis caused by Psoriatic Arthritis. The right side has permanent passive mobility, and power loss and cartilage damage in the socket. I am on watch for a replacement in the future. My si joints are eroded to the point of sticking, and I have eroded facets up my spine which crush my nerves. This has lead to chronic myofascial pain syndrome. In July 2016 it was doubtful I would ever run another full marathon as my medical team grasped straws to why I kept locking up and why I failed a year of intensive physical therapy. I literally could not run more than 3 miles once a week. I was sent to a pain and spine specialist where they found the erosions in my SI and Facets that had slowly developed despite biologic therapies in the last 3 years. I started quarterly injection therapy into my si joints and zero gravity running late fall 2016. Following that diet revision came in December, and then strength training in January 2017. Together these things have made it possible for me to build mileage I haven’t seen in over a year. I am cross training again for the first time in 18 months. I am slowly regaining speed and though I don’t know what the future holds I have a sliver of hope that maybe this is finally my time.
My doctors know my dream is to return to the full marathon, and ultimately qualify for the prestigious Boston Marathon. At this time we are doing everything we can to get me there from medicine, procedures, dietary changes, supplements, and stress management. In 2017 I will run 2 marathons as the build up and start with a coach in the summer. I will make my first attempt at a Boston Qualifier in January 2018 at the Walt Disney World Marathon because the course is well supported, flat and fast.
It is because of the Arthritis Research Foundation that I have this possibility and I am indebted to them for the friends who believed when I could not, and the research that allowed for the treatments I now have. 2017 is the year where I come back to the marathon after two hard years of repeated attacks from psoriatic arthritis and UCTD. I have endured countless procedures, medications, and physical therapy in the last two years to bring me to the point that in January 2017 I was declared stable enough with the aid of zero gravity running to attempt my full marathon come back. My story is one of the lucky ones pushed by the inability to give up. It is unknown if I can qualify for Boston with the damage I have sustained, but what I do know is I am thankful for every mile I get with my disease. My miles are not my own they are the miles of all those fighting with arthritis. I want those miles to mean something to inspire others and raise funds for better tomorrow.