"The next few weeks, I had no energy. I had no desire to run. I was in constant pain, running hurt so much. Little did I know, I was suffering from Hashimoto’s Hypothyroidism. Most common symptoms include fatigue, body aches, constantly feeling cold, extreme sleepiness, and weight gain."
As a runner for most of my life, I always thought one must run an entire race...meaning no walking allowed. Isn’t that what training is for? You are supposed to build up and be able to run every single step of any race be it a 5k or a marathon. As a runner, I was always glued to my stop watch and figuring out pacing; this was before Garmin existed. If I walked, I felt like a failure and needed to work harder. I enjoyed running but did not run for joy. I ran to perform and push myself. Once I hit a goal, I would make a new goal to go even faster.
One day in March 2013, I struggled to run my usual easy loop of 6 miles. The next few weeks, I had no energy. I had no desire to run. I was in constant pain, running hurt so much. Little did I know, I was suffering from Hashimoto’s Hypothyroidism. Most common symptoms include fatigue, body aches, constantly feeling cold, extreme sleepiness, and weight gain.
After being diagnosed, I began taking Synthroid to help boost my thyroid’s performance. Every 6-8 weeks, lab work is required until the thyroid levels come back to a normal reading, which took a year to achieve. During this time, I did not run much, only on good days which were rare. I had lost confidence in my running abilities.
I got the courage to start running again with a new friend I met through my daughter’s track team, Laurie. Recovering from back surgery, Laurie was also looking to start running again. We decided to start over together in May 2014. Both of us had a running background and had good experience in racing long distances. We thought we knew what to expect.
Starting from scratch as older women was definitely an eye opener. Laurie and I were by no means old (39 and 47 respectively), but we were no spring chickens like our kids either. Being out of shape, running 3-4 miles was no longer easy. As we began getting back into a running routine, we both learned huge lessons….it’s ok to walk during a run! It was ok to say, “I’m tired.” It’s ok to run slower than you used to! It’s ok to just walk the entire time because a vent session is needed! Just keep moving forward!
Eventually, Laurie and I did get stronger and in better running form and shape. We may not be as fast as we used to be, but we truly enjoy running now. We take time to look at the scenery and appreciate being out there no longer glued to our Garmins.
There will always be days where we struggle, even when we are in top form. Don’t be harsh on yourself. Do not punish yourself for not hitting that “mark.” Instead, step back and take a deep breath. Give yourself permission to back off and ease up on yourself. Mix in some walking with your running. Do not feel guilty! Lastly, do not forget the ultimate goal is to KEEP MOVING FORWARD!
Written By: Wajiha Naushad, Tri Sirena Siren Luminary
Follow Wajiha on Instagram @theironbrownie
How do you stay focused and positive? Let us know in the comments below!
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