February 4, 2011
Running Beats Rheumatoid Arthritis with a Big Stick!
My mileage is slowly creeping back up with the occasional set back. Sometimes I feel like I am always 2 steps forward 1 1/2 steps back. Which is okay since it still means moving forward! We all have things that interrupt even the best laid training plans, slipping on ice, travel plans, etc. so it is important to be able to let those times when you can't exercise go so you don't stress over the missed workout, but you also have to see them only as a pause and not let it spiral into a new routine of making excuses.
After a 3 day break from running, I was feeling pretty low. I woke up with a serious RA flare that had even my jaw so inflamed I couldn't open my mouth to eat breakfast. RA also saps your energy so the last thing in the world I wanted to do was run, but I hauled myself into the gym anyway.
On the other hand, I know full well that a good run will knock the rust off and get things moving again. I stepped onto the treadmill and long story short, I managed a light 10 mile run.
The best part of the story? My RA flare subsided as effectively as if I had gone to the doctor for a Kenalog shot! Endorphins are very powerful drugs, we just have to reach out and grab them with both hands. It has taken me over 3 years to get to the point where I can run for over an hour and a half and still be productive, but every step has been worth it. This is why I run.
Wendy Nail (a.k.a. The Rusted Runner)