I’m proud to say that I finished my first full marathon, since my car accident with no back pain; and a half marathon thrown in the day before for good measure. Walt Disney World calls this feat the Goofy Challenge and I’m proud to say that it’s the second time I’ve completed it. On the down side, my marathon time was a full 40 minutes slower than my first Goofy Challenge, but given the situation, I will happily consider it a success!
At the time that I had to register for Disney Marathon Weekend (these races fill up quickly), I really wanted this to be my come back marathon. I was unsure how my training would go and if I would be capable of the full, at that point. This I when I decided to register for the Goofy Challenge. I would have the option of competing in the full marathon if my training went well, or fall back to the half marathon if it didn’t. This was also an anniversary year for the Goofy Challenge, so it would be nice to get the 10th anniversary metal, if at all possible. During training I completed two 20 milers (with a 10 miler the day before the second one), both of them were very painful, but I was able to finish. It wasn’t a pretty sight, but I felt that I accomplished enough that I could complete in the Goofy Challenge if I went slow enough and was willing to stop and stretch, as needed.
You see, in the past year and 9 months since my accident, I’ve gone from not being able to slowly walk around the block without so much pain the I was in tears, to slowly building mileage (including pain with each new increase), to my first half marathon without pain (only this racing season), to my first full with no pain (even though I did stop to stretch many times – which surely accounted for part of my slow time). I didn’t expect the race to be pretty. I was sure I could finish, but was thrilled at mile 24 to realize I had no back pain only tight muscles. I then came to the realization that my recovery was better than I had expected and my come back marathon was definitely a success in my book!
My determination to do everything my physical therapist and massage therapist suggested, along with not listening to the doctor when my gut was telling me he wasn’t right has paid off. Through internet searches, I was able to find some great assistance for my issues. I also found yoga stretches have helped greatly. By putting these exercises together with quite a bit of trial and error, listening to my gut, and most importantly prayer and listening to God; I’ve been able to achieve a great amount of recovery. Although I’m still not 100% of my pre-accident fitness level, I’m proud of how far I have come and have my path laid out to improve further.
In future posts, I will be sharing details to the exercises and resources that have helped me recover to this point and my path to move forward to attain my 100% pre-accident fitness level and plan to excel even further.