I quit running back in September 2011 because of the horrible pain I was experiencing at the time. This was before I went to see my Dr. and learned I have fibromyalgia. I was never a great runner, but I loved it. I had only started a few years before and worked my way up to running a few 5K races with an ultimate goal of doing a ½ marathon someday. The Tinkerbell ½ Marathon at Disneyland to be exact. A lot of my pain in the beginning was joint pain, in my feet, knees and hips. I was stiff in the mornings and so very sore in the evenings I could barely walk. When I did see my Dr. in November, he confirmed that I should not be running. Walking instead would be best. But when I went to see a Rheumatologist for a 2nd opinion she suggested that I continue to do what I loved, just start slow, build up very slow, pace myself, and listen to my body so I don’t overdo it. It turned out a lot of my foot/leg pain was Plantar Fasciitis, and I was able to get that under control by learning some stretches and wearing good supportive shoes all the time (very hard for this flip-flop or barefoot girl! Thanks to my sister-in-law who also deals with this, I was able to find some pretty cute supportive flip-flops by Orthaheel) It took me a few months to try running again. I wanted to focus on healing my body a bit.
When I first began running I followed the Couch 2 5K Running Plan from coolrunning. It is a very mild approach of walking/running and building up slowly to avoid injury over 9 weeks. I loved the program, so I figured I would try it again. It turned out that trying to run 3 days a week was too much, so I dropped it down to 2. I have learned a lot about energy management, and for me, this is what I can handle. I also believe the supplements I have been taking have helped with my energy and opened up more of my day to be able to exercise. I have to run on days when I don’t have anything else going on, to give myself plenty of time to rest and recover. Sometimes I have overdone it and suffered for a couple of days after with pain and fatigue.
This was one thing that was worth it to me to try and get back from my life before fibro. I missed the quiet prayer time with just me and God (and usually my little one ridding in the stroller). Getting out in nature (well, suburban nature) and feeling the sun on my skin. It’s always been a great stress reliever for me, and given me a goal to work towards. So once again I have set that goal of running the Tinkerbell ½ marathon someday. Currently I am on week 7 of the C25K program although I have been running for 10 weeks now. I feel great over all. It has helped with energy, motivation, stress relief and more!
I want to point out that I am NOT telling you to go out and run. This may not be right for you. I also understand that I may not be able to do this forever. You should seek advice from your Dr. about what type of exercise is best for you. Start slow and build up slowly. The normal recommendations for people with fibro are
low impact; walking, yoga and aqua therapy. Even with those
you must build up slowly.
It takes time!
What do you do for exercise?