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Welcome to my blog


 

 

WELCOME TO MY BLOG!

Dear Runner Lovers,

I am just a girl who absolutely adores running marathons.  Hopefully we will all connect and find positivity through running.  There will be videos, interviews, lots of scenic photography and a little journal of my training.  Thanks so much for reading, I truly hope you enjoy everything! XOXO

Best,

That Pretty Runner

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Welcome to my blog


 

 

WELCOME TO MY BLOG!

Dear Runner Lovers,

I am just a girl who absolutely adores running marathons.  Hopefully we will all connect and find positivity through running.  There will be videos, interviews, lots of scenic photography and a little journal of my training.  Thanks so much for reading, I truly hope you enjoy everything! XOXO

Best,

That Pretty Runner

 

 

 

 

 

 

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MY STORY


 

 

 

Running Made Everything Perfect

 

I sprinted after the bundle of helium balloons, wrapped in yards of lustrous ribbon, for over a mile.  The wind blew them in all directions, the rain came pouring down and lightning streaks were everywhere.

After gliding over a hill, tree-branches entangled the ribbons so I finally caught the balloons.  These balloons were for lacrosse senior night; my girlfriends and I were decorating the turf.  Without thinking twice, I took off after the balloons.

This is the first moment since before my broken-heart, I truly lived without thinking twice.  It felt silly yet exhilarating.

 

 

My Broken Heart

 

It was a typical Tuesday and life was like life at fifteen was supposed to be.  I attended my classes, went to the locker-room, and chatted with my girlfriends on the way to lacrosse practice.  This was a very exciting practice, because I was voted team-captain and had just made the Upstate National U-15 team to play in national tournaments all summer. After taking a draw and catching the ball, I started sprinting to the goal as fast as possible.  Suddenly, I felt immense pain in my chest, then collapsed to ground. I woke up to twenty-startled teammates surrounding me in a semi-circle, unable to move or speak.  My coaches carried me over to the sideline, and called an ambulance that swiftly arrived at SUNY Upstate Medical University Hospital.

 

The trigger to this event was a virus that attacked and internally deconditioned my body.  My blood pressure reached an all-time low at 45/20, my oxygen level was in the eighties, and heart-rate fell under twenty. Seizures and fainting spells overcame me, every day. The neurologist and cardiologist just treated my symptoms with all sorts of different medications.    My skin was very pale white or blue and I lost so much weight that triple-zero jeans fell off my waist.  I constantly wore the cardio-net outpatient telemetry heart-monitor, with three several electrodes connected to thick wires, a touch-screen tablet, and base the size of a pocket dictionary. This was such a scary time because I could not control my body nor predict the future.

 

Reflecting, I cannot believe the length of time that my illness was debilitating. The first two years of high-school, I was on homebound tutoring; as the result of having frequent fainting-spells, seizures and times that my legs gave-out going down stairwells.  While my girlfriends wore their gorgeous semi-formal dresses and danced with their first real-boyfriends, I was curled up on the couch reading Great Expectations to my Chihuahua. When my team-mates were receiving recruitment letters, I received cards from prayer groups and a purse full of doctors’ notes.  My parents became my best friends on the nights that I woke up with chest-pain, we would cry together and pray until we all fell asleep on my bed. This was the loneliest time in my life, I could not really discuss my life-alterations with anyone. When I actually did see my girlfriends, it always made me feel so much better to hear about lacrosse-gossip and boy-drama instead of things like “at risk” and “It’s just her heart”.  Fifteen felt too young to learn that health is the most important thing in the world.

 

My tutor brought me to a café once a week for our study session, and it was the best.  While I typed my global-history homework, she brought me up to date on the outside world.  One day we were drinking our lemonade, picking at cinnamon-rolls and talking about come-back stories.  My tutor, told me about an article she recently read of a man who ran marathons, after overcoming significant health problems.  The concept of running twenty-six.two miles, blew our minds. I just became enthralled with the idea of running marathons. That day, is when my dream became to run a full-marathon, even though it seemed completely impossible at the time.

 

My saving grace was Dr. Robert Michael Cavanaugh.  The first appointment I had with him, he shook my hand, looked into my eyes and told me, “The best is yet to come.”  He is an adolescent specialist, and known for treating Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome.   After being prescribed Midodrine, my world came alive again.  I took ten milligrams, three times a day, along with a steroid. This was the first time in almost two years that my blood pressure was consistently 90/anything!  My fainting-spells decreased immensely.  I could jump up and down twenty times and be perfectly fine.  At last, I felt like a girl and not a body.

 

Every week there were appointments with Dr. Cavanaugh, to check my heart and blood pressure. Together we collaborated a plan to help me reach the physique that I had before collapsing to the ground in lacrosse practice, or to be better than ever. Small obtainable goals were the main idea. It started with a basic yoga regimen and ten-pound weights. Then, I started to use the stationary bike for twenty minutes a day.  After a month, I religiously went on one-mile walks with my mom, to the pond up our road and back. Once I went an entire month without fainting, I felt it in my heart and soul to run again. Finally, I put myself to the ultimate test, laced up my running sneakers and sprinted up my road (or at least what felt to me like sprinting at the time). I felt as free as a bird and in control of my life, again.

 

While making up for lost time, every day at 4:30am I went for a run around my five-mile block. After I went running, I wrote my time down on a sticky-note and posted it on my bedroom wall.  Seeing the sticky-notes posted chronologically on my wall, made me feel so accomplished.  By the time I was running six-minute miles, it was time for my first lacrosse season back.  In addition to lacrosse practices every day, I went on a morning run, rode my bike to school, and went out for a run after practice. On weekends, I ran through the woods for fifteen mile adventures. It felt amazing to be in control of my body and pushing my physical limits.

 

At the age of eighteen, completely healthy and off all medications, I ran my very first marathon.  The Maine Marathon, was a very scenic and hilly course.  I gave my parents matching shirts to wear, while they watched me run.  It was the best day ever, even though I was so nervous about the distance. I wore hot-pink sneakers, put my headphones in and loved every moment of it.  When I crossed the finish line, I felt like I entered a new beginning.

 

Though it is difficult for me to reflect upon my illness, at age twenty, it changed me forever.  Overcoming my physical obstacles has made me a strong independent woman, ready to take on the world. Conquering my significant health problems and running 26.2 mile races, feels like a dream.  After listening to Dr. Cavanaugh’s words of wisdom, I honestly believe, “the best is yet to come.”

 

 

 

MY STORY


 

 

 

Running Made Everything Perfect

 

I sprinted after the bundle of helium balloons, wrapped in yards of lustrous ribbon, for over a mile.  The wind blew them in all directions, the rain came pouring down and lightning streaks were everywhere.

After gliding over a hill, tree-branches entangled the ribbons so I finally caught the balloons.  These balloons were for lacrosse senior night; my girlfriends and I were decorating the turf.  Without thinking twice, I took off after the balloons.

This is the first moment since before my broken-heart, I truly lived without thinking twice.  It felt silly yet exhilarating.

 

 

My Broken Heart

 

It was a typical Tuesday and life was like life at fifteen was supposed to be.  I attended my classes, went to the locker-room, and chatted with my girlfriends on the way to lacrosse practice.  This was a very exciting practice, because I was voted team-captain and had just made the Upstate National U-15 team to play in national tournaments all summer. After taking a draw and catching the ball, I started sprinting to the goal as fast as possible.  Suddenly, I felt immense pain in my chest, then collapsed to ground. I woke up to twenty-startled teammates surrounding me in a semi-circle, unable to move or speak.  My coaches carried me over to the sideline, and called an ambulance that swiftly arrived at SUNY Upstate Medical University Hospital.

 

The trigger to this event was a virus that attacked and internally deconditioned my body.  My blood pressure reached an all-time low at 45/20, my oxygen level was in the eighties, and heart-rate fell under twenty. Seizures and fainting spells overcame me, every day. The neurologist and cardiologist just treated my symptoms with all sorts of different medications.    My skin was very pale white or blue and I lost so much weight that triple-zero jeans fell off my waist.  I constantly wore the cardio-net outpatient telemetry heart-monitor, with three several electrodes connected to thick wires, a touch-screen tablet, and base the size of a pocket dictionary. This was such a scary time because I could not control my body nor predict the future.

 

Reflecting, I cannot believe the length of time that my illness was debilitating. The first two years of high-school, I was on homebound tutoring; as the result of having frequent fainting-spells, seizures and times that my legs gave-out going down stairwells.  While my girlfriends wore their gorgeous semi-formal dresses and danced with their first real-boyfriends, I was curled up on the couch reading Great Expectations to my Chihuahua. When my team-mates were receiving recruitment letters, I received cards from prayer groups and a purse full of doctors’ notes.  My parents became my best friends on the nights that I woke up with chest-pain, we would cry together and pray until we all fell asleep on my bed. This was the loneliest time in my life, I could not really discuss my life-alterations with anyone. When I actually did see my girlfriends, it always made me feel so much better to hear about lacrosse-gossip and boy-drama instead of things like “at risk” and “It’s just her heart”.  Fifteen felt too young to learn that health is the most important thing in the world.

 

My tutor brought me to a café once a week for our study session, and it was the best.  While I typed my global-history homework, she brought me up to date on the outside world.  One day we were drinking our lemonade, picking at cinnamon-rolls and talking about come-back stories.  My tutor, told me about an article she recently read of a man who ran marathons, after overcoming significant health problems.  The concept of running twenty-six.two miles, blew our minds. I just became enthralled with the idea of running marathons. That day, is when my dream became to run a full-marathon, even though it seemed completely impossible at the time.

 

My saving grace was Dr. Robert Michael Cavanaugh.  The first appointment I had with him, he shook my hand, looked into my eyes and told me, “The best is yet to come.”  He is an adolescent specialist, and known for treating Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome.   After being prescribed Midodrine, my world came alive again.  I took ten milligrams, three times a day, along with a steroid. This was the first time in almost two years that my blood pressure was consistently 90/anything!  My fainting-spells decreased immensely.  I could jump up and down twenty times and be perfectly fine.  At last, I felt like a girl and not a body.

 

Every week there were appointments with Dr. Cavanaugh, to check my heart and blood pressure. Together we collaborated a plan to help me reach the physique that I had before collapsing to the ground in lacrosse practice, or to be better than ever. Small obtainable goals were the main idea. It started with a basic yoga regimen and ten-pound weights. Then, I started to use the stationary bike for twenty minutes a day.  After a month, I religiously went on one-mile walks with my mom, to the pond up our road and back. Once I went an entire month without fainting, I felt it in my heart and soul to run again. Finally, I put myself to the ultimate test, laced up my running sneakers and sprinted up my road (or at least what felt to me like sprinting at the time). I felt as free as a bird and in control of my life, again.

 

While making up for lost time, every day at 4:30am I went for a run around my five-mile block. After I went running, I wrote my time down on a sticky-note and posted it on my bedroom wall.  Seeing the sticky-notes posted chronologically on my wall, made me feel so accomplished.  By the time I was running six-minute miles, it was time for my first lacrosse season back.  In addition to lacrosse practices every day, I went on a morning run, rode my bike to school, and went out for a run after practice. On weekends, I ran through the woods for fifteen mile adventures. It felt amazing to be in control of my body and pushing my physical limits.

 

At the age of eighteen, completely healthy and off all medications, I ran my very first marathon.  The Maine Marathon, was a very scenic and hilly course.  I gave my parents matching shirts to wear, while they watched me run.  It was the best day ever, even though I was so nervous about the distance. I wore hot-pink sneakers, put my headphones in and loved every moment of it.  When I crossed the finish line, I felt like I entered a new beginning.

 

Though it is difficult for me to reflect upon my illness, at age twenty, it changed me forever.  Overcoming my physical obstacles has made me a strong independent woman, ready to take on the world. Conquering my significant health problems and running 26.2 mile races, feels like a dream.  After listening to Dr. Cavanaugh’s words of wisdom, I honestly believe, “the best is yet to come.”

 

 

 

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