Training for Life

I will be running my first 5K in over 2 years and training for this run with Rheumatoid Arthritis has had its challenges. In 2010, before I was diagnosed with RA, I ran my first half marathon in under two hours and that was an amazing accomplishment for me. I only trained for 3 months prior to the event-run 5 miles Monday thru Friday and run 8 miles on Saturday; rest on Sunday.  I think the most difficult thing for me this time around in the training process, is patience with my body. I have already run 13.1 miles before, why is it difficult for me to run 1.5 miles now? Why can’t my body not get up and go like I have been able to before. 

Prepping For my 1st Half Marathon

I have my boyfriend telling me time after time "Don't run yet. Your knee is not 100%. I don't want you to hurt yourself more." These moments I want to yell "I'll show you I can't run!" And the thing is, he's right-I'm not 100% and I can't run, I have hurt myself already and I made sure not to tell him; because I'm stubborn. 
With RA, I've learned that I have to be patient with my body. I know that if I push myself too much for pride, I will end up hurting and embarrassing myself in the process. At this point in my life, I have to stop being stubborn and listen to my body. If I can’t run today, then I can run tomorrow-no big deal.

So this is what I've been doing while training:

  • Patience-If I can't today, there's always tomorrow. 
  • Strength Training-Squatting helps me build the muscles around my knee so my knee can have a stronger support system, especially when I run.
  • Jogging/Jump Rope/Burpees-Light cardio or Heavy cardio gets the heart rate going, so I’m trying to keep my heart healthy
  • Weight lifting-I lift because lifting can create non-bulky muscles that have stronger thicker fibers that have been shown to enhance performance in endurance activities, such as running.
  • Stay Focus on You-I tend to feel left out or feel like I’m being lazy because I see people working out or posting on social media that they’re being active, when I’m at home feeling fatigued or hurt. At this point, I have to focus on myself and know what is right for my body at the moment. I will be running soon.

Using these tools and dedication can help me train for life, train for obstacles that I will face in the future due to RA, it can also help me train other people who are struggling and want to get back to being active whether they have RA or not.

Remember that recovery takes time and you may be back to where you once were, but if you’re not, no big deal.

You Are Stronger Than RA!!!

Aimee Matsumoto