New Fitness Resolutions
First of all, I want to apologize for my long absence! After Thanksgiving, life became overwhelming with end-of-the-semester projects and finals, moving to New York City to start an internship and a job, keeping up with my workouts and not having Internet in my apartment. Before I knew it, it was 2011 and I still hadn’t posted! But enough of the excuses, it’s time to get down to business.
I know I don’t normally post about my personal fitness goals and workouts, but I thought the new year could bring a new side to this blog. I’m still going to write often about tips that can help you on your fitness journey, but I also want you to get to know me a bit more! Consider it my version of an online new years resolution.
Speaking of resolutions, I’ve also decided that this is the year I’m going to push my fitness to the next level. I’ve always been athletic, but never a long-distance runner. Sprinting is more my forte. But I’ve always wanted to run long-distance. I played soccer all of my life, but I was a goalie, so my fitness regime was drastically different. In fact, I never had to run more than five miles at a time. This year, I decided that I am going to complete my first triathlon and run my first half-marathon.
I stopped playing soccer when I was a sophomore in college because I tore my ACL and meniscus. I had reconstruction surgery with the intention of returning to the game, but unfortunately that wasn’t in the cards for me. Through a lot of mishaps, I developed seven blood clots in my left leg. After a lot of blood testing, it was also revealed that I have a genetic blood disorder known as Factor V Leiden, which essentially means that my blood clots too much (more on this to come later, thanks to my fantastic med-school brother who did an entire thesis project on my disorder). The blood disorder prevents me from returning to soccer because it’s too dangerous for me to play such a high-contact sport. As a goalie, if I were ever hit too hard, then a blood clot could break off and travel to my heart at any time, resulting in a heart attack or a stroke. I love soccer, but not enough to risk my life.
The doctors told me that I wouldn’t be able to run long-distance because of the damage the clots had done to my leg. My hematologist advised me to wear compression socks, but it was unlikely I’d be able to run more than five miles. I don’t like being told what I can and can’t do, so I decided to push it. I followed guidelines, paid ruthless attention to the size of my leg when I ran (it swells to about 1.5x the size of my right leg when I run) and ran six miles a year after my diagnosis.
It’s been almost a year since then, but I still haven’t run more than seven miles at a time, which I hate to admit doesn’t happen very often. A part of it is the fear of what will happen if I keep pushing, but also because it just plain hurts. My lungs don’t hurt, but my knee kills. It doesn’t help when at mile three it starts to feel like someone strapped a 10-pound ankle weight to my leg and my foot starts to tingle or go numb.
But I’ve decided this year that fear is no longer going to hold me back. I’ve already spoken with my hematologist about my new fitness goals and he’s cautiously optimistic that I’ll be able to complete them. He’s more worried about the half-marathon than the triathlon (as am I), but we’re going to forge ahead as long as possible. With a lot of determination, hard work and a little bit of luck, you’ll see me crossing the finish line of the More/FITNESS half-marathon in April, even if I have to crawl across it!
What are your fitness goals this year?
Posted on January 9, 2011, in Exercise, Goals, Uncategorized and tagged Factor V Leiden, Goalie, Goals, Half marathon, Hematology, New Years Resolution, New York City, Running, Soccer, Thrombus, Triathlon. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.