Even with an injury I completed my 2nd marathon –the New York City Marathon on behalf of the Tourette’s Syndrome Association of America raising money to help children and adults with this challenging malady. Tourette’s Syndrome is an inherited neuropsychiatric disorder with onset in childhood, characterized by multiple physical (motor) tic and at least one vocal (phonic) tic; these tics characteristically wax and wane. Tourette's is defined as part of a spectrum of tic, which includes transient and chronic tics. People with Tourette’s are most often very creative with the actual advantage of having a nervous system that processes certain types of information up to twice as fast as the rest of us without this condition. We all have unique characteristics; only if we learn to become aware of and embrace our special qualities can we develop into fully actualized human beings. To run a marathon, I began by taking notice of my level of physical and mental conditioning and capitalized on this developing an entirely new mental and physical resiliency; not unlike those with Tourette’s Syndrome might do.As I ran this marathon I was inspired and impressed by the people who participated; all ages, races and nationalities – running together challenging ourselves and transforming our lives in the process. About 2 weeks ago I suffered a right calf injury causing inflammation and painful trigger points in my lower leg preventing me from running even a single step. I thought that there was no way that I could run the New York Marathon even after training for over 8 months. My new running partner, a former world level runner, knew some “tricks of the trade” and along with intravenous vitamin C and a bunch of nutritional supplements, massage and contrast heat and cold, I was able to run a 5 mile test run just the day before the marathon. Although I ran those 5 miles with pain, I decided to run the marathon the following day figuring that the worst scenario was that I would have to drop out.
The morning of the marathon my legs felt good although extremely sore. I had scheduled to run with a 3 hour 30 min. race pace group to help me stay focused; however, my injury posed a particularly challenging scenario – I have been known to have a high pain tolerance and I certainly risked even more severe injury.
My 3:30 pace group started the run when the starting shot was fired. For the 1st 15 miles I was doing quite well–keeping with the pace group. I ran my first mile at 7:49 seconds my 2nd at 7:48 seconds and a pace hovering just under 8 minutes per mile up until mile 12. At mile 13 the bottom started to fall out! I ran mile 13 at 8:01, not bad! I was halfway through the marathon at this point but mile 14 was run at 8:03 and then6 – I was slowing down considerable. At about mile 17 I was running much more slowly at an 8:13 pace finally finishing the race at a total time of 3 hours 48 min. I was hoping to run the race with a total time of 3 hours and 25 min, but this is now my goal for a future race. More importantly,
I learned about patience as improving comes with time and persistence; I learned about pushing through difficulties even when physical pain and mental discomfort is involved and I learned about the benefits of setting goals – centering your life towards a future that you want and molding what comes your way consistent with one’s vision of the future. As an added bonus, I am in the best shape of my life~
Once again, I want to thank everyone for there support and on behalf of myself and the Tourette’s syndrome Association of America.
Be well, Dr. Michael Wald