Pushing Through a Marathon with MS

via Cheryl Hile

Cheryl has multiple sclerosis (MS), and her motto is “I do what I can and never give up.” Cheryl is a marathon runner, and she recently ran the Buenos Aires Marathon with her husband and running partner, Brian. It was a tough run for her, but here’s how she pushed through.

The race started off with difficulties as Cheryl had a cold in the week leading up to the run. Plus it was 70 degrees at the start of the race, and she was having skin issues, something people with MS often experience.

“Unless you have MS, it’s hard to understand. The rubbing of clothing material on my skin felt like sandpaper and, further, it made me very itchy.”

 

a woman holding up a race number

Cheryl wears an ankle foot orthotic brace while she runs. “Due to MS, the neural pathway from my brain to my right foot is weakened,” she says, and the brace helps to keep her from falling while running. But in the Buenos Aires marathon, the brace started bruising her shin. Fortunately, Cheryl was prepared: “I carry Vaseline when I run. I applied that liberally and my skin never tore off, but I had to endure a sore bruise for 20 miles. At least purple is one of my favorite colors.”

Besides the pain of the bruise, the first half of the race was also filled with coughing fits. Cheryl had to dig deep mentally to keep pushing forward. Thoughts of her husband, her friends, and all the people who have supported her on her journey motivated her to keep running.

“Once my mood lifted, my breathing eased up, my skin stopped hurting and my running pace became steady. … I ran most of the second half happy and I could enjoy the beautiful sites of Buenos Aires.”

As Cheryl crossed the finish line, she was overcome with emotion.

“I could not stop crying. I had tears of joy, but it was sweeter because I endured the struggles.”

Way to push through, Cheryl!

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