I am a medical technologist and have been working in the Chemistry Lab at Newton-Wellesley Hospital since 1984. Why I started running is a bit of an unusual story. In 1994 and 1995, I was unsuccessfully treated for numbness in my right hand through physical therapy. My fingers, my hand and right forearm would be numb and full of pins and needles when I awoke after a night’s sleep. It would also happen during work and when I was eating or any activity that required bending my elbow. I was discouraged and began to think that I would never get better.
My primary care physician referred me to Dr. Joanne Borg-Stein, MD, sports physician at Newton-Wellesley. I remember clearly what she said to me that day in May 1996 after she examined me, “For God’s sake will you get yourself to a gym!" Now one might be puzzled at this but she was right on. My pinched Ulna -radius nerve was caused by a posture position I would assume when I was too busy or in other terms stressed out. I needed exercise to relieve the stress of everyday living to prevent the posture I assumed when life was hectic (which was pretty much all the time).
I wanted to be a compliant patient but loathed exercising indoors and didn't want to fit the time constraints of gym hours or pay the gym fees. I had two small children, my job at Newton-Wellesley, a home and a husband to care for. Running became the answer because it could be done in my neighborhood, in short time periods and when I could fit it in (5:30 am). I started alternating running and walking between telephone poles. I began to look forward to the meditative state running afforded. My distances lengthened and after a couple of months the numbness in my fingers and forearm went away! (I also had weekly physical therapy sessions and Terri was tremendous in helping me realize it was indeed poor posture that caused the pinch nerve). I was hooked on running both for my mental and physical well-being.
My first race was the 1998 Newton Heartbreak Hill International Youth race. It was one mile long up and down Heartbreak Hill. It was a hot April day and I thought I would faint, but my pride and sense of accomplishment was so satisfying. I am so excited to have this opportunity to train for the 112th Boston Marathon, which will take place five days before my 51st birthday and eight years after I began running for stress relief.