Long before I’d ever heard the words Alzheimer’s, dementia, or caregiver…I set a goal to run a marathon.
The year was 1993 when I committed to run a marathon as soon as I turned age 50. The reason why is written in this article: Alzheimer’s Author Begins Marathon Training
Having trained on and off (mostly off) over the last 18 years, during which I became a caregiver to my father diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, I sit here a week and a day after running 26.2-miles and can honestly say: Caregiving is a lot harder!
Mind you, it wasn’t easy and the challenges were many, even the very morning of the marathon when
- a storm knocked out our power.
- winds tripped the earthquake valve on our propane tank.
- We still faced a 90-minute drive to the marathon starting line.
- I wondered if the universe was sending me a message.
- If I wasn’t sure, Mother Nature answered any doubt when she began releasing a torrent of rain during the entire marathon route.
- And if there was any doubt, she added hail to the mix during the last four miles.
- Oh, and the last mile to the finish? Forceful winds that would have blown me back a mile had I not bent to charge back their mighty force.
When all is said and done, a strong commitment (insanity) carried me through on that stormy day, March 20, 2011, when I fulfilled an 18-year goal to run a marathon after I turn 50. And I ran the entire 26.2 miles in sandals!
I surprised myself (and others) when I started with a smile and ended with one! (What happened along the way is another story!)
Here’s a 23-second clip of me at Mile 5:
Brenda Avadian, MA