i'm a runner. it's really the one sport i was ever really good at, and i was lucky enough to stumble upon it when i was 12. despite the long list of injuries i've accumulated over the years, i'm still running. sometimes there's an ongoing disagreement between my head and my body; i'm determined to keep running and my body is determined to make it known it doesn't always appreciate 1) waking up before dawn for runs and 2) running miles and miles at a time 3) eating gels.
my body feels like it's being punished since i've started training for a marathon. "what do you mean i have to get up (and moving) at 4:30?" "this GU isn't real peanut butter! Muscle Milk isn't real milk!" "this foam roller feels HARD and uncomfortable!" are a few top complaints.and yes, when you stop to think about it, running a marathon is a certain kind of crazy. subjecting yourself to 26.2 miles for no real reason other than some deluded sense of accomplishment isn't exactly rational. it's part impressive, part insane.
but here's the thing, throughout the pain and fatigue and sacrificing nights out with friends and eating/drinking whatever the hell i want, running is what keeps me sane. when non runners ask me why or how i do it, there's no good explanation for them. "it makes me feel alive, complete, happy" doesn't translate well to someone who hates running just one mile.
there are a million blogs out there about running by runners, newbies straight off the couch to seasoned vets. at first glance i'm just another 20-something girl running around the bay area, which is teeming with runners to begin with. but here's what makes me interesting (hopefully): i'm legally blind. this blog is about my journey of training and completing my first marathon, and the obstacles i face as i struggle with slowly losing my vision. i have a rare genetic disorder called retinitis pigmentosa (RP) that is destroying my retinas. i've been legally blind since high school, which is when i was diagnosed with RP. yeah, as if running a marathon wasn't hard enough, i'm going to do it with very limited vision. i'm incredibly excited, terrified, and determined.
ever since i was diagnosed in 2003 i kept my condition mostly to myself. i told people on a need to know basis, refusing to let it be a defining part of my identity. i don't know if it's maturity, acceptance, or something else, but i am becoming more open about it (dur, i'm posting about it on the internet!). having RP doesn't have to define me, but i can't deny that it shapes me.