Alrighty then, let’s get to the running. My calendar for this winter training season consists of the Gilbert Half Marathon November 23rd, The Scottsdale Half Marathon December 15th and the Sprouts Mesa Full Marathon February 8th. I’m sure there will be a few smaller races sprinkled in somewhere, but those are the biggies.
summers in Arizona usually cause me to take a relatively lengthy break in my
running. With MS it is advised to avoid overheating and if you’ve ever been to
Arizona you get the reason for the break. It amazes me how quickly you can
restart from square one with running. So easily I can go from running 6-7 miles
to taking a week vacation and coming back to struggle running 3. Oh running…you
As the weather started to get to a tolerable temperature (at 5am), I started meeting up with the amazing Annie for our Monday runs. Around this time, a training program through a group called East Valley Runners was recommended. Annie and I agreed to go together and after the first meeting decided to sign up for a fall half marathon training program. Another friend, who I will not be referring to quite often, Amber, signed up as well but she was training for her first full!!!! See where this is going?
has been the most consistent I have ever trained for a race. My previous
approach was show up and don’t die. Which up to now has worked just fine. We
have consistently run together 5 days a week and are putting in close to if not
over 100 miles a month! This morning, we put in 10 miles at the good ol’ Queen
Creek Wash. Legs felt heavy but the company is hard to beat. Having the support
of such an amazing group of women really makes the training process exciting. I
look forward each 4am morning to the time spent chatting and sweating. Together,
we make each other better.
Let me introduce myself. My name is Molly. I am the mother
of three boys, born again runner, Multiple Sclerosis warrior, brain aneurysm
survivor, teen mom, college graduate, positivity craver and a forever dreamer.
The title of this blog, Motivating Molly, has two meanings.
One, I hope my story and love for many things can motivate at least one person
to conquer something they thought they were not capable of and two, to pay
homage to the people in my life who have inspired, encouraged and loved me
through all the chapters of my life. I will use this blog to talk about the ups
and downs of my running journey, the true life of living with Multiple
Sclerosis and whatever else happens to inspire me that day.
A little history; I started my running journey in 2013 with
the infamous Couch to 5k program. I was determined to finally tackle my fear of
running. I hit the gym every day to get my intervals in on the treadmill
(because who knew you could run outside). Being the eternal optimist, after
running a 5k and my fastest half marathon to date in May 2013, I decided to
sign up for a marathon. I had the honor of running the Marine Corps Marathon in
Washington DC October 2013. I can’t even begin to describe the emotional
experience that is the MCM! After a few life-changing events (divorce and cross
country move) I ended up in Arizona. Determined to continue running I did what
any other 30 something year old would do, went to Facebook to find my new
running family. I was blessed to meet a group called Moms Run This Town (run
Fast forward, through MRTT I met the lovely Laurel who
quickly became my running wife. She lived a mile away and was up for some early
morning, Pokémon Go finding runs. I can remember on those early morning runs
commenting on how my feet sometimes felt numb and some other odd physical
things. Of course we both chalked it up to nothing. In October 2017, I lost the
feeling and most of the use in my left arm. After numerous doctors appointments
and an MRI I found out that I had MS. At this point in my life I didn’t even
know what that was. After some research I realized my life would forever be
changed with this diagnosis. Looking back, Laurel and I definitely laugh over
her joking around that I was a hypochondriac during those previous early
morning runs. “Look at that. It was something,” says Laurel.
I was determined to live my life and not let this affect my daily activities. Then came MRI #2. This was a routine MRI to follow up on the progress of my MS. The same day I went in for the MRI I received a call from my neurologist informing me that I had an 8MM aneurysm on my right optical nerve and I would need to see a specialist. Once again, not knowing what an aneurysm was I did what any other person with internet would do, went to Google (palm to forehead). After freaking out thoroughly, I met with an amazing doctor at Barrows Hospital who suggested a craniotomy to clip the aneurysm. I confirmed they would not have to shave my head (vain I know) and agreed to the surgery. May 24, 2018 I underwent a 7-hour surgery to take care of the aneurysm. The recovery was brutal, but better than the alternative. During all of this my running obviously fell to the wayside.
After fully recovering I started to run again on and off,
but it really felt like a struggle due to the inconsistent days I was putting
into it. September 2019 I decided to go full force again. I joined East Valley
Runners for some serious coaching. I connected with some women who have really
held me accountable and motivate me daily (5 days a week to be specific). I
have officially been bullied into running my 2nd full marathon in
February 2020 after saying I would never run another full again. I feel strong
and determined and want to use this blog to share my experiences with running,
health and life. I hope I can motivate others because I sure am grateful for
the motivation I have received.