02-26-2007, 09:43 PM
Anna knows all about what happens if you go too fast too soon and your body isn't prepared for the effort, especially when you have a pre-existing condition that can aggravate the situation. Although she'd always had lower back problems, the then 35-year-old recreation therapist didn't think they would affect her efforts to complete the walk/run program. As it turns out, she was painfully wrong. About halfway into the program one of her knees became unable to compensate for the alignment problems that started in her back. "I was totally devastated," she recalls. "I thought running just wasn't my sport."
She was going to quit the program altogether, but instead changed to the walking program for a few weeks and visited a physiotherapist, who got her swimming and cycling to strengthen the knee. "I went back to the running program in about three weeks. Although I was used to being at the front of the running pack when I first started, I had to get used to the idea of pulling up the rear, but I didn't mind at all. I found myself with all the people who had joined the program for social reasons, thinking, 'Hey, if we finish it, great.' They were all really supportive."
Anna managed to complete the running program with her original group and shortly thereafter went on to complete a 10-k race in 1:20. "I'm so glad it worked out the way it did. I would never have thought I could come back like that."