Guest Blog: From running a marathon to running for the fun of it thumbnail

June 7th, 2016

Guest Blog: From running a marathon to running for the fun of it

running, run waterloo

RunWaterloo’s ENDURrace 8k, courtesy of Julie Schmidt-

Waterloo Classic – Mya DeBrouwer of Your Neighbourhood Credit Union shares with us her running story

I started running when I was 35 as a way to lose weight and to stay in shape. I was not particularly athletic, but what I lacked in athleticism I made up for with grit!

I joined a group of runners in the town I live in, and we ran together twice per week – one ‘short’ run during the week and one ‘long’ run on Sundays (we did other runs individually three to four times per week). Our goal was to run the Detroit Marathon, which is considered a fairly easy marathon since it is a relatively flat course.

After completing the Detroit Marathon in 2002, I felt so empowered that I immediately decided that I wanted to run it again. So I trained with our group for another year, and completed it again in 2003.

This time, however, things were different afterwards. When I went for my first training run three days after completion, I immediately felt searing pain in my right hip and leg. I was in so much pain that my running partner had to help me hobble back home. The pain didn’t let up for months – I tried numerous ways to get better, including massage therapy, physiotherapy, chiropractic, laser treatments, cortisone injections and pain medication. I even underwent a MRI to determine if I had a fracture (I didn’t). Different health professionals diagnosed me with arthritis, bursitis, sciatica and IT band syndrome. Ultimately, the only solution that seemed to work was taking time off.

I ended up taking a lot of time off from running – about 13 years! I changed my workout routine to include other forms of exercise such as walking, fitness classes and working out at the local gym. However, I missed the ‘high’ I got from running.

Recently I’ve started running again. A lot has changed in the last decade. I discovered that there are now running apps available to new runners. My favorite is an app called ‘5k Runner’. It’s an app that helps motivate new runners to run 5 km over the course of six weeks through walk/run intervals. It has been a godsend to me, because it is like having my own personal coach. And it has made running fun for me again.

I doubt that I’ll ever run a full marathon again – I still get moderate pain when I push myself too hard, or when I run too many days in a row. However, I’m ok with that. My goals have changed – I now run just for the sake of running, and that brings me a lot of satisfaction.

About Mya: One of the main voices behind Your Neighbourhood Credit Union’s Get Financially Fit blog, and part-time professor at Fanshawe College, Mya is a business marketing powerhouse. Say hello and see what she’s up to on Twitter: @myadebrouwer.