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Running to Recovery

Running takes endurance. Whether you are running from something, running to something, or running to keep you grounded.


I realized early on that my recovery journey was going to consist of a lot of running. My

journey began on December 2, 2008, when I was to be transported to yet another eating disorder unit. Prior to going, I was dealing with some different emotional things and consuming alcohol. I drove up a mountain while under the influence and on a flat tire, at that point, my life was a flat tire.


My psychiatrist, at this point, had realized that I needed some help in other areas of my life and I was transported to an eating disorder center in Philadelphia. While I was in treatment, I had to quit smoking because I had to make choices about where my money was being spent. My money was spent on numerous amounts of alcohol. I would consume alcohol to the point that I’d black out or pass out.


My drinking took me to many dark places including suicidal ideations throughout the course of my struggle with alcohol. Eventually, the eating disorder unit kicked me out due to insurance reasons, and they decided to send me to rehab, which ultimately changed so much for me. It really was the best decision I had ever made. While in rehab, I had a spiritual experience, and my cravings were gone. I have not had a drink since.



When I got out of rehab I started to run again. Every time I wanted to drink, smoke, or binge and purge, I ran instead. It became my therapy. I would go further each time I had cravings. I started to run 5k’s after building my endurance. I finally found something that I was good at and that helped my thinking when it had gone to substance abuse. Running was something beneficial for that, and for my overall health. I was able to control my emotions, mental, and physical health while caring for my body, mind, and soul.


Down the road a few years, a friend of mine asked me to run a half marathon with her. I thought she was crazy, and I didn’t think at the time, I’d be able to do it. However, with encouragement, it started to change, and I kept running and running until I was able to run 12 miles. A half marathon is 13.1 miles. I was getting so close and didn’t want to miss the opportunity, so, I signed up. I was determined to complete this task and I knew it was something I had been working for.



It was the best feeling, to cross that finish line. Since then, I have run close to 50 half marathons, 8 full marathons, and 2 ultra-marathons (I ran for 12 hours straight reaching 60 miles just under the 12-hour mark). It was exhilarating. My goal was to run the Boston Marathon and in 2017, I am happy to report that I crossed the finish at the Boston Marathon. Running is exhilarating!


Recently I was also able to run an event in my own county that was recovery-based. It was an actual run for recovery. I absolutely love supporting recovery races due to my own personal experiences. My heart goes out to those who have lost ones to this disease and want to continue to support and help them in any way I feel I can. I feel empowered by supporting people with addiction and mental health. It’s a way to give back what was so freely given to me, and that was encouragement and support.



I would not be where I am at today without my sobriety. Sobriety is a true gift as well as my running. Running has given me the confidence and strength I needed to fill that black hole that alcohol could not fill. I am a grateful recovering alcoholic and marathon runner. I encourage anyone who is interested in taking up a new hobby or becoming a runner to try it! If you’re seeking encouragement, please don’t hesitate to reach out, who knows, maybe we can run a marathon someday together!


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