Tomorrow represents my 3 year anniversary since I started running consistently. Just for kicks, last night I reviewed my running log over the 3 years. Out of 1,095 days, I ran 915 days and missed 180 days due to rest or injury (of course, I continued to run through most of my injuries). I approximately ran 84% of the time. My goal was to achieve 3 years of consistent running and I think this qualifies. The last 6 months has been incredible and especially the last 8 weeks as I've been basically pain free. I actually think I've learned how to run in the past few months, as a result of the prior couple years of trial and error (of course, there's always much more to learn).
My damaged left ankle was analyzed last week and it has reduced substantially in size and is very close to the same size as my right ankle. It's almost as strong as my right ankle, and the flexibility in left ankle has increased tenfold and is very close to the flexibility of my right ankle.
I was told by much more experience and accomplished runners that it takes "3 years of consistent running" before your body adapts and you reap the true benefits. I'm a believer.
When I think of the last 3 years, honestly it's overwhelming. In some ways I get emotional because I went through a lot and had to knock down so many walls. I had so much support along the way (my PT, running coach, etc.) and specifically Barefoot Ted's group was one of the main reasons I made it as it was that group of folks that gave me the strength to continue many times (I mean that). Just thinking of how to describe to someone what I went through for 3 years is overwhelming . . . at times; I don't know where to start.
Now my mission is to help anyone I can. I can't tell you what it has been like the last 8 weeks to wake up and have no pain (other than normal nagging stuff). To walk at work after I cool down and have no pain. To get out of my chair at work and not worry about the next step. To wake up in the morning without pain. To walk with my kids without pain.
I wish I could name each individual that helped me but the list would be too long but I thank each and every one of you. Now, I'll do all I can do help anyone else.