Warrior Wednesday: Beth @ Miles and Trials

I’m so excited to kick off my recurring series where I tell the stories of the most amazing warriors! These ladies {hopefully some men’s stories will be added to the collection soon!} have battled through tough situations and have either overcome, or are overcoming tough situations.


Today I’m truly honored for you to meet my friend Beth who has Multiple Sclerosis {we met in an online support group for athletes with MS} but is overcoming by staying active with marathons and even an Ironman Triathlon!

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I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in March of 2012. Looking back now, I realize that I started feeling symptoms in May of the previous year. I had recently started running after a few months off due to injury. After some long runs, I would experience a tingling sensation throughout my lower legs. I described it as feeling like something was tickling my legs from the inside and just figured it was my muscles firing away from the exertion of the run.

Fast forward to fall of 2011, I had been doing Bikram hot yoga for a while and loved the sweaty-ness of the classes and how drained, but great I would feel afterward. Out of the blue one day in class I went into a certain pose that is done every class with my head tucked down and my back hunched over (sounds like a lovely move, doesn’t it?) and had a shooting pain go from my right rib cage down to my foot. It felt like an electrical shock. I stood up out of the pose and was fine, so I just thought I had tweaked something, no big deal. A few days later I had forgotten about this incident and went back to class. Back in the same pose and again, I had this electrical shock feeling down my body. Strange, I thought, but as soon as I would come out of the pose it would go away. This went on for the next month of going to classes, but since nothing ever bothered other than in this and one other pose, I simply ignored it.

A week before Thanksgiving I began to feel some strange tingling and slight numbness in my toes. It slowly but gradually kept moving up my legs. I was training for an upcoming race and reluctantly took a few days off from running. That didn’t help, so, of course, I started running again. The pain did not get worse when I ran, so I figured why not?

A trip to the ER and then a neurologist and I was told to go start getting MRIs and head down the path of tests. At the time I was reluctant to do so because we did not have great insurance and I knew it was going to cost many thousands of dollars and I felt like I would be poked and prodded and still not have an answer. So I tried to move on and forget all about it. I even ran the Phoenix Rock n Roll Marathon in January of that year. I thought eventually these weird sensations would go away and I’d just chalk it up to some unexplained thing. Well, that worked for a short period of time, but the tingling sensations remained.

In February 2012 I got very sick and was eventually told I had pneumonia. The tingling was still around, (along with a new electric shock when I would bend my neck downward), and something inside of me said it’s time to try to figure this out. Finally this “thing” had my attention. 3 MRIs, various neurological exams, blood work, and a spinal tap later (yes the spinal tap is really as awful as everyone says it is, I would never wish the horrific headaches on anyone) and I received the MS diagnosis.

Being a runner at the time, my first concern was if I was going to be able to continue running. I had only recently become a runner, running my first marathon at age 38 to cross it off my bucket list. The only problem was I fell in love with it and have since run 11 marathons total! Anyway, after being told I had MS, I began to search the internet for advice on if I would be able to keep running marathons. I found nothing. Trying not to get discouraged I spoke with my doctor and he said that his hope for MS patients was that they could continue to live as close to their previous lives as possible and if I wanted to run and listened to my body that he did not see a reason why I shouldn’t continue to run. Halellujah!

Since my diagnosis 3 years ago I have run 7 more marathons, including 2 Boston Marathons, and completed my first Half Ironman and Ironman triathlons this past year. 

I decided to start my blog, www.milesandtrials.com, to document my journey and reach out to others that may be going through similar trials in life, whether it be with MS or something else. I pray that God will use me for His purpose and glory because “in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28

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To follow Beth and her amazing story:
And if you or someone you know is a warrior, email the story to me at KristenRunsBlog@gmail.com!
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