Advertisement

I Walked a Half Marathon with Fibromyalgia

I Walked a Half Marathon with Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia can make your whole body hurt. But I walk anyway, and it changes everything.

Walking Against the Odds

Here's the thing: I have to keep moving or I can't move! My fibromyalgia makes my whole body hurt, especially my hands, feet, neck, and back. Most of the time I feel like I've been clubbed with a sledgehammer. I am always aware of every body part and how it feels (usually NOT good). Walking makes me better.

How walking helps: It warms up painful muscles and clears my head. Even more important, it gets the endorphins circulating -- they're your body's natural painkillers. It takes 30 minutes or longer for my body to feel any better at all. At first I am aware of every painful footstep, knee bend, and so on. But as I warm up, it gets easier. By the end of a 60-minute walk, I don't feel like the same person who started! My muscles are stretched, warmer, less painful. My mind is less stressed, calmer . . . I can move without noticing every body part.

My routine: I am a pediatric nurse-practitioner and work in a hospital, so my schedule shifts. On workdays, I walk a long way from the parking lot to the hospital, and then I walk miles in the hospital. When I'm not working, I walk two or three 14-minute miles, three times a week, usually in late afternoon. If I can't get outside, I walk on the treadmill. It's next to French doors, so I can see outside, but I usually watch Food Network or music videos.

Who knew I could do this? My longest walk was the Knoxville half marathon, which is 13 miles. I walked it in 3 hours and 29 minutes. Who knew I could walk that far with fibromyalgia? Was I ever tired afterward! I went home and iced my legs for 30 minutes. But I was so proud of myself and felt a huge sense of accomplishment.

Medically reviewed in March 2020.

How Does It Feel to Have Fibromyalgia?
How Does It Feel to Have Fibromyalgia?
How did your fibromyalgia begin? Suddenly or slowly? How long did it take to get an accurate diagnosis of fibromyalgia? What fibro treatments are work...
Read More
What are common myths about fibromyalgia?
Dawn MarcusDawn Marcus
Common myths about fibromyalgia are: Myth 1: Fibromyalgia is very rare. Fact: Fibromyalgia affect...
More Answers
Fibromyalgia and Coexisting Conditions
Fibromyalgia and Coexisting ConditionsFibromyalgia and Coexisting ConditionsFibromyalgia and Coexisting ConditionsFibromyalgia and Coexisting Conditions
Learn how to treat related problems and gain better control of your fibro.
Start Slideshow
Can the Change of Seasons Impact My Fibromyalgia Symptoms?
Can the Change of Seasons Impact My Fibromyalgia Symptoms?