Today’s guest is a runner that took quite the leap recently, signing up to run 7 marathons in 7 days before she had even completed a single 5k race!
Spoiler alert, she survived the experience and is here to share all the details leading up to it along with the challenge itself.
I am looking forward to going a few easy miles with Regan Zuege today.
Making Lemonade Out Of Lemons
Regan Zuege classifies herself in the covid runner category.
It was during the pandemic that she really embraced running and went all in.
In October of 2019, Regan had her youngest child.
After the birth of her son, she was eager to get back in shape.
She joined a local gym and began to get into a rhythm of working out.
Then Covid entered the picture and shut down everything, including gyms.
At the time, Regan was juggling a full-time job along with 2 kids under the age of 3.
She was forced to rethink her approach to fitness.
Finding What Works
It’s not a secret that Regan used to hate running.
The shutdowns in 2020, forced Regan to re-evaluate her relationship with the sport.
Running was the most convenient exercise at the time.
She was able to go right out of her front door and bring her kids with her.
Regan began by running intervals while pushing her kids in a jogging stroller.
Over time, she began to increase her intervals and steadily build her distance.
Running quickly became an unlikely refuge for her.
A Seed Was Planted
As Regan’s running fitness increased, she had a goal of completing a virtual 5k that supported multiple sclerosis (MS).
In her search for races, she came across MS Run the US.
MS Run the US is an ultra relay run that spans 3,260 miles with each participant running 7 marathons in 7 days.
Her initial impression was that it sounded awful, yet she was unable to shake the idea.
Regan knew that if she trained properly that she was capable of succeeding.
She made the decision to apply and see what would happen.
An Unexpected Diagnosis
Regan was diagnosed with MS six years ago at the age of 26.
Prior to being diagnosed, she was at a great place in her life.
Regan was living in Denver working at a job she loved and engaged to be married.
Her symptoms ranged from issues with her vision to tingling in her extremities.
When the symptoms persisted, Regan knew she had to see a specialist.
MS is a chronic disease that can only be controlled, but not yet cured.
According to Regan, the hardest part about MS is you never know what to expect.
The symptoms of the disease vary greatly from person to person.
Re-Writing Her Story
Regan was no stranger to MS prior to being diagnosed.
She had worked at the National MS Society in Denver.
Regan’s grandmother was also diagnosed with MS.
Her knowledge of the disease was extensive.
Regan never imagined that MS would be a part of her story.
The unknown of what the disease could bring made Regan fearful.
A diagnosis of MS had the potential to flip her life upside down.
Managing Her Symptoms
Regan was fortunate to have the less progressive form of MS.
Her symptoms are easily controlled with modern medicine that includes monthly infusions.
She no longer struggles with her vision, but still deals with constant tingling sensations.
Regan has also found that going for a run helps her overcome the constant fatigue.
She considers herself fortunate that she is able to exercise with no restrictions.
Regan was determined to prove that a chronic illness wouldn’t limit what her body could do.
Relying On Faith
When Regan submitted her application for MS Run the US, she was taking a leap of faith.
Completing the run felt like a calling to her and that gave her confidence to know she was capable.
Regan realized how little she knew about training upon being accepted.
Other than struggling with some minor injuries, the overall experience went smoothly.
Regan attributes the successful training in part to a supportive and knowledgeable coach that was assigned to her through the organization.
The run was only part of the challenge, the other part was the fundraising portion.
The fundraising requirement was 10k, but she ultimately more than doubled that amount.
Her incredible supportive community of friends and family came through which allowed Regan to focus on running and not stress about fundraising.
Pushing Past Perceived Limits
The first day of the challenge began on June 2, 2021, in Denver.
Regan was as ready as she would ever be at the start with zero injuries and successful training.
Adrenaline carried her through the first day, but it was the second day that was the worst of the 7.
The second day included challenging terrain, dangerous traffic, and extreme heat.
For the remaining days, she struggled with heat rash and blisters.
Overall she was thankful that her struggles weren’t more severe.
Regan made sure to listen to her body and walked when she needed to.
Finishing the race was symbolic that MS didn’t have to limit her life.
Regan is unsure of if she will ever fully process or be able to put into words what the experience has meant to her.
The process has taught her about discipline and that she had to stick to the training if she wanted to succeed.
A supportive family and community were crucial to her success.
MS Run the US showed Regan what it looks like for her to push her limits.
The organization is working to create the difference for a disease that needs more support and research since there is currently no cure.
In hindsight, all the sacrifices were worth it to meet incredible people and prove that her body is still as capable as ever.
Regan had decided a long time ago that she could never be a runner and now she realizes just how much our own minds limit us.
Challenging moments and adversity are all part of the process to achieve goals.
Mentioned In This Episode:
Stay connected with Regan Zuege by following her on Instagram.
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