I'm Di, I'm 48 and I am a nurse, working in a team teaching resuscitation. I'm married to Jon and we have 2 border terriers, Elvis and Ruby.
As a teenager and in my twenties I had a lot of problems with my knees including recurrent dislocations of my left knee. After multiple surgeries I have ended up with osteoarthritis in both knees.
I ran a bit in my early 30's, including the London marathon, but my knees weren't reliable and intermittent pain and swelling got in the way. After a further surgery and infection in my left knee in 2008 I didn't think I would ever be able to do a weight bearing exercise again.
In 2015 a friend was doing the couch to 5K program and suggested I try it. The 8 week plan took me 16 weeks, with some time off in the middle with a swollen knee, but eventually I got there and haven't stopped since. Now I run regularly, I have stronger quad muscles which support my knees, I have lost some weight, and I rarely get pain or swelling in my knees now (although generalised aches and pains everywhere else!).
I am involved in park run, I have completed marathons and ultra marathons, and I particularly enjoy the longer distances as I am quite a slow runner, but can keep going as far as needed. Through running I have met the most amazing group of friends and an inspiring running community.
I met Ben when he was doing his 401 challenge in Shepton Mallet, we ran the first half of one of his marathons with him. He is an inspiring man and I have followed his onward journey after the challenge.
Covid has meant everything we planned to do over the last year was cancelled, including many running events and my plan to try and complete a 100 mile event. Virtual challenges have enabled us as a running community to come together as best we can. The USA Mission continues to support Ben and the charity he supports. The distance was overwhelming, but it is just one run at a time.
Slowly slowly! My Strava runs transfer directly to the app and I add my remaining distance from my Garmin every evening. I'm currently in Florida!
The Virtual USA Mission has helped me. I have my state badges above my computer, I love seeing where I am. I have visited the states quite a lot so it's great seeing if I know where I am. Of the 15 states I've already completed I have visited 10 of them. Onwards to Alabama!
The best bit about the Virtual USA Mission is an easy user friendly app and seeing where I am, and seeing where everyone else has got to.
For anyone thinking about getting involved, don't even think about the total distance. State by state. Slowly slowly....
If you want to join Di and take part in one of our Virtual USA Challenge missions, you can register HERE, where will your adventure take you?