Interview with Maria Micklasavage

Hello super dynamic runners and walkers, this is the Road Runners Club of Woodbury run tip of the week. I just came back from a five mile run on Kelly drive with 15 amazing running students who I am coaching to do their first 10 miler at Broad Street. It is inspiring to see new runners accomplish five miles for the first time. The rain today did not stop any of them from achieving this goal. My passion for running is fed through witnessing these acts of bravery. This week I want to share with you another example of passion and bravery in the world of running.

This example is seen in our own Maria Micklasavage. Maria has dealt with physical challenges in her life, enough to keep anyone from running. Not Maria, she has overcome these challenges and is now more passionate about running then ever. I want to share with you a summary of her challenges as described by her husband Vic, and then end with a small interview that I had with Maria.

Summary of Challenges by Vic Micklasavage

Hi John,

Here is some additional background on Maria.

In November 1991 she fell 6 floors (sixty feet) down an abandoned elevator shaft.  She suffered a concussion and had to have 80 stitches in her head.  All of the ribs on her left side were broken and she had a collapsed lung.  She suffered chipped bones in her lower back.

She suffered nerve damage on her back and chest. She also suffered from restless legs syndrome and traumatic stress disorder. When she got out of the hospital she could not sleep in bed for over a month due to the constant pain. The doctors told her that anything she did would be twice as hard as for somebody who did not have an elevator shaft accident.

Today she pushes through the pain and refuses to take pain medication.

She works out to make herself stronger and she started running a few years ago because it was a challenge that she wanted to meet.  She ran Bradley’s Buddies this past year and she won a medal for her age group!    Last year she ran her first 10 miler in May – Broad Street, the Captain Gallagher 10 miler in August, her first Half Marathon in September – ING Rock and Roll, then she ran the Jonas Cattel 10 miler in October and then she ran the Philadelphia Half Marathon in November. She has a lot of determination and the results are evident with every race she enters.

I am very proud of her and glad that I’ve been married to her for 25 years!

Best regards,

Maria MicklasavageInterview

John: What was your first reason or motivation to run?

Maria: I saw my husband get fit through running and I know runners are fit, and I wanted that.

John: What was the most difficult challenge for you in beginning to run in light of your past injuries?

Maria: The doctors told me I probably couldn’t run “don’t run”, and everything I do will be twice as hard to accomplish especially running.

John: How did you deal with that report from your doctors?

Maria: I said “no” I am going to run! I just need to work harder to keep my endurance up, I NEED TO STEP IT UP! Because I have a race coming up the “Bradley 5K”.

John: That was Marias first 5K, which weeks ago she couldn’t even go a half mile because of pain. This race Maria finished strong with a time of 37:43.

John: What is another race that is special to you?

Maria: The next 5K (Benjamin-Ross 5K), which is the Fun Run course.  I beat my time by a minute recording a 36:44.  I pushed myself and enjoyed it!

John: What are your biggest accomplishments to date?

Maria: I ran the Broad Street Run 10 miler in 1:56:50, and the Philly Half marathon in 2:39:03. Both of these races I suffered from arthritis and water in the knee, I even had to get shots in the knee to relieve the water and pain and swelling, what a mess but I kept on running and training.

John: Why do you run and what advice do you have for a new runner?

Maria: I run to stay healthy and fit. I feel better when I run; I was supposed to be dead in 1991 so this has motivated me to keep moving and now the doctor loves my heart!!!  To a new runner “start running and pace yourself, walk if you have to and just remember—go out there to beat yourself and to beat the opinions of others.

There you have it, folks! Great bravery in running!!!

Note:  Thank you for additional editing by Jeannine Lisitski!!!

Happy Running!

John K. Carlson V.P.
Road Runners Club of Woodbury