Going the Distance

The Advocate's new resident marathoner shares the intricacies and the joys of training for the Los Angeles Marathon (his fourth!) as an HIV positive man.



Last December, I
ran the Las Vegas Marathon. I trained completely on my
own this time and had some difficulty completing the course,
which left me sore for days. The race was so
intense that my toenails turned black and fell off,
though they eventually grew back. Soon after, I
completed the St. Patrick’s Day Marathon in Boulder
City, Nev. I started training for the San Diego
Marathon but my medicine caused me to lose my
motivation and hang up my running shoes.

Six months later,
I got the running bug again.

I really enjoyed
my experience of training with the National AIDS
Marathon Program so I decided to do it again. I am currently
training for the Los Angeles Marathon. There are
differences this time. I head to L.A. on Friday,
stay overnight, and go to training on Saturday
morning; but now I drive home to Las Vegas. Sometimes I
stay the weekend. But I only do this for training runs
that are ten miles or greater. The rest of the time, I
am training on my own in Las Vegas. I carry a small
camera with me as I run and post the footage on my Web
site, RunShawnnRun.com to share with my pace group since I
don’t get to train with them too often.


I am currently on
a cocktail of three HIV drugs. I also take meds for
bi-polar disorder and benign tremors. Some meds have
interfered with my training. I discontinued HIV meds
right before training for the San Francisco Marathon
-- they were continuously making me nauseous and gave
me diarrhea -- yet, I ran the entire marathon. I have since
resumed HIV meds and am tolerating them well.

Tags: Sports