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For about 30 years of running, I chronically suffered from overuse injuries. They happened so often that I could never get more than 12 miles on any one run before an injury would occur. I had to give up the thought of running marathons. Looking back, I remember that I’d have overuse injuries from even shorter runs during the winter months. I continued to run as best I could.

I began supplementing with large doses of vitamin D every day. The result was incredible. My runs became injury free, and I pushed the mileage to see what would happen. I turned 70 that year so I figured I’d be even more susceptible to injury. I ended up doing a 21-mile run along with eight 18-mile runs, seven 16-mile runs and ten 15-mile runs as well as a lot of shorter runs. The total mileage for that year was over 1,700. No injuries! Since I had proven I could do that much mileage without injury, I backed off somewhat, running just over 1,500 miles the following year and then two years at a little over 1,400 miles each. Still no injuries. I’m now in my 74th year and still running the same kind of mileage.

I should add that I’m physically disabled. I have peripheral neuropathy that my neurologist judges to be “moderately severe.” It started in the early 1980’s and because it is a degenerative condition my legs get more and more numb over time and my balance gets worse. At first, my neurologist thought I shouldn’t be running outdoors as I’m so vulnerable to falling. I’ve had numerous falls and have been very lucky that I’ve only had minor injuries from those falls, but the risk of more serious injury is there. However, the doctor sees that I’m still getting around quite well, and he had never seen that with someone who has had PN for so many years. He thinks that it may well be the running that has kept me in much better condition than others with PN who don’t run. I’m the only patient of his with PN who runs. So now he says, “Keep running but be very careful not to fall.” I make a big effort to avoid falling. My high-dose vitamin D does not appear to be helping the PN but it apparently keeps me running long distances without overuse injury and that helps the PN. I tend to fall more when I’m walking. I think that’s because I don’t pay as much attention to my feet as when I run.

Some of my friends began taking vitamin D. One friend who is a serious runner in his 50’s told me his frequent overuse injuries have gone down to zero. Another friend has been having a lot of back pain due to his cerebral palsy. When he increased his daily dose of vitamin D3, his back pain completely subsided. A female friend was excited that when upped her vitamin D intake, her fingernails stopped cracking and breaking.

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