60 marathons ago, Rhonda-Lee Foulds was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease

  • Jul. 6, 2017 2:35 p.m.

Rhonda-Lee Foulds was 36, a runner and the mother of three active little boys when she was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1999. She underwent brain surgery, stopped running, gained weight and took 25 pills a day.

“I went from being very active to not being active at all,” Foulds, who lives in Justin, Texas, told us when we wrote about her in 2011 before her first marathon. “I had an electric wheelchair and had resigned myself to that’s how it was going to be.”

But fate has a way of rolling its eyes when we get out our crystal balls and think we can predict our future. How could Foulds, now 53, ever dream that by 2017, she’d have completed 60 marathons and ultra marathons (six 50Ks, or 31 milers, to be precise)? All she knew is that there must be a better way than pills to control her symptoms.

Typical week of workouts: I am a member of Camp Gladiator in the Roanoke/Justin area. Every week, I participate in three to four of their workouts, which consist of group fitness and working together as a team. I also run anywhere from 35 to 60 miles per week.

If I had just 20 minutes to work out, I would: Definitely run!

What gets in the way of my exercise? My biggest hindrance is extreme fatigue due to advanced Parkinson’s.

Proudest fitness moment: I ran a quad (four marathons in four days) over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend last November. Each of the marathons ended up being very close in finish time.

Fitness goals: My fitness goal is to stay ahead of my illness with planned, difficult exercise six of seven days per week. I also have my first 50-mile race scheduled for Aug. 19. It’s called Lean Horse and is in Deadwood, S.D. If I make it successfully through the 50-miler, I will consider a 100-miler.

Three things you’ll always find in my refrigerator: Fruit, yogurt, protein drinks.

Favorite healthy food: Watermelon.

Favorite indulgence: Chocolate.

What I’d tell someone who wants to follow my routine: Take it slowly and, as far as running, start with a program like Couch to 5K and stick to it like glue. You’ll find your endurance getting better and better if you choose to run long distances or run faster. Also, find a group like Camp Gladiator. They make it easier to get fit because you gain lots of friends who also enjoy working out.

What my workout says about me: My workout says I am determined to stay healthy regardless of my diagnosis. I always say that people are capable of so much more than they think they are. That’s definitely my situation, as I used to think I should just sit around and wait to wither and die.

Just Posted

Sunnybrook pies in demand

Just in time for Easter

AISH amendments not enough

AISH payments need to be increased

Rocky RCMP officer who fired a weapon at fleeing vehicle is under investigation

Driver “appeared unhurt” in incident on O’Chiese First Nation

Emotional impact of hurtful words explored in art exhibit

Self-worth is closely tied to physical image, says artist

WATCH: Red Deerians can have a say about crime fighting

Municipality will poll citizens about policing priorities

21-year-old charged with drug trafficking in Rocky Mountain House

RCMP seized drugs after conducting a traffic stop and charged a 21-year-old… Continue reading

Liberal bill would tighten controls on sale, licensing of firearms

OTTAWA — Gun retailers would be required to keep records of firearms… Continue reading

Alberta factoring in Trans Mountain pipeline in budget forecasts

EDMONTON — Finance Minister Joe Ceci says Alberta will rely on anticipated… Continue reading

Pooches and pickup truck stolen in Edmonton found in Rimbey

Two old English bulldogs named Rocky and Jersey who were in a… Continue reading

Statistics Canada reports wholesale sales up 0.1 per cent in January

OTTAWA — Statistics Canada says wholesale sales rose 0.1 per cent to… Continue reading

Right whale deaths cost Gulf snow crab fishery its designation as sustainable

HALIFAX — An international organization has suspended a sustainability certificate for the… Continue reading

Financial watchdog says controls to mitigate sales risk at banks ‘insufficient’

TORONTO — Canada’s financial consumer watchdog says there are “insufficient” controls in… Continue reading

Sheriff official: 3 injured in Maryland high school shooting

GREAT MILLS, Md. — A shooting at a Maryland high school Tuesday… Continue reading

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month