Sunday, February 12, 2017

Trusting the Process: On and Off the Road

I turned a corner this week. I ran well, I held my balance poses in yoga, and I lifted 89% of my max doing deadlifts with Becky.

I am feeling good. If I didn't know I had rheumatoid arthritis, I wouldn't know I had it. Does that even make sense? As I continue to wean off the steroids, my aches and pains are barely noticeable. I have more energy. My mood is good. Most importantly, my sense of humor is returning!

Becky always says it and my rheumatologist said it too: Trust the Process.



Two months ago, when I was diagnosed with RA, I was feeling pretty bad. I was optimistic that things would turn around quickly for me. Things have gotten better but not fast enough for this impatient runner. Two months later, I can say that my optimism has returned. Yes, I'm still on weekly methotrexate injections. As the dose has increased, my symptoms have decreased. I've also made some changes in my diet, eating more foods that have the ability to decrease inflammation. I'm still having some night sweats and fatigue, along with those mild aches and pains. I can't complain. I've been able to run the whole time. My speed and endurance are returning! I'm hopeful that I will continue in this forward direction.

This week I ran a total of 22 miles. Tuesday it was warm and rainy, but Thursday was sunny and bitterly cold. It's as if Mother Nature cannot make up her mind. Unlike those poor folks in the Northeast, we are still without snow. For those of us in Chicago, it's been an ideal winter for a runner.

A rainy morning run. I had to bring my own sunshine. 
Saturday morning, I got up early to run with Steph. The others didn't want to go so early, so it was just the 2 of us. I'm so fortunate to have a running partner who runs my pace! It was a pleasant 40 degree morning with no wind! We planned to do 8, but I had to cut it short for me to make it on time to work. Why does life have to get in the way of running?

Me and Steph, running up Payton's Hill
I made it to the yoga studio twice this week.

Cocoa and me, in the most badass of poses, Goddess Kali
Besides the deadlifts, Becky had me work on power cleans (I hope I got the terminology correct, Becky). I won't lie, I struggle with the cleans, particularly when she adds more weight. It's the whole package, the hip thrust, the jump, and the shoulder shrug to get the bar up. The clean reminds me of a dance move. It's fair to say that I'm not a very good dancer. If you know me at all, you know that I get really frustrated when I cannot do something.  I can clean the bar and I can do it with lighter weights. But I could not clean the weight she had planned for me this week.

I had much more success with those deadlifts.

You know when the colored plates come on, it's going to be heavy! This was a deadlift. 
I also had lunch with Marcia this week. We talked about a variety of things, including my upcoming marathon. I've been thinking a lot about my training and my goals,  and we talked about what I was going to do. Marcia threw me a couple of bones in the form of training advice. When Marcia talks running, I listen. She's an amazing coach--just ask Mary Beth--and her guidance has always been spot-on in the past. I feel that I've gained so much knowledge from her. I'm looking forward to incorporating her advice into my marathon training plan. It really does take a village to train a runner, doesn't it?

The process? On and off the road, thus far, the process has been a success.
How was your week? What's the weather like where you are? I know a lot of you got snow! What advice do you take to the starting line? Don't have a starting line for this spring? It's not too late to enter my Utah Valley Marathon, Half, or 10k Giveaway!!!

I'm linking up with Holly and Tricia, as well as Angela and Ilka for their weekly linkups!



96 comments :

  1. Glad you are starting to see improvements and are feeling more optimistic! We had weird weather this week, with a few really warm days and then it got really cold. Somehow we didn't get hit with the snow. Not sure how we have made it this long into the winter without any!

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    1. I was thinking about our lack of snow and I learned that we haven't had any snow since December 17. Now how crazy is that?

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  2. You are certainly not slowing down a bit are you! That bar bell looks mighty heavy. Glad you got some great running advice from Marcia.Fun that you all live close enough to hang out. I have to remember to trust the process as well! Have a great week

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    1. I'm thrilled that RA hasn't slowed me down at all! Fingers crossed that this will follow me right into my marathon training.

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  3. I have to admit.. I'm a little thrown off my your running friend pics! ;) I'm happy to see you loving your Saturday morning "runchats!"

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    1. I'm loving my new Saturday morning running partner--can you believe she got up extra early to accommodate my work schedule?

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  4. I'm glad you are starting to feel better and believing in the process!

    Although we had a patch of snow on Thursday, it's melting quickly and doesn't impede running too much. The rest of our winter has been mild and ideal for running as well so I can't complain. I just hope we can continue to hold on to the mild weather.

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    1. I hope the mild weather hangs on here too!

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  5. I'm so glad you're feeling (and doing!)better ;-) Look out, Duluth, Wendy's gonna kick your A$$ ;-)

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  6. I'm so happy to hear that your treatment is going well and your symptoms are subsiding! Trusting the process is so key and I do think that optimism makes a difference! I still don't know what a power clean is LOL but I'm sure I couldn't do it!

    This weather has been so crazy...we had weather in the 60's then it snowed the next day, the temperatures dropped, and now they're coming back up...go figure!

    Great job with your runs! It's always nice to have a runner going your same pace! I haven't had that in ages...

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    1. I think I'm really going to enjoy having a partner or 2 or 3 to do my long runs with!

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  7. I am so glad to hear you are on the upside to this RA and what a great week.
    I always love to here what your accomplishing with Becky and running with Steph I'm glad you found someone to share the road with.

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  8. This post is amazing--so hopeful and will help those that are struggling with health or life issues that seem unending and impossible! You are strong and you don't give up and I cannot wait to continue to follow along on this journey. We can all learn from each other. Keep up the great work, Wendy!

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    1. Thank you!!! We are all in this thing together!

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  9. It's wonderful that you're feeling like you don't even have RA! You are so lucky to find someone who runs your pace and can accommodate your schedule too. I admit I'm a little jealous. Your "crossfit talk" makes no sense to me at all. LOL. Other than -- I think you are one strong and determined gal. I'm sure you will hit all the goals Becky has for you -- no matter what they are called. Thanks for linking, Wendy!

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    1. My CrossFit talk makes no sense to me either. Becky has corrected me multiple times on the clean lingo. I'm not even sure if I got this one right. Power clean? Clean? Squat clean?

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  10. So great that you're feeling better and getting your optimism and humor back. :-)

    Great running this week.

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    1. Thanks! It was a really good week. Hoping for this trend to continue.

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  11. Yay! I'm so glad you're feeling better! Our weather pattern has been similar - I think you send yours our way, but it gets warmer en route. ;-) We had a snow squall for a few minutes on Thursday and then it was sunny with blue skies!

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  12. When it comes to chronic illness, you just have to take each day as it comes, and make the most of it. I'm so so happy that you are feeling well!

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    1. I know that the bottom could fall out at any time, so I'm grateful for feeling good!

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  13. Sounds like an awesome week! Glad that you're feeling good! Weather hasn't been too bad, mostly rainy but there have been some good days.

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  14. I got my first grandchild this week so I am on cloud 9! I am in Florida so our weather is beautiful right now, 60s in the morning and 80 by lunch time. I am learning to trust the process with my recovery from a femur fx. Thanks for being a steady source of motivation. I love your jumping pics!

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    1. Congrats on that new grandbaby!!! How wonderful!

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  15. So happy to hear you are on the happy train and the process is working!! I'm super impatient too so I feel for you!! I absolutely love that you have someone to run with to make those miles go by (although having to cut it short sucks) and we are definitely getting ALL the snow here. Ugh...

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    1. It's been a weird winter, without any snow--this is Chicago, after all--but I'll take it.

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  16. OK :-) right in this moment I don't know which I am more jealous of: the fact you have a Becky – – I need a Becky!!!--- or that you were able to meet up with Marcia in real life.

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    1. I love that I have both Becky and Marcia. They complete me.

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  17. It was really a beast of a week to train over here, but it is what it is and it reminds you you can do hard things. Which is something you need to take to the starting line with you. :)

    Glad that you're seeing the light again, figuratively and literally.

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    1. It's winter, and you have to expect that conditions are not always going to be optimal for training!

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  18. So glad you are feeling better!! I'm excited to follow your marathon training for Grandma's!! You inspire me so much! I'm starting to accept I'm back in the 11's for half marathon pace for now since it's so hot. I can't run fast in the heat!

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    1. I can't run fast in the heat either!!! I signed up for Grandmas with the hope it was going to be cool. Fingers crossed.

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  19. Trusting the process...why is it so hard? I struggle with that too. But you gotta believe and definitely not give up. My week in workouts? Snowy. So much snow.

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    1. It's so crazy that we have had NO snow since December and you guys are getting ALL THE SNOW.

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  20. Wendy! I am so glad you are starting to feel better both physically and mentally. Also, I just wanted to let you know you are such an inspiration. A lot of people would take your diagnosis and stop trying. I know it's been much harder than comes across on the blog, but you are rocking it though!!xoxo

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    1. I'm bound and determined to just keep going! Thanks for all the support, it means so much to me!

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  21. I had a photo exchange with a Chicago friend this past weekend - we were in the midst of our third storm in 4 days and she was showing me grass. The world is upside down right now!

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    1. It's so weird, but I'm not going to complain!

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  22. I'm so happy that you're feeling good and seeing improvements in your RA symptoms. We all have to continue to live our lives, and choosing to stay active and happy (yes, I believe that's a choice), impacts the outcome.

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    1. I agree with you that staying happy is a choice! Sometimes it takes a lot of effort to be happy. This past couple of months has really tested me. Thankfully, I've been able to keep running through it and that has helped immensely!

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  23. Love that you are also sometimes running with other people now... glad your RA is getting under control.... and I love when coco makes an appearance in your pics

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    1. She doesn't like getting her picture taken, but when I do my yoga, she's got to be right in there!

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  24. So glad to hear that you're starting to feel better, both physically and emotionally. Here's to continuing down that road!

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  25. I'm so glad you're feeling better. <3 You're a strong woman and you're going to kick this condition's ass.

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  26. Your week sounded great! I'm so glad for you! We had a fun weekend driving down to the States to hang out at the beach. Our snow is melting and it was sunny and warm and it's supposed to be even warmer today. YAY! It's a holiday up here today.

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    1. Glad you were able to escape the snow!

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  27. Glad to hear you are feeling better! I think I need a lunch date with ya'll :) I wish I was going to UTAH!

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    1. I wish I was going to Utah! But Duluth is going to be fun too! I've got Kim, Gina, and Rachel to keep me company. Along with my son and his GF.

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  28. So happy to hear you are feeling better!! Sounds like a good week. Love the deadlift pic! You are strong! :) Pretty awesome you have Marcia giving you tips for your marathon. Hope the weather stays nice!

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  29. We got a heat wave last week, then woke up to the high 20s this morning. Now it feels more normal, but the sun is still shining. Way to go on such a great week!

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    1. I'm loving all the sun! It's so unusual for us, but I'll take it.

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  30. It's awesome that you're being so positive and not letting RA get you down! Keep it up!

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    1. What else is there to do? As long as I can keep running, it's all good!

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  31. It totally does take a village to train a runner. It's important to have emotional support of friends, a good coach, a doctor or sports PT who can help with injuries-- running is not a solo sport. I'm glad that things are looking up for you!

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    1. I've got my fingers and toes crossed, but I'm optimistic for a good marathon!

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  32. Glad you are starting to see positive changes! Fingers crossed that the treatment puts the RA into remission.

    BTW, I'll be in Portage, IN at the end of May. Not sure if that's close enough to you to meet up...

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    1. Are you running? I have yet to do an Indiana race...

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  33. Really happy to hear that things are getting better for you, Wendy!

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  34. Trust the process - that's great advice! It's good to hear your RA is barely noticeable. Everytime I see you lift those heavy weights, I am reminded that I need to work on lifting more. I'm a sucker for TRX and bodyweight exercises, but I know that lifting heavy has plenty of benefits. The Utah Valley race sounds enticing - I wish I could run it but it doesn't fit in my schedule. Advice I take to the starting line? Don't start out too fast! That's usually my biggest mistake.

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    1. I have a TRX thingy and it's still in the box! I need to get it out and use it.

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  35. It is wonderful to hear that things are feeling better for you! and it is so great to have Marcia's advice to guide you!

    I love your leggings on the goddess pose picture!

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    1. Oh thank you! I got those leggings on the clearance at TJMaxx...

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  36. So great to read this post and know that you are feeling more optimistic! It is so hard to be patient, but I'm so glad the process is paying off for you. I hope things continue to move in a positive direction!!

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    1. I'm not a patient person but I have no choice right now. I'm grateful that I've been able to keep running and running well!

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  37. Awww, I love hearing this ....the blissful runner is back! :) And girl, the weight you're doing there with those deadlifts make my back hurt just looking at the picture! You are strong!!

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    1. I love my strength training and this strength cycle couldn't have come at a better time!

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  38. It's fantastic to hear that you're starting to see improvement with your RA and that you're in the weaning off stage of your steroids.

    Like you, we've gotten very little snow this year - just two dustings. It's rather pathetic, but it's late enough in February that I've got spring fever. In fact, MLB spring training is starting this week for most teams. :-)

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    1. You and me both! Today the air had that scent of spring...

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  39. It is so good to hear that your spirits are lifting! Your positivity is a pretty important part of the running community, and it's a relief to hear that things are improving.

    I always remind myself that running is fun. That no matter what happens on race day, I'm there because I want to be and I'm going to take something good away from the experience. Sometimes that "something good" is a little harder to find, but I usually can pull out some lesson.

    I have a few spring races in the works, but I would love to go to Utah.

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    1. I would love to go to Utah but since I've already committed to Grandmas, I'm set for that. I've been planning our trip and I'm pretty excited!

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  40. You looked and sounded great and so upbeat when we met for lunch! Hopefully you can keep this RA under control for a good long time. Aw shucks thanks for the kind words re: coaching. You know I like to help bring out the best in runners. :)

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    1. Fingers crossed! And you know I love all the little bits of advice you throw my way. That whole "find your gears" thing keeps ringing in my ears!

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  41. Sounds like you are finally starting to feel and manage your RT. We are getting pounded by a storm right now, 2nd one in 4 days!

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    1. I'm not going to complain one bit about our weather! Hang in there!

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  42. What's Cocoa's favorite pose? :) Zoey does yoga with me sometimes, but all she's good for is sneaking under me when I'm doing something difficult and I'm afraid I'll squish her.

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    1. I'm not sure which is Cocoa's favorite pose! She loves them all!

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  43. Love the message in this post and I kind of knew that this is the way you would be taking RA on! You are a role model of positivity Wendy, and we're all cheering for you!

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    1. Thank you Ilka! You guys keep me going!

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  44. I want to learn some simple yoga poses (non-mat) to use in my senior fitness classes. If you have any good sites or resources to recommend, please let me know!

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    1. There's a great blog, Yoga for Aging. I'll send the url your way!

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  45. I didn't realize that you were going through RA stuff. I am so sorry to hear this but happy to hear that treatments are helping somewhat. Snow here has been crazy but beautiful. And I love a good challenge for training :)

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    1. Yes, it's still somewhat new to me but so far I've been able to manage everything pretty well! Fingers crossed that it continues to go like this.

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  46. I love my village and yes, Coach M is the best! Where would I be without her? Don't want to think about it! I am so glad you are feeling better! Are we on the countdown to Florida yet? Sand in our toes and a drink in our hand? AWWWWW- great week for you lady! Super impressive!

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    1. Yep, toes in the sand sounds perfect about now! Cocktails soon!

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  47. Featuring this uplifting post this week at Sunday Fitness & food! Congrats Wendy!!

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  48. I am so glad to hear you are feeling better! You have a great attitude and remaining optimistic is definitely key. It sounds like a great week as far mileage & yoga must be so helpful too. I keep promising to get back into yoga, but just have not made the time. Thanks so much for sharing at Sunday Fitness & Food :-)

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