Friday, March 31, 2017

Coffee Talk

It's raining, it's pouring, the weather I'm ignoring...

When it's cold and damp like this, it's a good excuse to hunker down under a blanket with a warm cup of coffee. That's exactly what I'm doing as I prepare this month's Coffee Talk post. I found my favorite rainy day mug, poured a cup of joe, and added some chocolate soy milk. Yum. What will you have?

Sit back and let's talk. Today's going to be a little bit of runner's sole searching, so maybe you want to put a little Bailey's in that mug? 


If we were having coffee... I'd tell you that I am still basking in the glow of my week in Florida. That's a good thing because since I came back to Chicago, the weather has been awful. Cold, windy, and rainy. The sun was out for about 10 minutes on Tuesday. Seriously. When I went back to work on Monday, I told my office manager that I was going to move to Florida to become a SUP yoga instructor. It's a goal.


If we were having coffee... I'd tell you how much I missed my family and my pup while I was away. We've been going to Anna Maria Island since the boys were little and there are so many memories there. It's was a little bittersweet being there without them. Yes, I got to do things on my time and I was able to rest a lot. But my best seashell seeker, Tom, wasn't by my side as I combed the shore. There was no beach football with Matthew after dinner. No walks to see the sunset with a stop for ice cream on the way back. I couldn't help but think, where did the time go?

5 years ago!
If we were having coffee.... I'd tell you that I've been feeling pretty good lately. Most of my aches and pains have subsided. My hands are no longer burning and achy, and I'm sleeping better. I still have pain in my big toes and my weekly dose of methotrexate makes me feel like I have a hangover the following day. But--and this is a big but--I have new concerns. My sacroiliac joint (SI) on the right side is really bothering me when I run. I also have a lot of R hip pain. I'm pretty sure this is RA, but I may go back to the sports medicine doctor to make sure. Maybe I'm doing something weird in my stride. Maybe it's an injury. Now that I have RA, it's hard to differentiate what's "normal" and what's due to RA.


If we were having coffee... I'd tell you that I'm still having one other bothersome symptom that is related to RA, and that's fatigue. I'm so used to being the Energizer Bunny and never slowing down, no matter what I'm doing. My mile splits are dramatically slower. Even yoga class feels much more strenuous than it used to. This is a very distressing symptom for me. As a runner, I can deal with pain. But fatigue is something that I've never experienced for any length of time in my life. 


If we were having coffee... I'd tell you that I talked with Becky at length about training for Grandma's Marathon. She agrees that the only goal I should have right now is to finish the marathon. As training progresses, we will have a better idea of how I'll do and we can set time goals. Becky commented that training someone with RA for an endurance event is uncharted waters for her. We also talked about letting go of comparing my pre-RA running self to my RA running self. Becky says that everything I do from here on out is a new PR. I like that approach. Of course, changing my view of myself is a work in progress. Like Becky said, I'm still adjusting to this new image of myself as a person with RA. I am always amazed at her wisdom and how she seems to hit the nail on the head every time I'm struggling.


What would you tell me if we were having coffee? Any advice on the back pain? Ever deal with fatigue? Have you ever started setting "new PRs" based on a change in your health?

I'm linking up with Fairytales and Fitness and Running on Happy for the Friday Five. It's free Friday! On Saturday, I'm linking up with Coco and Deborah for The Ultimate Coffee Date!



87 comments :

  1. Oh I can imagine how hard it is for someone like you to struggle with the fatigue. Your energizer bunny personality radiates from your writing – – and it's just so synonymous with who you are
    I wish I had advice....
    xoxo

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    1. No advice needed! The love and support holds me up. <3

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  2. Maybe the fatigue is partially due to the HORRIFIC BLOODY WEATHER we are "enjoying?" Hugs.

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  3. We had cold crappy weather again this week with lots of rain. I have also been tired the past few weeks but I think it's because of my workouts. I also could certainly sleep more than I do. Your trip did look fabulous and it's great to have one of those doses of summer to hold you through. Thanks for joining for coffee see you in the morning

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    1. Yes, looking forward to sharing a cup with you!

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  4. I wish I had done advice for you! ;( but you are strong and your passion for running will always get you through.

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    1. The marathon is going to be interesting!

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  5. It's raining and cold here so I'm reading this while enjoying a cp of tea :)

    I know the fatigue is difficult, I hope that you feel better soon. Warmer weather might help!

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    1. I definitely think warmer weather would help, as well as the sun!

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  6. SUP yoga instructor in Florida sounds fantastic! And - man - I feel for you with having to totally reset expectations with your running and trying to avoid comparing times to your pre-RA self. I would be doing the same thing :) Hang in there.

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    1. It's just such a huge adjustment in the way I see myself. Becky really hit the nail on the head.

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  7. Thanks for linking up. I always miss my lab when I'm away. I like to find pet friendly vacations but it's hard. People put so many limitations on it (like must be under 50lb). Obviously they don't know how well Baylee behaves!

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    1. As opposed to my 20# Cocoa who is a terror!

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  8. I wish we were having our hot beverages in person, but this will have to suffice. I think setting all new RA PR's is a great mind set ;-) You know .... READY for ACTION!

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  9. I've never been one to compare myself to others. But it's difficult to wipe that slate clean and not hold paces I once ran as standards to chase. At the same time, it's totally unfair. One of the reasons I'm doing HR training. My focus is on putting out the "right" amount of effort rather than chasing a pace or race time. Can we just have some Florida weather here? After this horrendous week is that too much to ask?

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    1. I keep saying it but I really do need to pull out that HR monitor. Sigh. The dust is settling and this is where I am.

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  10. I like Becky's approach & it makes sense.

    I am always tired, but I'm sure it's not the same. But I am so not the energizer bunny. Mr. Judy might disagree on that, but that's just by comparison to him. I run a half, he's tired. Speaking of fatigue, I came back pretty wiped out and have not run a step since my half. Hopefully by Sunday I'll feel up to it, I've got another half to train for!

    It's snowing, sleeting, and raining today here. So there ya go, things could always be worse weather-wise.

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    1. Things could always be worse, everything-wise, right?

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  11. Sorry to hear about the fatigue. That really sucks. Hard to balance a busy life when you're feeling that way. Luckily I was in Canada all week and missed all this crappy, gray weather. We're supposed to start seeing 50s in the next week, and maybe 60s after that, so hopefully there is an end in sight. And given the overall mild winter we've had, it's still hard to complain.

    Looking forward to hear about your training in the coming months. You're going to nail. it.

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  12. You amaze me in all that you do, most would have thrown in the towel. You seem to push yourself continuously! You have to be a type A runner! Becky seems like a great coach, sensible & encouraging! Having RA is a whole new area, which require new PRs for sure. I'm sure the crappy weather exacerbates the RA. Hugs coming your way!!! Yoga instructor :) I'm signing up for your class!!!!

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  13. After my ankle injury, I had post ankle PRs and it made me feel better about running with all that hardware in my ankle. But eventually I did get faster.

    I have periodic lower back pain. I never know when it will hurt and how bad. It's frustrating.

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    1. How did the post ankle PR thing work for you? I'm hoping that it will help me too.

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  14. Your trip without the family... I feel like I'm getting close to that point of being able to do things for myself without the kids there, but then missing that they are not there.... I absolutely think you need to not compare your pre-RA self to your post-RA self, running and otherwise. If we were having coffee, I'd tell you I'm grateful for the chance to be drinking coffee because life has been record whirlwind busy lately.... and that the most important thing is that I have this new little niece and I'm trying to figure out even just a weekend to sneak to nyc to see her

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  15. I have a question. Arthritis, all the kinds, run in my family and I think I'm already developing some of it, although I haven't looked into it yet just because it isn't bugging me too much yet and also ignorance is bliss, sometimes. But my question, you got diagnosed in 2016 but when do you/they think you started having it? Like, when did you get it? Or is it something that slowly develops over years and years and it just started picking up speed last year?

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    1. When I look back, it probably started in 2015 with that big toe "fracture" that wasn't a fracture. Then I started having issues with big time fatigue last year. I even commented that I "lost my endurance" to Marcia. I was really concerned but not enough to get it checked out. When I developed that Baker's cyst last fall and my sports med asked me to come in is when the wheels started to turn. She said I had an effusion behind my left knee. The blood work was ordered and the morning I was set to go to the lab, I woke up with excruciating pain and dramatic swelling in my R big toe. You know I needed a real presentation to convince me that something was wrong.

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  16. When I was getting my testing done for PsA, my rheumatologist told me one of the first places for it to show up was the SI joint so I wouldn't be surprised if it is RA related. Just keep up with the mobility and yoga. I think I told you but my MIL and SIL both have RA. The fatigue is real. They both take naps whenever possible and it seems to help them. When my PsA was active I was super fatigued, too. I think number one priority is to listen to your body and work with it, not against it.

    Becky is spot on. You're lucky to have a great trainer. xxoo

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    1. The thing about that SI pain is that it only comes on when I run. Stay tuned.

      Thanks for all the support. It helps that you've been there.

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  17. My energy levels are definitely weather related. Let us hope that you and I both get some sunsnhine this weekend!

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    1. I think we're supposed to get a little bit of sun!

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  18. Since my ITBS, my goal has been to finish. Until I get consistent without the twinging, that'll be my only goal. In a way, it's more enjoyable with no pressure.

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    1. I'm too competitive to enjoy slowing down!

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  19. Feeling fatigued is the worst. It comes with my heart problem and I've felt fatigue off and on since I was in my 20's. I do feel better now since I'm active, but during our Easter band practice at church Wednesday night, I felt so tired. Like clock work, I am always tired by Wednesday. Right now I'm enjoying running again with shorter distance. I'm sorry for all you've been through. I know you will do well at Grandma's Marathon no doubt! I hope the training goes smoothly for you!

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    1. Katie, I sure hope I do well! Fatigue is a tough symptoms. I know you get it.

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  20. I would definitely find it frustrating not knowing if something was RA related or new injury related. I wonder how the sports medicine Dr will be able to tell? I loved hearing you reminisce about taking the boys to the beach!

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    1. I would imagine the sports med would be able to tell through her exam. She'd probably have me run on the treadmill. It's weird that the pain is on the right, my strong side. That's the only thing the makes me concerned for RA. My left side is the one that causes me the most trouble usually.

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  21. When I read the part about missing your kids on vacation, I got all choked up. They grow up too fast for sure...
    Sorry to hear about the fatigue. I've dealt with my own version of fatigue for a few years now and it gets maddening. I am tired of being tired. But all my labs come back normal, so who knows!
    You will love Grandmas...make sure to give yourself a day or two to explore the area, even hit up my old stopping grounds on the west side of Duluth where I grew up. Visit Enger tower, and make sure to climb to the top. You'll finish that marathon, I just know it...
    Coming back from very little running this past year, I plan to use Becky's advice, too...every run will be a new PR for me this year.
    Hugs to you, Wendy!

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    1. Yep, Becky is the best coach there is!

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  22. I love your outlook! I agree that everything should be a new PR. It's like hitting the reset button. It's always better to compare yourself to your RECENT past only and not the you of 3, 4, or 5 years ago. If we were having coffee, I would tell you to keep being your strong self!

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    1. I'll take your advice! Just keep on moving forward, right?

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  23. Who's to say you can't chuck it all and move to Florida? I mean, why do you have to keep the same job forever, you know? Life is short...do what you want (within reason)!

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    1. If only I didn't have that family that I missed so much... my husband and I do talk about moving south someday. We've got to get these boys launched.

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  24. Come back to Florida! I think you feel better in the sunshine! Thinking of you! UGH are we in the age group where shit just starts to hurt, not look the same, not work the same? I am starting to wonder! Only you know how hard to push yourself- listen to your gut! XXOO

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    1. Thankfully I still feel so much of my Florida high that it's carrying me through this crappy week! I miss you a ton. I'm so glad I was able to spend the day with you. It was so good for my soul!

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  25. I think that finishing the marathon is the best goal to have. You are newly navigating a diagnosis and I am sure your body needs time to adjust and figure things out as well - and am on board with your approach to new PR's :)
    With RA it must also be very frustrating to know with aches and pains are RA related or not.
    Dealing from the Crohn's / IBS perspective when really sick I just never knew if it was disease or normal body ailment and it was super frustrating.
    Also fatigue...I was anemic which didn't help but these diseases come with a side of fatigue, which kind of sucks.
    Keep your head up and keep pushing forward, you're amazing!

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    1. I figured you'd get it!

      Everyone keeps telling me--the marathon isn't for 3 1/2 months--a lot can change between now and then!

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  26. Becky sounds like such a great person to be working with! I understand how hard it is to let go of paces you use to be able to hit. I've been thinking about chasing PRs a lot lately and the need to change my focus. Here's to setting new post-RA PRs!

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    1. I was having so much fun chasing PRs! Now I get to set new ones!

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  27. That must be really frustrating to not know if symptoms are RA related or not. Hopefully you can sort it out! Sounds like Becky and you have a solid plan for marathon training.

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    1. She's just the best thing to happen to me and my running!

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  28. I need a Becky in my life. You are going to find a way to navigate this RA thing, and we are all here to listen and encourage you. Your honesty is brave and I thank you for not sugar coating your pain. Hugs to you. Can we have wine instead of coffee next time?

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  29. I've had SI joint problems. Foam rolling and cupping from my PT helped a lot! Glad your other pains are subsiding.

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    1. I foam rolled last night--seemed to help loosen me up and today's run went well.

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  30. While I don't have near the same issues as you, I can really commiserate. I can tell you that I'm just so very tired of all the problems I've had that's kept me from running the way I imagine myself running (which really started when my 2nd neuroma showed up) but at the same time I finally accepted it more after my last marathon that I needed to change my approach AND the way I think. So yeah, every distance is a new PR. Actually sometimes just finishing a race or getting through training is enough. If we were having coffee I would tell you this morning I cried as I tried to use the massager on my back... it just hurts so much :( I don't just have 1 problem with my back... I have two... which makes it much more difficult to treat (one exercise or treatment could help on the one hand and delay progress on the other). All you can really do is persevere and don't give up. And let yourself feel mad/bad/sad/whatever and talk about it (which you do, which is GOOD). You only *just* got dx'd, you are bound to have trials and tribs along the way. That's my advice!

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    1. You do give the best advice! Thursday, when I got back from my very tough 6 mile run, I laid on the floor and cried a little too. I can get my head around "the new me", but it is going to take a while! I think I have cried more the last couple of months than I have in a very long time.

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  31. I don't blame you for thinking about running off to Florida to be a SUP yoga instructor. That would be a super fun job!

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    1. Wouldn't it be awesome? WTH am I doing here?

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  32. I'm so glad to hear that you're starting to feel some relief from your symptoms. And how exciting to think about setting "new PRs" for yourself. That's a great way to look at your current situation.

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    1. I agree! Now, to get my head in the game...

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  33. Beck sounds like an amazing coach. I love the advice to not compare with your pre-RA stats. I know it's hard but it's valid. I was re-reading my old "Personal Record versus Personal Best" post and that seems fitting here - you may not be able to run faster than you've ever run, but you still can but up your best effort today - whatever that may be. Here's to more sunshine in April!

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    1. As long as I run a race and know that I did my best, ala Chicago 2015, I will be happy.

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  34. I need a coach like Becky! I had one but she is taking a break from coaching. Enjoy Grandma's! I have only ran the half but the course is amazing (if it's not too foggy). If or when I do a full I expect that will be my first full.

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    1. I'm excited but a little apprehensive about the distance right now. A half would be so much less intimidating.

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  35. It's my left lower back and hip that bother me (waterski injury). Nothing helps. Thankfully, it doesn't usually hurt while running. I like Becky's perspective. Start over with those PRs! Grandma's will be an automatic RAPR! I understand about the vacation -- only one son could go on our ski trip. It was a little disheartening. Hang in there, Sista. I got your back.

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    1. Leave it to my running friend to come up with a new acronym. RAPR it is!

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  36. Strava did a thing a couple years ago where they gave you PRs for that year. I really liked that because it can be a little sad comparing times to previous years as we get older or have health issues. So yes to RA PRs!

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    1. Strava needs to bring that feature back!

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  37. I SO want to try SUP! This is the summer that I try it! I've been thinking that "where has the time gone" phrase so much lately. It's so bitter sweet. You want them to grow and experience new things, but at the same time, you want them to stay small so you can hold them. :-(

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    1. I'd be happy if they'd let me hold them, even though they are big!

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  38. I didn't know you had RA- It's been since last Ultimate coffee I think, so I am sorry to hear this- my friend has it and it has been a struggle, but with medication, I think so much better. I had to laugh as I looked up SUP yoga on google to see what you are talking about! Looks amazing and like a great goal!

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    1. It's so much fun and I can see myself easing into yoga teacher training over the next couple of years. On water would only be that much more awesome!

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  39. Ha, well Florida has been nice lately, but trust me the humidity can be rough most of the time down here! LOL!

    Ugh, no fun dealing with RA. Hope you can get some relief with the meds. I'm sure the training is tougher with it. Hope you kick butt at Grandma's Marathon! You can do it!

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    1. I heard that summers are pretty tough down there. Wouldn't it be nice to do winters in Florida and summers up here?

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  40. Fatigue is the worst! It makes you feel so lazy, even though you don't want to be. I hope you get that figured out soon! Maybe another trip will do you good :)

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    1. Right? I think I should be on permanent vacation!

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  41. I love Florida!!! I haven't been to Ana Maria Island yet but I hear it is amazing. Fatigue is the worst and I have no useful advice.....

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    1. You're so close to all those islands--you need to check them out!

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  42. Thank you for the coffee. It was indeed you were sharing over a cup of coffee. Sorry to hear about the changes in your health. I know every person is different. I have had injuries, and because of my makeup I try not to focus on post injuries PR's. It is most "just finish this thing" and is an accomplishment in itself. But others this might be important to mark their post injury PR's. Hope you get better real soon. :)

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    1. Thanks so much! I'm a pretty competitive person--type A+, so this has kind of knocked me down, mentally. It's a process and I'll be at the just finish this thing mindset when I line up in June. I have to be prepared for anything, right?

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  43. Paddleboarding is so much fun! I want sunshine and warmth back in my life again too. Hopefully soon!? I'm sorry to hear about the fatigue--that can't be easy to deal with, but hopefully once the sun decides to show its face again and the weather gets warmer, it'll get a little better? <3

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    1. Pretty sure the sunshine will make things better!

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  44. OK. Let me just begin by saying how much I LOVE your mug!! I feel like my mugs are so boring, and I wish I had more and more room to store them (if I had more).

    I like your goal of becoming a SUP yoga instructor. :) I would take your class. LOL. Of course, I've never done SUP, so I'm not sure how that would go.

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