Sunday, April 2, 2017

Keeping On....

Did you hear that Lady Gaga has rheumatoid arthritis? Sure enough, she "came out" this week, giving an explanation for the "chronic hip pain" she's suffered from for many years. To most of you reading this blog, Lady Gaga's big reveal probably means nothing to you. But for me, as I continue to work on integrating my diagnosis into my self-image, this news was fairly empowering. Even though I'm not a Lady Gaga fan, I think it's always a good thing when a celebrity puts a face on an illness.

Actually, there was a lot of empowerment for me this week and it came from all over. Some from within, which is always nice, but once again, I realized how much support I have around me. So in spite of a gray, wet, cold return to Chicago after a week in sunny Florida, I had a good week. It really was the perfect kickoff to training for my upcoming Grandma's Marathon in June.




If there were any low points this week, it was my running. I know you're thinking, really? But I'm all about keeping it real and it didn't get any more real than my 6 mile run on Thursday. In a word, it sucked. But I finished, and that was a win.


I was pretty frustrated with this run. It was hard. My back hurt. I stopped at mile 4 to regroup and give myself a pep talk. I was in no mood for a silly jumping pose or an inspirational yoga pose. I wanted to finish my planned run. I'm not a quitter. Never give up and all those mantras. I dug deep and I finished that run, with my last mile on that frontage road with an 8:42 m/m pace. Boom.

After Thursday's craptastic run, I was a little nervous for Saturday's run with Steph. On the other hand, I was excited to run with her again since life got in the way of our Saturday morning runs for the month of March. I rubbed a little Voltaren gel on my SI joint, said a little prayer, and off I went. Did my back hurt? Not bad. It reminded me that it was unhappy, but that was about it. Steph pushed me to run 6.2 and even thought I was late for work that morning, I enjoyed the company of my compaƱera. I also was grateful for the gift of this friend with whom I have so much in common, including our pace.

Yes, that is the sun peeking out behind us!
Sunday morning, I got up to do my planned 9 and hoped for the best. My back felt pretty good as I started out and I kept steady with my pace right around 9 minutes per mile. I was really encouraged by this. Full disclosure: I made 3 potty stops. My tummy was not happy. I swear, it is always something, isn't it? Fortunately, the route I ran took me past a few parks with fieldhouse and real bathrooms.

My back started talking to me on the final 3 miles. When my Garmin hit 9, I was still a mile from home. What to do? The old, pre-RA me would have run the last mile home. But the new, cautious me stopped to walk the rest of the way home. No need to tempt injury, right? Next week I have 11 to run. It's fine. The walk felt good. But no matter how I justified stopping, my heart and brain battled that one out for the entire walk home. Tell me this doesn't happen to you!!!



Weekly mileage: 25.5!
Month of March mileage: 93.74


Becky is still working on my marathon plan, but in the meantime, she worked on me. I did lunges, carioca box climbs, and other assorted glute-firing exercises. Becky also gave me the mother-of-all pep talks and when she told me to reset my PRs, she reset my thinking. I left feeling empowered and strong.

Wednesday's yoga class had a sub, Catherine, whose class I always enjoy. We worked on shoulder and hip openers, with supported forearm stand as the apex pose. After class, I figured, what the heck, and planted my arms in the soggy grass at the park to see if I could kick up and hold the pose. I did it! I was thrilled!


Off the road, I had some fun and uplifting experiences as well. Doctors' Day took place this week, and even though I'm a nurse practitioner, my workplace lumps us in with the doctors. I don't know how some of the doctors feel about that but it seems like no one knows what to do with us! The office planned a nice breakfast and made these plaques for all of us with adjectives from staff and families. I thought this was really nice. I hung mine on my office wall to make me smile, especially on a tough day. Stylish? Who me?


The week ended with dinner and drinks with my sister and her man. He lives in Chicago, in Bucktown, which is a really fun, hip, vibrant neighborhood. Wearing one of my Stitch Fixes, I took my stylish self down there with my husband and we enjoyed the company and a lot of laughs. Our evening reminded me of how we need to do this more often!

My sister Lisa and me
Mike and Ron

Mike and me on Ron's rooftop deck. That's the beautiful Chicago skyline behind me! Oh, how I love this city.

Usually, when I return home from vacation, I have those "post-vacation blues". Not this time! It was a great week. How about you? Did you have a good week? How were your runs? Did you hit your mileage goals for March? Ever have that heart/brain battle?


Do you Stitch Fix? I am just in love with this monthly style fix service! I'll be posting more about it in the future, but if you want to try it, use my code:  https://www.stitchfix.com/referral/10340526?sod=w&som=c

Don't forget about my giveaways! I'm giving away a Momentum wrap as well as a free entry to the Utah Valley Marathon, Half, or 10k! You can't win it if you're not in it. The giveaways end on Tuesday, April 4. Here's the link to the blog post:

I'm linking up with Tricia and Holly for the Weekly Wrap, as well as Ilka and Angela for the Sunday Food and Fitness Link Up.



66 comments :

  1. I just placed another Stitch Fix order today! I got two last fall/winter but its been awhile. Sorry you had some rough runs but great job getting them done. I'm glad you have a running buddy to help you through!

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    1. I'm on the monthly Fix plan, and I cannot wait for my next Fix to arrive this upcoming week!

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  2. I don't stitch fix but it is tempting. I need to clean out my closets first.

    I hope your pains go away.

    I had to DNS a race because of a sore back. I did run my miles without the pressure and got them done. But pain is annoying. And you don't know how much to push yourself.

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  3. Your yoga poses really impress me! And Kudos for pushing through on your runs. Knowing when to give our bodies a break is never easy, especially when we are running addicts! By the way, your stitch fix top is adorable and looks great on you. Looking forward to reading more about it.

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    1. There were no burpees today, I must tell you. I'm already slacking on the challenge!

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  4. OOH!! Stitchfix. My next fix is coming this week! You look adorable!

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  5. My first Fix should be here tomorrow. I'm nervous! At first glance I was sure I saw "fartlek" in your plaque. What does that say about me?? :p

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    1. Haha! At least it didn't say "farter"!

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  6. You and your sister look so much alike ....such beauties! And speaking of beautiful, that Chicago skyline ...amazing!

    And can I just say that I totally understand your frustration with your disease (one day I'll share with you all of my physical "issues") I am in total and complete jealous mode of your flat tummy! Dang woman, how are you beating the inevitable "menopot"???? :)

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    1. Oh, it's there, it's just the stealth clothing...

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  7. Your StitchFix looks fabulous. I hope they get better for me. I'm passing on the orange and I've told them so. I love spending time with my sister -- I totally get that! I really didn't get the post vacation blues this week either. There is so much to look forward to, including getting to spend a few days with you very soon! Thanks for linking, Wendy.

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    1. My student gets Stitch Fix and she has a new stylist, which isn't making her happy. She's going to ask for mine. No orange for me.

      I'm so excited for our weekend together! It's one month away!

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  8. I'm tempted to look into StitchFix...but it's really hard for me to give up "style control" LOL I know enough about color and texture (and body type & lifestyle) to just let someone else do it for me...I know #highmaintenance (I love that chevron top!)

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    1. I am more than happy to let someone style me--as long as they "get me". I love everything she's sent me so far!

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  9. Apparently red carnations are the symbol for Doctor's Day, and we had several staff members come into the gift shop on Thursday, wanting to buy them for their doctor. Too bad our florist wasn't informed, as we had none in the flower case. Oh well...they had a really nice surf and turf lunch for the doctors, so I think they did OK. Glad you were included in the celebration. :)

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    1. I didn't know about red carnations--I don't think our staff has been hipped to that trend. But this was a nice celebration in our office!

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  10. Looks like you had a great week of workouts and fun! I love the plague that you received from work. It's so creative and the words definitely describe you :)

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  11. I am in awe of all of your handstands! If Lady Gaga can dance like that with RA than you can do anything!!!!

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  12. I had a crummy 6 miler this week as well. It started off just fine but about halfway through I thought I had something in my sock and it ended up being a blister on the back of my ankle. So when I turned around to head home it started to become so windy and I did not have a headband.

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    1. Sometimes it's better to just go home and nurse your sore ego, right?

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  13. We all have bad runs now and again! Keep your chin up. You are very empowering and inspiring to me. :)

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    1. Thank you! I'm just moving forward...

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  14. I am so touched by your plaque. The folks with whom you work certainly know you well. I especially liked "fair." That speaks volumes.
    I took another power yoga class this morning. Except for the wheel, this old gal was able to keep up with the young'uns. Talk about empowering.
    First day of week 4 of Cto5K re-training (from scratch) went well, further than I've accomplished in many, many months. I think the yoga helps, and also my head is in a different place. Next race (5K) in May. It will be close to two years since my last one. Eyes on the prize. Following your journey inspires me to keep on in my small way.
    (I'm s big fan of Lady Gaga. I don't like all her music, but her instrument is remarkable. And she has a big heart and is generous).

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  15. I didn't hear about Lady Gaga. It is nice when a celebrity has something you can relate with. Great job digging deep on your Thursday run! Way to listen to your body on your Sunday run! You got your 9 in so why not walk.

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    1. I just liked that she put a face on RA. Putting all those preconceived notions to rest.

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  16. I did not know that about Lady Gaga!!! How inspiring for you! Clearly you two need to meet. Maybe you can get her into running?
    I love that you had no post-vacation blues and a much needed (stylish) night out. Go YOU!!!! I'm going to live though this for now since my week last week was the opposite. *sigh*

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    1. Well, Gaga and I both have "the tummy", so there's that. I don't think I'll be running with a meat suit tho. The coyotes in my neighborhood might start chasing me...

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  17. I am so pleased that you had such a good week despite a couple of side steps. Because that is all they are--they aren't steps backwards, they are to the side! And who doesn't like to dance :D

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  18. I didn't hear Lady Gaga's news but I agree, it's nice when a celeb comes out as a "real person" and gives a face to an illness. Not that I wish illness on anyone, but you know what I mean.

    Sounds like you had a pretty solid week despite having a few setbacks. I allllllways battle it out with myself if I can't finish a workout -- even when I know it's in my own best interest. It's a hard pill to swallow!

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    1. Isn't it crazy how hard we are on ourselves?

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  19. My heart and brain battled yesterday during my track run. Since I'd built to 4.5 on Thursday, I wanted this as a shorter run, and thought if I could get to 2.5, then I'd see how I felt. I felt good and pushed more, but stopped at 5k. I could've done more, but it was meant to be shorter than Thursdays. I wanted to keep going.

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  20. I didn't really have time for the post vacation blues (except about the weather) since we turned right around and went to my parents for an entire immediate family working it over. I will probably be spending a few more weekends down there & then we hope to get it on the market.

    It does always seem to be something -- even when you're a relatively healthy person! I suppose it reminds us we're still alive & still have challenges to overcome.

    I hope the runs get better (but there will always be craptastic ones) & the marathon exceeds your expectations.

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  21. Don't we all have these battles between "the old me and the new more cautious me". I love how you phrased this crucial and essential running dilemma. I will for sure keep this in mind!!
    I know RA is painful but boy what an amazing weekly running log, Wendy. So impressive! You are showing this diagnosis which way to go!! Thanks for sharing some of your family pics and I love your Stitch Fix outfit! You look radiant and beautiful!
    Have a great week and keep inspiring us!

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    1. I just got a Fix today and I can't wait to open it up!

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  22. Great job on getting your runs in even though your 6 miler was tough. Awesome mileage for the month too! My runs last week all went really well. I even ran a strong 5k race on Saturday! It's exciting to know there is still some speed in these short legs! Have a great week!

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    1. Great job on that 5k! Isn't it fun to let it all out?

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  23. Lady Gaga, eh? Interesting! I've had to stop and walk home although the thing I struggle with the most is getting cold while walking. My body cools down WAY too fast once I stop running and then I get so cold that it almost hurts more than whatever it was that made me walk in the first place!

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    1. I'm ok walking home, but once I stop I cool down and my fingers get numb...

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  24. I didn't hear that about Lady Gaga! That's pretty cool. Not that she has it, but that she's bringing more awareness to it. I had an alright week. I want to start building my mileage back up. I don't have any races planned, but it'd be nice to know I could do one should one come up haha.

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    1. It's always good to have miles in the bank...

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  25. I'm glad you had a good week! I'm sure it was disappointing to walk that final mile but I think you made the right move! I hadn't heard about Lady Gaga's diagnosis...it's great that there is more awareness for RA.

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    1. I'm trying to stay healthy so I can actually train for this race!

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  26. Gosh, it sounds like a good week overall. In your normal weeks you run more miles than I do and run them faster too! I had not heard about Lady Gaga. She sure does inspire with her fitness and dance moves!

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    1. Idk if I run faster--right now I'm just trying to build up my endurance again!

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  27. Wendy,

    I like my nurse practitioner more than I like my doctor, she always takes the time to ask more questions and really get to the bottom of a problem, my doctor asks a couple of questions and sends me on my way. Nurse Practitioners run this health care system, and they don't get enough credit! Thank you for your work!

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    1. Oh, gosh, thank you!!! Idk if we deserve all that credit, but I sure do like what I do.

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  28. This was a good week for me too. I'm struggling with a hamstring that's been acting up though, so I totally get that brain/heart battle when you're out on a run!

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    1. Isn't it so hard to listen to the brain? I'm all heart, apparently.

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  29. I'm glad to hear that Lady Gaga's news is helping you cope emotionally with RA. We often see celebrities for being "perfect" and not in touch with the realities of being a "real" human. I can sympathize with how finding out about some of their struggles helps in making our own struggles feel less isolating.

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    1. I think she'll put a face on this disease and show people that it isn't an "old people's" disease. Plus, look at how active she is!

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  30. There is always something kind of amazing after you learn that someone famous suffers from the same thing you do. I always feel that way when I learn someone else suffers from migraines like I do. I hope you find a way to accept this new part of yourself with ease. :)

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    1. Ease will come when I can finish my June marathon. Then I know I'm going to be ok.

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  31. Every week, you come back and prove that you can, in fact, do anything. I have that brain/heart battle all the time. For what it's worth, I think you made the right decision to take that walk instead of run the last mile. I love that you were able to draw strength from Gaga's announcement. Sometimes it really helps to know you're not alone (and your'e definitely not!) Keep it up!

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    1. I love your unending support! It means the world to me. I hope I can do anything. I really do.

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  32. Way to get through your bad run on Thursday! I remember seeing your photo on IG and thinking you are so awesome for not giving up. Way to get it done! I am considering Stich Fix. I'm so bad at shopping for myself and I have no idea what the style is nowadays.

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  33. I know it is tough to know when to stop and when to push through, but it sounds like you absolutely made the right decision! I'm sorry you are dealing with this, but admire your outlook!! Also, I love your outfits from Stitch Fix and may just need to check them out...I hate shopping for clothes! :-)

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  34. yes, you, very stylish! Nice picture of you and hubby! Well, we both know not all running weeks are winners but like you said, you are no quiter! Stay say and walking does the body and mind some good!

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  35. Sounds like it was a pretty good week! I'm just in the process of getting back to running since a car accident 2 weeks ago. I'm rather excited for me 2-3k run tonight. Sometimes it's not about the distance we do but the sheer enjoyment of running.

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