async="src="/ Taking the Long Way Home: February 2017

Sunday, February 26, 2017

The Power of Positive Thinking

I woke up pain-free this morning!

Now as you runners know, "pain-free" is a relative term. But considering that I spent this week recovering from my recent flare of rheumatoid arthritis, I'd say that today I am 99% pain-free. I took a couple days off work to rest, recover, and process the changes in my treatment plan. I saw my rheumatologist on Monday. While I am going to continue on the same regimen I've been on for a while, including the steroids and methotrexate injections, she also started me on Humira.

The time off work gave me a lot of time to recover, but also to think. Once again, I am feeling overwhelmed. One step forward and two steps back. I have a stack of bills and medical statements to go through. I am worried about the cost of this new medication. I have a house that needs attention and a husband working 6 days/week. I have a marathon to train for. Oh, and I have a job that requires me to be healthy. It's all a bit much.

As the week went on, I started to feel much better, both physically and mentally. I made my workouts my priority. Worked on some blogging stuff. I enjoyed the sunshine. Hung out with the dog. Made dinner for my family.

And I focused on the positive.


Friday, February 24, 2017

Runfessions: February

Here we are again--it's the end of the month and that can only mean one thing. Yep, once again, it's time for Runfessions--that monthly clear the conscience and make things right in the universe again time.

Let's head into the runfessional, shall we?


Wednesday, February 22, 2017

I'm Springing For Prana! #spring4prAna

It's no secret how much I love prAna's line of casual clothing. From yoga clothes to everyday gear, I have quite a few pieces of their stylish, comfortable items. prAna uses sustainable materials and fair trade products so you can feel good about what you are wearing.

I was fortunate to receive several items from their spring 2017 line to try out and review for my blog! Our unseasonably spring-like weather put me in the mood to head down to my favorite running path for these pictures. I'm #springing4prAna!



Tuesday, February 21, 2017

If You Give a Runner a Genie...

If you were granted 3 wishes...3 running wishes, what would they be? Long-time readers probably can guess mine, but when I saw today's Tuesdays on the Run blog prompt, I thought, how fun!

My only problem...just 3 wishes? Ok, then, I'll have to be careful what I wish for!



Sunday, February 19, 2017

Practicing Kindness

On Wednesday at yoga class, the instructor came around as we prepared for savasana, which for you non-yogis, is that final resting pose at the end of class. She asked if anyone needed some extra grounding. She walked around the room, distributing sandbags to people who asked. Without me saying a word, she placed a sandbag across my thighs. That extra pressure on my thighs helped me relax. Her thoughtfulness made me feel so good.

The theme for the class was Ahimsa, which we take to mean practicing kindness. The Sanskrit definition, which is non-violence, is much deeper. The instructor's simple act of kindness inspired me to write today's post to reflect back on acts of kindness I observed and practiced this week.



Friday, February 17, 2017

Book Review: My Marathon: Reflections on a Gold Medal Life by Frank Shorter

Frank Shorter, the self-proclaimed "father of the modern distance running movement", achieved greatness in long distance running. In his book, My Marathon: Reflections on a Gold Medal Life, Shorter shares his running stories and the motivation behind his victories.



Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Running, How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Share 9 Ways that You May Not Have Considered

Why do we love to run?

Some of us run for fitness or weight loss, some for stress relief. Others run because they love to race or to collect bling. But there might be other reasons to love running that you may not have considered.

For Valentine's Day, it seemed appropriate to share my love for running. Besides the obvious reasons, I've got a few others that make running hold a special place in my heart.




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.


Friday, February 10, 2017

5 Songs That Will Make Your Runs Happy

As part of my resolve to stay more positive, I've been deleting some of my so-called angry music from my running playlist and adding more positive, upbeat songs. No worries, I don't have any elevator music on here. I've always run to rock and I need songs with a good beat to push me forward. I don't have any pop songs, either, I'm all about a strong melody and a motivating message.

Here are 5 of my latest additions to my running playlist. These songs make my heart and my sole happy!



Tuesday, February 7, 2017

4 Reasons You Should Reward Yourself With a Destination Race

Unless you live in a warm, tropical climate, you've probably grown tired of winter. Although our winter this year hasn't been bad, the gray and browns are wearing on my senses. I continue to run outside, knowing that spring will come and I'll be rewarded with that pop of color that comes with the change of seasons.

I'm not a patient person and so I like to do some traveling in the spring. I like to tie in a race with my trips if I can. It's fun to run in a new place! I look at it as my reward for training through the toughest time of year to run.



Sunday, February 5, 2017

The Group Run: It Was Time

Instead of life turning me upside down as it has been threatening to do for the last couple of months, I've taken charge. I'm making some pretty major changes in my diet, eating beets and kale and all kinds of foods I wouldn't have allowed past my lips just 2 months ago. I'm listening to more positive, upbeat music instead of the angry rock that has fueled my runs all these years.

This week I really pushed out of my running comfort zone and met up with a running friend and her tribe for a Saturday long run, which I hope was the first of many more to come. It was time.

When Steph asked me to join her and her friends for their Saturday long run, I didn't hesitate. Me, the runner who craves the solace of the long run? Who am I? I blame my boldness on the steroids I'm currently taking. Actually, I'm blaming everything on the steroids, but that's a topic for another blog post.


Friday, February 3, 2017

5 Ways Runners Can Beet Inflammation

Full disclosure: that is not a typo in the title.

I'm eating beets.

Since my recent diagnosis with rheumatoid arthritis, I've started incorporating some changes in my diet. I am not a dietitian, nor am I an expert on nutrition. But I've done a lot of reading about anti-inflammatory foods and I'm pretty amazed at how much certain foods can really affect us. Including beets.

Not only for people with RA, runners can benefit from an anti-inflammatory diet as well. Eating foods that are known to curb inflammation can help with recovery from a tough run or injuries.

Plantar fasciitis anyone? Iliotibial band tendonitis? Pain in the assitis?

Anything that ends in -itis?

It's all inflammation.



Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Staying on Track

Isn't it funny how we can just go through the motions of life without stopping to really take stock of what's going on inside? Initially, when I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, I was sad but I was motivated. I was going to take charge of this disease. I had a good doctor with an aggressive treatment plan. She told me I could still run. I figured that once the pain subsided, I'd be good to resume my regularly scheduled life.

The dust has settled and the overwhelming, jarring reality of having RA has set in.