Sunday, November 25, 2018

There's a Happy Ending

Last Saturday's snowy trail run really wrecked me. By wrecked, I mean that I was hurting worse than if I had run a marathon. I'm not sure what caused me to feel so crappy after that run. It was only 8 miles, we only got a couple inches of snow, the trail is packed dirt, but whatever it was, I paid dearly this week for that run.

It started with a rumbling down under (TMI) and over the week, morphed into a full-blown RA flare. Since I was feeling so crummy after Saturday's run, I was worried about that happening. Hoping to keep the sleeping giant asleep, I made the decision to keep my training low-key this week. With a half marathon less than a week away, it was kind of like a taper, right?

F--king RA didn't care. I didn't want to write a weekly wrap post this week, because who wants to read a sad story? There were some workouts, so I'm recapping them and trying to keep it positive. Unfortunately, every time I did any kind of physical activity this week, I paid for it.

There is a happy ending, though!

Pipeworks Lizard King IPA
My reward after a hard race.

On Monday, I went out for an easy paced 5 mile run. Because I was feeling achy, I wanted to skip the run but with a change in my work schedule, I thought I wouldn't be able to get a run in the rest of the week. The run went ok, but when I stopped to play in handstand, my wrists let me know that they weren't happy with me.


When I woke up on Tuesday, I did not feel well at all. I was super achy and fatigued. My wrists and my knees hurt. I broke down and took some ibuprofen in the morning to ease my symptoms. I finished work early and could have gone for an afternoon run, but decided it would be better to listen to my body and rested on the couch until dinner. Wednesday was much the same. I worried about my upcoming half marathon. The way I felt, I had serious doubts that I was going to be able to run it. I started to consider that I might need to take steroids to ease the inflammation.

Cocoa making sure I stick to the plan to rest
My youngest son was home from college and he planned on going to Thanksgiving bootcamp with me. Probably due to those 2 days of rest, I felt pretty good that morning. Bootcamp was fun. We broke into teams of 3 and tackled the workout. There were some 250m runs carrying the wallball, rowing, wall balls, slamball bear crawls, KB suitcase carries, slamballs, and wallball situps with a partner. Matthew commented that he didn't know if he could work out like that every week. Really? He plays rugby!


Thanksgiving was at my sister's house and it was a really nice day with my family. My dad is feeling much better and he was cracking his bad dad jokes, always a good sign. After dinner, I went to bed early since I had to work the next day.


The sleeping giant, RA, woke me up in the middle of the night. Normally, I wake up once or twice to change positions because I get so stiff. This time, I when I tried to move my legs, my hip hurt so much that I cried out in pain. I shifted around, got comfortable, and was able to fall back asleep. But when I woke up for the day, it was really hard to move. Everything hurt. I seriously considered calling off but didn't because I knew I had a full schedule of patients.

I also considered my half marathon the next day. I thought about all the training I've done, the long runs, the pacing, and that Steph and I planned to do this together--I wasn't going to DNS this race! By the time I got to work, I was in tears from both physical pain and mental anguish. I've been feeling so good. Why now? I cycled through sadness and anger. I hadn't been in this place for a while. I didn't like it.

So I decided to take control. I finally broke down and started taking the steroids. By lunchtime, I could feel some relief. I also felt a little guilt. Should I be running a half marathon while I'm having a flare? After all, I didn't tell my rheumatologist that I was going to run a half marathon when I called to ask about the steroids. I reminded myself that running doesn't ruin my joints, RA ruins my joints. Contrary to what people think, running isn't going to make my disease worse. If my body will let me run, I'm going to run. I know now that my running days are numbered. It's a sobering thought.

Saturday morning, Steph and I ran the race. I'll recap the race on Tuesday, but I'll share here that the run/walk intervals were a great strategy for me. Based on my training, I set a finish line goal of 2:10 and I finished this race in 2:09:57. It was hard and I couldn't have gone any faster. But I was thrilled with my race and I didn't walk at all outside of my intervals.

Thrilled with my race!
It's been a tough week for me. I felt like every activity this week caused a spike in symptoms. I finish the steroid pack in a couple of days and I'm hoping it will be enough to shut off some of the inflammation. I plan on taking it easy this week to allow my body to recover and heal from Saturday's effort. Here's to hoping for some healing.

Fingers crossed.

~~~~~~~~Welcome to the Weekly Wrap~~~~~~~~
Holly and I host this wonderfully supportive linkup for fitness bloggers to share their fitness and/or race recaps and connect with other like-minded runners! New to the wrap? Check out the rules above. Remember, please link back to both of us and comment on our blogs. Even better, comment on other bloggers posts! This community makes me smile! Have a great week!






60 comments :

  1. I'm so happy you found some relief and were able to run the half marathon AND with such a strong finish time. You kicked that stupid RA to the curb. If you were like me, one bright spot of the week was having the kids around. It's so sad to see them go. BUT, less people to clean up after for the win!

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    1. I loved having Matthew home. I didn't see all that much of him though, but it was great while it lasted! He didn't even bring his laundry, so I call it a win!

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  2. I am really happy to see that your week ended way better than it started. It's pretty amazing you were able to run the half and hit your goals based on how awful you felt earlier in the week. You really do amaze me with your determination! I think it's important that you write about your bad weeks as well. People who enjoy following you know that you are struggling some weeks. We want to support you when you are down and cheer for you when you are up. Hope you have a better week

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    1. You are too kind! I like to stay positive and writing about good things keeps me on track. So if I'm writing about feeling bad, you know it's bad! I'm hoping that once the steroids are weaned, I'll continue to feel better. I'm so grateful that I was able to run my race and hit my goal. I still can't believe it. But it was tough!

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  3. I'm so happy that the week ended positively. You have such grit and I really admire the way you don't let obstacles derail you from your passion. Cycling through anger and sadness is so relatable (and exactly what I would do and HAVE done!) and something I think is worth writing about - and showing how you can still positively spin it. I hope this coming week is better!

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    1. It's been such a struggle watching my finish times decline--I trained harder for this half than I normally do. I hoped to make this my fastest half this year and it was. But WTH with an RA flare the week before? It's almost like someone was asking me: "how bad do you want this?"

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  4. Good for you, Wendy! Congrats on the half. So sorry you had to go through a bunch of crap to get there, but you did what you had to do and pulled it out! So glad to hear that you met your time goal. Hope you're feeling better this week. Maybe take some time off work?

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    1. I can't take time off work but I am going to do lots of recovery this week!

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  5. Talk about nailing your finish time goal - phew! I'm sorry RA was such a PITA this week, but glad you were able to run -- and do that workout with your son! I hope you can rest and recover this week - and that rest will bring you more relief.

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    1. As one of my fellow RA runners said to me: "your body is still under siege". So yes, there will be lots of rest and recovery this week!

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  6. I'm glad you were able to run and push through. I hope you do have a better week after the steroids.

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  7. Sorry it was such a tough week, but i'm glad you were able to run a successful half! Hopefully the steroids will help to settle everything down.

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    1. I couldn't be happier about the race. Hoping my body lets it all go now.

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  8. I'm glad your race went well, a well-earned payoff for the week of frustration to get there. I love the pic with all the bad dad jokes....my hubby is starting to fall into that category (UGH). One blessing over dinner (since he was at the ER with the son) is that we only had my dad telling the bad jokes. Glass half full, right?

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    1. I'm telling the bad dad jokes at work now...ugh...

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  9. I am so sorry you had such a tough week, but so very happy to see it end on a high note! I hope this week brings you some relief!

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  10. Oh man! So sorry you've hit a rough patch. I love your spunk and F-you attitude to RA. Hope you are feeling better this week and back to yourself.

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  11. It's hard to register for a race well in advance, train for it, and then have a flare happen right beforehand without feeling upset! I'm sorry you were hurting so much; glad the steroids helped, and really glad that you were able to do the half marathon after all. Ack, rough week to be sure.

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    1. I can't understand how I flared this week--something happened on that run last weekend to stir things up. But alls well that ends well, right?

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  12. I'm so sorry you had such a tough week, but glad that it ended on a high note. You are definitely a tough cookie! Extremely tough. Congrats on running a strong race & meeting your goal!

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    1. It was pretty fun to see it all fall into place. Training at certain paces is really rewarding!

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  13. I'm so sorry things were so difficult. You are incredibly lucky to have Nurse Cocoa there, making sure you take your rest seriously (so precious). I can't even imagine how frustrating it must be to have those flares hit without warning, and I am so glad you were able to get some relief with the steroids. I hope you are feeling better this week.

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    1. Cocoa is just the best therapy. But yes, I'm grateful that I was able to run my race.

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  14. Wow, what a week. I am glad the steroids are helping and you should be so proud to have run below the goal you set for yourself. Very nice. I am sorry you are dealing with RA...it doesn't sound fun but I appreciate your honesty about how tough it is. Sending you healing thoughts to get through this flare :(

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    1. Thank you! Hoping that once I finish the steroids, RA goes back into hiding, where it belongs...

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  15. So sorry to hear this week was so tough for you. It's amazing how you pulled off such a strong race after struggling with the flare. Tough cookie indeed!

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    1. It takes one to know one and I learned from the best! <3

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  16. It is amazing that you met your time goal in the middle of a flare. Nice work! I hope you have a restful week to aid the steroids in putting RA back where it belongs.

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    1. I was pretty surprised myself! The steroids calmed the flare down just enough to allow me to push my pace. I felt really good the day after, which was a win as well.

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  17. Love your race top!
    Congrats on finding a way to get it done, and kudos on beating your goal. Glad your dad is feeling better

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  18. I don't say this often because I think it gets overused, but you truly are an inspiration. I know how hard you fight and what you must be going through to keep up your activity. I hope you get some relief this week so you can get back to kicking RA's butt. Seriously, great job.

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    1. Thank you! I don't know if it would be easier just to give it up, but mentally, I'd probably be a mess. As long as my body lets me run, I will keep going.

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  19. I'm so sorry, what an awful week and how terribly upsetting for you. RA is a bastard (my friend here who has it is suffering horrendously from the immune system supression from the drugs, as she works in a school, and just has cold after chest infection after cold, or else the terrible joint pain). A brilliant half time, I could never achieve that kind of time, which probably isn't that much of a consolation, I know. Much love to you. You're amazing to write about this, too, which will really help others understand.

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    1. I'm immunosuppressed from the meds as well--I don't get sick often. I'm a compulsive handwasher. My bigger worry is the bad stuff--like measles, or shingles. Fingers crossed that I can just keep on keeping on! Thanks for your support.

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  20. I'm glad that your week ended on a high note, and congratulations on that hard-earned half marathon finish! I so appreciate you being so honest and sharing your experiences with RA, it has been so eye-opening. You know I'm always rooting for you! :)

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    1. I so appreciate you! I'm just grateful to still be part of this amazing group of runners!

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  21. So sorry to hear you were in so much pain this week. I can't imagine - and you stay so active! It is something I know so little about, so I always appreciate hearing about your RA. That's great having family home - and what fun to have your son join you for boot camp! Must have made you feel good when he said he would not be able to keep it up like oyu do :)

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    1. I'm hoping he will come back to bootcamp over his Christmas break. I loved having him there!

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  22. Ugh..excuse my language but f*ck RA! I'm so sorry that you were in so much pain this week. I can't imagine how it must feel to be on this rollercoaster when it comes to RA because some weeks you feel so great and then others not so much. Knowing you, I knew that was NO doubt that you would run and finish that half marathon. You're a warrior Wendy - so proud of you!

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    1. Awww, Kim, thank you! I couldn't believe the timing of this flare, especially because I haven't flared in months! I'm just glad I was able to run and that the steroids were effective.

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  23. I'm sorry to hear about your flare but I love your attitude in dealing with it. Congrats on the half marathon! You are amazing.

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    1. I'm just so grateful that I could pull it off! My fastest half of the year!

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  24. As much as you want to you can’t control when and where. You are tough and strong willed. I can totally understand where you were mentally. I’m glad the steroids worked and are an option for an ‘event’. My PC mentioned that to me and now that I know what they do and how they help I wonder if they would have helped me get through the Century Ride I bailed on. Thank you for sharing your experiences. I appreciate it very much as I enter my second year of Autoimmune hell.

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    1. I think you just have to keep it all in perspective. Running isn't going to trash your joints. It's the disease that's going to wreck you. So if you want to push it, you know you can.

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  25. Sorry it was such a tough week :( But it sounds like you handled it really well! And congrats on having a good race and hitting your goal :)

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  26. I'm really happy to hear that you had a great race despite such a tough week. Your run/walk intervals seem to be just the right thing to keep you going strong. I love that your son went with you to boot camp. My son always wants to do yoga with me when he visits.

    Thanks for the linkup!

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  27. I'm sorry to hear that your RA flared up! :[! Major props and congrats on a great race though, and I'm glad you had a nice Thanksgiving and that the steroids helped. I hope it calms down soon and that you get to feeling better again! <3

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    1. I hope that once the medrol dose pack is done that it doesn't return. Fingers crossed.

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  28. You are so inspiring! I’m so glad your half went well and you finish with a better time than you set out to do!
    Your posts are always uplifting even when you have a tough RA week because you have such a positive attitude. Stay strong! F—RA!

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    1. I just can't bear the thought of not running or being inactive. Fingers crossed that I'll be able to keep moving!

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  29. Sorry you have had a rough week. You are still killing it with the run/walk intervals. Here's hoping for a better week for you!

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    1. I'm still feeling pretty good, so the steroids did their job.

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  30. Congrats on doing your race. I hear you! Trails really beat the body up in ways miles and miles on the road never will. Thanks for hosting! I'm excited to get to know everyone!

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    1. I"m so excited to have you join us! Please let me know if you have any questions.

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