async="src="/ Taking the Long Way Home: This is How I Know It's Real

Sunday, March 3, 2019

This is How I Know It's Real

Disclaimer: I received NovoRenew in exchange for my honest review. 

Last week, I shared that I was in the midst of another flare of rheumatoid arthritis. I know I share my issues with RA pretty often on the blog. I'd rather not, but RA is my reality and it often affects my training. When I'm having a bad week of training, I have to ask myself if it is due to illness, menopause, aging, or RA.

Thankfully, this week, for the most part, I feel like myself again. The steroids did their job, shutting off the inflammation. I'm running faster, my legs feel light, and my strength training went really well, even hitting a 5 rep PR doing push presses. For 3 sets.

This is how I know it's real.




The Week's Training:
Monday: ran outside, 5 miles
Tuesday: rest day
Wednesday: ran outside, 6.2 miles
Thursday: strength training and bootcamp
Friday: bootcamp
Saturday: ran outside, 8 miles
Sunday: rest and recovery

February mileage 63

The cold never bothered me...much
Sometimes I don't feel like I have RA at all. While I have daily aches and pains, I can attribute those to soreness from pushing too hard or just normal aging. That's when it feels good to feel good and I can let down my guard, enjoying life and the pursuit of fitness. When I saw my rheumatologist in January, I told her how great I had been feeling. I shared my mileage from 2018, which was almost 1000 miles for the year. I told her that I ran 6 half marathons in a 12 month time frame. The blood work that measures my RA activity was at the lowest level ever for me. At that visit, I didn't feel like I had RA anymore.

To monitor my disease, rheumatologist also does periodic ultrasounds of my hands and feet. Unfortunately for me, there was an erosion on the joint in my left pinky toe. Even though I was feeling well, that new erosion means I can't wean my medications. Remission of my disease is off the table.

Unfortunately, I have had to skip 2 weeks of Humira because one week I received some vaccines and another week, I got sick. After that, I flared. This most recent flare took place about 4 months after my previous one.

Sometimes I when I have symptoms of a flare, I think that maybe it's all in my head. That the pain is not real or that I'm exaggerating how I feel. Usually, the symptoms sneak up on me. It could be that Baker's cyst popping up behind my knee again. Or my knees start to hurt and wake me up in the middle of the night. I might take some ibuprofen, hoping that the pain isn't signaling the start of a flare.

But when I feel better, as I do now, I look back on the past couple of weeks and realize how bad I really felt. How fatigue was a big problem, but I couldn't get comfortable when I tried to sleep. How I struggled with my runs. How I felt nauseous when I tried to push my pace. Last week, I cried from frustration at CrossFit because my shoulders hurt when I opened them to hold the barbell during back squats. I finished second to last at bootcamp and that's only because the lady who finished last was new and had never been there before.

This week, my runs felt good. CrossFit didn't hurt--well, at least no more than normal. I finished right up there with the rest of the class. Saturday's run felt truly amazing. I set out to run 6 miles but felt so good, I pushed it to 8, dropping some of those run/walk intervals, and finishing in 1:15. The steroids did their job and shut off the flare. I wish I could stay on them all the time but the side effects prohibit that. I'll just keep my fingers crossed (because I can do that again) that my disease stays quiet for a very long time.

That's how I know it's real.

I PR'd my 5 rep push press this week!
65# x 3 sets
I Want to Try it! NovoRenew is a supplement specially made for runners! Check out @oldrunningmom's review and giveaway! @novorenew #runchat #curearthritis

When Tad from NovoRenew approached me about his new product, I was skeptical. Guys, I take a lot of supplements, all with the hopes that I'll find some magic in those pills and keep that inflammation at bay. But I was intrigued. Instead of the usual "anti-inflammatory" ingredients that so many products contain, NovoRenew has a blend of 8 different ingredients to reduce and modulate inflammation and help your body repair tissues. After reading about the NovoRenew, I figured what did I have to lose? I first started taking NovoRenew about one month ago. After a couple of days of taking NovoRenew, I felt like I had more energy. When I talked with Tad, he said that a lot of people report feeling more energetic. I also felt as if I didn't have RA at all! Obviously, no supplement is going to prevent my RA from flaring. I was really pleased with how quickly I returned to my normal fitness routine after the flare.

Was it the NovoRenew? I don't know but I'm going to keep taking it for a while longer to see if it really does make a difference in how I feel. Do you want to try it? I'm giving away 2 bottles (1 month's supply) to 2 lucky readers! Can't wait to see if you won? I also have a discount code for you to save 40% off your order. Use the code WENDY40 and let me know what you think!

**giveaway is for US readers only**









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I'm linking up with the brand new Weekly Roundup, hosted by Deborah of Confessions of a Mother Runner and Kim of Running on the Fly. I'm also linking up with the Running is Our Therapy Link Up (#RIOTS), hosted by Run with PugsMat.Miles.MedalsFunner RunnerGracious Warrior PrincessMeghan on the Move, and Train with Bain. Lots of options to stay accountable and keep track of what our little community is doing! Are you linking?







44 comments :

  1. I so wish you didn't have to deal with RA and how it affects pretty much every aspect of your life. I'm glad you had a good week, and I do hope as the weather (eventually) warms, you will continue to feel your best and get some good runs in!

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  2. Really glad you had so much of a better week. Is there a link for the Weekly Run Down yet? I'm not finding info about it but I'm soooooooo far behind at the moment ...

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  3. Wendy, I just loooooove your weekly recaps! Even when dealing with RA flares, you are positive, yet real! I hope the NovoRenew continues to work for you. As I am currently injured, I know how great it feels to have great workouts and how you can look back when you pushed through but felt crummy and realize, "yep, it was a crummy week. It wasn't all in my head!" Keep on keepin' on!

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    1. Thank you so much Shawn! I try to keep it positive but not sugarcoat things because that's not real. I'm happy to be back on the good side of RA right now.

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  4. strict push presses are SO hard for me! I like using my legs to do everything. glad you are feeling better!

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    1. I love upper body lifting--I can't describe it, but I just feel so strong lifting stuff overhead. Plus it's a back fat killer!

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  5. Its great that you can push through those hard days and then get rewarded by some great runs! Its got to be frustrating none the less but it doesn't keep you down!!! Keep going!!!

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    1. So frustrating. February was a tough month for me. I'm hoping that I got it out of the way and now I can move forward! Who has time for a flare? Not me!

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  6. Glad this week was a major turn-around from the previous one and you're feeling much better. Now, if we could just get the weather to play a little nicer...even though my four outdoor miles were cold yesterday, it felt so liberating to just be on city streets and off of the treadmill (until I went back inside)

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    1. and thanks for joining us for the Weekly Run Down ;-)

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    2. With no wind yesterday, I felt as if I could go forever! I'm so ready to be done with winter.

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  7. Glad to read that this week was so much better than last week for you. What exactly is in those supplements? How do you think they are different?

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    1. The only thing that was familiar to me was Vitamin D, which I already take. But there's a bunch of other components that are purported to be good for inflammation. So far, I have noticed a difference in my energy level. I'll keep taking it as long as I think it's helping me!

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  8. I think whenever we're in the midst of something difficult & draining, we don't really realize how drained we actually are. I didn't think that Gizmo was really all that much work, not compared to some of my other sick furkids in the past. But now I realize he really was a lot more work than I'd realized, and I suspect that my tiredness at my race was less do with walking around -- I'm usually relatively active before a half, but also try to rest -- but a lot more to do with that stressful situation.

    Anyway, more energetic sounds good to me! I feel as though I'm always tired, even when I sleep well, and there's nothing wrong with me.

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    1. Sometimes I feel more tired than others--the fatigue with a flare is a tired I've never felt before. I'm always glad when that goes away!

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  9. It's great to find a product that works for you. I'm sure you'd rather have days when the RA flare is not so severe, but wondering if what you're feeling is "real" sounds like adding insult (or self-doubt) to your injury. So sorry!

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    1. It's really unreal because the pain just comes out of nowhere. And when I have little aches, like I do in my hands as I type this, I worry it's coming back!

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  10. Wow, sounds like you've found a great product! Glad to hear your RA felt better this week, it's frustrating when our bodies don't perform how they have in the past. I'd be super interested to try the supplement.

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    1. Since the product was made for runners, I was intrigued. When I read more about it and researched the ingredients, it sounded like a good fit. Let me know if you try it!

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  11. Sounds like an interesting product. I'm glad it helped you.
    Sorry to hear the joint erosion means you can't enter remission. How frustrating it must be, coupled with not feeling like yourself. Glad you've been able to rebound from this flare.

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  12. Glad you are starting to feel better! I struggle with similar thoughts during chronic fatigue flares - "maybe this is just how tired everyone feels". It's hard to remember what 'normal tired" feels like until I get back to that point.

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    1. I love that you get it! I feel like people who don't have a chronic illness can't understand it.

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  13. I so happy that this week was better for you!

    I'm on a quest for the right supplements - especially before marathon training begins! Interested in learning more about this one.

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  14. I like that you speak so honestly about RA and how you deal with it as a runner. I know that your posts give a lot of hope to people, and runners, dealing with RA.

    So happy that you had a better week and that you are loving this supplement.

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    1. I never wanted to be the "arthritis runner" but this is my reality. I'm just pushing on...

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  15. While I dislike reading how much RA affects you, I love your positive energy and your desire to keep going.

    I am glad to see that the supplement is working out for you.

    You are some great mileage for February. Me? Just 21.5 miles. Oh well.

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    1. I'm trying to up my miles for March so I can do some half marathons!

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  16. really glad you had a better week. you know a lot of people with RA face it much differently than you do. you are a great example of not letting the disease own you. It may try, but you haven't thrown in the towel. that's most important! I'm glad the supplements are helping you. I never really know if the anti-inflammatory supps I take really help. I can say I VERY rarely take ibuprofen these days for the pain in my foot (that sometimes affects my lower leg) so maybe it all helps?

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    1. I know that a lot of people with RA do face it differently than me but I'm starting to understand why! It would be so much easier to succumb. I get it.

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  17. That’s great that you felt so good this week! Here’s to it continuing for a good long while :)

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  18. I'm so sorry you have to deal with such a crappy disease. You are such an inspiration though to keep going. This prodcut seems worth a try!

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    1. I thought so! It's different from anything out there and the ingredients are all good for inflammation!

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  19. I am in awe of your strength - RA sound so rough, and yet you keep lifting and running even on hard weeks. You are a strong woman, Wendy!
    The way you describe RA reminds me of the pelvic pain I used to have. Before my surgery, I had a constant low level of chronic pelvic pain with flares and periods so painful I'd almost pass out. I thought maybe everyone feels this way and I'm just soft, or that it was all in my head. The laparoscopy validated that it was neither, that something real was causing my pain. It's never in our heads!
    I'm glad the supplements and steroids are helping you!

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    1. I love when people get it! I'm also glad that you found relief from your pain. Chronic pain is no joke. It really messes with your head.

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  20. It's got to be so frustrating to swing back and forth from no flares to weeks of discomfort and back again.

    I hope this product helps you. I'm sure it won't be a total fix, but anything that give you some kind of relief has got to be a great thing.

    I also think that you give hope and strength to so many. You are showing people day in and day out that RA doesn't mean the end of your goals and doing the things you love to do. <3 to you always.

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    1. Thank you! I'd love to leave RA behind. I'm hopeful that after this flare, I'll get a little break.

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  21. I'm so glad that you had a good week and felt much better. Here's hoping that it stays that way for a long time! BTW, your yearly mileage is quite impressive, especially when you factor in the times RA cut your run short or kept you from running.

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