Showing posts with label rheumatoid arthritis. Show all posts
Showing posts with label rheumatoid arthritis. Show all posts

Sunday, May 19, 2019

A Change in Perspective

In the midst of the never ending winter and my ongoing health issues came an invite from my southern sister from another mister. Holly, who used to co-host the Weekly Wrap link up with me, convinced me to book a flight for a weekend visit to her new lake house. She found a trail race for us. I looked for flights and found a great deal.

After I booked my flight, I had second thoughts. What if I don't start to feel better? Will I be able to run? Even more important, will I be able to water ski? Will she still want to hang with me?

What the heck was I worried about?



Sunday, May 12, 2019

I've Got a Good Feeling About This...

It was another frustrating week, health and fitness-wise. I won't harp on it, but my patience and my emotions were starting to fray. I had an appointment with my rheumatologist this week and I spent time prior to the appointment studying up on my condition and my new symptoms so I could be prepared to ask the right questions. Sometimes being a medical provider is a blessing and a curse! I have the knowledge and ability to interpret medical literature but I think that sometimes ignorance is bliss.

On the other hand, it felt really good to take control. At my appointment, my doctor and I discussed my concerns and options. She made some changes in my medications, including stopping the steroids which were making me really emotional. I left the appointment feeling more optimistic than I have in a while. Time will tell if the new medication will work but based on everything I learned, I have a good feeling about this new plan.

Beautiful Picnic Point overlooking Lake Mendota in Madison

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Ramble On

Disclaimer: I received Aspire and Maxus Zero socks from Swiftwick in exchange for my honest review. This post contains affiliate links.

"I guess I'll keep on rambling
I'm gonna
Sing my song
I gotta ramble on, sing my song
Gotta work my way around the world
Ramble on, yeah..."
~Led Zeppelin

Doo doo doo, I can't stop singing this song! This was such a better week. Is the medication finally kicking in? Is the inflammation just calming down? Whatever it is, I am thrilled. I found some endurance, rambling down the bike path and around my neighborhood.




Friday, May 3, 2019

Coffee Talk

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

Let's catch up over coffee! Sometimes it's nice to talk about things other than running. How do you take your coffee? I'm still using the GLG collagen and half and half in mine. Pull up a chair and tell me what's new in your world.


Sunday, April 28, 2019

Forward is a Pace

I want to keep on running.

After a little tough love talk from my very wise friend Marcia, I promised myself that I would start to train at an easier, slower pace. After running all these years, when I lace up and hit the road, my legs just go. Sadly, right now my heart doesn't want to keep up. Training these old legs to find a new normal, a slower speed, is much easier said than done. Dialing it down requires a focus on pace and diligence that I haven't used since training for my last marathon 4 years ago.

I'd have to call my week on the road a success as I finished all 3 runs with the distance I set out to do and feeling good.



Sunday, April 21, 2019

Fighting the Good Fight

This week seemed to be a turning point for me with both running and my disease. If you are a regular reader of my blog, you know that I am battling the worst flare of rheumatoid arthritis since my diagnosis 2 1/2 years ago. You may be tired of hearing about it. Trust me, I'm tired of dealing with it. As a runner, I'd love nothing more than to share victories than the string of struggles I've been experiencing for the past couple of months. I am frustrated and there are days when I think I should just walk away. I know that would be wrong and because I'm stubborn, I keep trying.

You never know what's around the next corner. So you just keep on fighting. Adjusting the game plan. That's what warriors do.



Tuesday, April 16, 2019

CARA Lakefront 5k Race Recap

The CARA Lakefront 10 miler is a perpetual favorite for me. I've run the race multiple times. It takes place along the Chicago lakefront in late March or early April. Organized by the Chicago Area Runners' Association, the race is a true "runner's race" and as such, attracts some really fast participants. This year, my running friend Steph wanted to run it with me.

I've been struggling with running for the last couple of months and that is mostly due to an ongoing flare of rheumatoid arthritis. Just as soon as it seems that I've gotten my symptoms under control, the disease flares up again. It's been frustrating for me. The week before this year's race was to take place, I had the worst flare since my diagnosis. Not wanting to DNS or risk a DNF, I made the decision to drop down to the 5k. I figured that at the very least, I could walk the 5k while Steph ran the 10 mile distance.



Sunday, April 14, 2019

Learning to Listen to My Body

Apparently, I've been overdoing it.

That's basically what my rheumatologist told me this week, in a very nicely worded diplomatic sort of way. When I protested that this is my usual level of activity, she told me what I already knew but needed to hear it again: I'm fighting an aggressive inflammatory illness and I need to scale back to allow my body to calm down.

I already knew this, but still. It kind of sucks.



Friday, April 5, 2019

Coffee Talk

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. 

Happy Friday! Let's sit down over a cup of coffee and catch up! What do you take in your coffee? I've got half and half and some GLG Collagen--I swear by this stuff! Have you tried it? Just 2 tablespoons are all you need. Tell me what's new in your world. 


Friday, March 29, 2019

Runfessions: March

Wow, can you believe it's the end of March? The weather is still wacky--it was warm and now it's threatening snow. March is definitely going out like a lion. Good riddance, I say and bring on spring!

The end of the month also signals the opening of the Runfessional. Yep, it's time to runfess. Marcia hosts this cleansing of the soles and let me tell you, it feels good.

What do you have to runfess?

Everything I tell Cocoa stays in the vault.

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.



Sunday, February 24, 2019

RA Flare Don't Care

Disclaimer: I received a pair of Mizuno Wave Horizon 3s in exchange for my honest review.

As you might have guessed from the title of my post, I spent most of the week dealing with an uptick in RA symptoms. As much as I wanted to curl up under a blanket and stay on the couch, I tried to keep it positive and stuck to my usual routine. I was both grateful for being able to move and frustrated for not being able to move the way I like. It was a tough week for me. I can't help but believe that some of my symptoms are due to this pervasive dampness we're having.



Sunday, December 16, 2018

The Day RA Won't Let Me Forget

Disclaimer: I received a pair of Swiftwick socks in exchange for my honest opinion. There are affiliate links as well.

Some anniversaries aren't on the calendar. There are certain things that we don't want to remember, much less celebrate. Unfortunately, some things we can't forget.

It's an inauspicious anniversary for me. Two years ago, I received a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis.

While I've managed my symptoms pretty well and have continued running, I've had a few bumps in the road. RA has been knocking on my door (ok, my knees..my hands...my elbows...my feet) for the past couple of weeks. Determined not to let it stop me from running my final half marathon of the year, I took a steroid pack hoping to shut it off.

The symptoms subsided, but shortly after completing the dose pack, the aching and swelling insidiously returned. First to my hands, then my knees. I normally live with a low level of symptoms so I wasn't overly concerned.

This past week, I had a full on flare of my disease. The timing was oddly coincidental with the 2 year anniversary of my diagnosis.
*rheumatoid arthritis

Sunday, December 2, 2018

After the Steroids

Cue the violins and sing along!

"So it's back to the same old
after the steroids,
With stiffness and swollen hands,
As I ease out of bed, 
Stretching my knees and rising to stand. 

It's so hard to explain
everything that I'm feeling,
Without sounding as if it's a whine,
'Cause it hurts me so much
To just want to feel fine.

Thanks for making me
Realize that I'm the lucky one
And thanks for turning me
Into a grateful someone

So it's back to the same old
after the steroids,
I lace up my shoes for a run.
The feel of the road, the wind in my face,
Reminds me of what I have won.

And I know that my song 
Isn't saying anything new
Oh but after the steroids,
I  just love what I can do.
~adapted from After the Lovin' 
and apologizes to Engelbert Humperdinck,
although it was a pretty cheesy song to begin with.




Could I be any cheesier? After last weekend's half marathon, I promised myself an easy week and easy is what I did. I finished the steroid pack on Tuesday and yes, while mild symptoms of RA returned, I felt overall pretty good. It's always scary to go off the steroids and after such a painful flare, I am so grateful to basically be back at my baseline.


Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Race Recap: Schaumburg Turkey Trot Half Marathon

This race has become an annual tradition for me. The last half marathon of the Chicago running season, it takes place in the Busse Woods Forest Preserve, a place where I train and know well. The mostly flat race attracts a fast group of runners and many PRs are made on this course. New for me this year, I was selected as an All Community Events ambassador and was proud this year to represent the race organizer.



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.

Friday, November 2, 2018

Coffee Talk

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

Let's have a cup of coffee and catch up! I love coffee so much that you don't have to ask me twice. Let me get the Great Lakes Gelatin Collagen Protein and some half and half. What do you take in your coffee?

What would you tell me over coffee?

Did you read the recap from my trip to Nashville?

Friday, October 5, 2018

Coffee Talk

This post contains affiliate links.

The temperatures have dropped, rain is falling, and it's the perfect morning to catch up over coffee. We could run, but running in the cold rain isn't much fun, right? How do you want your coffee? I've got half and half and GLG Collagen Hydrolysate to spoon in--do you want to try it?

Before we pour our coffee, I'm going to put it out there...I'm beside myself with is happening in Washington. Actually, I'm sick over it. I don't want to ruin our coffee date with negativity and I won't say any more than that. I think most of you know me and where I stand. All I can say is make sure you vote this November. It really does make a difference.

Ok, moving on. Tell me what's new in your world?

Thank you to Holly for this fun mug! 

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Grandma Didn't Run

Today's post is introspective and raw. I had one of those runs where I get in my head and this post is the result of that. I try to keep things positive as much as I can when it comes to living and running with RA. Off the road, I've had to deal with some negativity about the ways I choose to be active. Don't think for a second that I'm going to let RA or negativity stop me from doing my thing! Thanks for indulging me and for all your support.

Rock 'N' Roll Chicago Half Marathon
July 2018

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Race Recap: Rock 'N' Roll Chicago Half Marathon Weekend

Disclaimer: As a Rock'N'Blog Ambassador, I received a free entry to the Rock'N'Roll Chicago Half Marathon. My experience and my opinions are my own.

To think I considered not running this one at all. My knees had been bothering me and my endurance was AWOL. With so many blogger friends heading to my hometown to participate in the Rock'N'Roll Chicago weekend, I had to make a decision. Do I drop down to the 10k? Drop out? Who me? I contacted my rheumatologist who recommended steroid injections in my knees. Following the procedure, Mother Nature gifted us with some cool, low humidity days which led to some nicely paced, pain-free runs.

It's funny how things work out, isn't it? With some success on the road and a boost in my confidence, I stuck to my original plan to run the half marathon. I knew it would be tough. I made a race plan to use my 4:1 run/walk intervals. I set a goal finish time of 2:11 but realistically figured I'd finish around 2:15.

I was ready.