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

Friday, June 1, 2018

Coffee Talk

This post contains affiliate links.

"I didn't choose the mug life, the mug life chose me".

Apologies to Tupac, R.I.P. But over here, the day doesn't start without a cup of coffee. Sometimes two. You get me?

Let's do this! How do you take it--cream and sugar? Would you like to try some GLG Collagen Hydrolysate in yours?

Sunday, May 20, 2018

The Universe Speaks: What's This Runner to Do?

"The universe is under no obligation to make sense to you." ~ Neil deGrasse Tyson
It's been a rough couple of weeks. Last month, I published a post called All Aboard the Hot Mess Express and I feel like I'm still riding the rails. Even running, which is my go-to when I'm feeling overwhelmed and stressed, isn't serving me well.

But what does a runner do when the going gets tough?

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Back to Work

You can't keep a good runner down for long! After last week's RA flare, I went into full-on defense mode and started steroids. As the week progressed, I really started to turn the corner. While I've still been feeling the effects of the flare, my running gradually improved over the week.

I'm back, baby! For the most part, anyway. Here's how the week went down:

Sunday, April 29, 2018

A Runner with RA Gets a Reality Check

After last week's race, I felt like I had conquered rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Finishing that race in a time I haven't seen since before my diagnosis was such a mental boost for me. I reflected on the possibilities. I have been running so well this spring and maybe, just maybe there is the possibility of remission. Maybe there is the possibility of a sub-2 half marathon for me this year. And maybe...well, I'm not even going to go there...

Ok, I'll go there. With Boston on my mind, would a BQ be in my wheelhouse? Of course, that would mean I'd have to run a qualifying marathon. And a marathon is a whole different animal from a 10 mile race or even a speedy half marathon. I know I said I was done with marathons and most likely, I am. But a runner can dream, right? After all, that's what keeps us running.

Silly old lady! The running gods laughed at all this. Inevitably, life and RA slapped me right back into reality.

Friday, April 6, 2018

Coffee Talk

Let's sit down and catch up over a cup of coffee. How do you take yours? Since attending my conference in downtown Chicago a few weeks ago, I've been loving on lattes. Soy or dairy, no matter. Give me that foamed milk and a shot of espresso. Yum!

Since I'm making coffee at home, it will be just half and half. I hope that's ok. So, tell me what's new...

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Race Recap: Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8k

Earlier this spring, I received an email about the Shamrock Shuffle. There was a one-day-only price special of $39. For a Chicago race, that sounded like a bargain. It had been a long time since I last ran this race--the last time was in 1995! I thought it might be fun to revisit it, plus the distance--an 8k-- was really attractive to me. I contacted my friend Steph and she said she was in.

Fast forward to the present. Steph is injured and winter won't let go. All week, I agonized over my decision to run this race. Plus, I just ran that spontaneous Sarasota Half Marathon last weekend. Did I really want to trek into the city for an 8k? I had opted for having my packet mailed ahead of time, so I didn't have to go to the expo. Bottom line, I don't want any DNSs this year, so I sucked it up and headed into the city for the 2018 Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle.

Friday, March 9, 2018

5 Positive Ways that Rheumatoid Arthritis Turned My Life Upside Down

This post contains an affiliate link.

I know you're looking at the title to this post and thinking what could be good about having rheumatoid arthritis? Or maybe you're thinking: "she's done so much whining about having RA and now she's saying it's good?"

Well, after a year of living with this diagnosis, I've learned a lot about the disease. I've also adapted to the disease and for the most part, am living the life I lived before the diagnosis. Maybe even a better life, if that is possible.

I'm not sugarcoating life with RA. Yes, the diagnosis turned my life upside down. I take toxic medications to keep the disease activity low. I have daily symptoms of achy and swollen joints. I've had a few health scares, most recently liver toxicity from methotrexate, one of the medications I was taking to control my disease. If I had to choose, I'd rather not have RA.

But in spite of having a life-changing medical condition, so much good has happened over the past year. Sometimes it takes a slap in the face in the form of a devastating health problem to make you see all the good things in life. While the bad days are few, I've learned to appreciate all the good in my life more than ever.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Coffee Talk

Come and join me for a cup of coffee! Let's catch up on life off the road. What do you take in yours? Do you want to try some of this Great Lakes Gelatin Collagen Hydrolysate? I swear you won't taste it. I've been adding to my coffee, along with some half and half every morning.

So what would I tell you if we were having coffee?

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Calming the Beast In Me

Another week, another's Sunday and it's time to recap the week of training! Welcome to the Weekly Wrap, hosted by Holly and me, where all the cool fitness bloggers share their training and race recaps! Is it your first time linking with us? Check out the rules in the tab above.

How was the week?

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

In Pursuit of Happy Joints

Earlier in February, I posted an informative discussion about Great Lakes Gelatin Collagen Protein on Facebook Live. Check it out!

Disclaimer: Through my affiliation with Sweat Pink, I received Great Lakes Collagen products and compensation in exchange for this post as well as social media sharing. All opinions are my own. This post contains an affiliate link.

Most runners experience inflammation after a run, especially after one where you might have pushed your pace a little harder and/or ran a little farther. Sometimes you just feel sore, even if the run went well. Other times, the soreness comes a day or 2 later, aka delayed-onset muscle soreness or DOMS. What do you do when this happens? Do you reach for the bottle of ibuprofen? Do you let it go away on its own?

In the past, I took more than my share of ibuprofen to ward off post-run soreness. You and I both know that isn't the best thing to do. As I've gotten smarter about training, I incorporate foam rolling and stretching into my post-run routine to help ward off some of that pain. But even that wasn't enough. It wasn't until last year and my diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis that I began to really educate myself about inflammation--both as it relates to running and working out as well as RA. I've made changes in my diet and have incorporated more anti-inflammatory foods. I've also started using hydrolyzed collagen protein supplements.

Hydrolyzed collagen can help reduce inflammation in active people

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Race Recap: Jingle Bell Run 5k

When I last saw my rheumatologist in September, she told me about the team she was forming for the Jingle Bell 5k Run for Arthritis. She wanted me to run on her team. This year, she was named the medical honoree. Of course, I agreed! This was so important to me because the date of the race also happened to be my one year anniversary of my diagnosis with RA.

I recruited my youngest son and his girlfriend to join me--no one else wanted to make the trek into the city for a 5k--and we made our way to Soldier Field on a cold, snowy, windy morning.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

One Year Later: 8 Lessons I've Learned About Running with RA

On Saturday, I am lining up with my rheumatologist and a host of other runners for the Jingle Bell Run for Arthritis. A 5k run and walk, this is a national race to raise awareness and money for arthritis research. In a strange twist of fate, Saturday is also my one year anniversary of my diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis. I find it oddly appropriate to be participating in this race on this most inauspicious of anniversaries.

I've shared a great deal of my journey this year here on the blog. My diagnosis was devastating to me, an avid athlete and can't stop, won't stop kind of gal. Talk about hitting a runner where it hurts, right? I refused to let this diagnosis limit me, as I continued running and working out throughout the year.At times, it would have been easier to just give in and stay on the couch, but that isn't me. I'm pleased to tell you that as of this writing, I have run over 1000 miles in 2017! And I've still got the rest of December!

Many of those miles were hard, tears were shed, and I struggled to find my mojo again. One year later, here I am, still running and adding up the miles. While I'm not symptom-free, I've found a way to live with my symptoms and keep on moving. For today's post, I wanted to share some of the lessons I've learned this year while running with RA.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Coffee Talk

It's the start of a new month--yikes, December!--which means that it's time for our monthly coffee date! I'm totally procrastinating on holiday prep, so let's sit down and chat. What would you like in your coffee? A little peppermint schnapps, perhaps? 'Tis the season, right?

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Running on the Sunny Side of the Street

What a difference a week makes! Last week, I wrote about relentless rain and gray skies, about sucking it up and getting outside even though conditions were less than optimal. And then....the sun returned. This time of year, seeing the sun is a gift. We were so fortunate since this week we had sunny skies almost every day.

With a race coming up on Saturday, you know I watched that forecast closely. While I'm saving my race recap for Tuesday, I'll share that we had near perfect running conditions for the half marathon, which made for a near perfect run! This runner is thankful.

So how was my week of training?

Friday, November 24, 2017

Runfessions: The Gratitude Edition

Can you believe that it's the last Friday of November? And that it's already time to runfess again? For this month's runfessions, I thought it would be appropriate to share a few thankful runfessions. Kind of a Thanksgiving-themed runfessions, if you will. With a little side of snark, because that's how my runfessions roll.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Gray Skies Are Gonna Clear Up

If I could name a theme for this week, it would be rain and gray skies. Cold rain. Oh, and wind. If you live in the midwest, it's been a tough month to be an outdoor runner. When I published last week's post about sucking it up and getting outside, I had no idea that I'd have to continue to take my own advice to push myself out the door. Having a half marathon on the calendar helped keep me motivated--there was training to do!

Sunday, October 29, 2017

A Runner with RA Cycles through the 5 Stages of Grief

This week was race week! Sure, it was just a 15k, but my last race was a DNF and I sure as heck didn't want that to happen again. The pressure was on and boy, did I have a mental struggle this week!

With so many ups and downs of my disease process this week, I cycled, ok, I ran through more emotions than I ever thought possible. I needed to get a grip on my anxiety. RA and this latest flare have really been messing with me. I had to keep telling myself that the outcome of Sunday's race matters to no one but me.

As I prepared today's post for the Weekly Wrap, instead of talking about my workouts this week, which you can see on my Instagram, I decided to share my emotions. In a comic style. Truth be told, I had some fun with this post.

After all, as they say, a picture tells a thousand words. Amateurish? Yes. Therapeutic? Yes. I have felt all the feels this week.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Runfessions: October Roller Coaster

This post contains affiliate links.

Another month has flown by and with that comes another opportunity to runfess. Do you runfess? On the last Friday of the month, Marcia's Healthy Slice hosts Runfessions. Runners get to bare their soles, and it's all judgment and penance free. It's all good.

Let's get started.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get New Shoes

Disclaimer: This post contains an affiliate link.

When you're struggling with running, what's the first thing you think about changing?

A few years ago, plagued with running-related injuries, I knew something had to change. I started working with Becky at the CrossFit box and as I grew stronger, I rediscovered my speed and love for running. It's been a formula that has worked well for me for the last 3 years, helping me to set PRs in almost every distance I ran during that time.

Since my diagnosis with RA earlier this year, my speed and endurance have dropped dramatically in spite of continuing to strength train at the box. With Becky's move to Las Vegas, I have been working with a new coaching team. I've increased those workouts to twice weekly. I can't deny the positive effect those workouts have had on my overall strength, but the strength is no longer translating to success on the road. Who knows--maybe I wouldn't be running at all if I wasn't doing strength training. But in the hopes that I can regain some endurance, I've started looking elsewhere for answers.

When I see other runners struggling, the first thing they do is either change their fueling or their shoes. Am I right? Is that what I should be thinking about?

Monday, October 9, 2017

Ain't No Mountain High Enough

After a week of bad news and an RA flare, the annual sister weekend we had planned was a welcome break. Timing is everything, isn't it? My only regret about our timing is that it was the Chicago Marathon and I would be missing it. I don't know what I was thinking when I gave my sister the date. I will admit to a little FOMO, seeing everyone's photos. Congrats to all the finishers!!!

My goals for the weekend were: destination sunshine and relaxation. Maybe we'd squeeze in a little fitness. Let the fun commence!