Showing posts with label yoga. Show all posts
Showing posts with label yoga. 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?



Tuesday, May 14, 2019

My 6 Favorite Recovery Tools and Why They Work

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

Runners love their recovery and they love their rituals. A few months back, I read Good to Go, by Christie Aschwanden, in which she explored all kinds of recovery techniques. The conclusion of her exploration was that in spite of all the recovery tools and methods being marketed to us, none of them have been proven to be beneficial.

Or are they?

Research has proven the power of the so-called "placebo effect". Your brain can convince your body that a treatment or procedure is useful, even if it isn't if it really isn't. When I reviewed Aschwanden's book, the feedback on my post was not at all surprising. People commented on how much better they feel after they foam roll or take an Epsom salt bath. It may not be the foam rolling or the bath that is healing, but the ritual of taking care of oneself after a hard workout or a run.

Speaking for myself, I love to run but I'm not so great about recovery. I do have a few tools in my recovery toolbox that I regularly use, regardless of whether or not science has proven their effectiveness. All I know is that they make me feel better. That's what really counts, isn't it?



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.




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.



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.



Sunday, April 7, 2019

Things that Make Me Go OOooh!

Disclaimer: I received a pair of OOfos Sandals in exchange for my honest review. 

Feeling good and back at it again this week! There was so much to OOh about. Spring is finally here and along with that warmer temperatures. Best of all, RA, while still making its presence known, has simmered down to low. That in itself was a reason to go oooh!



Sunday, March 10, 2019

Facing My Fears

I received a pair of SoleHealers in exchange for my unbiased review. All opinions are my own.

Running has done a lot of good things for me. Health benefits aside, probably one of the best things I've gotten from running is confidence and the ability to do hard things. After failing so horribly at my first attempt at the marathon, I didn't think I could ever face that distance again. But...

Three years later, I lined up and ran a 1 hour and 10 minute PR at the marathon. What changed for me?

During that time frame, I started working with a CrossFit coach to correct some imbalances that were causing recurring injuries. As she worked with me to strengthen my posterior chain, she pushed me into the red zone on the comfort scale. She made me challenge myself and had me lift heavier than I ever thought I could. As part of my marathon training, along with strength training, she had me do MetCon style workouts which pushed me almost to the point of vomiting. I didn't vomit, and as a result of the hard training, I saw my mile splits improve to times I never dreamed I could run.

I'm not a natural athlete, so none of what I do comes easily to me. Confidence goes a long way to help a person overcome their fears. So does having a person who believes in you and pushes you.



Friday, February 22, 2019

Runfessions: February

It's the last Friday of February and that means its time for runfessions! Is it just me or did February just fly by? Anyways, Marcia has opened the runfessional, so let's head in and cleanse our soles...




Sunday, February 10, 2019

It Was One of Those Weeks...

This was not my week. Taking a cue from Holly, I've come up with a few alternative titles for this post:

"Now I know why penguins walk the way they do"
"Ice, ice baby"
"I need a backup plan for the backup plan"
"Come on, Man!"
"The Mondayest Wednesday Ever"



Sunday, January 27, 2019

Hell is Actually Freezing Over

It is so cold...how cold is it? It is so cold even the snowmen want to come inside...

It is so cold...how cold is it? It is so cold that my college son is considering wearing boots...

It is so cold...how cold is it? It is so cold even Elsa is bothered by it...

It is so cold...how cold is it? It is so cold that I look forward to hot flashes...

It is so cold...how cold is it? It is so cold that I ran on the treadmill...

It is so cold...how cold is it? It is so cold that:


Sunday, January 13, 2019

Proceeding with Caution

After a rough start to 2019, this week things settled down nicely. I was ready for a do-over! After my back injury, I was a little nervous about my plans to travel south to Mobile to run a half marathon with Holly, Teresa, and Karen. I'm preparing this post in advance, so I'm optimistically telling you to check my Instagram to see how things turned out for us. For the most part, I behaved myself all week, so there's no reason to believe anything would go wrong....

I'll recap the weekend and the race on next week's wrap up. For today, I'm sharing some highlights from my very low-key week. 



Sunday, December 30, 2018

2018: It Was a Very Good Year

As a runner, it's always fun at the end of the year to reflect back on the year of running. At last year's end, I wrote that for 2018, I was going to "dial back the intensity a bit" and "be a little kinder to myself". I didn't set any goals for 2018, instead deciding to let the year unfold as it would. Still adjusting to living with RA, I didn't want to set myself up to fail and I sure didn't want any DNS. I also wanted to continue to practice yoga and work on strength via CrossFit.

Regular readers of the blog know that 2018 was a very good year for me. I've shared my triumphs, which were many, as well as my trials, which were few. For the most part, RA was pretty quiet. I had a few flares which always freak me out but were well-controlled with a burst of steroids. I did have my knees injected during the summer. My most recent bloodwork shows low RA activity. I still agonize over my loss of speed and endurance, but I've come to the conclusion that instead of blaming RA, menopause and aging are the more likely culprits. I can blame them for my thickening midsection too!

It's been a fun year, with less of a focus on the destination and more on the journey. I've had a lot of company--on my runs, at my races, and off the road too. I'm so grateful that I have been able to continue running! Here's my year in review. I'm not going to share specifics about races--you can find links to this years' races under the tab above.



Sunday, December 9, 2018

What a Difference the Sun Makes!

This week, I continued on my plan of recovery after my last half marathon. I still feel good with minimal symptoms of RA, but with another half marathon coming up in January, I'm looking to ramp up the miles once again. I have to play it smart and I'm going to try not to run 2 days in a row this time. Thankfully the cold weather didn't bother me much--symptoms of RA were really minimal.

Talking myself into heading out into the cold was a challenge. The gray skies were not inviting at all. Towards the end of the week, the sun came out.

We haven't seen much sun at all the last couple of weeks and wow! It sounds corny but what a difference the sun makes. People were kinder and overall everything felt...easier. With that, the week definitely ended on a high note!

photo credit to my husband

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.


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.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Running in a Winter Wonderland

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

Garmins beep
Are you listening?
On the trail
Snow is glistening
A beautiful day
We're happy to say
We're running in a winter wonderland
-Apologies to Richard B. Smith, lyricist



Sunday, November 11, 2018

Coming in From the Cold

Disclaimer: I received pairs of Swiftwick Pursuit and Vision socks in exchange for my unbiased review. This post contains affiliate links.

The arrival of cold weather here in the Midwest is inevitable. No matter how much you mentally prepare yourself for winter, when the temperature drops, it's always a shock to the system. Especially when it happens so early, as it has this year. We had snow this week and we had temperatures in the 20s. This time of year brings strong winds which ushers in the change of seasons, but combined with the cold, makes for some really unpleasant running conditions.

What is a runner to do? Take to the treadmill or suck it up and go outside? You know what I did.


Sunday, November 4, 2018

Falling Back into Running

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. I received The Original Worm in exchange for my honest review. 

See what I did there? Did you turn your clocks back and enjoy your extra hour of sleep? I woke up at 5:30, but consoled myself with the reminder that my body thought it was actually 6:30.

I wrapped up October with 80 miles running, which isn't bad considering that I've only been running 3 days per week. I've really been enjoying running this fall. I struggled so much over the summer that I started having dark thoughts about running. I worried that my running days were over. Thankfully, with the arrival of cooler weather, I found running to be enjoyable and rewarding again. I've also found my mojo which was sorely lacking. I'm starting to think ahead to 2019--looking at races and setting goals.

What a difference the weather makes!

Let's wrap up the week. Holly is taking a much needed week off. Marcia is graciously co-hosting. Be sure to show her all the love you always show Holly and me!!