Thirty Something Days Until Vacation

It’s January.

It’s snowing very lightly. It’s 26 degrees Fahrenheit .

Sorcerer Radio is on my my Echo (I really really want to thank my boss for not getting me a gift card this year. I’m in love with Alexa).

Coffee is… well… everywhere…

Gym is done for the day yesterday (I clocked 7 miles on my “I need 4 miles today” training schedule… today is 11.5… yay). If I follow my Google Pedometer plan, I’ll hit 13.3. Next Sunday the high is supposed to be 18. I’m really really really glad it’s not supposed to be a training day and that we will likely ‘only’ end up at the gym.

In 30 something days we fly to Disney. I think I honestly have to say that for once I’m actually ready for a race (or three). I’ve been watching people post on their races from this weekend (WDW marathon weekend) and I’m so jealous. I never in my life thought I would be looking at a marathon racer and thinking… maybe…

It’s hard to believe that just about a year ago I was watching people run a RAGNAR on From Fat To The Finish Line thinking that I would love to be able to maybe possibly some day do that… but that I would never ever be able to get to the fitness level that they were able to do. I don’t know if I will ever be able to quite get THERE… but… maybe… But here I am, at goal weight (still… I weigh myself almost every morning just to make sure… and I need to lose at least 5 pounds before Disney to give myself a little buffer) and actually hitting a little better than the goal I set for myself for my races, time wise. Maybe I’m okay.

It’s been really stressful lately and I can tell that it’s been playing havoc with my body. A week out from my last infusion and I’m feeling way way more human (otherwise I wouldn’t even be considering a half marathon distance today) but my body feels off. I know that the stress is poking me in the ribs (literally). I have this interesting bump on my elbow. Six months ago my PCP told me it was just a little cyst and it would be fine. Except it’s gotten bigger… and it’s where I rest my elbow on my chair arms or my desk so it’s kind of problematic. So I engaged my Rheumy… who sent me for X-rays (nothing… duh… it soft tissue) who sent me to ortho… who said huh… PCP? Oh wait… I guess we can do an ultrasound and make you an appointment with our ortho-rheumy-surgeon…. it’s probably a cyst.

It’s not a cyst. It’s, apparently, a subcutaneous thickening without a discrete cyst. Not a cyst. Not an RA nodule. MAYBE this could be the result of irritation to the tissue… maybe… or maybe this pea sized lump in my elbow could be my imagination or something… who knows. I almost don’t want to go see the surgeon on Wednesday. I’m terrified at this point. There are things it could be. Surgery would mean 4 weeks no infusion, then surgery then two weeks more no infusion. It would be 6 – 8 weeks without orencia. I don’t know if maybe I just don’t want to keep the bump. The devil you have and all that… but I’m scared.

So yeah, stress.

And I have three races in about 6 weeks from today (half is 6 weeks from today, 10k from yesterday and 5k from Friday). Surgery doesn’t fit into my plans right now.

If something is really wrong, how will I take care of Bear? How will I hold my world together?

Just keep swimming

One day at a time

one breath at a time

For now, it will be daylight soon. Time to work, a little, on my playlists for my races… and pull together a backpack for my ‘run’… I need to get my Starbucks free for January coffee while I’m out… and take some water and some Milk Duds along for the walk. Wish me luck…

Love and Light
April
1/13/2019

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Stress… change… parties… doctors… and taking a deep breath

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O-Dark-Thirty… listening to iHeart radio on the Echo Dot my boss got me for Christmas. I was kind of looking for a gift card, but I’ve decided I really like this option better. I don’t have to use my phone … Continue reading

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Happiness Tree

Yes, we have had our Christmas tree up since September and decorated since October.  Yes, judge if you will but Bear wanted to enjoy it as much as he possibly can this year because he knows (and until you KNOW … Continue reading

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You Might Be An Asshole

I live in a town where they pick up (think garbage truck with a HUGE vacuum hose) leaves every fall.  You are supposed to put your leaves in a pile on the tree lawn (the grassy area between the sidewalk … Continue reading

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People who use mobility scooters

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Fair warning… I’m irritated and hurt… Mobility scooters… ecvs… rollators… wheelchairs… assistive devices… you see people using them even if you pretend you don’t see them… you look through them as if they don’t exist. You judge people who use … Continue reading

Godwinks

Last night (I didn’t stay awake long enough to watch it… I’m hoping to see it yet this season) on Hallmark channel was a Godwink Christmas.  When I first started to hear the ads for the program, I started to (go figure) google it.  I found out that, not only is it a movie for Christmas but it is also a series of books.  I also determined that (go figure) the books are available in ebook format.  I fought the urge valiantly for several days to not start on the series. Last night, I failed.  I bought the first volume.  It joined the several thousand books on my iPad.  I love being able to carry a library effortlessly.

I didn’t get far (after clearing the leaves and fixing the inflatables and working around the house I was really really tired) but I did get far enough to find out what, exactly, a God Wink is.  SQuire Rushnell (the author of the series) started to use the phrase Godwink to replace Godsend or coincidence.  They are those moments in your day or your life when something happens to reassure of your path, or to help you at some point in your path.  It’s been something that I’ve always thought about it being that kind of time when I end up taking too long getting my coffee at Sheetz and miss an accident… or when I have forgotten the fifteenth thing on my way to work which causes me to “luck in to” see one of the ships coming through.

The book… the definition… everything… got me thinking about some of my really big Godwinks that have happened over the years… 

Being diagnosed with RA might not be something that someone would consider to be one.  But if I hadn’t been diagnosed with RA, I might have flipped shit way more when Squirrel Girl was diagnosed with Epilepsy (and later Gastroparesis and later still RA) and later when Monkey Butt was diagnosed with Sjogrens, Epilepsy, and the nerve damage in his leg.

When I had to go hunting for what to really really do when your daughter is diagnosed with epilepsy… bang…Godwink… I met someone from the middle of Pennsylvania who’s daughter has epilepsy who is amazing and willing to share information and willing to share information and support.  Later, I met someone from Canada who is well versed in Epilepsy.  The PA nurse later had to come to me to get information and moral support on RA (Godwink) and the woman from Canada had to get support and information from me on RA and Gastroparesis.  

Sometimes the Godwinks that go around come around.  

More recently… in my Weight Watchers (sorry… I still have trouble with calling it WW) adventure… I was doing remarkably well (apparently that is unusual) with the online only adventure.  I was nearing the point where I was going to be goal and was going to be lifetime.  I asked the WW person on line how one goes about goal and lifetime.  I found out that you can never ever ever ever ever do either of those things, officially, if you are online only.  I was, originally, irate about the fact that online only people get mislead (unless you chase the information deliberately) and irritated that I would have to spend way more to join an in person meeting to finish up my adventure.  

It turns out that the situation was yet another Godwink.  I met some very wonderful women through those meetings.  I still really don’t do people so very well… I don’t know if it will ever make me comfortable being in group… but the women who I met have brought me what I really need right now.  They reach out to talk to me about Christmas lights… about pictures I take… about my adventure… about running… I have faith that some how I will be able to be able to give back the Godwinks that I’ve received.  

I’m not sure what the future will bring.  But… I have faith that there will be more winks in my future… in both directions. 

Love and Light
April
11/20/2018

Made In America Half Marathon Race Recap

This race review is written from the back of the pack… no judgement on that at all just information… the experience is probably different for the people who were nearer the front. 

The Made In America Half, in Massilon Ohio was last weekend. I was torn as to whether (weather) or not to do the race.  I kept thinking that it was going to be 25 degrees Fahrenheit.  The race only cost me $35 to register.  Bear was feeling really really crappy and wasn’t going to be able to go even sit and wait for me (for three hours) in the car in a parking lot.  I was torn as to whether or not it was going to be worth going. 

I went.

I wanted desperately to come in at about 2:43 start to finish.

I didn’t.

I finished at 3:01:50.  Not awful.  Not time to turn in form corral placement for Disney, but not awful.  

I’m used to being at the back of the pack.  I’m not fast, but I am strong (~Baymax).  This race only had just under 300 people who started the race.  I didn’t finish last.  I didn’t not finish.  It was all okay.

It was a really hard race, though, in a lot of ways. 

The first four miles are hilly.  They don’t actually close the roads.  For a ways they close one lane.  For a ways they don’t close any of the lanes.  For a ways the route is sketchily market at best.  But it is a $35 race.   And you get a shirt and a medal.

The last 9 miles is on the Towpath.  The Towpath in Massilon isn’t as well kept up as the Towpath in Brecksville.  I think it might have been paved at some point in its life, at least parts of it, but now it isn’t.  It’s packed dirt.  So this can actually be said to be a combination road race and trail race.  They did (I think they did) salt the course so the ice that likely was there melted even where the tree cover was heavy.

For a while I was sort of traveling near people, but the herd soon thinned out considerably.  There were a couple people I could see (if the trail bent right) ahead of me (the yellow jacket helped), and there were a couple people who were behind me that I knew for sure were still back there (there the red jackets stood out) but I was kind of the half way point between people who were a half or 3/4 miles apart.  One woman passed me at about mile 9, I passed another woman at about mile 11.  For most of the race, though, I was alone.  I had entirely too long to think.

There wasn’t an issue with being in the way of anything after mile 4.  I passed a couple water stops, but for the most part it was flying alone.  There was a train track for a while, there was road for a while, there were even a few houses, but when you are all alone, you are pretty much all alone. 

It was a good race.  I would probably do it again.  The biggest thing that was a let down for me was, at the end, there were no bananas.  There was nothing even resembling healthy. There were cookies and chips and water.  I would have given anything for either chocolate milk or bananas or even an apple… but… it was not to be.

I did it.  I finished.  I enjoyed the scenery and I did use it as a training “run” but… it was a very hard morning in a lot of ways.  

An Open Apology for Being Me

Okay, so the title is a little disingenuous.  I do not ever (any more) apologize for being me. You don’t like it?  Chuck Fou Yarley… drive on by.  I get tired of people trying to make it my fault for their shit.  I’m done.

That said… I was running through the groups, on Facebook, that I really (sometimes) enjoy reading this morning and I feel like this all needs to be said…

To the person with RA who’s response to someone asking for help/advice in desperation who’s only response to the cry for help was “buy a dishwasher or stop washing dishes”… you’re not part of the solution, you, my dear troll, are part of the problem.  If you are in the group because you have RA and your only ONLY response is snark, I’m sorry that the rest of us take up space in your world . It must be nice being queen of the May, but you know what… bite me. I may not have answers for the person asking but I’m damn sure either going to say nothing or try to be supportive and understanding.  RA sucks.  Being a b#$%h sucks worse.  She didn’t deserve your snark.  I apologize for trying to maintain as normal a life as I can while gagging down a fist full of pills every day to help me do that.  It keeps me semi-functional.

To the person who felt compelled (again) to bitch about those of us who are such dismal failures that we can ‘only’ finish a half marathon in 2:45  or longer who are taking up valuable space on the road (having paid our 100 – 200 – 300 dollars to be in the same freaking race as you) by walking part of the race while your narrow ass is… oh wait… yeah… STARTING BEHIND US else you wouldn’t be bitching about us being there you would have already crossed the finish line…  Walkers shouldn’t be allowed in races.  Really?  What exactly is the cut off for speed in a race?  Because, you know, I may not be doing a 4 minute mile for 13 miles, but I’ve improved significantly over the past year.  What is the speed cut off to be in your special neck of the world?  You’re not talking about running Boston or New York or even Chicago… your talking about running a freaking Disney race for crying out loud.  If the people you are bitching about are in any way in front of you, that says way more about you than about them.  The only exception to that statement is the Dead Last Club who start out with the balloon ladies and see how many kills they can accumulate by the finish line.  Them I get, but you know what… they have manners… they probably would rather have more slower people in the race so there are more people they can pass.  You… princess butt muffin… you are just whining to whine.  The waaaaaaambulance is coming so hop on.  To you I apologize for taking up your valuable space and air.

I apologize for not running when obviously the fact that I can run walk run faster than you can flat out run simply makes me a poser.  My race, my pace and when I pass you walking while you are running, I won’t pass judgement on you, I will just run my race.

I apologize for caring and trying to be a friend when it has become obvious that lies and deceit are what was driving everything.  If you read this and you understand that this time it is directed at you… good.  If not, whatever.

And finally (and this one is genuine) I apologize to WW for passing judgement when I shouldn’t have.  I still don’t get the logic and I still kind of track in a way that works for me (ie… If I have a smoothie and I know that the smoothie is one cup and it WILL hold me for a few hours… I will still track it as 0 points).  It worked for me.  Online worked for me.  Meetings are working for me (albeit the early early early one so I can still do crap on my Saturday).  I’m 2 weeks in to maintenance and one week out from infusion still tracking to my goal weight.  Yesterday I ate too much… today will be better.

And to you… I apologize for the rant.  But when my head is going to explode because it is so full of the stupid banging around in there, I feel compelled (driven) to let it out before it spills out on my family and co-workers.  It’s Monday and a no-run (rain and rest day and post leaf blowing day) day and there are days when rant is the only way to stay sane.

Love and Light
April
11/5/2018

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GOAL!!! And learning to be gentle with myself

My WW weigh in should have been Saturday 10/20.  By the time I should have been weighing in, I needed to be 30 miles away at a race. So… I went Friday during the store’s open hour to weigh in… … Continue reading

Fairytale challenge training… day 1

So, I’m following the Galloway training plan from the RunDisney site. 19 easy weeks to a 10K/half marathon.

Yeah okay

Easy peasy

I don’t usually get to do a mid week training run during the daylight. I typically run at about 4:30 am. It’s nice to see what I’m passing better.

It was in the 40s and bright and sunny.

It bodes well for the rest of training.

April

10/23/2018