Category Archives: motivation

But I Caaaaaaaan’t

I’ve been haunting a lot of websites lately trying to figure out 1. just how weird I am and 2. how to get to be a better me. I guess maybe that makes me even weirder but hey.

I’ve been reading a lot about can’t.

And I’ve been getting irritated.

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”  ~Albert Einstein

Girls can’t

Boys can’t

fat people can’t

skinny people can’t

people with RA can’t

people over can’t

I heard a lot when I was growing up all of the things that I was told I can’t.  I worked really hard to prove out that some of those were wrong.  Some stick in the back of my head and I fight the words EVERY SINGLE DAY.

There are a lot of things I know I can’t do.  I can’t “win” a half marathon (marathon) but that is because I never loved running when I was in a position to train that hard for it.  I suppose if I really REALLY trained now, in several years I might actually have a shot at at least winning my age group. I’m not sure if I care that much, and that is on ME.  It isn’t that I can’t.  It’s that I won’t… that I choose not to.

I can’t do a full marathon.  NOT because I can’t (believe me I have been thinking very seriously about training for one… and maybe some day) but because I can’t justify in my head putting in that much work to git-er-done.  I am not incapable.  I choose to not put my effort there. For now.

I got all caught up in my head that I couldn’t lose weight.  I resented being told by the doctor that WW was the magic bullet and that all I needed to do was follow their sheeple and I would magically be perfect. “THE PLAN” works.  It completely works if you work the plan.  I just went out and bought (thank you for the Salvation Army 50% off clothes sale for Memorial Day) pants that are 2 sizes smaller than I have worn in YEARS and they fit (some actually are already baggy).  It works.  I’m kind of scared that when I reach goal that I won’t be able to maintain because the math really doesn’t work in my head still.  Anyone can lose weight if they are running 2 – 10 miles a day and eating 900 calories.  The trick is to be able to maintain a healthy weight and a healthy lifestyle.  I’m trying to learn.

I thought, I can’t.  But I have, I am.

I was registered for a half marathon when I was diagnosed with RA. I immediately went out and googled stuff (duh… and DOH) and what I read suggested that I can’t do half marathons (or 10ks or whatever).  My rheumy suggested that I probably ought not (at least then) run.  I was not controlled in my disease.  I am still only marginally controlled… If I insisted on this, I should train to walk very fast.  So I did.

Only a couple months after diagnosis, and just a month (maybe 6 weeks) after starting methotrexate, I finished my first half.  I almost quit.  Thanks to Monkey Butt walking out to walk me in I didn’t.  But I almost did.  My hips were screaming about an 18 on a scale of 1 to 10 and it was all I could do to move.  But I was stubborn and I was determined and I did it.

And I did it again.

And again.

This morning I have been reading.

One thing I read was the Cleveland Marathon Facebook page and I realized that my PR was even better than it should have been because the course was .18 miles longer than it was supposed to be (so I ‘ran’ 13.28 instead of 13.1 and I still shaved 19 minutes off my time).  That was surprising.  People are SOOOOO upset because there is a decent sized hill in about the middle of the half marathon course and it is a smallish brute.  Austin’s was way bigger.  And Cleveland had awesome signs to entertain you going up the hill.

Did you ever stop and think that a lot of life is kind of like a marathon?  There are hills.  There is pain.  You get tired.  There is rain and heat and utter exhaustion.  But you keep going.  You might bitch later.  You might whine that you can’t can’t can’t can’t can’t… but you can.  And you do.

Don’t get me wrong (and I know I could take a LOT of grief for the misunderstanding here)… not everyone is cut out to run.  Not everyone wants to, cares to, thinks about, running races (or running at all).  There are people with RA that are way more debilitated than I am.  There are people who’s bodies will not allow them to get out of bed.  There are people (I love you Bear) who struggle every day and finally take a deep breath and admit that they need assistive devices.  But we all have our challenges. There is no shame in needing help.  There should be no judgement in running our own races and learning what we need to learn from them.

And in trying to help each other up the hills.

If I was an elite runner (or an elite anything), I probably would have a different mindset.  I would be determined to win at all costs.  But for me, the races are mostly just life.  We are all in it together.  We are all running our own races, and we are running side by side up the hills, through the rain.  Sometimes we fall and need help getting up.  Sometimes we just do what we need to do and push through it all alone.

But you can’t give up.

You don’t know who is watching you.

You can sit down on the curb sometimes and cry until you can’t cry any more, but in the end you just pick yourself up, wipe the dirt off your butt, and keep plodding along.

Some time around mile 9 or 10 (or 19 or 20 as I hear tell) you start to feel so very very alone.  Sometimes alone is accurate.  And that’s okay too.

And when the course gets rough and the hills get long and steep, it’s okay to stop and catch your breath… rest a bit… and keep on plodding on.

 

Love and Light
April
6/2/2018

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I’m A tri-athlete!

I read a comment this week on an article about a woman who does triathlons and iron-mans and is a dancer and a gymnast and who also has RA.  A comment on the ‘share’ of the article commented that it … Continue reading

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Making Use Of What You’ve Been Given

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So, earlier this week I got the latest edition of Writer magazine.  One of the articles in the magazine, one by Pamela Jane, pointed out that there are many different kind of gifts given to us.  How we use them and … Continue reading

Starting a New Support Group

 

So, Kim Nolte and I started a new support group on Facebook.  Living Life Large with Rheumatoid Arthritis.

The idea that winded its way through my brain, as I walked home from Giant Eagle on Thanksgiving morning (yay needing milk), was… most groups seem to spend a lot of time “one upping” each other on how bad their RA is, how bad their pain is, how much they can’t do.  If anyone (including my boss) has noticed anything about me, it’s that I try to do as much as I can do despite my RA.

This, apparently, is a good thing.  This… apparently… is motivational to people.  So, we were talking, and we decided that motivational is a good thing.  So we started a group for just that purpose.  People with RA, to lift each other up, to provide useful dialog.  Yeah, some kvetching and bitching, because, let’s face it, RA kind of sucks even if you are determined to keep going.

The ground rules… no bullying… not dumping on people for their religious beliefs… no dumping on people for speaking a different language (they have really cool tools to help translate different languages… google translate got me through my Brazil project at work, it can freaking close the RA gap between people, too).  RA bullies us enough, we don’t need people bullying each other. I’m a  DBA (literally, database administrator… but philosophically(( LONG long story)) dat bitch April) and I will not hesitate to delete someone for behavior unbecoming the group.

SO… if you are on Facebook and you have RA (not to bully, or shun anyone here… Fibro, Sjogrens… any of the wonderful flavors of pain we deal with) and you want to have some support and motivation… come join us.  I have a really hard time with being in your face with self promotion, but I really think this is something worth being outside your comfort zone with… COME ON DOWN… and join us.

It’s very disheartening to see 2 members every morning…

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Stepping Out!

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This morning I ventured out.  There were some things I knew I needed to buy (or rather… I guess… wanted to buy… ) and the hotel is way not a shopping mecca. There is a mall 3 long blocks from … Continue reading

Run For The Water… post race recap

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Yesterday was quite a day. I didn’t sleep great Saturday night.  It was warm and humid, the windows wide open, even with the fans on, wasn’t conducive to sleep.   It was after 1 this morning before I really fell asleep.  It was good that I set the alarm for 4:30 to be sure to be up in time to get ready and go to the race. I had everything laid out before I went to bed, so getting ready wasn’t bad.  I had my “dry” clothes in the trunk of the car (since there was no bag check).  It didn’t take much to pin myself together and get myself ready to go. Took little more than that (oddly enough) to get everyone else up around and ready to go. Toast for breakfast… mental note, Adam doesn’t like butter on his. And out the door and we were off. In the rain.

I was right… I got to run in the rain.  I put my blister prevention cream on my feet.  I put my sports bra on inside out so the seams were against the shirt rather than against my skin.

I thought it was maybe appropriate to wear my South Africa Vibrams (the ones I bought in Knysna) to do the race in.  Running for Barundi fresh water in my South African Hobbit Feet?  Made me smile. The rain wasn’t too cold.  The held the start until the lightning passed.  I got pictures of me in my Figment outfit.  I got to talk to a neat guy dressed like Mickey Mouse.  He has done several runDisney events and is going to do the Dopey challenge in January.  He told me not to stress and just run that race to have fun.  It was great.  He did his first Disney half having never trained for anything.  I can do this, right?

The horn went off at 7:15 (precious 15 minutes late after the front and the lightning passed) and we were off. I started strong despite the humidity.

The first two miles were flat and relatively easy.  About mile 1 I picked up the credit card holder someone dropped on the road.  As I passed one of the police cars manning the route, I tossed it to the police officer.  I hope whoever dropped it was able to find it.  There were lots of credit cards on it.

Amandya left me in the dust by about the first half mile mark.  She took off and was running harder than she should have given she hasn’t trained at all.  I didn’t actually expect to see her again until the finish line.  I caught up with her at mile 3.  She was falling apart.  Nearly in tears.  She didn’t want to come in last.  She didn’t want to quit.  She was hurting and hitting her mental wall way sooner than she should have.

We did the rest of the race together.  Side by side, stride for stride.

The hills were horrible.
The wet and humidity made it even worse.
The view of Ladybird Lake was wonderful.  Running for the water, beside the water, in the water… kind of interesting thoughts spill through your head.
Austin loves to decorate for Halloween with spiders.
Being chased the last two miles or so by the medics and the trucks picking up the course was even worse.
We kept pace with the last 10 people in the race.

Adam started backward through the course… he usually does… It always makes me smile seeing his easy strides.  He walked in with us through the last mile.  I don’t know if he will ever know how much it means to me for him to do that.

Amandya crossed the finish line, 1828 out of 1829 finishing.  She wasn’t last.  I made sure she wasn’t last.

I was.

My feet hurt.  They hurt so bad, the whole front half of both feet.  I’m giving up the idea of my hobbit feet for distance races.  It isn’t worth it.  I love the for walking.  Training and racing, not so much.

Only my feet hurt.  Otherwise I feel incredible.  I was incredibly demoralized for a while.  I finished last.  In my head I know that someone always has to be last and I know that I did my best AND finished the race in sufficient time (had it been Disney) that I would not have been swept.

This morning, rice and chili for breakfast… today I’ll get my methotrexate shot that I didn’t remember to get yesterday today as well as my allergy shots….  I’m not training today, but I’m actually looking forward to getting my butt up in the morning tomorrow morning and getting back into my training.

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Thank Goodness it’s Only My Hands

Up and trying to get some writing done.  Trying to finish my arm warmers.  Trying to stay psyched for the race.  I sit here and nurse my coffee, gulp my water and thank goodness that, for this morning at least, … Continue reading

Number 963 Running For The Water

So, today was packet pick-up for Run For The Water.  I am number 963.  The numbers seem to be being assigned by the order you show up (roughly) to pick up your packet.  The shirts DO run small, but I was smart enough to get one that is big enough for me.

So here we are, roughly 36 hours out from the 10 mile race.

The shirts say BuRUNdi, which I think is really neat because it combines “run” with the location, in South Africa, that we are running to raise money to help.  The goodie bag is kind of light, not even a bag to put your dry gear in for after the race (which kind of bugs me a bit).  It’s supposed to rain on Sunday, so not having dry clothes after the race will kind of be a bit of a downer.

I’ve got my outfit for Sunday all laid out and ready to go… all but my lavender arm warmers… I still have one of those to finish.  They are going to double as a tail if I don’t need them for my arms and hands.  I’m going to wear my purple striped Injinji’s socks and my Vibrams… as well as my Figment outfit.  I’m hoping for a couple pictures!!!   I’m going to con my family into taking a couple even if I don’t get any others.

I’m really looking forward to this race.  I think I can do well.  I need to do well.  I feel good.  I will have a lot on my mind and I know that, but… there is nothing I can do about that, either.

It’s the best of times, it’s the worst of times

I love fall.  Even in a place where there really isn’t any fall, I love fall.  The low last night was 47 degrees.  The windows are wide open (the cat is deliriously happy) and the sounds of the night are creeping into the house.  The smell of the rain creeps in with it. The wind makes ghosts of the curtains.  And, when dawn comes, the feel of being outside in weather that doesn’t stifle every breath is amazing.

And I’m sitting here working, feverishly, to finish a pair of wool arm warmers that will come down over the ends of my fingers if necessary while warming my fingers (raynauds… gotta love it) with HotHands hand warmers.  I’m thinking that it might not be a bad idea to go soak my hands in hot water.  Sometimes (like this morning) I think longingly of one of those amazing hot wax baths that you can use to ease the pain.

This is the time of year that speaks to my heart.  And reminds me that I’m not the person I used to be when I was jumping into leaves and raking leaves for my kids to jump in.  Now I fight back the cold that settles into my hands and feet and fight to really enjoy the day, every day.

Coffee cups double (only double… the coffee is always what matters most) as hand warmers.  Wool socks over warmed feet hold in the heat most of the day.  And I stock up on these handy dandy hand warmers to help when other things don’t.

It’s fall, creeping quickly up on winter.  Enjoy the beauty of the season!

 

A Different Time A Different Mindset

Bird

It’s pager patrol week.. again. And it started out to be a bad week. I got paged for stuff all night long. For stuff I had to try to keep ahead of that I had no control over. It got to the point that I was getting paged about every hour and I would jump so my databases wouldn’t fall over and then I would try to do something between pages. It wasn’t working.

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I tried to go for a real run. It was SIXTY SIX degrees at 6:330 in the morning. I wanted to get out in the gorgeous morning so bad. I made it three tenths of a mile and got paged. I ran home and did my magic. And got really upset because I really wanted to train… to run… to get out in the beautiful day.
I finally got talked into at least trying to go around the block. I finally sucked it up and tried my run.

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And it made all the difference in my day.

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I was GOING to go out into the dark. My race is in the dark. I keep thinking I need to train for the dark. But when I finally went out, it was daylight. And in that, it made so much difference. I got to see some of the prettiest morning glories climbing and creeping and shining in the sun. It wasn’t so hot that they shriveled right away. They were stunning.

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I got to race a couple toddlers on bicycles complete with training wheels. The sidewalk was heavy with mud from the bike tires. The rain brought the cooler weather and the mud and brought out the giggles of kids racing a weird lady walking very fast through the neighborhood.

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I saw blue jays (who did NOT want their picture taken even from reasonably far away), five of them, munching worms (presumably) in the yard.

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But I did see the neatest bird with a read head. He was really neat. I thought he might be a woodpecker… but I think maybe he was a dove.

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Ad I ran, I listened to music. I talked to the trees, and the flowers and the birds. They listened. I thought. I changed the way I thought.

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I ran some, walked some. I ended up actually doing the run I do most days. Not the long run I was supposed to do, but based on the training plan, my “long” run should be about the run I do anyway.

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Was it runners high that I felt as I walked in the road, sweat dripping down my neck?

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I don’t know. I do Know that I felt better after the run, and the day looked up. I still love running through the dark, but… it made all the difference yesterday.

Pager week will never be conducive to my long runs, but I feel so much better for even getting in my short ones.