Category Archives: Running

Fiery Feet

Most days, usually at night, I get a burning sensation in my feet. My neurologist calls it nerve pain, and it is another common symptom of MS. It feels like what I would imagine walking on hot coals would feel like. Or say, if you burned your hand on the stove, and the pain lingers. It’s extremely painful. When it happens at night I can usually fall asleep despite the pain, but when I can’t I take the Neurontin my neurologist prescribed. Because Motrin and Tylenol won’t work for nerve pain.

It’s funny, I had this type of nerve pain seven years ago, in the months leading up to my MS diagnosis. Thing is, the pain was in my upper arm. It was so painful I couldn’t even get to sleep, because any time something touched my skin (like the blankets on my bed) it would send sharp pains all through my arm. It was excruciating. I remember my husband had the genius idea of cutting the toe off one of his socks and using that to cover my arm. It worked like a charm, and protected the skin from rubbing up against anything while I slept. So for awhile I was sleeping with a tube sock on my arm! Funny the things you remember.

This morning I was feeling the fiery feet again. I don’t know if it seemed more intense today because I wasn’t trying to go to sleep, but it was definitely worse than normal. The pain was mostly in my left foot, which I suppose is the side that usually gives me the most trouble when my nerves are acting up. I couldn’t even bear to walk, the pain was so bad. I had to have my son go get the Neurontin for me. Thankfully that helped, at least enough to get me walking again. I can still feel the burning, but it’s definitely calmed down.

So, I haven’t been running like I was, simply because summer is so busy with the kids, and the heat wears me out so much. However, I’m anxious to get back to it. This is not because I like running, so much as I like what it does for me. I’ve said all along that it helps my fatigue levels and my balance is better. So, with that in mind, I’ve been wanting to get back to regular runs, even if they are short. I think to get back in the habit, I need to do it daily. Which means I’ll have to run today with the fiery feet. Who knows, maybe the running will take my mind off the burning? I guess I won’t know until I try.

Warning: this may get a little whiny

Oh, well. I’m in that grumpy, bitchy, unmotivated, frustrated mood. These moods are so much easier to “cope” with when the kids are gone and I can just ease back to normalcy at my own pace. But now I feel that added pressure to be the responsible mom and take care of things like feeding the children and making sure they’re not killing each other. And of course, being available to listen when they feel the need to ramble on about the latest YouTube video they watched. I’m so not up for this.

Thankfully, my kids are not crazy demanding and on these really hot days they are content to stay in their pajamas, watch movies, and eat cereal all day. That’s very similar to how I spent most of my summer breaks too, and I loved it. I have fond memories of fried bologna sandwiches and The Price is Right and watching the same movie over and over (the Princess Bride), with the occasional bike ride or fort building with my brother and sister. So really, I feel like I’m doing my kids a favor, so they’ll grow up and have fond memories to look back on too.

I haven’t been running in the last week or so and here’s why: I can’t leave the kids home alone (only one is willing to run with me) and it’s stupid hot outside (MS and heat = very  bad). However, something occurred to me today and I felt a little ridiculous that it took me even this long: I can run on the treadmill – home with the kids, in the cool basement. That’s how I started running in the first place, for criminy sakes! So I’ll just have to use the treadmill as my primary running location for the summer, and we’ll get back to the outdoors when kids are back in school in September.

I have to mention that I do recognize that my recent increase in debilitating fatigue could very well be related to my lack of running, coupled with the timing of my Tysabri infusion, coupled with that evil curse we women have. But the running is the only thing within my control, so I definitely need to get back to that. Hopefully even as soon as tonight, if possible. Tomorrow is out, and I hate to keep putting it off. Tomorrow is out because the kids and I are meeting some friends at the local aquatic center for a day of swimming and picnicking. We are all really looking fp orward to it!

So that’s my journaly-type update of sorts. If you read this far, I’m sorry hehe. Just kidding, I’m glad you’re here. Make it a fabulous day!

It’s all good

Coffee, good.
Fruity fiber smoothie, good.
Shower, good.
Sleeping in, good!
Feeling fancy, dressed up to celebrate a cousin’s high school graduation. All good.

We stained our deck, and what a chore that was! But it looks so nice. We’ll have the furniture back on it soon and I’m really excited to get back out there for my morning coffees and devotions, now that the weather is warmer.

I did zero running last week as I was trying to get caught up on so many other things. I do miss it and hope to get back out there this week, though I’ll have to squeeze it in between kids’ end of school year activities. Even if they are short runs, we’ll make it happen.

And with that brief update, I’m off again to be with the family! Good day!

World MS Day 2016

Today is World MS Day. From their webpage:

For World MS Day 2016 we’re celebrating all the ways that people affected by MS maintain independence and get on with their lives.

By sharing examples of independence from lots of different countries, we want to inspire people to challenge perceptions of what people with MS can do.

I’ve shared lots on the blog here about my struggles and victories with MS. While I’ve struggled with losing aspects of my independence, I am determined not to let MS get the best of me. This year I stepped out of my comfort zone and became a runner. You can read about my 1st race HERE. This has been a life changing experience for me in so many ways, and I’m thankful for every day I am still able to run. So today, I guess, I am celebrating running as my way of maintaining independence and getting on with my life, in spite of MS.

These are some things I’m thankful for today: an air conditioned home, freshly ground coffee, and a body that moves when I tell it to. What about you? What are you thankful for today? Do you have struggles you are overcoming? Toot your own horn here so we can all celebrate together!

Four miles and then some pie

So! This morning I decided to join the kids at the bus stop (I haven’t been, because it had been cold, and I can see the bus stop from our kitchen window). While there, I was chatting with some of the other moms and one of them mentioned that she gets up at 4:30 am. She was talking about something else, I can’t remember what, I was just stuck on that little piece of information. She gets up at 4:30 am, voluntarily, and says it with a smile on her face. It’s a choice she makes. It sounds like she does it in order to have time to exercise, run or whatever, before the rest of the family is awake. I so admire that, and I’ve always sort of fantasized – yes, fantasized – about becoming a super-duper early riser like that, but I’ve never managed to make it happen. And now I could, but why? I have ALL DAY now to exercise, meditate, relax and have alone time. No real sense in getting up early now. But maybe when summer comes I’ll try it out. To get my “Me Time” in before the kids are awake. Maybe, we’ll see. It’s just a thought.

I’m still running, even post 5k. It’s just been such a good thing for my body and spirit, so I want to keep going, race or no race. I went on two shorter runs earlier this week but then today was the big run. I do intervals between slow and steady, because that’s suppose to help you build stamina without overworking your muscles. I think. Something like that, I forget now. Today I ran/walked just under 4 miles, which is my farthest distance yet! It felt really great, but when I got home I was ravished with hunger. And while digging in the fridge for leftovers to reheat, I found there were still two pieces of Ema’s homemade rhubarb pie left from last Friday. Did you know leftovers should never be kept for more than a week? So you eat it or throw it out. And throwing out a delicious homemade rhubarb pie was not even an option to consider, so of course I had to eat it. And it was soooo yummy, I have no regrets.

I’m happy it’s Friday. It appears that warmer, spring weather has finally arrived in Michigan so everyone is emerging from their cocoons. We have a busy weekend coming up, full with kids’ activities. That’s the best way to spend a weekend if you ask me. As long as you get some napping done in between 🙂

Happy Friday, y’all!

Anniveraries and magic…

May 9, 2014 I received my first cochlear implant (right ear).
May 8,2015 I received my second cochlear implant (left ear).
Both days were the Friday before Mother’s Day. Being given the gift of hearing again was a pretty awesome Mother’s Day gift.

May 6, 2016 I ran my first 5k. It was also the Friday before Mother’s Day. Running it with my son, and in the presence of beloved family and friends was an even better gift yet.

I’ve decided that the Friday before Mother’s Day will now always be an anniversary to be celebrated. Whether it’s celebrating the gift of CI hearing, or the accomplishment of running a race, or whatever, each year I will set aside time to remember, reflect upon, and be thankful for what I have been given.

But really, can I just say how amazing this weekend was? Kicking butt at the 5k Friday, then having a super chill day with the kids on Saturday, and then this morning, on Mother’s DAY, my husband and children got up early so they could make breakfast for me before church. And not just those canned cinnamon rolls you throw in the oven, which was the only thing I had requested. While the kids put away the clean dishes from the dishwasher, my selfless husband whipped up some fried eggs and perfectly cooked bacon. He had even run to the store that morning to buy orange juice. And then, after I was finished eating, they all showered me with cards and gifts and chocolate (of course).

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We finished the day with a drive to take Grandma for a late lunch at IHOP, which was super duper yummy (I can’t get enough of those Belgian waffles). We visited and had a good time, and then drove home, exhausted but happy.

Oh, and I almost forgot – to top it off, on Friday we received an offer on our house! The old house we moved out of last August, affectionately called The Cottage, is hopefully getting closer to being out of our hands, and that will be such a relief. We are crossing our fingers and praying that everything goes smoothly. We shall know more in the coming days.

This weekend was the best weekend I’ve had in I don’t remember how long. It feels almost magical, as cheesy as that sounds. And of course, by saying that I totally ruined the magic, but whatever. Have a magical night, everyone!



Our first 5K

The Mason State Bank 5k Run 2016:
Mindy – Age 38 – 39:42
Luke – Age 8 – 31:07

People, people. My son’s and my first 5k was a huge success. I achieved my goals and then some. And Luke, not knowing at all what to expect, ran an amazing race. He said aside from the day he was born, which of course he doesn’t remember, this was the Best. Day. Ever. He was over the moon excited, and is already talking about his next 5k. I think we have ourselves another runner in the family.

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What an amazing experience this was. I had no doubt that I would finish the race, and without much walking even. So there was no surprise there. The best part about this race though, was that I felt immensely supported by my family and friends. My brother and sister, who are both rock star runners and have been such motivation to me personally, were both there. My sister-in-law, my two nephews, my father-in-law, a couple dear friends even. All of them came. I even had one friend who told me just hours before the race that she was going to run it too! And even those who couldn’t make it wished me well beforehand and I truly felt them there in spirit. And while my husband was not there at the end (he was helping our daughter start her one mile race), he was there to give me good luck kiss at the starting line. He’s been my biggest fan through this whole process. He helped me find good running gear, like breathable shorts and shirts, and decent running shoes (my slip-on Sketchers were laughable for distance running). Just hearing him say how proud he is of me helps to keep me going. After all, I’m doing this for him and the kids. I want to be healthy, and I want to be around for them as long as I can.

The actual race was fairly uneventful. I think I must have been a little nervous, but I held onto my cookies (mostly). It really helped having a friend running beside me (at least until I left her in the dust after the first mile lol). I kept a good pace the whole time, and only tripped on my toes once, but recovered gracefully with a skip and kept on plugging away. At mile 2 (I think) my sister was waiting to take a picture, and then joined in and jogged beside me for awhile. That was nice because when you feel sluggish, like a tortoise crawling through molasses, it’s nice to have a distraction. My sister is one tough broad and she is an enthusiastic supporter. It was really, really, fun to run beside her, even if it was only for a portion of the race.

The final stretch of the race was up a major hill, and when I got to the top I was not only taxed, but couldn’t see where the finish line was. I knew it was near the end because of all the people standing around (and the smell of food from the local vendors) but the actual finish was just far enough out of my visual field that I wasn’t sure. So I decided to walk just then, to rest my legs and give myself time to gain a better awareness of my surroundings. After a few steps though, I looked to my right and I could see what I assumed to be the finish line, so I started running again. As I ran I started to recognize the banner reading “FINISH” and I started to get a smidge emotional. Not wanting to be a bawling mess at the end, I covered my face and tried to breathe as slowly as possible. As I crossed the line I saw my brother and Luke running towards me to congratulate me and bring me a water bottle. And, of course, to make sure I made it safely to a sitting position. My left leg was genuinely out of commission for a good 10 minutes. I did manage to withhold most of the tears, and just enjoyed the moment. I did it. I ran a 5k, all the way. And I can’t wait to do it again.