Category Archives: Running

No excuses left

I went to that MS lunch program yesterday and had a wonderful time talking with others about staying healthy and coping with every day MS symptoms like fatigue and poor balance. Just as I suspected, it was refreshing to chat with others in similar situations to mine. No need to explain much; there was a strong sense of mutual understanding. I’m so glad I went and I am already planning to be at the next one.

But let me tell you, the most fantastic thing I learned yesterday had nothing to do with the program. I was chatting with another lady while we were both waiting for our rides, and I learned that our public transit system offers another sort of ride, similar to the Spec-Tran. I have been using the Spec-Tran for I think two years now (I can’t believe it’s been that long), and while it’s a wonderful service, it does get a little expensive. Especially when I am looking at using them to get me to the YMCA to exercise 2 or 3 times per week. It’s $2.50 each way, so every day I go to the Y, it’s $5. Which is kind of the opposite of motivational. So I’m paying for the Y membership, and $5 a day on top of that, and that really adds up. It’s almost as painful as paying for the dentist. Almost.

But this other service, the Redi-Ride, will come to my house, same as Spec-Tran, and will take me anywhere in my township – including the YMCA – for $0.60 per ride. Sixty cents, people! AND, they only need 4 hours notice, as opposed to the 24 hours Spec-Tran requires. I am beyond giddy about this. That may seem silly, to be giddy, but this is a big deal in my world. MS stripped me of my independence three years ago by taking my vision, but by golly I am getting a lot of it back (the independence, not the vision). The Spec-Tran service plays a big part in that, but this Redi-Ride will do the same, and with a lot less pain (financially speaking, of course).

So that is my excitement for the week. I’m very excited about this Y membership, because I believe it will remove any excuses I may have about running, and now with the Redi-Ride I can’t even complain that it’s too expensive to get there. No matter the weather, I can still keep moving. Is my knee giving me trouble? Use the elliptical. Hip acting up? Swim in the pool. Feeling lonely? Join a class! Yes, this was a good decision. I’m making an investment in my health. This body I’m working with is flawed. MS is a serious setback, but by getting stronger and staying healthy, I am fighting back. I want the odds to be in MY favor, not the disease’s.

I signed up for another 5k race, and it’s less than a month away. I hadn’t been sure if I would be ready for it, but now I feel like there’s a good chance I will be. One day at a time, right?

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Free lunch and learning

I just registered for a lunch seminar-event-type deal, and it’s way out of my comfort zone. The MS drug manufacturers sponsor these events all over the place, and I see my neurologist is often the keynote speaker. However, she is not the speaker at the event I signed up for (oh, well). The one I signed up for is truly just a topic I’m interested in, “healthy living with MS”, and I thought it couldn’t hurt to go. Several reasons: it gets me out of the house, I may learn something new and helpful, and it will be nice to be surrounded by others who can relate to the struggles we all face with MS. Also, it’s free!

It’s Friday, and this completes the second week the kids are back in school. I’m just now starting to settle back into my “normal” state. I did some outdoor running this week, as the weather is cooling off a bit (we’re coming into my favorite seasons, fall and winter). Also, I was able to spend a lot of quality time with friends this week, and I know that did my heart some good. I have some pretty incredible friends. All in all, it’s been a good week.

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!