Anxiety, Depression, Sadness, Malaise…

I haven’t been feeling quite myself lately. The cat is sick…. dying. And it’s got me all sorts of depressed. I am forgetting to take my supplements in the morning, I’m run down, tired, crying a lot…. not eating, but then having ice cream for dinner… My anxiety is getting a little more intense- as it does when there are other mental issues happening. When I have to give so much focus to looking like I’m feeling ok, (ya know, going to work, smiling at my students, not biting the heads off my assistants, and otherwise just being a good teacher…. ) when that is taking so much of my focus, the anxiety monster that I spend my days keeping under control gets a little less of my attention, and squeaks through with more intense … anxiety.  It’s hard to explain my everyday struggle to people who don’t have an anxiety disorder.

I’m one of the lucky ones. Up till this point, I have not taken medication to control it. I have techniques that help me stay calm, and I have booze for social awkwardness. 🙂

 

So I made some decisions about my day to day that I feel will have a more positive impact on me, and things to do that will keep me on track.

First of all, summer school ends next Friday, so that’s one less thing to worry about!

I’ve booked myself a 2 week vacation in sunny Florida for the beginning of August. Like 2 days after work ends, I’m out.

I took a little break from running- my knees were bothering me and my IT band felt now was a good time to remind me it was there (thanks but I could have survived without THAT reminder). But then I got back to it with a 5k last Saturday.

I got to run around Yankee Stadium, and do a couple laps around the warning track.  It was also about 300 stairs. So time-wise, not good. But I had enough left in the tank to kick it up a notch to the finish line, and lo and behold…. RUNNERS HIGH IS BACK!!!!!

And then today came, and I knew I had to run at least a little. So I forced myself to get up at 5:30am and go for a run.  It was only a mile. It’s all I felt like doing. When I’m feeling so down, I try to be kind to myself. So I didn’t beat myself up about not running further…. It was already about 75 degrees and 85% humidity. But I ran the whole mile. No intervals. First time I have run a complete mile without pain or struggle since probably 2014/2015. Just started running and felt damn good.  And it was significantly faster than I have been since 2015.

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And the very last thing I did this week to try to remind myself that I am going to be ok….. I filled out the last of my paperwork to be a coach (!!!) for Girls on the Run! This is probably even more exciting than today’s mile! I get to coach a sport I love and share and empower young girls to love themselves. This is pretty exciting for me. ❤

I’m hoping to make the 5:30am run a regular thing, particularly b/c we are finally really hitting the intense heat of the summer here in the Northeast…. and I do NOT like running when it’s warm….. snowing? I’m all about it. Sunny and hot? NO THANK YOU.

I’m about a week behind on marathon training, but that’s ok… just going to keep being kind to myself and remember to breathe.

Peace!

Turn, Turn, Turn

Trying to remember to take care of myself. That even as the wheel of life turns, I have to keep on keepin’ on. It ain’t easy.

I’m alone this weekend, just me and the kitty.

I was able to give her the sub q fluids last night. Although, I was nearly hysterical the whole time…. and she barely flinched when I stuck the needle in. She just kept on eating….After 17 years of the same ole dry cat food, she seems to be really diggin’ all the new, wet, (gross smelling) flavors she’s never had the chance to try before this weekend.


I just want her last days, weeks, months, whatever to be filled with delicious food and all the love I can give her.I know she’s supposed to be on the special prescription food, and I haven’t given it to her yet, so I don’t know if she likes it, but if she’s just going to die anyway, why give her crappy food? Why not give her all the treats, and all the yummies I can fit into her last days? As long as she’s not in pain, and what she eats doesn’t cause her pain, I will be fitting in as much deliciousness as  I can, alongside her prescription food. I just know if I were dying, I would be eating all the gluten filled goodness I could……..

At any rate, I was really mad at the hubs last night, for leaving me to do all this alone. But I woke up this morning for my long run and felt quite a bit more relaxed and less angry. Hell, I’m not even angry at all anymore! Running is way cheaper than therapy!


(This was actually 5.33 miles, but had a little warmup/cool down watch snafu) 

Speaking of the long run….. I wasn’t feeling particularly motivated today. I struggled to get up, and while laying in bed deciding whether or not I was going to run, I started thinking about the things that motivate me.

I have discovered that I am way more competitive in my “old” age than I ever was when I was younger.  I never cared much for traditional sports (still don’t, unless its track or cycling), and I never really cared if I was any good at anything. Until now.

So I got to thinking about what motivates me.

And the bottom line is that voice in my head that tells me I’ll always be that fat girl, sitting on the couch eating bon bons, not living a vibrant enough life to keep her bf from cheating on her. And that voice morphs into that particular bf’s voice, telling me my clothes are unflattering and I’m not a “real” runner, since I’m probably not going to stick with it anyway… like all the diet and exercise regimes I’ve tried over the years.

When I started running it was February 2012.


(My first 5k ever in 2012, and then I did it again a year later) 

That voice comes back to me over the years, reminding me there were people out there who didn’t think I could.

And it makes me feel like I have to keep re-proving myself year after year.

Especially after his wife started running.

So I compete in my head against myself from 5 years ago. I have to keep proving to MYSELF that I’m not that girl who didn’t care whether or not she was good at something.

I discovered I was good, REALLY GOOD (not fast), at running long distances. I love the distance, and I try to stay motivated by reminding myself that I am better than I was yesterday.

When I got up this morning, I started getting dressed, and fed the cat.

and she ate. a lot. I felt like that was the sign that it was time to get out there.

She’s eating, I’m running. And long after she’s gone, I will still be running. For her, for me, for those who can’t.

What motivates you to get out there and do it (whatever it is)?

Wheel of Life keeps turning

We didn’t do the LGBT Pride Run. We woke up to a monsoon, and I just couldn’t get myself motivated to run in the rain.  Of course by racetime, it was a glorious day and I was kicking myself and feeling guilty for not struggle bussing through it.

Whatever.

I got over it.

and then my cat got sick.


Like really sick. She stopped eating and drinking and using the litter box. She was lethargic and sleepy and stopped coming downstairs most of the day, except to meow for treats (the ONLY thing she was eating).

Off to the vet.

They took her blood and tested it “in house”…. which told me this was more serious than I was hoping.


20 minutes later the results were in and…… Kidney Disease.

Her kidneys are failing and basically, she’s dying.

This was not the news I had hoped for, but based on my own research I was expecting it.

Some background-

17 years ago a friend’s sister rescued some kittens.  I had never had a pet of my own before (besides the family dog when I was a kid). I lived in a studio apartment in Rockland County, New York and had been cut off from my parents for reasons that are their own tale of woe. So I wanted a kitten, I wanted the black kitten that her sister rescued.

We went to Yonkers to  meet the new kitty and there were 2 cuties in the box, a black and a calico. Siblings.  I was set on the black one, but when I reached my hand in to take him out, he hissed and swatted at me and I immediately began rethinking my desire for a cat.

The sister dumped them (gently!) onto the floor and we chatted and probably had some wine….. next thing I know she points to my lap. I look down and lo and behold! The calico is curled up asleep on my leg.

She chose me. I named her Chloe. She was approximately 4-5 weeks old.


She has been with me through many, many moves… She’s been a snuggly little ball of fur.  She follows me wherever I go, meows for treats, and is occasionally a little bit crazy.

A true Calico.


Fast forward to 6 years ago….2011. She was diagnosed with Feline Diabetes. I’ve been giving her 2 shots of insulin every day for 6 years.

Then this week.

Kidney disease.

A pretty much life ending diagnosis.

She came home from the vet yesterday, she will need sub q fluids for the rest of her life.

Life expectancy is “months” according to the vet.

She also has a new heart murmur with a gallop rhythm.

Diabetes, kidney disease, heart disease. Our time is limited and I’m trying to make the most of whats left with lots of attention and snuggles and love.

In between bouts of hysterical crying.

She is my heart cat, my longest relationship, my love.


I don’t know how I will get along without her.

Race Day Looming

My legs feel tired today.

My whole body feels tired.

I feel run down and out of spoons before my day has even begun.

Tomorrow is RACE DAY.

My first official race in 1 year. I’m feeling a little anxious about it.

I ran the LGBT Pride Run last year and it was the last time I ran for almost a year.  I was fighting an autoimmune disease I didn’t yet know I had and I WAS MISERABLE.

I hated the race, I hated the running, I hated the whole thing. I felt sick the whole 5 miles, thought for sure I would be stopping at some point to vomit (didn’t), and just wanted the whole thing to be over. I walked a good portion of it.

I was trying to complete my 9+1 to get into the marathon.

But then I found out I could defer to the following year (this year), and so I kind of fell off the running wagon. Just stopped. Cold Turkey.

And I didn’t even care.

I hated my job, I hated my commute, I hated life. I was so damn tired I couldn’t do anything but sit on the couch. I would go to work, come home, sit, eat dinner, go to bed, repeat. Literally spent my entire summer of 2016 this way.

July I had a summer job, and the commute was atrocious but the money was great. I forced myself day in and day out to drive the hour + each way. I would come home cranky and angry….. I would snap at my husband for no reason. We fought ALL THE TIME. And for a couple who up to this point had rarely had an argument, this should have been a red flag.

In the moment though, I wasn’t really paying attention to the red flags.

I chalked it up to being unhappy at work. The summer dragged on. I got a new job for September and couldn’t wait to start. It’s much more physically and emotionally challenging, so I had hope that this would pull me out of the funk I was in.

But it didn’t.

Then mid september my hair started to fall out.

I started googling symptoms. Hair loss, weight gain, exhaustion/fatigue. Somehow this lead me to Hashimoto’s. I couldn’t possibly have a thyroid problem, I told myself.

Then I read that if you have a parent with Ulcerative Colitis, you are “at risk” for Hashimoto’s. Well. That’s what my dad has.

So I mentioned it to my sister and she basically said “duh”. And that apparently both she and my mother have hypothyroidism.

So I hit the genetic autoimmune disease lottery! Yay! I never win anything!

Riiiiiight.

So I get to the doctor, I get on some vitamins, change  my diet, save my marriage, and lose a ton of weight.

And find myself a year later running again, and about to run what I have dubbed my “comeback” race… the same LGBT Pride run I plodded through last year. Only this time? I have trained a bit, and feel ready to run it.

And I’m excited about it! And anxious!

And I can’t freakin wait!

Oh, and one last thing- my husband, who says running makes him want to throw up just thinking about it, is running with me tomorrow. (and by “with me” I mean, we’ll start together and then his 6′ tall and all legs self will wait for me at the finish line)

Long Run Sunday

Husband is away for the weekend.

I feel lucky that I occasionally get these weekends of alone time to reset myself.  I love our life, I love my husband… but every once in awhile a little alone time, a little “Me Time” is a necessity. Perhaps it comes from living alone for so long, or living with others, from the time I was a child, who valued their personal time, thus forcing me to be alone even when surrounded by family…. I really do like it.

I think this is why I don’t run with anyone.  I thought it was because I didn’t have faith in myself and my ability to keep up (always fearing I’m bringing the pace down, as I’m so slow). But what it really comes down to is, I like being alone.

It’s a strange revelation after so many years of running and not joining in with the teams or the girls who run. And having no desire to join in local group runs or find a similarly paced runner and run with them.

I like the solitariness of running alone. Being alone with my thoughts. Fighting my personal blerch and making it through a grueling run.

(have you read about the blerch? You should. It’s fantastic) (also, I ❤ The Oatmeal. Total Fangirl.)

Anyway. Running alone is my drug. Running alone makes me feel like I can sort out any emotion on the run and come home with a clear mind and a plan. Like Siddhartha under the tree, I run until my mind is clear and the solution to whatever ails me presents itself.

So. Alone for the weekend. Just me and the kitty. Husband took the dog with him. So I went to the Color Vibe 5k Saturday morn and come home and slept/watched Netflix for the rest of the day. Went to bed early with the promise to myself (and an alarm set) that I would get up at 5:30am and go for a run before the heat got really going.

I don’t know about you, but running in high temps is the worst. I hate it.  Give me 35 degrees and snowing, and I will be out there and THRILLED…. Today was set to be high 80’s and humid. So 5:30am it was.

Well. Didn’t quite work out that way. I am gluten free (as a means to partially control my autoimmune disease) and I gave myself a free pass Saturday to get the one and only thing I missed eating- a Mcdonald’s sausage and egg biscuit. So I glutened myself, knowing full well the price i would pay later. Only later didn’t happen until….. Sunday at around 5am. Well before the alarm.

Soooooo. I thought to myself, as I got back into bed, curled into a fetal position to help fend off the cramps, I guess I’m not running this morning.  I checked the temps, and it looked like I could sleep a bit and if I felt well enough, go around 8….

I went back and forth, and finally decided to go around 9:30. I just knew I would feel guilty if I didn’t and there wasn’t looking like the weather would cooperate another day this week – all rain all the time (thunderstorms mostly)….

One last check of the weather…. 74 degrees, and 93% humidity.

HOLY CRAP YOU GUYS.

It was really hot.

But I did it.

4 miles.

And when I got home….. I ate all the things and then some 🙂

I’m very proud of myself for actually getting out there. I wasn’t sure it was going to happen, but I’m sure glad it did.

Next week is 5 miles around Central Park….. And then?

I have a weekly set of dates with Hal Higdon… Marathon training is ON!

 

The Week in Running

It was a hot week! Like living in Hades hot.

And then it wasn’t anymore. I put off my Monday/Tuesday run b/c I hate running in the hot and humid weather (it was close to 95 degrees here).

I finally got out there on Thursday. The weather had cooled and was damn near perfect.IMG_4652.JPG It was short, but on track for about 13 min/mile. I came back in feeling amazing.

Then we walked a 5k today.   The Color Vibe. It was a silly little color run, but I went with friends and introduced a 9 year old to the joy of running (even though we only sprinted to the finish).FullSizeRender (1).jpg

4  miles on deck for tomorrow.

Then the Pride Run in NYC the following week.

And then?

Marathon training starts in earnest! I’ve decided to use the Hal Higdon app and see how that goes. We shall see……..

Happy Running, Friends!

NYC MARATHON RECAP

I originally posted the following on January 12, 2016.

just a little NYC Marathon recap

So I put together a sort of random, stream of consciousness list of my thoughts on the NYC marathon.  It’s nothing scientific, just my personal opinions and experiences….  I felt like enough time had passed, I felt less overwhelmed with emotions and the blues had mostly passed… so here goes.

  1.  I planned to get the bus from Met Life at 5 am. They said the buses would be leaving every 15 minutes between 5am and 6am.  I had heard that it would be a crazy crowd and I should leave extra time b/c it would be like 45 minutes just to load the buses. um. NO. Not even remotely.  I arrived shortly before 5:15am, walked over, showed my bib, boarded a bus and was off. BOOM. No waiting. No crowd. No insanity. Done.
  2. I arrived on Staten Island and got off the bus around 6:15am.
  3. Just to be clear, my wave time was 11 am.
  4. I walked sloooooowly, chatted with some folks, and made my way to my start village.
  5. It was now 6:45am and the sun was barely up.
  6. The Verrazano Bridge was stunning from Fort Wadsworth park.  I was stoked!
  7. There was Dunkin Donuts coffee, bagels, water, powerbars, gatorade and plenty of relatively clean porta-potties in my green start village.
  8. I found a seat next to someone who kind of looked nice and sat my butt down on the cold concrete
  9. and waited.
  10. and waited.
  11. and drank coffee.
  12. and waited.
  13. and tried to stay off my phone in an effort to ensure I had enough battery to last the whole race. (full disclosure: I ran a tracking app from RoadID the whole race and had 1% battery when I finished)
  14. I joined my corral at about 10:40 with a friend from Ohio I had met in a running group on facebook (Back of the Pack!).  We were pumped!
  15. The excitement was intense. I could taste it in the air!
  16. We heard the music (New York New York by Sinatra of course!), the cannon shot and we were off!!
  17. As we ran over the bridge, we we could still hear the music (was that song on repeat??)
  18. HOLY CRAP I’m running the NYC MARATHON!!!!!
  19. And running
  20. and running
  21. and running.
  22. The crowds cheered us along, even us back of the pack runners!
  23. There was plenty of water and gatorade and gu and cool, wet sponges at every water stop along the way. And AMAAAHHHHHZING volunteers too!
  24. I had been worried that I would be so far back in the pack that they would run out of water. They didn’t!
  25. I had been so worried, I had worn my hydration belt.
  26. Note to self- if theres a next time, leave the bottles behind!
  27. I did spend a whole lot of time trying to outrun the damn cops/ambulance/sweeper bus! They were just a few blocks behind me the whole time.
  28. It was so disheartening to constantly hear “The NYC MARATHON HAS NOW CONCLUDED…” over and over, but it was motivating too!
  29. I was NOT going to run on the sidewalk!
  30. I felt like I paid a LOT of money to run in the street and i was damn well going to run in the street!
  31. Once I crossed the Willis Ave bridge into the Bronx the tears began.
  32. I was able to stay on the street until the very last bridge, where we all basically walked single file over the Madison Avenue Bridge.
  33. The tears did not stop.
  34. When we got to the park, we were already moved to the sidewalk.  That would have been ok, but the sidewalk there is cobblestones, so it was a little extra hard on my already sore feet and ankles.
  35. At one point just before Columbus Circle, we were forced to go one at a time through the police barricade, and there was this random, old lady New Yorker who thought she could push through to cross the street.  The police were telling her no, pushing her back, spectators were screaming at her and yelling “Let them finish the race!” but she just wasn’t listening/didn’t care.
  36. I elbowed that old bag out of the way and continued with my race. Nothing and no one was going to stop me now that I was so close to the finish!
  37. I was in the park!
  38. just a few miles left!
  39. and I’m walking.
  40. and walking.
  41. and walking.
  42. My ankles hurt.
  43. My hips hurt.
  44. I was crying full speed ahead.
  45. The finish line was in sight!
  46. I pulled myself together, stopped crying and prepared to run the last half mile across the finish line.
  47. And I did.
  48. As I crossed the finish, I began to get choked up.
  49. When they put the medal around my neck, I was crying like a baby.
  50. I managed to smile for my medal picture and then kept it together until I got to family reunion.
  51. The moment I saw and hugged my dad, I completely broke down in great big sobs.
  52. And hugged my husband and cried some more.
  53. and hugged my best friends and cried even more.
  54. Then I went home.
  55. and went to bed.
 This is me at mile 18…. having the time of my life…..
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At the finish……. 12188122_10153032322831370_4412335073553503633_o.jpg
crying to my dad…. mostly about how I am NEVER DOING THIS AGAIN. (lies!)
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