The Feels

This has been a really good week for me. I have gotten several runs in and am feeling way more positive and happy than I have in a long time.

Husbandface and I were talking, and I was telling him how I haven’t felt this positive about my training in a long time. And the more we talked, the more I looked back at my  running and life and I realized that sometime around 3.5-4 years ago, my running began to suffer, and become a chore, and my mood took a turn for the not great.

They say that autoimmune diseases can be percolating inside you for years before diagnosis…. perhaps that is when things started to go sideways, but so slowly we can only see it in hindsight? I’m not sure, but I am beginning to believe that a lot of the issues I’ve had healthwise the last few years can all be simmered right down to Hashimoto’s.

Fatigue, hair loss, swollen joints, depression, anxiety, weight/metabolism issues, all of it. Hashi’s has so many symptoms…. and all along I’ve been treating those symptoms, but not finding the cause for all of them. Regarding symptoms, this article was very enlightening!

In other news, I ran my fastest 5k in YEARS yesterday!


AND my fastest mile since probably 2014!

 

I have 7 miles on the agenda for tomorrow. Probably going to run it in the rain, b/c the thought of running in the cool rain is way more appealing than 80 degrees and sunny on Sunday! I am feeling like my training is right on track.

I registered for the Brooklyn Rock and Roll half…..it’s in October.

I’m considering the Navy Air Force Half in DC in September (this was my first and only half back in 2015 as my training run for the marathon)… so I feel like I am in such good shape, I should try it again and see if I can do better! I’m still not sure.

Kitty is doing as well as can be expected, fluids/insulin/new food is working…. for now.

And Monday I leave for a 2 week vacation in Florida… I’m just hoping she doesn’t die while I’m away. But that’s a discussion for another time.

 

Stay Vibrant!

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On Fire….

I have been feeling really good this week. So far. Yeah, I know, it’s only Tuesday. 🙂

I hit the weekend with a nice quiet Friday night, with the intention of getting up at the butt crack of dawn to get my long run in.

Nope. Didn’t happen.  I tutored Saturday morn, then lounged around all day doing a whole lot of nothing. (also? it was about 385,493,384 degrees outside!)

Sunday was the long run, 6ish miles. I can’t remember the last time I ran 6 miles, so I was nervous….

I got up at 5:30am….. and managed to get some food in me, strap on my fuel belt, make sure my water bottles were full of Tailwind, and get out the door by 6:15ish.


6.1 miles. Done. I was so freaking proud of myself.  I kept up my intervals for the long run.  I think my plan is to run whatever during the week, and stick with the intervals for the long runs.  It seems to help me keep the energy up throughout the miles, and gives my poor autoimmune diseased body a chance to take a break now and then… maybe eventually I’ll do away with the intervals, but prob not in the marathon training….

Today though, I threw the intervals out the window and ran my fastest 5k in a while! 42 minutes…. my 5k PR is 36 minutes, but I haven’t even come close to that in YEARS. I’m actually ok with it, I don’t mind being slow. I know I’m out there getting it done, rather than home reminiscing about the old days when I was a runner. I am just happy that I can still do it, and that I haven’t allowed my age/state of mind to steal my vibrant lifestyle….. b/c I feel like this life….these last 4 or 5 years…. have been some of the best years of my life.

 

At any rate,

Thats me today. I’m not feeling the itch to write more than that. I’m happier, kitty is still seeming to thrive on her new fluid/insulin/food regimen, and as long as she’s happy, I’m happy.

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)