Setbacks, road blocks and fighting through them

For me, the hardest part about chronic illness has always been the ups and downs. A few years ago, I was mired in misery and the good days were so few and far between that all they did was point how very awful my “normal” was. Even when I had a good day, I was unable to enjoy it because I was dreading the return of my pain. 

Now, I generally have more good days than bad, but the bad days hit me much harder than they used to because I am no longer accustomed to the level of pain and fatigue they bring with them. I find that it is so much harder to bounce back from the bad days, especially lately, since I’ve fallen so far off track. 

I finally started going back to the gym about 3-4 weeks ago. Week 1 was great! Tiring, but I felt amazing. Then, on Thursday of the second week, I slipped and twisted the bejeezus out of my left ankle. It was bad. Tears and cursing and more tears followed by a miserable drive home. It nearly took the wind out of my sails, but I got through it, (thanks largely in part to my ever supportive husband!). I gave it a few days to heal up and I got back to walking. 

Last week, I started running again. I decided to restart my couch to 5k program, (AGAIN). I made it through the first two days and then I spent Friday, Saturday and Sunday sick as a dog. It seems to happen every time I start working out, the best explanation I can find is “irritated airways”. We’re talking full blown flu symptoms, they come on super fast and usually last just long enough to throw me off track, (if I’m lucky, sometimes there’s a wracking cough that lasts for WEEKS). This time, I’ve decided that I’m going to fight back. I got sick on Friday, today is Tuesday and I went back to the gym. My workout was certainly not amazing, but I managed to do week 1, day 3 of the C to 5k program. I’m going to take it easy tomorrow and then on Thursday, I’ll start week 1 over again. I figure there’s no point in moving forward until I can comfortably do the entire week’s program. 

I won’t lie, it’s taken a lot of fighting to keep from getting discouraged. I feel like every time I turn around, something goes wrong. It’s a daily struggle for me not to give up, but I know that if I do, I’m lost. I cannot go back to the dark place where the fibro rules, I don’t have what it takes to pull myself out of that pit again, so my only option is to not fall into it.

If I have to, I will do every week of the program over and over until I can get through, but I don’t think it will come to that. Hopefully, I can acclimate myself to the more strenuous workouts and my body will adjust accordingly. My goal is to finish the entire 9 week run plan before the start of 2017. I may be back at square one, but at least I have the benefit of knowing how my body reacts to it. Fingers crossed!

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The Plan 2.0

I cannot believe  it’s been more than a year since my last post. Wow. All I can say is that it has been an amazing year, it wasn’t all good, but despite the horrible parts, this last year contained some of the best moments of my life so far. I got married to an absolutely amazing man in November and I can say without any doubt that it was the happiest day of my entire life. 


He was there to help me through my last medical disaster and without his love and support, I would not be able to announce that I am 100% free of the fibromyalgia meds!

It took several months, but I took my last prescription drug, (for the fibro, at least), in February of this year. What a relief that was! I wish I could say that I feel 100% better without all of the drugs, but the reality is, I feel much the same. The main difference is that I no longer rely on a prescription to get me through the day. I still have the pain, fatigue and insomnia that are the hallmarks of fibro, but I’ve found that they are easier to manage without the “help” of prescription drugs. I have discovered that 5-10mg of melatonin right before bed is just as effective at getting me to sleep as 2mg of Xanax and 100mg of Seroquel, (combined!), ever were. No, I don’t always stay asleep, but the prescriptions couldn’t deliver that either. The only thing the prescriptions could ever be relied on to do was to make sure I was a groggy disaster in the morning, whether or not I got any sleep. In order to even wake up, I had to start my day with 40mg of Adderall and 150mg of Wellbutrin. 

The drugs themselves have changed significantly over the years, but for the last decade or so, the basic formula has remained the same: drugs to help me sleep and more drugs to help me shake off the effects of the sleeping pills. I started tapering off of them in November, (with the guidance of my pain management team, please don’t try this on your own!!), and I am so happy to be able to say that I am done with them all. 

The downside is that the side effects of weaning off the drugs left me a bit of a mess. I fell out of my workout routine all together and have put quite a few pounds back on. I have not regained all of the weight I lost over the last few years, but it’s close. Yes, I got off the meds back in February and it has taken me this long to realize I need to get my butt back in gear. The important thing is that I’m ready now. I could list off the myriad of excuses I had for not being as active as I had been, but I won’t. They no longer matter.

Today, the Plan, V2 goes into effect. I’m back! 

Right now, my main goal is to get back into an exercise routine. I am not going to focus on losing weight, I just want to get back up to my peak level of activity. For the moment, that means walking, (lots and lots of walking), but I plan to start doing the Couch to 5k training routine in a week or two and get back to racing again by the end of the year. As before, I have to take things slowly, especially now that I don’t have any medications to fall back on if I trigger a flare up. However, this time around, I have the benefit of already knowing that I can do it. Shamrock 2017, here I come!!

Acupuncture and shamrocks

Hooray for warmer weather! As much as I love snow, I’m really glad that it’s gone. It’s nice to be able to get out for a walk without having to put on 27 layers of clothing. Winter is hard for me because the cold hurts. I find it very difficult to stay active when it’s cold and dreary, which means it’s considerably harder for me to find relief from the pain caused by the cold. Staying active is the only sure fire method that works for me, but I still continue to look for other alternatives. If you’ve read my other posts, you’ll know that I’ve tried a wide variety of approaches to find pain relief and have had little success with most of them. Up until this point, the only thing I haven’t tried was acupuncture; however, I have finally decided to bite the bullet and give it a try. 

Honestly, to say that I am skeptical about this treatment is an understatement. It was all I could do to not roll my eyes when the acupuncturist I’m seeing gave me her spiel about how much better I would feel. The important thing is, I am willing to try. So far, I’ve had two sessions and I can’t say that I’ve noticed any change in my pain. What I can tell you is that after each session, I feel energized. Not just immediately after, either. After my first treatment, I noticed an increase in my energy for several days. I had my second treatment yesterday afternoon and I am definitely still feeling it. It’s not pain relief, but there’s definitely something happening, so I’m willing to keep at it. If I’m really lucky, this energy boost will last until Saturday and get me through the Shamrock 8k. Fingers crossed! 
Speaking of the Shamrock, I’ve got to say that I’m a little nervous about it. Like I said earlier, winter is a tough season for me, and I didn’t get to spend the time preparing for this race like I had planned. I had the same problem last year, so maybe this just isn’t the best race race for me. I’m still shooting to complete the 4.9 mile course in an hour and 10 minutes, which is the same goal I set for myself last year. My final time last year was 01:07:49, I’m honestly not sure I can beat or even repeat that, but I am darn sure going to give it my best shot! After my human pin cushion session yesterday, I went for a trial “run”, (which wasn’t a run at all, just a fast walk), and I managed to make it in just under 01:12. Not bad, considering that I didn’t push myself to the max; if the race was happening at 3pm, I’d be set. Unfortunately, it starts at about 8am… Let’s just say that I am not a morning person. 
Something else interesting happened while I was out on my walk yesterday. I found this: 

A “lucky” four leaf clover and on St. Patrick’s day, no less! Perhaps if I carry it with me on Saturday, it’ll bring me some luck? 

That’s all I’ve got for now, but I’ll be sure to check in after the race! 

Back in the saddle again!!

First off, many thanks to Aerosmith for providing my latest theme song!

In case the title of this post didn’t give it away, I am back up and running again. Literally. The last few months of 2014 were hectic, to say the least, and I fell off of my routine pretty hard. (I am rather miffed about admitting this next bit, but accountability is important, so here goes). Not only did I fail to lose the 8 pounds I gained from Christmas 2013, I managed to put on another 10 or so on top of that. See? I wasn’t kidding about having fallen off of my wagon.

Those of you who read some of my previous posts have probably seen me say something like this before. I wish I could say that this is the last time I’ll say it, but that’s really unlikely. Living with fibromyalgia involves a lot of stopping and starting. You get into a solid groove and then, WHAM!! the fibro steps in and knocks you for a loop. You can try to fight it, I know I’ve tried, but somehow I always find myself off track. Rather than sitting here feeling sorry for myself, I have come to accept that this is just part of my life. I’m like the itsy bitsy spider, (or that old Chumbawumba song); I climb up, I get knocked down, then I get up again.

So, now it’s time to get up and get back in the game. I’m back to counting calories, (ugh), and I’m once again walking almost religiously. I’ve decided to set my daily step goal to 11k, which, if I’m honest is something of a challenge for me, but with the help of my trusty fitbit, I’m getting it done. In addition to these tried and true methods, I’ve started working on creating meal plans for each week. While I find it to be somewhat tedious to actually write them up, I do like the structure the plans provide. No more standing in the kitchen staring into the fridge trying to figure out what to eat, I just follow the plan!

The best part is, this time around, I get to use the buddy system. My boyfriend, Aaron, is totally on board with the whole thing. With his help, I’m dragging my sorry butt out of bed and going for walks in the morning and soon, we’re going to add some strength training to the mix. Don’t get me wrong, he has been there for me every step of the way on this journey of mine, but mostly as a cheerleader, now he’s a full fledged participant and it’s awesome!

I’m thrilled to say that he will be joining me in running the Shamrock 8k this year! Since we don’t have a lot of time to train before the race, we’ve set our goal time at 70 minutes, which is the same goal I had for myself last year. Our plan is to use this race as a kind of baseline and then keep training for the Wicked 10k in October. If nothing else, it should make for a fun and interesting year!

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No excuses.

It’s raining.

It’s cold.

With the wind, it’s cold enough to make my muscles feel like there are shards of glass layered between them. I’m hurting, about an 8/10.

I got maybe 5 hours of sleep last night.

I spent 5 hours babysitting a two year old and 3 month old infant, so it wasn’t a laze around kind of day.

This is what was going through my head yesterday afternoon. I was exhausted and all I wanted to do was go home and sleep. Any one of these excuses could have been reason enough to skip my workout; and yet… I finished babysitting for the day, I got in my car and drove to the park.

Before I even finished my warm up, I was soaked through, I was still close enough to the car that I could have easily given up an just gone home. I didn’t. I turned up my music and I ran. I did 4 miles all by my lonesome in the cold rain. By the time I was done, my fingers and toes were burning, (thanks to the Reynaud’s Phenomenon I developed last year).

It was worth it.

I’m not looking for a pat on the back, I can do that myself. I’m sharing this experience because I’m sick of excuses. Mostly, I’m sick of my own excuses, but I’m also tired of listening to people whine, (via every social network that exists), about how miserable they are. Would you like to know why you are so miserable? Because you allow yourself to be.

I’ve been doing my own fair share of moaning and groaning, (mostly to myself), about how I’ve plateaued and can’t seem to shake these last 20 pounds. I whine that I just can’t run like I could this time last year, I fuss about the fact that my size 6 jeans don’t fit the way I want them to. Then, it occurred to me: the only thing keeping me out of those jeans is, (cue mental face palm), myself.

No one is keeping me tied to a chair, no one is forcing me to eat cakes or cookies, I’m doing it to myself.

I realize that this whole thing probably sounds harsh, but I’ve never been a very cuddly kind of person. I don’t sugar coat things and I don’t do fluff. If anything, my journey to beat the fibro has made me even harsher. I have no tolerance for people who claim they want something and then do nothing about it, myself included.

I understand now why personal trainers and fitness experts tend to seem like bullies; they know that people are their own worst enemies. About 10 years ago, I took a kick boxing course in college. The teacher was a serious ball buster and her motto was: “why be slack?”. I hated her. She was loud, harsh and allowed no room for half measures. Suddenly, I understand. If you truly want to achieve something, there is no room for half hearted attempts. You may not succeed on your first try, but if you don’t put 100% into every attempt, you’ll never reach your goals.

Yes, that is easier said than done. I may understand it, but I am still learning to put this concept into action. The cold burning sensation I’m still feeling in my fingers tells me that for today at least, I have succeeded. That leaves me with just one question: what’s your excuse?

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The (Lion) King & I

“Looks like the winds are changing.”

“Ahh.. Change is good.”

“Yeah, but it isn’t easy. I know what I have to do, but…”
— The Lion King

Once upon a time, if I wasn’t feeling well, I curled up on the couch and watched The Lion King. That was it. I didn’t cook, I didn’t tidy up around the house; to be honest, I barely moved from my spot, unless I had to. While The Lion King is still my favorite comfort movie, the winds have changed, and so have my rituals.

Recently, I was discussing fitness and overall health with an old friend of mine; we were busy talking about what keeps us motivated to stay active, and I couldn’t stop myself from absolutely gushing about my Fitbit. It was during that conversation that I realized just how much this tiny little device has influenced my everyday life. For the last year or so, I have worn it every single day. From the moment I get out of bed in the morning, until the moment I lay down at night, my Fitbit is, (literally), attached to my hip.

Some of you may be wondering at this point, what I’m even talking about, so before I go any further, let me explain what a Fitbit is. Basically, it’s a fancy pedometer: it counts my steps. Yes, you can go to the store and buy a basic pedometer for about $10. I tried that myself, but I wasn’t impressed; the cheaper devices are not very accurate and don’t provide enough information. What is it that makes the Fitbit so amazing? For starters, it syncs to my phone and puts all of the data it collects into an easy to read chart. At a glance, I can see precisely how active I’ve been. That little bit of information has changed my life.

Health experts recommend that adults get in 8,000 to 10,000 steps per day. When I first started using the Fitbit, I could easily go an entire day without reaching 1000 steps.

Before the Fitbit, I knew I wasn’t as active as I needed to be. I knew I was lazy and that the only way to describe my lifestyle was “sedentary”. The Fitbit took that information and gave me hard, visual evidence. What I saw shocked me. Like I said, I knew I was lazy, what I didn’t know was just how lazy I had become.

Adding the Fitbit to my routine was simple, all I had to do was wear it. It counts my steps, including flights of stairs and translates that into miles and calories burned. Once you sync the device to the website or your phone, it puts all of that info into a lovely little chart that shows you everything you need to know. It will also sync up with other apps, such as My Fitness Pal, so you can see your calorie intake and burn all on one page.

There is one other feature that I find particularly effective, even though I am slightly embarrassed to admit it: green smilies. When you hit your goals for the day, you get little green smiley faces next to the ones you reached. It’s a lot like getting that gold star at the end of the school day, and I often find myself doing laps around the house or even the grocery store just to make sure I get my smiley for the day.

I realize that this post probably sounds an awful lot like a product plug, but it’s not. This post is about change and just one of the ways I motivate myself to keep pushing. Change isn’t easy, (especially when you feel like the whole world is against you), but it can be done and now, I’ve got proof! I can’t say that I’ve spent the last right years fighting; in truth, the majority of my fight has only been in the last year and a half, but I wanted to show you where I started.

This was me in 2006.

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Here I am in 2011.

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And finally, this is me now.

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Keep fighting!

Time to get moving (again)!

It’s been a while since my last post, so this is me trying to get back in the swing of things. The hardest part has been just sitting down to write. The longer I put it off, the harder it became to find the words, so here goes!

To be honest, the main reason I have been quiet lately is that I really didn’t have anything positive to say. I’ve spent a lot of the last month packing and then moving into a new place, and not as much time as I should have on my personal needs. I’m still trying to stay active, but I’m not as active as I had been, not by a long shot. Even on the days I do manage to make it outside for a walk, it’s a struggle to hit my 10k step goal. The heat has a lot to do with this, but it’s not the only reason. In all seriousness, the heat is just the excuse I use to cover up the real reason I’m less active: I’m just too tired.

As much as I hate to admit it, the fatigue is kicking my butt. I just don’t have the energy to maintain that level of activity. I know that if I can get moving again, my energy levels will start to come back up, but I’ve fallen off of my own wagon and I’m struggling to get back on it. To anyone who hasn’t dealt with a chronic condition, it sounds like I’m making excuses for being lazy. I suppose that in a way, I am, but the important thing to remember is that I have not given up.

Yes, I feel like I’m back at square one, but this time, at least I know not only what I have to do, but also that it works. This isn’t something new to me. I know that if I can push through the initial pain and exhaustion things WILL get better.

I’m not entirely sure what caused me to stumble and then fall, but I’m pretty sure it started with a flare up. I recently gave in and had another round of trigger point injections in my upper back, this time with Botox. The fact that I felt it was necessary to even have the injections was a huge blow. I had been doing so well on my own and then WHAM! Out of nowhere I get hit with a flare up so bad that I actually went to my doctor and *requested* trigger point injections.

For me, trigger point injections have always been an absolute last resort, mostly because I hate them. They’re incredibly painful and they always take me out of commission for a few days, but every now and then, I reach a point where the pain is worth it to break the flare cycle. This was one of those times. Ironically, I had just finished typing up a blog post celebrating a full year injection free… No, you didn’t miss a post, I never published it because I got distracted, (and more than a little depressed), by the flare up and subsequent injections.

I mentioned earlier that my doctor added Botox to the trigger point injections, this was completely new to me. The idea is that the Botox basically freezes the muscles around the trigger point, keeping the knots from reforming for a few months. After doing my own research, I decided to give it a go. Was it worth it? I’m not sure yet. I do know that once the anesthetic wore off, these injections were much more painful than normal ones. My back was stiff and sore for over a week afterward. The flare up did break, but it remains to be seen whether or not the Botox has actually helped.

So, that’s the last month or two in a nutshell. Now that we’re all caught up, I am excited to say that I’ve got some new motivation to get moving again. Yesterday, I registered for the “Inaugural Harbor Lights 5k”, which will take place at the end of November.

If I want to beat my previous 5k time of 00:38:58, (which I totally do), I’ve got to get to work. Right now, my (comfortable) mile time hovers around 15 minutes, if I go full tilt, I can drop it to around 13 minutes. My goal for November is 10 minutes… Looks like it’s time to dig out my Couch to 5k app again!

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The Plan, One Year Later

Three hundred and sixty-five days have come and gone since I first decided to share my story. In that time, I have walked, (and even jogged), over 1,600 miles, lost about 35 pounds and 4 jeans sizes. In short, over the past year, I have taken my life back; fibromyalgia, while still an undeniable part of my life, no longer runs my life.

If someone had told me a year ago that I would make the changes I have, I would have said “that’s simply not possible”. This time last year, I was a wreck, in every sense of the word. Physically, I was in constant pain, over weight and completely exhausted. My emotional state was even worse; I was in the throes of a deep depression, suffering from panic attacks and utterly hopeless about my situation. My marriage had fallen apart and my other relationships were starting to fray as well. I felt completely powerless to stop any of it; I had lost control of my life and I honestly believed that I had no choice in the matter. I had spent so long allowing the fibro to dictate my actions that when my life fell apart, I had nothing of my own to cling to. I felt like a victim.

It wasn’t until I began to seriously contemplate suicide that I realized how wrong I was. There was one thing that I hadn’t yet lost: myself. I am, by nature, a fighter, but I had forgotten that. Somewhere along the way, I had stopped fighting and simply accepted the idea that fibromyalgia was going to run my life. That idea spread through my mind like a weed, choking out any hope or motivation I had. Thankfully, right when I needed it the most, I found the strength I needed to save myself. In that moment, I realized that the only thing stopping me from living my life on my terms was ME.

It was such a simple idea, but it was more powerful than anything I have ever experienced. Using this new understanding, I came up with a plan to heal myself. No more waiting around for someone else to come along and “fix” me, no more feeling sorry for myself. If I wanted my life back, I was going to have to fight for it.

Coming up with my plan was easy, putting it into action, however, was another matter altogether. Not only was I having to work against what my own body was telling me, I had to fight my own self doubt and the doubts of others. Most of my family and friends were incredibly supportive of my new outlook; unfortunately, a few of the people I had expected to be the most supportive turned out to be the most critical. At times, it seemed as if they were trying to undermine my efforts to change, going so far as to plainly tell me that they believed I couldn’t do it and even saying that despite my efforts, they saw nothing worth being proud of.

Typically, this is where people say things like, “I don’t care what other people think of me” or “their words can’t hurt me”. Well, for me, that’s not true. I do care, (probably way more than I should), about what those close to me think about me and I have always been overly sensitive about what other people say to me. Add that to my already delicate emotional state and you’ve got a recipe for a total breakdown. There were so many times that I wanted to give up, so many times that I very nearly did. It took me awhile, but I eventually learned to turn that pain into fuel. I learned to “punish the pavement” rather than myself. After awhile, that pain turned into anger and I used the anger to further fuel my fight. Going through that was Hell, but I see now that those doubts and cruel words only made me fight even harder. So, thank you, for helping me to see you for who you are and for helping me find the strength to get past my own barriers, now please show yourselves out of my life*.

*(For the record, my original statement wasn’t nearly so polite.)

Flash forward to today: I am still here, still fighting and better than ever. I am active, healthy and best of all, happy. More importantly, I can feel the shackles of fibromyalgia falling alway; I am almost entirely pain-free. I do still have occasional flare ups, but they are usually brief and nothing at all like the debilitating attacks that would keep me in bed for days; no more giving up things I want to do because of pain.

I never imagined that I could live without pain as the center of my universe, I never even dared to dream that I might live something like a “normal” life. The success I have experienced over the last 12 months is beyond anything that I could have hoped for; in my own mind, it’s nothing short of magic.

Of course, the problem with magic, is that it is not free; to borrow a quote from Rumplestiltskin, “magic always come with a price, Dearie”. So, what is the price I pay for this particular brand of magic? Hard work and self-discipline. The simple truth is that keeping myself healthy is literally, a full-time job. I have to make sure to stay active and I have to pay close attention to what I eat, every single day. Sure, I have my “off” days, but they are few and far between. I cannot afford to sit on my butt all day and just eat whatever I want to; my body is quick to point out when I’m not doing what I need to.

One of the things that I have learned over the last year is that counting calories is not enough. I’m not even talking about for weight loss, I’m talking about simply maintaining a balanced, healthy diet. My daily calorie budget right now is around 1600 calories; well, 1600 calories of cookies, chips and pizza are not the same as 1600 calories of veggies, fruits and lean protein. In order to keep my system happy, I eat 4-6 carefully controlled meals every day. The amount of thought and effort that goes into my diet alone can be overwhelming, as I find it difficult to come up with different ideas that are healthy, tasty and easily fit into my plan.

On top of that, I have to make sure to keep moving. My body has gotten used to moving and the pain will happily take over if I’ve been sedentary for too long. My goal is 10k steps a day (about 5 miles), which at a normal walking pace for me would take about an hour and a half of solid walking. I prefer to break that up into smaller, easier to manage chunks throughout the day, which like my meals, takes a fair amount of planning on my part. 10,000 steps is a lot, believe me, I know. While I have learned to enjoy walking and being active, I don’t always do it because I want to. I don’t exercise because I feel good, I exercise in order to feel good. There’s a huge difference there, and it’s sometimes hard for people to understand, but I can’t put enough stress on the idea that it is absolutely necessary to stay active even when it hurts because eventually, the activity will make the pain go away.

I cannot escape the fact that I am sick; I know that no matter how badly I want to, there are always going to be things that I am unable to do. For instance, I would love to be able to get back into the classroom and teach again. I know my limitations. I know that I cannot maintain my current level of health (and happiness) AND take on a regular job. I understand that there are many, many people out there who are capable of doing all of these things and more on a daily basis, but I have to accept the fact that I am not one of them. I simply do not have the stamina to do it. Maybe one day, I’ll find a way around it, but for now, my “job” is taking care of myself.

You know what? I am ok with this.

Race Day, The Shamrock 8k

Shamrock results

On Saturday, March 15, 2014, at 9:15 am, I crossed the finish line for the Shamrock 8k, 2 minutes and 11 seconds under my goal time!! I’ll be honest, I have no idea how I actually managed it. The race started at 7:45 am, and I was only running on about 4 hours of sleep… I am amazed that I finished it at all, let alone under my goal time. I spent about the first 2 miles of the race cursing myself for being out there in the first place and wondering why on earth I ever thought this was a good idea. Seriously. Thankfully, around mile 2, I finally found my stride and was able to put my butt in gear. I may have been hating myself initially, but I am so glad that I was stubborn enough to push through to the finish.  Even after all of the training I put myself through, this was one tough run.

Would I do it again? Hell yes! As a matter of fact, I’m already considering my next venture into insanity: The Wicked 10k, where I’ll get to run down the boardwalk dressed as a giraffe. I’ve got until the end of October to create the perfect giraffe running outfit and get myself ready to actually run 6 miles… I’m not fully committed to this one yet, but the urge to do it gets stronger every time I say the phrase “running down the board walk dressed as a giraffe”, so chances are good that I’ll end up doing it. Hopefully, I’ll be running with the BFF for this one, but even if she doesn’t run with me, she’ll be dressed up in a matching giraffe costume, since it was mostly her idea… 🙂  Don’t worry, there will be pictures!

I know it sounds like I’m treating this lightly, but for me, running these races is no joke. It has been getting easier, but most days, every single step is still a fight, both mentally and physically. I’m not running because I feel good, I’m running in order to feel good. I know that as soon as I stop moving, the fibro wins, but there are some days where even that knowledge isn’t enough to keep me going; on those days, it’s the support of my loved ones that keeps me going.  Thank you guys for believing in me, even when I didn’t believe in myself. Extra special thanks to Aaron for getting up at 6am and dragging my whining carcass out of bed and down to the starting line, knowing you would be at the finish line is what kept me moving forward.

 

Shamrock finish

 

Fighting fibro with fire

This weekend, I will be running, (or attempting to, anyway), in my second race, the Shamrock 8k. My last race was a 5k, so this one will be a bit harder. I was so excited about this race up until a few weeks ago, when I came down with a rather nasty cold that lasted for 2 solid weeks. Prior to the cold, I was able to complete 8k in just under 55 minutes, which thrilled me because my original goal was to finish in under 60.

Unfortunately, that cold has set me back considerably. I did a practice run Saturday afternoon and I came in at 68 minutes, which was a struggle to achieve. Considering that I have three days left before the race, there’s just no way I’m going to be able to improve on that time.

Am I disappointed? Yes, I am extremely disappointed. Did I spend entirely too much time freaking out about my run time? Yeah, I did. However, while I was sitting around feeling sorry for myself, I realized that even if I don’t finish the race with the time I had hoped, at least I’ll finish it. A year ago, I couldn’t have even dreamed of walking 5 miles, let alone running a 5 mile race. Even if it takes me 90 minutes, it’s a massive improvement over where I was 12 months ago.

So, with that thought in mind, Saturday morning, I will be getting up bright and super early (for me at least), and I’m going to give this thing everything I’ve got. I don’t care about placing or prizes, I’m not doing this to impress anyone; I’m doing this for me, to remind myself that I am stronger than I think I am. For me, running this race is just one more way to fight fibro with fire.

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