5k Fibromyalgia Too Long For Twitter

Joint Pain Diagnosis and Aftermath

Chooch and I just returned from the rheumatologist after having blood work and x-rays of my feet and hands. While there is something minor going on with my thumb/wrist joint-thingy, she was able to rule out Lupus (again) and rheumatoid arthritis.  The crackly noise my knees have made when I bend them a certain way? Well, in spite of the entertaining response when I creep people out with a demonstration of it, it actually goes by the less hilarious name of osteoarthritis.

The immense joint pain, which when it is settled into my feet I liken to walking on broken glass when on carpet, is due to Fibromyalgia. I know at least a half dozen people that have it, and the amount of pain they live with is more than a little daunting. These are people whose entire lives are changed by their pain, and it doesn’t matter if they are “good” people or “bad” people or educated people or uneducated. They are Altered. Even worse, their loved ones have to deal with all the complications that goes along with living with someone that has chronic pain.

And let’s not forget that this is another scoop on my health problem ice cream sundae. I have a history of heart disease and diabetes on my Dad’s side. I have breast cancer, arthritis and osteoporosis on my Mom’s side. I have been out of work for the last 2.5 years while doctor’s try and then give up on finding something that can be cured for the migraines, dizziness, fatigue, nausea, stutter, tremors and “brain fog. ” I have TMJ. I was diagnosed with Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. (I say diagnosed in that case because we have no idea how long I’ve actually had it, but it’s believed to be over a year before detection and treatment, when the ideal is within 8 days. I’m still trying to sort out what long-term effects that leaves me open for, although I’m starting to wonder if I should just leave that door closed. Just for now.)

Adding Fibromyalgia to the sundae actually accounts for a lot of symptoms that have emerged in the last six (?) months: joint pain, memory and mental function, tension or migraine headaches (there has been a dramatic increase in both, but I was chalking it up to a medicine change in recent months).


I just returned from therapy and am adding on to the post I had already started composing. I only mention this because it may have impacted my mood and it may appear abrupt  to you, but many hours have passed since I started this post.

As has happened a few times previously, I had therapy on the same day that something very troubling has happened, the diagnosis whined about above the stars. Well, according to T-Pain (My therapist, and I mean the alias in the kindest way), it’s ok for me to wallow today.  As long as I don’t linger for too long, I can throw myself a Pity Party. After I get bored with that, I will take action as needed to improve things as much as I can.

I have already taken steps there, and am hoping to take my first water aerobics class by next week at the latest. It’s my first little baby step back onto the path to half-marathon training, and even if I don’t make it that far I will, in my own experience prior to this diagnosis, feel greatly improved just by being in motion as often as possible. And if you need any proof that this means a lot to me, bear in mind that means I will be wearing a swimsuit. In public. Me, who’s gained 40 pounds since June of last year.

It just gets more and more awesome the more toppings you put on the sundae, eh? All I know is, if I’d known that my last 5k might be my Last 5k, I would have run like I was on FUCKING FIRE instead of making adjustments to minimize later pains. I would have run like Phoebe on “Friends.”

She also had me do “art therapy” for a bit today, handing me a blank sheet of drawing paper and a box of colored pencils. She drew a vase and told me to fill it with what was inside me. Guys, it was so fun. Even better? She wants me to continue doing it. Daily, using drawing paper, colored pencils or  and nothing but a giant circle as my guide, I’m to fill it in however I feel like filling it in. I think I’m even going to attempt using it as a meditation device.

Even though my Mom was ** an amazing artist, I gave up on myself as one a long time go. My crafts over the years included replicating someone else’s design by:

  • stitching tiny X’s,
  • using any color I wanted (!) on someone else’s cast pottery and ceramics,
  • crocheting, knitting, latch hooking, really any craft involving the knotting of yarn,
  • singing along to the radio,
  • attempting to learn a song on the bass guitar,
  • baking other people’s recipes
  • creating the Stargate quilt with my husband.

My instances of artistry are few and far between as an adult: painting one picture, writing one novel, casting and painting some clay to my own odd amusement are the only things that come to mind after a good 5 minutes of thought and a discussion with my husband. He thinks the quilt should be on this list, since we created the pattern for it. I call shenanigans because our sole intent and execution was to replicate the design as precisely as we could within the time and money constraints we had at the time.

But that’s not what this is about. And by silencing the left side of my brain for a while, the right side stretch and move unfettered, possibly even showing me tangibly “what is going on with me” as I deal with all the challenges in front of me/us. It could be useless, or it could be cheat codes to some cool level previously unaware of, that will help me deal with the stresses and minimize their impact on my health.

*crosses fingers*

I have to admit, I’m getting kind of addicted to my epiphanies and changing of core beliefs and all that jazz.

And if you have ice cream cravings now, like I have ice cream cravings, you have Mur Lafferty to blame for it. She mentioned it earlier today and I’ve been craving it ever since. Thanks, Mur!

**Someday I will not have to backspace to replace “Mom is” with “Mom was”. Although T-Pain might be shooting for that, I don’t think I’m looking forward to it.

5k Consumer Info Household No Whining

Move Update ~ House Prep

I’ve been working like mad, mad I tell you, trying to get the house ready for the arrival of the Realtor at 2 pm today, which you know if you follow me on Twitter. I’ve been a pain in the butt complaining about it, so you have my apologies. Doing what I can to stay sane with the accompanying dizziness, migraines and nausea for such high stress levels as I’m running.

I’ve had no exercise since Saturday’s 5k run. Did I write about that? I’ll check later. I know that’s seriously impacting my mood and I crave a good long run.

I’ve been eating all the right food, but am on a weird schedule and haven’t been tracking my Weight Watcher points. I only eat when I’m hungry, no more than once every four hours and I stop at a regular serving. Easy to do since I’m home and it’s all the same stuff. Weird thing is, I feel squishy and think I’ve gained weight this week. Again, no run since Saturday morning, and even with all this hard physical labor, it doesn’t seem to be maintaining me, let alone helping me lose.

I’ve only been able to nap the last few days, and wake in a panic to start working again. It’s kinda working, in that it’s the only thing I can manage right now. But, I’m sure that’s thrown my metabolism way out of whack.

Back onto a normal schedule after we get past this hurdle, and hopefully I can salvage the week, weight-wise. But if not, I’m cutting myself a damned break. I deserve it.

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Weight Loss Progress

Today I busted through a milestone weight. I honestly cannot remember the last time my weight was this low, no foolin’. It was definitely before Naughty Bear was born.

It’s been a lot of work and a big sacrifice since I started back up again in September. I had gained somewhere around 20 pounds back after I got hit with the vestibular migraines and the medication had me drugged and sleeping a lot. That on top of the now inherent fatigue kicked my ass. I still tried to eat healthy, but gave up on South Beach during that time because I felt like I was just eating and sleeping all the time.

While I still believe that the maintenance phase of South Beach is the best way to eat long term, I just couldn’t keep it up anymore with the slow creep of weight gain that was occurring.

I started eating carbs again, although not pigging out or going overboard. I know their effects on me. I get sluggish, puffy, sleepy and am quick to hunger again. But having them limited for so long, I dove straight into whole grain breads and pastas. Om to the nom!

I finally got fed up and started the Couch to 5k program again, which naturally led me to watching what I was eating. Eventually I made my way to Weight Watchers Online and haven’t looked back. Since I started that I’ve lost 24 pounds, surviving Thanksgiving, Christmas, birthdays and other excuses to gorge. I definitely did some backsliding, but have come pretty closely to finding a balance that works for me.

After successfully running an entire 5k on Thanksgiving, I felt amazing and motivated to do more. About a week after that, my medication changed and it literally knocked me on my ass. I was unable to really get moving again until January when I eased into walking again. My running started again with the Runkeeper training program that fellow runner Mur Lafferty told me about. I really love it, but will go into that in another post.

I’m now training for a 10k in June. It’s difficult because I never know from day to day if I’ll be able to run, since the migraines make it impossible. I’ve found I can run dizzy, but I can’t run with a migraine. So I’m registered now for two 5k’s and one 10k and I don’t know if I’ll be able to run all, or any of them when it comes to race day.

I am also prone to getting migraines after a tough run, but I figure I’d likely get one anyways so don’t let that deter me. I always am dizzy after a run, to varying degrees. And dizziness is less noticeable when I have a migraine, so there’s a silver lining, right?

I think my motivation is driven by being out of control of my life. I can’t control how I feel, at least not yet. My current doctor feels that if this treatment doesn’t improve things, short of tweaking dosages there is nothing else he can do for me. I’ll be seeking a new doctor after we move to an area with a wider pool of medical specialists. Not being able to control how I feel means that I can’t control if I can work. I already discovered that college coursework was nigh impossible due to memory and comprehension problems I’ve developed. I’m hoping these are due to medication, because it is very troubling.

I decided to embrace the things I can control – what I eat and whether or not I exercise. So I do what I need to in order to reach my goals, and so far it’s working. I’m not saying I’ll make it all the way to my goal, but I’m nine pounds from where the doctor wanted me to return to her for a health evaluation to see how much more, if any, I need to lose. My own goal is ten pounds more than that because as I look at myself I find it impossible to be only nine pounds away.

No, this isn’t bragging or lecturing or my telling you what to do to lose weight. I’m not that arrogant. This is just a post I wanted to write for my own blog, so that when I begin to slip I can remember how I felt at this moment in time. I’m not embarrassed to say that I’m humbly proud of myself. When I finally reach my own goal, I’ll have lost over a hundred pounds. I’ve grown tired of using my illness and near constant fatigue as an excuse. I feel more energized after a workout, and feel better emotionally afterward so it’s no longer an excuse, it’s a lie.

I did this. Me. No weird pills, no crash diet, no tricks.

Sweaty, breathless, aching, exhausted and sore, I did this.

Baking healthy desserts instead of the fat and sugar laden ones of my childhood.

Trying one bite, maybe two instead of a whole serving.

Tracking everything I eat and drink, and every calorie I burn during exercise.

Trying healthier alternatives and exploring vegan and vegetarian meals, thus bringing more and more variety into my life that keep me from getting bored and stopping at (gag) fast food restaurants. (More on this in another post.)

I. Did. This.

And I can keep going until I reach my goal, unless I get in my own way. I’m refraining from posting ‘before’ pictures until I reach my goal. It feel presumptuous otherwise, so that will be my reward. Well, one of them.

No more excuses, just forward motion.

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Cipro Concerns for Runners

In December, I was diagnosed with a sinus infection and was prescribed the antibiotic Cipro in order to knock it out. I didn’t find out until later that it is a medication that has some cause for concern for folks that enjoy high impact activities, such as running. There is evidence that tendon damage can occur after taking it, which caused me great concern as a runner. In fact, in 2008 the FDA told “companies that the drugs must now carry “black box” warnings alerting doctors and patients that the drugs can increase risk of tendinitis and tendon rupture in some patients.” Black box warnings are the sternest warning issued by the FDA, and it covered the entire class of fluoroquinolones (cipro included).

Digging in and researching, there are the typical conflicting reports. Running forums detail every degree of injury and nearly all suggested waiting out activities until anywhere from 2 weeks to six months after cessation of the medication. The greatest concerns were for those that were on the six week treatment duration. My treatment was only ten days, but I was still very concerned about rushing back into running after having not run for a month at that point.

I decided to give myself a month before hitting the pavement again, just to ensure that I don’t add to my list of injuries and health problems. I’m paying for it now, as the total of two months break from running has me huffing and puffing on short distances. Still, I am confident that I did the right thing, and am being cautious and gentle as I ramp up to longer distances. I’m not concerned about my performance having decreased, with what I learned that I’m capable of last year.

There is a lot of information out there, so if you are prescribed the medication you should do your own research to see the newest information and to make the best informed decision you can. I just wanted to let you know of the concern in case, like me, you weren’t told when it was prescribed to have the option of requesting another antibiotic. Corticosteroids may provide protection, but I’m not interested in taking steroids because of other issues that may arise from them.

I have big goals for 2011, and I think being cautious while pushing myself to reach them is the best way for me to proceed.

Happy trails!

5k Chooch Computer Exercise Firsts Health No Whining

Thanksgiving 5k Race Results

Chooch and I headed out early on Thanksgiving morning for the local Turkey Trot. It was cold, but we’ve run in colder and felt well prepared for it. I had my mittens and my hoodie over yoga pants and long sleeve race t-shirt. I had been tempted to wear shorts, as I’d overheard a hard-core runner tell incredulous friends at a January race in 25 degree weather that he runs faster in shorts because after a while he can’t feel his leg soreness due to numbness. Luckily, I’m not that insane. I haven’t baby stepped my way back to 5k’s by taking risks that could cause a long-term setbacks.

I was super excited because this was my first race since all the silly health drama started. We had to forfeit our registration in 2009 as that was the beginning of my health issues and I was having a ton of tests for scary illnesses being run. I was not running, exercising or psychologically prepared in any way last Thanksgiving.

This year’s race was held at a new location on an unfamiliar route, and I secretly hoped there wouldn’t be many hills since I seem to have knee pain more on the hilly routes. I’ve altered my stride when going down hill using lessons learned while covering hilly lands in the Lord of the Rings Online MMORPG. Laugh if you like, but in game you can run up hills as fast as you like, but running downhill at the same speed you’ll get a “broken bone” injury.  I now take what I call “gentler landings” and I’m already seeing improvement. Genius that I am, it took me forever to put the two together, and maybe they are unrelated but I’m certainly having less knee issues since I’ve made the change.

We made our way to the race start to pick up the optional race time chips. These are small, lightweight loaner chips you strap to your ankle to track your start/finish time since it’s impossible for everyone to cross the start line at exactly the same time. It also allows you to track your pace. After the race, the results are provided with your race time and pace. I have no expectation of having a winning race time, rather this is how I track my progress across races, as do many others.

We next headed over to the start line along with the other racers and walkers. We again survived the push and shove of over-adrenalized and aggressive runners wanting to start as close to the front as possible. Having been stuck behind walkers and strollers in the past, I can understand wanting to ensure you don’t have to try and run an obstacle course to keep your running pace. Still, there is no need for such rudeness. Personally, I would prefer if they said, “Excuse me, but you’re clearly not an elite athlete so I’d like to get in front of you now so I won’t have to run around you in a few minutes.” I’d find it far less rude than people averting their eyes as they elbow past. Chooch and I just shook our heads and laughed at their need to be “first” at the start. They should consider arriving earlier next time. Just sayin’.

The race started and off we went at a steady pace. Chooch was having trouble breathing because of his recent illness, and we’d already discussed the possibility of me continuing running if he needed to walk. I’m supremely proud of him pushing past the 1 mile marker before stopping to catch his breath and I continued on alone.

I had no music with me, so I just ran with the street noise and conversations of runners around me. I told myself I could stop when something hurt. I told myself I could stop at the water station at the 1.5 mile mark, but only for 10 seconds. I never had pain, only muscle fatigue. And I was stopped less than 5 seconds at the water station. Adrenaline wouldn’t let me stand still for long while the clock was ticking, but I truly needed water for my throat. The cold air had my throat very sore and very dry, but three sips were all I needed and off I went. Honestly, if I didn’t think it was bad manners to snatch a cup from a volunteer, suck it down and throw it on the ground as so many other runners do, then I wouldn’t have stopped at all. I make sure and say thank you and put the cup in the trash next to the station and continue on my way. Nope, I’ll never win any races that way. And nope, I don’t care.

I’m very happy to report that I ran the entire 5k for the very first time. And the race results showed that I solidly beat my previous best time by more than six minutes. I still have a very slow pace, but I’m thrilled with these improvements. Chooch also had a great improvement on his last race time and I’m proud of him for going when he had an excuse not to go. He’s got a warrior spirit, just as I’ve always known.

I also want to give a Universal thank you to those that cheer for runners along the route. As with all the races I’ve done, there were people that had put up signs or were standing outside on the streets or their porches lending their strength to us as we plodded past. I’ve always appreciated it, as it does indeed add a spring to this gal’s step.

I know hubby took a tally of the oddly costumed folks at the race, and I’m hoping he’ll post those in the comments. There was one very memorable one that had us laughing and wishing we could snag a photo, but it wasn’t meant to be.

The next race is in 2 weeks, and I’m not so cocky as to feel that my successful completion is assured. Even if I’m a bit slower, or can’t run the whole damned thing, I’m just happy to be in motion again.

Baby steps, indeed.

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Breast Cancer Confessional – Pink Terror

Following my Mom’s passing from breast cancer in 2006 (Jesus, how could it have been so long?), I felt a sharp stab of pain every time I saw a pink ribbon. As you can imagine, after her 2+ year fight she valiantly put up on this second occurrence, almost everyone at both of her services was wearing a pink ribbon in honor of her battle. I spent a lot of time looking at the ground.

I even took my sons and nephews shopping because they wanted to get a pink item for their suits. Two chose pink shirts, the other two chose pink ties. I was never more proud of them for that, proudly laughing in the face of potential mockery and homophobic comments (I’ve got a rant on this I’m saving for another day), in order to honor their bigger-than-life and beloved grandmother.

It’s actually a blur to me if I wore any pink at all, maybe Chooch remembers as he is my memory bank for the few months before and after she passed. The family talked about everyone wearing one, but I didn’t. It felt wrong to me for some reason that I can’t really explain. It was like kryptonite to me and I quite literally winced every time I saw a pink ribbon.

I can quite clearly remember the first time I wore a pink ribbon again, as it was on my participant T-shirt at the 2008 Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in Richmond. I can tell you I wouldn’t have made it ten steps without Chooch and good friend Paulette Jaxton there that day. Although I don’t think she really knew what she was in for when she decided to join us. It was more than just a fundraiser and 5k for me; it was a crucial step in my healing process. And what a painful step it was. Talk about immersion therapy.

That was a huge day for me, as I had enough distance from the loss to be able to embrace the community once again and proudly take steps for such an important cause, when my Mom could no longer do so. We did several Races for the Cure in Washington, D.C. after her first diagnosis in 1991. Hell, she even stood on the stage with other survivors one year, lined up in their pink t-shirts as the opening ceremonies were held. She truly believed that doing the Races made a difference, and not just for raising donations. It also raised awareness and was an awe-inspiring sight, that sea of pink on the news that night.

My hope is to raise funds for breast cancer research every year, in her name. I’ve done this since that first race in 2008, with Paulette and Chooch at my side. When I was physically unable to do the race this year, I signed up for the Sleep-In for the Cure. This allowed me to raise funds even though I was unable to attend. They even sent me a t-shirt. I’ll be doing the race, every year, and am considering adding other Komen races in different places. Even if I don’t raise any money through donations, they still get my registration fee, after all. And every penny counts. Someday, I’ll work my way up to the 3-Day race, as I’ve wanted to do for years and am freshly inspired to finally reach that goal. Who knows? 2011 may be the year.

It’s taken me weeks to write this post, and it’s more confessional than I first intended. All I really wanted to do was:

  • Remind you to do a breast self exam. Male or female, you need to know how your breasts feel to be able to determine if and when something changes.
  • Urge you to immediately get to your physician to get it checked out if you find anything that concerns you, no matter how small. You have a brief window for early detection, and it can be the difference between life and death.
  • Ask you to get another opinion if you feel your doctor is dismissive of your concerns. If you don’t have health insurance, check into local programs for a free or lower cost mammogram. It won’t go away just because you don’t have insurance.
  • Tell you NOT to rely on youth for protection. You’d be surprised at how many people get breast cancer in their 20’s and 30’s. In fact, my ex-husband’s sister recently won her battle against breast cancer, and we went to school together. She’s 41, just like me.

Every race I’ve done has been wonderful in its own way, and each time it is a bit less difficult staring down the pink ribbon.

I’m including some pictures from breast cancer fundraiser races I’ve done, starting with May of 2008. Other folks in the photos include Paulette Jaxton, Allison Duncan, Mae Breakall and Jett Micheyl.

5k Chooch Dizzy Health No Whining

Health Update

My neurologist appointment this morning went well. I’ve seen a general decrease in the severity of the migraines, but the number remains the same and the dizziness has increased. We talked for a long while about the effectiveness since the dosage increase, along with the side effects that I’m dealing with and we made a few changes. He’s lowering the dosage back down and adding a new medication, one that we hadn’t discussed before now. The side effects it may present are much more tolerable than what I’m dealing with now. Unless I have a bad reaction I’ll be weaned off the old and increase the dosage of the other until I’m only taking the new stuff.

We also discussed alternative medicine options again and all in all, I’m happy with the new treatment plan. At this point, I’m not expecting to have a treatment that will make everything “normal” again. I just want something that allows more … just more.  I’m feeling generally limited in what I can do, and yes I realize how good my life is and how lucky I am in nearly every way. It doesn’t mean I can’t want more. Every time I get excited about some new physical activity that I want to try I have to remind myself that I will have, at the very least, limitations on how far I can push myself. Have no doubt, I will do it, I just have to be cautious.

Back to the doctor in six weeks, to see how the treatment is going. My only real concern is that these changes will muck with my ability to drive to class. Luckily, the instructor has already promised to work with me if this happens, which gives me great relief.

For those new to my blog, I’ve had severe dizziness, migraines, fatigue, etc.,. for almost a year. I’ve been unable to return to full time work, and my civil service job is gone. (My bosses were fantastically supportive, but they do have a mission to accomplish and need an ass in the seat doing the job.) After a plethora of testing, which ruled out a multitude of horrors including MS, cancer, brain hemorrhage, Lyme disease, etc., I’ve been diagnosed with vestibular migraines and neurocardiogenic syncope. Basically translates to – a tired and dizzy chick that gets migraines and may faint.

I’m continuing the search for treatment that will allow more normalcy so I can return to the work force, and instead of waiting around for that to magically happen, I’m taking two classes this semester towards better employment when I am well enough to work again. One is online and the other is easily converted to online, to accommodate my symptoms and inability to drive while dizzy.

I’m also pissed enough at the hard lost weight that has returned that I recently got moving again by re-re-re-starting the Couch to 5k running program, but I only do it when Chooch can go with me because I am typically pretty sick at the end of it.

On an unrelated note, I saw Christmas stuff being laid out in the stores already. Does anyone else wonder where 2010 went?

5k Chooch Dizzy Exercise Health Kaylee

Back in the Saddle Again, Metaphorically Speaking.

If you’ve been reading about my health issues here, then you know how disgusted I am with the recently lost weight starting to creep back. I started walking again a few months ago, but it has been hit or miss. I get so dizzy that I don’t like to go by myself, and it was too much of a time investment for Chooch in the mornings before work. Yes, it has to be in the morning since he frequently doesn’t get home until 8 or 9 p.m., too late for us.

I’ve not been able to get started on any other work out plan, because I don’t enjoy anything as much as I enjoy running. Period. So after a lot of thought, I decided to re-start the Couch to 5k program, again using Robert Ullrey’s podcast. This will be the third time, and I really enjoy it. Chooch and I both had a lot of success with the slow ramp up of running time, so I broached him about doing it with me. Partially because I know he’s frustrated, and partially because of my fear of running alone. He was hesitant because of some issues with his previously sprained ankle, but otherwise jumped at the idea.

We’re on our third week now, and I am loving it. We spend more time huffing and puffing than talking, so I miss that aspect of the change from walking to running. But I just love having the time with him regardless of what we’re doing. We take Kaylee along and she is getting conditioned along with us. She loves it, and has gotten very well-behaved on the runs. Okay, so she still goes crazy if a bird, cat or squirrel get close to us, but otherwise she’s doing great. She  hardly reacts when passing barking dogs or other runners/walkers now.

Even though it’s Week 3, we re-started Week 2 since weather and special projects prevented us from doing the 3rd day last week. We are also both dealing with sore ankles from previous sprains. We are babying them, but don’t intend to stop unless there is actual pain.

I am okay for about the first half of the run, but somewhere around the midpoint I usually get dizzy. It increases to the point of nausea almost every time, but I’m not stopping. Truth is, I’ll be dizzy either way, and this feels way better than not moving does. Plus, I take great pride in the fact that we’ve fully completed each session.

I’ve not had much weight loss, only about 5 pounds, but I don’t care. I’m converting fat to muscle, my heart is pumping, it helps with stress management and I feel like I’m less of a shut-in when I do it. Yes, I’m dizzy for hours afterward. Yes, I still get migraines. I don’t expect this to really help my migraine issues, but by improving my overall health I am giving my body a treat unlike any other. I’m also enjoying more energy during the day, which is major since I’ve had near constant fatigue along with this entire health dealie. Not as much as before, but more than I’ve had for months.

I’m so grateful to Chooch for going with me on the runs. He pushes me to speed up when I’m struggling just to maintain my speed, all the while keeping a watchful eye to make sure I don’t push too hard. If I had been solo, I would have started Week 3 even though I wasn’t ready, but he insisted we do Week 2 again. He was right, but don’t tell him I said so, m’kay?

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Sleep In For The Cure / +1 to Awesome People Tally / Earth Day

I finally decided against trying to walk the 5k in the Richmond Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. Having done the race in past years, I know that I’m screwed if something happens because there’s no easy way to get assistance back to the car.

I’m instead doing the stay at home version, and raising donations in my Mother’s name. If you would like to make a tax deductible contribution, please contact me at and I’ll send you the link to the donation site.

My goal is $500 dollars, which I’ve exceeded in previous years. I’m hoping that even in this cash-strapped year that I’ll be able to meet my goal.

Also, if you know Greg and/or Carrie Seidman, please take a moment to pray, reflect, or whatever you are comfortable with today as they are at the hospital for the delivery of their first child. I know I’m sending my blessings for a safe and swift delivery and the health of the baby and mother.  This will be one cool kid if her parents are any indication of what she’ll be like.

Happy Earth Day, all! Show your Mother some love today. Whether familial or planetary, she’s the only one you’ve got.