Category Archives: Races

I’m an AS Kicker. Seriously.

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Hello there. Life is good today. It’s Friday.

Wow, so much has been going on! I am happy to say that my stress is at an all time low currently. While this will most likely change in the near future, I’ll take it when I can get it. I have now been back on Enbrel for 5 weeks and I have finished my second  short-course of Prednisone. So much to update you on… let’s see…

1. This past weekend, Andrew and I ran the Rock and Roll Half Marathon. It was Andrew’s first. It was awesome. It was in Pasadena, California and we had an amazing time with amazing weather. Just perfect! I have definitely decided that running reduces my stress levels immensely. I plan to continue doing it. It also helps that running temporarily reduces my AS symptoms.

2. We finally got our new kitchen set-up. This makes me happy because we can cook and we have been and it’s been delicious and awesome! Next step- the rest of the house!

3. Voltaren Gel– it seems to actually work. My knees are still not 100% but the gel does seem to be helping my knee pain a lot. I will continue using it for sure… plus! No cortisone injections!

4. Enbrel– while my pain is not gone, my fatigue has vastly improved over the past 5 weeks. For instance, it is now 2:30 in the afternoon and I am still awake… and all I had was a large green tea today (in the caffeine department). 5 weeks ago at this time I would have had 2 caffeinated sodas, 3 cups of coffee, and a cup of iced tea and I’d still be falling asleep. I am thanking Enbrel for these things.

5. Prednisone– it did seem to help with the pain and kind of jump start the Enbrel working. As you may remember, I was having terrrrrrrrible heart burn. As a result, I went on a 14 day course of Prilosec which I have just about finished up. It has worked wonderfully and my heart burn has died way down. thanks, Prilosec!

6. We signed up for our CSA again! I am super excited— I love going out to the farm and getting fresh produce and cutting fresh herbs. I see lots of food blogging in my future!

7. Finally, we found someone to take over the lease on our apartment— so no more double rent paying!!!! Such a good feeling! This took a TON of stress off of both Andrew and I.

Yes, life is good right now. Calculus is still there and still needs tending. Hopefully after we unpack this weekend I can buckle down and get it done. It’s about time!

Prednisone and Heartburn

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As you may remember, after my last appointment, I was excited to go back to using Enbrel and I was “awarded” Voltran Gel for my knees. I still need to do a recap on how the Voltran Gel is working out and I know it’s been a bit since my last my post, but we’ve been super busy. We just moved into our first house! Very exciting- what was more exciting is that we hired movers which was just awesome. It was so nice to not have to move big bulky furniture, especially in light of the serious pain that I’ve been in lately. As I also mentioned in my previous post, my doctor said that if things weren’t significantly better this past week he was going to put me back on a short course of Prednisone.

He called to check in and then told me he was calling in a prescription. Cool- I haven’t had any bad experiences with prednisone yet and it seemed to work really well, so let’s do it! Well, let me tell you, I’m through two days now and m.i.s.e.r.a.b.l.e. The heartburn is unbearable! Yesterday especially it came and went almost every 5 minutes– just a really sharp pain and so much discomfort. I was really upset about it and thought it may prevent me from running my 5K today (it didn’t!). Anyway, after a nice conversation and a recommendation from my mom (Thanks, mom!) I picked up some Prilosec and the drugstore. It’s a 14-day course of taking one pill a day. I will say I am feeling less heartburn today and since it’s the third day of Prednisone, I’m taking fewer pills, so hopefully everything will work out just fine! Crisis averted!

In other news, Andrew and I ran the Love the Run You’re With 5K this morning! It felt like such an accomplishment to cross that finish line holding hands with the love of my life! What’s even more exciting is that we had been doing training runs at about 15:00min/miles which we knew we could go faster than but didn’t want to push because we’re trying to train for a half marathon, but we busted our behinds and ended up with a sub-12 minute/mile pace. 37:05! Next stop: Rock and Roll Half Marathon in Pasadena!!!

And a Partridge in a Pear Tree

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Today was the inaugural run of the Jingle Bell 5K for Arthritis in Arlington, VA. While they’ve held the event in a number of other locations, this was the first time in the Metro DC area. They expected to get about 500 people to sign up to run; in the end more than 1,000 folks showed up dawned in their holiday hats and attire. Our team, And a Partridge in a Pear Tree, was 12 members strong. As such, we each chose to dress up as one of the 12 days of Christmas. My assignment was the partridge in a pear tree. With Andrew’s and his friend, Mike’s, help, we fashioned a pear tree out of a brown onesie (the one I used to be Scrappy Doo for Halloween), some leaf garlands from the craft store, some fake pears, and of course, a sort of partridge-looking bird. I did try to order a stuffed partridge but it appears as though they are all sold out of them this time of year… so instead, we found the most partridge-looking bird that Michael’s Arts and Crafts had to offer and that sealed the deal. We ended up removing fake bunches of grapes from the vine garlands and hot-gluing pears on in their places. The costume turned out beautifully. Andrew also contributed the sign at right… I ❤ it! And in the end, our combined group of 12 days WON THE COSTUME CONTEST! Eternal Pride. And the knowledge that we won the contest for the inaugural race. Needless to say, we have something to defend now and we can’t wait!

All in all the 5K went really well. I didn’t run, but I did have a great deal of walkers with me and it was awesome to get the support. Yet another huge thanks goes out to my friend, Rachel Worthington, for helping to pull this all together! And of course, a huge thanks to her fiance, Jason, for pulling back the reins and walking along with us (well, leaping… he was the lord of leaping after all). After the 5K, we all went out to brunch at Rio– Mexican and pretty delicious too!

So, how am I feeling now… about 10 hours later. Well, my ankles are done. I had a sore achilles on my right foot before I even started the walk and it seems to have exacerbated it… along with that, I’ve got a sore throat and some swollen glands along with a fever. I’ve noticed that I’ve been getting low grade fevers more often lately. Very strange- will have to ask my Rheumy about that at the next appointment. I think I will probably make a doctor’s appointment with either a general practitioner (I need a steady one) or my orthopedist just get my ankles and throat checked out. Can’t hurt, right? My rheumy has been pretty helpful but he focuses on my back only- which makes sense, as I have AS. However, I get the really bad joint pain in other locations, as I’ve mentioned before– I think I’d feel better if he’d address those too, but I’m not sure what else he could do- I’m on 750mg of Nambumetone twice a day along with my Enbrel… still, it can’t hurt to get a second opinion- make sure there’s nothing wrong from another perspective. So, given the sort of crapiness that I am feeling now, if I had it to do over, would I still do the Jingle Bell 5k? HECK YEAH, I WOULD!!

 

 

 

 

The day was wonderful and I had a great time with great people!

 

Jingle Bell 5K and a Hell of a Great Friend

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Last year, Andrew and I decided to run the Jingle Bell 5K in Baltimore, MD.

The event, in which you tie jingle bells to your shoes was developed as a way to raise awareness and funds for the Arthritis Foundation. Last year, we signed up because it sounded fun and because Andrew’s sister-in-law, Mariah, has Rheumatoid Arthritis and we wanted to support her. With the help of a few friends, we raised about $200 or so, dawned our greatest holiday costumes (we went as trees), my friend, Rachel and her boyfriend went as elves, and ran the Jingle Bell 5K in Baltimore, MD. We had a fantastic time and couldn’t wait to do it again this year.

Well, obviously a lot has happened in the past few weeks and I have to admit, my thoughts about the Jingle Bell 5K were there but in the back of my mind. I thought, well, my Rheumy told me I can’t run and Andrew has to have surgery. Maybe we’ll just take a year off and do it next year. That’s where, my aforementioned friend (and one of my bests from High School) showed up. She emailed me asking if we were going to do it again, stating that she was ready to. Her email rejuvenated me and I thought, well, if I can’t run, I’ll walk. At least I’m doing something. Plus, it’s for a great cause. I expected, as last year, for a handful of folks (maybe 4 of us) to sign up. Well, here it is, still 1.5 months out and we have 10 people signed up for our team, “And a Partridge in a Pear Tree.” Not only that, but the team has raised $825 so far! And all because of Miss. Rachel Worthington.

So, while I may not be able to run this year, I will walk my heart out and when I figure out a treatment that works and keeps the AS at bay, you bet your butt I’ll be back on the start line and running. So this is a MASSIVE shout out and a heartfelt thank you to Rachel for pulling this together and re-motivating me to get out there and do something.

So, for those of you reading this, I encourage you to get out there and sign up for your area’s Jingle Bell 5K. It’s not just about running or walking or tying bells to your shoes, it’s about people coming together for a few hours to show Arthritis who is boss, to stare it in the face and say, today, I win. So get out there and walk or run or hop, skip, or jump. Or donate a few dollars to “And a Partridge in a Pear Tree” (Arlington, VA) or Team Z (Denver, CO).

Team And a Partridge in a Pear Tree  (we’re currently in 3rd place for teams)

Team Z  (Look under Team Rank for Team Z, currently in 3rd place)

Thanks again, Rachel, for being one hell of a friend! :0)