On the Hampster Wheel/Happenings

To say it’s been a busy couple months would be an understatement. Before February started I was looking at 6 doctors appointments, 2 doula interviews, 1 hospital tour, Ryan’s normal school activities/party extras, not knowing where the next pcs would take us, having to find a back up sitter for labor/baby time. Then add in last minute visitors from my husbands side of the family, couple snow days off of school, sick days off of school and it was beyond overwhelming. 

Then some things started to fall into place:  we found out we found we would be moving to Hawaii, not our first choice but not a bad consolation prize. With that brought a new set of to-do’s. With dogs there’s a whole process of getting them vaccinated, blood tested etc that must start asap so that they won’t have to be quarantined when we arrive… So vet appointment added to our February. I found a back up sitter. Some fun to the end of February: family pics (I had wanted to do them and actually had them scheduled when Ry came early) and a prenatal massage. 

  
Lyme stuff

It’s been mostly ups and downs with a majority on the upside. I did have decent flare on my birthday. After a couple days with early rising house guests and a nocturnal womb gymnast I woke up on my birthday with a killer headache, fatigue and hot flashes/fevery. Number one cause of flares for me:  stress number two lack of sleep (minimum needed to feel functional about 7 hours). I think I got 9 total all weekend. My lyme doc appt was canceled due to a decent snowstorm in which all of northern Virginia was advised to stay off the road.  

 See so much snow!  My appointment was rescheduled but I did get my blood work back that I tested positive for EBV and Mycoplasma. Numbers weren’t super high but enough that indicates a chronic exposure. Another piece of the lyme puzzle on my way to healing. 

I see my lyme doc on Monday and am eager to see her for a variety of reasons but especially since yesterday I got a new tick bite! Smack dab on my pregnant belly! WTF man. We spent a total of one hour playing oustside, half hour in the back yard and half on our deck. I had on a form fitting maternity top, dress and long leggings and sneakers and bug spray on our bottom halfs. I put the AC during nap and settled down for a detox bath and there it was on the lower half of my belly (where had I not been in the bath I physically couldn’t have seen it otherwise). Such a viserial response seeing that bastard, traumatizing and on my belly ..like seriously am I am this baby not facing enough of a battle??? It’s been so nice being an active wife and mother and I don’t want to lose that. 

Usually around my birthday we do some sort of hike, so we did one for our anniversary weekend the following week. We drove a short way to King George and did some exploring.  

   

Other than that on the exercise front I’ve been getting in several dog walks and my prenatal yoga class once a week. 

Baby stuff

Up until yesterday everything had been going well. I had been going to the MFM once a month and OB every two weeks. She had been growing great and has been super active. More a fan of somersaults and rolls than kicks but I’ll take it. I found/hired/met with a doula I like. We had our second hospital tour. What a physiological response walking by the NICU, I literally had chills. Maybe an omen? 

So the deal with the two hospitals:  my Ob office has two locations, one in the town we live in (that hospital has the NICU, slightly older, and under construction, has a tub in L&D, portable fetal monitoring) and the town over (my doctors are on call there, better chance of getting them for delivery, lower key, newer, no NICU). So after some research I had decided on delivering at the further away hospital since having my provider would give me a better chance at having the birth I want and someone familiar to a comfort level of mine with my medical history. This was all until yesterday…

I had a different time feeling driving to the office than I had in recent weeks. I had a new U/S technician or atleast I’ve never seen her before. She had asked how I had been measuring, “only a day or two behind ever” and she informed me that it looked like a couple weeks. You know u/s aren’t going well when there’s a lot of silence during them. I watched after measurement after measurement showed 31, 32, 33 weeks….(I’m 35). The doctor came in and said its her stomach that looks small. She may just be a small baby but now until delivery is crucial so we’ll be monitoring with biophysical ultrasounds weekly to look at growth, breathing, and fluid levels. And just when I started to feel a little confidence. My doula invited me to a birth circle last night but I just couldn’t think birth, baby …back to expect the worst hope for the best. Well atleast I can stop baby shopping??? Here lies the other issue: if this keeps up it means c-section since my OB doesn’t induce patients hoping. To vbac, it means NICU (so hospital number 1), no children allowed under 12…, harsher recovering for a lymie (especially with one wih a new bite). So this will be a very long week….

In like a Lion out like a Lamb March

This month has seen one hospital tour, will see (with the added monitoring and normal OB appts switching to weekly appts at the end of the month) 10 doctor appointments, Easter, new soccer session and spring break. We have a planned visit with friends at the end of the month that I’m really looking forward to. So hopefully spring will bring some blooms of hope. Until next time… 

 

Color Run Fun! A race recap

A little over a week ago I ran The Color Run Shine with my team Gronk’s Pet Unicorns. The run was located at Gilette stadium .. See the association there 😆? I had done a color me rad a couple years ago but this one was the first from this company. I was pretty excited they incorporated a glitter time zone. Everyone needs a little sparkle in their lives.

First unfortunately: the negative. Packet pickup was a mess. They had offered two days prior but both at Gillette in Foxboro and since we had a busy weekend we couldn’t make the 45 minute drive up there. Apparently the color run thought more people would take advantage of the other days because we waited at least an hour in line. There was music playing and enough of us so it wasn’t too bad we could switch out to go to the bathroom, shop or gets snacks. When we finally got up there to get our bib no one had us sign a waiver and no one checked our IDs even. Probably because they just wanted to get people through the line but still concerning. There were no tags on the bib to denote we had people picking up shirts either and unfortunately I witnessed people taking advantage of that. 

We eventually met up with the rest of our team:  my friend Erin and her family.  This is most of us pictured below sans my cousin, not sure where she went off to. 

The run. They had a DJ type guy at the starting zone pumping us up with music and throwing out swag. There were two different waves: just running or run/walk/cartwheel. We signed up for the latter. We took off an and split into two groups: my cousin, aunt and I and my friend and her family. Even from the start the course (around Gillete stadium/Patriot place/practice fields) was so wide that we had plenty of room to run. My cousin runs track and my aunt who is training for her first half were tough to keep up with with on top of the crazy heat+humidity (Lymies hate heat) but I tried. The color zones were plentiful and the volunteers dolled it out in condiment type bottles as opposed to just packets like in color me rad so we could way better colored. Also they had tarps on the side to roll in. This is where the Color run wins major points over color me rad. Also the “shine zone” that came somewhere around mile 2 was more of a cool sheen than glitter, pretty neat.  

  

  

There weren’t a lot of photographers on course but I did see them at the finish shoot which was filled with music and cheers. Another 5k fun run complete:  take that Lyme.

Brady love:  there were lots of support for our awesome (and innocent I may add) quarter back including myself who had #freebrady in face paint on my arms.  

    That’s our medal we got at the finish…

  • Post run party. My cousin wanted try for some swag so we went over to the stage area. They had tons of free stuff  thrown out including packets of color, music going, a very enthusiastic MC (I don’t know how they have so much pep) .  This was post run prior to party…  And after…..

   
 

Overall a very good time. These runs are very relaxed and perfect for your first 5k, a good time with family/friends or if you’re dealing with a chronic illness like me and want to get out for run/walk and not have the pressure of having it be a timed run you need to push through. 

Grade A-. With 10,000 runners (the MC at the start quoted this) they needed more volunteers at the packet/t-shirt pick up. It got a little chaotic. Other than that it was great:   tons of color, enthusiastic staff, cool medal, music and plenty of space to run if you wanted to. 

 

Get our there and give it a try😎.
Next up:  I’ll have a happenings post of my first full month in Massachusetts and not in the desert hurray!

Neverland family 5k

Since today is a cold and dreary day what a great time to sit down and finally write my race recap. Tinkerbell was my first half marathon back in 2013 so I have a special fondness for this weekend. Even though I couldn’t run the half this year I wanted to be apart of this somehow. The week leading up to the run was a rough one with a Lyme or co-infection flare leaving me with a high temp despite resting all week in preparation. Thanks to people’s prayers I started to feel better a short day before.
Expo
I had a few things in mind for the expo. Our first time to go on a Thursday and it was busy yet not insane. I’ve been doing more walking then running since beginning treatment so waking in my zero drop Altras wouldn’t work so I really wanted a pair of the new Tinkerbell new balance shoes. They’re gorgeous but a little small. They fit fine with my crazy compression socks though.

2015/05/img_8871.jpg . My cousin and aunt picked up some sparkle athletic arm sleeves on my recommendation because I love mine for the cool upcoming forecast. Next up was some KT tape for myself and a friend. I got the lime green sparkle. My group of my mom, aunt, cousin, son and hubby was a bit much for the expo so we left to meet up with a friend for dinner in Downtown Disney.
Race morning
It was chilly, low 50’s and steady rain. My poor family from MA was not expecting this from California. The alarm went off bright and early at about 3am. I had only managed about 1 1/2 of sleep since it was really stuffy in the room due to the heat pumping and I was restless. Thankfully our ART shuttle came and we headed to Disney.
The start
The 5k starts near Main Street in front of Sleeping Beauty’s castle. We had assumed there was a staging area once in the park but when we got there and asked what to do with our bags she said we had to carry them, no bag check. After some pleading she said she’d ask someone else. That someone else also had no idea but thankfully a runner overheard and said it was just outside the park. It has HARD to find, tucked behind some trees on some picnic table. This is my only complaint for the run, that should have been better organized. The thought of holding a big bag through the rain was daunting…
Anyway back to the positive. After the National Anthem which we all sang along with someone playing it on a trumpet I believe (it felt like a dream, dark, no sleep, in fairy wings) the fireworks went off and Tink flew by! This was the best start I can remember. Very Disney magical.

2015/05/img_8825.jpg

2015/05/img_8824.jpg

2015/05/img_8820.jpg
There was also a little skit with Wendy and the constable telling us about Peter’s missing shadow. Whenever we saw this we would crow.

2015/05/img_8826.jpg
The run
The plan was I was to run with my speedy-runs track every day-cousin and my mom and aunt (who was running the 10k the next day) would go together and mostly walk. This was a fun run and by the time we had to re-enter the park for the bag debacle we were towards the back so it was slow going for awhile. We did get into our grove and found a small spot on the left to sneak through and run. It narrowed at points and we had to walk but that was fine by me because my body needed the rest. I luckily had the smarts to get us all ponchos and that really kept me warm. It stopped raining about half way though so I took the poncho off…it would downpour again toward the end…lol oh well. As for characters photo ops: there were a lot for such a short race: Hook and Smee, Wendy and Peter, the Lost Boys, and a tons of pirates.

2015/05/img_8828.jpg

2015/05/img_8831.jpg Lots of park time on course: starting in Disneyland, through some behind the scenes areas where we would see Peter’s shadow, through California Adventure. We would see Bugs Land, and the finish was just up the hill near Paradise Pier. That also allowed for some cool photo ops by Mickey’s Ferris wheel and California Screamin’

2015/05/img_8830.jpg

2015/05/img_8829.jpg

2015/05/img_8879.jpg
We met up with my mom and aunt shortly afterward. They ran more expected. Go Mom on her first 5k.
Overall grade A. Tons of park time, photo ops, fun course, cheery cast members giving the Mickey hand high 5. The only real draw back was the bag thing. Which luckily we got there early enough to start. I would definitely recommend this for some family fun.
For my chronic health warrior friends
It really amaze me every time how after a race I feel significantly better for at least a week. I I feel exercise, when we can do it is such a help in the healing process. I know sometimes I doubt myself. Take it slow and easy, do what you can, and have faith. All it takes is faith, trust and pixie dust right?

2015/05/img_8880-0.jpg

Instead of…

We had been toying with a March race for a bit (either Coaster run or Catalina Island) when our pup had that lump that needed to be biopsied so we held off. By the time he (thank God) was all clear the first race had sold out. We had talked about West Coast to-do’s before our (hopeful) move and the Grand Canyon was a biggie on my list. So instead of a race weekend we decided kind of impromptu lets do it.
Planning
This really was the Thursday before we left. Something a lot of people don’t known is the Grand Canyon National Park is infact dog friendly. They’re allowed all along the South rim trail and a special road called the Shoshone that opens up to a great canyon view. But apparently it was a big weekend to head up there because all of the dog friendly hotels that had decent reviews were sold out. Then we came across the Grand Canyon Railway and hotel. The hotel itself wasn’t pet friendly but had a pet resort attached. So we wouldn’t
bewith our furry family but they could play with dogs right next us and we could take them out to breakfast in Williams before we left and walk around.

Williams
Williams is located about an hour north of the Grand Canyon. Located on historic Route 66, the town is adorable. Now for those of you with little girls who’ve watched Frozen a million and a half times, my 2 year old guy has watched Cars more. This town transports you right into Radiator Springs.

2015/03/img_7451.jpg

2015/03/img_7455.jpg (top is where we ate after the Canyon, the diner is ok- good atmosphere just ok food, I’d stick with a milkshake etc here) (bottom is the Bistro 66, great Italian food beer and wine brewed locally). The people were very friendly. I was surprised how wilderness like it was. A real mountain like town, snow on the ground. I expected desert vastness…

Chu chu

My son was so excited for the train. The train takes you right from Williams to the Grand Canyon. About an hour and half ride each way. This is such a great idea for kids, makes it more than just mommy and daddy want to go on a hike trip but an adventure. We started this adventure with an old West Cowboy show at the Depot.

2015/03/img_7457.jpg
After this show it was “all aboard”. The ride featured cowboy singing old country like Johnny Cash. Our train attendant Becky was great. She was so informative about the history of the train, the area but pointed out so much wildlife such as: prairie dogs, antelope, Ravens, and other animals like cows and horses. She told many a cow joke too. The ride was not just for kids as there was a cafe car that sold beer and wine and treats, there was so much to look at. It was also great for me because I could rest up for our ride.

South Rim Exploration
Seeing the Grand Canyon was on the bucket list and it more than exceeded my expectation. I’m not sure words will do it justice. It’s definitely one of God’s gifts for us to admire. Our guide warned us and I felt it, the elevation. We were at about 7,000 feet. Now where I live is not at sea level…close to 3,000 ft in areas but I felt it. But I did as the guide suggested and drank plenty of water (and Nuun). Having Lyme makes you more sensitive to high altitudes but I listened to my body and felt decent. Some highlights: snowball fight with my son, seeing a bunch of mule deer, great views and crisp air. After the rim trail and the trail of time (seeing and learning about various ages of the rocks) we did some of the Angel Loop trail into the Canyon. We didn’t go too far mainly because it was icy. If we had proper hiking boots, poles etc and didn’t have a little one it may have been possible. Plus I was getting pooped.

2015/03/img_7471.jpg

2015/03/img_7468.jpg

2015/03/img_7488.jpg

2015/03/img_7481.jpg

2015/03/img_7465.jpg

2015/03/img_7499.jpg

2015/03/img_7494.jpg

2015/03/img_7502.jpg
After a stop in the gift shop and some snacks it was time to board the train.

2015/03/img_7505.jpg (potty training humor anyone??)

Oh no robbers!
The ride back we got more great info from Becky. We learned and saw some volcanoes (some near Williams are not extinct!). About an hour or so into the trip the train stopped and cowboy robbers got us. (It’s also the way the performers get tipped, you have small bills visible).

2015/03/img_7509.jpg

2015/03/img_7507.jpg

2015/03/img_7508.jpg Ry got to keep a bullet from one of the cowboys😬.
The next morning we picked up our pooches and walked around Williams one last time. We had breakfast at Grand Canyon coffee. Many patios in town are pet friendly.

2015/03/img_7517.jpg
Overall great trip. The hotel was nice but not too fancy you worried about having a little one with you. The only issue we had was rude neighbors. They woke us up 11:30pm the first night and then had their kids playing in the hallway at 6:30 am. Had I known they weren’t checking out I would have moved rooms. But other than that adding the Williams stay made it perfect for the little one and for me with a chronic illness it gave me a chance to rest before and after the hike. I think the gentle train ride helped eased motion sicknesses too I would of felt in a car. Im glad we did an “instead of”
Next up:
Finish up my heart monitor, and a MRI this weekend kicks off my marathon amount of appointments before we leave. I’m getting nervous. Until next time…💚

Rock and Roll Arizona Race Recap

We arrived in Arizona Friday evening and went to the expo in Phoenix. This race was set up a bit different. The 5k was on Saturday in Tempe along with a second expo day. On Sunday was the marathon, half marathon, 10k and relay. So something for everyone and those bling junkies could do a race a day for a “remix challenge”. The marathon started in Phoenix, went though Scottsdale and finished in Tempe.
We parked in the lot in downtown Phoenix and walked to the expo . I have to admit I was a bit giddy seeing all the super bowl signs hanging around with my Patriots in the AFC championship that weekend. The expo was well set up and stocked. My iPhone had finally crashed one too many times so A new phone meant I needed a new Spibelt. I prefere running with a tune band for my small arm but I didn’t have time to order one and I like my little pouch for walks and hikes. Finally found that at a little pop up shop called runners den. Next up was looking for NUUN. I needed a new bottle to run with and they always have great expo deals. I wasn’t sure if I packed my knee brace so I wanted to pick up some KT tape just in case. Hubby also picked up some socks and body glide. There was also some cool races to sign up for but we still don’t know where will be living next year….

2015/01/img_6451.jpg
My 5k started in Tempe beach park. This is a gorgeous area with paths, playgrounds and more overlooking the beautiful Tempe Town Lake. Now sometimes the smaller race just an after thought but that was not the case here at all. We had our own bag check which was nice because it was a chilly morning. I kept my clothes on until the last possible moment and headed to the back of the corrals. After the national anthem we were off. With all my gear on (see previous post) I felt pretty good. The course was fairly flat save a few overpasses one that was more substantial than others that I actually chose to gun up. We had a lot to look at running by the lake and some cool mountain/rock views. There was a band on course at the other end of a tunnel so it really amplified the sound and pumped you up as we ran though it. We also had a dj towards the end of the run. ( see the little 5k was not forgotten about;). I finished faster than my previous runs since undergoing my Lyme treatment. I felt pretty strong too…maybe I can run a little more?

2015/01/img_6455.jpg

2015/01/img_6456.jpg
Finish Festival. After collecting my medal (not bad guitar pick) and grub I met up with my family and went to the finish festival. It was pretty warm now and we sat in the sun and watched Desert Dixie, the post race band, play some country music. I had my free mich ultra. I never drink anymore with my Lyme but I earned it. They also had a kid run for grades k-12. My son is too young but because of this they had awesome inflatables to play on that he LOVED (5 dollars I’m sure for insurance and a signature). We had great fun in the sun.

2015/01/img_6482.jpg

2015/01/img_6458.jpg

2015/01/img_6473.jpg
Back at the hotel. My husband had scored a great deal as a military rate at the Marriott in downtown Tempe. It was a quick (less than ten minute walk for Tempe beach park) which was the hub really for race weekend. *a bit of advice ask to stay at no road side of building, it was a bit loud if you’re a light sleeper like me*. I rested for awhile and then we walked to PF Changs (race sponsor). Yummy food for my crazy diet. More rest after and then I took my son out exploring. (If you cut through garage even quicker walk to the shops). We found a cute candy shop and mini park with bunnies while my hubby kept his feet up in prep for the marathon.

2015/01/img_6489.jpg
Marathon day. My husband’s run started at 7:50, not too early. He said public transportation was super easy to get to the start.The course, he mentioned as fairly flat and had it not been for the unseasonable warmth (near 80 at finish) he probably would of PR’d. He’s fast too (3 1/2 average) so I can’t imagine being out there longer… Again it was easy for us to walk to the finish. We found our spot. (Marathon and 10k on one side 1/2 and relay peeps on the other). We cheered on the first female and waited for “daddy”.

2015/01/img_6495.jpg

2015/01/img_6494.jpg
Finish festival. It was pretty easy meeting up with my eight time marathoner at the baggage area. We chilled by the lake while he caught his breath and then picked up his finisher jacket (free brooks swag). Then it was time to hit the beer garden (children allowed in unlike some other races). The tent provided some good shade as I ate a fruit bowl and they shared a pizza. Entertainment was great with Wallflowers started and then OKgo.

2015/01/img_6496.jpg.
Overall. It was a really fun weekend. A lot to do in the area. We cheered on the Pats at a Buffalo Wild Wings that night. I had really wanted to do a hike the next day but someone was sore so we hit a dunkies instead. The race was very organized, a lot going on, easy to spectate and something for everyone. A+ (just one plus nothing will beat the Bears).

2015/01/img_6504.jpg

Tips for running/exercising with Chronic health issues

So I thought before I posted my race recap for Rock N Roll Arizona I’d write about some tips on how I was able to do it. I post these recaps with huge smiles on my face, but it takes more than just a smile for me to get there. I’ll be talking mostly in terms of the race but this goes for other workouts too, even walks with the dogs.
First off Prep If going to work out to the point of a sweat, even a light one I make sure that the day before I REST. This worked out well because we had a long ride the day before so I made sure to pack plenty of snacks for car ride, hydrate with NUUN (yummy electrolyte and/or vitamin drink tabs)and wear a pair of compression socks. More on those later.

2015/01/img_6537.jpg
As far as goodies/aids:
As pictured above, I like a 1. comfortable to carry water bottle and water or NUUN .
I love Nuun’s material, it’s light weight I hardly notice it. I would have never carried water for short runs pre Lyme but this helps to give me energy and also to cool me off if I over heat.

2015/01/img_6538.jpg
2. Peppermint essential oil. I had developed some back pain after the drive down, whether it was from Lyme or just driving who knows… I had some oil in my roller ball so I rolled some on my pain spot to sooth pre start. I also use this at the base of my skull if I feel warm or of its hot out to cool down.
3. Shades. A lot of us with Lyme have light sensitivity. It hasn’t been bothering me lately but wearing sunglasses helps with the floater I often have in my left eye and of course it’s good to protect your eyes anyway.
4. Sea bands. These little wrist bands are placed on a certain spot on your wrist and using acupressure help alleviate nausea. I didn’t use these in Arizona but I have used them on many-a walks, hikes and even normal activities: they work!
5. KT tape. I used this for post run shin pain for walking around Tempe. I’ve had on/off shin pain for about a year or so. Most likely due to Lyme and co-infections. This helps pull everything in so to speak. I’m no scientist. Lol
6. SPIbelt. Aka spiffy runners fanny pack. I use these to carry my phone and doggy bags on walks but for the run since I had gotten a new phone I used this in place of an armband. I also put little things I may need to get me through the run such as ginger chews or in an emergency; aspirin.
7. Knee Strap: I have had patella tendinitis pre Lyme due to years of figure skating, dancing and then hurdling. Now with Lyme my joint pain tends to flare a bit. This makes me pain level virtually zero.
8. Compression Socks. These are key. I used to just use them for long runs but now I’ll even wear them around the house. They are a must for my 5k’s. The compression increases circulation and helps pain in my achy legs. Since beginning treatment I’ve had some leg pain. I think in part due to inactivity but also just Lyme itself.
9. A watch with a heart rate monitor. I used my holter event monitor for the latest race but will use my heart rate monitor on my Garmin for normal runs just to make sure I’m taking it easy.
10. Road ID. I forgot to label it because it’s hidden under my KT…oops;). This bracelet has all of your emergency contacts on the wrist and a profile with all medical info and Meds. Just a must.
Lastly, post run be sure to rest, stretch and refuel. By rest I mean definitely put your feet up for some time. I took my son’s nap time to sit on the couch and watch my HGTV.
I hope this helps someone. We do have limitations but by making adaptations some things are really possible. More than we think.