Sunday, August 31, 2014

Weather Loop

This sums up the last couple weeks.  
The past couple weeks there are a few brutally hot/humid days followed by rain and then glorious relief. 

rain animated GIF

How I feel on my run when it is hot and humid and it starts to rain

hot animated GIF

How I feel on my run when it is hot and not a cloud in the sky.

happy animated GIF

How I feel on my run when it is 50-55 degrees.

Friday, August 22, 2014

The Closet

My faith in humanity has been renewed. There has been ice bucket videos that didn't make me want to put my fist through the computer. People were talking to their kids about ALS before they let them do the challenge so they understood the true purpose.

Then this happened.  It was beautiful.  It was brutal.  It was what this challenge is about.  

This video hopefully will help a person understand how this disease truly sucks. I hope (and pray) that this video makes people truly connect to the cause so they will support the cause for as long as it takes for a cure to be found.  Don't stop at 30 seconds or one check.

I also came across this video from Upworthy.  In this video she talks about living in a closet. She explains that her closet was being gay, but everyone has a closet and hers just happened to have rainbow colored walls.

Some can have a dark place that they hide and coming out of that dark place is hard. My closet was Huntington's and my last post was me coming out of the HD closet. It was scary.

I don't talk about it much, nor does my family.  I don't talk about it because I don't want to make people sad or uncomfortable.  It is a hard story to tell and who really wants to hear it?  How can you explain to someone that you live with a disease that replays over and over and over again like a bad horror movie with the bad guy always winning.  

Our family is lucky when it comes to HD.  My father was an only child and he inherited the HD gene from his mother. We were lucky that I had a dad.  The disease didn't take hold until he was in his 60's.  However, he had to watch his mother and son die from HD.  No one should ever see their child die. I've been to support groups where there will be a father and son next to each other in a wheelchair. I've meet families who have lost all their children and grandchildren. This shit makes you run to the closet, slam the door and lock it tight.

I am going to make a promise to myself that I will peek out of my closet once in awhile. When I do, it is comforting to know that I have friends and family that will be waiting patiently.

Open the closet.  Let a little light in. 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

It is me. Not you.

My father tried to write a note the other day. It took a long time for my sister and mother to deciper, but finally realized what he wrote: "Take me to Friendly's." Our hearts broke.

My father is dying.  He is in the late stages of Huntington's Disease (HD) and has lost his ability to communicate and losing his ability to swallow.  It is very difficult for him to eat anything -- even liquids.  Soon the time will come when we will have to make end of life decisions for the man that gave us life.

We've been through this before with my brother.  My father knows what is coming. We all do.  It isn't an easy death. Right now we wait. Wait for the disease to dictate when, but not before it makes us hurt. 

I am writing this extremely personal and painful entry because I finally figured out why the ALS ice bucket challenge was making me so angry. On FB I've been writing my opinions and getting the response of "but it is raising millions of dollars and awareness."  The more video's I saw the angrier I was getting and after much soul searching of why it was making me crazy I found the answer.

If this viral fundraising/awareness campaign started last year, I don't think I would react to it as I am now.  Hell, I probably be doing it! However, right now, I am in a raw and painful place because of what our family is currently going through with my father.

ALS is similar to HD and seeing people laughing and trying to out do each other is driving me nuts.  I am like a 2 year old throwing a temper tantrum inside my head yelling  "STOP IT! IT ISN'T FUN! NO ONE SHOULD BE LAUGHING"  The videos have turned into a game. Who can come up with the most creative video, what celebrity will be next to dump a bucket of water on their head, who will challenge who, all for purpose of awareness, yet, a very small percentage of them say anything about ALS. I wanted someone to say "I am sorry it fucking sucks and I am doing this because I understand how badly it fucking sucks. Pouring this ice water over my head is a wake up call that you all need help."  No one did.

The campaign has raised millions of dollars. Yet. My brother died. My father is still going to die. It is like the laughing and cheering each other on is making light of the pain. In my heart, I know that isn't the reality at all and people are participating for the right reasons. It is me.  Not the campaign. I am just sad, hurt and angry that I will be losing my superhero and the ice bucket challenge is a way to take out my pain.


I hope people still continue to raise money for ALS because I really truly do believe that if a cure if found then the others will follow.  It might be too late for my family, but if it saves a family the pain and agony of living with these disease it will be worth it.  My hope is that at this time next year, the same people that participated in the challenge will donate again minus the incentive of pouring water over their head.

One thing I do want to say is to please educate yourself about ALS, Huntington's Disease and Parkinson's past the definition. Talk about it. Get to know the local community and how you can help besides $$ (which always help). The best gift we got for my dad was from a neighbor who knew how to sew. Since my father has difficulty swallowing half of his food ends up on his shirt, which equals lots of laundry. Our neighbor made these wonderful bibs for my dad that are awesome and he loves them! This one little thing helped immensely.

Ask what could help and what families may need.

As for me, I am going to savor the moments I have left with my superhero and let him know that he did good.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

I've lost all running speed.  Fuck.

Yes, my fast pace is other recovery, but it is fast for me! I am really worried that I won't be able to get the speed back in my legs. In the past it has come back fairly easy.  Not this time.  I am struggling to keep a pace that was conversational for me before my injury. 

Last week was the start of what we call Torture Tuesday's.  Last week it was a 2 mile warm-up followed by 2 reps of 10 minute tempo and a 3 mile cool-down. Last night was a similar workout with a 2 mile warm-up followed by 2 reps of a 15 minute tempo and a 2 mile cool-down.  It was a serious ass struggle for me to maintain a pace that is a minute + slower compared to a few years ago.


This Saturday is a 5k that I run every year with friends.  My PR from this race is 25:50.  I don't even think I am going to be any where NEAR that time this year. 


Just got keep going and hope that something will eventually kick in.  Right? 

Saturday, August 02, 2014


I've missed you, my little blog.  There were a few times I deleted you.  I even started two new blogs, but didn't do anything further with them other than create an account.  Finally, I came back to you.  We've been together for too long and it was time to start writing again.

Thinking back on why I got rid of my blog in the first place, I figured it was because I was so mentally down because of my injury.  There was no running, cycling, and worse of all, no motivation.  I was a someone looking in from the outside and lost my sense of me.  It was tough.  Really tough.  For a long time, I gave up. 

After my pity party, I started up with a Functional Movement Specialist (best thing I ever did) and went back to the doctor for some tests. A MRI found a small hematoma.  What. The. Fuck.  But that wasn't the problem.  Herman (yes, I named my hematoma) would eventually re-absorb itself into the body (puke).  What the big debate was if my pain was due to the SI Joint or QL muscle.  Come to find out it is the QL muscle because my core is weak as a feeble kitten. After a lot of core work and learning the proper way to lift, move, etc., I am back to running. 

excited animated GIF

It has been a really slow and careful process -- and when I say slow...I mean...S L O W.  Several times I had to constantly remind myself that I've been out of the game for 9 months.  My base runs were anywhere from 20-30 minutes and moved up to 45.  Long runs were about an hour to 1.5 for a long time.  No speed work at all.  When I was able to run 10 miles and not be crippled the next day, I realized that I just might be able to do another marathon this season. Just needed to get some time on my feet and see how the back would hold up. So far, so good. 

Next week our marathon training begins and I am not going to lie that I am nervous.  My mileage will be going up and speed work will be introduced.  Shit.  It just got real.