Tuesday, May 22, 2012
We left Friday morning and drove to Cleveland arriving around 3 in the afternoon. It was my first time in Cleveland and I really liked the city. We stayed at the Renaissance Hotel which is right downtown within easy distance to restaurants and all attractions. We saw a baseball game on Saturday afternoon and went to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Sunday afternoon. We even went to the new Casino. In short we had a good time, in a very nice city.
Now for the race... which was, after all, the reason for the visit. My sciatica was painful throughout the time unless I took an Advil, and even then it wasn't normal. On Saturday we went to the exhibition to pick up our bids and packages. I knew there was no way I could do the half marathon, so I decided to pay $20 to change to the 10 km, although I really doubted I could do even that.
The next morning I was in a lot of pain and took a pill before leaving. When we got there I had to stand around for a bit and then go down quite a few stairs to get to the start. As I was going down I was in such excrusiating pain and I thought "This is nuts... I can barely go down a step how can I walk 10 km???? That's like 15000 steps!"
I said as much to my friend who had encouraged me to give it a try, but now could see by my face that I was in pain, so she basically told me to do what I thought was best. She went to her start for the 1/2 marathon and I stayed where the 10km people were. I started stepping in place trying to work my hip. Finally I decided to just try it. I figured if the pay was so bad in the first km or so, I could drop out and go back to the hotel.
So off we went. The funny thing is, almost the moment we started, my hip felt better. The longer I went and the quicker I walked, the more the pain disappeared and all I felt was a circle of numbness where the pain had been. I had my music on and was feeling fine. At around 5 km, I looked at my Garmin and my time was really good, my pace was around 8:38 which is pretty darn good even without an injury. I started to think I should never have changed from the 1/2 marathon. Around 7km a dull pain started and it got worst from then on. At 9km I just wanted to get to the end. I finally did finish. Not my best 10km time, but not my worst either. I finished at 1:27.
I like the race, but was disappointed when, at the end, we didn't get any kind of token for finishing the 10 km. The day before, there had been a 5 km race. We walked down that way to do our final 3km training walk and saw some of the participants coming back with medals... so I thought the 10 k would get something. I mean, I didn't need a medal, but just something that I would have to commemmorate the event. It really was not right to give nothing. And then, to boot... I went to the race results on line. We found Linda's 1/2 marathon results, but when we clicked on the 10km results, there was no info....
I know this may sound shallow... but I am disappointed... firstly that I didn't do the 1/2 marathon and secondly that I have nothing to mark the 10 km I did do.
After finishing, I decided to stay and watch the others coming in and wait for my friend. I thought I was near the end of the 10km... but far from it. People where coming in more than an hour after me. The 1/2 marathon runners were coming in and also the first of the full marathoners. The man who came in first did the 26.2 miles (42.2 km) in something like 2 hrs and 20 mins.... or so... isn't that amazing?!
After my friend finished, we went to the hotel, showered, ate lunch and then returned to go to the Rock and Roll hall of fame. We go to the marathon site at 2 pm and there were still people coming in from the full marathon... 7 hours after the start. These were not seasoned marathoners... but mostly first timers. It was so inspirational watching those ordinary people finish something very few people in the world have done. I actually got a teary watching an older gentleman... over 70 for sure.... in obvious pain cross the finish line. And then there were 2 sisters crossing together holding hands, and a mother and daughter, and several other ordinary inspirational people
Linda and I discussed not doing any more 1/2 marathons due to the large amount of time committment required to do the training. You really do have to dedicate at least 4 months of serious, consistent training. But I really do want to do at least one more, so well see.
We are regisitered for 2 more races now. A 10 miler (16 km) in August and a 5 km night race in Sept. And then if the training goes well and all else is good, I'd like to do the Lakefront race again. It was the first one I did and the 2nd time it was my personal best time. I've put together a good training schedule but again, it is a big time committment... so we'll see.
For now... I did the 10 km. And although I'm a bit disappointed, I have to be happy that I, as a 57 year, overweight woman with an injury, finished a 10 km race in not bad time. Can't be disappointed in that can I?
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
I can not believe this... after all the training I've been doing I was ready to do the 1/2 marathon this coming Sunday. Last Saturday I was doing and easy 6 km distant... left home, felt great and then about 10 mins into my walk I started lo get this really bad pain in the left side butt cheek. I decided to try and walk it out and continued on but by the 1/2 way mark I was in real pain. I could bearly walk. I rested a bit and then went off home. I really had to push to get home because the pain was so bad.
Sunday the pain was just as bad. We went out for Mother's day brunch and my sister gave me an ibprofen pill which helped ease the pain a bit, but later in the day it was back. On Monday I went to a clinic near home and the doctor there diagnosed a pinched sciatica nerve. Basically there is little that can be done. He said I could go to my regular doctor and get referred to a physiotherapist, but in the meanwhile, I should take Advil, do these stretches and rest. Really it needs time.
Now I don't know what to do on sunday. I am going because I've committed to my friend, we've paid for the registration, for the hotel, etc but I doubt I will be able to do 21.1 km. I couldn't do my scheduled 6 km on Sunday. today I had a 10 km to do. The pain was bad, but I'm trying to not take the pills all the time. I decided I'd try walking 5 km to my bridge class. Well i got less than 1 km and had to turn back and drive.
Tomorrow I'm going to try again, but take the pills first. I'll see how it goes. If I can, I will switch from the 1/2 marathon to the 10 km event.... if I think I can do that... if not, I'll just wait in the hotel until my friend finishes.
I am so disappointed. This si the first time we decided to go out of town for a race and it's only a 5 hour drive away, but we were quite excited about it. We had planned to see a baseball game and go to the rock and roll hall of fame! I guess we can still do that... I just hope I can do the event, even if it's only the 10 km
Thursday, May 03, 2012
Trying to deal with my mom's illness is like battling with an invisible ghost. You know it's there, but you can't see it or tackle it... not that I've ever battled with a ghost, mind you.
Yesterday was another not so great day. The really horrible part is that my mom's alzheimers is still relatively mild to moderate. That means she's aware of what's going on but she can't control it. And I love her, I really do, but sometimes I don't know if her behaviour is all due to her illness or whether the illness has just magnified her natural selfish, stubborn self?
I know, I know... what a horrible person am I!? But it's so hard. She complains constantly. She is always in need of something. I mean, she just has to mention something and it's done, it's bought, it's fixed, but there is always something else that needs looking after. And when she can't find something new, she starts over with an old item. Yesterday it was her humidifier. Now she's been complaining for months on and off. And since it's still cold, her furnace is still on. We've had at least 3 people to look at it since January and all tell us, it's fine, no problem. I don't even have a humidifer on my furnace and I don't notice a problem. But she does. Can't sleep, throat dry and raw, etc. Doctor looked at her and no health issue, so she's determined it's the humidifier.
Yesterday she started again. She wanted my b-in-l to take a look, but honestly, he works and has all kinds of other committments so my sister told her he was busy. (he already looked at it once and had a friend who's a furnace guy take a look.) So she called me all upset. I went over and what do I know about humidifers? Absolutely nothing. It looked find to me. It's not very old, maybe 5 - 6 years. So I called the heating company who agreed to send someone to take a look but it's $100 just for looking and then whatever else. I put her on a maintenance contract for her furnace which was new last year, but not the humidifier. So, I say ok, as long as someone comes and my mom is satisfied.
He came and in the end it was $178 to learn, it was working fine. In fact the guy said, before even walking into the house that did we know that we don't use humidifers in the warmer weather. I told him yes I knew but could he just humour us... ok, did we know there'd be a charge? Yes I knew.
As I wrote out the cheque to him, I just experienced this wave of hopelessness. I didn't know what to do because for my mom, this didn't resolve anything. In her mind that thing is still not working and I know that in a week, or a month, she'll be back at me about it. It's just so hopeless, I started crying. I was so embarassed in front of the repair guy. He felt bad too. when he left I really started bawling. then my mom got all upset... I mean she knows but she says she can't help herself... whatever it is is stronger than her.
Sometimes I think she has so many needs because she's lonely or just a little frightened to be on her own. But I've offered to sell my place and move in with her for as long as she is at home. Or that she sell her place and move in with me although this isn't a great idea because my townhouse is 4 story with lots of stairs. But in the end she refuses all offers. I even offered going over to stay with her a couple of nights a week, again, no go. In her mind she says she doesn't want to have me tied down to taking care of her. and it doesn't matter when I tell her it's worst, not knowing when she'll call or what's happening, etc. But you can't reason with her. But I got her to agree yesterday that we can't have two homes. I just can't deal with it.
On Monday we have a social worker coming and we're going to complete an application for long term care for her. We (my sister, mom and I) decided that we should do this now, because there is a 2 year waiting list for the better facilities and the way mom's going I doubt we've got two more years.
I hate this. I've done everything within my power to delay this inevitable outcome. But it's time. And that is worst than anything. For the longest time I kept thinking I could deal with it. I address all setbacks as problems that needed to be solved. That's what I've always done... I solve problems. But this is one problem I can't solve... there is no solution. No matter how hard I try this will never get better or at least stay the same.
It is an invisible ghost that only gets stronger and causes more damage the harder I try to fight it. I know I'm not a failure... but I feel like one... and worst I feel like an unnatural daughter... who is filled with self pity. I feel sorry for myself for having to live this life and I feel like I should feel more for my mom. I do feel for my mom, but she can't feel for me. It seems like she only recognizes her own needs, wants... it's the illness right?
Saturday, February 11, 2012
Despite the re-starting WW's, things haven't been doing to well. Things were pretty good over Christmas and in early January, but then they started to come apart again.
The truth is things are not going very well with my mom. She was diagnosed with Alzheimer's a few years ago. Over time, her syptoms have been progressing gradually. She has had difficulty accepting the diagnosis. She's on medication (Exelon - the only thing that she could tolerate) and she wasn't happy about taking it having been told that if she didn't have the disease, it would cause her to acquire it. It's hard to reason with this logic. She pestered her Geriatric doctor regularly for some kind of test that will confirm the diagnosis. There aren't really any that are 100% accurat, but she was so insistent, that he suggested Nuculear Brain Scan. So, despite my misgivings, we did the scan in early Jan. A couple of weeks ago we got the results. The scan did show shrinking in the right frontal lobe. Apparently this is evidence of the disease.
Since getting these results, my mom has gotten worst. This was why I didn't want her to have the scan in the first place. She is now obsessed with her condition. I tried to tell her these results didn't tell us anything that we didn't already know... but I guess before it was uncertain and so there was hope. She honestly thought the scan would show everything was normal. Wish I'd never agreed to let her have that dumb scan.
So, I don't know if the worstening condition is normal or if it's due to her obsessing. Certainly her cognitive abilities have gotten worst since the results. This means she is always in some crisis mode or other. I'm her primary resource. She lives alone but I get calls regularly because something is wrong either with the house or with herself. I'm reluctant to be too far from home in case she needs me. We put her into a senior program for 2 days a week which she use to enjoy, but this past week I had to cancel both days because she hasn't been sleeping and has had bad migraines.
I know there are people who are dealing with things worst than this and I often think I'm just feeling sorry for myself, but I'm not coping well. I've become a couch potato... it's really horrible. I mean I used Crazygymgirl as my nickname here because I loved going to the gym. For me, the worst is that I can't control this. It seems that no matter what I do, how much I do... nothing seems to make things better. It's hard for me to accept that.
I feel horrible for my mom. She is only 76 years old. I want her to be in her home where she is happy - at least as happy as she can be these days.
I can't seem to find a balance, at least for any length of time. Everytime I get myself psyched and think I've got things under control, something will happen, like last Monday when i had to take mom to the Emergency or she'll have an accident or she won't be able to deal with some minor thing around the house, and then I go backwards.
What I need is to take these things in stride, to accept that i'm not going to be able to make things right again, to do my best, to accept that something may happen when I won't be around to deal with it, like a coupel of weeks ago when I was at the theatre and my mom fell. My sister took her to the hospital but she needed me re: her meds and my cell phone was off in the theatre. so I felt so guilty. I think I can deal with my own health at any time, but my mom only has a limited future...
I've registered for a 1/2 marathon in May. It's out of town so that my friend and I will have to travel, book hotels, etc. This means that I can't just back down easily. Sometimes I think I'm being selfish, sometimes I just think I'm feeling sorry for myself and to suck it up, accept that this is what my life is right now and deal with it.
Monday, November 28, 2011
Thursday, after completing my first week back at Weight Watchers, I weighed in. I was expecting a good week, and it was just ok. I was down 2.8 lbs. That's pretty good, in my books, but when the rest of the people, having been on plan for many weeks, are still losing 3, 4 or more lbs per week.
But I'll take the 2.6 lbs, If only I could have that every week. I know I won't because I've never lost that quickly even when I was bigger. The trick is to keep these lbs off until I can lose more. What we don't want is to gain any of the weight back.
What I need to do is add back exercise. I've been pretty lax in that deptartment, but I know that I need to get back to the gym. Firstly, it will help work off some calories and next, it will firm up my giggly parts and rev up my metabolism. It seems that every day that I've planned to go, something else comes up. So, we'll see tomorrow.
Apparently there are some changes coming to WW's. I suspect is will be some optional things, like reduce some of your points or something, if you want to lose weight faster. I can't see them making big changes now after have overhauled the whole program only one year ago.
I still think that this program has too much food in it... but apparently some people are losing weight on it. I'll see how this week works for me. I'm staying on program, same as week 1, and so I should lose weight this week. Probably not 2.6 lbs, but maybe 1 or 1 1/2 lbs.
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