Archive for March, 2013

Barcelona Marathon Success!

Barcelona Marathon Success!

I just got back from my mega trip to run the Barcelona marathon! I’m very proud to say that thanks to you guys, I raised $555 for autoimmune disease research and awareness (http://www.razoo.com/story/Barcelona-Or-Bust-Running-For-Autoimmune-Diseases). That’s $55 more than my goal!!!

I’m also proud to say I MADE IT! I’m not going to lie. It was very hard. My body was aching, my feet were screaming, my legs were shaking and my time wasn’t great, but this pic is me crossing the finish line! 🙂

Here’s my breakdown (obviously, I was slowing down at the end):
10 km time: 01:02:39
1/2 Marathon time: 02:17:40
30 km time: 03:23:27
42 km time: 04:54:30

I’m not sure there’s another marathon in my future, but I am so proud of this one. I’m also happy to report that my body recovered quickly. I was able to go see a FCBarcelona football game that night, do yoga the next day, and thoroughly enjoy the rest of my trip (more on that in another post).

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When Chilly Isn’t Just Cold

I have been meaning to write a post about Raynaud’s Phenomenon and Chillblains for some time. So why not today while I’m watching snow fall peacefully and thinking, that won’t be good for my toes.

First off, for those of you that don’t know, Raynaud’s is a circulation condition in which cold temperatures or strong emotions cause blood vessel spasms that block blood flow to the fingers, toes, ears, and nose. Meanwhile, Chillblains is a tissue condition that occurs with cold exposure, causing redness, blisters, pain, inflammation and itching.

For me, what this actually means is that I have struggled with cold hands and feet from poor circulation my whole life. When I hit puberty, this translated into my hands and feet occasionally (usually at really inopportune times, because Raynaud’s can be associated with emotion) turning really spectacular shades of blue, red and purple. In my late 20’s, the most common symptom is losing all blood flow to my hands and feet when they’re extremely cold or in high altitude. This causes them to go white and numb.

Then, this year rolls around and my toes are now prone to the really painful, unattractive blisters associated with Chillblains after cold exposure. Fun!

I’m only writing about this because it took me forever to diagnose these two problems. When I first got Chillblains, I thought I’d had a run-in with a troop of vicious spiders that had bit up my toes.

Now, unfortunately, the only treatment I’ve been prescribed is avoiding cold (Ha! Who are we kidding? I ski and snowboard… and I’m training for a marathon in the winter). Other tips include warming your extremities slowly when you come in from the cold (much like frostbite). I’ve also found putting witch hazel on my toes twice a day helps a little.

Though my doc says these are two separate issues from Rheumatoid Arthritis, I’m not convinced it’s unrelated. I am curious how many of you autoimmuners out there also suffer from circulation issues? If so, any tips?

AND, in case you didn’t see my last post, please consider donating to help me reach my goal of raising $500 for autoimmune disease research and running my first marathon! I’m only $200 away!
Donate Now

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Barcelona or Bust: I’m raising money for autoimmune disease research

We did the Vegas half marathon in 2011, and now we’re going to run the Barcelona full to raise money for autoimmune disease awareness & research. Care to donate to our cause?

For some reason, I really struggled with the concept of asking people to donate money for a cause I care about.

Why? Because it makes me feel extremely vulnerable. Because only a handful of people know that I have RA. Because asking for money makes me feel obnoxious.

But, I put all that aside and decided to set up a donation page to give my marathon a purpose: raise money for autoimmune disease research.

I chose to donate the money to the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association, because they are not focused on just one autoimmune disease. Since these crazy, mysterious diseases seem so connected, this appealed to me.

I know you all already do your part by raising awareness of autoimmune diseases, but please consider donating if you can:

http://www.razoo.com/story/Barcelona-Or-Bust-Running-For-Autoimmune-Diseases

P.S. Have you told everyone in your life about your disease or are you keeping it a secret? As I’m weighing the pros and cons of sharing the donate link on Facebook, I’m wondering how other people have handled this…

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Mindfulness & Breathing

Yoga instructor and cancer/depression survivor Shannon Paige talks about how yoga, breath work and volunteering helped pull her out of her darkest days.

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Living With RA

Living With RA

This article does a really good job of talking about rheumatoid arthritis from a patient’s perspective. This is a complex disease that effects much more than the joints and is different from osteoarthritis. I especially identified with the constant patient struggle of whether or not to put on a happy face or share your pains. It’s truly a constant struggle with no clear answer.

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