Tuesday, December 11, 2018

The Reality of Alzheimer's - A Daughter's Take

My parents came down for Thanksgiving this year. These times with them are special to me, and I'll be honest, I was not the ideal daughter this trip. I was overwhelmed by my Dad's Alzheimer's. Can I be really honest and say that I am ashamed to admit that?

The intelligent, article reading, finding all the facts part of me knows that my Dad will never be my Dad again. He was lost a few years ago when the diagnosis was made. Sure, he looks like my Dad, still kind of acts like my Dad, but he's not my Dad. He's the shell of my Dad. The emotional, self-proclaimed Daddy's girl is having a hard time coming to grips with this reality.

To see the confusion in his eyes and frustration quickly replace it was hard.

To hear him ask if this is where he lives now and ask what happened to their house was hard.

To see this disease weave in and out throughout each day was hard.

But you know what else was hard? To see the toll it takes on my Mom. She is his 24/7 caregiver and it's wearing on her. I know I was getting irritated when she would respond in a not so nice tone, or take her frustration out on me (and maybe I did the same), but at the end of the day, I cannot imagine what this is like for her. The man she married almost 57 years ago is not that same man.

And you know what else was hard? To see my kids handle it better than I did. They rolled with it while I crumbled. We went to the movies and my dude was there for my Dad every step of the way while I was stifling an anxiety attack.

This disease is more than forgetfulness and it affects more than just the patient. It ripples throughout the family like a boulder being thrown into one of those picturesque ponds. Everyone handles it differently, and I thought in my heart of hearts I handled it well before this trip. I thought I was one of the strong ones because I did the research, I studied up on the facts, but in reality, I'm a coward that does not want to face the reality. I have my head buried in the sand, and that sometimes feels like it's burying my head a little deeper with each conversation.

I wish I was stronger. I wish I could do more. I wish I was a better daughter on this trip. I wish a lot of things really. I wish my Mom had the man she fell in love with to grow old with without this disease. I wish he could have his memories. But most of all I wish nobody else has to go through this. I wish we had a cure or hope for a cure.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Look Who's Back...Back Again

It's been a while...a year and four months to be exact. A lot has happened in the time, I'll save you the details, but in short, we bought a house (and survived), I changed jobs (and love it), Scott was promoted (I think? I can't remember), the kids turned 10, I ran two more marathons, a few more half marathons, and I do not want to admit how many pairs of running shoes I've gone through.

I've lost myself, I've found myself, maybe I lost myself again, and maybe I'm working to find myself. I realized I missed writing for fun. I write on a daily basis for work, but let's be real, it's boring and gray. (Is it gray or grey? I flip flop between the two)

I want to start writing again. I want to document my life, my struggles, my triumphs, my "you won't believe what the hell just happened to me" moments. I'm happy to be back...now grab some coffee and let's start chatting again, I've missed you.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

I Just Felt Like Runnin': 200 Days Streaking

I did it. I completed my run streak. Going into this challenge I was hoping to make it 100 days because let's be honest, life gets in the way, a lot. I learned so much about myself during these past 200 days and it is hard to believe this challenge is done.


In 200 days I...

  • Have run 611.24 miles
  • Have wanted to quit more times that I want to admit
  • Have said the phrase "It's only 11 minutes, you can do 11 minutes" every time I wanted to give up
  • Have blown through 2, almost 3 pairs of running shoes
  • Have pushed my own limits and learned when it was enough
  • Still love running
A huge shout out to everyone who has supported me throughout this and put up with my constant #runstreak posts. Now I'm ready to focus on Chicago and push through to Goofy.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

In a Corral Far Far Away - Star Wars Dark Side Half Marathon

I mean this race only happened on April 23rd and I'm just now writing about it...yikes!

I normally do not run long distance races at this point in the year because a) it's hot b) it's humid and c) it's hot and humid. However, this year the half fell on my birthday  so I had to have the bling. I had to!

My sister met up with me for the race and we hit the expo on Saturday, which is the last day. I have never gone to the expo this late and was shocked at how empty it was. Y'all, it was so empty that I was basically making rapid purchases to the point that my bank froze my account. Whoops!

We spent the afternoon at Magic Kingdom and got our carb on over at Tony's, which tends to be our go to carb loading place.

I have to admit, we are pretty friggin' adorable.

Race morning came and the humidity hit me when I opened the door. I was super pumped....or whatever.  The cool thing with this race was that one of my run the year teams was racing.

Plus, this would be the first half marathon Tanya and I would run together. We make a pretty good running duo. Coincidentally we also make a kick ass wine drinking duo.

The humidity sucked from the word go and I know at one point I looked over at Tanya and said "Don't ever let me sign up for this race again." Now Tanya runs at lunch time when it is 90+ degrees with 100% humidity so she was just trucking along and I was like....

I was struggling around the 7 mile mark. It was gross outside, I started to cramp and I was just done, unless there was a camera, then I was all...

I sent Tanya ahead once we hit World Showcase. I knew she would kill it and I knew I was holding her back. I kissed my goal of 2:30 goodbye and settled on as close as possible to my previous PR (2:37). I came in at 2:40 and all I wanted was that damn cheese and chips from the snack box and my medal. 

Seriously, this photo encompasses my entire experience. And do we walk to talk about salt in an open wound for a second???? The medal didn't even have the date on it! That was the whole reason I ran the race was to have a medal with my birthday on it!

Overall the race was hot, humid and gross, but if it was in a cooler month I would totally run it every year. I love Star Wars and to see the characters on the course was pretty fantastic. 

Thanks to my team rum mates and my seeeester for making it a birthday to remember!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Therapy Running

This past year has been, by far, the most challenging year I have had as a wife, mother, and well, quite frankly, as a human being. I'm not even being a little dramatic, this past year just killed me mentally.

I honestly don't know how I coped with things prior to running because this past year that's the only way I coped. I cannot tell you how many miles ended in tears, moments of satisfaction or just moments that told me it was going to be okay.

A couple weeks ago I laced up my shoes after quite possibly one of the worst mornings of my life. I had to run it out. I had to get myself in a zone that focused on nothing but getting from point A to point B. I pushed myself, hard. And surprisingly, when my run was done, the worst morning of my life was the best day of my life. The hardship was behind me. The frustration was gone.

Find whatever it is that will give you that release, because to have that moment of bliss after pure shit is one of the best moments in the world.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Princess Weekend 2017 - 10k and Half

So it's been a while since the race...a long while...I know....

Here's a quick photo recap and some thoughts on the races.

For the past couple of years we have kept with our Alice in Wonderland theme. Lorren and I typically run this race together and usually at some point she curses me out. 

We had our own cheering section on the Boardwalk this year. The whole crew came down in their jammies to cheer us on. I cannot tell you how many friends of mine that were running the race said they saw my crew. 

It was a good race, we pushed but not too hard since the half would be the following morning. 

Now onto the half! For the past few years there has been a group of guys that run dressed as princesses. They are total studs and we have had our eyes set on finding them and taking a photo with them. I knew they were going to be in my corral so I would be able to sneak a photo, but they were hanging near the front when we first arrived. Lorren and I jumped at the chance to score a photo with our favorite, Jasman. 

I knew it was gonna be a good race.

The race started a little late because traffic was awful, but when it did, I was good to go. I took off nice and steady and kept the same pace for the first 10k of the race. 

Then it was game on. For the last half of the race I kicked it into high gear and pushed. I had a goal and I wanted to hit it. I wanted to be under 2:40 and my ultimate goal is 2:30. I came in at 2:37 and change. It was huge!

Best part of hitting your goal? Having those you love at the finish! Scott met me to give me my medals and my parents and kiddos were there too. After Lorren and Cathy finished we all had our celebratory beers. 

This is the first time my Dad was at the race and I loved having him there. Even though he was a little peeved about the shirt we picked out, I adore this photo. 

Next up is Star Wars this weekend. If you follow me on my Facebook page check in for photo updates! 

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Princess Weekend 2017 - Expo & 5k

Ah Princess weekend. The weekend where my sister, niece and I descend upon WDW for a weekend of running, popcorn, and shenanigans. This year my parents joined in on the fun and my brother happened to be there as well for a golf trip. 

Day 1 of our journey happened to coincide with Cathy's birthday. To celebrate we enjoyed some southern fried goodness and hummingbird cake at Art Smith's Homecoming in Disney Springs. The food here is beyond delicious and I am still slightly traumatized by the speed in which my niece consumed deviled eggs. 

After dinner us girls headed to the expo to pick up our packets and shop (naturally). This is the latest we have ever gone to expo and it was fabulous. There was nobody there. We literally walked right up to everything. 

We didn't even wait to take our picture with the sign. Whaaaat???? The three of us are perfect glass slipper by the way, just in case you wanted to know that fun fact.

The theme this year was Beauty and the Beast so naturally Lorren and I had to snag this pic....

To tell you how empty the expo was, we were able to get a photo with Rapunzel...

...and the rose from Beauty and the Beast...

It was early to bed though because we had the 5k the next morning, but that didn't stop Lorren from challenging me to a plank off...

Guess who won? Hint: not Lorren.

The 5k is a favorite for us because it is just really chill (not timed at all) and we just walk and have fun.

We also wear our Peggy Sue shirts for this race. If you have been with RunDisney for a while you know all about her. She was our favorite spectator and it is just not the same without seeing her on the course. 

After the race we met up with everyone for breakfast. I was even able to snag a rare photo of this guy smirking.

I cannot even begin to tell you how much it meant to have my Dad there for race weekend. The three of us have been raising money for Alzheimer's research in honor of him and it just means so much to have him there. 

I'll have more posts covering the other races in the coming days. 

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