Tuesday, February 23, 2016

When life gets in the way

I knew it had been awhile since I last posted, but I had no idea it had been over six months. To say things have changed a lot during that time would be an understatement, at the very least. Training for my marathons went really, but about a week or so before the Fox Valley Marathon my dad became critically ill following a surgery to repair a fracture in his back. Life then became a haze of taking care of the kids and trying to work when I could, in between spending time at the hospital. Honestly, I was so worn out that I debated running FVM. But I knew he would want me to follow through, and luckily he was doing a tiny bit better that weekend. I shared all 26.2 miles with my amazing friend Christine, and my dad was on my heart every step of the day. That afternoon I presented my dad with a marathon medal of his own, and it hung in his room in the ICU.

Unfortunately, the day after the marathon it became apparent that my dad sadly wasn't going to pull through this battle. He fought so hard, but his body just couldn't take it anymore. On Friday, September 25 my dad passed away, surrounded by family. It still hurts my heart to even type that.

What followed afterwards was a flurry of services, traveling to North Carolina for his burial, and trying to figure out how we were all going to go on. Running during this time became my therapy; my time where I could process the grief a tiny bit and find some sort of peace. I decided to follow through with running the Chicago Marathon, and dedicated my medal to my dad. 

Surprisingly enough, it was probably my best marathon performance to date. I actually PR'd at FVM by 7+ minutes, and was just about 3 minutes slower than that for Chicago. I ran the whole time with a wonderful woman who is one of my sorority sisters, and Christine jumped in with us for miles 21-25. Even though my foot was pretty jacked up when I finished, it will go down as my best run so far.

Life post-marathon has truly been a blur. I ran one final half marathon in November (Naperville Half Marathon - loved it!), but since then my running and exercising had to take a back seat for a couple of months. We helped my mom get settled in a townhome right across the street from us, celebrated the holidays (that was a tough stretch), and hoped that 2016 would be a better year. Unfortunately that hasn't been the case.

Since late December my mom has been in terrible pain in her back and legs. She's had cortisone shots, a kyphoplasty procedure, chiropractic work, and the pain just escalated. After the electric shock sensation became unbearable, my brother convinced her to go to the ER. This was back on Super Bowl Sunday, three weeks ago. Finally a neurosurgeon was able to show us exactly where her nerves were being smashed by her back. An extensive surgery was planned for her, and she should have had that over two weeks ago. However, through some pre-op testing they discovered that my mom also had pericarditis. It's a minor issue on its own, but if surgery had occurred it could have been very dangerous.

So now we are in a holding pattern, praying that they might be able to operate on Friday or Monday. The reason I wrote about all of this is to show that there are times when life truly gets in the way when you're trying to reach your goals. I'm still running, sometimes around 9 miles a week...sometimes I'm lucky to get in 3 miles total. Between not running as much and having to eat on the go so often, my weight is not where I'd like it to be. I managed to make it through marathon season without gaining, but sadly that hasn't been the case the last two months. 

When I have a chance to go to the gym (by the way, we joined Planet Fitness and I LOVE it!), I'm trying to focus on cross-training and weights. My eating has been about as far from clean eating as you can get, so I'm trying to focus on making at least one or two changes each day. So if that means I eat a handful of chocolate chips instead of a Nutty Bar, I'm counting that as a win. Trying to keep everything else afloat only leaves so much space in my brain to make decisions, so yes...I'm sometimes picking the easy choice over the healthy choice. I know this too shall pass, and I'll be able to get back on that horse when I can.


  1. Just remember every minute is a new minute to get back on track. Just do the best you can do. It is so hard with parents being ill. I completely understand.