Races

2012

Coverdell Dash – Mar 3 2012 5K – Laurel

Hero Run – Oct 6, 2012 Half Marathon – Laurel

2013

Nippy Niner Trail Run Feb 3, 2013, competitive 15K – Laurel

Our Lady of the Snows Way of Lights Run Jan 5, 2013, competitive 5K – Laurel and Collena

Gateway Pet Guardians 5k-9 – Mar 30, 2013,  – Laurel http://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/event?oeidk=a07e6sbj46o6a94d4d2&llr=k888sucab

June 3, 2013 – MS 50 Mile Walk Challenge

7183_10201293063836400_1437832475_n

I’m happy to say I’ve completed my 50 miles in support of the Multiple Sclerosis Society.  It was cold and rainy for two days and the final day was overcast and a little cold.  Welcome to Midwest weather!  This was a wonderful experience and I’m glad I was able to participate.   For more of my MS walking experience please visit the home page.

May 30, 2013

Preparing for my MS walk and of course nothing can go easy.  Tired and packing I realize the weather in St. Louis isn’t going to be great this weekend.  Out of everything I have ready to go I didn’t have a rain poncho.  Decided to go down to the local Wal-Mart and purchase one.

The tornado sirens go off and I’m stuck in the car because Wal-Mart is on lock-down.  Sigh.  Finally, the sirens stop and in I go.  Acquired said poncho, some G2 Gels, a gel shot (no alcohol) and some protein bars.  Annoyed.  Finally, left Wal-Mart.

Blogging, when I should be packing.  Cat tearing up furniture.  Whatever.

Going to throw some clothes in the dryer.

May 29, 2013

I just received an email from the St. Louis Multiple Sclerosis Society finalizing those last-minute informational tasks before the walk begins Friday morning.  We will be starting and staying at Washington University, of which I’m not familiar with at all.  They have attached a map with locations for parking and where we will be bunking for the next two evenings.

Today I will pick up my packet and my room key.  I’m beginning to sense a bit of deja vu.  You would think I would be more concerned with the walk, but let’s be honest, I’m fretting staying in a college dorm, with a roommate I haven’t met, and yes friends…. the bathroom is down the hall.  Sigh….been there done that folks.  In college and in the Army.

Let’s compare:

1.  Long grueling walk – (without rucksack of course) – check

2.  Sleeping in a unfamiliar area and sharing the facilities – (at least I’m not on fire or cleaning detail) – check check

3.  Individuals yelling at you from the sidelines – (this will be positive reinforcement I’m sure) – unlike this reinforcement:  checkity check check

Drill Sgt

Like I said been there – done that.

5:00 PM

Picked up my bib…#109

MS Laurel1

May 21, 2013

Or lack there of….  I am undisciplined at times.  This appears to be the case with my walking “training” in preparation for the 50 Mile Challenge.  Every time I decide to walk, I end up jogging, running, skipping or whatever.  All I know it isn’t walking.  I am coming clean.  I am a USDA grade A walking failure.  No, that’s not me in the photo…and no, I don’t know why the gentleman on the left isn’t wearing shoes in the snow.

????

There are only a couple of weeks left before I go on this adventure.  What do I plan to do to rectify this behavior you ask?  Nothing…nada…zero.  I’m going stone cold walking.  I figure this will be one of the many life lessons I will have to learn.

There are many kinds of failure in this world.

Like a really bad tattoo.  Something tells me this ended the “best friend status”.  No, that’s not me or my best friend.

tattoofailure

Ready or not I’ll be there with bells on.  Hopefully, I won’t end up like this poor lass…

Walking Dead

…she appears somewhat dehydrated.

May 10, 2013

For those of you who are “old enough” did you ever order something out of the newspaper?  You know what I mean…like the x-ray spy glasses?  Who the heck doesn’t want x-ray eyewear!  Com’on.  I want x-ray eyewear!  I’m not sure if I ever ordered the x-ray glasses when I was a kid, but I’m sure it was something close.

I’ve been very interested in chronicling my 50 Mile MS Challenge walk activities through video.  So, I came across this item called the MeCam.  A small mini camera that you pin to your clothes that videos and takes pictures!  Can you say espionage?  I couldn’t wait till this thing came in!  It was just like being a kid again.  I’m going to video everything, oh yeah!  All my runs, the times when I fall on the trails, etc., etc…Hell I might even tell the doctor to video my next impending knee surgery….hmmm ok, sorry getting off topic.

So,  I have received the MeCam (choir of angels sing in the background).  You would have thought God himself delivered this item straight to my door.    It comes in five different colors and 4, 8, 16 GB and price is 49 – 80 dollars.  My motto is go big or stay at the house, so of course I got the 16 GB in a green casing.

MECAM

All in all not a bad product.  The video/sound and picture quality are very good.  I took the recent cover photo on the blog with the MeCam.  It is very easy to operate and all of your videos and pictures will load through USB to your preferred picture program.

I tested the video on last weeks walk.  The video was crisp but I was bouncing around too much.  It’s not fluid and you would have to be fairly steady to get a good feed.  That’s the major downside.  I was able to capture a lot of people mowing there lawns, but the camera was all over the place.  Maybe I should practice walking with a teacup on my head.  Even though I’m glad I got it and I think it will serve its purpose.  Stay tuned for more.

April 28, 2013

This is why I run, walk, and bike.

Getting closer to the MS 50 Mile Challenge Walk here in St. Louis, MO.  I asked my friend Jen Mason, who has Multiple Sclerosis, if she wouldn’t mind blogging about her experience and share with others.  I’m still $400.00 short of my goal, so if you would like to sponsor me, please go to this link:

http://main.nationalmssociety.org/site/TR/Challenge/MOSChallengeWalkEvents?px=11943326&pg=personal&fr_id=19466

Enjoy and keep on moving….

Jen & Greta. MS 50 Mile Walk. Individuals that wore orange shirts have MS.

A few weeks ago my dear friend, Laurel, contacted me to tell me that she heard about this walk that raises money for the National Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society.  After a few minutes I realized that she meant the 50 mile walk!!  Three days, fifty miles, closer to a cure!!  I shared with her that I had walked that walk in Baltimore, MD about 8 years ago, and it was the most rewarding personal goal I had accomplished.  Next thing I know Laurel is signed up and ready to walk and raise awareness for me and others who suffer with Multiple Sclerosis.

What is Multiple Sclerosis?

Multiple Sclerosis is a chronic, unpredictable disease of the central nervous system; the brain, optic nerves, and spinal cord. It is thought to be an autoimmune disorder. This means the immune system incorrectly attacks the person’s healthy tissue.

Hanging in there!

MS can cause blurred vision, loss of balance, poor coordination, slurred speech, tremors, numbness, extreme fatigue, problems with memory and concentration, paralysis, and blindness and more. These problems may be permanent or may come and go.

Most people are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, although individuals as young as 2 and as old as 75 have developed it. MS is not considered a fatal disease as the vast majority of people with it live a normal life-span. But they may struggle to live as productively as they desire, often facing increasing limitations.

My case started in my early teens. I began to have bad headaches, unexplained pain, some dizziness that was always diagnosed as an inner ear infection and tingling in my hands and feet.  It seemed that any issue I was having was always brushed off because nothing would last long enough for a doctor to really witness.  Doctors would always tell me that it was probably a virus or a muscle pull.  Finally, at the age of 33 I had a doctor who listened to me and didn’t think I was crazy.  She referred me to a neurologist for the headaches and the numbness, but before I could get into see him I had a slight accident at home.  I had hit my head and had to go to the ER for concussion like symptoms.  They did a CT scan to make sure there wasn’t any bleeding. I was sent home with the results that I did have a concussion and they found a lesion on my brain.  So, needless to say my neurology appointment was moved up to the next day. The neurologist reassured me that it was NOT brain cancer. That I was suffering from migraine headaches and the white lesion could have been there since I was born. The doctor sent me home with a prescription for migraine medicine and told me to follow up with him in 6 months.  Happy to hear that it was just migraines and not brain cancer this busy mom of three young kids was too busy to worry about going back to talk about my headaches.

Now three months later my husband has deployed with the Navy and I am starting to have some issues with numbness in my right leg and my vision was changing.  I had a hard time making things out that were in front of me. This lasted for three days then it was gone. Vision was fine and my leg felt normal.  I had an appointment with my PCP in a couple of weeks so I figured I would talk to her about it then.  Well, she sends me right back to the neurologist.  I explained the symptoms to him and he sends me for a MRI.  The results come back saying that I had 4 new white lesions that were active.  So in those few months I went from 1 to 5 lesions.  He orders a spinal tap, and explains that over 90% of people with MS have oligoclonal bands in their cerebrospinal fluid (CFS). While increased immunoglobulin in the CSF and oligoclonal bands are seen in many other brain and spinal cord conditions, their presence is often useful in helping to establish a diagnosis of MS.  After nine months from the first day I saw the neurologist I was diagnosed with MS.  Unfortunately, there is not a simple test to see if someone has MS.  It’s a combination of your medical history, MRI, and spinal tap.  Some people wait years for a diagnosis.

Since being diagnosed I have had 4 very bad flare-ups, and several small flare-ups.   I have many lesions on my brain (doc stopped counting after 30). I have been on 4 different disease-modifying drugs.  The first three were in shot form that I would have to give to myself.  These drugs are not a cure for the disease!  If they are successful, these drugs could slow down the progression of the disease by as much as 33%.  Example, if you have an average of three MS flare ups in a year and the medicine works for you, it could decrease your flare ups to only two.  I am now on a new medicine that is in pill form, thank goodness, and on average can slow the disease by 51%!

Individuals that wore beige shirts walked, but don’t have MS.

Just twenty years ago these disease-modifying drugs didn’t exist.  Doctors could only treat the symptoms caused by MS.  Now there are ten disease-modifying drugs on the market. Five of those ten are new to the market in the past 7 years.

After 10 years I thank God everyday that I am still walking.  I can’t walk the 50 mile walk, but I am walking!

I will never be able to thank you enough, Laurel, for raising awareness for my cause.  You are the definition of a forever friend!!  Oh, after your feet are feeling better and your toenails grow back, the pedicures are on me!!  I love you, Laurel!!!

Jen Mason

April 18, 2013

On the MS website there is a training plan.  It lays out how many miles you should be walking to gear up for the 50 mile walk.  This is how it’s all going down; 18 miles the first day; 22 miles the second day; and 12 miles the last.

Now I’ll admit when I saw the flyer in Toolen’s Running Start, I yanked it out of its hold and said awwwww yeah I’m so going to do this!  No problems!  Bam!  I was so excited I told Jen right away.  “Guess what Jen, I’m walking 50 miles”, pant – pant – I haven’t even started, pant – pant – it’s so awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  She smiles and says well you know we trained for it – hmmmm.  Of course, there is training involved, I said, of course, like – of course.

Gaits

I run.  I walk – a little.  I realize walking is different from running.  So this weekend I’m starting off by walking 10 instead of running.  How hard can it be, we shall see.  Something tells me there is going to be a lot of “suck-it-up cupcake” involved.

I found this article, Walking vs. Running, Why These Gaits Are Not The Same,  by Dr. Phil Maffetone.  Enjoy, and walk on.

http://naturalrunningcenter.com/2012/06/21/walking-vs-running-gaits/

April 16, 2013 – My opening salvo

Lifetime…

I’m excited to announce that I will be participating in the MS 50 Mile Challenge Walk in St. Louis 31 May – 2 June.  I’ve decided to do this in honor of my friend Jen Mason, who I’ve known for almost 7 years and who also has Multiple Sclerosis.

Jen was one of the first people I met when my family moved to Belleville, Il and we have been friends ever since.  There are people who come into your life for a reason, season or a lifetime.  Jen is definitely a lifetime.  Notice I didn’t say lifetime friend, just lifetime.  That’s what she is, a lifetime.  A lifetime of happiness, love, courage and strength.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen her without a smile on her face.  We could have a conversation and not see each other for months and when we saw each other again it was like we never parted.

Lifetime.

What she doesn’t realize is I think about her often, (not creepy often, Jen – lol).  I think about her sickness, her strength, and her trials her sickness brings.  How does she feel today?  Is her medicine working?  Does she have fear?  Where does she get her strength?  I like to think about it.  It makes me appreciate what I have; it makes me humble.

Lifetime.

It makes me happy to see that strength.  Such kindness, such love, such grace.  I am blessed, for a lifetime.

If you are interested in supporting me – my donation page is at this link:

http://main.nationalmssociety.org/site/TR/Challenge/MOSChallengeWalkEvents?px=11943326&pg=personal&fr_id=19466

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