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My Parkinson's Journey

In which Terri shares a humorous look at her journey with Parkinson's disease and Dystonia:

For me, illness and health are not opposites but exist together. Everyone has something that is challenging to them. Mine just simply has a recognizable name. My life will take a different path because of this but that's okay. Everyone has changes in their lives that create their path.  I'm learning how to enjoy whatever path I'm on.

Filtering by Tag: NYC marathon

Training – Day Three: A day of rest

Terri Reinhart

Well, theoretically it was my day of rest between workouts.  I did get in a couple of short sprints, however.  The first one was getting up and taking our daughter to school, in the snow.  It wasn’t a major workout, just a short sprint.  The next one was the sprint over to check on my parents.  Once I arrived there, my pace slowed down considerably.  I think I was matching their pace pretty well.  It was also unbearably hot in their house, especially as I had dressed in several layers of clothing, mostly wool, as would any good Waldorf kindergarten teacher.  I got very hot and very sleepy. 

Once I was home, the need for rest had to be taken seriously.  I took a nap then later sat down to look at some of the details and history of the NYC Marathon.  I’m afraid I didn’t get very far.  I got sidetracked while I looked at the website belonging to Daniel’s wife, Melissa Clark.  If this name sounds familiar to you, I’m not surprised.  She is an excellent cook and writer and she puts these talents to use writing articles about food for publications such as The New York Times, Bon Appétit, Travel and Leisure,, Real Simple, and many others.  She’s written cookbooks and there are even YouTube videos featuring Melissa!  I was technically resting, but I was getting hungrier and hungrier.  We ended up going out to dinner to Patsy’s Inn, a lovely, fun, and funky Italian restaurant in Denver. 

As this is my rest day, I will not write much.  Tomorrow, I think a few more short sprints will be in order, just enough to make sure I’m in proper shape for Sunday. 

Thank you to everyone who has contributed to Daniel’s efforts so far!  And thank you to Daniel for running and to Melissa and Dahlia for always cheering him on. 



Training – Day Two

Terri Reinhart

It’s all about pacing.

Daniel doesn’t know it yet, but I read his journal on running to get tips on how to pace myself.  I figure that every day is a small marathon to me now and pacing is critical to my getting through till evening.  If I don’t do it right, I’m a little weird when it comes time to cook dinner.  My family doesn’t always appreciate the way my arm flies around the kitchen as I attempt to cut vegetables.  I need more training; I admit that.  It’s time to consult the master.  As I am also his race pacer on Sunday, it’s even more important that I understand how to train for a marathon.

Following Daniel’s training guide, I will work on the following: (The bold words are Daniel’s.  See his article titled, “You must not love the bear” at  Here is his guide, with my personal goals added in:

1.  Long tempo runs, executed with patience, toughness, and playfulness:  Daniel runs 9 miles just because they are there.  He likes to run with other people and keep up with them.  Sometimes it is good to push myself, to have a “long tempo run” day when I clean, bake, work on artistic projects, and maybe even chop down a tree or two.  My mantra on those days is, “If I do this now, I’ll feel useless later.  If I don’t do this now, I’ll feel useless all day.”  Trust your training.

2.  Bounteous training table:  I have to eat right.  We try to have as much organic food as possible.  I absolutely must have a good hearty breakfast with plenty of protein.  If I fudge on this one, I pay for it all day.  If I have fudge for breakfast, I have no right to any sympathy.  Daniel’s wife, Melissa, writes about food for a living.  I suspect she’s an awesome cook, too.  Trust your training table.

3. Recovery days:  It was so nice to read that even Daniel takes a day off from running!  Days off are a must for me, too.  After a “long tempo run” day, I must have a day of rest.  I’ll start looking at these days as “full rest days between workouts”.  It sounds better than “crashing”.  Trust your rest.

4.  Training with others who run more consistent and tougher paces that I normally would.  The best new thing I am doing is Yoga with Paul Zeiger.  Paul has Parkinson’s, too, and he started teaching yoga long before he received his diagnosis.  He and his wife teach this class for people with Parkinson’s and their spouses/caregivers.  My husband, Chris, comes too.  So does Chris’ brother and sister-in-law.  His brother has Parkinson’s too.  Our teachers watch and see what we can do then challenge us to take it just a little farther.  Trust your training partners.

5.  Meditating:  I was very good at spending time meditating every evening for several years.  I let that go somehow, probably because I thought life was getting too busy.  I should know better.  The busier my life is, the more important it is to meditate.  It’s that time when my body and I get in sync with each other.  It’s time to let go and relax.  If I can relax and meditate for an hour each day, I can certainly trust that I can focus and be with Daniel in spirit during the race.  Trust your inner Zen master.

6.  The baby teaches me:   Hmm…Daniel has a beautiful baby girl who teaches him the “value of patience and the big picture”.  I’ll have a grand baby to teach me in a couple of months.  For now, I will have to change this one a little.  My family and friends teach me:  One of my favorite Buddhist sayings is:  “Be grateful for every person who comes into your life, for they will show you where you are stuck.”  I could be very specific here but it would take up too much time and space.  So many of you, my family and friends have been there just when I needed to stop worrying about myself and the details, and look instead at the bigger picture.  Sometimes this is done with a nudge, sometimes with a kick in the pants.  It is always appreciated, though not always at the time.  Trust your outer Zen master.

These, then, are my training goals for the week.  Is there anything else I would add to Daniel’s list? 

7.  Find your rhythm:  I suspect that Daniel does this automatically at this point.  Sometimes I need some outside help so that I can find my rhythm.  The outside help is often in the form of music.  If I can listen to music, I can find my pace.  If I listen to music, I can walk longer and faster.  If I can dance a little to the music, I am not as apt to fall.  If I start to have dyskinesias or some mild dystonia, I can always start singing and dancing.  It might help and even if it doesn't, it'll look cooler.  Trust your inner dancer.

That’s all.

Today was a long tempo run.  I got up and made a good breakfast for my husband.  It was his birthday and I wanted it to be special.  We were limited in what we could do outside the house as it had been snowing steadily for the last day and night and we didn’t want to drive in two feet of snow; so I baked a cake and brownies and chocolate chip cookies.  I finished sewing elves for my Christmas fair table and I cut and folded paper for greeting cards.  I also did 35 minutes on the exercise bicycle and 20 minutes of yoga exercises.  After a short nap, I made dinner for my family and then cleaned the kitchen.  It felt good!

I think tomorrow better be a rest day.


In Training

Terri Reinhart

I’m not eating ice cream tonight.  I’m being good and trying to stay away from sugary and otherwise unhealthy foods.  I’m also exercising.  I did my stretching and rode my exercise bicycle.  I’m pacing myself, too, so I don’t get too tired.  That’s the most important part.  I must not overdo it before Sunday.  Sunday is the day of the big race, you know!  It’s the New York City Marathon and, for the first time, I’m actually going to be a part of it!

I wasn’t planning on running a marathon.  On the whole, marathons have not been on my list of top priorities.  The New York City Marathon is different, though.  This is a big and very prestigious race with somewhere around 42,000 runners; and those are the ones who were chosen to participate out of over 100,000 applicants.  When I received the invitation to be a part of this, I couldn’t refuse.  Who could?

Okay, so I’m not going to New York and I’m not actually running, but I will be there in spirit.  My cousin, Daniel is running in the race with Team Fox, raising money for Parkinson’s research. When I found this out just the other day, I was touched beyond words.  I suggested that I’d like to be there running with him in spirit, but that I’d probably just get in his way.  He wrote back to say that he’s counting on me to be there in spirit, helping him to pace himself.  I’m his race pacer! 

This means I’m officially in training, too.  Daniel reminded to rest and told me not to abstain from too many treats.  I took that seriously and had a nap this afternoon, in between Yoga exercises and cooking dinner.  I’ll still limit my sweet treats, a little.  I’ll have to decide whether to have just the chocolate ice cream or just the Bailey’s. 

I can’t wait to follow the race via the internet on Sunday!  Here’s all the information you need to follow along with me and Daniel.

Daniel’s Team Fox page:  Team Fox Member - Team Fox.  If you scroll down, you’ll see his race pacer.  You can also support Daniel’s efforts (and mine) by donating to Team Fox.

Daniel’s blog:  “The Long Rush – Exercises in Style” at   

The New York City Marathon page: