Getting It Done

The thing about having an “invisible” illness, a complicated illness, a rare illness is that your start to wonder if it’s all in your head.   It’s easy to do too, because most of the time you keep it to yourself.  Then if you do say something many don’t understand and some will think you are exaggerating.   So after a while you just suck it up and go about your day.   The more you do that, the more you start to wonder if it really is all in your head.  Then you begin to question it all.

Are my legs so sore in  morning because I’m getting older?

Can I not run this fast because I’m just not training enough?

Am I taking it too easy because I forgot how to push myself?

Suck it up Buttercup!

Then you remember…

You do have it.   It is real.   It’s not in your head.   It sucks, but it could be much worse.   Most importantly, your doing the best that you can.

Now the best that I can isn’t what it used to be.   I also know there are many people with this disorder who would love to do what I can do on my worst day. I also  know that I am lucky.   Once when I shared something about Hypoparathyroidism, someone commented to me to my face, “Don’t take this wrong, but everyone has something.”

I was too shocked to do anything but agree with her.   And I do agree with her.   I know that everyone has their own battles.   I will be the first to admit that.   I also know that even the battle that I face could be so much worse.  That being said, just because I share my battles does not mean that I think someone else’s battles are less important.   As the Care Bears used to say, “sharing is caring.”   We all have our stuff and it is good to be able to openly share our battles because it does make the load a little lighter and easier to carry.

These are things that went through my mind on my training run yesterday.   It was the longest run I have done this training cycle.  I notice that it takes my body now a good 3 miles before it gets into the groove of running.   Then I was having some doubts about my running.   Comparing it to the last time that I was training for NY which is crazy because not only was that pre hypoparthyroidism, but I had an amazing running coach who had me hopping.   I never compare myself to other runners, but I do compare myself to where I was which is something that I must stop doing.   I will say that I think I’m in a better place now than when I was training for Chicago.   I do think actually training with the walk/run and following it this time will make for a better race.

Yesterday’s run was good and bad.   That is why we train.   I could start to recognize a pattern.   Start to tweak it.  I also slowed down to wear realistically I should be for my long runs right now.   8 miles with an average pace was 12:23.   I never went into the red zone for my heart rate and kept my heart rate in zone 4 according to my Garmin.   I have recently been trying to pay closer attention to my heart rate as apposed to pace.  I’m also trying to figure out paces for running and walking.   It’s a work in progress, but I am getting it done.  Sticking to the loose plan that I am following.  As the training runs get longer and I approach the NYCM, I want to be able to project approximate target times for distance.   More so that I don’t go out too fast like I did last time.   I don’t anticipate running the paces  I did last time.  If I go out too fast I might not bounce back as I did last time.

 

2016 NYCM

You can clearly see the wall at mile 20.

No Joke.

I think running for Sandy Hook Promise does take the pressure off some and add its elsewhere.   It takes it off because I know that I am not running this for me.  I was serious when I said that I wasn’t planning on any marathons this year.   I am training to be able to run this race as a proud member of the Sandy Hook Promise Team.   Like anyone on a team, your know that it’s not about you.  I don’t want to waste this opportunity given to me.    As I often post with my training runs #26for26.  I am so blessed to be given this opportunity to run for something that I believe in and don’t want to squander this opportunity.

 

Sandy Hook Promise Fundraiser

 

life-quotes_8702-0

 

 

Oh Yeah, I am…..

The other day I was discussing massages and where I normally go to get a massage.   I said to my friend that when I used to be marathon training I had the plan with Hand and Stone.

She looked at me and said, “Your marathon training now.”

Oh Yeah.  And then we laughed.

I’ll be honest it doesn’t feel like it.

Yet.

Don’t get me wrong. I’ve been running.   I’ve been doing what I should be doing.   Although truth be told, I do need to get a few more miles in a week, but I’ve been running.     I’m wondering if it doesn’t feel like training so much yet, because right now my focus has been on my fundraising which is really my priority.   Also, I am training to finish strong and not for a time which makes it different.   I am not doing any specific paces in my training.   I am not doing speed workouts.   Although I have started coaching summer elementary track again and those kids make me run fast with them, so that should count.    But I am not getting a training plan weekly that needs to be followed to the letter T if possible.    I am just doing.

Right now, I’m liking just doing what I’m doing.   Ir’m running the miles.   I’m getting it done and I’m feeling more confident in my running.   Best of all, I’m not stressing about any of it.

Yet.

I’m still playing around with the run to walk ratio.   Today I took my running indoors to a treadmill to avoid the 100 degree temps.   Normally I hate running on the treadmill, but today it was good.   I think I liked it because I was able to control my pace and my inclines.   Today there were no inclines:)   I have been doing a run/walk ratio of 3 to 45 seconds.   Today I did 7 to 1 minute.   I thought this was  a good fit.   I’m not sure if it would work outside, but I will try it when given the chance.

So now that I’ve been reminded that I’m marathon training what will change?

Nothing.

I still plan to try to stay relaxed and just enjoy the process, the race, and the ability to help an important cause.

quote-5

Fire and Determination

people doing marathon

Photo by Snapwire on Pexels.com

It’s been almost a month since I’ve written anything here, but that does not mean that I haven’t still been doing what needs to be done.   That might be why I haven’t been here.   June is a crazy month for most families especially when you have a High School aged child who graduated.    This makes for an even more hectic June, but an awesome one.

That being said, I am still sticking with the program.    For right now I have settled on the run 3 minutes walk 40 seconds balance.    It seems to be working nicely and I am making sure to start out immediately with this and not wait till I feel like I need it.   This is the way the program was designed and for good reasons because it works.

I am still in the beginning of my training and have not gone for any run longer than 5 miles, but that will change in the next couple of days.   Yesterday I did 5 miles.   It was actually a perfect day for running.   It was warm but not humid.   Even with walking, I completed 5 miles with an average pace of 11:33.    I do wonder if this is something that I will be able to keep as the miles increase, but again that is what training is for.

I’ve been doing most of my running alone.   Mostly because of schedule, but also by choice.   I ran into a fellow local MRTT runner last week.   It was a humid and hot day.   She helped me push my pace even though she was recovering from an epic race of her own.    I needed to walk more that day than my program called for.   It was hot and it was just one of those days.   I kept telling her to leave me as I didn’t want to mess her run up.   She stayed and we had a very nice chat.  I was happy to have her make the miles go by.

I’ll be honest.   Sometimes I need to run on my own.   I find it helps clear my mind.   I also have never minded running on my own.   When I was using my running coach, I did most of my training runs on my own because each run I had very specific goals and paces.   I do not now have these same issues, but I also am finding that there is a sense of embarrassment to run with others now.   I know it’s stupid.   I know they don’t care.   I know it’s in my head…. BUT it is also very real.

I know that everyone has their goals.    I know my friends will run with me and stay with me, but that may not be what they need.   That may not help them reach their goals.   It is one thing to go out for a leisure run with friends when you are not training for something,  but it is training time.

I also realize that although I have the desire to run the NYCM to the best of my ability, I do not have the fire that I may have once had.   It is not a bad thing.   I am not chasing any time or goal.   I am training to finish and enjoy the process.   One day I might have the fire and drive to compete for another PR, but this is not that time.    This might come from this year my goal for NY is about Sandy Hook Promise and not myself.  26 miles for 26 angels.

Now just because I say that I do not have fire, does not mean that I do not have drive.   These are 2 very separate things.   I have the will, desire, and determination to train, run, and complete the NYCM.    I also know that my body can and has run this distance before.   I am confident that I can get to the finish line again WTIH PROPER TRAINING.   I have the drive to make that happen.   I will not let my team down.

PS:  If you would like to donate to my Sandy Hook Promise fundraising page: https://www.crowdrise.com/o/en/campaign/sandy-hook-promise-foundation-nyc-2018/christinechaillet

Giving it all I’ve Got

I’ve started training for NYC Marathon.   I had been thinking that I was pretraining, but then I actually looked and yup, I’m training.    I am following the Jeff Galloway “To Finish”  Program and it’s actually a 26 week program.   In looking at the calendar if I do my math correctly, I believe that puts me at week 3 of training.  Oops, time to play catch up:)

Training for a marathon is a long process, yet at the same time it goes quickly.

I’m going to be very upfront in how things are going and I’m sure it won’t all be rainbows and sunshine.   That being said, I am so lucky to be given this opportunity and remind myself that I am not doing this for me, but for Sandy Hook Promise.

Anyhoo…. Even with the “To Finish” program, I know that I will be giving it all I’ve got.

Giving it all i got

I went out for a run.   I was just shy of 5 miles at 4.7, but it happens.   I used the ratio of 3 minutes run to 45 seconds walk.    It seemed like a good ratio, but I’m still feeling it out.   I will say that I liked it.   I tried to keep my run part around 11 and walk not at a Sunday stroll nor a power walk, but somewhere in between.   It seemed to be a good balance as my overall pace was 11:17.

As I was running though, I was trying to connect my body to where my mind is which is harder than you think.   In my mind, I still am so much faster.   My body disagrees.  Besides that  I also have to reconcile that with the run/walk method there will be times that I’m out for my run where I’m going to be walking and people will see.    That’s a mental thing, but one that I will deal with too.

Here is the thing…..   I can only do what I can do.   Yes, running is very much a mental sport, but in the end you can only do what your body will allow.    I’ve also got to use this training time to know when to add more calcium and magnesium.    When I was training for Chicago, I had a doctor who kept my calcium levels  in the mid normal range which may have made things better for running, but overall was not good for my health as it left too much calcium in urine (not good for kidneys).    So I’ve learned more this last year and I’ve also got my specialist that is keeping my calcium at just below normal.    That is good overall, but I do need to adjust more now on running days.   It will also be a training exercise to know how much is enough and how much is too much.

Yesterday was not enough.   It didn’t help that the night before I fell asleep and forgot to take my calcium and magnesium.   I also should have added more calez during run and realized that a Epsom salt bath afterwards might not have been as indulgent as I thought it would have been.

This is what happens when your don’t hit the right balance.   Your muscles dance which isn’t as fun as it sounds….

It’s a work in progress, but whose life isn’t.

We live.   We learn.   We move forward.

 

All In A Day!

So today was many things….

Wear Orange Day

It was Wear Orange Day which has become the defining color for gun violence prevention movement.    Hadiya Pendleton died  way too young and way too violently  on January 29, 2013.  This was just one week after performing at President Obama’s Inauguration and after finishing her exams at her High School Prep School.

untitled

A week after her tragic death, her friends and community came together in her favorite color orange to stand against gun violence.   Every day on average 96 people die from gun violence and 6 of them are under the age of 18.   This is far too many.   To be honest, one is one to many.

So we wear orange.   We march.   We raise awareness and we try to do better.

We can do better.

We will do better.

I wore orange today all day, but especially when I went for my first pre marathon training walk/run of 3 miles today.   I will officially begin marathon training in July, but I need to build back up to a starting point for training.   I would like to get to 15 miles a week before training begins.

One thing that I thought about on my run tonight is how different this marathon training cycle will be.   It will be different for many reasons, but one is my attitude.   I’m training not for time, but to finish, enjoy the experience, and represent the Sandy Hook Promise organization proudly.   So as well as fundraising, I also need to be able to run 26.2 miles.    A marathon is still a marathon even if you aren’t chasing a 4:30 finish time.

Hypopara Awareness Day

Hypoparday

For those new or needing a reminder, I was diagnosed with hypoparthyroidism after my parathyroid glands were damaged when my thyroid was removed 2 weeks after running the NYCM in 2016.

Many people ask, “What does this mean?”

This is a complicated issue as this is a very rare disease and each person manifests it differently.

Here is the official information: The condition affects the body’s production of parathyroid, a hormone that regulates the body’s levels of calcium and phosphorus, the condition has to be monitored and treated with supplements and medication. One of the main issues is very low calcium levels, affecting the strength and development of bones, teeth and nails as well as affecting the nervous system.

What does this mean…. For me, it means that my body feels like it aged 20 years after my surgery. My body aches and is sore in ways it never was even when training for my 50K! It means some days needing to lay down in the afternoon for a solid nap not because I’m drowsy but because I feel like I’ve just finished running a marathon and can’t move another step. It means constantly assesses “how do I feel” because if my calcium gets too low my face will twitch, my fingers with get tingly, and if gets too low it could be a problem. I’ve been lucky in that being a marathon runner prior to surgery, I was very tuned into how my body felt so I know when adjustments need to be made because the only way to find out your calcium level is through blood tests at your doctors.
This is all doable though with medication, supplements and just being smart. That being said, these things take a toll on the mind and body. I also need to monitor my kidney health as the medication to keep my levels at just under the normal range also raises urine calcium levels which is not good for the kidneys. Again, I’ve been lucky in that I’ve found a doctor in NYC who specializes in this. We are working on getting these levels down before issues arise. It’s a work in progress.

All this being said, I refuse to let this stop me. While things are different, I am keeping doing what I’m doing. May be slower and not run as far, but I’m still running (remember that marathon I’ve got coming up in November). I’m still getting done what I need to get done. And I’m lucky enough to have friends that support me when I need them:)

And on top of all of this it was also

National Donut Day, but I forgot to get my donut.

Boo.

 

 

How Did I get here????

If you’ve been following my journey, you know that I whole heartedly did not want to run any big races this year.   I was content to run the NYC Half and call it a year.   I clearly said that I did not want a fall marathon.   I did not want to train over the summer with my oldest leaving for college.   I stomped my feet, crossed my arms, and knew that I was going to sit this year out.

But things change.

Things evolve.

And sometimes, sometimes you are given clear signs that you need to do something that you said you wouldn’t do.

This is what happened.

I am a believer is receiving signs if you are open to them.    At first, I ignored them but then I realized that this was something that I needed to do.   Not to run a marathon, because I meant that part about not wanting to run one.    I will run one though.   I will run it happily because to me this year it is not about the marathon but about the cause.

Sandy Hook Promise

This was a group that I joined almost as soon as I heard about it.    The tragedy at Sandy Hook hit me hard as with so many others.   It changed me.    It made me want to get involved which I did, but I always felt that I could and should do more especially as each tragic shooting occurred.   This is something that I can do.   This is something that is a concrete way to help an organization that is trying to what we all want: Protect children from gun violence.

Here is their mission and approach:

“Prevent gun-related deaths due to crime, suicide and accidental discharge so that no other parent experiences the senseless, horrific loss of their child.”   They are working and implementing in communities and schools research based programs and practices such as Know the Signs programs.   You can visit the SandyHookPromise.org website for more information.

This is my way to help them help others.    I will be running NYC Marathon to raise $3,000 for this cause that I feel so strongly about.    This is a leap of faith because while I know that I can run a marathon, I’m not too sure about my fundraising skills.   I am willing to take this risk.

If you would like to contribute to this worthy cause, please visit my fundraising page at Fundraising Website.

I am excited about this prospect for many reasons and the process of being part of a team of runners who support this amazing cause.   I am heading into this marathon training to finish the race, enjoy the process, and most of all support such a worthy cause.

SandyHookPromise

 

 

So my daily running challenge is over.   I will say that I am happy to be done with it, but at the same time without the accountability I have not been running these last few days.   That being said though it is freeing to be done because while not running, I have been busy doing other things.   It would have been added stress to worry about when am I going to squeeze my mile in.

I give kudos to those that are dedicated to streak days, months, and years.    I’ll be honest, I think I may have stopped at day 29 and not even hit 30 but I’m ok with that.    Last Friday would have been day 30 and it was a crazy hectic week as they all are and by Friday I felt like a tractor trailer hit me.   I think that I was dozing on the couch by 7:30.    My body needed the rest more than it needed the mile.

What did I learn from this little experiment?

  1. That once you go out for a mile, you might as well do more if time allows
  2. That my body is not designed to run every day.
  3. That it was a good way to jump start my running/training
  4. That I’m glad that I did it
  5. And most of all, I’m glad that it is over!!!

 

Will I do another streak?   Not any time soon.    I do have some plans that I am working on finalizing and will hopefully have everything in place by next week.   This will keep me motivated, busy, and running that is for sure.

So for now, I am going to enjoy one challenge ending while gearing up for a new one.

Stay tuned….

32085066_1838892302854618_2516394559605309440_o

The Unpleasant Truth

Everyone has something that they are afraid of.   Everyone knows that you can run from your fears, but you can’t hide from them.

  But what if……

What if sometimes the fear is just under the surface?

But what if……

What if instead of facing our fears that we just ignore them.   Pretend they don’t even exist?

Will that make them go away?

Reality and past experiences say no.

Someone recently asked me what is it that I’m afraid of when it comes to my running right now.   (I’m talking actual running not running away from my fears).   After thinking about it, I knew in my heart the answer.

The fear of not being good enough.

Once I had said this out loud, I knew the truth of my answer.   I had the answer before she even asked the question.   You see the night before, I had had a dream.  Seriously.   In my dream I went out to my car and ALL my running magnets were removed from the back of my car.

NO 50K

NO 26.2

NO 13.1

NO MRTT

Nothing………    Empty space where my pride used to be.

Silly dream, but it speaks volumes.    And then it begs to question, who do I have to be good enough for?   Not my family.   Not my friends.  Not my ever so supportive running community.  Not my co-workers.    Not the strangers along courses.  All  I need is to be good enough for me and why isn’t my best good enough?

It’s time to deal with the unpleasant truth.   A truth I’ve spoken of before, but still am grappling with I admit.    It’s not easy to let go of expectations realistically or unrealistically that you put upon yourself.    It’s not so easy to deal with unpleasant truths that you want to ignore.    And most of all when you finally face the unpleasantness of it all, you realize that you were holding onto things for all the wrong reasons.

letting-go

Truth

But letting go doesn’t mean giving up.   It doesn’t mean putting away my running shoes. It doesn’t mean pushing my limits.    It means letting go of the things that are holding me back.    I’m not talking about holding me back from PR’s or such.    I’m talking about holding me back from taking the next step.

Acceptance.

Yes, if it was that easy the world would be a better place.    But I’m talking about acceptance that things will be different and that’s ok.

I’m not a person of change.   I know this to be true.   My mother often asks me, “What’s new.”    I often respond, “Nothing and that’s a good thing.”   But the truth is that you have a choice in life, either change with it or live in the past and miss out on the possibilities of the future.

It’s time to look forward.   It’s time to change with the times.    It’s time to accept where I am today….

I am a woman who struggles due to her Hypoparathyroidism with limitations that I did not have before.  Pretending they are not there, will not make them go away.    I’ve been trying that and it hasn’t worked.   They are still there, but I make it look easy:):)

BUT

That does not mean I am not a runner anymore.   It just means that I need to learn to change.   Change expectations.   Change the way I train.    Change the way I run by embracing the run/walk method whole heartily this time.     Change is scary but sometimes necessary and often good.

It also means that you are open to new opportunities and I’ll be honest there is a new opportunity that I’m hoping comes my way.   One that if I accept that I need to be willing to change  to fully enjoy and experience.   (Yes, that’s a teaser:)

 

 

 

 

When is the Right Time?

Today, on this random day, I decided that I need to start getting it together.   While there are many things no longer in my control, there are many things that are in my control and I need to take control of what I can.   With that in mind, I pulled out an old training book that I used when I was working with my running coach in 2016.    I opened it up to peruse the pages and on the front page there was a sticky with the following written on it:

As much as I know the time is right, I still can’t help but believe that it is wrong…

Ummm, Ok

I still feel like that.

Do we ever know when is the right time?

I was on a message board the other day and someone was saying how they wanted to get back to running, but needed to loose weight first.    This is not the first time that I’ve heard such things.    I personally know people that have made similar statements.

The truth of the matter is that there is no right or wrong time.    There is only time, opportunities, and chances we must take.    I’ve been sitting here waiting for the right time to get my sh*t together – not be so out of breath when I run, loose weight, not feel like Grandma getting out of bed in the morning,  not have legs feel like I’ve run 10 miles when I’ve only run 1.

As much as I know the time is right, I still can’t help but believe that it’s wrong….

The time is right.    In looking at my training log, I can not see a day where I would be able to maintain that level again.  This is the truth as harsh as it sounds to my ears.   In looking at my training log, two years ago at this time I was running an 18 mile training run at an overall pace of 10:24.    A quote from my log,  “Other than feeling like a long run, it felt great.   Miles were faster towards the end of the run.”

Here’s the thing…..

I could not imagine running that pace that distance again.   Maybe I can.   Maybe I can’t.  I just know that my body does not bounce back the way it used to.    I also know that there are many factors I have now that I didn’t have then.

Here’s another thing…

I don’t know which factor is the causing factor.    I do know that Hypoparathyroidism plays into it.   I also know that hypothyroidism could play a role too.  I’m certainly not getting any younger.   Then there is the weight factor.   But which is coming first the chicken or the egg…. Is the weight a symptom of the thyroid problem or visa versa.

Let’s not even talk about the training time factor today.

Lastly, here is the thing…..

Even with all of the baggage, I still want to run.    I still want to run far.    I still dream the dream of running the way that I used to run and that there is the problem.   I need to live with the reality of today and work towards the reality that I would like to have.

As much as I know the time is right, I still can’t help but believe that it’s wrong….

The real question needs to be…

If not now, When?

time-flies

 

Sticking to the plan.   I may not be going far every day, but at least I am going every day which was the plan.   Last week was a crazy and brutally busy week, yet I still managed to sneak in a run every day.   I’ve even taken to bringing out the night running gear again because even though it may be the last thing I wanted to do, even though it might of been cold and rainy, or even if I had walked miles at a visit to my son’s soon to be college; I still managed to get a run in.

Tomorrow will be 10 days strong on my streak.  Here is what I’ve discovered so far…

  1.  This is NOT something that I would want to do long term
  2. This HAS actually been good for me so far.
  3. Even though time wise my week may not have allowed many miles, I’m finding that I would like to run more than a mile once started.   Seems like a lot of work getting out the door for just one mile.
  4. I AM getting back into a routine.
  5. I AM definitely remember what it is like to run on tired legs even if it’s just a mile.
  6. I AM GOING TO MAKE IT TO DAY 30!

While I am very certain that streaking is not something that I would want to do long term, I do think it was a wise decision to lay it out there to do for thirty days.   Now the question is no longer, “Will I run today?”   but “When am I going to run today.”

There is not thought to it which makes it so much easier.   It takes the excuses out of the equation and just makes them obstacles to overcome.   Yes, I may be tired; but I’ve still got to run.   Yes, it may be raining but I’ve got a rain jacket.   Yes. Yes. Yes.

This week while busy, hopefully will allow some much needed breathing room and maybe even some more time for longer runs.   Although, since my goal right now is 5K’s I really don’t need a ton of miles.    This past week I ran just 11 miles, but they were probably 11 miles that I would not have run before I started this challenge.   It became too easy to find an excuse even a good one not to run.   20 more days with a reason to run.

Here is not hoping that when this challenge is over that I will be back into the routine of running and running some more.   Until then, I will just keep going.

Its-fine