Decisions…..

Decisions are hard.

Sometimes we think we need to do something, but the thought of it brings worry.

Sometimes we want to do something, but the thought of the task at hand brings us anxiety.

Sometimes we know that what we want to do is maybe not what we need right now, but we worry we will miss out if we don’t do it. FOMA is real.

Sometime we know that the job is important, it is a worthy cause and necessary but we must realize that there might be others who can take it over while we take care of ourself.

We make decisions. We change our mind. We change it again……and again…. and again…..

So here it is and to some of you it will come as a shock.

I filled my application out to run NYCM for for the 4th time for Sandy Hook Promise. As I filled it out I second, third and fifth guessed the wisdom. I guessed not because I do not believe in their mission of protecting children and bringing much needed change because I do. I guessed not because I have not seen the impact of their programs because they are real. I guessed not because they are not an amazing organization with amazing leaders who are making a difference and giving it all they have got because they all are.

I guessed because I wondered if right now it is what my body needs. I guessed because I don’t know weather I can mentally and physically push myself to train for a marathon. I guessed because I am not sure that it would be a smart thing to do right now for so many reasons. With all of these guesses, I still filled out my application to run for them because I believe in them so much. I was accepted to run and all I needed was to fill out the contract to be on the team.

I was in!! The thought did not bring me peace for all I mentioned above.

Then an email came that they had an abundance of runners waiting in the wings, so instead of sending in my application; I passed the baton to the next runner. I always said that Sandy Hook’s mission was not a sprint but a marathon. I just forgot that it was a relay marathon. So as I pass the baton to the next runner, I realize that when the time is right I can step back in my lane to get the baton again. Until then there are other ways to both support those now running with the baton and the mission itself of Sandy Hook Promise.

The biggest way I know it was time to pass this baton is that when talking with a friend who was shocked I wasn’t going to run this year, I realized that I was at peace with the decision. There was no second guessing. There was not third guessing. While at peace with it, it is very bittersweet as I will miss being part of the marathon team but you don’t need to run a marathon to make a difference. You just need to show up and get involved.

Not finished….. Just recharging

It Wasn’t a Lie

Most ”normal” people need to be talked into running a marathon. Usually either a friend will lure them in or it is a personal goal, but event then there must be some type of persuasion to do it. Unless, of course, you have already run a marathon. Then it isn’t so much talking youreslef into running another marathon as much as trying to keep yourself from inadvertantly signing up for another one.

How do I know this?

Because I am living the life.

I truthfully without sarcasm have 110% been honest that I am done running marathons. I love the idea of not training for anything. I have talked with friends about how awesome it would be to meet up for a run and then do brunch. We are even planning to go to NYCM as spectators and then do brunch again. It seems like a great plan. An amazing plan. A fun plan. A sane plan.

I also admit that my body is tired. I have been spending countess hours working on getting my home baking business into an actual business while still working almost 30 hours outside of the home. Oh and ”taking care” of said home and all that is supposed to entail. While having somewhat of a non existent but existent social life that someone who is a extrovert introvert (it’s a real thing) enjoys.

I have not been lying when I say that I don’t want to train for any more marathons They are grueling. It is exhausting. The whole process is horrendous. Seriously. Does ANYONE really enjoy training for a marathon?

So why do we do it? Why do we put ourselves through so much for the ”pleasure” of running 26.2 miles on race day. The blisters….. The early wake up….. The training when we don’t want to……. the feet issues….. the chaffing….. so many reasons not to do it. So many VALID and SANE reasons not to do it……..

Conversation with son this morning in car as we see an ”elderly female runner.”

Son, ”that’s you.”

Me, ”No, she is running faster than me and has better form. Although, I have filled out my application to run NYCM for Sandy Hook Promise again. I haven’t sent it in yet though because I’m not sure.”

Son, ”Don’t Do it. You ALWAYS regret it.”

Truer words have not been spoken…….

Yet….. here we are with my finger one key stroke away from hitting send. Will saner minds prevail or will I jump back into crazy town. I, honestly, don’t know…… I wasn’t lying when I said I was done with the marathon. I’m just not sure that the marathon is done with me especially when this would be 10 marathon and also with 10th anniversary of Sandy Hook.

So many reasons to say no…….

So many reasons to say yes…….

I have until April 30th to ponder.

Just Doing My Thing

As seems to be my MO, I ran another race I was not trained for this past weekend. This time when I say that I wasn’t trained, I mean I really wasn’t trained! Training was lagging, but I was on track somewhat especially as I had just come off NYC Half. I had put in some miles with the longest being 8. I was feeling good, but then I was sidelined by the cold everyone seemed to get after remerging from out masks. This was a cold that would not quit and then turned into a lovely sinus infection. So for the 3 weeks before the Shape Half Marathon I did nothing. Like seriously N O T H I N G. Unless you count blowing nose constantly and sleeping something which I don’t think counts.

I had thought about backing out, but not seriously. I knew that I would finish but I would have to just take it as it came. Although if I had remembered how hilly 2 loops of Central Park were and how Harlem Hill sucks so bad, I might have given it more thought. I had no plan. I had no pace. I just went with the flow. I was lucky to even show up. As a side not right before I left my home, I threw up. It was a combo of taking my antibiotic with coffee followed by brushing teeth. It didn’t set well.

The flow was wobbly. I ran the first 10 with the same woman that I ran the first half of the NYC Marathon. Since I didn’t have a plan and we are similiarly paced, I went with hers. She was run walking with a 5 to 1 ratio. It wasn’t pretty but it worked. the last 3 miles we went our own way which meant that she ran/walked and I pretty much walked. Central Park is a hard run when not trained…. ok any course is hard not trained, but the hills of central Park are no joke. My quads were not laughing but I was…..

This is what its about…. Not the pace…. Not the medal….. not even the finish….. the friendships:)

The day was filled with lots of fun, laughs, and a lovely brunch. I am so glad that I showed up. Sometimes that is all you have to do is show up. To know that what ever will be will be and just enjoy the process and the outcome. It is easier said that done. Will also say that I was surprised at the outcome because I finished in under 3 hours which I was not expecting. 2:55.

More to come……

The Load is Heavy

This post is for my Hypopara friends……

For those of us who have been waiting and waiting and waiting….. and yet again waiting for them to resolve the Natpara issue, this last week was a kick in the gut.

For those of you who have never heard of Natapara, I will give you a very brief unscientific explanation. For those of us who live with Hyopara (Hyparathyroidism), it a nutshell it means our parathyroid glands do not work or work properly. Never heard of a parathyroid? Well that’s because it is one of those things that the body usually never has a problem with. Most (not all) of us came to the Hypopara world due to a problem with thyroid surgery where the parathyroid glands (there are 4) were damaged. At least that’s how I got here. Your parathyroid glands produce a hormone that is responsible for helping your body regulate calcium levels. Not a big deal you think, until you look at this chart.

Anywho……

For a brief moment, all of this was secondary because I got to be on Natpara, a daily injection of the synthetic parathyroid hormone. I was on it for a blip before it got recalled. My body worked the way it was supposed to work without a barrage of pills, self checks and symptoms. I also no longer worried about my kidneys since all levels than were in normal range. Then for reasons that really don’t make sense, this option was taken away. When I say doesn’t make sense it is because it is still available in others parts of the world, just not in the US. So back to daily routine.

Whatever……

As the saying though goes though….. Just because I carry it well does not mean the load is not heavy. It is heavy. Sometimes you get so used to carrying the heavy load that you forget it is there, but it is always there. You stop really speaking about it because you just do what you need to do and even those in your circle don’t see the struggles. Always lurking. Waiting to remind you that it is there. It is those moments that are frustrating. I also know that I am lucky because even with my Hypoparthyrioidism I am able to accomplish and do so much.

But for now, I know that many in the Hypopara community have no choice but to keep carrying our heavy load because we all got notified that Natpara is not coming back. It makes no sense to know that there is something out there that will take away the symptoms, help to protect kidneys because we were no longer taking high doses of calcitrol and calcium, where your face doesn’t start to tingle telling you that your calcium is dropping (that’s what mine does but everyone is different), your feet uncontrollable cramp up, or have muscle spasms in legs. Just sitting here waiting for the other shoe to drop as you deal with the life of hypopara……… because in the end

What choice do we have

especially when the only viable one was taken from us.

Pulled this one Out of Nowhere

So today, I ran the NYC Half. You wouldn’t know about that because I’ve been a little absentee with both updating my blog and my training. My goal is to try and do better with both.

As far as training goes, I followed no plan. I didn’t run nearly as much as I should have especially if I had followed a plan which fell through the cracks. In February, I did mostly 3 mile runs and this month, mostly 2. Then I did one 8 mile run and one 10. I would like to say that I was offsetting that non running with cross training, but that would be a lie. So the race was going to be what the race was going to be.

Got to say, for lack of training, not having a plan, and just overall preparation; I really pulled this out of nowhere.

100% I should not have had the race I had today, but I had a great race. So I will take it. I won’t knock it. I won’t question it with the exception of questioning what I might be able to accomplish if I actually trained:) My goal today was to run a smart race and I feel that I did.

For my Hypopara friends, running a smart race meant making sure that I paid attention and added my calcium BEFORE I would need it which I knew from last years marathon training. I also adjusted my doses today. Normally I take .25 Calcitriol in morning with my pills. This morning I took .50 with my normal calcium amount. Then on the course around mile 5.5, I added 1,000 mg of calcium and 25 mcg of Vitamin D. It add them to my water, so it forces me to continue to hydrate. Post race, I took another of my normal dose of Calcitriol and calcium. Overall, this made for a good day. I am lucky that I had last years marathon training to fall back on to know what I would need when. So I don’t necessarily recommend doing this without training for this reason alone.

As far everything else goes, I feel like everything fell into place. The weather was perfect. Picture perfect. Great day to run. Blue skies. Slight breezes. Sunny and in the low 60’s. I could have done with 5 degree lower but that would just be greedy to ask for that. Therefore, I will go with picture perfect.

My goal was to run a smart pace which meant watching the pace and keeping it in check. I walked when I wanted which most definitely was the bridges and maybe a little more than I should have, but again I was watching average pace as well as running pace. I knew from my whopping two long runs, that if I kept the pace in check I would feel good and would be able to get to the finish feeling comfortable. So that’s what I did. Once I got to mile 11, I pushed a little harder which made me need to walk but by mile 12 I knew I was pushing when I got a stitch in my side. Well it’s not a race if you don’t push:) My average pace according to my Garmin was 12:34 which really is the sweet spot for me right now. That being said I did push enough that my best pace was 8:36. So there’s that:) Overall my I was running in zone 4 for most of the race which is just where I should be. I was at Zone 5 for the finish which is also where I should be for the finish.

Today was a great day for running. It makes me want to be better training for the Queens 10K to see what I can do and how far I can push (smartly…. always smartly)

Money and Time

Often when you read about how to be healthier or loose weight, it is all about food choices and exercise. Now OBVIOUSLY those two are what is necessary to maintain a healthy lifestyle, weight, and effect our health the most. What I keep finding though is that what is often missed in these discussions is the MONEY and the TIME it takes to eat healthy. Now studies have shown that obesity and poverty are associated. I am not going down that rabbit whole today. If you are uncertainty of that correlation, there are many valid peer reviewed studies on it.

This post is about me (as most of them are) and those that can relate. This is about those of us who do not fall into the above mentioned category of poverty but still struggle. Yes, it is diet and exercise. Yes, I can choose to have a healthy salad for lunch instead of quickly throwing together a PB&J sandwich or going through a drive through. I know that. I can eat a well balanced home cooked salmon dinner instead of ordering a pizza…….but I’m tired.

Let’s face it…. It is hard to eat healthy. It shouldn’t be, but it is.

Why? Oh why?

Yes….. It’s Money!!!

I have been starting my day off with a healthy smoothie for a while now. Do you know the cost of good fruit? Even frozen. Then you add in the yogurt, protein powders and such and it all adds up. And I am bot even talking about going organic because thats a rich mans game for family. And this is only breakfast. Why is a healthy salad or salmon dinner more expensive than picking up a burger or a bowl of pasta? Then we are not even getting into snacks……

Yes…… It’s Time!

We are all going a million directions where as they say time is money. I have my morning smoothie game down pat where it doesn’t take me a long time now but that being said, I also don’t have a 9 to 5 job. Luckily for me, I don’t go into work until 1:00 affording me time in the morning to have my smoothie and if I plan a healthy lunch. Dinner though is another thing when I am getting home tire at 6:30. It really is much easier and faster to throw something together processed and filled with carbs than cutting fresh ingredients. Also lets not forget that the fresh ingredients are more expensive. Honestly cooking healthy meals is more time consuming than opening a box and we can all agree with that

With all this being said…..

For me since my kids are older giving me more time……..

For me since I can afford to make the healthier choices without effecting my bottom line for the most part…

It honestly and 100% comes down to will. Some days I have it. Some days I don’t. Some days I am just tired. Some days I just want to spend time cooking a healthy meal Some days it’s a mixed bag much like my entire life.

Here is the thing too. I am not striving for perfection. I know I will go through cycles where I follow a plan and some days I won’t. I also know that in the end all I can do is make the best choices on any given day. Some days that will mean a instagram worthy smoothie, salad, or healthy dinner. Some days it will mean eating fries out of a bag while downing an impossible burger.

Balance…..

Because as I’ve said before – None of us are getting out of here alive and we need to stop beating ourselves up over things that don’t really matter.

Balance

Because I know that I am lucky to be able to do what I can

Tip for the day

Stop beating yourself up because there are enough people in the world that will do it for you. Be your own BFF and have your own back knowing that you are doing the best you can

AND THAT IS OK!

Just For Fun

It’s been a rough few weeks. The ups and downs have been real……

UP

Mama is recovering from being in the hospital after her fall and blood clots. She has many doctors appointments in her future, but she if recovering at my sister’s in California. As a friend said, there are worst places to recover in. As an added bonus, she will have more time with her granddaughter and her new grandson. She is in good hands and is on the road to recovery even if the time it takes is longer than we would like. That being said, she is already baking cookies with granddaughter with help from other grandma.

So that is a huge stress relief and blessing.

Then we have also been dealing with family member who was battling Covid. Sadly the decision to place him in comfort care was the correct one and had the outcome everyone expected, but no one wanted. There is no positive to this story other than he is finally at peace and no longer suffering. Sometimes that is all there can be.

So with all of these stressors, it has been a lot.

Work = stress

Home = stress

Starting home baking business = stress

Life = stress

It was time to do something fun. Something stupid. Something just for me for no other reason than I wanted to do it….. And I did!

Months ago, I had signed up for a winter trail 5K. This event is just a silly fun event that also raises money for good cause.. The Squatchy Onesie Fest is just what it sounds like….. We ran in onesies! Now I will say that it was unseasonable warm which did make for a hotter run than it should be. The ground was muddy, icy, and fun to run all at the same time. I will also say the day after this event, we had a beautiful light snow which is how I initially envisioned this event when I signed up, but it was still perfect just the way it was.

It was just stupid hard fun that I didn’t think about and just enjoyed.

Just what I needed!

Case in point…

I will also say that every time I run the trails, I am reminded how much I really love running them and wish that I had more time to run them. I really need to do both more trails and more stupid just for fun events.

Life Goals

I was also reminded to not take everything so seriously. Just to let go. Have fun and not afraid to look stupid because in the end….. no one will remember your PR time, but they will remember your journey.

What a Year! Oh wait:)

2022 has been a year……. And it has only been a month………

Damn!

January was not the year for running. I looked at my stats and I ran a total of 15 miles. Yes, you read that right. 15 whole miles. So, with out a doubt, not a stellar month for running. I am trying to get back into my training as I would like to comfortably finish the NYC Half. Not looking to run a sub 2 like I did the last time I ran it, but looking to at least enjoy it like I did last time too. I had fun. Running a sub 2 I still managed to take amazing photos and fun selfies while zipping through the city. I want to be able to have that same fun at a different pace.

So I have been trying to get back to my training…..

But it’s hard.

It is so hard.

Again January has been a year….. Like any year, some good. Some bad. Let’s break it down.

The good.

My state of NJ has finally come out of the dark ages and allowed home bakers to legally bake from home with a permit. So beginning of month, I was working on getting all permits and paperwork. Then I was off to the races baking. More truthfully, off to the oven. It has been a whirlwind of testing recipes, filling orders and trying to figure out marketing/required labels. But I have loved it all because to me baking is one of my Happy Places.

So I will share some of my happy moments with you!

Just a little bit of what I’ve been mixing up

While doing this, I am still working my 30 plus normal job, pretending to take care of the house and not letting anything on the home front slide. To say it’s been a lot might be an understatement but I am not complaining because I have a goal.

Then the flip side of the month has brought a lot of different emotion.

A family member has been dealing with the demons of Covid. Watching in slow motion from afar the stories you have watched on the news play out in real time with more than likely the same outcome. This story is still playing out but leaves raw emotions especially for loved ones who you are supporting. So many emotions…. The ONLY thing I will say is …… please get vaccinated. If not for you, for your loved ones.

Then there was/is a health scare with my own mom. She is visiting sister in California and Monday morning fainted falling face first full force on a tile floor breaking her nose in 3 places. After a ride to ER, it was determined that she had a Saddle Pulmonary Embolism which basically is a massive clot in her lungs. They found a second one in her leg. It was a week…… Up and down… Up and down….. Things move quickly in the medical field though (at least in this case). 2 days in ICU. Another 2 in regular room and by Friday in a rehab facility to get strength/confidence back. Hopefully this is a short stay as my sister can’t wait to have her back in her home.

Isn’t she cute? She has some work ahead of her, but outcome is good.

Again, so many emotions all in one week.

All this emotion gets you thinking what does everything mean. I’ve had these conversations/thoughts before. I am having them again.

All or Nothing

Why do we think it has to be all or nothing?

Why do we think that we have to go all in?

Why is balance so hard?

I admit that I have a problem with balance. It might be one of the things that works in my favor when it comes to getting shit done. It also might be one of the things that works against me when it comes to getting shit done. The all or nothing approach comes at a cost.

We can’t start eating healthy because it’s just to hard to give everything up.

We can’t start working out because we don’t have time to commit

We can’t because of this or that or this or that……

But what if instead of thinking we have to commit 110% percent…… What if we just realized that just doing something is better than doing nothing.

What if instead of going gang busters on a new diet plan that we know long term we won’t stick to, we decide that we look at where and how we can make even what might appear to be small changes?

What if instead of waking up at 5:00 AM (you know I’m never doing that) to squeeze in our workout/run in, we just look at what we can do and give that time..

What if instead of thinking that we need to run as fast as we can for what we deem is necessary distance, we just decide to give what we are able to give.

What if instead of sitting on the couch binging Yellowstone (highly recommend), we do it from the treadmill or stationary bike?

There are ways to make what might appear to be small changes….. some might even say insignificant changes……. in a way that are not only sustainable but together can bring big change.

Here is the bottom line…… If you continue to do the same thing, nothing changes. If you start with small changes over time, they will lead to big changes.

So start where you are!

Do what you can!

Most of all be kind to yourself in the process, because you are worth it:)

In Waiting Room

Why are we also perpetually putting our happiness in the waiting room?

I will be happier when I get a new job….

I will be happier when I’m single/married…..

I will be happier when I can fit into a size x again….

I will be happier when I loose X number of pounds…..

I will be happier when I can hit X pace, PR, finish a certain event…..

I will be……

What if we just focus on the will be and see where that takes us?

What if instead of putting our happiness in the waiting room, we focus on what we can do to be happy where we are?

Easier said than done and we all know that.

We live in a society where we are always looking for the next shiny object that is supposed to make us happier. Supposed to make us feel complete. We live in a society that also knows that the discontent makes money.

Now it may seem like I am saying not to have goals…. not to strive for things…… Not to look forward but thats not what I’m saying at all. I am saying we must learn to embrace where we are, what we have, and what we can do in our lives who anything we do will never be good enough.

It also doesn’t help that many of us feel like we are in a holding pattern since the beginning of the Covid Pandemic. NO LIFE DIDN’T STOP even if it is not the same but in many ways a lot is still on hold.

When I was in top form chasing sub 2 half marathons (check), 25 minute 5K (never got it only hit 26 minutes) and a 4:30 half (another miss); these goals kept me motivated. They inspired me to push, but the chase is what made me happy. The disappoints may have been real in not hitting goals, but they also weren’t life changing when I didn’t reach them just as they weren’t when I did.

I was happy with the chase and any goals achieved were the cherry on top.

Right now, I am trying to motivate myself for just the chase. So much to be done and not enough time to do it is keeping the motivation at bay. Many of us are in the same boat because of jobs, family responsibilities, and just the day to day of life. Right now I keep waiting for the motivation to find me, but what I have to do is find the motivation. I’m looking…… I’m really looking…….

If you seek, you will find…..

Motivation…… I’m coming for you…… Is that considered motivation? lol