Best of the Best

Some days we strive to be the best of the best. Some days we strive to be the best version of ourselves. Some days we strive to just be. To just make it through to the end. To just get up. To shower. To go about our day and make it to the end. That is the goal. That is the plan. If we do so, then that is also a victory.

We don’t always need to be the top of our game. We don’t always need to be striving for the best. Sometimes we just need to be. Victories come in all forms of life. Some are big, huge victories. Some are victories that no one sees but we know that they are there just the same.

It is these victories that no one sees that are the most victorious. The small victories that no one cheers for that matter the most. Finishing a marathon is hard, but when you are out on the course with crowds cheering you on while not easy. It is harder to give up than to keep going. Getting up and out the door to train for that race is where the real marathon happens. Yet there are no finish lines to run through on a training run that you didn’t want to do. There is no crowd cheering you as you put your shoes on for a run that you might not have felt like doing. These small victories are what make the bigger victories possible.

Just like waking up, getting out of bed, showering and going about your days when all you want to do is hide under the covers, eat chocolate and not face the world is a victory. These are the moments that no one sees. They see you showing up, ready to face the world and have no idea what is behind the curtain. No idea what it might have taken you to get there.

This is a victory.

Every day someone who is suffering manages to do what they need to do to make it to the end of the day is a victory. The mom whose plate is overflowing, yet still manages to get done what needs to be done. The soul crushing moments where you just want to give up, but keep going. The parent of a sick child that puts on a happy face for that child but cries when alone. The person struggling with depression while everyone thinks that they are a happy go lucky person. The family dealing with illnesses. On and on and on…… We all know someone who fits one of these descriptions or maybe we are that family. It doesn’t matter because we all have something. We all have a curtain that only a few see behind.

I wish they got cheering crowds. I wish they could share these small victories for the world to high five them. I wish the world was ready for them to share these small victories without judgement. I wish they had cheering crowds to push them on and to let them know they are not alone. Often we cheer on silently, but wouldn’t it be awesome if they knew how much support they really had because often they might feel like the weight is on their shoulders alone.

Everyone wants to cross the finish line, but few know what went into getting there. Be it the finish line of a 5K, 10K, Half, Marathon or just life in general. It is not always easy. Actually it usually is never easy. It is often hard. There is grit, sweat and tears. Many times we feel like we are on our own, but the important thing is to remember that even at those times when we feel alone, we aren’t. We just have to remember that while only we can carry ourselves to the finish line, we have people cheering us silently even if we don’t know it. A true friend is always cheering for you in both big and small victories.

Many times we feel like our best isn’t good enough but our best is all we have to offer. So keep doing your best….. No matter what that best means on that given day!

Every person….. Every life… All you can do is what you can do on that given day. No more. No less.

Your best is good enough.

You are good enough.

Keep going!

Consistency is Key

To most “March Madness” means something to do with College Basketball. I know it’s some type of big College tournament and there are brackets to be filled, but I couldn’t tell you what colleges are in it except this year since Rutgers was in it for the first time. I only know that because my Governor talked about it (a lot). Don’t ask me why they haven’t participated before because I couldn’t tell you. Being as I don’t follow basketball (or really any sports for that matter) March Madness and all the madness really means nothing to me.

Sorry not sorry.

For me though, I have taken on my own March Madness. I participated as part of a team for Dylan’s Wings of Change. Part of a Kilter challenge of Miles for Meaning. The winning team won $25,000 for their charity. We actually had 3 teams. Team 1 (not my team) crushed it. Like seriously crushed it. While not on the actual winning team, I was still lucky enough to be part of the overall team and it was amazing support system to push to keep moving and getting the miles in. These winnings will go a long way to helping their organization share their programs.

Going into this challenge, I had hoped to do 100 miles for the month. Considering that January and February that I had only done 50 miles, this was a leap for me. I would have to go back to look at stats to see the last time that I hit 100 miles running. I might have to go back a long time. Now I will say that not ever mile was a running mile, but most were. I have also changed the way I look at my running.

We have all heard it…….. We all know the truth of it……. We roll our eyes at it…….. but we can’t deny it.

Consistency is key.

It is not what we do once, but what we do over and over and over again. It’s not about showing up with your running shoes once, but time after time. Week after week. Run after run. We know the truth of it, yet somehow we ignore it or pretend otherwise. Yes, you can go out and have a great run every now and then, but if you want that feeling more frequently than you have to show up frequently.

I have taken a step in the right direction with showing up this last month. Showing up on days that I might not have wanted to show up. Doing what I needed to do in order to hit my target goal for the month. Showing up the last day of the month for 7 miles…… 1 mile warm-up walking. 5 miles running. Then a mile cool-down. I did this because I needed each of these miles to hit my target.

100 miles

This past month and following the training plan for the NYC Half have reminded me that I need to be more consistent. I need to continue to show up. Show up for myself. Show up because as I once again become more consistent in my running that I am becoming a stronger runner. I am once again learning how to control the run and not let the run control me. Consistency is also giving me the confidence in my running and myself.

Showing up is never easy. Some days it is harder than others. Some days we can find every reason not do show up. Some days these reasons are valid and some days they are just excuses. When you are doing what you love though, you look for not excuses to check out but ways to show up. I want to go back to the days where I did the later. Days where I would go out for a run at 8:00 at night because I needed to get my run in. Days where I just showed up to run…. by myself….. with a group….. on the trails….. on the road….. Anywhere and everywhere.

I recently had a Facebook memory where I said that I was heading out for “12 easy miles with friends.” So many things struck me with that…..EASY! HA!!! Although, before I ever even thought of running a half marathon that I was meeting friends just to run to run. Running long distances for no other reason except to run them. I still remember a friend on one of these runs asking me if I was doing a certain race and then saying “if you can run 12, you can easily run a half.” So I did.

Somehow in all the training and all the goals, I forgot to run just to run. Run without an end in site. Now don’t get me wrong….. All of these goals have been great. They have kept me motivated and moving but……. but……. but……. If you only keep doing something because of the end goal, eventually it becomes a job and you can’t wait to get to the end.

So it seems silly after saying that to say that I am challenging myself with a new goal, but I am. For the month of April (my birthday month), I want to run/walk at least one mile every day. I would actually like to become a more consistent runner and do 3 solid runs a week of at least 5 miles. I remember when 5 miles used to be my normal run and I think that I have been consistent enough where that is where I am now as long as I keep going.

When I first started, I needed to push myself to move. I needed to push myself to put in the work. This is not a fake it till you feel it moment because I am already feeling it. This is keep up the good work and don’t give up moment.

Where are you?

Plugging Along

Plugging along. That’s what I do…….. It’s really all any of us can do. Sometimes it is hard to keep going. Sometimes it’s easier. What really doesn’t matter is how fast, how slow, or even how hard you push. What matters is that you keep going.

I remember when I ran my first big race, one of my kids asked me if I was going to win. I told him not a chance and that I was just training to be able to finish the race. One thing that so many people get stuck on is what is the point if you can’t be the best of the best. The thing is they are missing the point. You don’t have to be the best of the best. You just need to be the best version of yourself. No one can do you better at being you than you.

So often in life we let what others think of our accomplishments diminish them. We compare ourselves and when we do that often we do not compare ourselves favorably. We ask ourselves the wrong questions – Why can’t I be as fast as xyz? Why can’t I run as far as xyz? It’s bad enough when we do this with our running, I won’t even get into when we do it in other aspects of our lives ….. But…….. But……But…. What if instead of asking how we compare to xyz, we ask

Am I being the best version of myself?

Am I doing what makes me happy?

Am I doing all that I can?

These and only these answers are in our control. These answers we can realistically and honestly answer. These are questions that if we don’t like the answers, we can evaluate and change so that eventually we get an answer that we want. We have no control over so many things in our lives, but we do have control over the way we react, what we do and how we live our lives

Case in point –

I was texting with a friend about my blog today. She made the comment, “I think it’s because it’s relatable. It’s not some picture perfect mom or athlete”.

When I started this blog it was to share my progress as I trained for my first (and supposed to be only) Sprint Triathlon. I shared what I learned as I learned it. I’ve never pretended to be more than I am….. I middle aged mom trying to do the best that I can. Sometimes my best isn’t what I want it to be, but it is what it is.

So here I am a few months into 2021 trying to be the best version of myself. Trying to find the sweat spot of running with Hypopara while being realistic. I have not been happy with my running. Not because I wasn’t running fast enough but because of the way I felt after and during. My new approach after my break has been much better both mentally and physically. I can realistically say that this month I will hit the 100 mile mark for running/walking with most of those miles being running miles. Even better, I have done these miles in a way that is best for my body.

Remember that we can only do what we can do and sometimes the best thing we can give ourselves is the gift of time to re-access, re-evaluate, and most of all just keep plugging along because eventually you get where you want to go.

5 Years, 2 Races…. Different but Same Goal…

5 years ago I trained for NYC Half to finish a sub 2 half. I trained hard. I ran hard. I had a great time doing it too because this is what I wanted. I smiled along the course. I took some great photos including selfies. I can still remember towards the end knowing it would be close and turning the corner to head towards the finish line and running as hard as I could to make it across the finish line in just the nick of time…… 1:58:59 A minute to spare!

It was a great day and I am both happy with the way I trained, how hard I pushed, and, obviously, how I finished. I did what I set out to do that day.

Fast forward 5 years…….

I trained for to run a virtual NYC half in my neighborhood. I trained hard but a different hard. Hard is relative. And while this race could not have been anymore different than an in person event, I still was happy with the outcome. Going into my training, I wasn’t sure how I would run the “race.” It is hard to step up to go out and run a race when there is no start line. No horn to go off. No excitement that comes with a race day. In beginning of training, I had envisioned actually racing. There are some that can do a virtual like a in person event as far as pushing themselves. Me, not so much. Feels like just another training run and as training progressed for the half, I thought well I will just do the best that I can and that is just what I did.

So yesterday, I headed out. I started my watch and off I went. Then I turned the corner and saw a mom friend. After chatting with her a bit, I thought let me start again since I was only at .10 and thats what I did. Then before I made it another .10 my Junior in college Face-timed me. So I answered! Good thing because he was calling to ask for help as he felt like he got something in his eye when he was washing his face. After talking a bit, it was decided that he needed to go get it looked at. While talking to him, I walked which ended up being almost my first mile. With him off to go get his eye looked at, it was time to run.

So I ran.

By mile 7, my feet were hurting. I decided that might need to both get some new shoes even trying a different brand and maybe go see my podiatrist again. The discomfort is different that when I dealt with Plantar Fasciitis as the discomfort (pain) is in the ball of the foot under big toe (yeah thats a good vision). Anyway, I did stop (not stopping watch) and massaged my foot. Off I went. I did a mix of walking and running.

Then my newly returned Freshman college student called asking me to use app to order Chipolte as he couldn’t sign in. So I did. I helped that I also made sure to order myself something to eat when I got home. So I walked, ordered, and texted him the order info for him to pick up.

Kept on moving with my mix of walking and running.

Then 2:00 comes and I am still out since I got a later start than I wanted. Simply because I was sitting on the couch and couldn’t motivate myself to leave. Anyway, I didn’t want to miss my Great Nephews first birthday zoom party to sing Happy Birthday. So I walked, logged on, and sang Happy Birthday on the sidewalk. I had like 5 miles to go at this point.

I kept moving. My foot was annoying. I didn’t stop. I kept up my mixture of walking and running. Besides the NYC Half, I also have desire to hit this goal for my Miles for Meaning Running for Dylan Fundraising Team. For the month of March, I am part of a team where each mile earns points where charities can win money. https://www.dylanswingsofchange.org/ is an organization founded my father of Dylan whose life was taken at Sandy Hook Elementary shooting.

Then I hit the last mile and my oldest son is trying to Face-Time me again. I, of course, answer it. I won’t lie the thought of having a good reason to walk didn’t hurt either. Kind of nice that I started and ended my “race” with him too. He proceeds to tell me that he scratched his cornea. Fun…… not really. I did that about 18 years ago and it sucks. He will be ok and just has to put cream on his eye (oh my!). He was wearing a patch as the light was bothering his eye and it hurt to have eye open.

5 years later, I can once again say that I had a great time doing what I was doing. Races could not have been any more different and I appreciate them for their differences. Yesterday was about doing what I set out to do. As a friend texted me when I was finished, “done is done. You are determined once you commit.”

I will say that today I am feeling good. I am tired but I’m always tired. I am planning to do some yoga later and take dog for a walk. Then I’ll call it a day.

So how was your weekend?

Too Much Time on My Hands

I am almost there. I have been (for the most part) sticking to the training. I have been doing what I need to do. I’ve been pushing. I’ve been smart. That being said…….

Part of me feels drained. Part of me wonders if this is it. I’m going into this event trained and it shows. Part of me feels like I’ve hit a wall. Not a phycical one but a mental wall. Yes, my legs are sore. yes my feet have discomfort and require a little TLC, but nothing out of the ordinary. I have after all been training for a Half Marathon so that is not to unexpected.

Mentally though I’m just not there. I’m feeling drained. I’m feeling Blah. I’m wondering how I ever trained and ran marathons when this is so hard. I wonder why I decided to do this and if I will even do it now. I wonder so many things while running, but for the most part…. I am just feeling blah.

Here is the thing….

I have always been a solitary runner especially when training for events, but I was never exclusively solitary. I also loved running with friends. Going to races with friends was the best! Paces didn’t matter and we would work it out and just enjoy the company. I will admit that since becoming hypopara, I’ve become even more of a solitary runner but there were still the occasional running with friends. Since Covid those runs have been far and very few between. It’s been just mostly me.

I’m starting to get bored with my own company:) It’s starting to get to me. This week while out running the Stylx song Too Much Time on My Hands came on my playlist. Normally I would be jamming out to the song because who wouldn’t but the song just sounded different.

“I’ve got nothing to do and all day to do it
Well I’d go out cruising, but I’ve no place
To go and all night to get there”

Doesn’t it seem to sum up the last year?

“Too much time on my hands
It’s tick tick tick tick ticking away (Too much time on my hands)
Now I don’t know what to do with myself (Too much time on my hands)
Too much time on my hands
Too much time on my hands
Too much time on my hands”

No Races

No Group Runs

No Lunches out

No Dinners out

No Family get togethers

No vacations

Nothing……

Just too much time on my hands.

The Pandemic wall is real and don’t let anyone tell you differently. I am thinking that all the reminders on the news, on your FB memories and friends posts is enough to remind you how long this has been and how we all thought we would be back to normal within just a few weeks if not just a few months. A YEAR….. A WHOLE $%*&^# YEAR!

I know we are almost there. We can see the light at the end of the tunnel. It’s burning brighter now but we are still crawling through the tunnel and we are getting tired. We can do it. It’s just…… we are all so ready for this to be over and knowing we are close makes you think about the things that we know we’ve been missing. Things we just ignored this last year because we knew it wasn’t even an option. So we continue to on, we know we will get to the other side soon.

So just be kind. Be kind to yourself. Be kind to others.

We’ve got this

Be Brave (Take 2)

Take 2! The first published before it saved changes. Those who I text regularly could recognize my crazy voice and fat finger typing without editing……. Plus, I hate when editing does not change:)

Anywho….

Consistency is key to anything. Repetition is what takes something and makes it learned behavior. Think when you learned your multiplication tables. Who remembers those drills, pop quizzes and all those practice, practice, practice. (yeah, maybe that was just me since math was never my forte). You didn’t learn them from osmosis or at least I didn’t. You’ll learned them because you continually worked on them. Practiced until it became instant recall. My son in college seems to be doing this with formula’s I couldn’t even begin to tell you what they are called, let alone their purpose. During the pandemic many took up baking bread. As a baker, I can attest the more you do so the better the end product. Baking bread to many was like a science experiment with many complicated but necessary steps. Over time it became easier to tell when kneading was done. When your dough had the the right texture,and eventually could just do it by feel. There was no second guessing, you just knew.

The same consistency is required with training and creating a workout routine. For most, we need to schedule time for your workout because it is not part of the routine nor necessarily something we are looking forward to (yet) . Eventually with consistency it becomes part of you and it feels strange if you miss it. I’ve mentioned before how my husband transformed himself with loosing weight through the tried and true method of diet and exercise. In the beginning, it was challenge but now he couldn’t imagine a day where he was not doing something physically active. It has become part of him and he looks forward to one of his daily workouts.

It takes bravery to step out and try something new. It takes bravery to commit to something. To put yourself out there no matter how far or near out there you may go. It takes bravery and commitment to say you are going to do something and then actually do it. Even if it isn’t working for you, it is so much easier to stay in the same place. There is comfort in the uncomfortableness of the known because while it may suck at least you know what you are dealing with. To stay with what is comfortable even if it is not where you want to be instead of tiptoeing into the unknown…… So no matter how hard it is to stay in one place, it is always so much harder to take the first step and then the second.

Consistency is needed in beginning of any plan. It is necessary until it becomes part of you.

Some will go far.

Some will go as far as they can.

Some will go fast.

Some will go as fast as they can.

Pace….. Distance…. Events…..

The most important thing is to be true to yourself. With that thought process, I’ve been plugging away on my half marathon training plan. I’ve been sticking to the program which I admit is much easier to do with a treadmill now. I used to hate treadmill running (and part of me still does), but since I’ve discovered watching shows on Netflix while running it isn’t bad. I also credit the treadmill with allowing me to reboot my training and keeping me in check with where I should be running for that reason alone I owe it some love. That being said, you can’t race from a treadmill which means you need to also do some training outside.

This week for the first time since I started following my Half Marathon training plan, I took the run outside. I didn’t watch my watch, but wanted to test myself and run by feel. I wanted to keep the run conversational for the most part, but also make it a worthwhile training run. So I chatted with myself. Tested how I felt and kept myself where I thought I should be running. Hours later I looked at my paces and info from my run and I surprised myself. I hit the paces that I should be hitting. I actually had surprisingly beautiful negative splits. Most of all and this is the best part…… I enjoyed the run. There was no beating myself up because I wasn’t hitting certain paces, that I was running too slow or any such thing. There was knowledge that I was doing what I should be doing and that was enough.

Sometimes that is more than enough. I know that if I pushed myself that I could hit faster paces, but for now this is not a tradeoff I am willing to make right now. I also realized that this was enough. It is always enough. I might actually be able to push myself faster and harder, but the cost to do so is one that I am no longer willing to pay. We all have to decide what we want. What we are willing to give up. What we are willing to trade off. What we are willing to work for and what is not worth the work. These are individual choices that no one can make for us. There is no one size fits all and that is ok.

What choices are you making today? Remember not making a choice is still a choice, so choose wisely my friend

Keeping Streak Alive

My NYCM Virtual Medal from last year. Without cheering crowds, physical start of finish line or any of the normal things a marathon bring back in October I completed 26.2 miles walking. Yes, walking… walking and more walking. It was long. It was peaceful. It was grueling leaving me with more blisters than I ever got running a marathon. Most of all it was satisfying knowing that I accomplished what I set my mind to. Although I am not sure I will ever intentionally walk a full marathon again, this medal will be a reminder to keep moving forward even when you dont feel like it.

I realized something now too. I have now completed 8 Marathons. 2016 I actually ran 2. NYC and a trail race. So this led me to realize that I have now completed 4 marathons post hypopara and 4 hypopara. So the next one will obviously mean that I will have completed more post hypopara. Yes, that does mean that I am thinking of doing a marathon this year. Hopefully it won’t be virtual, but who knows.

I have seem some events be held, but these do seem to be trails. I have also seen some events open registration for fall events. I honestly am not sure if I would feel comfortable doing a big or even smaller in person event even if I get vaccinated. I say if because even though I am eligible as a child care provider, there seems to be no appointments to be had. I have happily watched friends in the healthcare field post their “I’m vaccinated” photos but now I’ve heard of people jumping the line who have gotten vaccine that annoy me. People without health conditions that do not need to leave their home for work. I’m actually not sure why they were proud of themselves, but they thought nothing of jumping the line. I admit, I will judge them for doing so.

Anywho…… I am happy to see vaccines rolling out. My Mother and some family members eligible have gotten theirs as well. I watch numbers of vaccines administered and I know they are doing amazing numbers and my turn will come soon enough. I’m just anxious as is everyone else in the world. I know once vaccinated, you must still be cautious but I guess it would give a small sigh of relief. I can’t wait to know what that feeling that is and I know it’s just around the corner.

All that being said, I do think it is going to take a long time for things to return to normal. We certainly didn’t even think we would be approaching a year of this. Remember the innocent days of almost LAST YEAR when we entered a strict lockdown. We all thought that we would just be doing it a few weeks and we would flatten the curve. Silly us. Although it and we did make a difference. There was only so much that we could do. I mean much more was asked of previous generations. We were simply asked to wear a mask and stay home.

So as things open up and return to normal, we will all have different levels of comfort. We might even get some anxiety with things that used to be normal and enjoyable. I can’t imagine going to an event with 50,000 runners with 3 waves. It just would make me hyperventilate. Then thinking about random high fives, taking food from strangers, and all the fun things that happen along the way. It just seems like too much………. for now. We will get there again, but I do wonder how big events like this will be done this year. I believe by November, events like this will be able to happen. I just think there will be changes and maybe this first year it is not the huge even we all know and love. I guess we will wait and see.

I do know that I want to complete a marathon. I realize that I think it would be cool to be able to continue to say that I’ve run a marathon every year for 10 years. So that means I’ve got a few years to go. Some people streak a mile a day. That is too much for me and really don’t have that level of dedication. I like the thought for a marathon streak as I think it’s easier. (Ha! – truth).

Anywho, I have not thought for what I will do or where but it does ramble in the back of my mind as so many other thoughts do, Right now though, I am focused on continue with my Half Marathon training which is going well. This is my only goal. I also know that by completing this goal, I will be in the right position to start formulating and planning a fall marathon.

One mile at a time.

One goal at a time.

What are you working towards?

The Roller Coaster Ride

I’ve been up

I’ve been down.

I’ve thrown my hands up giving myself up to enjoy the ride

I’ve wondered if I was foolish to even get on as it begins to take off. The anticipation while you wait in line, strap yourself in and begin to take off wondering if you are up for what lies ahead. The thing is once the ride takes off, you have no choice but to buckle in and make the best of it. You can scream. You can laugh. You can throw your hands up and just enjoy the ride. Doesn’t matter what you do because once it takes off, you are commited. Sometimes you think you have reached the end of the ride only to realize that you are going around another bend.

A few times I’ve thought that I reached the end of my roller coaster ride only to realize how wrong I was. I think I am really finally coming into the station of acceptance with my 2016 post surgery Hypopara running. You may be thinking…… it has taken since 2016. Acceptance isn’t as easy as it sounds. Then there are the times where you think you have reached the stage of acceptance only to realize that you have just been getting by and really have not. Letting Pride really keep you from making it to the end.

Here is the thing. Since my 2016 surgery left me Hypopara, I kept trying to push myself to run at a pace where I no longer was physically able to run. Mind you I knew that I was no longer at a run sub 2 half pace, but I still never embraced where I should realistically should be running even if at times I thought I did.

Recap for new followers –

For about two years or so before my surgery, I was working with an amazing coach. With her guidance I ran a sub 2 half marathon, a 50K, and I was able to even run a 26:26 5K. I was at the top of my game and I even timed my surgery to be after running the 2016 NYC Marathon. I’ve said it before, the surgery was just going to be a blip.

Until is wasn’t.

Then I kept riding the roller coaster knowing that I was the same, but trying to be something that I wasn’t. Not to say that I won’t be again, but not now. After surgery, I origionally was over medicated so I was able to keep my running up. Then realization that I could no longer keep calcium levels up in the 9’s but for safety of kidney’s . Needing to keep levels just below or at normal level’s. Doesn’t sound like much but for those of us with Hypoparathyroidism, we can tell you that there is a BIG difference how one feels with calcium at a level 9 compared to 8.2 or even 8.5. I also think that for right now I have found a happy medium where my calcium has been around 8.4 last couple times. The balancing act is real.

Anywho…… for the longest time a year or two after my surgery I kept trying to run paces that while much slower than my 2016 paces but realistically were not paces that I should be running. The thing is that I really couldn’t maintain them either. I did a lot of running too fast. Needing to walk and then running again. Then with the 20 pound post surgery weight gain and everything else, running a 10:45 pace was not where I should be even though at the time I thought that was “slow.” I remember posting in a group that my former coach runs about having to walk during my runs and I’m paraphrasing because honestly I don’t remember exactly what she said even if I remember the meaning behind what she was saying. She basically said that I was walking because I was running too fast and maybe (I add that in my mind) pride was the reason. Even though I knew the truth of her words, like many not willing to accept reality I blew off what she was saying. Although if there is one thing anyone who has worked with Caolon knows…… She knows what the (beep) she is talking about even if you choose not to hear her.

So I went on….. and on….. and on…… until I finally gave up running completely. I spent months just walking. I walked and walked and walked some more. I even walked a virtual marathon. Then I was ready to run again. I wanted to run again. There was beauty in having not run for a long time. I was 100% starting from the beginning and needed to respect starting from scratch. My mind was in the right place this time. I also think that deciding not to train by pace but heart rate helped because it gave me the ability to learn where I should be running to actually run.

So here I’ve been just running and training. 100% recognizing that pace is not the goal right now. That the goal is to find where I should be running and run there. I’ve been embracing the running and am now following a training plan for the NYC Virtual Half. I am only using the plan for milage and training not following anything by pace. It has also been helpful that even though I hate it, I have been running on the treadmill. This is good because it does allow me to control pace that I’m running at without concern that I end up running at a pace I shouldn’t be.

I’ve also realized pace is irrelevant to me right now. I am more concerned with being able to run without leaving myself and my body depleted. Since running by heart rate and finding the correct pace while still pushing myself, I have realized that I have not been getting muscle spasms. I am not depleted to the point where I NEED (not want) to nap and most of all I can function in my day to day life.

Last week I ran a hard 5K.

Then this week in training I ran 4.5 running 4 without stopping and feeling good. I did this running average pace of 12:37. This “hard” run was literally a minute faster than what I used to do my easy runs at. So today I needed to run 7 miles, my longest run so far this training cycle. Since this was a long run that meant I need to run slower. I started off with a 5 minute warm up walk and then when I hit every mile I walked for 45 seconds. I’m not sure that I actually needed the walk, but it did break up the treadmill running. Who knows what that would parlay to outdoor running, but for right now I am happy to be running, not feeling like I can’t do it, and feeling like I could do more when I stop.

I’ve been thinking a lot about accepting where I am lately. I realized that while I thought I had accepted where I am right now that I really had not. I do think that this roller coaster ride is finally coming into the station. Acceptance does not mean that I won’t push to try to do better. It does not mean that I can’t work to do better in the future. It does not mean that I won’t have days where things bother me. It just means that I am ok with where I am today.

Where are you today?

Get Out of Your Own Way

I had planned to run my first in person 5K today. I thought it sounded fun and also safe since it was on the trails. The fun part was dressing in an adult onesie. I was all set to run in my unicorn onesie. I even roped a running friend in for the event. (Roped is a strong word……. I told her about it and asked if she wanted to sign up. So she did).

One of the best things is that my NYC Half Virtual training lined up with a set back week and running a 5K this weekend. Yeah…. When things align

Until they don’t.

Lots of snow last week made it seem like a challenge but a fun one. I do love the snow and I have Yaktraxs for my shoes and they have not been used in a long time.

Then the timing belt on my Honda Pilot decides that 100,090 miles is enough and decides that it is time to be replaced. So while I could have still gone in our other vehicle the prospect of driving over an hour in our big Truck and then trying to park was not appealing. While this is not a big rig, it is a king cab sized truck with a full pick-up bed and parking even my pilot is not my forte. So I decide not to go.

Boo……

My brave and very fu friend still goes as her daughter volunteered to go with her as her support team

Aren’t they cute?

I talked to her afterwards and she had a good run. She told me that I would have been able to park, but I think she overestimates my ability to park the truck. I’m sad that I missed the day, but it did make me realize something…….

I want to run again. Like many runners, I miss in person events and can’t wait to go to one. I also can’t wait to actually race….. Like race at my limit…….. Push myself till my sides hurt.

I did that today. I didn’t want today to be a washout, so I laced up and went on the treadmill. I did a 5 minute warmup walk. Then I cranked up the pace and ran. Unfortunately, I forgot to start my Garmin right away, so I had to actually run more than a 5K, but all is good.

It was hard……. I was pushing as hard as I could. I was sweating…….. At the end, my side was literally hurting……. It felt freaking awesome to push that hard. To go to the limit. To know that if I do what I need to do, I can get where I need to go.

Done is done

When you stop comparing yourself to others……… When you stop comparing yourself to what you once were…….. When you stop thinking about what you wish it was……….. Most of all when you get out of your own way, it is amazing to see where you actually can go.

till next time!

January Recap and Thoughts

Many runners, myself included, have used the expression……

I will say that after looking at my stats for January, I was very pleasantly surprised. I hit over 50 miles for the month. Now preHypopara, I would regularly ran 100 miles in a month. I am proud of that. I am equally proud of my 50 in January.

I downloaded a training plan for my virtual NYC Half and have been following it. As said before, I am not worrying about pace. I’ve been using heart rate and training zones to set where I am running. It seems to be working because I’ve been able to stick to the plan, finish the workouts and actually feel good doing so. I have only missed one workout so far and that was inauguration day and sorry not sorry that was a day to savor and enjoy which I did! Other than that I’ve stuck to the plan.

A few observations……

I have forgotten how to dress to run outside in the cold. I used to run heat, cold, rain, or snow outside. I’ve become not only soft with running outside but have forgotten how to layer properly. My problem is that I run hot, but I also hate to start off cold. This means recently that I am much to overdressed once I start running. Also doesn’t help that I may or may not be bigger which means my winter tights are tighter than they used to be. Work in progress as I need to figure this out.

I also am very lucky to have turned my garage into a mini workout area complete with equipment including a treadmill. I still hate running on a treadmill as I find it absolutely boring, but I am figuring that out. Running and looking at garage door going nowhere is super boring. I’ve started streaming shows which passes the time.

One big thing that I noticed about running on the treadmill is I get different readouts from the treadmill to my Garmin watch. Not sure which is more accurate, but I have been going by my Garmin. Somehow I feel the treadmill is tuned into my body and while I may be running on the hamster wheel it is registering that. I need to do some research to see what is what but sfor now I will go by my Garmin.

So first month of the year had a strong start. Been eating better. Been excersicing regularly. Been doing what I need to do. Would be nice if all that hard work paid off with a pound or two leaving town but guess you can’t have everything. So for now I will take being able to do what I’m doing and feeling good about it.