Let it Go, Let it Go

As Elsa said, It’s really time to Let it go….

I  never really let things go.

It’s time.

Ok.  It’s past time.

For example, I ordered these pace bands once I got into Chicago.

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If you can’t tell, these are 4:15 and 4:30 pace bands.

Crazy now.   At one point, it was a goal.   Actually it wasn’t even a crazy goal.

In the back of my mind, this was while not a goal, it was possible.   I was secretly holding onto it.    I couldn’t let it go.   No matter how improbable or silly, I held onto it.    In the deep recesses of my brain, I admit now that this was always there.   I kept imagining a miracle in my training.  That something  would click and I would be right back there.   As much as that seed was in the back of  my mind, I realistically trained for where I am today.

I am at a 5 if not a 5 1/2 hour marathon.

I’m a firm believer in goals.   It’s what kept me running.

Some people have goals for speed, some distance, some just getting out the door.   My goal at this point is honestly just to finish.   Each goal is a worthy goal.   Each brings it’s own set of challenges.   That is the beauty of being a runner.   You are only competing with  yourself and your own limitations.   Some real and some imagined.

So with a goal of getting to the finish line, I need to run smart.    As I’ve said before, I’ve hit the wall before at a marathon.   It’s not pretty.  I, honestly, don’t know if I can push through it today.   I’ve got a lot going  on… The calcium issues, the stomach issue, the tendonitis, and oh yeah being 15 pounds heavier than last year.

I’ve sought out advice from those who have dealt with hypoparathyroidism longer than me.   One thing that stuck with me is this response…

“We live a very measured life. We don’t get the option to give it a 70% or an 80%. If we are to accomplish what we are aiming for, We have to give it a 100% . At all times.”

So with this advice, I know that I have no room for show boating.   I’ll save that for a later date with friends whose hands I will grab as we cross the finish line.

A 5 hour marathon is still a marathon.

A 5 1/5 hour marathon is still a marathon.

And I’ve got 6 1/2 hours to get to the finish line.   I will say that I’m hoping to get there before then, but I will get there and be happy about it if that is how it rolls that day.

All I know is that when I get to the finish line, I might hug the person giving me a medal.worth it

 

 

Taper Town

Well some how I have arrived at Taper town without feeling like I have fully trained or am ready to run a marathon.

Good Times.

Chicago will be my 5th marathon.   I’ve gone into some in what I may have thought was under trained, now I look at those training cycles and realize how ready I was for them.  This is the first marathon where I actually went and read what the cut off time would be as I think I might really need to know this.

  A smarter person may have decided to defer Chicago.   A smarter  person might have said, “another year.”   Here’s the thing though….    I may be crazy, but I am definitely  not stupid.   I’ve adjusted my training.   I’ve adjusted my expectations.   I’ve prepared.

  I’ve trained for this marathon using the walk/run method.    To  go the distance right now, this is what I need.   Then part of me thinks, well I did run a half marathon in April so why not just run the marathon.  But I trained with the walk/run, so I need to use this on race day.   I’m pretty sure when they say don’t do anything different on race day this would fall under that category.   Just saying.     My subconscious is obviously trying to make sure that I know that too because I’m already dreaming about Chicago.

In my last dream, another runner came up to me, got in my face, and yelled at me to run my own race.

Um, ok.

I guess that should be the plan.

Everything is falling into place and as long as I don’t fall apart on the course all should be good.     I will say that I’m praying for a cool race day.   I just can’t seem to tolerate the heat when running anymore.  I’m not sure why but it seems to be a common complaint with those with hypoparthyroidism.  I think it is my meds as dosage did go up after that race.   One of the side effects of Calcitriol is sweating more than usual leading to electrolyte imbalance.   I will also say that while I was always a sweater, I am epic sweater now.   I do think my dosage is too high which is something I will discuss at upcoming appointment with specialist in NY.   Although this close to marathon, I would be reluctant to make any dosage changes.

The other day, I went out for my last long run.    Between mile 12 and 13, I fell apart.   I didn’t need to look at my pace to see that.   I was running in a patch with no shade and I started to overheat.  I was sweating so much I look like I’d peed my pants and I was drenched.    Luckily I pushed through till I got to a bathroom  in the park where I proceeded to fill my empty water bottle up and dump it over me.   After about 4 bottles of water down my back, over my neck, and down my shirt I felt much better.    So note to self, if hot I will be dumping water at water stations on my head.  I’m sure that I will look fabulous in my race pictures too.   Ha!

Anyway, I will stick to the plan.

My Race

My Pace

Walking isn’t a crime.

Do what needs  done.

determination

 

 

Just This Once

When I ran my first marathon,  I went with to it with the running Mama who was the little birdie in my ear telling me that I should register because after running the Runner’s World Hat Trick I was ready.   I was probably an easy sell, but without her nudging I would not have registered.  She had everything in place and needed a room mate, so it all worked out.

I was all set.

I admit that I was a little sad that my family was not coming to see me, but that was understandable and for another post.    During my training, both my mother and “baby” sister who lives across the country (literally) were my biggest cheerleaders.   They had both expressed how they wanted to be there, but I was really ok with it.    My mother is not one to travel by  herself especially to the city and my sister is on another coast.

The day of the race comes and off we go.    When this race took place, both the half marathon and marathon were not only the same day but started together.   I went into this with no expectations as I really jumped in last minute with only one ever 20 mile training run.   As I was heading into the mid point of the marathon, I could hear the finish line for the half.   The announcer was clearing stating how If you are running the marathon, please stay to the left.   All half marathoners, please go to the right for the finish line.  THE FINISH LINE.   This was disheartening to hear.   At this point, I was thinking that there would be no shame just to run the half and was planning to go right.

Until…

Then crap, I had to run a marathon.   My mantra became, “your sister did not fly across country for you not to finish.

So I did.

Towards the end of the marathon, my sister ran onto the course to give me one single rose to carry across the finish line.   I took it, looked at it, and gave it back to her  telling her it was too heavy.

Yes, I really did.   I think the rose was made of metal.  Ha!

Once the race was over, there were many hugs and before my family and I parted ways my sister informed me that she only did this because it was my first marathon.

One year later…

This time, I am running Marine Corps Marathon.    I am going to DC on my own.    That is until my sister informs me that my mother and her are hitching a ride with me.   She flies in and off we go for a road trip to DC.

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Once again, she joins me towards the end of the race.   This time she brings no rose.   I  am dealing with some stomach issues.   She hears me drop the F bomb a few times, curse the stupidity of running a marathon even going on about how stupid it is for people to want to watch, and then listens as I tell her never again.

I finish.

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Once again, we both say never again.   I won’t do another marathon and she can’t keep flying across the country.

Then NY.

My sister although a California girl  but a huge part of her heart is in NY City.    She watched the marathon a few times when she lived in the City.    How could she not come in now.    This time she can not stay for the end as she literally had to catch a plane, but does maneuver herself around the city to see me a few times.

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She is not there this time to hear me curse the never again, but we both have the same thought.   We can’t keep doing this.

Then Chicago…..

I am not going alone this time.   I am going with another Mama Runner.   It’s all set and it’s all good.   Then a text from my sister.   Her husband happens to have something in Chicago that week.   She is going to fly out and meet him and then stay for the marathon.

So it seems like no matter how often we both say never again, we keep meeting like this

and

It will be a wonderful thing.

 

 

The Moment

The moment someone ask what your training for and then the look of surprise when you tell them Chicago marathon.

Then the next question is usually, “Is this your first marathon?”

Then a further look of surprise when you tell them this will be your 5th.

I still haven’t decided weather I take their look of surprise as a compliment or an insult.   Either way, I do see it.   I really can’t hold it against them when as I’ve said before , I don’t have “the traditional runners body.”  What ever the Heck that is.

Then usually they ask how long it takes?

I’ve never really understood why non runners ask this question, because then it is usually followed with, “Is that a good time?”

My answer is usually, ” For me it is.”

Then the final question that grated on my nerves even before I made the concious decision to do walk/run approach, “Do you walk?”

I have found these questions are only asked by non runners.   A runner may ask your finish time or pace, but a runner has never asked if I walk.

Here is the Rub…….

Does it matter?

Is 26.2 miles in 5 hours, still not 26.2 miles?

And even though I’m wondering if I will sneak in this time right under the 6.5 hour cut-off, won’t I still be going 26.2 miles???

Some runners may push themselves to finish a marathon in a Boston Qualifying time.   While some runners may be pushing themselves just as hard and coming in just under the wire.    You don’t know what someone is dealing with.   You don’t know how hard someone is pushing.   We are each pushing ourselves just to get out the door and to the start line.

So this is my pet peeve today.    Please don’t assume just because my pace is slower than those at the front of the Pack  that I am working any less than them.

But as I  said before, most of this comes from people who think I’m crazy anyway:)

We are all just doing the best we can on any given day.

What more can we ask for?

Nothing.

So keep doing what your doing, because you are doing it for yourself and no one else anyway.

Oh, and I admit that I do like a little bling.

So I might also be doing it for the bling:)26.2_1

 

Leaving My Couch Behind

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I have to be honest as you know I always am, I really used to hate this expression.   I find it to be condescending.   Smug and even a little obnoxious.

Not everyone wants to get off the couch.   I’m not in competition with those that our sitting on their couch.   Now though I look at it not as a way of shaming those who for whatever reason are not getting out there.   I look at it as a way to say that I am willing to push myself past all the reasons that I could use to stay on the couch.

Recently (like today) though I’ve been thinking about it.   A lot.   It would be so much easier for me to give up.   No one would blame me.   Some might even think it is the smart thing to do.   I can stop at any time if I wanted.  Yet, for some reason I can’t.

It’s just not something that I am willing to do.

 No one is pushing me out the door.   Although I have awesome supportive friends, they would support me no matter what I decided to do.  No one is making me train.   No one is making me run or train for a marathon.   (If anyone would like to, that would be fine with me).

Today’s run I knew would not be a good one.   I knew it before I even walked out the door.   My body aches.   My foot is still hurting.   I had 14 on the books and from the get go decided that I would do 10 today and run tomorrow to kind of make up the difference.  (Yes, I know that’s not how training works; but sometimes you’ve got to adjust).

Out the door I went.

It wasn’t a horrible run, but it might have been up there with worst training runs.  I walked more than I should.   I stopped a few times to stretch.    I just was Blah.   All that being said, I ended up with an 11:40 pace.

Then I did something on my run today that I thought I would never do.    I called for someone at home to pick me up.   If I pushed, I knew I could finish.   I was only 2 miles from home.

Here is the rub.

I didn’t want to.   I just didn’t think with the way my body was feeling that it made any sense to do that.  I also knew that it would not be good for my mental training either.

You would think that I would be freaking out since Chicago is less than a month away.   I’m not.   I’m actually pretty calm about it.    Really this close to the race, pushing when I shouldn’t push will do more harm than good.

So I did the “ride of shame” home, but felt no shame.

I have no doubt that when I step up the Chicago Start line that I will also cross the Chicago finish line.

Remember I’m one stubborn and determined person.   Besides, I do like getting a medal put around my neck.

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It’s All Her Fault

 

 

We all have days in our lives that are pivital.    Many times we don’t recognize it at the time how important these days are to our journey.    Today is one of those days.

Today is my “Fitness Anniversary.”

Yeah, I totally made that slogan up, but I like it and it’s true.

Just a few short years ago today in 2013 was the day that I received my very first medal.

????????

This was supposed to be my one and done event.   My nod to that I  may have been getting older, but that didn’t mean that I couldn’t do something unimaginable in my youth.

This blog was started as a way for friends and family to track my training and journey to this event.

Who knew at the time that all the talk of the “One and done” was in haste?

This event was September 8, 2013; but it started much earlier than that.  It was literally almost a year in the making and I actually owe it all to my friend Rose (I totally blame you:).    This was the year that I decided that I was going to start an exercise program.   Once I started, my friend roped my into signing up for the Sandy Hook Iron Girl.   She had very good points – we would train together, it would keep us motivated,  we could train with the local YMCA Tri group, and it would be fun.

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I will be honest, I didn’t necessarily think it was all fun.   I may have complained about how much I hated running during the Couch to 5K program.    I may have thought that I would drown during the swim and I certainly didn’t like the way my butt felt  after riding the bike for so long.

Then something changed along the way.

Me.

Small changes at first which morphed into bigger changes.

Running became not something to dread, but something I looked forward to and actually went out of my way to do.

It became part me.

Now exactly a month from now on October 8th I will be standing at the starting line for the Chicago Marathon, my 5th marathon.   I have logged countless miles since the beginning, made countless friends, and learned much about myself.

I actually went and looked at my stats from MapMyRun today.   While not 100% accurate, this app I have used since I started running “seriously” in 2013.

Total miles:  2,855.85

Duration:  24.93 DAYS

Calories Burned: 341,174

I look at those totals and the first thing that comes to mind…….

Shouldn’t I be thinner?

Then I think….

Damn!

Even though this last year, my totals are not that impressive, that means nothing.   I didn’t start this journey to have the best totals.   I started it for me and I continue it for me.

And that is all you can ask of yourself….

Do what makes you happy:)

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A Line in the Sand

Most “dedicated” runners on even a “normal” run put their bodies through pounding that most people don’t understand.

Tell someone that you ran a 50K and ran for 7 plus hours and they look at you like your insane.

crazy

Tell someone you ran a marathon and you usually get asked why followed by  something about how they could never do that.

Tell someone you’ve ran a half marathon and they still don’t get why but you seem a little more normal to them.

Where does the line blur?

I know people who ran as a way to get in shape.  People close to me.   Then the moment they are faced with an issue that stems from their running, they stop.  Now I am not saying they are wrong for stopping as each person must do what is best for them.   I’m talking about the rest of us.    Those of us who for some strange reason there is no line in the sand.

No weather too bad to keep us from a run.

No injury that our first question isn’t,

“How long till I can run.”

It just becomes part of who we are.

We are runners.

Pure and simple.

Now there may be those who can not push through and injury and circumstances will stop them from actually running, but in their heart of hearts they are still runners.

Today my feet our sore.   I’m putting anti-inflammatory cream on them.   I’ve got a line from my favorite sports bra (you know you have one too) that proves that I’ve gained some weight as it now chaffs.  My quads are tight and will require stretching.

These are normal things to me.   Just another day at the office.

Yet…

They are only normal to some of us.

The rest of the world thinks we are insane.

They might not be wrong, but it’s a good insanity.

This is why runners are both awesome and always cheer each other on regardless of pace, distance, or terrain.

We got your back

and

It’s nice to know there are so many that have mine

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3 Minutes at a Time

Today was a day that mentally was required more than it was physically and physically it was a necessity.   18 miles on the books.   After how hard my last 6 were,  I had my doubts about today.   The one thing that I really had on my side…..

DETERMINATION

It’s really the one thing that that keeps my going.

Seriously.

Anyway, I made plans to run the first 10 miles with my amazingly supportive friend who would do walk/run with me.   We decided since it was going to be a cold rainy morning that we would start at noon to miss the rain.   We both know that on any given race day the rain won’t stop us, so no need to go out in it unnecessarily.   Besides as I’ve said before, I’m not really a morning person.   This morning I really wasn’t a morning person.   I woke up at 8:00 proceeded to move to the couch with my coffee and fall fast asleep.   I couldn’t keep awake.   Finally around 9:30, I seemed to come out of my sleep coma.   This gave me enough time to do some things around the house and head out the door in time to run to my friend.

I figured that since I had more miles to do that I would try to get some in before meeting her.   I got about a mile and half in.   Then did some stretching when I got to her house and off we went.

I will say that it is so nice to run  with a friend who you can chat away the miles with.   When your brain is otherwise occupied with discussions of running, family, politics, and life in general; you tend to forget about the soreness the pounding is causing.  Sadly for me her 10 miles came to an end.    We ran back to her house where I could refill water bottles and add my Cal-EZ to my water.

Then off I went.

On my own, I thought about my running strategy and tried to ignore my legs.    Like most runners, I’m trying to determine what my fuel needs will be for the marathon.   I also realized that maybe (not maybe) I had made a mistake only have oatmeal in the morning.   I’m also trying to determine when and how to add extra calcium.    Normally during a race, I do not stop at the water stations and just use my water bottles.   I think Chicago will be different.   I think that I will fill my water bottles with my calcium water via Cal-EZ) and then use the stops for water or Gatorade.  I’m guessing that would be easier than trying to add it while running.   I could take Tums, but I’m partial to Cal-EZ as I know it causes no issues and keeps my levels steady, it’s easy to take, and I can keep track of my dose.

Work in progress and will give it more thought.

By mile 15, I needed to stop for some stretching.   I didn’t let myself stop long as I thought it would get too hard to start again.    At this point the run turned into, it’s only 3 more miles.   I can run 3 miles.   By about 16.5, I reached the 7-11 where I needed to stop to get some Gaterade as my water bottles were empty.   I am a sweater and I really needed to replenish electrolytes.    It’s funny the people at 7-11 must see it all because they don’t look twice at me in my running belt drenched in sweat.   It’s all good.

Some more stretching while I refilled my bottles and then off I went.

The last mile was hard in that I just wanted to be done.   I literally went from counting the mile to counting the minutes.   Telling myself that I could run for 3 minutes and for the most part I did.

Bottom line is that I got it done which is all I needed.    Still not paying attention to pace, but ending up finishing with an average pace of 11:51.   I’m finding that I do seem to be keeping an even pace during the running and I’m not walking like a snail during recovery.

It’s all good.

determination2

 

 

I’m Not One to Talk About it….

 

 

I complain a lot here, but in person not so much.   My family while they know that running is harder now, don’t realize how much harder it is for me now.  There are a few reasons..

  1. What is anyone going to do about it
  2. When your the only runner in the house, you know your spouses first reaction will be to tell you to stop running races and running at all.
  3. No one likes a complainer.

  Believe it or not, it’s not something I really like to talk about.

That’s what I have here for…

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I feel like my life and training are on a bit of a yo-yo.    I’ve had some good runs recently.    Some I can do anything runs.    Then they are followed by the what the Hell am I doing this for runs.

Such is life.

I will say the What the Hell runs do give you the mindset to push through.    The other night I went out for a run.   I wanted to get in at least 6.   I was getting out later than I had wanted to, but you know life.   It was dark.   I was tired and had been on my feet most of the day.    By mile 3, I thought maybe I should cut the run short.   I reminded myself that “Marathons don’t just happen”   so I kept going.   I did need to stop sporadically to stretch my legs.   I find they are much sorer now than I ever remember them being.

Today I had toyed with going out for my long run.   The weather is perfect for running actually.  I have 18 on the books for this weekend.   I just feel that if I go out today it won’t be pretty.   Yesterday I went with the family to Hershey Park.   While it was a lot of fun, it was also a lot of walking.   Per my Garmin, at least 6 miles.    It was also a very long day as the Park is 2 1/2 hours away.

Last night I woke up with leg cramps.   I even got out of bed to take some Motrin.    I even moved to the couch thinking if I could recline and have my legs up that might help.   This morning they were still sore.

To put this in runners terms…..   I felt like I had run a very hard and fast half marathon yesterday.

After some foam rolling, stretching, more Motrin, and more stretching; my legs felt better.    I’m sporadically stretching throughout the day, but I think it would be best to do my long run tomorrow….. even if someone told me it’s supposed to rain.

Boo.

I need to check the weather, but it’s 3:00 PM and I just don’t feel like starting a long run now.   I’m resting and taking it “easy” today.

This makes me think that it is a good thing that I am flying out Friday for Chicago Marathon.    Then I will spend Saturday resting as much as possible.   No wondering around the city.   Just as easy peasy as can be.    I’m finding that I do best with rest day’s in between runs.  I used to train with only one rest day a week.   Learning to run on tired legs.   Well now I don’t need to run every day for them to be tired.

It’s all good.

It will get done.

I will get my run in.

Training is different than in the past, but it’s still training.

Chicago

 

 

Perspective

 

Sometimes in life we get stuck in a rut.   It is so easy to get caught up in the minutia of it all.   To look at things with eclipse glasses on where everything is darkened out.   We are waiting to see the eclipse only to realize that we are looking the wrong way.  Then you change directions and see the beauty before you.

You get perspective.

It is so easy to get caught up in thinking about where you were and what has changed that you forget that the journey isn’t over yet.

Nothing has changed, but there has been a shift in my thinking.

I need to stop looking backwards and start looking forwards again.

It’s a lesson that I learned a long time ago, but seemed to have forgotten.

Perspective.

Today I went out for 3 miles.   I had planned to do the walk/run for it but changed my mind.   Honestly the only reason that I changed my mind is because it was raining and I didn’t want to walk in the rain.   Anyway, I just focused on the run.   I let my body be in charge of it.   There was no thought of pace.   Just focusing on my breathing, how I felt, and enjoying running in the rain.

Here’s what happened…

I hit mile 1 without walking.   Then I hit mile 2.   Then I thought to myself, it’s been a long time since I actually ran a full 5K.

So I did….

I felt good.   I could tell that I was breathing heavier the last mile, but that is because it was raining a little harder.   Besides it was a good heavy breathing.    I felt good and am really happy with myslef.

NOW this doesn’t’ change my plan for Chicago because running a 5K does not make a marathon.

One day at a time

One run at a time.

Just running to run..

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