One Month

A month ago I ran the NYC Marathon. Ok, a month ago I power walked the NYC Marathon. Since then….. Not so much. And when I say not so much, I really mean nothing. No cross training. No biking. No nothing.

At first, I said that it was because I needed to rehab my feet which is truthful. They need to get it together. Although a month of rest probably was just what they needed to deal with the Plantar Fasciitis. Then I believe I’m also dealing with Morton’s Neuroma probably aggravated from the power walking which has a completely different landing than running. So rest has been good.

Right up until it becomes more than rest.

So much in life is out of our control. Sometimes it feels like nothing is in our control and no matter how hard we try, we are running in the wind. After a while it is easy to give up trying because what’s the point. It’s easy to use a crutch even a valid crutch to blame everything on until you just stop trying.

I’ve been thinking about the Decade Challenge. I’m sure you’ve seen it on Facebook. The compare where were you then compared to now. I find it somewhat depressing. I jumped in 2013 training for my first ever event… A Sprint Triathlon. You know because why start small and it would be a great way to get back to being healthier. That was just the beginning as you know.

I did get healthier. Probably the fittest that I had ever been. Up until being healthy wasn’t in my control. With the surgery leaving me with Hypothyroidism (expected) and Hypoparathyroidism (very unexpected), I gained 20 pounds. I lost a lot of my steam. I deal with aches, pains, memory issues, and just generally feeling sucky on a daily basis. I persevered and pushed on moving while at a slower pace still moving.

Then there was the beautiful Natapara (my Hypopara peeps understand) which brought me back to normalcy. I was living the life again until the rug was pulled out. Yeah, I know you’ve heard this before. Without the Natpara I had decisions to make. Is it smart to push my body to the limits? If I want to continue to run, I have to get the feet issues under control which also requires addressing the weight issue. For me, with the issues I’ve had with my feet the extra weight is a problem. For me, I’m also not happy with where I am. No, I will never be a size 6 but I need to get back to where I my jeans fit.

Part of having so much in your life out of your control is that it is easier to not face the truth. The truth that while there is so much out of control that there is much in your control. Not to say that the things in your control are easy to face, deal with, or tackle but they are still there. Sometimes the hardest thing is deciding what to do and after that things fall into place. This is true for so many things in our lives. The holding pattern is what keeps us from moving forward. The fear of what if I can’t do it? What if it’s the wrong decision? What if….?????? What if……..??????? What if…..???????? It’s the what if’s in life that hold you down and the fear of failure that keep you from trying.

It is my fear of failure that has kept me from getting back on the horse with my weight. Hubby and I tried in January. He lost 50 pounds. I lost 4 and I’m not sure but I think I may have found them. While he does have it easier by virtue of just being a man. No I’m not being sexist…… My doctor has even used the phrase, “A woman your age with hormone blah, blah, blah….” So there’s that. Than the lack of thyroid. Then the aches, pains, and exhaustion that comes with Hypopara. Yup. Out of my control. What is in my control is what I put in my mouth. How I decide to use my energy and give myself on the days where there is none.

This probably is a good time to start too because it will keep me in check during the holiday season. And while I do have a limited amount of energy during the day, I can find time to do something for myself with it while doing what needs to be done. Simple things that I actually enjoy. Like this morning dusting off my juicer and having a yummy clean eating juice for breakfast instead of processed food. My body needs less processed foods and when I’m eating right, I feel better. I think that’s true for most of us.

I don’t expect this to be easy. I hope that I don’t give up. Even if it takes longer than I want….. Even if it seems impossible…… I know that what I put into my body is equally as important if not more than what the scale says. Most of all I hope to once again realize that I can do hard stuff even if it seems much harder now than it used to be.

So with all of that I’m already thinking of goals for 2020 and ways to actually reach them. Because as the saying goes, hindsight is 2020 (yeah mom joke there… my apologies, but that’s just me).

Rest, Recover, Repeat?

When running a marathon, so many random thoughts will pop into your mind. Some are fleeting. Some stick with you for a few miles. One that usually pops into my head is “I’m NEVER doing this again.”

Exhibits A, B, C

2014 – First marathon, Philly – This was supposed to be a one and done. I swore I just wanted to cross one marathon finish line and then I could call it a day.

2015 Marine Corps – I put in for lottery and as a fluke got in. I literally was dropping some F bombs to my sister who ran on the course with me at the end. I told her how stupid marathons were. How ridiculous it was that people wasted their time coming to watch runners (mind you she flew in from California). Lastly, I swore NEVER again (after NY because I’d already done the 9+1 for it)

2016 -NYCM – This was it. My first NYCM and was going to be my only. I mean how can you not run NY if your as close to the city as me. I even put off my surgery for my thyroid, so that I could run it. This was only marathon that I hit the wall because I ran the first half like there was not a second half. I was done and had my NYCM medal so what more did I need. NO more!

2017 – I put in for the Chicago marathon while still recovering from getting my thyroid out and dealing with learning to live Hypopara. This was flipping my finger to all that I was dealing with and I just needed to run one as a hypopara to show I could do it. It was not a pretty race as it was hot, but it is my fastest post surgery marathon. I was done. I proved my point. NO more.

2018 – I felt like there were signs that I should sign up to run NYCM as charity runner for Sandy Hook Promise. The signs were everywhere, but if I didn’t get picked at least I tried. Well, damn, they released that I really believe in their cause and picked me. So, yes, I was running with a purpose and I would do what I could to support Sandy Hook Promise; but I was only doing it one time. Until I did it again.

2019 NYCM Sandy Hook Promise Runner

During my run, I thought about that maybe my body just isn’t cut out to be a marathon runner. Maybe I should just stick to running shorter distances. That running 26.2 is just not for me. I could still support my team from the sidelines. I could still spread the message of Sandy Hook Promise. I just needed to give my body a rest because running marathons weren’t for me and I should focus my energy elsewhere.

Then I crossed the finish line.

I still felt that way. I still wondered if maybe this is too much for my body. Wondering if I needed to spend time on recovery. Getting my feet under control. Dealing with the aches and pains. Knowing that maybe worrying about my calcium crashing while running is just not worth it.

Then I went home. I read all the messages from my Facebook live videos, my running group, my friends and the chats with team members. And while I do need to spend time on healing my body – dealing with the tight calves, dealing with the feet, dealing with the pain that still lingers on the side of my calf and knowing that if I really want to run stronger/better/easier on feet that I also need to loose 20 pounds. Like seriously 20 pounds.

Then I thought….. It’s getting to the holiday season. There is no way that is going to happen. Then I realized that training would not start until Spring. Then I thought about how much I love being part of the Sandy Hook Promise Team, how some friends will be running NY next year, and that it might motivate me to keep going.

Then I thought…… Your crazy……

Not wrong.

Not right.

Then I thought about all the work in raising the minimum of $3,0000 to be part of their team. Then I thought of what I could do differently next year. The beauty is that I don’t need to make any decisions now or in the near future. For now my focus is recovery.

So I will continue to roll. I need to get to acupuncture. I need to do the things that I know I should do because chances are pretty good…….. that if you give the girl a medal, she’s going to want another one. Besides I’m pretty much on a roll now.

I’m Still Standing

Yesterday, I had a choice. I could run through the pain or I could run a smart race. I could only do one. As a runner, we often think that we need to dig deep, run through injury, or somehow we aren’t tough enough. I beg to differ with that. Sometimes it is harder to make what you know is the right choice for your life even if it might not be what you necessarily want to do or as a runner think that you should do.

Aerbically I was feeling good yesterday. I started off with a strong run. I kept my paces conservative in the 11’s and 12’s. My splits were on target by the 15K. The problem was that by mile 6 my feet were starting to hurt. So I pushed through. I kept on running. Up until I didn’t.

Aebocially I had it in to push through. I was feeling strong. I was feeling confident in being able to get that 5:45 that I was aiming for. The flip side though was at what cost would I get that time. I wasn’t winning. I wasn’t PRing. I was only finishing. I knew that if I continued to push to run, I might not be able to walk like had happened only a month prior. I didn’t want to end up in a boot which since it would be both feet, might be complicated. It would also effect my job as teaching preschool gymnastics does require your feet. The cost was too high.

So I made a decision to power walk the marathon. There were times that I did run but they were fleeting moments and the pain reminded me that it wasn’t a good idea. Not to say there was no pain with the power walking, but as my Mantra became….. I was stronger than the pain.

By the Half way point, I knew that if I planned to get to the finish line and be able to go about my life the next day that I would need to stick with the walking. And for anyone who thinks that power walking a marathon is easy, I advise you to go for it and experience it yourself. My legs still became heavy, my quads and calves still screamed; but I kept on moving. I knew if I stopped that starting would be too hard.

The beauty of power walking is that I did several live stream videos for my facebook friends. It was more for me than them, but I do think they enjoyed “experiencing” the marathon in a way only those on the course can. The excitement. The bands, choirs, and views of the city that you can only get when it’s all shut down for 50,000 plus runners. Plus so many of these friends have support me in so many ways and supported the whole reason I was there….. Sandy Hook Promise.

This year since I was power walking, I did not miss the Sandy Hook Promise cheer section. It was the highlight of my run. To go and get hugs and support from my Team reminding me of why I was there and what was really important carried me. It also helped that they were at mile 17!

There is more to unpack with this event, but for now I need to go roll, stretch and soak.

Oh and for those wondering………. 6:20:41

A reverse PR, but done is done!

Lucky # 7

Tomorrow I will be stepping up the start line for my seventh marathon. Hopefully it will by the end of the day I can say that I have finished all 7. We all know that there isn’t much that is going to stop me from getting there. No matter what I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

With each marathon, I’ve learned something. Learned how to push myself. Learned that I am stronger than I realize. Learned that no matter what there is always a little more in the tank.

My first marathon, Philly, was a fluke. That year, I had trained and completed the Runner’s World Hat Trick (5k, 10k, and Half marathon all in two days). When it was over a friend nudged me to sign up for Philly the following month. One 20 mile training run later, I was in. I finished in 4:46:20. This is before I knew anything about running, so I do see humor in that I didn’t push for the 4:45 time..

Then over the next few years would run a marathon a year. For my second marathon, Marine Corps, I trained with a coach. I finished in 4:38:14. This is my current and more than likely my PR for marathon finish times. I should have PR’d my first New York as I was well trained for it, but went out way too fast not following the plan. This is a mistake I will not make tomorrow.

Two weeks after that first New York Marathon was my thyroid surgery leaving me not just without my thyroid, but also working parathyroid glands. I was determined not to let being Hypopara take away my running and the Chicago Marathon was supposed to be my one hypopara marathon and done. A way to snub my nose at it. I learned a lot in Chicago. I learned that for me the set run/walk plan doesn’t work for me. I learned that my body does NOT like running in the heat as it was very hot that year. Most of all, I learned that I can just keep going. All things being considered, an hour slower is pretty awesome.

But then, then it became about something more. Last year when I got picked to be part of the Sandy Hook Promise Team, I could not have been any more honored. I still remember sitting in a Toys R Us parking lot talking on the phone with a friend in 2013, a year after the shooting in Sandy Hook. She could not understand my pain over the horrific shooting when I was not personally involved, but I was involved. I’m a mother, that year my youngest son was also in Kindergarten. I took it very personally because this tragedy as we’ve learned over the years can happen anywhere. She couldn’t understand my pain and told me that I needed to do something as I wasn’t “getting over it.” I didn’t want to get over it, I wanted to do something. So here we are.

Although, even before last year I was involved. I did what I could, but I wanted to do more. This is my more. I can and do share the message of inclusion, stopping gun violence, and making a change. My personal friends know this to be true. I remember one year on Wear Orange for Gun Safety another friend that I ran into at a baseball game while I was wearing my orange shirt saying to me, “Isn’t every day Wear Orange day for you?” She meant this is the nicest way possible because she knows I am always spreading the message.

So here I am getting ready to run my second marathon as part of Team Sandy Hook Promise. At a lunch today it was said, “You weren’t just a number coming into Sandy Hook Promise. You were selected. Your stories and passion are what got you here……. We picked you from the heart.” So I run knowing that this isn’t about me. This is my way to not just share the Sandy Hook Promise message which I do, but about helping to support an organization that is doing so much good. Last year was my slowest marathon to date at 6:10:13; but my most memorable and favorite one.

I am honored. It is more than words. It is a truthful statement.

My goal. My only goal tomorrow is to wear my Sandy Hook Promise shirt with pride. Ok, I may also have a goal of 5:45 time but that is secondary. I know it won’t be easy, but nothing in life worthwhile is a walk in the park. I will get that walk in the park crossing the finish line. I’ve learned a lot about running since my first marathon. I’ve learned a lot about what my body can do even after becoming Hypopara. I will do what it takes knowing that I will have not just the support of family and friends, but the Sandy Hook Promise community.

This picture was taken last year during the marathon. I have taken MANY race day photos. I have NEVER taken one like this with the sun shining down on me. I look at this as a sign that I was not alone. So as I run these 26 miles, I know that the saying 26 miles for 26 angels is more than a catch phrase. It is real.

It’s go time.

Run Where You Are

As a runner, often you know that you need to push through things. You need to push your body to the limit knowing that it can go one step further. This is what we train for. This is what we know. This is what gets us to the finish line….. If…….and only if……. if we listen to our body.

As a runner, we also know that the starting line is our biggest challenge. You don’t just get there but train to get to the start line. Your excited. Your filled with energy. The gun goes off and your feet begin to fly. When running a short race, it is usually ok to fly like the wind. Let your feet move because if trained, the distance will be no issue. This is not the same for a marathon which is a different animal.

You must run where you are and not where you want to be. The gun goes off, you must pace yourself. There is no going out too fast and thinking you can bank time for the end. There is no pushing hard in the beginning only to push harder in the end. The truth of the matter is if you go out too fast, too hard; you will crash and burn. You may hold it together to finish, but usually it is not pretty and any time you think you banked in the beginning is lost at the end.

You ask how do I know this? Well I’ve been there. Done that. My first NYC Marathon before becoming Hypopara, I had a coach. I was trained for a 4:30 marathon. I blew it. I ran the first half of the marathon like there wasn’t a second half and it shows. I came off the first bridge and I took off like a bat out of Hell hitting paces that I had no business hitting that early in the race. Somehow I thought it would all work out until it didn’t.

Case in point…

I held it together….. Barely.

The beauty of having made this mistake then is that now I can use it as a learning experience of what not to do. Even more so now, I need to get out of my own way and be smart. I have to run where I am today and not where I want to be which is back to 2016 pre hypopara. I know…. Boo hoo me, I can’t hit these faster paces. But in my mind, I still think that I can. Which is the problem. My body has other ideas.

Here’s the thing too. I know that if I maintain a pace between 11:30 and 12:00 in the beginning, that not only will I have a better day but my body will cooperate. As my cohort told me the other day and I will paraphrase as it was a long wonderful, much needed conversation, “you’ve got a lot going on right now. You need to listen to your body because even though every runner pushes themselves to the limit. If you push too far, your might not be able to finish because of your medical stuff.”

And that right there is the truth of it. I was able to bounce back in 2016, because I didn’t need to worry about anything else except getting to the finish line. I knew my body would be able to do it and I knew that I could push it without fear. Ehhh, not so much now. I know that I can still push myself, but I also know that there is more to think about. I also know that I can push on shorter runs than longer ones.

So I need to get out of my own head. I need to pay attention to when to add not just fuel but calcium. I need to know that my illness is not in my head, but a real thing in my body and I need to be mindful of it. I need to realize that going out “slow” is smart. I need to tap into the knowledge that I have from doing this race in the past and use that so that I can run a smart race. I know even with the hiccups at the end with my feet, that I am ready for this race.

I just need to run the race and the pace that I should run. I need to run where I am today and not yesterday. I need to run so that there is reserve in the tank to smile as I cross the finish line. I need to fully embrace the mantra, your race, your pace and know it to be true. Most of all, I need to (and am) grateful that I am able to do this no matter how hard it will be.

I am blessed.

I am trained.

I am ready.

It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it.

16 Days

You can only do what your body allows which is often much more than you think, but usually much less than what you dream. Yet, somehow no matter what we are never satisfied.

When I was healthy, in retrospect I know that I could have mastered the 4:30 marathon. I was 8 minutes off at my fastest and if I had gotten out of my head I have no doubt that I could have hit it. I chased the brass ring, but for various reasons missed the mark. Did it matter? At the time I thought it did and even now part of me wishes that when I had the chance could have hit the mark.

At each of my marathons both before and after becoming Hypopara, I asked of my body more from it what it wanted to give and yet was not satisfied with what it gave. You can only drive your car so far before it runs out of gas. You don’t expect it to keep going when you have driven it to the limit of it’s resources. It will only go so far. You can only push yourself so far.

So now with 16 days before NYC Marathon, I need to be realistic in both my training, body, and what I can ask of it. My feet are doing much better. I’ve been following orders and doing what needs to be done. Podiatrist has given me the approval to get back to running. I’ve gotten new shoes. I’m revisiting how to tape feet for Plantar Fasciitis. I’m doing what needs to be done.

I’ve also thought about how any training I do in these next 16 days can only hurt me in the long run if I’m not smart about it. So with that, I actually plan to do very little running but just enough. My thought is to start off with cross training on stationary bike, elliptical, or such. Then transition to treadmill for shorter run while still getting cardio/leg workout and also breaking in my shoes. Seem like a solid plan to me.

I’ve also got to be realistic that thanks to my Natpara recall, I am once again running in low calcium range. I will push myself to get to the finish line, but I will do it in a way that is best for me. While I admit that part of me is vain enough to wish for faster times, that just finishing is a real accomplishment. This is true for anyone.

I also know that some might not understand how I can say my slowest marathon at over 6 hours was my favorite. It is the truth. I do hope to beat that time, but based on feet, training, calcium, race day weather; I really can’t say. What I can say is that I am going into this a realist.

This race is hard. Waiting for hours to start is not the best way to start a race. The course is brutal with the bridges and some pretty big hills in the park at the end. It also has amazing crowds that will carry you away to run too fast if you allow them, but also carry you when you need them. I will need them. I will lean on them.

The beauty of having done NY twice before is that I am going into this with open eyes. I am expecting nothing except to finish. I also know there will be spots that I can push. Hills/bridges that I can walk. You can’t predict how any race will turn out, but you can plan for the best outcome which is what I’m doing.

So I will plot. I will plan. I will train the best way for me. I will enjoy the beauty of running the NYC Marathon because while I know many people who can say they have done so, there are many more that will never be able to say so.

NO STOPPING

I’ve had a few people tell me that there is no shame in stopping now. While I know that to be true, I’m also not at that point. A prudent man might say, this is not your year. But I’m not a prudent man, I’m a hardcore badass unicorn who knows that she hasn’t reached her limits. This is just another speedbump in a road filled with them.

Exhibit A

Yesterday I went out for my long run. I knew it would be hard. I expected it to be hard. It was and I was filled with many doubts along the way. That being said, I was not expecting this. I went out planning to keep a very conservative pace which I did. I was averaging 13:30 paces which was mix of walking and running. I stopped to stretch along the way because it was just hard. The beginning was worse which I chalked it up to the normal aches and pains of being Hypopara. I was wrong.

I ended up walking the last mile because I was in pain. A lot. Hubby asked why I didn’t call someone to pick me up. To be honest the thought had crossed my mind, but I really wanted to hit 13 which was down from my original 15 I was going for. It was bad but not excruciating. Manageable and I thought, “I’ll be ok once I get home and stretch.” The excruciating part came after I got home, sat down and took off my shoes. I couldn’t get up I was in so much pain. I thought….. let me shower and that will help.

I had to shower sitting down and then soaked in some Epsom salt. When I went to stand up, I couldn’t. I literally slithered out of the tub and dressed on the floor. Not my best moment. Then again, maybe it was. I managed to get up and sit on the bed and call my podiatrist to get an ASAP appointment. Although painful, I was able to tiptoe to my car to make the drive.

There may have been some tears on the phone with a friend. I kept saying I didn’t do anything different. I was being conservative. I was being smart. I’ve only got 4 weeks to go. Boo Hoo. I was also nervous because it was BOTH FEET. One foot, you can hobble around on. This was not that and even having PF before, I never experience this level of pain. It made me nervous it was more.

Thankfully, by the time I got to the podiatrist office about an hour later, I could put pressure on my feet but it was still painful. At least now it was a respectable 6 and not an off the chart pain. I’ve also got a pretty good tolerance for pain which made me nervous.

X-ray shows all is good. Ultrasound image showed swelling in Plantar Fasciitis. Doc said normal is 2. Mine was 3.8. So after some discussion and promise from me not to do ANY running (as if I could) for the next week until I go back, he gave me cortisone shots in both feet followed by adding some cushioning and wrapping. He said swim or bike, but rest feet. NO bare feet around house and shoes while teaching my preschool gymnastics classes.

So here I am. Being a good girl. staying off my feet. Today I am still sore, but it’s a moderate pain. I’ve already ordered some PF supplies, soaked, rolled and tomorrow plan to go for my very first acupuncture session.

Normally at this point in a marathon training cycle, I say trust in the training to get you there. Not this time. What I need to do now is trust in myself. Trust that I know what my body can do even on hard days. Trust that I know it will be difficult, but knowing that I can do hard things. Trust no matter what the outcome that it is enough.

If I wanted to be brutally honest, I would say that I am running a marathon that I have no business running. I’m under trained. I’m out of shape. I’ve got plantar fasciitis. Then there is the whole hypopara thing. This will not be the great come back that I envisioned at the beginning of this training cycle. This will not be the hypopara PR that I was shooting for.

All that being said, this will still be amazing experience. Running as part of the Sandy Hook Promise Team. Spending time with the team. Sharing the cause. This will also be a feat of determination. Mind not just matter, but my body. Pushing. Asking more from it than it willingly will want to give, but can. That is true for every marathon runner. No matter where you are, what your goals, or even your health. Running a marathon proves that yourselve that you can do anything you put your mind to.

And my mind is set.

Failure to Launch

Fear of failure is not an excuse to not try. If everyone waited until they were 100% certain they could reach their goal before attempting something, we would still be living in caves. We have the expression “If at first you don’t succeed; try, try and try again” for a reason. The reason being is you will probably fail more in life than you want to admit, but you will always fail if you don’t try.

If you fail to launch, you will never fly. You will never go anywhere and your feet will miss out on everything and anything.

In 4 weeks, I will be “running” NYC Marathon. This marathon is mine to either finish or to crash and burn. Yes, there are many things out of my control but there is much of it in my control too. Like everyone else, I do not know what is going to happen. I don’t know how things will play out. What I do know is that it is up to me how I face it and with what attitude.

It was already going to be hard. There is no such thing as an easy marathon. It’s going to be harder. No matter what it is already worth it.

So while everyone is planning strategies, putting together paces, and setting goals. I, realistacly, with where I am in my training and with my meds have one goal and that goal is to finish. Ok, I might have two goals….. I want to enjoy the experience. Too often we get bogged down in worry about completing our goal that we miss the whole experience. I’m setting some lofty goals……

1. Get to the finish Line

2. Keep calcium in check

3. Don’t be too hard on yourself

4. Don’t be too easy on yourself

5. Enjoy it

This year I will be one of approximately 50,000 people running the NYC Marathon each with their own reasons, expectations, and goals. In the US, even though runners think everyone runner has run at least one marathon, the truth is that only .5% of the US population has run one. I am about to embark on my 7th. It is because I’ve done this before that I am optimistically confident that I can finish this. My legs are strong. Mentally I know what to expect. I’ve run this course twice before and although every race day is different, it will be familiar. I also have the ace in my pocket in knowing that I am running not for me, but for Sandy Hook Promise. 26 miles for 26 angels. It’s not just a hashtage, but something I believe.

So as I continue to work on figuring out once again, calcium and calcitrol needs. I will finally go get those new shoes, so that I can break them in before the marathon. I will work out the logistics. I will continue to push doubts out and confidence in.

Tell yourself no matter what you are doing… Big or small…. tell yourself that you can do it. Then prepare yourself and do it.

Rolling With It

Sometimes it feels like life is a ball of yarn that you must keep re-rolling because as time passes it unwinds and gets messy.   As it unwinds, it frays and the dead ends need to be cut off before rewrapping (sorry to my knitters if this is bad analogy).     If you don’t continue to wrap it back up, eventually your yarn will become knotted and unusable. So it’s best to deal with the mess before it’s too late. That’s where I’m at.

Waking up in the morning feeling like you’ve already come back from your run. Needing to be stretched and rolled does not make lacing up your running shoes quick or easy.    That doesn’t make it less necessary.

A mile and a half in and already tingles in the face.    Still working on determining when to take my Calcitriol and calcium because it’s obviously not enough time before I hit the pavement.   Race morning that should not be a problem since I won’t be starting till the 11-ish or later time frame.   I’ve got to work this out and also get morning stomach issues under control.

I feel like I was given hope only to have it taken away.   One of the reasons that I signed up for NYC Marathon as Sandy Hook Promise Runner was because I knew that I was going on Natpara.  Yes, I believe in their cause and am proud to be a runner for them, but I would have supported from the sidelines.    I knew the training would be different than the last year without it.    I knew how hard, frustrating, and exhausting it was without that PTH hormone and I didn’t want to do it all over again.    Now I had no choice to do it all over again, but now in a matter of weeks and not months.

I wonder if I have enough time to get my body used to running without Natpara at the distance I need to be running.   Yes, I’ve done it without Natpara in the past.   The big difference is that I did it from the start.   I had the time to adjust as the weeks went by.   Adjusting and learning what my body needed, when to add calcium, and building up.   Now instead of months to figure this out, I’ve got weeks to get my body and my mind on board.   They are still adjusting.   It’s harder than it should be both mentally and physically.   Knowing that does not make it easier.

Yes, I’ve got the base.   I can look on the bright side and know that for most of the training cycle that I had what I needed and could get the runs in.   I was even running at a pace that I was happy with again.   I didn’t think it would be my marathon pace, but I was doing alright.   Now in these next few weeks as I’m still adjusting my meds, I have to do what I have to do.

What I have to do is train where I am at today.   The bottom line is…. What choice do I have because I’m not quitting.   That is not an option.    To be totally honest with myself is that there is really not much that is going to keep me from the start line.   So with that said I better buckle up and go in trained the best that I can and know that it is going to be a bumpy ride.

I’m going into this marathon trained not as I should be, but as I can be.   It will be enough.   It has to be enough.   There is no other option

Doubt is the killer of all dreams……

And while this above statement is true, there comes a point where you have to face what the doubts are telling you   Running without Natpara, the PTH hormone, and dealing with that loss.  Knowing that I have to adjust expectations, training, and goals. Wondering if I will have what I need to get to the finish line.   Knowing that there isn’t much that will keep me from it either.

Training will be what it will be.   If your looking for tips on how to train for a marathon, this isn’t it.   But having already done 6 marathons, I am comfortable saying that I know I can adjust.   Maybe I walk more that I should although who determines how much “should” is.   I will do what I can and no more.

Who knows maybe I will surprise myself.

Can I Do That?

Sometimes there are bigger questions we must ask ourselves. It is not….

Can I do that?

but

Should I do that?

These are very different questions that will bring about very different answers for various reasons. They will often bring very different results too. Often what we should do does not give us the instant gratification we want. It does not bring the smug satisfaction of victory, speed, or getting the last word. It might feel safe. It might feel like the easy way out, but often what we should do versus what we can do is so much harder.

Can I eat that cupcake? Most certainly and it will be super yummy and delicious.

Should I eat that cupcake? No because I really don’t need the empty calories and I might feel guilty about it.

Can I respond sarcastically to that person who is being an ass to me? You bet I can and I will get so much satisfaction out of it too.

Should I respond? Nope, because in the long run it will only create more drama and I know the smart thing is just to walk away with my head held high.

There are so many of these sometimes small, sometimes big questions that come up on a daily basis. Our gut wants the instant gratification that comes with the why not attitude and in some cases it really doesn’t matter. Sometimes it matters. It matters to our piece of mind, our waistline, our health and a whole host of things.

This is where I am now. There might be some people who think I’m being overdramatic with coming off the daily injection of Natpara. They would be wrong. In my Natpara support group, someone is tracking hospital visits. As of today there are 62 who went to the emergency room. 30 admitted to the hospital and 7 of those went to ICU. This is no joke and I know that I am one of the lucky ones whose transition is going ok but if it’s one thing people in Hypopara community know things turn on a dime.

So with this thought in mind, I have been asking myself…..

Can I run faster and longer in training? The answer is probably (depending on the day)…. Yes because aerobically I have the base as I’ve been training. By pushing myself while transitioning off medicine and readjusting I will need to face the consequences….. muscle cramps, tingles, and if I push too hard a calcium crash.

The real question is….. Should I keep trying to run faster and longer in training? The answer is No. Again, I’m not a fast runner anyway. I’ve got nothing to prove and I really would like to get to both NYC Marathon feeling good and cross the finish line without needing to suck down packets of calcium or worse.

So the lesson that is always hard to learn is that while you can do something, it is not always prudent to do it. I proved that with today’s run. It helped that the weather was perfect. I have my low mileage plan and went out to do 6 miles. I went into it trying to keep my pace around 11:30 which is what my Garmin show. Nike is faster, but I’m going by Garmin which shows average pace of 11:37. Not sure why the discrepancy with Nike, but doesn’t really matter.

At these slower paces, I could do it. Yes, I walked some but not as much as I thought I would. I kept telling myself to slow down which is probably not what most runners tell themselves. I’m not looking to run fast. I’m looking to run long. Run far. Mostly I’m looking to not want to fall over when I cross the finish line.

So this may be another 6 plus hour marathon this go around. Oh well. Better to know what I should do than pretend to attempt something that for right now I can’t do.