Bob and Weave…. AGAIN

I am at the point in my training where I am admitting that I have now failed in my training. That my training has gone off the rails. That I am not where I should be in my marathon training. That family events (passing of MIL), injuries (dealing with feet), flooding (we weren’t so bad, but dealing with flooded basement is exhausting), and just life in general has pushed training to back burner. I will say though that at least the burner is still on, so I am continuing to move foward.

This really is the time in everyone’s training where it is time to re-access and take stock. For some, they can realistically turn it around to possibly make any goals and tweak their training. Others will look at this as a time to decide weather even running is an option as they know they will not be happy with doing their best. For someone like me…. I am just adjusting expectations and I am ok with that.

Here is what I’ve got going for me….. My experience and my attitude.

Here is what is working against me….. My feet and not being where I should be in training.

So how to reconcile the two?

For me, it is and always been about expectations. Yes, I thought going into my training that I would be in a different place. My training started off great. I was following the plan. I was doing well. I was right on track, but we must remember that sometimes the tracks twist and turn. You have to be willing to twist and turn with them. So I am adjusting expectations which I am ok with. I was never going to win the NYCM. I was more than likely never going to finish under 5 hours which honestly in beginning I thought maybe just maybe would be doable. I used to be a upper middle pack runner, but those days are long gone.

I am a middle aged woman who is overweight with medical issues who also has feet that are not always happy.

For me…… Crossing a finish line of the NYC Marathon is a victory.

Now I do know for others, that not crossing in a certain time is a failure but failure is defined by how you define it in this situation.

I know my strengths. I have legs that dont give up and I do have the muscles and muscle memories to prove it. I also have the desire to get to the finish line. I also have the experience of completing 7 marathon’s (8 if you count a virtual one that I walked last year). 3 of these marathons are NY. I also have the knowledge that knowing my favorite marathon was my last in person NY which was also my slowest at 6:20:41 as I just took it all in. I ran some. I walked much, but I just enjoyed the experience. It is also the marathon that I remember the most about as I took in the crowds, the sites, and the people on the course.

I also know that I just really don’t care that much about my times anymore. OMG!!! Am I allowed to say that out loud? Yes, yes I am. Now don’t get me wrong….. everyone runs for their own reasons. There is nothing wrong with being someone who is running for time. I used to and I may again but I doubt it. I just want to run, walk and everything in between and feel good about it both physically and mentally.

Here is the thing…. I have a life outside of running. A life that I need to be on my feet for that life. For work – I am a preschool teacher which does not allow for much sitting. I love to bake which requires standing in kitchen. I have soccer games to attend and just life in general. So I can not push my body, my feet, to the point that it effects my life outside of running.

So here I go adjusting expectations …… AGAIN….. But isn’t that what life is about?

Just like when running in a crowded race, you must learn to bob and weave. So with that I am bobbing and weaving yet again.

Not quite winging it but close enough!

Catching Up

It’s been a bit since we chatted. It’s been some crazy time, but thought I would pop in to say Hi as every time I think about it something popped up. So in no particular order some random thoughts to catch up.

1.

My older boys went back to college leaving my youngest the only one at home. Although to be honest, my oldest was only home for about a week this summer as he completed an internship this summer as he is a Senior in College this year. My middle one started his Sophomore year but to me it seems like his Freshman as it really is his first year on campus thanks to Covid. I admit that I love having all my boys home, but I am happy for them. There is truth to the expression, “The days are long but the years are quick.” Sniff…sniff. Sniff

2.

Training has of recent not been what it should but it what it is. I am planning to get back on track which getting back to a normal schedule will help. We all need a normal schedule. Work has been a little chaotic as of late which has contributed to my lack of training. Extra hours. Different hours. More physical hours. I kept saying that I would run/bike/something after work and then after work…… Nothing. With under 10 weeks to go, I will have to get my ass going or it is going to be handed to me come November 7th.

3.

I have been asked more than once if I think that NY is going to happen. I must admit that I’ve had tha thought pass through my mind more than once, but I do think it will move forward. It does seem like they are doing almost everything they can to ensure an in person safe event. Although I readily admit that I would love for them to make vaccination a requirement and I’m not sure why they haven’t. New York City requires it for many things but not the biggest event to take place in their boroughs? Maybe they will but I think it’s getting too close for them to make that decision. They are making changes though. You have to make a scheduled time to pick up your bib which I expected. I do have heart palpitations though of thinking of beginning of race, but I am fully vaccinated. If booster is available, I will have it before NY. I also plan to mask up at start and finish areas. It is concerning but not worrisome.

4.

They NY medal picture has been released and I LOVE IT! Hard to believe that this will be my 4th NY and my 9th overall. I am counting last years virtual because then that puts me to my 8th year streak of “running” a marathon. As the saying goes…. I’ve come along way baby.

5.

Ida…. Ida…. Ida

This week I had planned to get back on track with training. Then Wednesday instead of training, I was in save the basement mode as we were taking on water. Then yesterday it was clean up the basement. Today is watch the basement dry and tomorrow it will be put it back together. Up and down the stairs. Lifting with the knees. It is cross training and that is how I must look at it.

So now it is time to fall back on my favorite expression…….. It is what it is.

Seriously, Seriously, Seriously

I’ve written about this before, but I will again……..

When you are not a size 8, people automatically think that you must eat nothing but crap all the time. That you start off your morning with a donut. Followed by a Big Mac for lunch followed by fried chicken for dinner. Topped off by bon bons, cake, cookies and what not all during the day.

It’s exhausting

Not the eating. The dealing with the misconception.

These misconceptions come from everyone including healthcare providers. Some are more understanding than others but even the understanding ones I think give you the side eye. Years ago when I was 25 pounds lighter and in great shape, I was considered borderline obese. I was wearing a size 8 but the numbers on the scale were high. Probably because at the time I was doing Crossfit, training for a marathon than, and all muscle. I had a doctor just look at the scale and tell me that I should have a shake for breakfast, a salad for lunch, and a small dinner to get my weight down. I switched doctors.

But now, we fast forward a few years. Due to my thyroid/hypoparathyroidism I gained 20 pounds in one year. Sadly, due to covid year, probably gained another 5. I also know that I am also in not as great shape as my Crossfit days nor am I as young (shocking). That was 2016. I am 51 now. I have my thryoid/para issues. I am premenopausal (sorry guys) and it is hard. Really hard.

So yesterday, I went to see my Endocrinologist. She did take into account some things, but I still feel like she was looking at me like I am making excuses. I pointed out that once again, I am training for a marathon and I am active. She suggested that maybe a food tracking app would be good because sometimes people don’t realize what they are eating. Then went on to say that I should use the setting that doesn’t take into account exercise. WTF! WTF…… Excuse me (ahem) Bitch……. If I am going for a 6, 8, 10 plus mile run, I am going to need to fuel the run and recovery. I also don’t think she believed me when I said that I for the most part eat a healthy diet, am a pescatarian and do balance it.

Exhibits from last week.

Low fat yogurt with fresh fruit and granola
Letting dog have bit of apple once I’m done
To be clear, I did balance with a piece of banana cake but still…

Now, here me out…….. I know I could do more. I know that I could have the damn shake for breakfast, salad for lunch, and small dinner with carrots as a snack. I know. I know…… I know……

Here is the thing……

I don’t freaking want to!

Seriously…….

Maybe it is the trying and trying and trying. Followed by the failing and failing and failing. Who knows. I also know that thryroid/hypoparthyroidism/hormones/age/ect are already working against me. So maybe I have given up before I started, but weight really is just a number. I don’t know why we let us define us so much.

My cholesterol last year while higher than previous with lower good cholesterol than in past is still good. While I take tons of medication daily none of them are for blood pressure or cholesterol, so there is that. My sugar levels are normal. And while I know that the extra weight probably did move my sleep apnea from high end of mild to extreme, I still had it 25 pounds ago.

I am also a petulant child. Tell me to do something and I will dig my heals in, cross my arms, and pout that “I don’t want to do!”

So who knows.

Would I like to fit back into my size 8 jeans?

You bet….

Will it ever happen?

Doubtful.

It is also really frustrating that just because it probably won’t happen that people think it is because I have no self control. Here is another fun fact….. I was a fat kid. I still remember the doctor telling my mom when I was in grammar school that she needed to put me on a diet. I still remember getting in trouble for sneaking a second packet of……. Wait for it……… wait for it…….. Oatmeal for breakfast. The shame. The teasing in school. The name calling.

Of all the things that people should feel shame for being fat isn’t one of them. So while we are now at a point where fat shaming is not really accepted, it is still going strong. Being skinny doesn’t necessarily equate to being healthy any more than being fat equates to being unhealthy.

Game Changer

I fought. I ignored it. Now I embrace it….. Kind of.

I will say it’s better than the alternative.

You might remember me mentioning how I failed my sleep study in a spectacular way. I was recently diagnosed with sever sleep apnea. They told me I was having more than 45 “episodes” an hour. So with that being said, I was while not looking forward to starting my therapy I was most definitely “happy” to start. While sleep apnea is often made fun of because one of main symptoms is snoring, it is really no joke. So here we are.

I feel like medusa as the tube is at the top of my head. It really is quit a site. I look like bane from Batman as I need a full face mask. It isn’t as comfy as it sounds, but actually I have been sleeping much better. On the plus side it is designed for air to release at tube at top of head and some out of front of mask. Assuming it is for air pressure, but to me I feel like it’s like a built in fan:)

The first morning after sleeping with it, I actually woke up feeling refreshed. It’s been a long time since I woke up feeling that way.

On the top of that I am not feeling so tired all day.

One of the downsides of having a disorder like Hypoparathyroidism is that sometimes we chalk everything up to it and miss other things. It doesn’t help that symptoms are all over the place. Anyway, I chalked up my exessive tiredness to Hypopara and while I’m sure some of it came from it, some of it also was coming from my undiagnosed sleep apnea. So now that it’s diagnosed and being treated….. things have improved this last week.

One cool feature of my Cpap machine is that everyday it downloads to an app how long I slept, how many episodes an hour (under 2) and other things. They do this for a few reasons. Once of them also being that insurance uses it to make sure that you are using the expensive equipment for them to continue to cover. On the plus side, my doctor will also be able to see the data and help determine courses of treatment.

So while this is great for my sleep and my health, it is also really good for my training. Training for a marathon is hard enough. Training for a marathon when you are beyond exhausted it next level. So this is a win win.

Moving Along

I’ve been on vacation the last week, so I thought I would give an update on my training. It would be nice if training stopped on vacation, but alas it does not. That being said, I will be the first to admit that in my case the training does immensely slow….. slow down………

I tried to time it so I didn’t miss to much therefore I did my long run the day we left. I did “cheat” and not actually run but did a long indoor bike ride. I felt it best not to push my feet and I also didn’t feel like doing a long run on the treadmill. I really just need the cardio workout.

And cardio workout I got!

So off I went to a lake in NY State. I had thought I would do a few runs there and packed accordinly. Unfortunately, I only did one run during the week. The roads really were not the best for running as we were on a busy street. That being said, I did do a great hill workout.

All was not lost thought as I took doge on multiple walks a day averaging at least 2.5 miles a day. Plus every time I had to leave to walk the dog or anything else, I got a great stair workout in.

Case in point.

On top of these routines, I got some great cardio in with kayaking.

This verified for me that I really need a lake house. Luckily there was one that was on my dog walking and kayaking route that was for sale. Apparently it is currently owned by Derek Jeter which might mean more to some of you than me. Unfortunately at over 12 Million it is out of my price range. Unless someone would like to buy it for me. I took multiple pictures (not because it’s Jeter’s house but because it is a really cool house) Seriously who wants to buy it for me? I will let you visit and swim in the infinity pool……….

Ok, so no one is going to buy it for me…….

Ok…. No one is going to buy it for me……Back to reality I came! Once home I went out for a long run hitting 10 miles. I will say that while I still think a visit to podiatrist is in the cards, I was pleasantly surprised with how things went.

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Thief of Time

Covid is many things…..

It is a deadly virus..getting stronger

For those vaccinated, while it might not be deadly is still worrisome.

It is stressful…

But one of it’s biggest characters is being a thief of so many things,

but a thief of time…..

Time spent with those you love….. missed.

For more than a whole $%&*@!& year, we hid from those we love for their protection. We facetimed, zoomed, texted and everything else but there were no hugs…….. no family get togethers………. No holidays……… No birthdays……. Nothing……

For their protection….. until we were given the opportunity to vaccinate.

Then we gathered. I am thankful for that. Thankful because I got to spend a few afternoons together. My Mother-in-Law who safely protected herself from Covid was lost this week to other illnesses. Obviously, I am feeling all the feels you get when a loved one passes, but on top of that….

I’m pissed.

I’m angry because we couldn’t get a handle on Covid, so much time was wasted. Our last Christmas together was not together. Our last vacation, was not together. So many things we took for granted pre-Covid were missed. Most of all I’m sad that she is gone, but also relieved that she is not suffering and that she is now reunited with those she loved and lost.

Circle of life, I guess….. It’s always harder for those left behind. To quote this wise woman who will be missed

“Love each day, kiss your husbands and wives and hug your kids. Life is so short… make it sweet.” 💔

100 Days……

100 days is so far away, yet so close. 100 days till NYCM. 100 days to worry if my training is not enough. 100 days to doubt if my body can handle it. 100 days to worry about what is going on with the new Delta Covid Variant and how this will all play out.

On top of that…..

100 days to fundraise. 100 days to spend as much time fundraising as I do training. 100 days to continue to remind people of the good work that Sandy Hook Promise does that only happens with fundraising. 100 days to remind people that while I do love running this race is more than about running. 100 days to hit my goal.

Is there anyone who doesn’t take on this challenge who doesn’t question why they are doing it, if they should be doing it, and how you can do it better.

Now don’t get me wrong. Training is going good. Although I have already had some foot pain which is concerning. This are things that lead to doubt. These are things that make me realize that I need to go see my podiatrist. More just to make sure that there are no issues and to see if it is time for new inserts for my shoes. I just don’t want to deal with foot pain all through out training and I did have that pain after running only 8 miles. So there is concern.

One thing that I hate to admit as I’ve had issues with my feet 20 pounds ago…… The extra weight is not helping when it comes to my foot health. It’s not so much the weight but the weight combined with being prone to having issues with my feet is not a good combo. Although this time the pain was different. It was on the outside of my foot, so I wonder if something else is going on. And while I know the easy solution is to say….. I’m going to loose 20 pounds. That is much easier said than done.

So the reality is that I’m not going to loose the 20 pounds. Unless I plan to go on a very strict diet (which I won’t), I need to figure out some things out.

  Should this be my last marathon (thats a hard one)

 Do I need to see my podiatrist (yes)

Is it time for new insoles?   (Not sure)

Do I need to focus on foot strike and form (maybe)

GRRRRRR

I really need to not bury my head in the sand like I’ve done in the past and takle this head on.    Although I do like to ignore things till they blow up in my face.  (Doesn’t everyone or is that just me?)

It annoys me too because this go around I am doing everything that I should be doing. But for now, it is not something that is bad enough to cause me to stop. Besides I already have some ideas – like to spend some of my “foundation runs” with biking. To make sure to spend stretching and just listening to my body.

100 days……..

Skipping a Week

Week one of marathon training went so smoothly, I thought this is going to be fabulous. Right up until half way through week two when I came down with a bad cold. Now I do know it’s only a cold because due to my job and abundance of caution at first sign of symptoms I got a covid test. No covid but a really bad cold. At first it was settling in my chest with a really bad cough. I had thought about trying to run through it but not really smart thing to do. I even googled running with cold and the consensus was not to push through with cold symptoms below the neck. So I didn’t.

Besides the fact that I really don’t think that I could have anyway. Kind of hard to run when your hacking up a lung and and elephant was sitting on your chest. So I missed some runs including my first “long run.” But it seems like while the cold hasn’t passed it is no longer in my chest. The cough is mostly gone. Currently I am just constantly blowing my nose. My eyes are watering, but my chest is clear. So I guess I will call that a win and I’m sure you could have used without that update.

Today is a rest day and while I had thought of maybe making up a run, I thought better of it. So I will pick up week three of marathon training while skipping over week two. Hopefully by the time I run tomorrow my nose will be done running, so my feet can go it alone. Either that or maybe I can run out the cold.

Good times.

So not much to report seeing as this was not a stellar week. I am jumping back in this week and hoping for the best.

Do you push through when you aren’t feeling well?

Slow, Steady & Moving Foward

One week in and 17 more to go, but training seems to be falling into place. Just so happens that a woman in my running circle is also planning to run NY. We are off similar ages and abilities. In talking to her, I explained the 80/20 plan that I am doing. She decided that is a good fit for her and the beautiful thing is that it seems like are fitness level and training zones are compatible, so it’s a go. We are doing slightly different plans, but we can make it work.

I forgot how good it was to run with people. I haven’t really done it in a long time even pre-covid. When people are training seriously even if they say “I will run whatever you are running,” it doesn’t always work out. They aren’t getting the training they need. You feel bad for holding them back or maybe worse run too fast which is worse than running too slow. So finding a training partner for a marathon where you can do many runs together is nice. Even better when you really like the person:)

So week one went well. I will say that holding back is harder than it sounds. All your life you are told to give it all you’ve got. ….To push yourself to the limits…..If you don’t push yourself who will. ……. I’m sure you can think of others that you’ve told yourself. It is always…. GO….GO…. GO.

Now it is…. Slow down. Don’t push it. Slow and steady. It’s harder than it sounds. More times than you would think this past week, it was “we are running too fast.” We need to slow down. We are breathing too hard. Now don’t get me wrong, with the heat and humidity in Jersey this past week slow and steady still was hard. The heart rate spiked a few times. Sweat happened. It was not “easy.”

Here is the thing though….. After this first week of running, there was not a run that when it ended I didn’t think that I could do more. I could run further. I could run faster. I also was able to recover from these runs which is key.

So as I dig deeper into this training, I really need to find out if the zone that my garmin is saying are the right zones. I also would love it if my heart rate didn’t seem to jump up quickly. To keep myself where I needed to be and bring my heart rate down, I would walk until I got back into the zone. So I need to work on this. It will come.

As I do this, I am also in the marathon of fundraising. It’s kind of like doing 2 marathons at once. I’m working on collecting auction items which after this last year you can imagine is not easy task, but onward I go. I’ve gotten some good ones already. (If you know of any, I’m all ears).

So onward I go….. Slow, Steady, and moving foward.

Heath Check… One… Two…

So while I have not signed the contract to run NYCM with Sandy Hook Promise, I am laying groundwork. I do think paperwork should be with-in the next week and then it’s off to training we go.

That being said, I am already laying the groundwork. I have my training plan loaded in Training Peaks which I will officially start next week. Until then, I am in pre-training which I should enjoy while I can. I am also not looking to train for speed, but train for a great experience running. But first…..

I am also crossing all the T’s and dotting all the I’s with taking care of myself. I finally after years of my family telling me to get it checked out (again) saw a Pulmonologist and did a sleep study. Not too bad….. I only stop breathing 40-45 an hour and have severe sleep apnea. CPAP apparently is in my near future.

So while this sounds bad, it helps because maybe just maybe my down to the bone tiredness has nothing to do with my Hypopararthyroidism, but the fact that I am getting terrible night sleep! So besides, you know keeping me breathing at night and heading off any potential health issues; this will more than likely also help me with my training since I won’t be so exhausted all the time. Win.. Win.

Then next month (you know because it takes that long to get an appointment) I have my normal visit with my Endocrinologist for my Hypopara stuff and I am going to see Urologist to check on kidneys since I have a high output of calcium in urine. Although now wondering if I made appointment with right type of doctor and might have been better served with nephrologist but too late now. Would rather get some answers than no answers and can always follow up with the nephrologist if I think need to.

By this time, I will hopefully be a month and half into training. I am excited to start. And while my Sandy Hook Promise team place isn’t finalized yet, I think I will stick with training even if something happens.

So it’s go time….. As they say…..

There may come a day that I can not run, but today isn’t that day and I’m going to keep going.