Giving it all I’ve Got

I’ve started training for NYC Marathon.   I had been thinking that I was pretraining, but then I actually looked and yup, I’m training.    I am following the Jeff Galloway “To Finish”  Program and it’s actually a 26 week program.   In looking at the calendar if I do my math correctly, I believe that puts me at week 3 of training.  Oops, time to play catch up:)

Training for a marathon is a long process, yet at the same time it goes quickly.

I’m going to be very upfront in how things are going and I’m sure it won’t all be rainbows and sunshine.   That being said, I am so lucky to be given this opportunity and remind myself that I am not doing this for me, but for Sandy Hook Promise.

Anyhoo…. Even with the “To Finish” program, I know that I will be giving it all I’ve got.

Giving it all i got

I went out for a run.   I was just shy of 5 miles at 4.7, but it happens.   I used the ratio of 3 minutes run to 45 seconds walk.    It seemed like a good ratio, but I’m still feeling it out.   I will say that I liked it.   I tried to keep my run part around 11 and walk not at a Sunday stroll nor a power walk, but somewhere in between.   It seemed to be a good balance as my overall pace was 11:17.

As I was running though, I was trying to connect my body to where my mind is which is harder than you think.   In my mind, I still am so much faster.   My body disagrees.  Besides that  I also have to reconcile that with the run/walk method there will be times that I’m out for my run where I’m going to be walking and people will see.    That’s a mental thing, but one that I will deal with too.

Here is the thing…..   I can only do what I can do.   Yes, running is very much a mental sport, but in the end you can only do what your body will allow.    I’ve also got to use this training time to know when to add more calcium and magnesium.    When I was training for Chicago, I had a doctor who kept my calcium levels  in the mid normal range which may have made things better for running, but overall was not good for my health as it left too much calcium in urine (not good for kidneys).    So I’ve learned more this last year and I’ve also got my specialist that is keeping my calcium at just below normal.    That is good overall, but I do need to adjust more now on running days.   It will also be a training exercise to know how much is enough and how much is too much.

Yesterday was not enough.   It didn’t help that the night before I fell asleep and forgot to take my calcium and magnesium.   I also should have added more calez during run and realized that a Epsom salt bath afterwards might not have been as indulgent as I thought it would have been.

This is what happens when your don’t hit the right balance.   Your muscles dance which isn’t as fun as it sounds….

It’s a work in progress, but whose life isn’t.

We live.   We learn.   We move forward.

 

All In A Day!

So today was many things….

Wear Orange Day

It was Wear Orange Day which has become the defining color for gun violence prevention movement.    Hadiya Pendleton died  way too young and way too violently  on January 29, 2013.  This was just one week after performing at President Obama’s Inauguration and after finishing her exams at her High School Prep School.

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A week after her tragic death, her friends and community came together in her favorite color orange to stand against gun violence.   Every day on average 96 people die from gun violence and 6 of them are under the age of 18.   This is far too many.   To be honest, one is one to many.

So we wear orange.   We march.   We raise awareness and we try to do better.

We can do better.

We will do better.

I wore orange today all day, but especially when I went for my first pre marathon training walk/run of 3 miles today.   I will officially begin marathon training in July, but I need to build back up to a starting point for training.   I would like to get to 15 miles a week before training begins.

One thing that I thought about on my run tonight is how different this marathon training cycle will be.   It will be different for many reasons, but one is my attitude.   I’m training not for time, but to finish, enjoy the experience, and represent the Sandy Hook Promise organization proudly.   So as well as fundraising, I also need to be able to run 26.2 miles.    A marathon is still a marathon even if you aren’t chasing a 4:30 finish time.

Hypopara Awareness Day

Hypoparday

For those new or needing a reminder, I was diagnosed with hypoparthyroidism after my parathyroid glands were damaged when my thyroid was removed 2 weeks after running the NYCM in 2016.

Many people ask, “What does this mean?”

This is a complicated issue as this is a very rare disease and each person manifests it differently.

Here is the official information: The condition affects the body’s production of parathyroid, a hormone that regulates the body’s levels of calcium and phosphorus, the condition has to be monitored and treated with supplements and medication. One of the main issues is very low calcium levels, affecting the strength and development of bones, teeth and nails as well as affecting the nervous system.

What does this mean…. For me, it means that my body feels like it aged 20 years after my surgery. My body aches and is sore in ways it never was even when training for my 50K! It means some days needing to lay down in the afternoon for a solid nap not because I’m drowsy but because I feel like I’ve just finished running a marathon and can’t move another step. It means constantly assesses “how do I feel” because if my calcium gets too low my face will twitch, my fingers with get tingly, and if gets too low it could be a problem. I’ve been lucky in that being a marathon runner prior to surgery, I was very tuned into how my body felt so I know when adjustments need to be made because the only way to find out your calcium level is through blood tests at your doctors.
This is all doable though with medication, supplements and just being smart. That being said, these things take a toll on the mind and body. I also need to monitor my kidney health as the medication to keep my levels at just under the normal range also raises urine calcium levels which is not good for the kidneys. Again, I’ve been lucky in that I’ve found a doctor in NYC who specializes in this. We are working on getting these levels down before issues arise. It’s a work in progress.

All this being said, I refuse to let this stop me. While things are different, I am keeping doing what I’m doing. May be slower and not run as far, but I’m still running (remember that marathon I’ve got coming up in November). I’m still getting done what I need to get done. And I’m lucky enough to have friends that support me when I need them:)

And on top of all of this it was also

National Donut Day, but I forgot to get my donut.

Boo.

 

 

How Did I get here????

If you’ve been following my journey, you know that I whole heartedly did not want to run any big races this year.   I was content to run the NYC Half and call it a year.   I clearly said that I did not want a fall marathon.   I did not want to train over the summer with my oldest leaving for college.   I stomped my feet, crossed my arms, and knew that I was going to sit this year out.

But things change.

Things evolve.

And sometimes, sometimes you are given clear signs that you need to do something that you said you wouldn’t do.

This is what happened.

I am a believer is receiving signs if you are open to them.    At first, I ignored them but then I realized that this was something that I needed to do.   Not to run a marathon, because I meant that part about not wanting to run one.    I will run one though.   I will run it happily because to me this year it is not about the marathon but about the cause.

Sandy Hook Promise

This was a group that I joined almost as soon as I heard about it.    The tragedy at Sandy Hook hit me hard as with so many others.   It changed me.    It made me want to get involved which I did, but I always felt that I could and should do more especially as each tragic shooting occurred.   This is something that I can do.   This is something that is a concrete way to help an organization that is trying to what we all want: Protect children from gun violence.

Here is their mission and approach:

“Prevent gun-related deaths due to crime, suicide and accidental discharge so that no other parent experiences the senseless, horrific loss of their child.”   They are working and implementing in communities and schools research based programs and practices such as Know the Signs programs.   You can visit the SandyHookPromise.org website for more information.

This is my way to help them help others.    I will be running NYC Marathon to raise $3,000 for this cause that I feel so strongly about.    This is a leap of faith because while I know that I can run a marathon, I’m not too sure about my fundraising skills.   I am willing to take this risk.

If you would like to contribute to this worthy cause, please visit my fundraising page at Fundraising Website.

I am excited about this prospect for many reasons and the process of being part of a team of runners who support this amazing cause.   I am heading into this marathon training to finish the race, enjoy the process, and most of all support such a worthy cause.

SandyHookPromise

 

 

So my daily running challenge is over.   I will say that I am happy to be done with it, but at the same time without the accountability I have not been running these last few days.   That being said though it is freeing to be done because while not running, I have been busy doing other things.   It would have been added stress to worry about when am I going to squeeze my mile in.

I give kudos to those that are dedicated to streak days, months, and years.    I’ll be honest, I think I may have stopped at day 29 and not even hit 30 but I’m ok with that.    Last Friday would have been day 30 and it was a crazy hectic week as they all are and by Friday I felt like a tractor trailer hit me.   I think that I was dozing on the couch by 7:30.    My body needed the rest more than it needed the mile.

What did I learn from this little experiment?

  1. That once you go out for a mile, you might as well do more if time allows
  2. That my body is not designed to run every day.
  3. That it was a good way to jump start my running/training
  4. That I’m glad that I did it
  5. And most of all, I’m glad that it is over!!!

 

Will I do another streak?   Not any time soon.    I do have some plans that I am working on finalizing and will hopefully have everything in place by next week.   This will keep me motivated, busy, and running that is for sure.

So for now, I am going to enjoy one challenge ending while gearing up for a new one.

Stay tuned….

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The Unpleasant Truth

Everyone has something that they are afraid of.   Everyone knows that you can run from your fears, but you can’t hide from them.

  But what if……

What if sometimes the fear is just under the surface?

But what if……

What if instead of facing our fears that we just ignore them.   Pretend they don’t even exist?

Will that make them go away?

Reality and past experiences say no.

Someone recently asked me what is it that I’m afraid of when it comes to my running right now.   (I’m talking actual running not running away from my fears).   After thinking about it, I knew in my heart the answer.

The fear of not being good enough.

Once I had said this out loud, I knew the truth of my answer.   I had the answer before she even asked the question.   You see the night before, I had had a dream.  Seriously.   In my dream I went out to my car and ALL my running magnets were removed from the back of my car.

NO 50K

NO 26.2

NO 13.1

NO MRTT

Nothing………    Empty space where my pride used to be.

Silly dream, but it speaks volumes.    And then it begs to question, who do I have to be good enough for?   Not my family.   Not my friends.  Not my ever so supportive running community.  Not my co-workers.    Not the strangers along courses.  All  I need is to be good enough for me and why isn’t my best good enough?

It’s time to deal with the unpleasant truth.   A truth I’ve spoken of before, but still am grappling with I admit.    It’s not easy to let go of expectations realistically or unrealistically that you put upon yourself.    It’s not so easy to deal with unpleasant truths that you want to ignore.    And most of all when you finally face the unpleasantness of it all, you realize that you were holding onto things for all the wrong reasons.

letting-go

Truth

But letting go doesn’t mean giving up.   It doesn’t mean putting away my running shoes. It doesn’t mean pushing my limits.    It means letting go of the things that are holding me back.    I’m not talking about holding me back from PR’s or such.    I’m talking about holding me back from taking the next step.

Acceptance.

Yes, if it was that easy the world would be a better place.    But I’m talking about acceptance that things will be different and that’s ok.

I’m not a person of change.   I know this to be true.   My mother often asks me, “What’s new.”    I often respond, “Nothing and that’s a good thing.”   But the truth is that you have a choice in life, either change with it or live in the past and miss out on the possibilities of the future.

It’s time to look forward.   It’s time to change with the times.    It’s time to accept where I am today….

I am a woman who struggles due to her Hypoparathyroidism with limitations that I did not have before.  Pretending they are not there, will not make them go away.    I’ve been trying that and it hasn’t worked.   They are still there, but I make it look easy:):)

BUT

That does not mean I am not a runner anymore.   It just means that I need to learn to change.   Change expectations.   Change the way I train.    Change the way I run by embracing the run/walk method whole heartily this time.     Change is scary but sometimes necessary and often good.

It also means that you are open to new opportunities and I’ll be honest there is a new opportunity that I’m hoping comes my way.   One that if I accept that I need to be willing to change  to fully enjoy and experience.   (Yes, that’s a teaser:)

 

 

 

 

When is the Right Time?

Today, on this random day, I decided that I need to start getting it together.   While there are many things no longer in my control, there are many things that are in my control and I need to take control of what I can.   With that in mind, I pulled out an old training book that I used when I was working with my running coach in 2016.    I opened it up to peruse the pages and on the front page there was a sticky with the following written on it:

As much as I know the time is right, I still can’t help but believe that it is wrong…

Ummm, Ok

I still feel like that.

Do we ever know when is the right time?

I was on a message board the other day and someone was saying how they wanted to get back to running, but needed to loose weight first.    This is not the first time that I’ve heard such things.    I personally know people that have made similar statements.

The truth of the matter is that there is no right or wrong time.    There is only time, opportunities, and chances we must take.    I’ve been sitting here waiting for the right time to get my sh*t together – not be so out of breath when I run, loose weight, not feel like Grandma getting out of bed in the morning,  not have legs feel like I’ve run 10 miles when I’ve only run 1.

As much as I know the time is right, I still can’t help but believe that it’s wrong….

The time is right.    In looking at my training log, I can not see a day where I would be able to maintain that level again.  This is the truth as harsh as it sounds to my ears.   In looking at my training log, two years ago at this time I was running an 18 mile training run at an overall pace of 10:24.    A quote from my log,  “Other than feeling like a long run, it felt great.   Miles were faster towards the end of the run.”

Here’s the thing…..

I could not imagine running that pace that distance again.   Maybe I can.   Maybe I can’t.  I just know that my body does not bounce back the way it used to.    I also know that there are many factors I have now that I didn’t have then.

Here’s another thing…

I don’t know which factor is the causing factor.    I do know that Hypoparathyroidism plays into it.   I also know that hypothyroidism could play a role too.  I’m certainly not getting any younger.   Then there is the weight factor.   But which is coming first the chicken or the egg…. Is the weight a symptom of the thyroid problem or visa versa.

Let’s not even talk about the training time factor today.

Lastly, here is the thing…..

Even with all of the baggage, I still want to run.    I still want to run far.    I still dream the dream of running the way that I used to run and that there is the problem.   I need to live with the reality of today and work towards the reality that I would like to have.

As much as I know the time is right, I still can’t help but believe that it’s wrong….

The real question needs to be…

If not now, When?

time-flies

 

Sticking to the plan.   I may not be going far every day, but at least I am going every day which was the plan.   Last week was a crazy and brutally busy week, yet I still managed to sneak in a run every day.   I’ve even taken to bringing out the night running gear again because even though it may be the last thing I wanted to do, even though it might of been cold and rainy, or even if I had walked miles at a visit to my son’s soon to be college; I still managed to get a run in.

Tomorrow will be 10 days strong on my streak.  Here is what I’ve discovered so far…

  1.  This is NOT something that I would want to do long term
  2. This HAS actually been good for me so far.
  3. Even though time wise my week may not have allowed many miles, I’m finding that I would like to run more than a mile once started.   Seems like a lot of work getting out the door for just one mile.
  4. I AM getting back into a routine.
  5. I AM definitely remember what it is like to run on tired legs even if it’s just a mile.
  6. I AM GOING TO MAKE IT TO DAY 30!

While I am very certain that streaking is not something that I would want to do long term, I do think it was a wise decision to lay it out there to do for thirty days.   Now the question is no longer, “Will I run today?”   but “When am I going to run today.”

There is not thought to it which makes it so much easier.   It takes the excuses out of the equation and just makes them obstacles to overcome.   Yes, I may be tired; but I’ve still got to run.   Yes, it may be raining but I’ve got a rain jacket.   Yes. Yes. Yes.

This week while busy, hopefully will allow some much needed breathing room and maybe even some more time for longer runs.   Although, since my goal right now is 5K’s I really don’t need a ton of miles.    This past week I ran just 11 miles, but they were probably 11 miles that I would not have run before I started this challenge.   It became too easy to find an excuse even a good one not to run.   20 more days with a reason to run.

Here is not hoping that when this challenge is over that I will be back into the routine of running and running some more.   Until then, I will just keep going.

Its-fine

 

 

 

 

BE NICE!

Why are we always harder on ourselves than we are on our friends?    It’s one of life’s biggest mysteries.

Examples 1

Friend, “I can’t believe how slow my last run was.”

Caring Response, “At least you got out there.   Don’t worry about it.   We all have bad days.”

Response to self for slow run, “What is wrong with you.   Suck it up.   Push harder.”

Example 2

Friend, “I’m planning to take some time off from running to heal injury, just not feeling it, no time or any such thing.”

Response, “Smart move.   Give yourself time that you need.   The road will be there when you are.”

Response to self for time off, “Your loosing it.   You better lace up and go for a run.  What is wrong with you.   Your lazy, ect, ect.”

Example 3

Friend, ” I finished the Race in XYZ.   It wasn’t my goal time.”

Response, “Still a great race.   So proud of you.   You tried your best and you can try for that goal again.”

Respnse to self, “What is wrong with you.   You didn’t train hard enough.   You blew it, ect, ect, ect”

 

These examples don’t just happen in our running.   I’m sure that we each could pick things from our “real lives” that we do the same things.

  Why though?

I used to think it was just me, but I realize over time that so many of us do it.   We all come to life with our own baggage.

Why is it so easy to show our friends compassion when we do not give ourselves the same courtesy.   We are not lying to our friends when we respond to them.   We aren’t trying to just make them feel better.   We truly mean these kind words.    So why do we not cut ourselves the same break?   It’s time to break the cycles.

Yeah, if only it was that easy.   Most of the time we don’t always know we are doing it.   Kind of like when someone gives you a compliment and you dismiss it with some self deprecating comment.  STOP THAT.    It’s time to realize that you deserve to be treated the way you treat others.

I’ve been trying to be nicer to myself with my running.   I’ve beaten myself up on how I need walk breaks, how out of breath I am, ect, ect, ect.     What I realized is that if a friend was in my position, I would be so much kinder to their situation than I have been to mine.   What I’ve also realized is that this pattern was developed over time and it will take time and work to change it.

So here is what I propose we all do:

  1.  If you wouldn’t say it to a friend, don’t say it to yourself.
  2. Build yourself up.  Not in an obnoxious way, but remind yourself that you are worth it too.
  3. Criticizing yourself is not the way to self motivate.   If you feel you could/should have run faster, tell yourself that you did your best but will try again next time.
  4. Take time for yourself and don’t feel like you don’t deserve to splurge on you.

Yeah, if only it was that easy.   The truth is that it’s not hard either.   It just takes time, energy, and being mindful of your inner voice.

Your worth it!

and

So am I!

 

 

 

 

It’s Only a Month

It’s amazing that I can have run a half marathon literally less than a month ago and feel so out of shape.   I ran a good race too.    I need to get it back together.    I need to get back to not being out of breath and sweating like I’ve just ran a half marathon after teaching a gymnastics class.   Literally drenched in sweat today.

I remember when I was training for my 50K that I ran 6 days a week.   My short run was 5 miles.

Good Times.

Now I’m not saying that I want to get out every day for 5 miles, but I do miss the feeling that I could if I wanted to that I could.    I also know that I need to get back into better cardio shape which might help.   My schedule has not been my own lately, but I’ve decided that I need to stop making excuses and get it together.

So I’m thowing down the gauntlet.

I’m going to start streaking.

Now those of you that know me personally know that I’ve really never been into the concept (for me) of streaking.    I know people who have been streaking for years and I am in awe of them, but have never felt like joining in the crazy.    I’ve done streaks of working out every day, but never running.

Until now.

Although I do plan to limit my crazy.   It will be for 30 days.   Actually 28 because I started 2 days ago.   A minimum of a mile a day for the next month.   I think this might be just what I need to get back on track

This is really something that hopefully should be relatively easy to keep too.   Monday, I start coaching elementary track 4 days a week.   So it should be easy enough to get my mile in those days since I will already be in running attire and out of the house.    There will be challenging days some that I already know of and some I’m sure will crop up unexpectedly but it’s only a month.

A lot can change in a month…..

Here’s hoping.

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No Thinking Required

It is true that the body can only do so much.   It can only do what it can do and no more.   That is a fact.   BUT what if it can’t reach it’s full potential because the mind doesn’t believe.   If the mind opts out before the body is ready, it will take the body with it.   It is in control.

Training teaches us to push through, push past, and to work through the pain.

It is just as important to train mentally as it is physically.   The Ying and the Yang of training.   The body can only do what the body can do, but with the mind on board that is where the magic can happen.

I went out for a run tonight.   I knew that if I didn’t get my run in today that it wouldn’t happen.   I wanted this run.   I want to get back to running on a more consistent basis.  I pushed myself to get out the door when truthfully I was very comfy on the couch watching Tanked.    If I win the lottery, I am so having them make me a huge tank in my new house.   (Dreaming the dream).

Anywho….

I made myself get out the door.   In the back of my mind, I wanted to get at least 5 miles in if not 6.   I told myself that I would settle for 3 to get myself out the door.   Suited up for a night run and out the door I went.    One of the beautiful things about night running is that I have no idea what pace I’m running because I can’t see my watch.   So I was running by feel.   There was no over thinking.   Just running.

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On my run, I was thinking about things and just running to run.   I felt good on the run .   I think it would classify as a conversational pace running night if I had anyone to chat with.   I was just enjoying the big beautiful moon and what might be considered perfect running temperatures.    No thinking.   No over analyzing.   Just running.

Here’s the thing though…. I ended up with beautiful negative splits.

11:57, 11:50, 11:28, 11:06, 10:58

5 miles that I just enjoyed.

So the lesson that I took from tonight is that although I know that the body can only do what the body can do.    I also know that sometimes my mind hold me back.   Sometimes I over think.   Sometimes I worry too much.  Sometimes it’s ok to just run.

I may see some more “naked” no watching the watch runs in my future.

quote-thomas-edison