The In Between

For some the Great Pause as I refer to the time since Covid has caused things to stop, not much changed in their daily life except location of where they worked. My husband is one of those people. He just rolled with it as he is lucky enough to have a job that made it possible. For many of us though life (depending where you live) stopped mid March. Spring was not filled with soccer tournaments, races, and everyday events. School, jobs, sports…. all cancelled.

As I have said before, many of us treated this initially like it was a snow day but then slowly came to the realization that it was the new normal. We learned to bake bread (I already knew). We did what we could to get by, fill up the day, and maybe ease our worries. There was no right or wrong…. There was just what each of us needed to do to get by.

Now we are in the in-between. Things are opening up. We are in the Goldilocks stage of things. For some, not fast enough. For others, too fast. There might be some that feel it is just right too. I am not sure where I fall into this and it might depend on the day. I also know that there is not one size fits all and what works for one family may not work for another. We are all just doing our best still to get by.

Often what many people forget in these stressful times is that our perspective might not be the same as another’s perspective. (Now I am NOT talking about those that refuse the science, I am talking about those of us trying to safely and smartly navigate all that is going on right now. ) There are many moving pieces. There are many levels of comfort and we should not be forcing where we are on others.

One of the reasons that I have not been writing recently is because I felt like I had nothing to say. One day was leading into the next and the day after that. It was all becoming a blur and I wasn’t really sure that I had anything to say or wanted to say out loud. I still don’t but as I’ve said before writing is a way for me to process and maybe I just didn’t want to process. Maybe I wasn’t sure what to process.

As we get into the fall season which I love, I am missing the sound, sites, and posts of people training for various races. I am missing the pictures from finish lines. I am missing all that comes with knowing that you have an event on the calendar that you are excited about. I am missing this and so much more as are so many people, but to me this is nothing in comparison to what we could all be missing. We don’t want to come out of this only to be back where we were in March.

Now it may sound like I have shut myself out of the world, but that is not the case. I go to stores. I have walked with friends. I even have started a new job. I do all these things in the safest way possible. To me this is my comfort zone. I will say that I have still not gone out to a restaurant for dinner nor is that on the list of things to do anytime soon. My family is fine with take out right now.

So for today…. This is enough. I am trying to get my head out of the weeds. I am trying to not worry about the future. I am trying not to let anxiety and depression take hold which is so easy in times like this. Many of us are just trying to hold our heads above the water while keeping those we love above water too.

So in these times….. and always….. know that you are entitled to feel the way you feel. You are entitled to think the way you think. We must all take care of ourselves, those we love, and most of all hold onto the hope that things will get better. That this was not all for naught. That it is ok to be sad that races are cancelled. It is ok to be upset that your child’s school is not what you wanted it to be. It’s ok to feel all the feelings.

What is not ok is to let that stop you from living your life even if you need to live it differently right now.

So hold on.

This is not forever.

We are all in this together.

We will get through it especially with a little (or a lot) of help from our friends.

Pouring from an Empty Cup

30 Days of yoga has come and gone.

Daily mile challenge has come to an end.

One expected. On unexpected. Both were not meant to be long term commitments although I had no end goal for the walking. I enjoyed it but it was starting to become part of a stressor to get out for a mile than the stress reliever that it was supposed to be. Life got in the way and unless I had planned to go for an 11 PM walk it was not happening. I had contemplated going, but then thought what am I doing this for?

So I called it a day. Time of death Auguest 21rst which is exactly 2 months since I started the 1 mile a day streak. It was supposed to keep me moving through summer and it did. I no longer need this motivation as I have other motivations. I am part of a team of 7 in a fun team competition. I have some virtual events coming up and I am training for the NYC Virtual Marathon. So it is all good.

I will say I give major props to those that are dedicated to keep up a streaking challenge. Come rain, sun, snow or life events off they go to keep the streak alive. I’ve said before that I was never big on streaking (for me) and after doing it for 2 months, I am happy that I did it. I am even happier to be done with it.

As for the Yoga, I really enjoyed the 30 Day with Adriene Challenge. I was committed and every day I tuned into my practice with her. It was just what I needed. Some days I did more. Most days I did no more. As the days progressed, I allowed myself to just realize that yoga was more than just movement but connecting mind to body. It wasn’t necessarily about pushing my body to achieve positions but about coming to the mat. This challenge was good for me.

When I first went to yoga, I attended Hot Yoga. It was about the movement but it was also about feeling like I pushed myself. When I started the 30 day challenge at first I felt like I wasn’t pushing myself enough. That I wasn’t challenging myself enough. That I should be doing more. With some deep breathing and reflection, I realized that I was missing a big part of what yoga can be. It can be about relieving stress without pushing your body to the limit. That small movements over time bring about big changes. That sometimes in life just showing up to the mat is enough.

Isn’t that the truth? Sometimes we just need to show up. We need to show up for our family. We need to show up for our friends. Most of all we need to show up for ourselves. We often forget that last one putting ourselves at the bottom of the list. The saying is true that you can’t pour from an empty cup, yet so often we try to thinking that if only we try harder we can get more out.

Taking the time daily to go for a walk and do a short walk made me take time for myself every day. I needed to not squeeze it in but plan for it. It made me realize that we should be doing more of that in life. We need to not just think that we can keep on pouring without ever taking a sip for ourselves. There is more than enough to share, but we have to make sure to not give it all away.

So with both of these challenges now over, I am going to plan time to continue with both yoga and walking. I will plan these on my terms because it is something that I want to do and not have to do. It will be a way to replenish and find time for myself when during a pandemic when everyone is home ALL the time, I can find space just for me. Some days that will mean alone time. Some days it will mean joining a friend (safely). Most of all it will be about showing up for myself.

How do you show up for yourself?

GLORY DAYS

So many of us get caught up in the glory days of our past. Reminiscing about glory days…. Reminiscing is one thing, but getting lost in them is a whole other thing.

Lets be honest too. Often we skip over the sleepless nights of baby rearing saying how easy it was then. Remembering when we were in school think we had no cares. Forgetting both the social pressure and pressure to do well. We romanticize with most of our past this way.

There is really nothing sadder than a middle aged man or woman who is still living their glory days. Reveling in when they were star quarterback quarterback, cheerleader or any such thing. Having something amazing in front of you, but thinking it doesn’t compare to what you once had or worse dreamed of having. There is also nothing sadder than an athlete who keeps trying to hold on to their glory days too. In all of these cases, they are usually missing out on what is right in front of them.

Days you ran faster.

Days you ran further.

Oh what used to be.

Often we get so caught up in where we were that we forget to look forward to where we are going or even where we are now. Sometimes if we take off the rose colored glasses we also remember that our glory days are not as great as we make them out to be. We see this with people talking about their childhoods usually in comparison to the way kids are growing up now. They forget that it wasn’t all it was cracked up to be even if it was good. They look at it fondly forgetting the bad and while no one wants to focus on the bad, you can’t pretend it wasn’t there.

Now I am not saying that we should focus on the bad, but by discounting it sometimes it allows you to be stuck in the past because the future or present will never live up to it. Besides, they aren’t wrong when they say you can never go back.

You can’t.

Not going to happen.

Remember but don’t live in it.

Our lives change. Not just as an athlete, but as a human our lives change, our circumstances change and sadly our bodies change (and age). Now all that being said, you can be proud of your accomplishments. You can brag about them even, but what you can’t do is let them define where you are now. Most of all when you stop doing that you might just realize that you are able to enjoy today more than you did yesterday.

I’ve found that with my walking. Giving up where I was or thought I should be has allowed me to focus on where I am today. Now I am not saying that I will never run again because part of me already wants to run. That being said, I am enjoying learning what my body can do today. I have been walking at least a mile a day since June 21rst. I can walk more frequently and further without the physical downside when I was pushing to run (remember that whole Hypoparathyroidism thing).

Yesterday, I went out for a long walk as part of my NYC Virtual Marathon Training. I knew that I wanted to walk at least 8 but 10 was really my goal. When I reached 9.5, I met someone I know that was out walking and joined her. We chatted and I ended up hitting 11 miles. While I did end up with a blister (not uncommon for 3 hours on your feet) and I did need a short nap, I was not out for the count. I also realized that I need to stay true to this walking marathon training as the worst thing I can do is second guess where I am right now. The worst thing you can do is to try to make a major change in your training when you are in midst of it. I would only be setting myself up for failure.

Yes, I could most likely start running agin and I would be able to do it. The question is why would I be doing it. I would be doing it because I feel like it is expected to be doing it right now. When I tell people that currently I am not running and committed to walking, they do scratch their heads a little. It is not the norm to admit that you need a step back. It is not the norm to say that you are going to push it to the edge. It’s not the norm to admit that sometimes you need something different.

Then again as my friends can tell you……

I am not normal.

I’m ok with that.

Try it. It is freeing to break expectations. It is freeing to be who you are now. It is freeing to just be.

Easier is a Relative Term

Just because something is easier does not mean it is not hard. Nor does it mean that there aren’t challenges, learning curves, or doubt. Just because something is “easier” does not mean anything except that it is different. Besides easier is a relative term that is different for each individual and changes during their lifetime. What was once hard can become easier Just as what was once easy can become hard. It is all relative and ever changing.

There are things we do in life and often think to ourselves does it really matter. Maybe we won’t buy some brands because we don’t like what they support. Maybe we avoid certain establishments for the same reason. That is our freedom. Maybe we think it doesn’t matter if we dust behind the picture frames because who is going to see it. Meanwhile we see lines at the store, people using the products we wont, maybe the dust piles up and wonder does it matter. Does it make a difference, but it does. We would know. We know.

In life, you may fool a lot of people. You might even fool them for a long time, but there is one person you can’t fool and that is yourself. If you cheat on your diet and no one is around, you know you cheated. If you tell everyone you are training, but never actually train; you will know. Some even go so far as to cheat at events crossing finish line. They may even get the bling, but deep down they know they don’t deserve it.

Currently I am beginning my training for the NYC Virtual Marathon. I have decided that I am going to power walk it and I’ve been doing my daily walks. I am still working on the actual training plan and need to mark my calandar with the day that I plan to complete the marathon. This will help tailor my training. I am leaning towards November 1rst as that would be normal date, but not sure.

In talking to my son about this, he was like how will they know you didn’t cheat. So we talked about it. I told him that I’m sure just like other events that there will be people who don’t complete the race the way intended. That would be on them. For me though, I will know if I don’t do what I set out to do which is to complete a marathon. Others can worry about themselves because I will know that I did what needed to be done.

In life that is all you can ask of yourself because what you do in private is even more important that what you do in public. It is even more important to stay true to yourself, your beliefs and your honor even if you are the only one who will know. Especially if you are the only one who will know.

So with that I begin my training of a marathon that I said I didn’t want to run. I wasn’t lying because this time I don’t want to run. I’m going to walk and know that just because some may think this is easier, it is still going to be hard.

Swimming Against the Current

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Often people get trapped in a rip current without realizing it.  If you don’t look for the signs you can be caught up in one before you even know how it happened.  Once in many think the only way out is to keep pushing and swim through it.   Swimming against the current.   They push and they push until exhaustion sets in.    It’s only when calmness sets in do they often realize that the best way to escape the current is to not to try to swim against it but parallel to it until you get out of it.   Once out, you can swim back to shore.

The secret is remaining calm.   It is to think about what is happening.    It is about accessing the situation and it is about finding a way out.    Up until recently I have been doing the same thing with my running.   I have been going against what my body needed.   What my body wanted.   I had been pushing and pushing and not paying attentions to the signs or the way out.   I have finally found the edge of the rip current I have been fighting and now am comfortably able to swim to shore.

All this time, I kept thinking of it as giving up.   That I was taking the easy way out.    I didn’t realize that I was taking on water and pushing myself to brink of exhaustion because I refused to truly listen to the signs.   Just like you need to respect a rip current, you need to respect the limitations of your body.  It’s about learning to swim with the current instead of against it.   Most of all it is about knowing if you want a different outcome, you need to change what your are doing.   You need to be willing to look at ways to do the same thing over and over again.   You need to be willing  to float with the tide.

As you know I’ve been continuing on my 30 days of Yoga with Adriene.   The other day in practice she gave a mantra that really struck me.

Allow…. Release… Let Go

Seems easy enough, but is oh so hard in life.   Often we hold onto things that no longer serve us, but we can’t seem to let go.   Continuing to push when we should pull.   Holding on when we need to let go.   When we finally…. allow…. release…. let go; we wonder why we didn’t do it sooner.

As I’ve continued on my walking, I realize that for now this is serving me.    I can go longer distances.    I can go daily.   It doesn’t drain me.   I can go faster that I thought and further this way.   I can and will train for a marathon.  For me, it is better to be able to continue to keep going forward to achieve new goals than it is how I get there because sometimes if you don’t find your way out of the current you could end up exhausted to the point of giving up.   I’m not one to give up but I am no longer fighting the current.

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What rip currents have you escaped in life?

 

How Does This Keep Happening

So I did a thing.   As often, I did it on a whim.   I did it without agonizing over it.   I did it without really thinking about it.    My sister mentioned it and off I went.

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What did I do now you wonder?

I signed up to virtually complete the NYC Marathon.

Gulp.

Now you might be wondering how I am planning to do this when I am only walking right now and have committed to walk through the end of the summer.   Easy Peasy…. I plan to train and mostly walk 26.2 miles.

Say what!?!

Seriously…. Once I signed up and thought, “What did I just do?”    I searched for walking plans.   I actually think since it is a virtual event this is more doable because I don’t need to worry as much about meeting a cut off time.   Plus lets be honest, last year I basically power walked 3/4 the in person NYC Marathon.

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I have been mentioning that I’ve been thinking about goals.    Completing a marathon length event was actually one.   Remember how I have said that I have completed a marathon every year since 2014?   I did not want this year to be any different and now it will be an official event.   So while this may seem like it has come out of left field, it really hasn’t.   Completing a marathon this year has always been rattling around in my head.   I just wasn’t sure if I would be able to make it happen.   Now I am.

I have not settled 100% on a plan but I have narrowed down already   My walking this last month has set me up to be ready to roll into this plan.    Walking 103 miles last month puts me in a good spot to start.   Plus we all know that I need a goal.

It’s go time.

Just Show Up

So this post might be a little different, yet not.   So stick with me!

Something exciting happened recently that I have been waiting to share.   I’ve been waiting because I wanted to be able to actually see if I would it really was something that I could be excited about.   Since the mail arrived two days ago and I’ve done my own testing I can say that I’m excited.

So here is the thing….. I was recently asked (yes ASKED) to become a Pineapple Clothing Ambassador.    This was not something that I sought out, but through my Instagram account they reached out to me.   Now I will say, that I’ve gotten DM’s in the past but nothing like this.   Usually they are the random “How you doing today?’ messages where you immediately block them or the guy who liked EVERY one of my feet pics (you know as a runner, we do those things).    This DM was different though.

Anyway, they were reaching out to me to see if I was interested in becoming an Ambassador for their company.   Now who knows maybe they asked everyone, but you know it’s nice to be asked to the dance.   Plus I don’t know that ask everyone but either way I was flattered.   I’m really not going to lie, it was very flattering with all the content out their to be asked (so please don’t pop my bubble).

Here is the thing and these are the facts I know….. I am not a young woman, but I am not an old one either!  I do not have a traditional athletes body.    I will never have a traditional athletes body.   I’m just not built that way nor do I have the desire to do what it takes to get down to whatever size the world thinks I should be.    What I do have though is an athletes heart and will to push through challenges.    I may not be the picture that comes to mind of what an athlete is but make no mistake I am an athlete.    Many times athletes like me are under-represented but that is slowly changing.

This under representation of people who like me sometimes hold other people back from taking the first step for a positive change.    You look at yoga studio and it seems like everyone is under a size 4 and can bend themselves in a pretzel.   Me…. I am still working on not falling down and my balance.      You look at fitness blogs (obviously not mine) and you see the finished product.   I will never be that finished product.     When you look at ads for fitness and runners, you see the top athletes.   The thing is those are people at the top of their game while most of us are still deciding what we want to play.

We’ve all had a friend say or maybe we have even said it that before the great pause that they will start going to the gym/running/yoga/any group activity that they need to loose 20 (fill in blank) pounds FIRST.   That’s not the way it works.

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We need to be willing to show up as we are today not as we want to be tomorrow.    If we can’t show up as we are we will never be happy even when we finally deem we are ready to show up.    Who we are is not determined by the size of our jeans or leggings.   It is not determined if we have the “perfect” body.   It is not determined by anything on the outside, but on what we carry on the inside.   You can never be happy with anything else unless you can love the inside. (yeah I know hokey expression but could not be more true).

This past year, someone I know who looked like they should have it all together fell apart.    They have the right look.   They appeared on the outside to have everything that should make them happy.    They weren’t and they hit rock bottom.   Someone made a comment about being surprised because she was the last person you would expect and their in lies the problem.   Often we focus on living how we think others think that we should live –   looking a certain way  — Being part of the “right” group —–  doing the “right” things  —- on and on it goes, when really all we need to focus on is who we are and what we need to make us happy because if you are not happy with that nothing else can fill that void for you.

Circling back……..

So when I was asked to be a Pineapple Clothing Ambassador and determined that their USA made products were something that I could endorse, I jumped in.

 

As I said in my Instagram post today:  Proof you don’t need a fancy workout space. You don’t need a size 6 body. You don’t need negativity. You just need to show up!

So I am showing up.   I am sharing my not ready for prime time shape.

Pineapple Clothing

Use code: chrcha for 20% off your order too!

 

Giving into the Stillness

I admit it….. I am a sucker for Air Supply and like people who don’t admit it, I can probably sing along to most songs.   I also enjoy me some vintage Ozzy Osborne  and  a lot in between the two genres.

I am a complicated woman.    I am sensitive enough to cry at a movie while at the same time be willing to fight tooth and nail for something I am passionate about (some might refer to that by a name that starts with a B).     I cherish my family while being distant from some members.    I will go to bat for friends while having lost touch with others.     I have a blog called Accidentally Running Mama while currently not even running.   It is just life and we are all complicated individuals.   Those that are 2 dimensional are usually either boring or fake.

Here’s the thing.    I am all of these things and so much more.    I don’t pretend to be something I am not.  I am real even if I don’t put it all out there, but I pretty much put enough out there anyway. As we grow, we evolve we change.  We learn.   Sometimes we move on.    Sometimes we hold on.   Sometimes we don’t even realize that things change until we reflect.   Life is ever changing.   We are ever changing.    If you are unwilling to change, you are unwilling to try anything new.

Since I’ve started my fitness journey in 2014, I’ve tried lots of things.     I started on just going to a gym.   Then added HIT (High Intensity Training).    Then a killer personal trainer.   Then upped it to Crossfit (LOVED IT).    Spent a lot of time practicing Hot Yoga (another big fan).   Some more HIT classes.   Had an amazing Running Coach.   Biked.   Swam.  (yes, those were mostly because I was doing Triathlons and cross training for running).    I’ve done lots of running (lots).   Now I am just walking.

I tried all of these things because I was willing to go out of my comfort zone.   I will say that as much as I loved Crossfit, I don’t think I physically could do it now (plus it is also such an intense type of workout mentally and I am not there anymore).   I probably could not take the heat of Hot Yoga anymore either as it probably would cause me to sweat out too much calcium.  Some of the other things I would love to do again and just may.   Then again having 2 kids now in college the disposable income for things like that is not what it used to be but I digress.    Anyway, I did all of these things because I was willing to open myself up to new experiences.    Actually if I wasn’t willing to try something new, I would never have signed up for my first event and remained on the couch

Being  willing to open myself up to something new has brought me to my 30 Days of Yoga with Adriene and walking.   When I first started walking, I thought that I was giving up something but remained committed to it even when I felt like I should do more.   I ended up walking more than 100 miles in July.    If I was running, I am not sure that I could have done that.  I have also been walking my minimum of a mile a day since June 21 and for right now I have no intention of stopping. This is working for me and I plan to continue through August.

By embracing the walking while at the same time embarking on a 30 day yoga challenge, I’ve learned a few things.    To be honest I wasn’t sure what to expect…. maybe learn to properly do some new poses.   To gain strength, flexibility and a better yoga foundations.   I have gained those things and more.  With daily yoga practice coupled with a daily walk, I am realizing that while I am gaining all the things I mentioned above that I am learning to trust the stillness (oh there she goes sounding all yogi again).   Here me out.

I am learning (still a work in progress) that I don’t need to push myself to the limit all the time.    That sometimes it is unnecessary and not only not what my body needs but not the right thing for it. I have learned that small changes can bring about big changes if given enough time to marinate.   I’ve learned that my body while not balanced can have balance.    I have been enjoying giving into a yoga practice with no expectations other than showing up to my mat ever day or in my case my garage with YouTube.  I have been enjoying my daily walks with no expectations but to get out the door. I’ve learned that just because I am walking does not mean that I am out for a Sunday stroll.   I’ve learned that it is all relative.

Today I went for a 5 mile walk.    I put on a Podcast and off I went. I feel just like a 30 day yoga is giving me a foundation for future yoga practice that my walking will give me the foundation that I need for future running. Since my surgery I kept pushing. Guessing where I thought I could be while never being in touch where it actually was. I am Embracing who I am now and not who I was in the past.

This is who I am today. Embracing the stillness with no expectations but just to show up is sometimes all you need to do so that everything can fall into place.

How do you show up?

Lesson Learned

Hindsight is 2020 they say.   Although after this year, we might need to come up with a new expression because no one wants to remember 2020 but I digress.   It is always so much easier to second guess something after the fact.   To pick it apart.   To dissect.   To play the could of, should of, would of game.   Never helpful.   

I will be honest as you know I always am…… As a runner, I always felt like walking was cheating. Now hear me out, I walked plenty.  Currently, I am not even running but walking every day.  What I really mean is that I wasn’t a good enough runner. There was not one of my 7 marathons that I did not walk during. Some I intentionally trained with walking in mind. That being said, somehow I felt like I wasn’t a real runner because runners don’t walk even if me as a runner did.   Somehow it meant that I didn’t measure up, that I was less of a runner, that I should be better because while I could go the distance, I couldn’t go just running.

My goal besides a 4:30 marathon was to run a marathon where I ran the whole thing. Somehow that would make me more of a “real runner.” I probably would have made both those goals one day but you know the whole Hypoparathyroidism thing.

While I know rationally I know that I was/am a runner. I just always felt like I should have and could have been better. That I wasn’t living up to my potential. Here is the thing…. I probably wasn’t. There is something about the distance of a marathon that gets in your head. I trained and ran NYC Half a sub 2 hour with no problem. It was hard. I pushed myself. I crossed the finish line smiling. Add 13 miles and it is a whole different beast not just physically but mentally.

Seriously.

Each marathon my head was the biggest obstacle.

First Marathon, Philly 2014, was a fluke. I had been training for Runner’s World Hat Trick (5k & 10K one day, next day Half) and rolled into Philly on a whim after one 20 miler. I didn’t know what I was doing. It was hard. I didn’t overthink. I finished 4:46:20. If I had pushed, I could have been under 4:45

Next up was Marine Corps Marathon. This one I trained with a good coach. I was ready right up until I wasn’t. GI issues that I didn’t push through led me to my marathon PR of 4:38:14. This should have been my day, but mentally I didn’t want it enough to make it happen.  I always thought I’d have another day.

Then a trail marathon which I rolled into but loved doing. Probably because there is no pressure or expectations that you are going to run the whole thing. Plus trail races are a whole different vibe and expectations are very different.

2016 was supposed to be my year. Although I had a bump in my training due to a sprained ankle, I still was mostly ready. I could definitely go the distance because I had finished a 50K that year right before marathon training, I ran my sub 2 half, and I ran my 5K PR of 26:26. I was ready to both go the distance and the pace. Right up until I wasn’t. I went out running strong the first half like there was no second half. Once I hit the wall, it was a struggle to keep going but I did. Finishing in 4:56.

After that my thyroid surgery and that called it a day for my 4:30 marathon time. My goals since has just been to go the distance, don’t crash my calcium and cross the finish line. Consistently, my races time wise have been going the opposite of every runners dream…..

2017 Chicago Marathon: 5:48:52

2018 NYC Marathon: 6:10:13

2019 NYC Marathon: 6:20:41

Some might see these as failures. I don’t. I see them as perseverance. The year after my surgery, when I was being treated by the wrong doctor I was actually able to run decent paces. Although it was much harder to keep up for longer distances. The issue was that I was taking too much calcium which while good for things like running, it was bad long term for things like kidneys. So, you know, trade off was not very smart.  Although at the time I did not know that even if my doctor should have which is why he is no longer my doctor.

So here we are now, where I am living in the low calcium range but saving kidneys. In hindsight now I feel like I wasted my before hypopara runs and maybe I did, but there is nothing to be done now. I can only look to the future and learn from the past to plot my course. I’ve been thinking a lot about goals. Goals for now and long term since, you know, there is a lot of time to think right now. This post is already too long to get into. Plus I am still forming, plotting, and kind of waiting for the world to be safe again.

Right now, I feel that the best way I can be a runner is not to run. I am giving my body the break it needs. As I said before I have been walking a minimum of a mile a day since June 21, but usually more.   Other day I walked 6.25 at a brisk pace around 16:10.  Shorter distances I pick it up honing in on my speed walking.  I am embracing walking. I am embracing learning to cut myself some slack and know I am enough just like I am.  I am embracing what ever I do… walk, run, and anything in between is enough.

I realize that when it comes to my running, like most of us, I am harder on myself than anyone else. I also realize that while I may have medical issues, my biggest issue has always been my head. (shocking). That voice telling me I can’t do it with a self fulfilling prophesy so that I don’t. So with this step back, I am learning to trust my body. I am learning what inner voice to listen to and what voice to tell to shut up.  I am learning to be ok with not pushing but also not going easy. Finding the middle ground I so often miss.

It is so easy to get discouraged when we do not reach goals we think we should reach. It is easy to make excuses for why things are the way they are. It is easy to pack it in and call it a day. What is not easy is sticking around when things don’t pan out the way you want. Learning to roll up the hill instead of down. To make lemonade out of lemons.  To just be and be happy with that.

Sometimes when you look at the reality of why things are the way they are, you have to just let it go. You realize that you can’t change how they turned out. You not only have to accept it, but move on from it even if it means letting go. Letting go of guilt.   Letting go of missed opportunities.   Letting go of all that is and has held you back.   In life sometimes you realize what you once thought an important is no longer important to you. Most of all learn from it. Sometimes we have to do it over and over and over again because we did not learn the lesson we needed to learn the first time

 

Are You What You Eat?

They say you are what you eat. Who they are, I have no idea, but that is what they say.   If that was true, I might just be a bowl of ice cream.  I’ve been thinking about this and know that I do need to be better with what I eat. I’m not getting any younger. I am technically bordering on obese as far as weight charts go (shut up)  and most of all I am trying to be overall healthier in my lifestyle.

My goal right now is just to eat better. Although I am not a bad eater, I could and should be better. I have been eating Pescatarian for a while now. There is no specific date that I can point to as it was a gradual transition. My son came home from college earlier this year as one. So while cooking for the family, I began to cook more meals for the family or a separate for him. Cooking for one is hard, so usually by default I would eat what he ate.

Then during this whole pandemic there were stories on the news about meat packing plants and I saw some video footage that really got me thinking about what I was eating. I am only telling you this not to sway anyone, but as part of my story. I know several people who go out of their way to shame people to eating their way and that is not me. I find that really annoying. I readily cook meat for the meat eaters of my family. During this time, I also joined 2 local CSA’s for my fruits and veggies and have been trying to get away from processed foods.

But on this quest to eat pescatarian, I also had to learn to cook this way. This woman can not live on tofu and salad alone. I realized that when you can’t depend on meat to bring the wow factor to your meal, you have to expand your horizons a little So as we move forward, I will share some of my adventures in cooking.

Yesterday, I made Chickpea Sweet Potato Curry. I must emphasize that my foray into cooking Indian Food which I have been doing more of is that not only do I not have a high spice tolerance, but I have not really eaten or know much about it. Luckily there is not only the internet but I have friends willing to share their knowledge. When it comes to cooking though, I have never been afraid to try new things (ok, that’s a lie because macrons still scare me). This one reminded me of a stew and I will say that since I’ve since made a few curry dishes, I felt comfortable playing with the recipe to make it my own somewhat.

My favorite pot to make big meals like this in! Le Creuset Dutch Oven (if you don’t have one, get one!)

The first thing I realized when cooking the Indian dishes and vegetarian dishes as a whole….. the prep work. When cooking with fresh veggies there is lots of chopping. This recipe though was a nice mix of canned, frozen and only chopping was onions which always make be cry and the sweet potato’s. Since I did go rogue on this recipe, I also chopped plantains adding them shortly after the sweet potatoes began to soften.

Giving credit where credit is due…. this is the recipe I used as my base: http://Chickpea, Sweet Potato and Spinach Curry

 

Changes that I made….. As mentioned above, I added cut plantains once sweet potatoes softened and I doubled recipe except for chickpeas. I also used 2 cans of crushed tomatoes instead of chopped tomatoes because I didn’t have diced tomatoes. So this made it more stew to me. I also used mixture of creamed coconut and coconut milk. Again, I was going for more of creamy strew to go over my rice.

My family is obsessed with the Naan bread and I made a double batch. Even my son who does not eat the curry will eat the Naan because why not?

Then when it ready to eat, I put over some white rice and viola….. Easy peasy lemon squeezy (although there was no lemon).

What was nice about this is today after my 6 mile walk, I made a big bowl of this to replenish myself with and it was perfect. Much better and healthier option than what I might normally eat after a run. Plus can’t beat benefit of sweet potatos and spinach.