It’s Hard

Running is hard.

Not running when you want to is harder.

So I totally took last week off.   I’m supposed to be crossing training this week, but so far it hasn’t happened.   I will say though that I did do a whole lot of walking this past weekend, so that’s got to count.    I went with my eldest son for a prospective college weekend event.   This required lots of walking as we were a 10 minute walk from campus.   On top of that we walked and walked and walked around both campus and town.

I wisely had inserted my new orthopedics in my everyday sneakers.   Even with this I did feel discomfort in my left foot with the tendonitis.   It made me wonder what would happen if I ran.   I thought about testing that out, but figured since I have my Podiatry appointment today that I would wait.

As we know in every aspect of our life, sometimes doing the right thing is not the easiest thing.   Sometimes, we need to make hard choices.   Long term goals must take president over short term goals.

It’s hard because instant gratification feels so good

for now…..

I have run the Runner’s World Event 2 years in a row.   It is a great event and I really as whole can not not say enough good things about the actual event.     I enjoyed it so much that this year, I had planned to do the Grand Slam, 26.2 over the course of this coming weekend.

The event is still open for registration until the October 18th while anyone wishing to defer would have had to have made the choice a month ago.

Now I do understand why they have deferral deadlines.   I get it.   If not people would sign up for every race they even thought of doing and then just defer at  the last minute.   That would create a chaotic system where race directors could not possible plan.   I also get why they have a fee for deferrals.   Although I will say some are more fair than others in the fee department.    Runner’s World actually only charges $20 to defer.

BUT

I am annoyed.   Maybe wrongly so, but I still am annoyed.

I reached out to Runner’s World to see if I could defer and I even offered to provide medical documentation if necessary.    I got the standard answer of  “no exceptions.”

I know it’s not their fault.

I know why they have the rules in place that they do.

BUT…..

I do think they should make exceptions.   The world is not black and white and sometimes, you need to consider shades of grey

So now this weekend, I have a bib for an event that I can’t run.   I can’t defer and I can’t transfer.    As you would expect with an event this size, it cost more than a town 5K.    I’ve started getting   the emails for the event…  Bib pick-up, parking, and just the general pump up.   Each email is like a punch.

Each email makes me think….. hmmm, could I do it?

Then I remember that I’m sitting here with a heating pad on my foot.

Running is hard.

Not running is harder.

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How have you dealt with sitting out when all you wanted to do is RUN?

 

 

 

Rest, Roll, RECOVERY

I’ve been through enough this year to know that I need to listen to my body.  To pay attention when it is giving me signs of what it needs.  

As a runner though part of training is to learn to tune your body out.   This is good when it’s Time to push through when your legs feel they can go no more. To make yourself mentally tough to go this distance.   It is a necessity.   To a point….

I’m to that point.    In training for Chicago, I prepared myself to get the job done.   I was mentally tough and physically ready to go the distance.   To push though the pain, but now it is time to listen to not just my body but my doctor too.

Running Chicago was tough.   But now I have to be tough enough to do what I know needs  to be done.     My right foot is doing better as the cortisone shot is working it’s magic.    My left foot on the other hand needs a little more TLC.     I have not run since the Marathon, but I still feel the discomfort on my foot just walking.   I imagine if I ran it would not be good.

So rest it is, but that doesn’t mean training has to stop.

Next week it will be time for cross training.    Biking, swimming and anything that won’t bother my foot.   A good cardio workout is still a good cardio workout.  

It’s going to suck.     

I’m going to want to run.   

 I even have a race next weekend that I can’t defer and is nagging at me because I don’t like to waste money but that is for another post.

It’s Not All Good

Warning I may be a little cranky writing this:)

Now you know I love me a good race.   I often sign up for a race in the wee hours of the night so as to not miss out.    I love getting up early on race morning which coming from a non-morning person says a lot.   I appreciate the security check points.   I LOVE the goodies on bib pick up day.  Then at most races, I don’t even listen to music because I just love the sounds of the race – music on the course, spectators, other runners, and even just the sound of all the feet hitting the ground over and over again.   All that being said, there are some things that I find frustrating about races.

  1.  Cost of the Photo’s  –   I’ve talked about this before.   Yes,  I understand that there is cost involved with hiring professional photographers, equipment, and such.   That being said, there no bigger rip off than the cost of race photos and this is from someone who has bought them on more than one occasion.    All that being said, you can’t tell me that it needs to cost $80 per person.     As I said before, if they were half the cost, I bet they would sell more than twice as many.
  2. Don’t just stop – People who stop right after they cross  the finish line or on the course like you aren’t right behind them.
  3. Deferrals –  I get that the race needs time for bibs, knowing number of runners, and all that goes with putting on an event especially a big event.   Here is what I don’t get.   You can pretty much register for an event up to a week before the race, but if you plan to defer it must be done a month or more in advance.    I’m dealing with this now (more later).   I have an event that I was supposed to run that is still allowing people to register, but if I had wanted to defer I would have had to done it last month.   Now I’m faced with loosing a decent amount of money because I can’t run it due to my feet.  I emailed them even stating that I could provide medical documentations if necessary and they were like “no exceptions”  and they do not allow bib transfers.   I find this to be VERY frustrating to say the least.   I’m still following up, but it doesn’t seem promising.
  4. Distance/terrain – Courses that are either too long, too short, or terrain isn’t what advertised..    Come on you know what distance your advertising, so plot it out correctly.   There is nothing worse when doing a trail race than finding out your running on the sidewalk in the park for a good portion of event or running too far.   I’ve also had the course shortened  and I felt just as annoyed because it messed up my times.

Now all that being said, I’m still going to keep doing races.   The good does out weigh the bad.

 

What are your pet peeves about Races?

 

Validated

 

I was very happy after the Chicago Marathon to know that I would be seeing my Podiatrist a few days later.     As I said before, I knew that I had undone all his hard work during the race.     I didn’t need him to tell me, but the ultrasound of the tendon confirms it.  Validation is always nice even when it’s not good news.

On top of that, I had been ignoring pain in my right foot.   I’d been ignoring it because I had dealt with it before in my left for a year or so ago.  Plantar Faciitis.    But since I was going, I had him take a look at it.    Yup another validation.   Although the hobbling around was a big clue.   At least that he was able to give me a Cortisone shot for that.

I had to laugh though because he’s like heat the left foot for the tendon, but ice the right for the Plantar Faciitis.   Talk about running hot and cold!

I have to say that it is nice   to have a Podiatrist that understands the anatomy or a runner and explains thing too.  Anyway, he then goes on to ask about my upcoming schedule.   I am supposed to do the Runner’s World Grand Slam in two weeks (26.2 over 3 days).   He then proceeds because he knows how us runners can be to ask if maybe I could not run for the whole next week or so  and not do the race because in the long term it won’t be good for my feet.

“Rest is the best thing.”

Hmmmmm…….

Well at least this also validates all the pain that I was in in Chicago.

I could do with a little less validation:)

Ha!

Validated

 

 

Done is Done

 

5:48:52

Done is Done!

Some people might be upset with an almost 6 hour marathon.

I wholeheartedly admit there might be a time that I might have been one of those people.   I am not today.   I will be 100% honest with you…..

I am happy

I worked my ass off.

I didn’t stop.

Ever.

I never thought I wouldn’t get to the finish line.   I also knew that I had such a wonderful support team.

I went into this marathon with no real plan other than to finish.  No paces.   I knew that I would be doing walk/run.   I had thought I might start with a pace group, but did not.   I just ran.   Maybe this isn’t the smartest way to do it (ok it’s not), but this is what I was going with.

Once again I went out too fast.  I  REALLY, REALLY, REALLY tried not to.   My first few miles  went like this…

8:54, 10:02, 8:24, 8:36

I knew this was not a good way to start.   I knew that this was way fast.  Even at my best, this is not the way to start a marathon.   I wasn’t following the plan.   I wasn’t walking.   I had not even turned on my timer at this point.   I heard my friend’s voice in my head telling “SLOW DOWN!   STICK TO THE PLAN.”

I even texted her that I heard her in my head and that I was trying to be better.   Her texts of support continued during the day and I knew I wasn’t in alone.

At this point, I turned on my timer and made a conscious effort to slow down and stick to the plan.  During a race even if you are not planning to race it is so hard to do.   You are so caught up in the excitement of the day.   I was in it for the long haul, so I did what I could.   I will say that I did not pay attention to my pace.   I was watching   my heart rate as I did on training.

I saw my sister and brother-in-law twice on the course.   The first time around mile 5 which was wonderful, but the second time was key.    They were waiting for me at mile 21  I knew that I had to make it there before they needed to leave for the airport.    I had been slowing down at this point, but I was determined to make it to them.  At this point they were my destination, not the finish line.

I made it to 21.

Hugs

Goodbyes

Unbelievable support

Spectacular.

Then it turned to counting down the miles.

It was hot but I’ve run in hotter weather.   It was humid but I’ve run in more humid weather.   That being said,  I don’t do heat well.   I ran through every hose offered.   Took ever sponge filled with water handed out.   Put the ice in my bra when offered.   And on occasion dumped water on my head at water stations.   The heat was sapping my strength, but not my will to finish.

I kept pushing forward.   I ran when I could.  Finally, I reached a point where I could no longer run.   My legs were dead.  My foot was hurting.   Even with this I did not stop.   Moving forward.   Slow but steady.

I admit that by mile 25, I did start to get emotional.   There were tears.  Partly because of the discomfort and partly because as much as I wanted to run, I just couldn’t bring myself to run.    By this point, my emotions were just raw.   The ups and the downs of the marathon are real.

Chicago8

The tears dried.

The moment passed.  My head was clear and I was focused.   Never stopping.  Never quitting.   Moving forward.

I proudly walked across the finish line.

This marathon was always about proving that I could do it and

I DID!

This was the slowest marathon that I have ever run, but one that I know that I worked the hardest for.   Someone asked me if I was happy with my time.   Hell Yeah I am.    Any day that you can finish a marathon is a good day.   I am proud that I was able to push through and get the job done.

Done is Done!

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Perspective

 

When I ran the Philly Marathon, my first, I was nervous and excited.

When I ran the Marine Corps Marathon, I was counting down the days with excitement.

When  I ran the New York City Marathon,  I could not contain myself.   I was that excited.

In a matter of days, I am running the Chicago Marathon.

I have been looking  forward to it but coming at it with different goals of just finishing and different perspective, it was not at the same level of excitement at all.

Truth be told, this week

I am now hum ho about it.

Now, believe me, I realize how excited I should be.

I realize how lucky I am to be given this opportunity.

I realize that there are a whole host of reasons that I should be over the moon with excitement for this race.   Knowing that doesn’t change the facts.

I just don’t have it.

This week has taken the wind out of my sales.  I’m sure that I am not alone in this respect.   It was a gut punch.  One that I’ve felt before.  Sadly, one that I’m getting used to. In this case,  I’ve never even been to Vegas.   I’m not a Country Music fan.   What I am is another devastated American wondering how something this horrendous can happen for as of now no apparent reason.   To be honest, any reason found will still not be valid enough.

It makes you question what is important and what is not.    It makes you realize how fragile life is and that without warning there might be no more tomorrow.    It also makes you realize that no matter how much you think things are in your control, that control is really just an illusion.

This week has seem like forever and it has only been 3 days.    Then there are things like conversations you have with your mother who is now asking about security at your race.    I’ve been to enough big NYC events to have seen the security.    I have never questioned the need for it or actually minded waiting in line.    I remember the year that I did MCM,  security for the start line was tight.    You expect it.   You appreciate it.

So it is with this level of appreciation that I am heading into Chicago.   I am trying to put the wind back in my sales.    I am trying to get my act together.   Most of all, I am trying to appreciate the abundance of blessing that I have in my life.  And while this tragedy and others have no effected me personally, they do effect me.   There is a sadness that I can not just turn off and those who have dealt with depression know this to be true.

I know the excitement will come and can not be forced.   Tomorrow, I begin to start getting my gear together to take.   I’m    flying out with a friend who is running that I am also rooming with.   My sister and her husband will be in Chicago.

It will be an epic adventure.

my-get-up-and-go-dont-leave-me

 

 

 

How to prepare for a Marathon in 10 Days

If you think that’s possible, you might be crazier than I am.

Ha.

But I can’t believe that Chicago is only 10 days away.

It seems like I’ve been training forever for Chicago, but at the same time it has gone by in a blink.    I’m not sure that I’m really ready for this, but I’ve come too far now to quit.   Besides my heals are pretty dug in to cross that finish line.

My mantra

What ever it takes.

How ever long it takes.

Just finish the damn race!

 

Seems like a good mantra to me.

So now 10 days to go and things are settling into place.

Foot is feeling better after my 3rd sugar shot (Prolotherapy)

New shoes.

But not too new and worn it

Flight and hotel all booked.

Today I had lunch with my Running Mama Roomie and traveling partner.

It’s all good.

Now all that is left is to get there, pick up bibs, and yeah

Run/Walk 26.2 miles.

marathon

 

 

Let it Go, Let it Go

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

I  never really let things go.

It’s time.

Ok.  It’s past time.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A 5 hour marathon is still a marathon.

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

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

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

 

 

Taper Town

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

Good Times.

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

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

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

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

Um, ok.

I guess that should be the plan.

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

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

Anyway, I will stick to the plan.

My Race

My Pace

Walking isn’t a crime.

Do what needs  done.

determination

 

 

Just This Once

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

I was all set.

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

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

Until…

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

So I did.

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

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

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

One year later…

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

MCM11

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

I finish.

MCM4

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

Then NY.

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

nycm16

 

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

Then Chicago…..

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

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

and

It will be a wonderful thing.