364 Days

So tomorrow marks one year on this magic carpet ride.   Last year at this time, I was prepping for my thyroidectomy.   You know the usually stuff you do prior to a surgery – make sure your will is up to date, make sure the house is clean, make sure the fridge is stocked, Oh and make sure Thanksgiving Dinner was ordered.

Going in I was prepared for the recovery of the surgery.   I was prepared with having to deal with getting my dosage right for my meds to replace my now missing thyroid.   Easy Peasy.    I really was not worried at all.    You see, I knew so many people who either had their thyroid removed or knew someone who had theirs removed.    Another ace in the hole was one of my sons although he has a thyroid, it has not functioned since birth.   To be honest, my only concern was that a surgeon was going to literally be slicing open my neck.   That was my main focus.   Everything else would just work itself out.

So now I am one day shy of my surgery and I realize that it wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be.   The blip on the screen was much bigger than I thought it would be.  Still trying to adjust the thryoid meds which is really what I attribute my 15 pound weight gain this last year too.   Oh and the fact that my running took a dive. It’s a work in progress.

This last year has been an adjustment both physically and mentally.   Prior to the surgery I in my mind was chasing a 4:15 marathon, completed a 50 K, and was pushing my limits.   I did not realize that post surgery dealing with parathyroid glands that decided that they no longer would want to function properly that my limits would change and change drastically.  I didn’t even know that there was such a thing as Parathyroid gland let alone 4 that were very important.

Over time, I may get back to where I was but realistically speaking I am not getting any younger.   In less than 2 years, I will be hitting a number many refer to as a milestone even, but we aren’t there yet!

Where we are is a celebration of where I am today.

Today

Is it where I want to be?   Not exactly.   That being said….

I ACTUALLY RAN THIS WHOLE THING.

There was no walking.   There was no stopping.   There was only running.   And while I will admit that it was so much harder than it used to be and I was so happy to hit the end, it is so much better than it has been.    Life gives you what it gives you.   Today it gave me 3 miles.   For today that is enough.   I admit that some days it’s not, but as I continually remind myself….. You can’t live in the past.    You can’t spend your life living the should of , could of, and would of’s of life.   You get what you get and you don’t get upset.   And my personal favorite that my sister hates….

It is What it is!

So today, I look back on not where I was prior to 11-18-2016, but how far I have come since then.    The support that my friends have given me has helped me continue to push on.    You have been there when I have complained about my aches, my pains, my feeling tired all the time,  and everything else in between.   So this is my shout out to you……   For listening when I complained.   For understanding.  For your ideas and suggestions.  For run/walking with me when I need to and when I need to again and everything in between.   It hasn’t been an easy year learning to deal with “the new normal,” but thanks for taking the trip with me.

 

PS – I’m still following my training plan for the January Half Marathon.   One week down:)

Starting Line….

 

It’s funny I ran the Chicago Marathon  just 5 weeks ago, yet some how I feel like I couldn’t run around the block.   I don’t know how anyone who has run as many races as I have can still feel like she’s back at the starting line again, but I do.

look

This probably is not too far from the truth.

As I’ve been recovering from my tendonitis, I’ve been good.   I’ve been doing some limited running.   Some limited cross-training and lots of being lazy.   It’s really not been a good combination for the mind or body.

So as I often do when I feel like I need a little push of motivation, I have signed up for another race.   I know it’s shocking.    I’m trying to drag in….   I mean I’m trying to encourage others to join in on the fun.    I’ve got to say that i do miss the year we were chasing the 9 plus 1 and the fun we had.   It can not be repeated as it was such a special year, but I will say racing with friends is so much better than racing alone.

I needed Chicago to prove to myself that I could still finish a marathon if I wanted to.   Right now, I just want to run a half.   Plus it will keep me running during the holiday’s which really will be necessary.    I’m not even trying to be a super star.   I just want to run to run to find my love of running and racing again.   To get back to normal.

What race you ask…..

Fred Lebow

For extra motivation, I purchased the NYRR 10 week plan for this race.   I want to go into this race trained.   I want to get back to the confidence that comes with being trained.    That being said, my goal for this race is 2:25, so I’m not expecting for this training plan to turn me into speed racer.   Just to get me back into my routine of running.    I miss it.   I want to just let my body put in the miles and bring my mind the peace that running brings.

I have not formulated any plans other than Fred Lebow, but I do know that I just want to rediscover my passion for running.   It’s not as easy as it used to be, but I already know that.    This isn’t a fake it till you feel it thing either.    My body is already chomping at the bit.   I just have to get my head in gear.

So I’ve purchased the plan, so my head doesn’t have to do anything.   Let the body do it’s job.

Tomorrow is day 1 of training….

 

Good Thing Come to Those that Wait

I’ve been good for the most part.   I wisely only did one  race out of the four this past weekend.    Then yesterday I went for a nice six miles with friends using the walk/run method.

Today I went for the umpteenth visit to my Podiatrist.   He was VERY pleased that I did not do the 26.2 Festival this past weekend.   He is also VERY pleased with how much the inflammation has gone down due to following his advice.     When I said that I did not do the 26.2 three day event and only one of them, he thought that was a good idea.   He then asked when my race season was over this year.    I told him that the Runner’s World event was the last one that I had for the year.

Since I’ve been a good girl, recovery is going nicely.  In the last 2 weeks, I have ran a total of 10 miles with zero days of cross training

Yup.

Well to be fair, I really have been very busy with other things these last two weeks.   I’ve also been formulating a plan and my comeback.

Did you know that I was gone and needed a comeback?

Ha!

Yes, I know that I just ran Chicago but I didn’t run it well.     I’m not talking about my finish time.   I’m not talking about that I walked.   I’m just talking about how I felt.    I did not feel strong running it and that’s what I need to work on.

I’ve got some thing mulling around of what I want to do next year, but my focus right now is to get into a place where I have my confidence back.     So this will mean running a few miles a week until I’m completely healed.     I want to get back to Yoga which is perfect because my friend has been asking me to go.    I also plan on hitting the gym again.   I do miss those weights.    And if I have to I might sign up for a swimming class because then I will go (Blah).

My thought is that this will put me where I need to be long term.    I imagine in a few weeks, I will get the ok to run further and push myself a little.   I will balance that with the other cross training.   This way when it’s go time, I will be ready to go.

What do you do during your off race season?

For the record -There is no off running season just off race season:)Patience

And Now It’s Over

Don’t worry that doesn’t mean it’s bad.  Really.

Seriously

First, I have to say that I was right in picking up my race goodies.    The shirt is nice although it’s green this year which threw me off.   They have been blue the last couple of years.   No socks or hat which is sad because I saw the hat they give for the Hat Trick and it was really cute.   It was a nice snow cap.  Those signed up for the Grand Slam do not get all those goodies which is a little odd.   That being said though,  Grand Slam entries got a really nice backpack.   One that I can actually see using.

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Yesterday’s trail race was just what I said to my friend it would be.   A hike in the woods with a little running in between.   I ran yesterday trail run of less than 4 miles in just under an hour with an average pace of 15:37.   It was a pretty trail.   They are correct  their description of it too.  “The course includes plenty of rocks and short, steep climbs to challenge the most experienced trail runners, but even novices will find the terrain runnable.”  I would want to run this trail again.

I went into this as I said not be be a complete idiot and just to get my goodies.   I had thought that I might go out today for the 5K and 10K.   I even  set out my clothes out and set the alarm.    When I woke up, I felt good as I stretched in bed.   Once I got out of bed,  I felt that heal discomfort that Plantar Faciattis brings in the morning.   Nothing unrunnable.   Nothing I haven’t run through before.

So why am I sitting here writing this and not cruising down the highway then?

Because as I said yesterday, I wasn’t planning to be an idiot just a partial one.    I don’t really even think that I was an idiot for yesterday though.    And as I’ve also said in previous posts, I also need to be tough enough to do what I know needs to be done for long term recovery.    Yes, I’m sad that I will be missing out on today’s races, bling, and fun.   That being said I need to thing long term. I’m not a day trader and I’ve got nothing to prove.   I also know especially with shorter races(at least for me), you can’t help but push yourself faster than you should.  I’ve got to think of what is good long term as I’ve got some friends in town waiting to run with me.   That’s more important than a shiny medal and I’ve already got a few of them.

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Besides there is always next year!

Plus I must admit that it will be nice to actually have a weekend at home after being away these last two weekends with Chicago Marathon and then College tours.   It might be nice to see my family.

 

 

It’s Not Over Till It’s Over

Should I stay or should I go?

If I stay there will be trouble.

If I go it will be double….

The Clash done wrong.  (That’s a group Mom and it’s in reference to a song)

I know after my last post it seemed like I let the whole Runner’s World Event go, but I haven’t.    I can’t seem to let it go.   Yes, part is the money; but that’s not really it.  There is a lot more.   I’ve literally been obsessing over it to the point that it has been in my dreams.

Normal?

Well for an obsessive runner, Maybe:)

I feel like I can do some of it.     I don’t think there is a reason I couldn’t.   I’m not planning to be an idiot.    Just a partial one.

Here is my thought.

So I go pick up my goodie bag (you know that’s what it is).   Runner’s World usually has awesome stuff in theirs – hat, socks, shirt, and some other odds and ends.   My foot has been feeling better.    I need some exercise.   I need to test out my foot.   So why not run a few miles at an easy pace. (Slow).

Today is the trail event.   Less than 4 miles.   Perfect chance to see how things feel.   I’ve been resting it  since Chicago and need to test it anyway.   This way I can update my Podiatrist on how it feels Monday when I see him.

So just this one little event and I’ll take it from there.

No expectations.

No plan.

Just a run in the woods.

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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.

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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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