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All or Nothing

Why do we think it has to be all or nothing?

Why do we think that we have to go all in?

Why is balance so hard?

I admit that I have a problem with balance. It might be one of the things that works in my favor when it comes to getting shit done. It also might be one of the things that works against me when it comes to getting shit done. The all or nothing approach comes at a cost.

We can’t start eating healthy because it’s just to hard to give everything up.

We can’t start working out because we don’t have time to commit

We can’t because of this or that or this or that……

But what if instead of thinking we have to commit 110% percent…… What if we just realized that just doing something is better than doing nothing.

What if instead of going gang busters on a new diet plan that we know long term we won’t stick to, we decide that we look at where and how we can make even what might appear to be small changes?

What if instead of waking up at 5:00 AM (you know I’m never doing that) to squeeze in our workout/run in, we just look at what we can do and give that time..

What if instead of thinking that we need to run as fast as we can for what we deem is necessary distance, we just decide to give what we are able to give.

What if instead of sitting on the couch binging Yellowstone (highly recommend), we do it from the treadmill or stationary bike?

There are ways to make what might appear to be small changes….. some might even say insignificant changes……. in a way that are not only sustainable but together can bring big change.

Here is the bottom line…… If you continue to do the same thing, nothing changes. If you start with small changes over time, they will lead to big changes.

So start where you are!

Do what you can!

Most of all be kind to yourself in the process, because you are worth it:)

In Waiting Room

Why are we also perpetually putting our happiness in the waiting room?

I will be happier when I get a new job….

I will be happier when I’m single/married…..

I will be happier when I can fit into a size x again….

I will be happier when I loose X number of pounds…..

I will be happier when I can hit X pace, PR, finish a certain event…..

I will be……

What if we just focus on the will be and see where that takes us?

What if instead of putting our happiness in the waiting room, we focus on what we can do to be happy where we are?

Easier said than done and we all know that.

We live in a society where we are always looking for the next shiny object that is supposed to make us happier. Supposed to make us feel complete. We live in a society that also knows that the discontent makes money.

Now it may seem like I am saying not to have goals…. not to strive for things…… Not to look forward but thats not what I’m saying at all. I am saying we must learn to embrace where we are, what we have, and what we can do in our lives who anything we do will never be good enough.

It also doesn’t help that many of us feel like we are in a holding pattern since the beginning of the Covid Pandemic. NO LIFE DIDN’T STOP even if it is not the same but in many ways a lot is still on hold.

When I was in top form chasing sub 2 half marathons (check), 25 minute 5K (never got it only hit 26 minutes) and a 4:30 half (another miss); these goals kept me motivated. They inspired me to push, but the chase is what made me happy. The disappoints may have been real in not hitting goals, but they also weren’t life changing when I didn’t reach them just as they weren’t when I did.

I was happy with the chase and any goals achieved were the cherry on top.

Right now, I am trying to motivate myself for just the chase. So much to be done and not enough time to do it is keeping the motivation at bay. Many of us are in the same boat because of jobs, family responsibilities, and just the day to day of life. Right now I keep waiting for the motivation to find me, but what I have to do is find the motivation. I’m looking…… I’m really looking…….

If you seek, you will find…..

Motivation…… I’m coming for you…… Is that considered motivation? lol

Perfection is a Myth

I will be the first to admit that I am not perfect. I am far from it. I have many faults but I really don’t feel the need to list them. I also have many positive traits that I don’t feel the need to list. All that being said, we all know those that put forth the ”perfect life.” They have the perfect home. The perfect style. The perfect this the perfect that….. Blah…. Blah…. Blah….

Let’s be real, there is not such thing as perfect in the real world. Usually when you peel back the mask of perfection, you will see how imperfect it all is. The problem is that often no one bothers to look past the initial layer to see the reality of what striving for perfection cost. Perfection is an unattainable goal and often leads to frustration, giving up, or in some cases drastic measures (think of those celebs who went one cosmetic procedure to far).

In our workout routine or diet, the strive for perfection often leads to people walking away feeling like a failure. We think that we have to follow a strict diet and if we don’t follow to the letter T that we cant do it. Many times people who decide to get fit go gang busters…. Going to gym every day. Starting strong as they say. Then they get sore. They miss a workout. They can’t hit a pace in a run. They feel like they are too slow. That why bother because we just aren’t good enough. The strive for perfection often sets us up for failure.

I am to the point that I am realizing that striving towards “perfection,” towards unattainable goals, to comparing myself to not others but old versions fo me were setting me up for failure. My goal is no longer perfection, but only to be better and the best version of me. A realistic version. A version that I can live with. A version that is sustainable. A version that will never be perfect, never be more than it can be, and one that I can say I did my best.

I’ve been thinking along these lines with my nutrition. I have always said that my problem with diets is that if I get hit by a bus that I don’t want my last meal to be celery. Not that there is anything wrong with celery as I actually had it for snack last night, but you understand. I do not want to live my life feeling deprived. Striving for things that long term will not keep. So as I started thinking about my nutrition, I’ve realized that sometimes change while hard doesn’t always mean depriving myself. I want to develop a nutritional plan that I can live with, feel good about, that is healthy, and most of all sustainable. Also I know for a fact that I am not going to be giving up certain things and that is ok. Embracing the imperfection of moderation.

So far. So good.

The morning smoothies are still a thing and one that hubby and I look forward to. The thinking about what I am eating, when I am eating and why I am eating has been helpful. To be honest, the cravings for certain foods is lessoning. My boss gave me 2 caramel chocolate bars 2 weeks ago that are still uneaten. Not because I am depriving myself but because i just dont want them. That would be unheard of before. My morning coffee is now filled with an almond creamer instead of half and half or such. If you know me, you know I take my coffee seriously so this was a big step. But once I took that step, I realized that it was more in my mind than in the cup because my morning coffee still tastes like my morning coffee. This past week, I also made homemade cinnamon rolls for my family. They are delicious but I didn’t have one because I really didn’t want one. On the other hand, when I made Pumpkin donuts I did eat one. Just one and that was enough. No shame. No Guilt….. Balance.

I have also been taking this approach to my running. I have continued to walk the first few miles of my long run and the first of pretty much all. Then my goal is to keep the pace in the 12’s because that is where I realistically am. In being real with what I can do, how fast I can run, and what my body can do; I have actually been able to run better Striving for unattainable goals has been my downfall with my running. Working towards being the best I can be on each run has been making running both enjoyable and sustainable.

To be the best version you can be on any given day either in your nutrition, in your running or in your life will change day to day. The trick is to give yourself the grace you need to be that version. Accept the version that you are today and if it doesn’t live up to your expectations know that tomorrow is another day!

An Actual Running Post

So since this is supposed to be a running blog, I thought I would do something novel and actually talk about my running…. I know, shocking!!!

As you know my training for NYC Marathon has been all over the place. I started off great following my training plan right up until I didn’t. And while my training hasn’t been stellar with following the plan. I feel (especially after yesterday) that I have been doing ok.

You know the expression….. You do you

Well I have been doing me and it has been working. With all my issues both mentally and physically, I just started loosely following the plan and doing what I felt would work for me. Before all my issues, I’ve followed training plans to the letter T (what does that even mean?) with great results. The problem with cookie cutter plans is that when you are not the ”ideal” runner, they might not work for you. Even though I took that into consideration in the beginning, I took it to the next level recently. After yesterday, I would say it has worked for me.

What have I been doing?

Well not as much running as my plan has called for. On days where I had foundation runs, I might have done HITT, biking, combo of biking/running, or even yoga. Since my goal has never been about time, I really stopped worrying about training runs where I needed to hit certain paces/training zones. I would do the run my way. Once I got back on ”schedule” with my plan, my biggest thing was to make sure that I was getting in the miles for long runs which is really where I was lacking. Even then I needed to make sure not to jump my miles too quickly as I was behind. So I adjusted.

Having run multiple marathons, I also know what works for me in training and what doesn’t. I know runners who feel the need to run multiple 20 mile training runs for their marathons. I have done them and I know that for what ever reason they don’t work for me. I find them defeating. I find them hard in a way that is not good for me mentally going into an event. They just don’t work for me. I would much rather do 16 to 18 miles and then the next day do a few miles on tired legs. This works for me.

Now all that being said, yesterday I went out for my longest run this cycle and I started at noon which is about the time that I will be starting NYC. I wanted to see how my body would be at that time of day as normally I run right after I take my morning meds.

16 miles.

It went well. To be honest, it went MUCH better than I expected. I continued with the walking the first 3 miles as I ALWAYS start off too fast. Plus since being Hypopara it does seem to take my body a bit to warm up. Then my goal was to keep the pace in the mid 12’s. To keep it at a level that I felt that I could run more than walking. There was no walk/run time. There was just doing what I could. I found that if I paid attention to pace, ran the “slower” pace, and didn’t try to run something I can’t sustain that I could run. I could run without the need to walk. Now don’t get me wrong…. There was walking, but there was much more running.

In order to conserve my battery, I did the first 6 miles with no music. Just me and my thoughts. I am not a runner who minds being alone and it was nice. Maybe a little boring, but I reminded myself that NYC will not be boring. I normally do not listen to music on race day as I LOVE to listen to the crowds, the runners feet hitting pavement, and just taking it all in. Out alone in my town though it does get boring.

Holding back is what I realize that I need to do if I want to have a good day. Yes, I can run faster BUT I can not sustain those paces AND they are not good for my body or feet. As you can see, I kept a fairly steady pace. At the end though, I wanted to push it to see what I still had in the tank. You know the Finish Strong mentality. I pushed it to the point that my arms literally went numb (you know the feeling like you laid on them). It was a good training run both mentally and physically.

What I learned…… Starting later, I do need to adjust my calcium intake. At mile 10, I added Calez to my water for added calcium but maybe I should start earlier. I also need to add more as miles add up. Maybe even taking a calcitrol at some point during run. This is why my arms/hands went numb at the end. As soon as I finished my run yesterday, I came inside and popped 500 mg calcium and a .25 calcitriol as I felt a crash coming. This also may have been due to the faster pace at the end. Either way, I need to pay attention and adjust accordingly. One thing with calcium levels is that they fluctuate and you have to pay attention to the signs to adjust with them.

Another thing that I made a mistake on yesterday, but to me I think it was a beneficial mistake……. I forgot my bag of fuel. This time around, I have been trying not to use gels but more natural (ok still processed) food. Since I started at 12, I didn’t eat lunch. So I ate a protein bar before starting out. I had a bag of almonds and some bars with me. I left the bag on counter, so I only had one Nutrigrain bar for the entire run. I ate half at mile 6 and then finished off around mile 12. While not ideal, I view this as a win because just think of how much better my body will feel when properly fueled on course. Learning to run/push when the tank is literally empty is not a bad thing.

Recovery…….

When I came home, I stretched. I took added meds. I had a chocolate cake batter smoothie (Sadly no actual cake batter, but healthy proteins). Then I soaked in some epsom salt. Followed by the use of my foot massager. Overall recovery was good. Although I know that I did not replenish both water and nutrients enough. We ordered Thia food and I really couldn’t even eat much as I wasn’t hungry. Weird…. but I will do better today.

Today as I sit here typing, I feel good. I feel like I just ran 16 miles yesterday. My feet are sore, but normal sore. My legs are tired, but normal tired. I will do some restorative yoga and be kind to my body. I will also make sure today’s smoothie has some properties that will benefit recovery.

How is your training going?

Passenger or Driver?

You are either a passanger of life or you are driving. I have realized that recently I have been sitting back and allowing myself to view life as a passenger. Like I have no control on what is happening. Where I am headed and what choices do I have to make. Like the trip has been mapped out and I am just going along for the ride. Like it has been predetermined.

It is easy for this to happen. Your driving along. You hit a few speed bumps. Take a few turns and before you know it you are not only heading the wrong direction unaware but you put it on autopilot and just keep going.

I am stopping the ride, getting off and figuring out where I want to go and how I want to get there. In order to do that, I have to step back and just re-access. Start asking where I want to end up and what I’m willing to do to get there and why I want to go.

More to come as I start actually coming up to the answer to some questions

Are you a passenger or driver in your life? If you don’t know, then I think you know:)

Golden Jet

Let’s first start off with if you want a fun semi action comedy, Central Intelligence is funny. Maybe it’s because I like The Rock or maybe it’s because Kevin Hart is so funny, but it’s one of those movies if it’s on tv you watch it. Anywho…….

Right now I am waiting for my new running shoes to come and I am not running until they come. I haven’t really been paying attention to them and even though I kept saying that I needed to get a new pair, I never did. I also didn’t realize how far gone they were. I think not having actual races last year where I would pay better attention that I just let things slide.

Exhibit A

As I said last post, I am rethinking my training anyway. Plugging through my 80/20 training book, but I am also thinking of non running training. Back in the day (and I mean 2015), I loved not just Crossfit but Cross training. I did Crossfit. I biked. I swam. I did Yoga. I worked with a Personal Trainer. I did group classes. Then I ran and then I ran and ran and ran and stopped doing anything else. So as I ease back into my running and training, I want to keep the balance that I used to have. I want to keep the balance for a few reasons.

  1. “A woman my age” really needs to have balance.
  2. Not that I am going to be as fast or am training for speed, but my best runs overall were when I was more diversified in my training.
  3. My body could really do with the steady stretching of yoga
  4. I miss having good arms and I’ve recently been told by one of my 3 year old students that I have “squishy arms.”
  5. I actually like cross training when I think about it and admit it

So here we are, me trying to become a less rounded person by being more rounded. I have been using an app not on a regular basis, but plan to for cross training. They have a free version which is fabulous. Although I admit the free version constantly reminds you that they have a paid version. That being said they have a whole slew of workouts for everyone and every mood. From meditation to kickboxing to strength training to no equipment and the list goes on. Now in order for me to commit to it, today I decided to buy the year subscription. Honestly for thirty bucks it is still a steal. That used to be my monthly gym fee.

So today I was doing a weight training and a Tabata workout. I had everything here to make it an intense workout. As I was beginning the workout and the instructor was talking about what weights to use. I was ready to grab the bigger weights that we have. I was reliving my Golden Jet moments when I used to be able to bench press. I’m not sure if I have my training journals from back in the day, but I know my deadlift and chest press totals were impressive. So today, I was thinking go for the big weights.

Golden Jet

Golden Jet

Golden Jet

Luckily I remembered that he landed face first when trying to live his glory days. So I dialed it down a notch or two. Guess what? I had a kick ass workout at the intensity that I should be out. So here is to working on a new Golden Jet flip but one that I am actually in a position to land safely.

A Small Step is still a Step Foward

I used to always use the expression

I not only used it, but I meant it. Well what if now I’m not so bold. If I don’t want to go big? If I don’t want to go bold? Yes, I do like the thought of going home, but before doing that I do want to do some stuff.

I remember when I first started running races and my son who was much younger at the time asked me if I was going to win. After laughing, I told him that not only would I not win but I wouldn’t even be close to winning. He looked at me puzzled and asked then why would I even do it. As runners, we know that is a loaded question!

Anyway….. at the time my answer was about pushing myself to do hard things and such. I’m not really there and haven’t been for a long time. Don’t get me wrong, I have been pushing myself to do hard things but the definition of hard has changed:)

So here is where I am………. Some days, I think…. I am going to get up and run. I am going to do xyz……. Then I don’t……. Then I beat myself up because I didn’t do xyz. You know that viscous cycle. That hamster wheal of shame. I want to get off the hampster wheal. I know that I don’t have the drive that I used to have. I don’t have it for many reasons. That being said, I am not ready to stop challenging myself.

This month will tell me a lot about what I want to do. It will give me some answers to is everything I’ve been fealing hypopara related. I’m going for a sleep study as there is a distinct possibility that some of my exhaustion might be due to sleep apnea. Like literally this morning after a full night sleep I woke up exhausted as did hubby due to my snoring. So we will see where that takes us. I am also doing my 24 hour urine test. If things look good, I would like to up my calcium as I am also tired of living in the low to under calcium levels. Plus as I do more physically, I also need to take more calcium. Your body uses more calcium too, but since your body regulates it you don’t even notice.

What I am thinking for this month is just reset number 1 million and 10. I have been reading the 80/20 training method and before I start it, I probably should finish the book but it seems promising. I also would like to start using all those weights that have been getting dusty. I know I am past my crossfit days, but I really do enjoy training with weights. Plus as they say…. A woman your age should strength train even if my days of massive weights are gone. I would like to do something every day….. Be it a mile walk, biking, yoga, strength training. I think mentally it will be good fo me. Plus I do know that physically it would be good too.

I think though, I am going to give myself some flexibility and lots of slack. Just small goals. No go big or go home goals. Just do something good for yourself and go home:). Small steps eventually get you to the end of the road too!

If ever you have suffered from depression, you learn that sometimes small steps will help you….. Get out of bed. Take a shower. Household chores…. Going to work……. Just going through the motions. Those that have suffered know that these small steps help them to get to a place where they can take the bigger step of dealing with it. Sometimes life really is about fake it till you feel it. And while I am not currently dealing with depression, I am going to utilize this same strategy to get me to the next step.

Blowing in the Breeze

I used to want to be a badass. I used to want it. Train for it. I used to want to push myself to and past my limits. There were no limits. There was only not working hard enough. Not pushing hard enough.

To Train

To Train hard

To be at “the top of my game.”

Now……. Let me be clear……… There is NOTHING wrong with that mentality. I get it. I’ve been there. I might get there again. Who knows. I know though…… I am not nor have I been there in a long time. I’ve been swaying in the breeze…. Ever so gently just seeing where I might land.

To be honest, I am not sure where I am right now. I just know it is not the balls to the wall give it all you got place right now. I have no desire to train hard. Most days I might not even have any desire to train. There is no wake up at the crack of dawn to squeeze a run in. There is no going out at night to make sure to hit my miles.

There is just going with the flow. I know that there are many reasons for this change besides being hypopara which may have been the catalyst for change, but change is inevitable anyway. I just don’t have the same drive. I don’t have the same commitment. I don’t have my running crew as we all are in different places. We trained together. We ran together. We raced together. Most of all running was about more than running.

So as with life, things change. People move. Peoples schedules change. Goals change…..

What many runners know too is that without in person events, it just isn’t the same. I often think to when I was growing up our family Minister was a runner. Something he picked up in the service. He went out for runs just to run. This was well before running became mainstream. I thought I had that mindset, but I realize that while I do love running I can’t wait to be at a starting line again. That being said, I am also not in a rush because I want to also do it safely. The thought of a major event (if any are even coming) brings on a bit of a panic attack. Like a serious one…… Not the OMG, she’s having a panic attack meme. Anyone else???? This pandemic has changed many of us in what we once never gave a second thought to, we will think long and hard about before diving in.

I have signed up for a trail race in October. While I don’t have time to train on trails like I used to this race is a friends favorite. Plus they required a waiver of proof of vaccination. I liked that. I respect that and things like that will go a long way to getting us back to normal even if it is a new normal.

Tomorrow is Another Day

We don’t do this as often as we should. We don’t do this on a regular basis. Often we work against ourselves over and over again.

March I hit 100 miles and I thought….. Let’s keep this going. I thought that maybe for April that I would streak a minimum of a mile a day. Run at least 5 miles 3 times a week and maybe just keep plugging along. Well apparently, I don’t like to be told what to do even by myself. The streak lasted less than a week. I ended up with 41.5 miles for the month. Obviously not the month of running that I was anticipating or expected.

Oh well.

Like seriously….

Oh well.

We live in a You Only Live Once society. A grab a bull by the horns society. Let me say, I’ve been chased by a bull as a teen and no one wants to grab a bull by the horns. You run like Hell from it and wish you weren’t the slowest runner. I guess some things never change but that is a different story. Anyway….. We live in a do what feels good for today society and the Hell with tomorrow because tomorrow is another day and may never comes. It is all fun and games until reality comes crashing down you realize that YES, YOU DO ONLY LIVE ONCE AND IT IS TOO PRECIOUS TO WASTE.

YOLO sounds like a great life motto until you realize that you really do only have one life to live and it is too precious to waste. You need to care for it. You need to respect it. You do need to fill it with things that make you happy, but you also need to realize that tomorrow is another day and you need to be prepared for it.

I saw a car today that had a magnet that said, “Please be patient. Student Driver.” It got me thinking that it is sad that we have to remind people to be patient no matter the reason, but on top of that we need to remind ourselves to be patient with ourselves too.

I bounced back and am already at 20 miles for the month of May. I’ve been plugging along and running a lot of personal 5K’s. I have been running them on my treadmill. I’ve been running them outside. I’ve been walking. I’ve been running. I’ve been doing a mixture of both. I am getting my head back in the game. I am just figuring out which game it will be. I haven’t really been overthinking it which is my MO. Just going with the flow….. Let’s just see where that takes me.

One thing that I will say…… I miss racing. But for now…. For this week….. For today……. I will just run.

Best of the Best

Some days we strive to be the best of the best. Some days we strive to be the best version of ourselves. Some days we strive to just be. To just make it through to the end. To just get up. To shower. To go about our day and make it to the end. That is the goal. That is the plan. If we do so, then that is also a victory.

We don’t always need to be the top of our game. We don’t always need to be striving for the best. Sometimes we just need to be. Victories come in all forms of life. Some are big, huge victories. Some are victories that no one sees but we know that they are there just the same.

It is these victories that no one sees that are the most victorious. The small victories that no one cheers for that matter the most. Finishing a marathon is hard, but when you are out on the course with crowds cheering you on while not easy. It is harder to give up than to keep going. Getting up and out the door to train for that race is where the real marathon happens. Yet there are no finish lines to run through on a training run that you didn’t want to do. There is no crowd cheering you as you put your shoes on for a run that you might not have felt like doing. These small victories are what make the bigger victories possible.

Just like waking up, getting out of bed, showering and going about your days when all you want to do is hide under the covers, eat chocolate and not face the world is a victory. These are the moments that no one sees. They see you showing up, ready to face the world and have no idea what is behind the curtain. No idea what it might have taken you to get there.

This is a victory.

Every day someone who is suffering manages to do what they need to do to make it to the end of the day is a victory. The mom whose plate is overflowing, yet still manages to get done what needs to be done. The soul crushing moments where you just want to give up, but keep going. The parent of a sick child that puts on a happy face for that child but cries when alone. The person struggling with depression while everyone thinks that they are a happy go lucky person. The family dealing with illnesses. On and on and on…… We all know someone who fits one of these descriptions or maybe we are that family. It doesn’t matter because we all have something. We all have a curtain that only a few see behind.

I wish they got cheering crowds. I wish they could share these small victories for the world to high five them. I wish the world was ready for them to share these small victories without judgement. I wish they had cheering crowds to push them on and to let them know they are not alone. Often we cheer on silently, but wouldn’t it be awesome if they knew how much support they really had because often they might feel like the weight is on their shoulders alone.

Everyone wants to cross the finish line, but few know what went into getting there. Be it the finish line of a 5K, 10K, Half, Marathon or just life in general. It is not always easy. Actually it usually is never easy. It is often hard. There is grit, sweat and tears. Many times we feel like we are on our own, but the important thing is to remember that even at those times when we feel alone, we aren’t. We just have to remember that while only we can carry ourselves to the finish line, we have people cheering us silently even if we don’t know it. A true friend is always cheering for you in both big and small victories.

Many times we feel like our best isn’t good enough but our best is all we have to offer. So keep doing your best….. No matter what that best means on that given day!

Every person….. Every life… All you can do is what you can do on that given day. No more. No less.

Your best is good enough.

You are good enough.

Keep going!