Archives

Embracing It

Like millions of other people in the country, the beginning of the year marked a time to get off my behind and start moving again. Start eating healthier and just overall taking better care of myself. I didn’t make a resolution because that’s not what it was all about. I admit that it has been helpful that this was also something everyone in my household wanted to embrace.

A month in and I have to say it’s going good. Although I will admit that it is extremely frustrating that my husband has been able to drop almost 15 pounds already. I’ve dropped 3. Maybe 4 depending upon when I weigh myself and if I want to admit what my starting weight really was (and no I don’t). To be honest, I am not being obsessive with weighing myself. I will have to do it tomorrow. I don’t actually care about the number too much (ok, yes to a point but I know the number isn’t everything). I want to be able to fit in my clothes again and the ones I still fit in fit in more comfortably again.

I will further admit that I am very happy that my husband is embarking on this heath journey as he just turned 50. I’m turning that number in a few months, so we really need to be making healthy choices. And while I am so happy for him and see the changes a month of steady exercise, healthy eating and portion control had done for him, I admit that I’m pissed. Not at him, but at how I too have gone on this journey of healthy heating, portion control, and getting back into and exercise routine and there is not as big change. I’m trying. I’m really trying.

I have to remind myself that is all I can do. Keep plugging away. Don’t give up. Don’t compare to others journey. Don’t give up. Take it one day at a time.

WA WA WA

STOMPING FEET

POUNDING FISTS

IT’S JUST NOT FAIR!

Ok every woman around my age knows this to be true. Many of my friends joke that their husbands can loose 2 pounds just skipping dinner. At a certain age which I think I’m almost 10 years past, a woman’s hormones/metabolism stops. I say stops, because I think it definitely more than slows down. Add to that the thyroid issues and I know I’m going to have to fight hard to fit back in those jeans.

WWWWAAAAAAA WWWWWAAAAAAA WWWWWWWAAAAAAAA

STILL STOMPING FEET

STILL POUNDING FISTS

STILL THINKING IT’S NOT FAIR!!

That being said, I’m still plugging along. Still working on my couch to 5k program which I’ve got to say I’ve really been enjoying and will talk about more another day. This week, I even added to the repertoire a Beginner Core Strength class. I went with a friend. We had some laughs. We did what we needed to do. On the plus side, we felt like the youngings in the class as it seemed like most of the people in the class where 60 plus. Hey it’s not often I get to be the youngin any more, so I’ll take it. Plus it was a good core workout utilizing Pilates exercises.

I’ve decided that what I need more is to cross train. I’m not talking other cardio exercises. I’m talking core, yoga, stretching, and weights type of things. I get enough cardio with my job and running. I need to find my core because I’m sure somewhere underneath that fluff in the middle there might just be one.

So how are you doing in the New Year with your fitness journey?

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com


Enough

In life we are often made to feel like we need to be doing more. That what we bring to the table is never enough unless we are pushing ourselves to the limit.

As a runner who has done many races, I daily get emails reminding me how much there is to do…. Register for this race. Don’t miss the price increase for that race. Push your limits. Go the distance. Monthly distance challenges. Yearly running challenges.

Go. Go. Go.

When is enough enough?

There is a poem from a little book called To Be Enough – A Lenten Journey. And while it is not Lent yet, this poem is fitting.

To Be Enough

You were simply not made to do it all
Children of Adam
return to the garden.
Lay yourself down in the moss to rest.
Lure the hourglass to pass you by.
Let the trees whisper their secrets
Let the evergreens cover your stillness.

Children of Adam, rise up from the dirt.

You were not made to do it all.
Simply, you are enough.

It is often hard to remember that we are enough. What we are doing is enough. Often our unhappiness comes from trying to do too much. Pushing ourselves not because we want to be pushed but by external forces that make us think we need to be pushed. I am pushing back against those forces.

I am enough.

I am doing enough.

I am where I want to be…… For today.

Yesterday I completed the first day of week 3 of my Couch to 5K training. There have been days that I felt like I should do more. That I felt like I was not pushing myself enough. The truth is that I have been enjoying it. I think my foot has been enjoying it too as I have had not hand any issues with it. Building up slowly and smartly is always a wise thing. I think this is where I should be. Yet, I have found myself questioning if this was enough. The emails, the social media posts, my own thoughts and on and on…….. But as I’ve said before, this is what I want to do right now and it is true. I believe both mentally and physically this is what I should be doing. Yet it isn’t always easy allowing yourself to say….. This is enough.

It has been a nice change too not feel like I need to get out there and concur the world. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but sometimes the world does not need concurring. Sometimes it is nice to realize that the best way to get where you want to go is by slowing down and enjoying the journey. One thing that I have noticed following the plan is that I am starting to enjoy running again. If you are always looking for your next conquest, you don’t always enjoy the small victories and they are there if you allow yourself to see them.

Why do we always think that we should be doing more?

If I had the answer to that I could probably make some real money selling the answer because everyone I know, every family, every child is usually overscheduled and pushed to the limit.

But for today, for now…..

I am enough.

PS – Here is link to the book…https://www.amazon.com/Be-Enough-Lenten-Journey-Attempts/dp/1985206544


The Whole Package

Today I completed my second day of Couch to 5K training. I met someone who is not a runner, but wants to do the program. That’s the beauty of program, you don’t need to be a runner to start it. I told her that we would go at her pace and we did. We had a great day completing her first day of training and my second. Next week, I will also add some cross training to the mix.

Today I also took the time to look at myself in the mirror. I mean really look at myself. I don’t know about you, but it is something that I often avoid especially when getting out of shower. This was supposed to be a beat down to motivate me to stick to the plan. To start eating healthier. To be kinder to my body.

Then I realized that to be kinder to my body, I also needed to accept it where it is and all that it has gone through. It is NOT by any stretch of imagination what is thought of as a good body, but I don’t give a shit. My body tells a story. It has scars. It has wrinkles. It even sags. The stretch marks littering my belly are a reminder (not that I need it) to the 3 boys that I carried inside of it. The scar from all 3 c-sections somehow with it’s line and stomach creates a smiley face. You will have to trust me because there will be no photos. My belly literally jiggles like a bowl full of jelly. As I stood there looking at this body that society tells me that I should hate, I looked at it and saw all the things right with it.

My body even at my fittest was never a “designer body.” What it has and continues to be is strong even when it’s week. Tough even when it is soft. Badass even if it only by my standards. This is the body that allows me to get out of bed every morning. Gives me the strength to do amazing things. This is the body that I have and I’m ok with that.

Now this is not to say that I do not want to loose some weight and tone up some. I do but only because I know that will make me healthier. It might help with some issues that I have. My goal is healthier lifestyle not a six pack. It is not the body that makes the person. It is not the body that creates happiness. Happiness must be searched out, found, and embraces each day. Fat, thin, in shape, round (my current shape), rock hard, soft body….. None of that matters.

Acceptance means acceptance. If you think that you can only accept yourself when you have the perfect body (house, job, ect, ect); you are missing the point.

Learning to love yourself means learning to love where you are right now.


Embrace The Suck

Yesterday  I needed to go for my long run of 15 miles.   I knew going in that the run might be difficult, so from the very beginning I said that my motto for this run would be:

Embrace The Suck!

As I was beginning my run, I chuckled and thought to myself that it kind of is a metaphor for life too.    Now hear me out.    Sometimes in life things are going suck.   Things are going to go wrong.    Things are going to be hard.   And sometimes, things are going to be downright shitty.

Yes I know very uplifting, but we all know that life isn’t always a bowl of cherries.    The thing is that you have to embrace the suck to get to the good stuff.   You have to push through it when it’s hard.   You have to dig your heels in and just keep moving forward.   You have to know that at the end of the suck is something good.  You have to just keep going, because if you stick around long enough  you come out that much stronger.

strenght

So with that being said, I embraced the suck of yesterday’s 15 mile run.    As I said I knew it would be suck some for a few reasons.

  1.  It’s a long run and they usually suck.
  2.  I need new sneakers
  3. I’ve been messing up with my meds

So I went out with the mindset that no matter what, I would embrace the suck.   Do what I needed to do and get my run in.    The goal was to finish no matter what.   I felt like this was a long enough run to gage some things for New York and what I need to do in the next 46 days.

I have realized that it takes my body normally a good 3 miles to get into the rhythm of a run.   This morning was no exception.    Then I realized that I did not take my morning meds, so I ended up looping my run back to my house so that I could do so.    This was more necessary because I’ve been a little off with my timing lately. (Don’t worry, I’m trying to be better).    Anyway, meds taken and out the door I went.   It was hard.   I was sweating like I ran in a sprinkler, but I was embracing the suck and moving forward.    I was running where I should be especially for the distance keeping an average  pace in the 12’s &  13’s.    By mile 10, I was feeling a little off.    For me I can tell when my levels are dipping because I feel like a twitch in my face even if it’s not visible and some tingling/numbness in my hands.    I was prepared and did have some Calez (powdered calcium) to add to my water.    I am thinking for the marathon to fill all my bottles up with this and then just get plain water at the water stations.

I pushed forward.   By almost miles 13, I was out of water which is never good.   Luckily, I plan my runs so that I am never far from a friends house or place I can stop at.   I took my smelly sweaty self into a bistro where I purchased the most delicious chilled Gaterade and a bottle of water to refill.    Then off I went embracing the suck.

Here’s the thing….  As sucky as it was, it was also good.    I did feel stronger at the end of my run.   I did feel confident and the end of my run.    I did realize that running alone through the streets will be so much different than when running with 50, 000 of my closest friends who will all be embracing the suck.  I did feel like I could keep running and I did feel strong enough to keep going.   And I also realized that in the end, it is all worth it.

Is It Worth It?

Running a marathon is hard.   It is hard for everyone from the first place finisher to the final finisher.   It takes dedication, pain, time, and so much more to not only get to the start line, but to cross that finish line.     Often during marathon training season a runner will question their sanity, their endurance, and their sanity again.

Recently I’ve been mulling around the question in my brain…..

At What Cost?

I’m part of many online running groups and have been for years.   I will say that being part of the Moms Run This Town group is what took my running to the next level.   It introduced me to a group of amazing and dedicated runners whose experience I learned from and helped prepare and gently push me to take leaps of faith in my running.    I really owe that group to where I am today.

With any running/training group there are people for all over the spectrum….. From full Ironman competitions, 100 mile events, 5k’s and any other number of amazing feats.   There are also people whose feats are amazing just for getting out the door.   Everyone determines their own path in this world and just because someone does not take their running “to the next level” does not make their feats any less praise worthy.

Each person chooses their own path.   Their own destiny.   Their own finish line.  Some great feats are obvious to all, but some are not so easily recognized.

Recently I was taking with a woman from my Hypopara athlete training group.   We were talking about various treatment options, comparing levels, and symptoms.   She by trade was an amazingly organized person and created spreadsheets tracking her levels, dosages, and such.   Have to say that I was in awe of what she did and felt like a bit of a slacker, but I’ve never been that organized of a person.   Anyone want to create spreadsheets for me?  Ha!

During our chat,  we talked exercise.   Her doctor who is also a leading doctor for Hypoparathyroidism has different mindset than mine who is also a leading doctor. Hers does not want her to do strenuous exercise because then she must up her calcium intake while my doctor does not think this is an issue as long as my levels stay good.   I do need to up calcium levels during exercise and while I do not take a tremendous amount of calcium compared to some people with the disorder, I do adjust on days that I push myself adding almost 1000mg or more depending upon intensity/sweating/distance.

She asked me a question that I can’t seem to shake….

Is it worth it?

My immediate response was yes because I get so much from it.   Great cardio workout,  hopefully help to maintain weight which creeped up, friendships, and honestly the most important… The peace of mind it brings.   The clarity that I get when my mind ponders things during a run I have not been able to duplicate elsewhere.

Still…. I ponder….

Even with these things I need to ask myself, “Is it worth it?”

Pushing myself can be difficult.   I’ve recently realized that my calcium drops with my cycle but even at my “normal” levels there are issues.   And while I have adjusted and continued my training,  I have been pondering what to do after NYC Marathon.

The marathon is a tough beast.   It is unforgiving.   It is intense.    It is harsh, but in the end and at it’s core

IT IS A BEAUTIFUL AND AMAZING JOURNEY

For now, it is worth it.

fd0282994ece078d885b3af9e1b58726

Limitations

We all hate limitations.   Limitations on a sale item.   Limitations on our time.   Limitations on our food portions (oh wait, maybe that’s just me!).   Certainly limitations on our bank accounts.   Can we all agree that limitations just suck?

Add to the list – limitations on your running abilities.

Today’s run was definitely one where I felt my limitations.   I was running on empty which I knew when I went out for my run which annoyed me.   I usually try to push through my limitations and pretend they are not there, but when your lips start to tingle and your eye feels like it wants to twitch, there is only so much you can do.   Some limitations are just that limitations.

In my day to day life, I like to pretend these limitations don’t bother me.   I know it is what it is and I have accepted it, but acceptance does not always mean making peace.  Those are two different organisms.    It is a work in progress, but some days it is harder than others.

Today I when I went out for my run, I already knew I was sluggish which annoyed me.   I pushed the pace more than I should.   If you looked at my overall splits, they look good.   But if you look closer, I may have been a hot mess.   I was pushing paces that I had no business pushing even hitting an 8:52 at one point.   These paces were not sustainable, at at least I was smart enough to walk/run.  Although because I was running too fast, by mid run I was walking more than I should.

That being said overall paces looked nice

11:14, 11:08, 11:53

But again not the whole truth.

The truth is this was not a smart run.    This run was not what I needed, but as I told a friend afterwards, “Some times you’ve got to say what the F.”

So I dusted myself off, I took some extra calcium, and I will try to run where I am an not where I want to be.

Besides if making peace with things in life was so easy, you would not appreciate it when you actually do find it.

7f34a4a97f48c49a7a7dd581b3229d63--at-peace-peace-love

 

My Race. My Pace.

We have all head the mantra, My race.  My pace.   Sometimes it’s hard to believe, but it is so true.   Sometimes we get so caught up in thinking about our pace that we miss out on the beauty of running.

For those who have been with me a while know that the run/walk method was really not something that I chose but that chose me.    Although I knew many people who for various reasons used this method it never appealed to me because I was always worried that if I started walking it would be harder to start back running when needed.    I was wrong.

Here is something that I noticed.   Before the walk/run method, I would invariably walk during a marathon, long run, or bad day.   It was hard to start running again because usually I would wait till I couldn’t push it to walk.   That is no longer the case.   I walk BEFORE my body needs it.   I start when the buzzer goes off.   I stop when it goes off again.

I like it. I really like it.

Currently, I am using the 3:30 to 45 run/walk ratio.   This seems to be a good fit.   I finally adjusted my Garmin setting to see current pace and lap pace.   This is something that I hope to work on because my running pace has not been consistent.   So yesterday I went for 10 miles trying to keep my running pace around 11-11:15.    My miles were pretty consistent and my overall run had a pace of 12:08.    This is right where I wanted to be and I am happy with this run.   Plus I feel pretty good today which is a major bonus!

I am happy with where I am with my running.

Here is the thing though…….   I have never had what I call the Balls to Wall mentality in my running.   Not to say that there wasn’t a time where I dreamed of a 4:30 marathon or pushed myself to do a sub 2 half.   It is just that even when I was training consistently with a coach I did not always go out fast every run.   Most of my runs were at a slower pace and then there were days where it was about speed.  I wanted that for me and was willing to work for it.    I have never been about running hard and fast all the time.   Maybe I’m just too soft:)

Here is the  another thing though…..

There is nothing wrong with being too soft.   Although I don’t consider it being soft really.    Every person has a different reason for running.    Everyone gets something different out their running.   A wise person said to me, “I want to be able to “compete” in my own way.”

Yup!

There is no wrong way to train and “race.” (ok there are wrong ways, but I’m talking different paths).    Not everyone wants to stand on the podium.   Some of us want to just be out on the road.   The beauty of running is that there is more than enough road for all of us.

I will further admit that I am knocking on 50’s door in less than a year.   I came to this party late.   Only starting to run in my mid 40’s.   So for who I am and where I’m at, I’m doing ok.    I have never wanted my running to feel like a job which I admit when training for a marathon it usually does near the end.  That being said, overall I want to enjoy my runs.   I don’t want to beat myself over my running.   Life can be hard enough without that added stress.

So what am I trying to say here…..

I guess I’m trying to say whether  you are a front of the pack runner,  a middle of the pack runner,  back of the pack runner or don’t even run it a pack; it’s ok.    Running is  simple but not a simple thing.   Like anything in life you can make it as complicated as your want.   For me, right now, I want uncomplicated.   I want to enjoy my running for all that it brings me…… great workout, even better friends, and most of all the way it clears the cob webs out of my mind.    There are those who may not understand my lack of balls to the wall mentality and that’s ok.   They are on a different path than me and each much not only choose their path but enjoy it while they are there.

Life is too short not to enjoy where you are in your journey.

be-happy-quotes

 

 

 

The Unpleasant Truth

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

  But what if……

What if sometimes the fear is just under the surface?

But what if……

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

Will that make them go away?

Reality and past experiences say no.

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

The fear of not being good enough.

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

NO 50K

NO 26.2

NO 13.1

NO MRTT

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

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

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

letting-go

Truth

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

Acceptance.

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

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

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

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

BUT

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

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

 

 

 

 

When is the Right Time?

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

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

Ummm, Ok

I still feel like that.

Do we ever know when is the right time?

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

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

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

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

Here’s the thing…..

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

Here’s another thing…

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

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

Lastly, here is the thing…..

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

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

The real question needs to be…

If not now, When?

time-flies

 

BE NICE!

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

Examples 1

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

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

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

Example 2

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

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

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

Example 3

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

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

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

 

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

  Why though?

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

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

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

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

So here is what I propose we all do:

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

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

Your worth it!

and

So am I!