Archives

Failure to Launch

Fear of failure is not an excuse to not try. If everyone waited until they were 100% certain they could reach their goal before attempting something, we would still be living in caves. We have the expression “If at first you don’t succeed; try, try and try again” for a reason. The reason being is you will probably fail more in life than you want to admit, but you will always fail if you don’t try.

If you fail to launch, you will never fly. You will never go anywhere and your feet will miss out on everything and anything.

In 4 weeks, I will be “running” NYC Marathon. This marathon is mine to either finish or to crash and burn. Yes, there are many things out of my control but there is much of it in my control too. Like everyone else, I do not know what is going to happen. I don’t know how things will play out. What I do know is that it is up to me how I face it and with what attitude.

It was already going to be hard. There is no such thing as an easy marathon. It’s going to be harder. No matter what it is already worth it.

So while everyone is planning strategies, putting together paces, and setting goals. I, realistacly, with where I am in my training and with my meds have one goal and that goal is to finish. Ok, I might have two goals….. I want to enjoy the experience. Too often we get bogged down in worry about completing our goal that we miss the whole experience. I’m setting some lofty goals……

1. Get to the finish Line

2. Keep calcium in check

3. Don’t be too hard on yourself

4. Don’t be too easy on yourself

5. Enjoy it

This year I will be one of approximately 50,000 people running the NYC Marathon each with their own reasons, expectations, and goals. In the US, even though runners think everyone runner has run at least one marathon, the truth is that only .5% of the US population has run one. I am about to embark on my 7th. It is because I’ve done this before that I am optimistically confident that I can finish this. My legs are strong. Mentally I know what to expect. I’ve run this course twice before and although every race day is different, it will be familiar. I also have the ace in my pocket in knowing that I am running not for me, but for Sandy Hook Promise. 26 miles for 26 angels. It’s not just a hashtage, but something I believe.

So as I continue to work on figuring out once again, calcium and calcitrol needs. I will finally go get those new shoes, so that I can break them in before the marathon. I will work out the logistics. I will continue to push doubts out and confidence in.

Tell yourself no matter what you are doing… Big or small…. tell yourself that you can do it. Then prepare yourself and do it.

Coming Out the Other Side

If you don’t get to spend time running trials, I think that you should still live life like you are out in them. You go out thinking, “how hard can it be.” You may prepare, but realize that your never as prepared as you should be.

The path is marked and you just run right in.

Somewhere during the run, you realize that the path is not marked as clearly as your wish or maybe you just miss the signs. Then you realize that you’ve made a wrong turn and maybe you’re lost. Although sometimes you are stubborn and foolish not admitting that you’ve gone the wrong way until you hit a dead end. Then you have to backtrack and find a new path. All the while learning to do better next time around.

Sometimes you are on the wrong path and don’t realize it. You are uncertain the right way and what you should do. You have to decide weather to be stubborn and move forward in the wrong direction. Sometimes foolishly because your don’t want to admit you’re on the wrong path. Once you admit your mistake, you can take the smart approach to turn things around and find your way.

All the while you must keep moving because if you stop, you are wasting time and will never get anywhere. So you keep moving. You will stumble some. Sometimes you will even face plant, but you can’t stay down in the dirt so you must pick yourself up. You realize that with each step you are closer to where you are supposed to be even if you aren’t sure where that will be yet. Eventually you will find your way even if it is not the original trail you expected to follow.

This may or may not be (ok yes it is) my run today on the trails, but as I was doing all of these things I thought about how this really how we live our lives. We never know what is coming. We often have to change our plans. There are stumbles with bruises, but the only choice is to keep moving forward. Looking back is only good to see how far you’ve come and eventually you get right where you are meant to be.

Often where we end up is not where we think that we would be, but that is the beauty of the adventure. Sometimes the adventure is not one we would pick, but we are that much stronger when we come out the other side.

So here’s to coming out the other side.

I’m Not Unpacking

You already know the whole Natpara thing has thrown me for a loop. It’s to be expected, but I’ve got literally a week of it left so I might as well make the best of it. It’s hard though when you see posts of people in your hypopara support groups already suffering with the effects of coming off of it and some already in the ER. It’s no joke.

What I keep thinking of though is that prior to Natpara I was lucky enough not to have visited an ER. So chances are pretty good that I won’t now either. At least that’s what I keep telling myself because you just never know because now it’s not just the hypopara but body adjusting to not having Natpara. I’m hopefully optimistic especially because I am also lucky enough to have a doctor not just well versed in Hypopara but also in Natpara. I trust her judgement and the instructions she gives to make this as smooth as possible. It will be a balancing act. Not too low. Not too high which is just as bad. We are looking for just right. Fingers crossed.

So yeah, I admit that I’m nervous. I think that I might be a fool if I wasn’t. But since the medicine is no longer available, I’ve got no choice expect to face it head on with as positive an outlook as I can.

Now Lastly I will admit that I’ve also been thinking about how NYC Marathon is in 8 weeks. Training has been going good in my opinion. I’ve been for the most part following my plan. I’ve been getting out the door. Doing what needs to be done to be able to cover the distance. I have not been concerned with paces as that has never been part of the goal. That being said paces have been better than I have expected. Part of me was starting to think that I might actually have a 5:15-5:30 marathon in me.

Well that’s out the door.

I have been experiencing a little tiny pity party these last few day. Not getting in one run since the news came out. Part of me is like…. why bother? A What will it matter pity party.

So it’s time to dust off the stink of the pity party. The Party is over and I refuse to unpack here, because I don’t know what is coming anyway. Besides I was never doing this marathon for me, but for Sandy Hook Promise anyway. So be what may, I will do what I can. At any pace that I can. Smart and safe as I can (don’t worry Mom). I will do this any way that I can, but I will do it.

So with that being said…. It’s time to run again.

I

Restores the Soul

It’s funny how often in life as the saying goes, you don’t know what you have till it’s gone. It’s more than a silly cliché. It’s factual. Think of the people you know who….

Haven’t appreciated a spouce till after getting a divorce.

Didn’t truly appreciate a friendship until it’s too late.

Didn’t appreciate health until a diagnosis

Even the old…. Didn’t appreciate your youth until your too old.

All of these things and so much more is sadly true. Although sadly I think it might just be human nature that makes us this way. If your lucky though, you learn from each loss and appreciate the here and now. It’s a challenge though because it is so easy to fall into the trap again and again. This is why it is best to remind yourself to have a grateful heart. It’s not always easy to keep, but when you manage to do so life is so much better.

Today I did something that I have wanted to do for a long time. I hit the trails for a long run. I had wanted to do it last week after I saw my old running cohort post about meeting people for a trail run. I actually planned to surprise her, but it wasn’t in the cards. It was an “off” day for me and pushing to do the trails even if I had managed to make it off the couch would not have been good. And to be honest, I didn’t even make it off the couch that day. Unless you count when I went out to dinner that night. I guess we can count that and I am grateful that I did not need to worry about cooking dinner on that off day.

I’ll be honest, it took me a few days to get back to the swing of it all. Once I did, I really wanted to get to the trails. I used to run them all the time and can’t even remember the last time I made it to them. It’s been a while. Partly because it does require more time to run the trails. Partly because I wasn’t sure I was up for the trails. And partly because I’ve been nervous about hitting the trails again.

Today was the day to get out there. Weather was perfect. Been feeling good. Really was no excuse not to do it.

So I did.

When I pulled into the parking lot, I saw some of my Moms Run This Town Mamas getting ready to go out for their own trail run. It was nice to get a hug from them and see their smiling faces. I knew that I would not be at their pace, but I also knew that I really needed to do this on my own……

A friend texted me during the run asking how it was going. I texted back the first thing that came to mind.

It Restores the Soul

Truth. Running the trails again…… Something that I used to do all the time without a thought……. It was like taking back something that I felt was lost. I used to go out for training runs without a care. Now there is planning. When to take the Natpara. Do I take calcium before, during or after the run? How do I feel? It’s not just about grabbing some fuel, filling water bottles and going. I realize that one of the things that has kept me off the trails was fear. Fear of getting wonky on a run. Fear of not being able to do it. All kinds of crazy and some not so crazy fears, but if you let fear stop you from doing what you love then fear wins.

So while today’s run was not fast. While I acted like a tourist stopping to take pictures…… While I enjoyed the beauty of the trails….. While I soaked it all in……. While I just went out and did what I set out to do…… I had a heart of gratitude.

It Restores the Soul…..

I am so lucky for so many reasons. As I said in a Facebook post today, while the trail may be rocky; it is not impossible.

Things are only impossible if you let fear win. Fear did not win today and it has shown me that as always, it is a damn liar. So while I am still sore….. While I am tired…… While it was not easy…… It was also not hard and it was certainly not impossible.

I will be back and it’s nice to know while I was out running the trails alone today that I had support all along the way and I’ve also got some people who will make sure that next time I have company.

Trails and Friends…. Perfect together.

I’m Ok, Are you?

I admit that I have not yet seen Brittney Runs a Marathon…. YET!

I admit that I love the trailer! I can’t wait to see it and am planning a girls night out with my Moms Run This Town Running friends. Runners LOVE, LOVE, LOVE running stories…. We love to watch them. We love to read about them. We love to tell them. I can’t wait for this movie.

It looks very cute to me. Maybe a little bit like your typical rom com type movie, but with a running twist. Since I love running stories and also rom com’s this seems like a win win situation. I must also admit that per the trailer it reminds me a bit of me. I still remember after turning 40 when I told my husband that I was going to sign up for a Sprint Triathlon after not doing any type of exercise for years and his response was….. “Well maybe you should get off the couch first” but in a loving way. Besides it’s all good and they don’t call the program I used the Couch to 5K for nothing.

Anyway,   very excited about this movie and then I read a Runner’s World article (What ‘Brittany Runs a Marathon’ Gets Wrong About Running While Fat)…..

Hmmmm…..

I’ve been dealing with this since I started running.   I started running to get back into shape.   To take my life back after birthing 3 babies.    When I started my youngest was in Kindergarten and I claimed it the Year of Me.   And while I did get into shape, I did not necessarily look like I got into shape.    I did initially loose weight, but after my thyroid surgery I gained 20 pounds.   It is what it is.

I am healthier  (not counting the whole Hypopara thing)

I am more fit.

I no longer get winded going up the stairs.

I have more endurance (remember I was able to run a 50K running for 7 hours)

Yet……

With all of this every year when I go to my doctors for my annual physical, she looks at the numbers.

Cholesteral – Really good

Blood Pressure – Awesome

Health Questionare – great answers

Weight – What the Hell

I switched doctors once after my previous one told me that “a women your age, should have small breakfast, salad for lunch, and a protein shake for dinner since metablalism slows as you age.” Yeah, I get that whole metabolism thing stopping, but No thank you. Besides, it’s really hard to train for a marathon if you are not properly fueling.

My current doctor at least looks at the whole picture. She knows the numbers don’t tell the full story. Plus my weight minus the bump after my surgery has pretty much remained stable. On top of that…. Have you seen has muscular my legs are? lol

Told you:)

Here is the thing…. Would I like the number on the scale to be lower?   Sure.   I’m not going to lie.    Does that mean I am unhappy with myself?   Not really.    I don’t let my weight define me.   It is what it is and I’m ok with that.   If I wasn’t, I would do something about it.   So what I would say running has done for me is to give me the confidence to know (for me at least) size doesn’t matter.    And for anyone who will judge me personally, professionally, or in my running by my size……

Well they probably aren’t someone I would be hanging out with anyway

Often times the struggle in life comes from not knowing who you are. Knowing what you can be versus what you want to be. Like the little kitten who thinks that he is a lion. Yes, he may have the heart of a lion, but that does not mean that he has the body on one. There are some things that one must accept.

Often in life, our struggles come from reality versus expectations. Some realities with dedication and hard work can change. Then there are times that no matter what you do, how hard you work, or what you are willing to change that reality can not. Often that is where the battle comes in. Where disappointments come in.

Some may have the heart and soul of an elite marathon runner. That does not make it so. That being said, that does not mean that you can not become the best version of you at a given point in your life. Trying to live where you are not at a point in time will put you in constant battle with yourself. If you can accept that reality as it is and not how you want it to be, than you can not only enjoy the process but be happy with it too. Again, easier said than done. This holds true for much of our lives.

I will admit that I do not have the dedication or will to be an elite athlete even if I had the body which I clearly do not. I like to sleep in too much and maybe ice cream more than I should. That being said, I do have a drive to be more than I am. The reality though is that I am now a (ahem) middle aged runner with Hypoparathyroidism who can never compete with the image in her head of how things should be or where I was prior to surgery. The beauty is that doesn’t stop me from trying to be more.

So off I went plugging away. Getting my runs in. Doing what needs to be done. Going about my business. Going out for my longest run this training cycle. 10 miles. I didn’t know if I could do it. I reminded myself of my last post where I clearly said that what you do without the fanfare is more important than when you have it. I also reminded myself to stay true to the training. So I went out thinking no matter what I would just get the run in. My plan actually called for 9, but mentally I needed the 10. So I went out and just plugged away.

Just keep running. Just keep running. Running, running, running.

You know what? I did it. I finished the run. I felt good about it. I felt like I could have kept going. Although I was very happy to be done. It was hard, but it was not impossible. Sometimes you don’t need to be the lion, you just need to be the kitten that is not willing to give up.

Here’s the thing too…… Sometimes though it’s ok for the Kitten to know that maybe it’s not her time to be the lion. Sometimes we need to step back because as fierce as we are, sometimes life has other plans for us and that’s ok too. Every battle does not need to be fought. Sometimes it’s ok to find a new path. Often it is the acceptance of that new path even if it’s just a temporary one is what makes you as fierce as a lion.

The world is filled with people getting shit done. Doing what needs to be done to get through the day. Most you might walk past and not even realize the struggle it may have taken them to get from point A to point B. This is why one of my favorite expressions is “Be Kind” because you never know what someone is struggling with…. be it depression, be it an injury, be it giving up a dream, struggles at home, or maybe they are just having a bad day.

So be the lion. Be the kitten. Be you. Most of all… just be kind.

You Can’t Hide From You

We all do it. Have our moments when we are by ourselves and think…. No one is around. I can….. eat the cookie, drink from the cereal bowl, stay in my PJ’s all day, skip a workout, ect, ect…..

Most of the time what we do in private is our business and it doesn’t matter. That being said, often what we do when no one is watching is more imporatant than when you have an audience.

Easy case in points….. Making sure that someone notices you giving a big tip, doing a good deed but making sure everyone knows you did it, being an ass to someone who can’t say anything back because you can, playing the martyr to anyone willing to listen but leaving your part of the story out. This also holds true to training.

What we do in private is our own business. Everyone has their own thing. Focused on their own goals as it should be. Everyone has to stay true to themselves, their goals, their expectations and just focus on doing what they need to do. Just do it. Do what you can. What you’ve trained to do with no doubt.

The problem arises when people aren’t true to themselves or their training. Anyone can make a training run look spectacular if you stop your watch every time you stop, walk, or take a break. While the miles may get done, it does not give true sense of what you can do or prepare you for where you are going. For some this leads to pressure to perform on a given race day for a performance that you might not be ready for. For some this may lead them to cross lines that shouldn’t be crossed and cheat. In the end though, they really are only cheating themselves out of seeing what they really can do..

Training isn’t usually glamorous. Training isn’t usually all that fun. It is hard. It isn’t always easy and honestly if it’s easy then you aren’t training hard enough. Truth be told, sometimes you just don’t want to do it. (Sounds fun, right?) But the truth is that no one suffers from short changing your training than you. Only you can be honest with your effort, your outcome, and knowing if you pushed when you needed to push. Not your friends. Not your running group. Not the crowds. The only thing that can push you to both train and cross the finish line is you. It comes from a place deep inside. Internally. If you wait and need external motivation to get you there, you will fail.

Now I’m not saying that external forces can not be motivating, because they can be. The crowds of NY can carry you in ways that someone who has never experienced running a marathon can never understand. That being said, when you are out running a 50K in the woods, there tends to not be any crowds to carry you and even during a road race there are solitary places. There certainly aren’t any crowds to carry you through training. This is why every runner, every athlete, needs to find their inner voice. They need to find their why?

Everyone has their own why. Everyone has their own reasons. Some have more than one reason.

When you push yourself to run when you don’t feel like it….To run faster, farther, and for longer than you want without the crowd, without the finish line, without the medal; you are better for it. You are a better runner. You erase doubts. You gain confidence in yourself and your abilities. Because the biggest truth is if you can’t do it when no one is looking, it will be almost impossible when everyone is.

So find your Why? Find your inner voice. Do what you know not only needs to be done, but what you know you can do if you allow yourself to do it. When I started training this cycle, I had my doubts. I had trouble completing 3 miles. I’ve been plugging away. Then last night, I noticed something. I ran my 5 miles and could have kept going. I felt good. I felt confident. This is what training does not just to the body, but to the mind.

Keep doing you.

Great Expectations

We all have them. We all have the thought of how things should be. The what if? The maybe it will happen this way. Maybe it should happen this way. The if then thought process.

What happens when things don’t live up to these expectations which more often than not is true. Sometimes these expectations are not based in reality. Sometimes we don’t like the reality. Sometimes we ignore the reality to our own peril. Sometimes we think our expectations weren’t so lofty, but in reflection we realize that we didn’t prepare for the reality of life and how it doesn’t always measure up to our great expectations. That’s ok too because while not what we thought it would be, sometimes reality isn’t as bad as we think as long as we can let go of the expectations

I’ll be honest. I’ve been on my Natpara for a few months now. It has been amazing the changes. On face value, I could not ask for more but… I had great expecations. I thought that taking it would be like a reset to prior to my surgery and I could just take one shot a day and go about my life.

Reality…..The one shot a day has given me so much back including being more friendly on my kidneys. No more muscle cramps, muscle spasms, dead tired beyond tired, and all the other fun side effects of being Hypopara. Reality is pretty darn good. My expecations though were overblown. I thought that I would no longer need to keep a pill box and reminder to take my calcium and other supplements. Yes, I’m taking much less calcium now but I thought I’d be taking none.

And while my running has improved exponentially, I am still out of shape. I still need to walk. I am still not where I was or thought I would be. I still need a reset of expectations. Expectations are not reality but a dream. They are goals. They are a driving force, but when life doesn’t live up to them you have two choices. You can choose to be disappointed or you can choose to look around, accept and appreciate the reality of where you are on a given point in your life.

Sometimes with running, we get so focused on the hitting a certain time, training a certain way, or realizing that maybe we can get to the finish line but we must adjust our expectations to do so. It’s easier said than done, but reality is what it is. Training will be what it will be and each person must do what is right for them and their body. Sometimes it’s all about what we are willing to accept. I have learned to accept a 6 hour marathon time when once I had dreams of a 4:15. If I had not faced the reality of where my body was last year, I would have been disappointed with that 6 plus our time but to date it was my favorite marathon.

Truthfully in the recess of my mind, I still dream of the 4:30/4:15 marathon. Reality is that will never happen for various reasons. Although I never say never. Truthfully, I believe that this year I might be able to make a 5:30 time and 5:00 if I’m lucky. Is it where I would want to be? Nope. Is it honestly where I will most likely be? Probably. If I did not adjust my expectations/goals, I would not be able to enjoy the process and the eventual finish. I can do this. I will get there, but only if I am honest with where I am right now.

Another year. Another race. Maybe I can adjust those great expecations, but for now…. I would rather do what I can than not do anything at all. That is the point.

Do what you can.

Accept where you are.

Enjoy the journey and smile for the finish.

New Beginnings

Life is filled with one new beginning after another. The road to life has many turns, backtracking, ups & downs and hopefully always moving forwards. There are many stops along the way, but the trick is not to idle too long or you may get stuck in one place.

Each journey along the road is a start of something new filled challenges, hopes, dreams and sometimes set backs. When we come to the beginning of a new road, we can either face the challenge, avoid it, change direction or drive into it. Sometimes starting a new journey is familiar. Some times it can be scary. Often a journey begins with hope.

I am about to embark on a few new journeys. Two familiar, yet not the same. One totally new and even with planning, research, and knowledge still a little frightening, exciting, and unknown.

The first journey is the beginning of my NYC Marathon training for Sandy Hook Promise. This is a journey that I faced before, yet it will still be a different road with new challenges, thrills, and hopes. This journey is scary not just for the training of the marathon but the fundraising aspect of it.

For the marathon running, I have been there done this as the saying goes. That being said, I have not done the 2019 marathon whose weather, training, and everything in between still has not been written. I am embarking on a 28 week training plan that has already started. The plan I have chosen is a basic marathon training plan with a slow build up, but will get me to the finish line. For now, I am not setting any training goals other than to finish better than last years 6 plus hour marathon. I also, for now, am not in a place to think about more than just a basic marathon training plan nor do I want to do more than be prepared.

For the marathon fundraising, I have been there done that once before; but again that was last year. This year my goal once again is $3,000 which is a scary goal that I am committed to hitting. For those who have never run as a charity runner, when you make this commitment it is not I will try. It is do and if you don’t hit your mark, you have signed a contract that you will personally make the payment. This is why you must be committed to the cause you are fundraising to which I am. I have been a believer in Sandy Hook Promise since they first organized and I signed up with them. That being said, it is a scary prospect as a mother of 3 children, one finishing his first year of college, one who is currently looking at colleges, to make a commitment like this. So far I’ve raised $50…. Gulp…… That being said, I have just started and this fundraiser is a marathon in itself.

Feel free to make a donation to this worthy cause though at…..https://www.crowdrise.com/o/en/campaign/sandy-hook-promise-foundation-nyc-2019/christinechaillet

Lastly I will also be starting a new adventure in my treatment of Hypoparathyroidism. The medication, Natpara, awaits in proper temperature in my refrigerator for the Natpara Nurse to come Monday to teach me how to prepare the mediation and give myself the daily injections. This is an exciting road that I’m hoping does not have too many bumps as I work out proper dosage and also adjust calcium supplements and Calcitrol dosage. I’m not expecting this to go without a hitch but hoping that it is easy transition. Once I start this treatment and get levels/dosage where they should be with any luck much of the issues that come from not producing the PTH hormone will be gone and my body can go back to factory settings.

Fingers crossed!

New beginnings are a part of life and I’m happy to be taking these paths right now.

Aging Up

Last week I hit what is considered a milestone birthday. It probably is because it was a big milestone. I aged up to the next running group.
I turned the Big 50.

Here’s the funny thing, the 9’s are hard for me. When I turned 49 I was like, “Oh crap, I’m almost 50.” Then by the time 50 rolled around, I had truly embraced it. Seriously. So much so that I had more than one friend tell me that they admired the way that I was handling it which I took as both a compliment and thought weird.

Here is the thing. Age really is just a number. Yes, age changes us both mentally and physically but it doesn’t stop us unless we let it. So I went into 50 boldly. I actually spent the week leading up to my birthday sharing bits and pieces of my past.

Yup, I was a Material Girl living in a material world and also a product of the 80’s!

Christine & boys

Skip over 20 years and it was so much better.

Anywhoo…. Yes, when I was that 16 I thought that 50 was so ancient. Then again I also thought that dressing like Madonna was cool, so my judgement should be questioned. One thing that I’ve learned over the years is that you must not only embrace who you are now, but who you were then. And while that does not mean that I need to share with everyone the who, what, and where of my past; it does mean coming to terms with it. Embracing it to know that all of those things brought me to who I am today and where I am right now.

As I’ve said before, much of what happens to us in life is out of our control. What we control is how we handle it, what we learn from it, and how we let it shape us.

I also know that age really is just a number. I have no choice to be 50, but I do choose to act like I did when I was 49 which means just doing what I’m doing. Besides I am happy to enter a new age category for running. Maybe that will help me. Maybe it won’t. What it won’t do is stop me.

So just days after turning 50, I am entering into another round of marathon training. This week begins NYC Marathon number 3 training (2 for Sandy Hook Promise) and when I cross finish line it will be marathon number seven and my sixth year in a row running one. I ran my first marathon in 2014 at the age of 45. I ran my first (and only so far) 50K at the age of 47. And with this new round of marathon training, I will embrace where I am today but begin it anyway:)

I have always beat to my own drum. I have always followed my own path. I certainly am not going to stop now. Life is a gift. We never know how long we will be able to do what we can enjoy or what is around the next corner. I was not meant to go through life in bubble wrap. No one is. You are meant to face it – the challenges, the good times, the really crappy times….. It all.

Most of all you are meant to live it.

So here is to 50 and all the adventures that it brings