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This week I had my 6 month check up with my endocrinologist. Not surprising, my blood calcium level was low. The good news is that it is just below the low end of normal. Yeah me. The good part though is by maintaining this low level that my 24 hour urine calcium level was normal which is something I haven’t seen in 2 years. At my highest this level was more than double what it should be. So since my Natpara is gone, I bounce in the low blood calcium levels to protect my kidneys for the higher output levels. Go me.

All was good at the appointment. When I commented to my doctor that I was “happy” with levels to protect kidneys, she reminded me that we also have to worry that if we allow my blood calcium levels to get to low we have heart issues. Did you know that if your calcium is important for heart health. Such a balancing act that makes life so fun.
I am good about balancing these things. (seriously Mom… no worries). I am also very lucky that I’ve never had any issues with my kidneys or heart. I pay attention. I adjust. I pop pills all day and adjust as needed. As said before, I really think being a marathon runner prior to surgery helped me learn to tune into my body. All those long runs adjusting fuel, pace, and runs gave me an inside track on how to listen to my body with calcium levels.

I have a few running magnets on my car. I have one that says 50K. Sometimes I think that I should take it off as I only ran one, but it is a reminder of what I once could do and maybe one day will do again. It makes me proud and a little sad at the same time. At my “peak” I finished this event in 7 hours and seven minutes. Obviously, I did not run the entire time, but I did run enough to actually complete it. I’ve run a sub 2 half marathon and a 26:26 5K.

I am no longer at my peak. I’m no longer close to my peak. Today I struggle through 5 miles which used to me my normal run. I used to run every day in training. Teaching myself to run on tired legs. Now I have to pace myself as my legs are tired before I even start. I can’t run every day, but have been trying to walk at least a mile every day.  It sucks. And yes, I know, that it could be worse but  this is my pity party. I miss the “old” me and I when I was on Natpara I kind of felt like her.   Sometimes I get annoyed at my missed opportunities.   Blowing my 4:30 marathon because I didn’t pace myself.   Thinking I would get another shot at it.   I was wrong.

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When you have an invisible illness no matter what it is often times people think you are exaggerating, it’s all in your head, or think you are just complaining. It is easier for people to understand when they can see the toll an illness takes on a person, but often times people with invisible illnesses keep a lot to themselves. What is the point… You know what you need to do and you just handle it.

Al my life I’ve struggled and overcome the impossible. I’ve come back from the bottom and realized that in life you really only have two choices….. Keep moving forward or give up.

I’ve been wondering if it is time to give up running, but I get so much out of it that I think that is not a valid option. I’ve been lower before. I’ve crawled my way from the depths of depression where I realized that giving up is not an option. The truth of the matter is when you come back from that, you realize that your only option in life is to keep pushing forward one step at a time.

Today’s run was hard. The heat effects me. I felt tingles in the lips (low calcium). My legs were cramping. I thought about just walking home. I realized that most of my problem with running really is my ego. I can run fast in short bursts. I can’t run fast for the long haul. I need to readjust, refocus, and learn to pace again. If the truth is that running is worth pushing myself than I really need to push myself smarter. So with that, I added some calez (powdered calcium) to my water, cut myself some slack, and reassessed what I realistically want from running.

Unrealistically…. I still want that 25 minute 5K or that 4:30 marathon I was chasing that I will never get. Realistically, I just want to keep running. I need to let go of expectations, excuses, and ego……. easier said than done especially when I was on Natpara injections which made me feel like my old self for a bit.

I’ve been picked over. I’ve been picked last. I’ve been ignored. I’ve been on the outside looking in. I’ve been on bumpy roads in life….. And while none of these are good and no one wants these things to happen to them or anyone they love…… When you’ve been dealt these hands , they do make you stronger. I root for the underdog, because I’ve been the underdog. While not that now, I do know that if I can get through all the things that brought me to where I am today; I can get through this.

Luckily there are no races on the calendar. There is no training. There is just getting miles in and keeping myself moving. This year will give me time. To think of what goals I want when there are goals to be hand. To be smart. Most of all to just keep running…
Most of all no matter what….
To never give up.

 

And I know that some of you have heard this before and might hear it again.   I am only human and some days you move forward and some days you move backwards but as long as you have more forward moving days than backwards, you are doing ok.

Transformational

When the history books are written about 2020, there will be much to be said.   Probably volumes could be written already and we are only at the half way mark.

I think the biggest takeaway when we are all said and done and so far the best way to describe it……  2020 is a transformational year.    It was the year the world stopped, caught fire and transformed.

I wish I could tell you how it transforms.   I wish I could tell you how it all turns out.    I wish I could say that it all works out for the best.    I wish I had the gift to see into the future to give that peace of mind.

Transformational…..

It’s not just the world transforming, but individual people.     Your life is not written in stone.    How are you transforming because that is the only part of the story that you have control over.   No, you don’t have control over the outside forces of your life but you do have control over how you face these things.  Sometimes it is easy to forget that and feel like it’s all spiraling out of control.

So may transformations.

Life is one big transformation.   We grow.   We learn.   Sometimes we need to relearn.    We transform with life experiences.   We change.   Our circles change. For many right now life is never changing, yet still not the same.   Always transforming even when it all feels the same. Different, yet the same.

Right now I will say 100% that the books I bookmarked to read, but never did have nothing to do with time. That the “chores” I said that I would get to but still have not tackled have nothing to do with time. All those things we said we would do…. if only we had the time. Now we know if time was really what was holding us back. For many things, time had nothing to do with it but became a good cover story.

I’ve realized that I have enjoyed this step back.    This time to just be with no expectations.   This time to get back to basics.   To realize that I didn’t start running for the medals on the wall (although I do like to look at them).   I ran just to run.   Much like what my mother is doing now.   I have enjoyed just getting back to basics.

So as I am at home with my family, it is the same but different.   I have taken another running challenge (I think I mentioned it) of running the distance of the NJ Parkway (172.4 miles).   Another challenge.   Same but different.   This one there is no fan fare.   There is no big event.   There is just getting out there and getting as many miles in as I can.   Same, but different.

Currently I am plugging away.   I haven’t been keeping up as well as I thought, but I will push through and get it done.   I’ve got a little over a month to go and it will be time to pick up the pace.   Ok, not really the pace but the miles.  If I’ve calculated my miles correctly, I am only at 58.8.   I don’t see why I can’t get to the finish line.

Here is the thing…. What always seems impossible is right up until it isn’t.   So I will keep plugging away.   I will plug a little further, but I won’t stop until I get to where I need to be.

What if I fly

Out of Balance

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Photo by Nandhu Kumar on Pexels.com

I’ve been in better shape.

I’ve been in worse shape.

I’ve been stronger.

I’ve been weaker.

I’ve been in better shape.

I’ve been in worse shape (really).

I’ve been so many things and I will end up being so many more.  Things ebb and flow.   Up until a month ago, I seemed to be right on target for my Birthday Half Marathon right up until the world stopped.   Since then, training has not been training but getting a run in here and there as allowed.   Races right now are non existent.  Although, I think I might still try to do the  virtual run, but I don’t think I will run the full half.   Probably just the 8K.

Since formal training has come off the table and I have been trying to not loose my mojo.    Not just me but my whole household.   You know when you have nowhere to go and nothing to do, you really have time to squeeze in a workout.    We even cleaned out the garage.   Bought some equipment, mats for the floor and are in process of turning our garage into a home workout space.   It helps that many are sharing workouts online.   One that I have found that I like is the Nike Training App.   During the Stay at Home orders they are even allowing you to view workouts for free.   Yeah.

I even went so far as to dust off a no equipment workout from my CrossFit days.   Let me just say that while I did the workout, it was not pretty and it made me think.   I realized that while I’m not sure that I would want to be doing CrossFit now that I was in the best shape of my life when I was doing it.   The cross training was key.   I further realized that I gave my all to running and allowed everything else fall to the wayside.   Time was limited and I chose running over yoga, CrossFit, cross training, and everything else.  It seemed like a necessary tradeoff but it wasn’t a smart one.

On top of that I realized that by letting everything else go, I was missing out.   Now I realize that I am now in my early 50’s, but I have lost a lot of upper body strength.   A lot.  Yes, I can run marathons.   Yes, I have endurance.    Yes, I can get to the finish line.   All those things are true, but I lost balance.   Balance in life is good.   Balance in life brings harmony.   Balance is easy to loose.   I could still run a marathon but I had to push harder than I should because of all that I stopped doing.

When I had balance with running, biking, HIT workouts, weight lifting not only was I in great shape physically but I was also able to run faster and further without injury.   Now I realize that I am getting older by the day, so I may not get faster but I can certainly get stronger and find the balance that I lost.   And since I am getting “older,”  my body needs balance more than ever.  I also realized I missed it.   Yes, I’m a runner but I’m am more than legs especially at 5 foot 2.   In thinking about it to, saying I am a runner made it ok not to be anything else.    I used it as an excuse not to do other things even things that I enjoyed doing.

Often our lives become out of balance with out us even realizing it.   We take more responsibility at work, our families require more of our energy, volunteering for important causes takes time, pets, responsibilities and one and on it goes until we realize we don’t have time for “self care.”   We become out of balance without even paying attention or noticing.

Now some people hate the phrase “self care” or view it as hokey.   Some think it’s selfish. Some think that there is no time.   Some don’t understand that it doesn’t necessarily mean bubble baths, salon visits, or even running.   Self care is what is necessary in order to recharge your batteries what ever that may be for you.

Right now most of us have a lot of extra time.    There is no where to go.    There is no better time to give yourself some TLC because you deserve it.   Right now the world is raw, emotional, and tender.   Everyone is worried.   Everyone is stressed.   Everyone has their own baggage that most people have no clue about.    There is no better time to add balance and self care to your life because you can’t care for others if you don’t care for yourself.

So with that said,  I’m looking to control what I can in my life and bring balance to it where I can.    For now that means adding full body workouts.   Taking time to do more than just lace up my shoes.    And the good thing is that right now I have to the time to see where this will take me.   Hopefully it will take me to a more balanced approach to my running.

Do you have balance?

 

 

Cancelled

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Everything is cancelled.

Rightly so.

Everything is cancelled and while we understand why, we appreciate the gravity of the situation, we know the necessity of it; for some reason we think we shouldn’t feel sorrow over the loss.   Maybe it’s just me, but I call BS on that.   Not just for runners whose races have been cancelled, but anyone who has anything which is everything cancelled.

We are allowed to miss meeting friends for coffee.

We are allowed to miss meeting our Mom’s for lunch.

We are allowed to miss running with our friends.

We are allowed to miss all the things that are important to us.

If our child came to us and told us they were upset that their soccer season was cancelled (which it is), we would never tell them that their soccer wasn’t important and they were being selfish.   At least most of us would not say that.   We would tell them that their feelings are understandable.   That it is ok to be disappointed.   That we understand that their soccer (dance, play, graduation, prom or what not) is important to them and that we wish things could be different.  That it sucks and we are sorry.

It is no different for us.

We are allowed to be disappointed that races we thought we would train and be ready for our cancelled.   For the runners who were ready to rock a race and then week before the rug was pulled out from them.   You are allowed to be upset.   You are allowed to feel sadness.   You are allowed to feel.

And just because you feel that way does not mean for one iota of a second that you don’t understand that there are people suffering, that people are loosing loved ones, that first responders are putting themselves in harms way for the good of the many.    You can hold both feeling and truths in the same heart.

You are allowed to feel.

 

 

Solo Runner

I was a solitary runner before it was cool to be a solitary runner.   To me going for a run is the time to clear my head.  To relieve stress.   To think and process.   Just to be.     I had recently talked about planning to get back into running with friends, that is off the table for the foreseeable future.   So I will remain a solitary runner.  Luckily I like it.   For now that is enough and I’m just thankful that I can get out the door and run.

We all have so many concerns right now.   Some about family that we are not with.   Some about family that we are with. Some about how we are going to provide the staples that we need to stay at home with our family.   Everyone has something.    Most have even more than one something.   Maybe even a pile of somethings.   Right now more than anything we need to find a positive way to let that stress out.    For me now as in the past, it is running.

I half heartedly joke that when this is all over I am either going to be back in shape with the running, online videos, and stress or I’m going to be 100 pounds heavier.    The only thing helping with me not turning into a stress baker (another thing I love) is that I’m worried that I  might have hard time replacing the milk and eggs.   Hopefully once the store panic buying settles down, I can get back to baking.   Until then I will run.

I don’t run fast.  I don’t really run far.   Although I am training for my virtual half marathon, I will run.   And since it will be a virtual “race,”  my training doesn’t have to be perfect.   I just need to get the distance (which I will).   I will need to wait another day to worry about the distance and the time.   See a positive.

Being someone who has been a solo runner for years now, the transition isn’t that hard when it comes to my running.    Although like going on a diet where you immediately crave chocolate, I miss running with friends.   As the saying goes, you don’t know what you have till it’s gone is so true.   So many things pre Coronavirus we took for granted….. Meeting a friend for coffee, shopping in fully stocked shelves, the ability to go out to dinner, and all those other small things.   It will be a bit before we get back to those days, but we will.   We just have to be patient.   It’s only been 5 minutes.

Being socially distant to me is not the correct phrase we should be using.   Right now, we need to be physically distant but socially there are so many ways to connect.    I’ve even facetimed my mother recently.    There is texting.   There is the old fashioned calling.   There is messanger, Instagram, facebook, twitter, and some thing that I’m sure I don’t even know about since I’m “older.”    So while we have to be physically distant lets not socially disconnect.

Some people sadly have taken social distancing to an art form.   They feel that it is a way to protect themselves.   It may do that.   They may feel it necessary.  They may feel they have no other choice.   For them, maybe that is what they think they need to do, but all it really does is keep them from taking a chance on people and everyone at arms length.   When you keep everyone at a distance soon enough that distance will be too far to cross and you are then left wondering why no one crossed it.

For my running friends, we have all kinds of apps we connect on and through.   So while we can’t run with our friends, we can encourage them when they get out there.   We can be their in all sorts of way.    So connect, but just don’t do it in person:)

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You Either Control it or it Controls You

They say you either control your fear or it controls you.   It’s not just an expression.   There is so much truth to that.  Fear can paralyze you.   Fear can keep you from reaching your dreams.   Fear can keep you from reaching your potential.   On the other hand….. Fear can keep you safe.    Fear can help you to make wise decisions.    Fear can help you to live to see another day.     Like everything in life, it is about balance.

Some people in order to control their fears ignore it.   They pretend real dangers don’t exist.   That somehow they are immune to the consequences.   They pretend that if they don’t give into fear that somehow that makes them stronger than what they are afraid of. But pretending the dangers aren’t real, don’t make them any less real.  It just makes you reckless and in some cases stupid.   That someone they are immune when you are not.

Some people go to the opposite extreme and let their fear paralyze them.   They refuse to try anything for fear of failure.   They shut themselves off from people, relationships, challenges and just follow the path of no fear.   They live a shell of their potential life and never each for the brass ring for fear of missing it.

A little fear is good .  A little fear makes you think about consequences.   Helps you make smart and safe choices.   Not too much that keeps your from trying, but enough to keep you trying smartly.     It won’t stop you from signing up for a marathon because you don’t know if you can do it, but will ensure that you plan to get to the finish line.    It won’t stop you from life, but will make you think about your life choices.

We are all at a crossroads now.    Everyone I know whose paying attention is thinking about what is going on in the world.   How much social distancing is enough?  Some wonder if they are even necessary.   Are the places we think we need to go really places that we need to go?  What are the consequences if we go.   Then making sure we wash our hands when we get there and when we get home.   If your lucky, you even have some hand sanitizer for the trip.

Then there are people right now thinking that they are stronger than this virus.   That they will continue to gather, go to races/group runs, and somehow that makes them braver and stronger than the rest of us.   It really doesn’t.   It makes them more reckless.

One of the definitions of fear is to have concern or anxiety.

One definition  of brave is to defy, challenge;dare

I don’t know about you, but I pretty much have anxiety and concern right now.   I also don’t wish to challenge the coronavirus to enter my home.    All you need to do is look to places like Italy to see that right now a little fear isn’t a bad thing.

The beauty of being a mostly solitary outdoor runner is that for now I can still be a solitary outdoor runner without actually being brave because my fear is making me smart.   Today I went for a 6 mile run on the trails.   I was not the only one on the trails, but I was by myself on them.   Passing, being passed, and going the opposite direction.   It was all good.   The sun was out.   The air was fresh.   Most of all it let the anxiety fall away.

I’ve been reading a book recently about mindful meditation.   It is about meditating where you are no matter what.   Becoming in tune to your surrounding.   So today while I was out, I put on no music and to be honest when your running the trails the sounds of them are music enough.   But today, I ran.   I noticed the swish, swish, swish sound that my jacket made as I ran.    I noticed the sound of my feet hitting the dirt.   I just took it all in and spent time in the moment.

It was enough.

 

The Day the World Stopped

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We live in a faced paced world.   We live in a world with calendars filled in not by the day, but by the hour.  Color coded for family members and grids filled up.   We schedule play dates for our kids.   For many parents, their second job of being chauffer starts right when school gets out – practices, school events, music lessons, tutoring, etc, etc.  We even schedule our exercise and running.   Down to the last detail, our days are filled.

Filled with exactly what is the question?   Filled with things that bring us joy?    Filled with busy work?   Filled with things to keep our kids busy and off screens?   Filled…. Filled…. Filled.

What happens when those grids of activities, filled up calendars of events and appointment and expectations of places we “have to be at” come crashing down.   What happens when it seems like the world literally and figuratively comes to a stop?

That is when we realize what is important?   Will we be ok with the silence?    Are we happy with the people that we are surrounded with?   Can you take a moment to reflect if everything you think you should be doing are things that you actually need to do?

Every year since before I was married, I’ve taken a 2 to 3 week camping trip with my husband and his family.   We go to a lake near Canada where we basically remove yourself from day to day drama.   There is no cell reception at the lake and only wi-fi when you drive to town.   I always come back from that vacation feeling rejuvenated and refressed.

We can use this time to do the same.   Obviously this is very different circumstances.   Obviously and with good reason people are worried not just for themselves but their loved ones as well.  This is not a peaceful time in that sense because there is much to think about besides health.   Some people need to worry about financial strains too.  Some are just trying to find toilet paper.   As I said before, it’s getting real now.

While like others, I am disappointed in races being cancelled; I understand the reasoning and justification.   If there is one thing I am going to use this social distancing for is to get some reading in that I’ve been too “busy” to do.   I’m also planning to find time to hit the trails since I will have the time.   The trails are always a great place to run with others but also run alone.   The weather is turning for the better and  I can’t wait to lace up and get out on the trails this week.   Now is a great time to reflect on what we should fill our calendars with when the world starts back up again which it will.

What are you doing with your “social isolation” time?

Take the First Step

Getting off the couch is hard.

Staying on the couch is hard.

 If getting off the couch was easy, everyone would do it.    But sometimes, sometimes, sometimes it’s just so damn hard to get off the couch.   The couch is comfy.   The couch is safe.   The couch doesn’t disappoint.    Most of all the couch is what we know.   The couch is easy, safe and comfy.   Although that is a lie too.   The couch isn’t easy, it’s just what we are used to..

Sometimes though it’s not just about physically getting off the couch, but getting mentally off the couch too.   These things usually go hand in hand.  Sometimes you can go through the motions, but your mind just isn’t with you.   Motivation isn’t always there as much as you want it to be.   As much as you will it to be.   The lie your mind tells yourself that it just doesn’t matter.   It doesn’t matter if you go for a run.   It doesn’t matter if you stay.   Nothing matters.   So why bother.

It matters.

What we do in life matters.

How we show up in life matters.

I will say that for someone who has struggled in the past, I do know that how easy it is to listen to the voice that tells you it doesn’t matter.    It comes to you as a friend.   It comes to you as a reason for your struggles.   It comes to you wrapped in lies, but sounding so truthful.   That voice is a lie.   That voice is wrong.    That voice needs to be told to shut the (blank) up.

Easier said than done sometimes.

Taking that first step off the couch in life is hard, but the first of anything in hard.   Once up, you can see the sun shining.  You can feel the wind on your face.   You can see the buds on the trees.    You can see that all those things that told you to stay put, hide your head,  and listen to the lies was just that…… lies.

Take the first step.

You won’t regret it.

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Enough

I’m going to steal Einstein’s quote a little, because so often in running we compare ourselves. We look to see how our running measures up to those around us. We look to see how our running measures up to what we expect of ourselves. And you know you more than likely look to see what the person next to you is running on the treadmill. But what if…..

Everybody who runs is a runner. We have all heard it, but often we don’t believe it or feel we need to justify. “I’m not that fast.” “I don’t do any races.” “I’ve only run a 5K.” On and on we go as if what we are doing isn’t enough. As if our effort doesn’t measure up to what the golden standard is, but what if there is not golden standard. If you judge your pace/distance to that of another person, you might just think that you are not trying hard enough. You would be wrong.

Here’s the thing….. My mother is 72 and knocking on 73 (sorry Mom). My mom is a runner and power walker. She has never run a race. She only added the running the last few years (yeah in her 70’s). She goes to the gym and she gets on the treadmill. She is building up her miles and we are going to do a 5K together this year. She is and has always been a bit of a force of nature.

Here’s the thing. She’s been going to they gym and using the treadmill. She’s pushing herself. She’s getting her heartrate up. She’s moving. Yesterday she went to the gym and did her run. She was looking at the woman running next to her that was running at over 6. My spry mother (Hi) was running between 3 to 3.5. My mother was working hard. My mother was pushing it. My mother was getting out of breath. My mother was running and giving it her all..

Here’s the other thing and this is one I’m working on too which is why I’m calling out my mom……… If at face value you compared my mother running at 3.5 to the woman next to her running in the 6’s, some might discount what she is doing. You might tell her what she is doing is not enough. You might actually be an ass because anyone who says that would be wrong. Just like we are wrong when we compare ourselves to those running faster and further that seems out of reach for us.

Like I tell my children, it doesn’t matter what you are doing as long as you are giving it your all. My mother is giving her all and that’s all we can aks of ourselves. Some days we don’t even need to do that. But if you are showing up, if you are trying your best, if you are being true to yourself; what more can you ask of yourself? Nothing except to accept where you are and be proud

If you are on the treadmill and your all is 3…. Go you!

If you are on the treadmill and your all is 6+…. Go you!

If you are running a 5K, it’s not just a 5K!

If you never run a race, but lace up your shoes, you are a runner.

If you are running any distance, you are a runner.

It’s all a mind game. Knowing what to push. Knowing when to push. Knowing your limitations and pushing through them. Knowing when it’s time to take a step down and not push. Knowing that you are enough doing just what you are doing.

It’s hard sometimes knowing that what you are doing is enough. We live in a society that expects us to be bigger and better than before. But the truth is that just getting up every day putting in the time and energy to do what ever you can is enough. Sometimes just showing up is enough.

If your are an apple, don’t try to be an orange and know that apples come in all varieties and they are all good. If we were all the same, the world would be boring. So look ahead at what you are doing. Don’t look behind at what you’ve already done. Don’t look next to you to see what someone else is doing because you will miss the joy in doing just what you can do.

It is enough.

Keeping Up With the Joneses

We all do it. Whether it be on Facebook, Instagram or real life, we look at other people’s lives. We look to see what they are up to, how they look living their lives, and then we compare. Some people let it bother them. Others have a live and let live attitude and don’t really think about it. When it comes to real life issues, I don’t really care who has the bigger house, takes fabulous vacations, or what not. I pretty much have live and let live attitude and am not a jealous person when it comes to these things. Besides no matter how fabulous someone’s life is, I don’t know what it took to get them there. I also don’t know what struggles they have that they are not posting all over social media. Everyone has a battle they are fighting and not everyone needs to share their battle with you.

In running though, many times a runner will do this too. We look at peoples posts of their training runs. We look at their finish times. We look and we look and we look. And I will say, in running it is harder not to let it get to you. Even none runners have asked me when I’ve done a marathon, “Did you run the whole time or did you walk?” So many runners, running magazines, blogs, posts are about getting faster, PR’ing, and running further. It can be very motivating…… Right up until it’s not.

What if you will never PR again?

What if your not sure the distance your body can push?

What if you just want to run to run….. Race to race?

What if it’s not all about running faster or further?

What if you just want to run to run?

Is there a place for someone who just likes to head out the door?

YES!

The problem is that for many it doesn’t feel like there is a place. Most online groups only the fastest and further gets the accolades. What if it’s hard to share your accomplishment because you feel like in comparison to others, it isn’t worth sharing? And believe me it is hard and it’s not because it wouldn’t be well received (because at least for the groups I’m in it would be). It’s hard because sometimes you feel like your accomplishement isn’t worth celebrating.

What if your wrong?

Keeping up with the Joneses is too hard not just physically but mentally too. One of the reasons that I stopped running with people besides knowing everyone has their own training plan is………….

Wait for it…….

What if I was embarrassed with where I was physically. Embarassed of the extra weight. Embarassed because I was out of breath. Embarassed because my pace was “slow” even if I felt like I was pushing it. Embarassed because I thought I should be more. So I pulled back even if I wasn’t sure why I was pulling back. I stopped running with people and while some of it is due to scheduling, I’ve scheduled runs before. It’s hard to admit that you are not where you want to be. It’s hard to realize that you might not ever get where you want to be. What is harder though is feeling like you are giving up something that you realize that you miss…..

Now don’t get me wrong, I do like to run alone. When I was doing specific training, I needed to run alone. Also my schedule is wonky and sometimes I run when I can on the fly. For me, it clears my head. I like to be a solo runner, but I also LOVE to run with friends. As I said recently, running alone clears the mind; but running with friends is good for the sole.

Yesterday, I went out for a run with a friend. We ran. We walked. We chatted. I was supposed to only run 2. I looked down and realized that I was almost at 3. Whoops. The power of running with friends.

So this year as I am finding the joy in just running again, I also plan to find the joy in running with friends again. If I breath hard, if I need to walk, if it’s harder than it should be; it will be that much easier when chatting the miles away. Besides if I’m running with a friend, they won’t mind:) I’ve got some really good friends that way.

We all know the expression, if you run you are a runner. I think somewhere along the way I forgot that.