Archives

Lesson Learned

Hindsight is 2020 they say.   Although after this year, we might need to come up with a new expression because no one wants to remember 2020 but I digress.   It is always so much easier to second guess something after the fact.   To pick it apart.   To dissect.   To play the could of, should of, would of game.   Never helpful.   

I will be honest as you know I always am…… As a runner, I always felt like walking was cheating. Now hear me out, I walked plenty.  Currently, I am not even running but walking every day.  What I really mean is that I wasn’t a good enough runner. There was not one of my 7 marathons that I did not walk during. Some I intentionally trained with walking in mind. That being said, somehow I felt like I wasn’t a real runner because runners don’t walk even if me as a runner did.   Somehow it meant that I didn’t measure up, that I was less of a runner, that I should be better because while I could go the distance, I couldn’t go just running.

My goal besides a 4:30 marathon was to run a marathon where I ran the whole thing. Somehow that would make me more of a “real runner.” I probably would have made both those goals one day but you know the whole Hypoparathyroidism thing.

While I know rationally I know that I was/am a runner. I just always felt like I should have and could have been better. That I wasn’t living up to my potential. Here is the thing…. I probably wasn’t. There is something about the distance of a marathon that gets in your head. I trained and ran NYC Half a sub 2 hour with no problem. It was hard. I pushed myself. I crossed the finish line smiling. Add 13 miles and it is a whole different beast not just physically but mentally.

Seriously.

Each marathon my head was the biggest obstacle.

First Marathon, Philly 2014, was a fluke. I had been training for Runner’s World Hat Trick (5k & 10K one day, next day Half) and rolled into Philly on a whim after one 20 miler. I didn’t know what I was doing. It was hard. I didn’t overthink. I finished 4:46:20. If I had pushed, I could have been under 4:45

Next up was Marine Corps Marathon. This one I trained with a good coach. I was ready right up until I wasn’t. GI issues that I didn’t push through led me to my marathon PR of 4:38:14. This should have been my day, but mentally I didn’t want it enough to make it happen.  I always thought I’d have another day.

Then a trail marathon which I rolled into but loved doing. Probably because there is no pressure or expectations that you are going to run the whole thing. Plus trail races are a whole different vibe and expectations are very different.

2016 was supposed to be my year. Although I had a bump in my training due to a sprained ankle, I still was mostly ready. I could definitely go the distance because I had finished a 50K that year right before marathon training, I ran my sub 2 half, and I ran my 5K PR of 26:26. I was ready to both go the distance and the pace. Right up until I wasn’t. I went out running strong the first half like there was no second half. Once I hit the wall, it was a struggle to keep going but I did. Finishing in 4:56.

After that my thyroid surgery and that called it a day for my 4:30 marathon time. My goals since has just been to go the distance, don’t crash my calcium and cross the finish line. Consistently, my races time wise have been going the opposite of every runners dream…..

2017 Chicago Marathon: 5:48:52

2018 NYC Marathon: 6:10:13

2019 NYC Marathon: 6:20:41

Some might see these as failures. I don’t. I see them as perseverance. The year after my surgery, when I was being treated by the wrong doctor I was actually able to run decent paces. Although it was much harder to keep up for longer distances. The issue was that I was taking too much calcium which while good for things like running, it was bad long term for things like kidneys. So, you know, trade off was not very smart.  Although at the time I did not know that even if my doctor should have which is why he is no longer my doctor.

So here we are now, where I am living in the low calcium range but saving kidneys. In hindsight now I feel like I wasted my before hypopara runs and maybe I did, but there is nothing to be done now. I can only look to the future and learn from the past to plot my course. I’ve been thinking a lot about goals. Goals for now and long term since, you know, there is a lot of time to think right now. This post is already too long to get into. Plus I am still forming, plotting, and kind of waiting for the world to be safe again.

Right now, I feel that the best way I can be a runner is not to run. I am giving my body the break it needs. As I said before I have been walking a minimum of a mile a day since June 21, but usually more.   Other day I walked 6.25 at a brisk pace around 16:10.  Shorter distances I pick it up honing in on my speed walking.  I am embracing walking. I am embracing learning to cut myself some slack and know I am enough just like I am.  I am embracing what ever I do… walk, run, and anything in between is enough.

I realize that when it comes to my running, like most of us, I am harder on myself than anyone else. I also realize that while I may have medical issues, my biggest issue has always been my head. (shocking). That voice telling me I can’t do it with a self fulfilling prophesy so that I don’t. So with this step back, I am learning to trust my body. I am learning what inner voice to listen to and what voice to tell to shut up.  I am learning to be ok with not pushing but also not going easy. Finding the middle ground I so often miss.

It is so easy to get discouraged when we do not reach goals we think we should reach. It is easy to make excuses for why things are the way they are. It is easy to pack it in and call it a day. What is not easy is sticking around when things don’t pan out the way you want. Learning to roll up the hill instead of down. To make lemonade out of lemons.  To just be and be happy with that.

Sometimes when you look at the reality of why things are the way they are, you have to just let it go. You realize that you can’t change how they turned out. You not only have to accept it, but move on from it even if it means letting go. Letting go of guilt.   Letting go of missed opportunities.   Letting go of all that is and has held you back.   In life sometimes you realize what you once thought an important is no longer important to you. Most of all learn from it. Sometimes we have to do it over and over and over again because we did not learn the lesson we needed to learn the first time

 

Be Kind…. Even to Yourself

Why are we so hard on ourselves? Why do we always put ourselves down? Why don’t we treat ourselves the way we treat our friends? Why aren’t we kinder to ourselves?

Inquiring minds want to know!

As with everyone, I am in a few group message chains with my friends. These forms of communication are even more important now when you can’t see your friends. In one of these groups recently, we were all saying all the bad but very tasty things we were eating that we shouldn’t be. Then how we needed to get on track. On and on….. You know this conversation because I’m sure you’ve had these converstions.

(Sidebar – Do ONLY women have these conversations? Seriously. Although my husband has said to me about getting back on track, I don’t think he discusses with his fishing or work buddies. Maybe I’m wrong. Am I? )

Anyway after this conversation where we were all beating ourselves up about gaining weight, not loosing weight, and our bad eathing habits I started to think…..

This particular group was a bunch of running Mamas. Some are still running and training for virtual marathons. Those of us not running are still active. We are not sitting on the couch eating bon bons all day even during a pandemic.

A wise friend said, “Life has been extra nuts lately right ? Eat the damn cake chocolate pie cookie ..drink the wine beer pizza whatever …and more importantly be kind to ourselves”

Why is it so hard to be kind to ourselves?

If a friend calls us and tells us they totally blew their diet, blew through their Weight Watcher points, or gained weight; we would come back to them with a kind word (at least I hope so!). We would not berate them. We would not tell them they were hopeless. We would not tell them they blew it. We would reply that it’s ok. That tomorrow is another day. That each day is hard enough without beating themselves up. We would be kind.

So lets be kind to ourselves. Let’s start by treating ourselves the way we treat our friends. Let’s start by giving ourselves a break. Let’s start by knowing that it’s ok to eat the donut, eat the cake, and even eat the brownie but just maybe not in the same night. And if for some reason, we do eat them all in the same night to pick ourselves up the next day and say it’s ok. We will do better.

Here is another thing. As a woman of a certain age, it is pretty damn hard to loose weight. Hormones are all over the place. Metabolism is non existent. Then add no thyroid and a non working parathyroid glands and it is perfect storm of impossible weight loss.

Seriously.

No joke.

No lie.

Now I am by no means saying it is impossible to loose the weight. I am just saying that I am not committed enough right now to engage in trying to the extreme necessary. And while I may eat the donuts, the cake, the treats for the most part I really am not a bad eater. I eat a fairly healthy diet filled with lots of fruits and vegetables For right now, I have embraced a pescatarian diet. I don’t really eat much processed foods. I’ve dieted. I’ve trained and run marathons. On paper, I look good. On the scale is another story.

My sister has suggested that I talk to my doctor about hormone replacement therapy. Truth be told, I take so many pills a day because of my Hypoparathyroidism that the thought of adding to the mix is just tiresome. So I am at a loss and I really do not feel the need to go to extremes as I have maintained where I am for the last 3 years since my surgery when I added these extra 20 pounds.

Now please don’t take this to mean that I have given up. I haven’t. I am not sure when yet, but I will once again start tracking my food. This actually is more for when I go to the doctors for my physical so that we can discuss it. Although my doctor is not one to use the scale as the be all indicator of health. If your doctor isn’t, I would say find one!

Now with all this being said, I am not saying that I wouldn’t be thrilled to wake up 20 pounds lighter tomorrow. I’m just saying for right now….. With all that is going on in the world…… It is just not my priority. I am not saying it won’t one day in the near future, but for today I am content to walk my mile a day and complete my 30 day yoga challenge.

You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know

There is an expression:

You don’t know, what you don’t know.

This expression can be most peoples motto. Sadly though it is usually people who know the least who think they know the most. Although truth be told now days everyone thinks they are an expert. Everyone thinks that if they Google something that they know more or as much as those who study something their entire lives. We are all superstars with infinite wisdom. I mean if you have Google or watch a YouTube video that has to count for something?

Nope. Not really. It is a good way to start your education journey on something, but it by no means makes you as qualified as “an expert.” You know those people who have gone to school. Who have trained. Who have taken tests for degrees, certificates and all those fun things that used to make someone an expert. But that doesn’t compare to the internet expert.

What we fail to realize is the the experts are the best of the best (usually not always). They are the superstars who didn’t start off that way but earned their capes with hard work and experience. To do that, they knew that they had to listen to people with more wisdom than them. They could not rush their status as the reigning expert. They had to earn it.

Many times due to our ego, lack of patience and pure stubbornness; we do not want to start at the beginning. We want to skip over a few steps thinking somehow we don’t need to start at square one. Everyone else should but not us. We are somehow the exception to the rule. We can jump over the foundations. We already know what we need. We would be wrong.

We don’t know what we don’t know until we take off the rose covered goggles and look at ourselves as we are and not how we like to think we are. Once we do that, we are open to actually learning something. We are open to being better than we were. If we do that, we can maybe one day actually become the expert that we initially thought we were.

On my walks, I have been listening to some great podcasts on my walks lately. One of them is the series Silence is Not an Option by Don Lemon. While listening, I thought to myself that there are several people that I know who would benefit from it. They never would listen because they don’t know what they don’t know. When I thought that, I realized that I was the same when it came to yoga as there is much I don’t know.

As I mentioned the other day, I have realized that I was trying to skp steps in pursuit of certain yoga poses. I was doing this purely due to my ego. Purely due to focusing on a goal and not the practice. Thinking that since 4 years ago I did yoga on a regular basis that I could now skip steps. So with the knowledge that I also did not know what I did not know nor can my body do what I think it should, I am stepping back in my yoga practice.

Let me explain….

As I said, I am goal orientated. I need a new challenge. I need a new goal but I need a smarter beginning step goal. I have started the 30 Day Yoga challenge with the Yoga With Adriene on YouTube. I finished day 7 today. Each day is a going back to basics. It is building the foundation of a good yoga practice. It is learning. It is building flexibility and strength. It is being patience and know results will come but maybe not as quickly as I would like. It is not easy, but it is also at a level that I should be working as a beginning.

In my opinion that the biggest failures in life are those individuals who refuse to learn. Those who remain rooted in one place refusing to open up to something new. Some let their ego keep them from reaching their potential not being willing to open themselves up to admit that they don’t know everything. As said previously, only a fool thinks they have nothing to learn.

I am still reaching for my goals. I am just adjusting them. My first goal is to complete the 30 days. With that I will continue to open myself up to practice other poses. Fear of failure won’t stop me and I will continue to try. Sometimes fear of failure keeps people from reaching for the stars and leaves them only to be looking at them. I will reach

Great Expectations

We all have expectations in life. Great expectations. We all have a vision of how we want our life to be. Expectations are good, but what happens when life doesn’t live up the vision of what we think it should be? This leads to disappoint and sand ness.

All those years ago, actually only 7, when I started on my fitness journey there was no expectations.    I didn’t know what my body could do.   I didn’t know what a good time for an event was.    Hell, I really didn’t know anything….. Except that I wanted to do something.     Because I was starting from zero, I put no expectations on myself.   I jokingly said that my only goal with my first ever race, Iron Girl Sprint Tri, was not to die.   To me that was enough of a goal and anything after that was a win.

There was no… I should hit this many miles. I should hit this pace. I should do this or that for training. I knew nothing, so I expected nothing.

When I ran my first ever half which I signed up for because I was running just to run with my MRTT (Mom’s Run This Town) Mama’s. I was running 8 miles and more just to run them. Then on one run one of the Mama’s, Janna, said, ” You should sign up for the Superhero Half. Your ready for it.”

So I did. I had no expectations. I just showed up for the car ride to the event. While in the car, the seasoned runners spoke of pacing, race strategy, fueling and such. When they asked me mine, I had none. My goal was to finish.

Thanks to Janna who took me under her wing, I finished in 2:09. She knew about pacing and she also knew that I could finish in under 2:10 and she got me there. I just ran when she made me run and had a fun time doing it.I further admit that I didn’t even know that 2:09 would be a good time for a half. To me it was just about running to run and having a good time.

Then something happened, I started putting expectations on my running.   I also became ” a serious” runner.    I learned of pacing, training strategy, and proper fueling and for a while I even had a kick ass coach.   And while I still enjoyed running, it lacked the simplicity of when I first started.  I put expectations on myself and I was able to live up to my expectations right up until I couldn’t which was right after my thyroid surgery left me with Hypoparthyroidism.   And even after I came to terms with that, I still put expectations on myself.   Expectations that I could no longer meet.

You know what? I’m done with expecations! I want to find the joy that I had when I first started running.    I want to stop overthinking, overanalyzing, and just find the joy in allowing my body to do what it can do.   No matter the pace.   No matter the distance. 

The thing that screws us up so much in life is not accepting what we have and being upset it’s not what we think it should be. Sometimes getting out of our own way is the best thing that you can do. Sometimes you have to make a conscience decision to let things go, to reassese, and just allow what is to be enough.

With this thought process, I had picked the Hal Higdon Novice 1 training plan for the NJ Half at Rutgers.   No, I admit, I am not a novice runner; but I want to be.   I want to run with no expectations.   I have been so focused on doing what I thought I should do that I was missing out on what I could do. I am going back to seeing what my body can do.   To discovering where I am today.   And while I may have had this thought in the last 3 years I really have not embraced it in my running.    I am now. 

You know what?….. I’ve been enjoying my 2 training runs so far.   I have just been running to run.   No expectations.   No watching the pace.   Just letting my body decide.   It’s been good.   The runs have felt good.    I have felt good and the bonus is that both runs had negative splits which will not be the expectation nor will it be.  

So I will be happy to run where I am today. Not where I was 3 years ago. Not where I think I should be. Not where other people are. Not about pace. Not about anything, but enjoying where I am at this point and that will be enough.

Looking on the Bright Side

Sorry I’ve been off the grid. January has been a month to say the least. The first full week of January my husband and I both came down with what we assume was the flu. Down and out for the count. This is where I was thankful that my kids are old enough and self sufficient enough (when need be) to take care of themselves. Then was getting back into the swing of my routine and catching back up.

In the spirit of catching up, I did manage to sign up for a Half Marathon in April on my actual birthday. I will be doing the NJ Half at Rutgers. It was either this one or the NYRR Shape, but since did that one years ago I thought maybe something different this time.

The deciding factor was time as it will be easier to get in and out of this one. Plus it’s not 2 loops of the hills in Central Park. I even got a friend to do it with me. Win. Win.

Then the month kept rolling along. Yesterday, I had the fun of getting a colonscopy. Have to say the prep worried me a little bit because I wasn’t sure how my calcium would be, but I took extra in prepping for the prep. I did get a little tingles during the second dose of my prep, but I added some calcium and was good to go. What surprised me is my calcium getting low last night well after the procedure. Tingles around lips. Tell tail Chvostek sign. Hypoparathyroidism is a strange beast. I took some extra calcium and thankfully bounced back by morning.

I will say all of these things did make for a great month as far as helping me with my weight loss goal. Not what I would recommend to jump start your diet, but 8 pounds is 8 pounds and I’m even more motivated because I’m 2 pounds away from a number I haven’t seen in a while. So I guess now I have to stick with the healthy eating thing!

And since I was feeling better today, I went out for my first half marathon training run. I decided to go back to the very beginning using the Hal Higdon Novice 1 training program. This program is designed for those who have never done a Half before, but since I’m going back to basics I thought this was a great way to start. Besides I haven’t done much since NYCM and the Half is in 12 weeks, so I think this is just where I need to be.

I’ve decided I’m going back to the very beginning. Like I did all those years ago when I first hit the pavement, I am claiming this once again as the year of me. This means that I will be focusing on taking time for myself, getting myself in shape, and just enjoying seeing what I can do. I surprised myself all those years ago and I think I just might do it again. Who knows! I surprised myself on todays run which I allowed myself to walk when I needed. I ended up with very pretty negative splits and was happy with myself. What more can a runner ask for?

How are you doing on your goals?

New Year. New Me. I don’t think so.

I hate the New Year New Me montra. This implies that there was something wrong with the “old” me and I don’t think that’s true. I personally like the New Year Better Me mantra. This is more an accure description of what I’m going for this year.

I’m going for heathier eating habits. I’m going for a weight that will not cause me foot issues when running. I’m going for balance. I thought that I would go for closing my apple watch rings every day, but then got sick and a new puppy which made me give that one up fairly quickly. Besides that was more pressure than I wanted.

In order to know if I’m achieving my goals on the last day of 2019 I did a weight and more importantly a measurement check. I care more about the inches around the belly than the number on the scale. Although I will say that in order for the inches to go down, so does the scale. I will also say that little by little I have allowed the number on the scale to get to a number that I once would have found unacceptable.

I will further say that I may have been a little shocked by the tape measurer. Unlike a scale, it is hard to say that the number is wrong because my hair is wet, my shirt weighs 10 pounds, it’s wrong time to get weighed and all the other little lies we tell ourselves.. I’m not going to get obsessive with these numbers either but use them as a way to check progress.

I also started the New Year off with a fun local 5K on the cold first day of the year. I went into it knowing that I have not run since completing the NYC Marathon. I further more have not done any type of real exercise since then either. So I was not expecting much. My goal was to just go have fun. Get some miles in and kick start the year reminding myself that I can do this.

I started in the back of the pack as I wanted to make sure that I didn’t do something stupid and try to run at a pace that I could not maintain and would have no business trying to do. As the race started, I ended up being next to a friend. We ran it together. We walked when need be. We chatted the few miles. We made sure to pass and finish in front of the lady who was rude to us near the finish line. Most importantly we had fun. We also finished in a very respectable time of 37 minutes.

One thing that jumped out at me front and center yesterday is how much I miss the running community. I have both intentionally and unintentionally backed away from it and kept to myself with my running. I don’t want to feel like I’m holding people back. Don’t want to slow anyone down. Don’t want to “embarrass myself” with how slow, out of shape, and just everything else. Then their is the logistical side where I am just so bad at planning and just kind of do what I can when I can.

It was good to be back. It was good to see so many smiling faces. Faces that I’ve missed. The only judgment their that day was my own self inflicted judgement on myself. It was just a good day. I need more days like that. I need more days where I get out of my own head. I need more days with people. I’ve always been a person to be on the outside looking in if I don’t force myself to be in the mix. There are many reasons for it that will have to wait for the non existent book to delve into. Anyway, I realize that my slow exile from my running community has also been a bit of slowly turning into myself leaving me alone. I need to be better.

So here is to starting January off right and seeing where it takes me. I’m doing some plotting. I’m doing some planning. Most of all I’m still trying.

Challenge Accepted

During the month of December, I accepted a fun Facebook Challenge from a friend to post 10 days of running photos without explanation that had an impact on me or were important. Here are some of what I shared –

I loved this challenged and it reminded me that I used to be somewhat of a bad ass. It reminded me that I can, have, and want to again to hard things. It motivated and reminded me that before I started out, I couldn’t do any of the things that I did. I trained. I pushed myself. I didn’t give up. Most of all…. I tried.

I want to try again.

I will try again.

Most of all, I need to continue to remind myself that the best things in life aren’t easy. So I have been spending December baking cookies, eating cookies; but also plotting. Plotting how to stop feeling like a marshmallow and get back to feeling like I can do anything. Don’t get me wrong, my measurement of being a bad ass might be different than it used to be. That doesn’t make the feats any easier.

I’m putting out some BIG, BIG goals for me for 2020.

1. Loose 25 pounds

2. Run at least 1 event a month

3. Close my activity rings on my watch every day. This will ensure 30 minutes of exercise a day.

4. In the back of my mind, I’m pretty sure I want to run (if they will have me again) the NYCM again for Sandy Hook

These are lofty goals. This are hard goals. These goals will push me. Most of all these are not impossible goals even if as I write them they seem impossible.

I’m laying the ground work and plotting as I so often do. Another hypopara friend asked me to join her group to run the year 2020 challenge with some others. We will create a team and as a team, we will run 2020 miles. A challenge on your own sometimes falls to the wayside, but knowing that you are part of a team will keep you motivated. I’ve already registered for my first 5k on January 1rst.

I’ve already talked to a dietician to help me find a healthy way to loose the weight. When researching good diets for those with Hypopara, I realized that the one I used prior to becoming Hypopara might not be the best alternative now with the once again high urine calcium levels. Must protect the kidneys at all costs because being super vigilant has served me well. So having the help of a dietician will help not just with weight loss but overall health. She has also mentioned that there will be a January weight loss challenge that I can join. As mentioned above, it is easier to stay on track with others.

So as I continue to plot out my plans, I hope to share both the victories and pitfalls (hopefully not too many) with you.

What are you 2020 goals?

One Month

A month ago I ran the NYC Marathon. Ok, a month ago I power walked the NYC Marathon. Since then….. Not so much. And when I say not so much, I really mean nothing. No cross training. No biking. No nothing.

At first, I said that it was because I needed to rehab my feet which is truthful. They need to get it together. Although a month of rest probably was just what they needed to deal with the Plantar Fasciitis. Then I believe I’m also dealing with Morton’s Neuroma probably aggravated from the power walking which has a completely different landing than running. So rest has been good.

Right up until it becomes more than rest.

So much in life is out of our control. Sometimes it feels like nothing is in our control and no matter how hard we try, we are running in the wind. After a while it is easy to give up trying because what’s the point. It’s easy to use a crutch even a valid crutch to blame everything on until you just stop trying.

I’ve been thinking about the Decade Challenge. I’m sure you’ve seen it on Facebook. The compare where were you then compared to now. I find it somewhat depressing. I jumped in 2013 training for my first ever event… A Sprint Triathlon. You know because why start small and it would be a great way to get back to being healthier. That was just the beginning as you know.

I did get healthier. Probably the fittest that I had ever been. Up until being healthy wasn’t in my control. With the surgery leaving me with Hypothyroidism (expected) and Hypoparathyroidism (very unexpected), I gained 20 pounds. I lost a lot of my steam. I deal with aches, pains, memory issues, and just generally feeling sucky on a daily basis. I persevered and pushed on moving while at a slower pace still moving.

Then there was the beautiful Natapara (my Hypopara peeps understand) which brought me back to normalcy. I was living the life again until the rug was pulled out. Yeah, I know you’ve heard this before. Without the Natpara I had decisions to make. Is it smart to push my body to the limits? If I want to continue to run, I have to get the feet issues under control which also requires addressing the weight issue. For me, with the issues I’ve had with my feet the extra weight is a problem. For me, I’m also not happy with where I am. No, I will never be a size 6 but I need to get back to where I my jeans fit.

Part of having so much in your life out of your control is that it is easier to not face the truth. The truth that while there is so much out of control that there is much in your control. Not to say that the things in your control are easy to face, deal with, or tackle but they are still there. Sometimes the hardest thing is deciding what to do and after that things fall into place. This is true for so many things in our lives. The holding pattern is what keeps us from moving forward. The fear of what if I can’t do it? What if it’s the wrong decision? What if….?????? What if……..??????? What if…..???????? It’s the what if’s in life that hold you down and the fear of failure that keep you from trying.

It is my fear of failure that has kept me from getting back on the horse with my weight. Hubby and I tried in January. He lost 50 pounds. I lost 4 and I’m not sure but I think I may have found them. While he does have it easier by virtue of just being a man. No I’m not being sexist…… My doctor has even used the phrase, “A woman your age with hormone blah, blah, blah….” So there’s that. Than the lack of thyroid. Then the aches, pains, and exhaustion that comes with Hypopara. Yup. Out of my control. What is in my control is what I put in my mouth. How I decide to use my energy and give myself on the days where there is none.

This probably is a good time to start too because it will keep me in check during the holiday season. And while I do have a limited amount of energy during the day, I can find time to do something for myself with it while doing what needs to be done. Simple things that I actually enjoy. Like this morning dusting off my juicer and having a yummy clean eating juice for breakfast instead of processed food. My body needs less processed foods and when I’m eating right, I feel better. I think that’s true for most of us.

I don’t expect this to be easy. I hope that I don’t give up. Even if it takes longer than I want….. Even if it seems impossible…… I know that what I put into my body is equally as important if not more than what the scale says. Most of all I hope to once again realize that I can do hard stuff even if it seems much harder now than it used to be.

So with all of that I’m already thinking of goals for 2020 and ways to actually reach them. Because as the saying goes, hindsight is 2020 (yeah mom joke there… my apologies, but that’s just me).

Fire

I’m preparing to start training for NYC Marathon. I’m dotting my i’s and crossing my t’s. Picking my training plan. Kind of doing some pre training. Thinking about goals. All the things that I’m supposed to be doing. With all that being said, I am noticing one thing missing this go around.

Fire.

Don’t get me wrong….. I’m excited to be getting ready to train and run NYC Marathon for Sandy Hook Promise. I’ve got the fire to get to both start and finish line. Let me explain….

When I first started this journey years ago, I had fire and determination. I pushed myself to the limit. I trained. I ran far. I ran fast. I pushed myself to and past limits that I didn’t know I could push through. I got up early. I ran late at night. I had serious goals. Some I reached. Some I didn’t. But I always pushed through.

Now….

I like to sleep in….. I’m comfy on the couch at night. I’m missing that fire to push the limits. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been running (not as much as I thought for pretraining). I’ve been running some local 5K and being pretty consistent in my times. Faster than I thought I’d be. I’ve run 3 5K’s this year. All of them, I said I was just going to run and see what happened. All of them were hard and I pushed myself. All of them I finished around 31 minutes.

Now that being said, I think the reason my fire is a little damp right now is I’m not sure what is going to happen as I start adding the miles. Am I going to fall apart. Is my body which thanks to my Natpara has been feeling good going to give me issues. I’m worried. I like the way I’ve been feeling. You know… feeling like me. I think that I may be afraid to rock the boat. I keep saying I don’t want to go back to how I felt both mentally and physically before I started my Natpara. I love running. I love racing. I love being able to cross any finish line but a marathon finish line is special especially when running for a cause you believe in. That being said as much as I love that…… I love waking up not feeling like grandma. I love not needing a nap in the afternoon. I love not having muscle cramps, spasms and all of those other funky sypmptoms of being hypopara.

So I guess what I will say is…… I have the fire, but I’m afraid to let it burn too brightly right now. I’m going to tend to it. I’m going to care for it, but I’m not going to let it burn out because while I love running; I love being able to live my life like I did before my surgery.

If there is one thing about being hypopara is that it does make you more cautious. Where I used to throw caution to the wind and let the chips fall where they may because I knew I could easily pick up the pieces; I don’t do that now. When they fall, they fall too hard and it takes too long to pick them up.

So I will go into my training following a very low key plan. I will put in the miles. I will do what I need to do and as the 3 miles turns 5 and so forth and so forth; I will reassess. I will adjust. What I will not do is stop….

So I guess I do have more fire than I thought:)

5 Years in and Not Done Yet

When I did my first marathon, I said I was one and done. Then number 2 was a fluke as everyone said how hard it was to get into Marine Corps. I was done. Then I had to run NY because everyone says you’ve got to do it. Then Chicago was another “oops I got in again” moment. Then the call of running for Sandy Hook Promise led me to NY again and now again… This is it… I’m pretty sure. Yeah, really.

I’ve been tooling along right now. Getting runs in, but have not settled on my marathon training plan. There is a reason for that too……

Picking a plan means that I have to set a goal of some type. Then there is the whole picking a plan that is realistic for where I am now in my training, where I will be as I train, and the toll it might take on my body. I also need to decide what I am willing to give up to reach any goals I set.

Currently I am settled on following a Hal Higdon plan. I’m torn between a few of his plans.

“Novice 1 Marathon Training Program. If you are training for your first marathon, this is the training program for you! Even if you are an experienced marathoner, you may choose this as a gentle and low-mileage approach to your favorite sport”

“Novice 2 is designed to fit comfortably between the Novice 1 and Intermediate 1 marathon plans. It is designed for runners who may already have run and finished their first marathon and want to add just a bit more mileage while training for their second or third marathons, hoping to improve their times”

“Intermediate 1 Marathon Training Program is one step up from Novice 2. It is designed for runners who may have used the novice programs to run their first marathons and who are now looking to increase their training levels and hoping to improve their Personal Records.”

In looking at a side by side comparison, the Novice 2 & Intermediate 1 are very similar in mileage. Obviously though there will be differences in pace and training runs. Novice 1 is where I am if training started today, but I have a month so I could get myself ready to start one of the others if I push myself. I’m not looking to PR as I just don’t see that in my future. Although maybe I could PR as Hypopara athlete. Last year I crossed NY in 6:10. Chicago I crossed in 5:48. Maybe I could realistically cross in 5:00 or 5:30? Who knows. My speed has increased since being on Natpara but not sure how that will translate on longer runs with endurance.

It really depends if I want to just train to run a good race and finish or if I’m willing to push the boundaries. I’m not sure that is worth it anymore. When you go through periods that it’s all you can do to make it through the day and then start to feel better again, it’s hard to put it on the line for a finish line.

Every person training for a marathon has to decide how much they are willing to give up and be willing to do to get the finish line and reach their goals. You have to be willing to give up time with your family. You have to push your body to its limit. You have to learn to push through pain because there is always pain at some point. You have to be willing to train even when you don’t want to. You have to run further than you realistically want to. You have to take care of your body, so that it can take care of you and some people will view this as luxury when it is necessity.

Training also takes a toll on you mentally. There will be times when you feel like you can’t go any further. You will doubt yourself, your abilities and your body. Your mind will play tricks on you telling you that you can’t do it, that you should stop, that it’s not worth it and more. You will hear everything from your inner voice from “I’ve got this” to “WTH are you doing?”

That being said, seriously, crossing the finish line always makes it worthwhile.

I’ll be honest…. One of the reasons that I’m having a hard time picking a plan is because I’m not sure how much fire that I have in me anymore. There was a time where I trained hard for a 4:30 marathon. I was 8 minute shy and to a runner, you know it might as well been 8 hours. During that training cycle I got a sub 2 half though. I’m not sure I have that in me anymore. Getting to the finish line might just be enough. Some days not taking a nap is enough.

So as I ponder this, I think I might start out with Novice 1 and am taking intermediate off the table. I will start with 1 and see how I feel. If as the miles increase I feel that I can push it further, I can take it up to Novice 2. Mentally it is better to go up a training plan than have to downgrade.

So the next month, I will start pre-training. Getting 3 solid runs in building up to the fist long run of 6 miles. I’ve got this….