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The Shadow of Fear

 

 

noun
noun: fear; plural noun: fears
  1. 1.
    an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.

     

verb
verb: fear; 3rd person present: fears; past tense: feared; past participle: feared; gerund or present participle: fearing
  1. 1.
    be afraid of (someone or something) as likely to be dangerous, painful, or threatening.

 

As humans fear is a normal emotion.   It’s a survival instinct.   Everyone has some fear and anyone who says they have no fears is either lying to themselves or you.    It is a necessary emotion……

To a point.

If allowed our fears can become bigger than the reality.   We create a boulder to carry when we should only be carrying  a pebble.     It happens before we even know it!   Once we realize the truth of our fears, we can chip away at that boulder and return it to it’s pebble size.   But in order to do that, we must admit our fear and face them.

I’ve realized that I’ve been living on the edge of fear lately and it’s been holding me back.    I’ve never been one to worry about the “What if’s in life.”   I’ve just kind of rolled with it.   Since my diagnosis, I’ve been fearful.   Fearful of a calcium crash.   Fearful that my calcium will spike.   Fearful of the side effects of the medications I must now take.    Fearful that I’m going to end up with kidney stones which is a common side effect.    Fearful that I’m in over my head since I still can’t seem to find a doctor that “gets it.”

Then there is the part of me that thinks I could just stop taking everything and that I’m perfectly fine.   I mean I look fine.   I actually feel good right now which also brings up fear as my levels are too good.   Yes, I know that sounds strange but it’s true.   There is a fine line.    Anyway even though my PTH levels indicate that as much as I’d like it to not to be true, my body just isn’t working right.   So in this case the fear of not taking my meds is a good thing.

stubborn

But fear can also be a bad thing.

Fear can be used to hold us back.

I can’t let the not knowing how my body and how my calcium levels will react hold me back.    Any runner/athlete on any given day can be sidelined by a whole host of things out of their control.   You can do everything right and still have a bad day.    You can’t live in the shadow of fear.

So today I am starting to chip away at that boulder.    As FDR said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”   It is with this thought that I went out on my 3 mile run last night.     I didn’t do anything stupid and push myself into paces that I couldn’t hold.    What I did though is say that I am going to run 3 miles and run the whole thing.  I reminded myself that I ran a half marathon only a few months ago and my levels were much lower than they are now.     This does not mean that I’m giving up on the walk/run method.    This just means that I’ve realized that out of fear I may not have been pushing myself to do things that I should push myself to do.

It’s time I started remembering that no one knows what their day will bring and start facing it accordingly.

For now, I choose to embrace a new meaning of fear and once again try to live my life accordingly.   It won’t be easy and I’ve still got baggage to deal with, but I’m going to try.

 

Fear2

 

Again

One day at a time.

One run at a time.

 

It Is What It Is

Life is ever changing.   Life is all about new beginnings.    Often in life many of us focus too much on what is ending or changing and not what is beginning.   Yes, I do this way too often too.    It is easy to get stuck in the rut of what is missing, what is different, what will never be the same again.    I wonder if somehow that is a coping mechanism for many of us.  The way to hold onto what we are not ready to let go of or accept.   A way of tying us to the past.   In the end though all it does is keep us stagnant and does not free us up to confront the changes in life.

Life is ever changing.

Each day we must wake up and realize that it is a new beginning.   Yes, we may have the same routines but each day brings new hope.   New possibilities.   Maybe not a clean slate, but definitely a fresh start with unimaginable possibilities.

It is up to us to face this fresh start with a positive attitude which I wholeheartedly admit is not always easy.    While many of us try to decide if the glass half full or half empty,  we must remember how blessed we are to have a glass in the first place.   It may not be the size glass that we want, but we are blessed either way and there are countless others who wish they even had a glass.

We may not like change, but change is a fact of life.   Now, I am not going to say that every change in our life is good.   Some changes down right suck.    Some changes take getting used to and still suck.   Some changes we would not wish on our biggest enemy (although as an adult who really has enemies?).     All that being said, change is inevitable and we must learn to adapt, roll with it, and accept.

I’ve learned in life that you can really get through anything in life one you accept that this is the hand that life dealt you.    Acceptance does not mean that you are necessarily happy with the changes, but that you know those are the breaks.   One of my favorite quotes sums it all up.

it is what it isThis is where I am with a few things right now.

I will say that this is definitely where I am right now with the NJ Half which is less than two weeks away now.

I’m going into this SEVERELY under trained.    I’m going into this honestly wondering how I will finish it since I can’t remember the last time that I ran 10 miles let alone 13.  I’m going into this knowing that this is where I am at right now and no amount of running in the next two weeks will make it any easier.

It is what it is.

and

What ever shall be, shall be.

YUP

I have a plan for race day though.   I’m going to call my bluff.   I’m going to show up at the starting line with no plan.   With no expectations.   With the only thought of running till I can’t run.   Then walking.   Then with any luck some more running.  I’m going into this with the expectation of this being my slowest and hardest half ever.  Probably harder than when I ran my sub 2 NY Half.  This will be one that will leave me out of breathe and sore for days.

All that being said, I am also going into this knowing how lucky I will be to be at the Start line, let alone the finish line.

This will be my wake up call and it’s about time I pick up the phone.

Do The Right Thing

In Life many times, we wonder if we have made the right decision.   Sometimes we have regrets, but sometimes we can wholeheartedly know we made the right decision.   This is one of those times.

We need to embrace these times too.

Over the last week, I’ve had a few good runs.  I’ve been happy with where I am at.   I’ve started thinking about what I want to do this year.   My first event that I’m scheduled to run is the New Jersey Half Marathon.    Right now my goal is just to run it, but I wanted to look to see how my training has been overall.    When I was hard core training I used a program called Training Peaks.    When I thought I might run the NJ Marathon and not the half, I had bought a marathon training program to use with the program.   Yesterday, I logged on for the first time in probably a month.   This is when I realized that I had done the right thing.

According to the marathon training program, my mileage for the week should have been 32 with a long run of 16.

HA!

My total miles for the week were 13 with a long run of 6.5.

I don’t want to be running 32 miles right now.   Funny thing too is when I changed the training program to a half, it is right about where I am right now.   Better yet, it is right about where I want to be.

I am happy that I took the time that both my body and mind needed.    I’m happy that my running seems to be getting stronger.   I’m happy that i seem to be getting back into the rhythm of not just my running but my life.

I’m happy now:)

And that I will take over running a marathon any day.

be-happy-quotes

FREEDOM!!!

A funny thing happened after I switched my registration from the NJ Marathon to the NJ Half.    As I said before, I felt a sense of relief and a weight off my shoulder.   More impotantly, I felt such a sense of freedom.   I don’t mean freedom to sit on my bottom, I mean a sense of freedom to run.

Seriously.

It was like I was inspired to start running.   You would think it would have the opposite effect, but nope.   It made me want to get out the door again.   Last night I even went to Honey Stinger Website and ordered a bunch of yummy protein bars, gels, and gummys.  (Have I mentioned that I became a Honey Stinger Ambassador this year?)    I can’t wait for them to arrive and incorporate them into my training.

A friend of mine summed it up perfectly…

I thinking signing up for the marathon helped get you moving after you recovery, but doing the half will probably help your running more.

Exactly!

I really think that if I hadn’t initially registered for the marathon, I would not have been pushing myself to start running again after my surgery.   That being said, going from the NY Marathon to surgery.  Then recovery from thyroid surgery and then jumping back into marathon training really did not give me a break.   It was too much.   Now without the marathon looming over me weighing me down, I don’t feel the pressure to train.   I can run just to run which is just what I did today.

7 miles today.

It felt great.   Now I don’t mean great in the sense that it was easy.   It was not.   I was huffing and puffing more than Lady Gaga at the Superbowl last night.   It was great because I was out with friends.   It was a beautiful day for running and there was no “I have to do this run.”   It was, “I want to do this run.”

I will also like to add that this is the furthest I have run since my surgery.  Yeah, me:)

So the lesson of the day…

Do what makes you happy:)

berry-break-131

Flexibility is the Key

Yesterday I had an 8 mile run scheduled.

As anyone with school aged kids will tell you, the start of the school season is ruff.   First there is the adjusting to the schedule to knowing who needs to be where when and everything in between.   On top of all of that craziness, I in my infinite wisdom a few years ago took on the responsibility of running my son’s Cub Scout Pack in addition to being his Den Leader.   So this brings on a whole host of responsibilities and just like the beginning of the school year, the beginning of the Scouting year is also a bear.

Now normally when the kids are all dropped off at school, I like to start my run by 9:00.   Yesterday though I figured that I would first take care of some Cub Scout stuff that needed to be done.   I figured that I would be done by 11:00 at the latest.   One thing leads to another and another.   Before I know it, it is almost noon.

CRAP!

Now I’m hungry.

So knowing I’ve got a run, I quick eat a bowl of cereal.   Finally get out for my run a little after 12:45.   Do some quick calculations and realize that there is just NO WAY that I am getting in a whole 8 miles due to needing to start the school pick-up cycle.

CRAP!

Then I start to map out in my mind how far and where to run.   I figure that I can probably squeeze in 5 miles or close to it.

CRAP!

Then in the midst of my panic, I wonder what the Hell my problem is and what is wrong with me.   Running is supposed to be my stress relief.   It felt good to get out the door after sitting all morning.   Why am I causing myself more anxiety instead of letting the run take it away?

antistress-quotes-1-0-bs-512x250

Then I had an epiphany that I’ve had before.    Running is NOT my job.  I RUN BECAUSE I LIKE TO RUN!    Yes, I know that I need to stick to my schedule and train if I want to be able to finish all these races that I’ve signed up for.    Yes, I know that training is important, but so is flexibility.    My “job” is to do the things that I do at home not only because I “have to” but because I want to.   No one assigned me these jobs.   I decided that I wanted kids.   I decided that I wanted 3 of them.   I decided that I wanted to do the things that I do for our house, my kids, and our family.   They are my priority.

That is not to say that I should not take time for myself and the things that I want to do.  My run at the beach is a prime example of that rationale.   That is not to say that everything that is important to me comes second.   It just means that I need to be more flexible and cut myself a break.   Especially when there is a lot going on.   The trick is to know what days, I really need flexibility and what days I need a kick in the pants.

We’re All A Little Crazy. Aren’t We?

I’ve got a race tomorrow.   A race that until very recently, I had forgotten that I signed up for.   A race that I signed up for in my sub 2 NYC Half haze.   I wanted to race it again and I didn’t want to chance the lottery, so I signed up for a few races.   Then I forgot about them.
These things will happen.   Now I am running a 10K in Queens.
I’m going to be bold
I’m going to be crazy
I’m going to push the envelope
And
With any luck that means I will run fast
Very fast for me
No I haven’t been doing speed workouts, but I’m still going to go for it
Last year I ran the Queens 10k in 1:00:47
My 10k PR is 57:08
So I thought why not go for 55
Crazy, I know!
I’m not ready
I’ve been running slow
I’m in a rut
But
Still..
Maybe this is what I need.    I really think it is.
Why Not?
I may crash and burn
But
Maybe
Just maybe
With a little luck and some unicorn magic
I won’t
I’ll never know unless I try.
Now I’ve put it out there and you know too.
If I crash and burn, at least I will have tried.
effort

We’ve Come a Long Way

fance8k4

Running is a beautiful sport.

Yup, I said sport.

One of the things that I love about running is that it really is a welcoming community.

Anyone can do it.

Really.

There is no age limit, no social status, no educational limit, no bull

It’s just running.

There is really only one thing that is required to be a runner and that is the passion to do it.

You can be

Fast

Slow

Middle of the Packer

Back of the Packer

Never going to race but still want to run

Only want to run short distances

Like to go for the long haul

Anything goes.

Anything.

And that my friends is what makes the running community so special.   I’m not a sports person, but I really can not think of any major sport where people are so open and willing to help their fellow athletes out.   Running is an individual sport that is true, but we are a pretty special community as a whole.

Case in point….

I’m sure you are aware that the Boston Marathon took place on Monday.   The first woman to cross the finish line this year, Atsede Balsa,  did something amazing.   Amazing besides now having won Boston twice.   This year finishing in 2:29:19.   What she did was something no one asked her to do, but something she wanted to do.   She recognized that she was standing at the podium because of brave women who broke the barrier for her.

In 1966 Bobbi Gibb ran and finished the Boston Marathon.   She ran unsanctuned because women were too delicate to run so far (or so they thought).   There was no bib for her let alone a trophy.    She did it again in 1967 and 1968.   She never got a chance to stand on the Boston podium because she wasn’t even supposed to be there.   She led the way proving that women were capable of so much more. Atsede Balsa heard her story as Bobbi Gibb was the Grand Marshal for the marathon this year (yeah, we’ve come a long way).   Atsede presented her with her winning trophy.    Bobbi Gibb only accepted it with the condition that she would fly to Ethopia, Atsede’s home, next year and present it back to her.   Can’t you just feel the love:)

And this my friends is one of the many reasons that I think running is an amazing sport.   Yes, this is a grand gesture.   That being said on any given days runners are helping other runners.   You see this all the time.   It is an amazing community and I am so glad to be a member of the tribe:)

Are you a member too?

Crazy About Running

funny-running-posts-1-20-03

It’s hard for some people to wrap their  heads around, but I just like running.   I’m not running away from anything.   I’m not running towards anything.   I JUST LIKE RUNNING!  Period.   End of Story.   There is no great  mystical problem that I am trying to solve.  Based on the numbers I’m not alone.

According to Running USA’s Annual Marathon Report, there were 541,000 people who completed a marathon in 2014 with 47% of them being Master Runners.   Did you know just by getting old that I get to call myself a Master Runner.   Perk of being over 40 because you might be a Master Runner now too (Yes, you!).

Anyway, I digress.    So there are A LOT of people running.   The Half Marathon saw more than 2 million people finish in 2014 too.

Wow!

That’s a lot of people running away from their problems.

HA!

Again, maybe this is something that only another runner can understand.   Although, I’m not sure why because everyone has something they like to do.   For some of us that just means lacing up our shoes and putting in some miles.   It is something we look forward to for a whole host of reasons.

Yes, I do enjoy the peace that running brings me.   I also enjoy running with friends.   I also enjoy the feeling that running brings.   I enjoy the fact that I eat what I want because of the miles I run.   I enjoy many things that running brings me.

Anyway, what I am trying to say is that some people really just enjoy running.

Seriously.

It’s actually something that is missed when not done on a regular basis.

Truth.

Again, maybe this is something that only another runner can understand.

I feel if Dr. Seuss was a runner, he would have said it something like this…

You have running shoe’s in your closet.    

You put your feet in your shoes.               

You can go out for any miles that you choose.

 

Be Nice

be-nice

I was talking to someone this week about my upcoming half this weekend.   Did I mention that I am running the NYC Half Marathon (13.1 miles) this weekend?    This is a goal race for me.   One that I’ve been training for.   One that I’ve thrown down the gauntlet and said I would like to run in sub 2 hours. I’ve been training, but I’m still doubtful.

I told my friend that I wasn’t sure how it would go.   I was nervous and hope that I didn’t choke under the pressure of it.  (Yes, there is pressure even for the middle of the packers).   Self imposed pressure maybe the worst.   Anyway, my friend shut me down.   She shut me down fast and with such a true and profound statement that I had couldn’t argue with.   What was so profound?

First she told me to trust in my training and pointed out that I have been running my ass off.   (I would love it if it would also run my pouch off, but that’s different).    She then went on to say the profound part that I will paraphrase….

“Don’t allow your inner voice to speak to yourself in a way that you would not allow other people to speak to you.    Imagine if one of your friends was saying the things that your inner voice was saying?   Would they remain your friend?   Would you put up with that?”

Let that sink in for a moment.

Read it again.

“Don’t allow your inner voice to speak to yourself in a way that you would not allow other people to speak to you.    Imagine if one of your friends was saying the things that your inner voice was saying?   Would they remain your friend?   Would you put up with that?”

Right!

Mind Blown!

If one of my friends said the things that I say to myself, I would be livid.   I would not listen their crap.   So why do I listen to it form my inner voice?   Why is my inner voice so negative sometimes?

Such as…

I should have pushed harder

I was so slow

I’ll never be able to do it.

Why didn’t I hit my paces

Can I do it?

As with many things in running, this also carries over to our non running lives (yes, we have those).  We have to stop being our own worst critic.   We have to get our of our own way and side step the negativity.   Most importantly, we should be our biggest cheerleader.   Now, I’m not saying we should be arrogant or obnoxious.   I mean that we should be treat ourselves the way our Best Friends treat us which is usually pretty awesome.   We have to have faith in ourselves.

This does not mean that we will always succeed in everything we do, but as I tell my preschool gymnastics kids’  “You will never know if you can do something unless you try.   And if you don’t do it this time, we can try again another time.   All you can do is try, try, try.”

I think that I need to take my own advise.

I know that I have put in the many miles to train for tomorrow

I know that I have done the speed workouts required

I will give it all I have and that will be enough

I know that I have run these paces before

I know that I can do it!!!

So all I can do is try, try, try…..

NYC Half

 

 

Whose in Control?

There are so many things in our lives out of our control.   We all feel it.   We all know it.    We all want more control, but the truth of the matter is much of it is not in our hands.   We just have to roll with the punches that come.   Some harder than others.    This is true not just in life but with our training.

There are things in our training that our out of control.   Injuries and time just to name a few.   We know that there are other things in our training just like our “normal lives”  that we can’t control.    That being said,  we must learn to focus on what we can control.   The other things will either fall into place or not and again we have to just roll with the punches that come.

lista-control

Now just because I realize that I don’t have total control doesn’t mean that I am not working on the things that I can control such as…

  • Taking time for myself to get the runs/workouts I need.   If the work is not put in than the outcome will never change.   This is in my control.
  • Putting the effort into each workout.    It does no good to take time for said workouts if I am not going to do what needs to be done.   On days that I need to push and challenge myself, I can’t back down.  Not every workout/run is meant to be hard, but on the days that are supposed to be hard let it be hard.   Don’t back down.   Everything is hard at first and if it was always easy where would the challenge be?
  • Pay attention to how you fuel and recover.    I’ve mentioned this before that I  am working on figuring out my fueling for my runs.   As I said, you can’t run on empty and each person has to learn what works for them.
  • And just as in life, give yourself a break.   Some days you just don’t have it in you and that is ok.   The trick is to get back up and keep moving forward.
  • Never back down or give up.   I will stumble.  I will fall (especially on a trail, but I will always get back up.   That is in my control.

 

It’s time that I admit it…….. I may have started off as the Accidentally Running Mama, but I am well past that now.   I am no longer a beginner.   I am not accidentally running now.    I think after 3 marathons, countless other events, and the fact that I am training for a 50K kind of proves that I am running with purpose.   And even though I have been precise and followed my plans, I think that I am getting to the point that I need to take more ownership of my training.    Don’t take that as I am saying I don’t need my coach because I do.   I don’t even have one tenth of the running knowledge that she has.   What I’m saying is that I need to take my training off of auto pilot and take ownership of it.

I need to control what I can because that will give me a sense of comfort.

Win or loose

(Ok, I’m always in the middle of the pack),

it is up to me.

Up to me

 

What is in your control?