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Taking Back The Keys

Part of being a passenger of life is abdicating responsibility and therefore accountability. If it is all out of our control, then nothing that happens is our fault. Not really the way it works. I realize that even though I had thought I was taking control, I had handed over the keys and just going along for the ride.

There is truth that with Hypoparathyroidism much is out of my control, but I also recently realized that I was giving up all control to it. That I was believing that due to the Hypopara that I just had to go along for the ride. That there was nothing that I could do That I just had to go along with the status quo. I was wrong.

I have talked about gaining the 20 plus pounds since becoming Hypopara. I’ve tried to loose it with no luck. So I just gave up. And this is not even about the weight but about health. For me this is now about my creeping up cholesterol, feet that are suffering from the extra weight, and now my sleep apnea.

This past week I took a step about taking back control and jumpstarting my healthy nutrition. I completed a five day healthy smoothie challenge which is just what is sounds like. Every morning instead of skipping breakfast or eating something filled with carbs an no nutritional value, I started the morning creating delicous, healthy, and power packed smoothies. They were yummy. They were easy to make and they also left to better choices later in the day.

Pineapple Mango Spinach Smoothie
Sweet Potato Pie Smoothie
Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana
Pineapple Banana Smoothie
Peanut Butter Banana Blueberry Smoothie

I found these to be a great way to start the morning and set me up for a better day. Come lunch, I was making healthier choices and I was thinking about what I was putting into my body instead of just aimlessly grabbing something.

One good choice can lead to another…….

How do you start your morning?

Golden Jet

Let’s first start off with if you want a fun semi action comedy, Central Intelligence is funny. Maybe it’s because I like The Rock or maybe it’s because Kevin Hart is so funny, but it’s one of those movies if it’s on tv you watch it. Anywho…….

Right now I am waiting for my new running shoes to come and I am not running until they come. I haven’t really been paying attention to them and even though I kept saying that I needed to get a new pair, I never did. I also didn’t realize how far gone they were. I think not having actual races last year where I would pay better attention that I just let things slide.

Exhibit A

As I said last post, I am rethinking my training anyway. Plugging through my 80/20 training book, but I am also thinking of non running training. Back in the day (and I mean 2015), I loved not just Crossfit but Cross training. I did Crossfit. I biked. I swam. I did Yoga. I worked with a Personal Trainer. I did group classes. Then I ran and then I ran and ran and ran and stopped doing anything else. So as I ease back into my running and training, I want to keep the balance that I used to have. I want to keep the balance for a few reasons.

  1. “A woman my age” really needs to have balance.
  2. Not that I am going to be as fast or am training for speed, but my best runs overall were when I was more diversified in my training.
  3. My body could really do with the steady stretching of yoga
  4. I miss having good arms and I’ve recently been told by one of my 3 year old students that I have “squishy arms.”
  5. I actually like cross training when I think about it and admit it

So here we are, me trying to become a less rounded person by being more rounded. I have been using an app not on a regular basis, but plan to for cross training. They have a free version which is fabulous. Although I admit the free version constantly reminds you that they have a paid version. That being said they have a whole slew of workouts for everyone and every mood. From meditation to kickboxing to strength training to no equipment and the list goes on. Now in order for me to commit to it, today I decided to buy the year subscription. Honestly for thirty bucks it is still a steal. That used to be my monthly gym fee.

So today I was doing a weight training and a Tabata workout. I had everything here to make it an intense workout. As I was beginning the workout and the instructor was talking about what weights to use. I was ready to grab the bigger weights that we have. I was reliving my Golden Jet moments when I used to be able to bench press. I’m not sure if I have my training journals from back in the day, but I know my deadlift and chest press totals were impressive. So today, I was thinking go for the big weights.

Golden Jet

Golden Jet

Golden Jet

Luckily I remembered that he landed face first when trying to live his glory days. So I dialed it down a notch or two. Guess what? I had a kick ass workout at the intensity that I should be out. So here is to working on a new Golden Jet flip but one that I am actually in a position to land safely.

A Small Step is still a Step Foward

I used to always use the expression

I not only used it, but I meant it. Well what if now I’m not so bold. If I don’t want to go big? If I don’t want to go bold? Yes, I do like the thought of going home, but before doing that I do want to do some stuff.

I remember when I first started running races and my son who was much younger at the time asked me if I was going to win. After laughing, I told him that not only would I not win but I wouldn’t even be close to winning. He looked at me puzzled and asked then why would I even do it. As runners, we know that is a loaded question!

Anyway….. at the time my answer was about pushing myself to do hard things and such. I’m not really there and haven’t been for a long time. Don’t get me wrong, I have been pushing myself to do hard things but the definition of hard has changed:)

So here is where I am………. Some days, I think…. I am going to get up and run. I am going to do xyz……. Then I don’t……. Then I beat myself up because I didn’t do xyz. You know that viscous cycle. That hamster wheal of shame. I want to get off the hampster wheal. I know that I don’t have the drive that I used to have. I don’t have it for many reasons. That being said, I am not ready to stop challenging myself.

This month will tell me a lot about what I want to do. It will give me some answers to is everything I’ve been fealing hypopara related. I’m going for a sleep study as there is a distinct possibility that some of my exhaustion might be due to sleep apnea. Like literally this morning after a full night sleep I woke up exhausted as did hubby due to my snoring. So we will see where that takes us. I am also doing my 24 hour urine test. If things look good, I would like to up my calcium as I am also tired of living in the low to under calcium levels. Plus as I do more physically, I also need to take more calcium. Your body uses more calcium too, but since your body regulates it you don’t even notice.

What I am thinking for this month is just reset number 1 million and 10. I have been reading the 80/20 training method and before I start it, I probably should finish the book but it seems promising. I also would like to start using all those weights that have been getting dusty. I know I am past my crossfit days, but I really do enjoy training with weights. Plus as they say…. A woman your age should strength train even if my days of massive weights are gone. I would like to do something every day….. Be it a mile walk, biking, yoga, strength training. I think mentally it will be good fo me. Plus I do know that physically it would be good too.

I think though, I am going to give myself some flexibility and lots of slack. Just small goals. No go big or go home goals. Just do something good for yourself and go home:). Small steps eventually get you to the end of the road too!

If ever you have suffered from depression, you learn that sometimes small steps will help you….. Get out of bed. Take a shower. Household chores…. Going to work……. Just going through the motions. Those that have suffered know that these small steps help them to get to a place where they can take the bigger step of dealing with it. Sometimes life really is about fake it till you feel it. And while I am not currently dealing with depression, I am going to utilize this same strategy to get me to the next step.

Waiting is the Hardest Part

We all know the expression…….

Good things come to those that wait

But what if we are tired of waiting? What if we have no patience? What if it comes in the wrong package? The wrong size? The wrong XYZ?

As a baker and gardener, I know the importance of waiting.

Waiting for the dough to rise….

Waiting for the cake to cool before icing.

Waiting for the marshmallows to set.

Waiting….

Waiting…..

Waiting……..

As a gardener, I also know the importance of putting in the work and waiting. Planting in the fall. Months and months go by and nothing. Seeing the buds grow in the the Spring. Patience and waiting for finally a full bloom.

So with all that being said, it’s not like I don’t have patience. That I don’t know that really good things do come to those that wait even if it might not be as expected.

I will wait for baked goods.

I will wait for flowers.

I will even wait for family, friends, kids and on and on the list goes….

So why am I so impatient with myself?

Why do I expect results immediately? Why do after just a brief amount of time do I stop waiting, maybe give up, change plans, and move on to something else? The self fulfilling prophecies. Maybe it’s time to learn a little more patience.

Season of Our Life

After my last post, Olderrunner2 commented about “different stages of our life.” It reminded me of something my Mother ALWAYS said and still says about “The Seasons of her life.” She has used this espression for as long as I could remember. To be honest, I always found it somewhat annoying especially because often it was comparing which seasons we were in and her missing where I was at. When you are in midst of a harsh winter (think when you have 3 boys under the age of 6, you are only thinking about Spring). She would say to me, “Well I am at a different Season. You are in best Season of your life. While we obviously in different seasons, I’m not sure there is a best just different.

To be honest though, I never really got what she was saying and because we always were talking about her season, I never really thought about how mine would change. I never really got it.

I think I am starting to.

I always talk about the only real constant in life is change. That being said, I often think about it in small terms…. Not the season of life terms. Sometimes you think you are ready for all the changes, only to realize that you didn’t understand what was changing. Not that change is bad, but that you weren’t 100% prepared for it.

I think that is where I am now. Why I have been blowing in the breeze a bit. It is time to start thinking about what season that I am in now and prepare for it.

Stay tuned……..

Tomorrow is Another Day

We don’t do this as often as we should. We don’t do this on a regular basis. Often we work against ourselves over and over again.

March I hit 100 miles and I thought….. Let’s keep this going. I thought that maybe for April that I would streak a minimum of a mile a day. Run at least 5 miles 3 times a week and maybe just keep plugging along. Well apparently, I don’t like to be told what to do even by myself. The streak lasted less than a week. I ended up with 41.5 miles for the month. Obviously not the month of running that I was anticipating or expected.

Oh well.

Like seriously….

Oh well.

We live in a You Only Live Once society. A grab a bull by the horns society. Let me say, I’ve been chased by a bull as a teen and no one wants to grab a bull by the horns. You run like Hell from it and wish you weren’t the slowest runner. I guess some things never change but that is a different story. Anyway….. We live in a do what feels good for today society and the Hell with tomorrow because tomorrow is another day and may never comes. It is all fun and games until reality comes crashing down you realize that YES, YOU DO ONLY LIVE ONCE AND IT IS TOO PRECIOUS TO WASTE.

YOLO sounds like a great life motto until you realize that you really do only have one life to live and it is too precious to waste. You need to care for it. You need to respect it. You do need to fill it with things that make you happy, but you also need to realize that tomorrow is another day and you need to be prepared for it.

I saw a car today that had a magnet that said, “Please be patient. Student Driver.” It got me thinking that it is sad that we have to remind people to be patient no matter the reason, but on top of that we need to remind ourselves to be patient with ourselves too.

I bounced back and am already at 20 miles for the month of May. I’ve been plugging along and running a lot of personal 5K’s. I have been running them on my treadmill. I’ve been running them outside. I’ve been walking. I’ve been running. I’ve been doing a mixture of both. I am getting my head back in the game. I am just figuring out which game it will be. I haven’t really been overthinking it which is my MO. Just going with the flow….. Let’s just see where that takes me.

One thing that I will say…… I miss racing. But for now…. For this week….. For today……. I will just run.

Best of the Best

Some days we strive to be the best of the best. Some days we strive to be the best version of ourselves. Some days we strive to just be. To just make it through to the end. To just get up. To shower. To go about our day and make it to the end. That is the goal. That is the plan. If we do so, then that is also a victory.

We don’t always need to be the top of our game. We don’t always need to be striving for the best. Sometimes we just need to be. Victories come in all forms of life. Some are big, huge victories. Some are victories that no one sees but we know that they are there just the same.

It is these victories that no one sees that are the most victorious. The small victories that no one cheers for that matter the most. Finishing a marathon is hard, but when you are out on the course with crowds cheering you on while not easy. It is harder to give up than to keep going. Getting up and out the door to train for that race is where the real marathon happens. Yet there are no finish lines to run through on a training run that you didn’t want to do. There is no crowd cheering you as you put your shoes on for a run that you might not have felt like doing. These small victories are what make the bigger victories possible.

Just like waking up, getting out of bed, showering and going about your days when all you want to do is hide under the covers, eat chocolate and not face the world is a victory. These are the moments that no one sees. They see you showing up, ready to face the world and have no idea what is behind the curtain. No idea what it might have taken you to get there.

This is a victory.

Every day someone who is suffering manages to do what they need to do to make it to the end of the day is a victory. The mom whose plate is overflowing, yet still manages to get done what needs to be done. The soul crushing moments where you just want to give up, but keep going. The parent of a sick child that puts on a happy face for that child but cries when alone. The person struggling with depression while everyone thinks that they are a happy go lucky person. The family dealing with illnesses. On and on and on…… We all know someone who fits one of these descriptions or maybe we are that family. It doesn’t matter because we all have something. We all have a curtain that only a few see behind.

I wish they got cheering crowds. I wish they could share these small victories for the world to high five them. I wish the world was ready for them to share these small victories without judgement. I wish they had cheering crowds to push them on and to let them know they are not alone. Often we cheer on silently, but wouldn’t it be awesome if they knew how much support they really had because often they might feel like the weight is on their shoulders alone.

Everyone wants to cross the finish line, but few know what went into getting there. Be it the finish line of a 5K, 10K, Half, Marathon or just life in general. It is not always easy. Actually it usually is never easy. It is often hard. There is grit, sweat and tears. Many times we feel like we are on our own, but the important thing is to remember that even at those times when we feel alone, we aren’t. We just have to remember that while only we can carry ourselves to the finish line, we have people cheering us silently even if we don’t know it. A true friend is always cheering for you in both big and small victories.

Many times we feel like our best isn’t good enough but our best is all we have to offer. So keep doing your best….. No matter what that best means on that given day!

Every person….. Every life… All you can do is what you can do on that given day. No more. No less.

Your best is good enough.

You are good enough.

Keep going!

Consistency is Key

To most “March Madness” means something to do with College Basketball. I know it’s some type of big College tournament and there are brackets to be filled, but I couldn’t tell you what colleges are in it except this year since Rutgers was in it for the first time. I only know that because my Governor talked about it (a lot). Don’t ask me why they haven’t participated before because I couldn’t tell you. Being as I don’t follow basketball (or really any sports for that matter) March Madness and all the madness really means nothing to me.

Sorry not sorry.

For me though, I have taken on my own March Madness. I participated as part of a team for Dylan’s Wings of Change. Part of a Kilter challenge of Miles for Meaning. The winning team won $25,000 for their charity. We actually had 3 teams. Team 1 (not my team) crushed it. Like seriously crushed it. While not on the actual winning team, I was still lucky enough to be part of the overall team and it was amazing support system to push to keep moving and getting the miles in. These winnings will go a long way to helping their organization share their programs.

Going into this challenge, I had hoped to do 100 miles for the month. Considering that January and February that I had only done 50 miles, this was a leap for me. I would have to go back to look at stats to see the last time that I hit 100 miles running. I might have to go back a long time. Now I will say that not ever mile was a running mile, but most were. I have also changed the way I look at my running.

We have all heard it…….. We all know the truth of it……. We roll our eyes at it…….. but we can’t deny it.

Consistency is key.

It is not what we do once, but what we do over and over and over again. It’s not about showing up with your running shoes once, but time after time. Week after week. Run after run. We know the truth of it, yet somehow we ignore it or pretend otherwise. Yes, you can go out and have a great run every now and then, but if you want that feeling more frequently than you have to show up frequently.

I have taken a step in the right direction with showing up this last month. Showing up on days that I might not have wanted to show up. Doing what I needed to do in order to hit my target goal for the month. Showing up the last day of the month for 7 miles…… 1 mile warm-up walking. 5 miles running. Then a mile cool-down. I did this because I needed each of these miles to hit my target.

100 miles

This past month and following the training plan for the NYC Half have reminded me that I need to be more consistent. I need to continue to show up. Show up for myself. Show up because as I once again become more consistent in my running that I am becoming a stronger runner. I am once again learning how to control the run and not let the run control me. Consistency is also giving me the confidence in my running and myself.

Showing up is never easy. Some days it is harder than others. Some days we can find every reason not do show up. Some days these reasons are valid and some days they are just excuses. When you are doing what you love though, you look for not excuses to check out but ways to show up. I want to go back to the days where I did the later. Days where I would go out for a run at 8:00 at night because I needed to get my run in. Days where I just showed up to run…. by myself….. with a group….. on the trails….. on the road….. Anywhere and everywhere.

I recently had a Facebook memory where I said that I was heading out for “12 easy miles with friends.” So many things struck me with that…..EASY! HA!!! Although, before I ever even thought of running a half marathon that I was meeting friends just to run to run. Running long distances for no other reason except to run them. I still remember a friend on one of these runs asking me if I was doing a certain race and then saying “if you can run 12, you can easily run a half.” So I did.

Somehow in all the training and all the goals, I forgot to run just to run. Run without an end in site. Now don’t get me wrong….. All of these goals have been great. They have kept me motivated and moving but……. but……. but……. If you only keep doing something because of the end goal, eventually it becomes a job and you can’t wait to get to the end.

So it seems silly after saying that to say that I am challenging myself with a new goal, but I am. For the month of April (my birthday month), I want to run/walk at least one mile every day. I would actually like to become a more consistent runner and do 3 solid runs a week of at least 5 miles. I remember when 5 miles used to be my normal run and I think that I have been consistent enough where that is where I am now as long as I keep going.

When I first started, I needed to push myself to move. I needed to push myself to put in the work. This is not a fake it till you feel it moment because I am already feeling it. This is keep up the good work and don’t give up moment.

Where are you?

Plugging Along

Plugging along. That’s what I do…….. It’s really all any of us can do. Sometimes it is hard to keep going. Sometimes it’s easier. What really doesn’t matter is how fast, how slow, or even how hard you push. What matters is that you keep going.

I remember when I ran my first big race, one of my kids asked me if I was going to win. I told him not a chance and that I was just training to be able to finish the race. One thing that so many people get stuck on is what is the point if you can’t be the best of the best. The thing is they are missing the point. You don’t have to be the best of the best. You just need to be the best version of yourself. No one can do you better at being you than you.

So often in life we let what others think of our accomplishments diminish them. We compare ourselves and when we do that often we do not compare ourselves favorably. We ask ourselves the wrong questions – Why can’t I be as fast as xyz? Why can’t I run as far as xyz? It’s bad enough when we do this with our running, I won’t even get into when we do it in other aspects of our lives ….. But…….. But……But…. What if instead of asking how we compare to xyz, we ask

Am I being the best version of myself?

Am I doing what makes me happy?

Am I doing all that I can?

These and only these answers are in our control. These answers we can realistically and honestly answer. These are questions that if we don’t like the answers, we can evaluate and change so that eventually we get an answer that we want. We have no control over so many things in our lives, but we do have control over the way we react, what we do and how we live our lives

Case in point –

I was texting with a friend about my blog today. She made the comment, “I think it’s because it’s relatable. It’s not some picture perfect mom or athlete”.

When I started this blog it was to share my progress as I trained for my first (and supposed to be only) Sprint Triathlon. I shared what I learned as I learned it. I’ve never pretended to be more than I am….. I middle aged mom trying to do the best that I can. Sometimes my best isn’t what I want it to be, but it is what it is.

So here I am a few months into 2021 trying to be the best version of myself. Trying to find the sweat spot of running with Hypopara while being realistic. I have not been happy with my running. Not because I wasn’t running fast enough but because of the way I felt after and during. My new approach after my break has been much better both mentally and physically. I can realistically say that this month I will hit the 100 mile mark for running/walking with most of those miles being running miles. Even better, I have done these miles in a way that is best for my body.

Remember that we can only do what we can do and sometimes the best thing we can give ourselves is the gift of time to re-access, re-evaluate, and most of all just keep plugging along because eventually you get where you want to go.

The Roller Coaster Ride

I’ve been up

I’ve been down.

I’ve thrown my hands up giving myself up to enjoy the ride

I’ve wondered if I was foolish to even get on as it begins to take off. The anticipation while you wait in line, strap yourself in and begin to take off wondering if you are up for what lies ahead. The thing is once the ride takes off, you have no choice but to buckle in and make the best of it. You can scream. You can laugh. You can throw your hands up and just enjoy the ride. Doesn’t matter what you do because once it takes off, you are commited. Sometimes you think you have reached the end of the ride only to realize that you are going around another bend.

A few times I’ve thought that I reached the end of my roller coaster ride only to realize how wrong I was. I think I am really finally coming into the station of acceptance with my 2016 post surgery Hypopara running. You may be thinking…… it has taken since 2016. Acceptance isn’t as easy as it sounds. Then there are the times where you think you have reached the stage of acceptance only to realize that you have just been getting by and really have not. Letting Pride really keep you from making it to the end.

Here is the thing. Since my 2016 surgery left me Hypopara, I kept trying to push myself to run at a pace where I no longer was physically able to run. Mind you I knew that I was no longer at a run sub 2 half pace, but I still never embraced where I should realistically should be running even if at times I thought I did.

Recap for new followers –

For about two years or so before my surgery, I was working with an amazing coach. With her guidance I ran a sub 2 half marathon, a 50K, and I was able to even run a 26:26 5K. I was at the top of my game and I even timed my surgery to be after running the 2016 NYC Marathon. I’ve said it before, the surgery was just going to be a blip.

Until is wasn’t.

Then I kept riding the roller coaster knowing that I was the same, but trying to be something that I wasn’t. Not to say that I won’t be again, but not now. After surgery, I origionally was over medicated so I was able to keep my running up. Then realization that I could no longer keep calcium levels up in the 9’s but for safety of kidney’s . Needing to keep levels just below or at normal level’s. Doesn’t sound like much but for those of us with Hypoparathyroidism, we can tell you that there is a BIG difference how one feels with calcium at a level 9 compared to 8.2 or even 8.5. I also think that for right now I have found a happy medium where my calcium has been around 8.4 last couple times. The balancing act is real.

Anywho…… for the longest time a year or two after my surgery I kept trying to run paces that while much slower than my 2016 paces but realistically were not paces that I should be running. The thing is that I really couldn’t maintain them either. I did a lot of running too fast. Needing to walk and then running again. Then with the 20 pound post surgery weight gain and everything else, running a 10:45 pace was not where I should be even though at the time I thought that was “slow.” I remember posting in a group that my former coach runs about having to walk during my runs and I’m paraphrasing because honestly I don’t remember exactly what she said even if I remember the meaning behind what she was saying. She basically said that I was walking because I was running too fast and maybe (I add that in my mind) pride was the reason. Even though I knew the truth of her words, like many not willing to accept reality I blew off what she was saying. Although if there is one thing anyone who has worked with Caolon knows…… She knows what the (beep) she is talking about even if you choose not to hear her.

So I went on….. and on….. and on…… until I finally gave up running completely. I spent months just walking. I walked and walked and walked some more. I even walked a virtual marathon. Then I was ready to run again. I wanted to run again. There was beauty in having not run for a long time. I was 100% starting from the beginning and needed to respect starting from scratch. My mind was in the right place this time. I also think that deciding not to train by pace but heart rate helped because it gave me the ability to learn where I should be running to actually run.

So here I’ve been just running and training. 100% recognizing that pace is not the goal right now. That the goal is to find where I should be running and run there. I’ve been embracing the running and am now following a training plan for the NYC Virtual Half. I am only using the plan for milage and training not following anything by pace. It has also been helpful that even though I hate it, I have been running on the treadmill. This is good because it does allow me to control pace that I’m running at without concern that I end up running at a pace I shouldn’t be.

I’ve also realized pace is irrelevant to me right now. I am more concerned with being able to run without leaving myself and my body depleted. Since running by heart rate and finding the correct pace while still pushing myself, I have realized that I have not been getting muscle spasms. I am not depleted to the point where I NEED (not want) to nap and most of all I can function in my day to day life.

Last week I ran a hard 5K.

Then this week in training I ran 4.5 running 4 without stopping and feeling good. I did this running average pace of 12:37. This “hard” run was literally a minute faster than what I used to do my easy runs at. So today I needed to run 7 miles, my longest run so far this training cycle. Since this was a long run that meant I need to run slower. I started off with a 5 minute warm up walk and then when I hit every mile I walked for 45 seconds. I’m not sure that I actually needed the walk, but it did break up the treadmill running. Who knows what that would parlay to outdoor running, but for right now I am happy to be running, not feeling like I can’t do it, and feeling like I could do more when I stop.

I’ve been thinking a lot about accepting where I am lately. I realized that while I thought I had accepted where I am right now that I really had not. I do think that this roller coaster ride is finally coming into the station. Acceptance does not mean that I won’t push to try to do better. It does not mean that I can’t work to do better in the future. It does not mean that I won’t have days where things bother me. It just means that I am ok with where I am today.

Where are you today?