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If it Ain’t Broke Don’t Fix It

And so it begins.  Just a week away till I’m “officially” in Marathon training.   After looking over several plans, I decided to stick with the Hal Higdon Novice 1 Marathon plan.   Yes, I know I’m not a novice but I feel like I’m starting over and this is where I’m at right now.   Besides I look at it as a starting point.   If I determine that I can take it up a notch, you know that I will.

There was another training plan that caught my eye on Training Peaks.   It was specific to Chicago, but it was also for a 4:30 marathon.   Plus I already owned the Hal Higdon Plan, so I saved $80.    I may down the road change to this plan, but not yet.   First I need to start running again and see how that goes.

I’ve recently made some changes that have been helping.   I’m not sure which one is helping but I don’t want to mess with either.   First I added both a magnesium and Vitamin D supplements to my daily dose of things to take.    Second and I’m finding much harder is that I’ve gone gluten free.    I’m doing it because it may help with some of the symptoms that I’ve been having due to the hypoparathyroidism.    I’ve got to say that I’ve actually felt “normal” these last few days.   Not waking up feeling like Grandma.   Not having leg pains.    Feeling like my “old self” if you will.    So I’m afraid to make any changes.  You know what they say…

If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

Now I have a sister who actually has celiac disease, so I know that going gluten free is a hard road to travel.  I also know that many people go gluten free because it’s the new fad diet.  I’ve never wanted to go gluten free, but I’m willing to try it now.   It hasn’t been long  and it might not even be the diet but the supplements, but something is working better.    I am lucky though to have a sister who can guide me on this journey even if I don’t need to be as strict as she is with it.   Right now, I’m in 100% because I feel that is the only way, but I will see where it leads.

What I do need to do is figure out how to carb load without bread and pasta!

Living and Learning

worth it

 

Lucky, Lucky, Lucky Me

My Mom is a very lucky woman.   Really she is.    The first time she went to a casino which wasn’t till she was in her mid 40’s, she put a few coins in a slot machine and all the bells started to go off.    This was repeated many times like almost every time she goes to the point that the one time it didn’t happen she was confused.   She also has the same type of luck with lottery tickets.   Never hitting big, but always just enough at just the right time.

It’s funny because the other day she was at my house showing my family her latest Christmas Scratch off where she won $400.   Perfect, right before Christmas.    My hubby was joking that as much as I’m like my mother why couldn’t I have her luck when it came to lotteries.    Then I realized that I do just not the lotteries that pay you cash.

Seriously.

I threw my name into the Marine Corps Marathon just on a lark.   Actually forgot about it.

Got in.

After the New York City Marathon which I got in with 9 plus 1 on the runner’s high I threw my name into the Chicago Marathon lottery.   Really not expecting much as only half get in.   I thought the odds were worse than that till I looked this morning.   Again forgot about it until a friend texted me to ask if I got an email.

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Got in.

How does this keep happening to me?    Yes, I know it happens because I keep putting my name into these things but I really never expect to get in.   Never.

So I realized this morning, that I do have my mother’s luck.   I think my hubby would prefer if I had different lottery luck, but for a runner this isn’t a bad kind of lottery luck to have.

So apparently, I will be running Chicago.

I might need to start running again for this to happen though:)

Don’t worry, I’m on it!

 

Why Not?

So things are looking up.    After changing my medication and going for only 3 blood tests last week, my calcium level now falls into only “moderately low.”    That is opposed to the “if it goes any lower we are going to need to infuse you with calcium via a iv.”   So I will take the moderately low but better counts.    Things must be looking up because I have only gone for one blood test this week and will only go for one more.   I can feel that I’m on the upswing.

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That being said, I do know that weather it be the medicine I’m taking to improve my calcium that I’m just not “right” yet. I’m taking a medicine in conjunction with the 8 calcium pills a day that helps your body absorb the calcium.   Good times.    It is all tied with my calcium because my other levels are fine.   Today is a perfect example of not being on my  A game.   After taking kids to school, I met a friend for coffee.    By the time, I got home I was exhausted to the point that I actually climbed back into bed and took a short nap.  This is a big adjustment for someone who was running 40 miles a week and now hasn’t even gone around the block in 3 weeks or so.   I will get there, but this will take time.

That being said, I also know that Christmas is just around the corner.   There is baking to be done.   Gingerbread houses and marshmallows to be made.   There are presents to be bought, wrapped, and put under the tree which has yet to be brought home.   So I am not going to push it.   I love Christmas more than I love running.   Yes, I went there.

My running friends and I already have a plan how to get back in the game.   We all know that there really is no point in stressing out now, so come January we are all back in.   NO, this is NOT a resolution.   This is just giving ourselves time to not stress out about our running and we know our running shoes will be waiting for us come January 2nd because whose ready to run on the 1rst.    Besides by this time, I think I will be totally back on track.   Every day I’m feeling better.   Yes, I still can tell my calcium is low with slight tingles now in the face when it’s getting low.   This is a marked improvement from having fingers that clench up and muscles cramps.   One day at a time.

Now, we all know that I need motivation.   My one running friend is doing a half in April that she convinced me would be a good idea to sign up to run.   I was admit that I would not sign up for any races, but I thought maybe this wouldn’t be so bad.   Here’s the thing…. I’m nuts.   I admit it.   I go to the site and instead of clicking half, I register for the full.    But wait, I can explain….

As I told my friend, I don’t want to sound obnoxious.    I know it will come off that way, but considering I just ran a marathon less than a month ago signing up for just the half did not seem like it would challenge me enough.   I also thought about it (yes, very briefly but more since I signed up).   I am going to run and train for this marathon on my own terms.    I have run a few marathons now.    This is supposedly a nice flat course which really means nothing for 26 miles as it’s still 26 miles.   That being said, this will be the first marathon that I train on my own.  No Coach.   Before, I come up with a plan (you know I like plans) I will see where I am in my health, what I think I can do come April, and decide what I will train for.   I will then train, but I want to train with flexibility.    This does not mean that I will go easy on myself but I think I want to do this on my own this time.   It will be a learning experience and life is about learning and living.

So there you have it………

I’m running the NJ Marathon.

Why Not?

 

 

All In Good Time

It’s been a bit since I’ve done any running.    Really it hasn’t been long at all, but it feels like forever.   It will probably be another week or so until I lace up too.   Seeing as I’ve still got sutures and probably wouldn’t make it around the block, I see no rush anyway.   That being said, I think recovery is going pretty well.

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I’m still dealing with what appears to be low calcium levels which does cause me to get tingles in my hands, face, and sometimes feet, but nothing horrible.   This seems to be more so in the morning as night is when I go the longest without calcium supplements.   Hopefully, this is a temporary thing as it’s a little annoying.  Other than that, I would say things are looking pretty good.  Can’t really complain at all.   I’ve probably been getting more sleep than I’ve done in years.   Last night, I slept the entire night through.   Literally 8 hours straight.   I know.   Amazing stuff there!

I will say that although I’m not itching to lace up, I am thinking it.   I’m thinking about how much stamina I’m loosing while not running.   You know what they say, “if you don’t use it, your loose it.”   Seeing I didn’t have tons to loose to begin with I’m wondering how hard it’s going to be to get back out there.   I’ve purposely got nothing on the books to train for as I don’t want to rush back into something.

So as I’m thinking about these things, I sit down and open Facebook and see a memory from 2 years ago today.

Philly Marathon

Philly Marathon

My first Marathon.

 Only 2 short years ago.   I remind myself how far I’ve come.   That the impossible becomes possible.   That with hard work and determination there is nothing that is out of my grasp.    This recovery is just a minor hiccup and there is only more adventures to come.

 

 

No Regrets

5 Days

Yup that’s it.

The taper crazies are not setting in as I’ve got too much going on and could use the time away from running.   That being said, it doesn’t mean that my mind is not going.

I’ve been looking at the course.   I’ve been thinking about my goals.   I’ve been thinking about how far I’ve come and it’s been far.

Very far.

I started this journey just a few short years ago.    I think it’s been 5 years now.   How the time goes.

IMG_2278This is me when I started going to the gym.   When I decided it was time.    When never having even done a 5K, I signed up for my first Sprint Triathlon.    It was during this training that I realized that running wasn’t so bad.    That is was actually something to be enjoyed not just endured.    That I would miss it on days that I didn’t run.  That it would bring people into my life that I adore.   It also taught me that I could accomplish things I could only imagine if I just worked hard enough.

Then I thought about my last marathon (can’t believe I use the word last and not only).    I ran Marine Corps Marathon in 4:38:14.    It was a solid race, but there were things I would have done differently.   There were regrets.

 365840_210208824_XLarge(As a side note, I am only 10 pounds lighter here than in the picture above but look at those solid legs.    Remember the number on the scale can lie)

Now back to the story….

The other day I went out for 6 miles.   I spent a good portion of that run having a pep talk with myself reminding myself how far I’ve come.    I reminded myself that I’ve come even further since MCM.    That I am stronger now.   That I have already proven that I can go the distance.   That this year alone I’ve already run more than  1050 miles and still going strong.  Last year I literally was going out at the end of December to hit 1000.    That I am better trained that I was for MCM.   That I’m stronger and faster.  That I need to run (not walk) away from the NYC Marathon with one thing…

NO REGRETS!

Yes, a little phycing out is a good thing.

I came up with my goal.   A realistic goal according to my coach too.

So what is my goal?

I want to run the NYCM in 4:30.

I’ve got a goal and now I’ve got a plan and don’t see a reason why I can’t reach it either.

No regrets.

As long as I give it all I’ve got.    As long as I don’t give up.   As long as I push to the end.

There will be

NO REGRETS

Let The Games Begin

Next week at this time I will hopefully be putting the final touches on what I will need for the NYC Marathon.    Hopefully, I will even be getting ready to sit down to a nice carb loading dinner too.

I’ve finally decided to take my head out of the sand and actually it has been very good.   All this talk about not being excited and admitting the truth of how I’m feeling has been freeing.   Dare I say it, it is even getting my a little excited.

I’m an avoider by nature.   I like to bury my head in the sand and not deal with things.   It’s often my way of dealing with things.    Dealing with things is messy, complicated, and means you actually have to face things.    So by pretending the marathon wasn’t happening, I could just go about my business.

BUT

When I pulled back the curtain, I got wise words of advise and incite from friends.   One friend really knows me well and she may have put the final nail in the coffin why I was feeling the way I was feeling.    It was the real thing that I was avoiding which was NOT the marathon….

My surgery.   See the way, I spoke about my upcoming surgery (getting my thyroid removed) was it’s after the marathon.   So if the marathon happens, by default that means then so is my surgery.    Yes all the other reasons for my non marathon excitement are true, but this was true.    When she asked me about it, it really was like a door was opened.   I heard and knew the truth of her words.    I will have to deal with this, BUT FIRST THE MARATHON.

Then another thing happened, in talking with my coach and friends we started talking about my training and goals.  My one running mama pointed out that the if I want to see the sites of NY, we can take a short road trip to see this and that I can run this race.   I realized something.   I think I actually want to run this thing.   I mean not all out I’m going to die run this thing, but I want to run this and I want to run this well.

I’ve got a lot coming up, but it’s time to be a grown up and face them.    I realize that I want this (the marathon not surgery silly).    I want it bad.    I want to hobble from the finish line of the NYCM knowing that I ran a smart race.   That I ran it to the best of my ability.    That my training was not just to get to the start line, but get my ass to the finish line too.

I’ve got this now.

And thank you to all my real life in person friends who have given me encouragement, kick in the behind, and your wonderful incites.   You are amazing and I’m so lucky to have all of you.

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Why Ask Why?

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I was recently asked why I would ever run a Marathon.   This person must not know that I actually signed up for a 50K, but that is a different story.   They were wondering why I would ever want to run a marathon especially a trail one where I ran over six and a half hours.   My answer is complicated and yet simple at the same time.

Let’s be honest, everyone has their thing.   Everyone has something that someone else might look at and question, “Why?”

Some don’t understand the drawl of Crossfit, Spinning, hot Yoga, biking, or the many other types of exercises available.   They might not be for you, but I bet they are for someone else.

So my question is why not?

What does it matter what someone wants to do?    They do not need our approval.   Probably aren’t even looking for it.   We are all grown ups here.  As long as we are not doing anything illegal or that is hurting someone,  to each their own I say.   This is one of the things that make the world so wonderful.   We are all different.   We all follow our own paths.   Even those of us with similar paths do not follow the same one.

Now sometimes people will ask why because they might not be able to wrap their head around why anyone would want to run for hours on end.   I will say that it is really not something that I can explain either.   I run these distances not only for the challenges of them, but also many other reasons.   The feeling of accomplishment afterwards is awesome, yet there is more to it than that.    I run them because I actually like to run them.   Yes, maybe not ever second of every run yet still….   There are times that you get into a rhythm with your feet, your breathing, your mind and you just keep going because it’s perfect.   There is truth in the runners high.  It is why we keep coming back for more.

Some things in life must be experienced to fully understand.   Like someone trying to explain to you what being a parent feels like.   It is something that is intangible till experienced.   I can tell you about the peace running brings me. The calmness felt after a good run.  The joy of crossing a finish line. The pride in having done something and many other things that running  brings no matter what the distance.   It still isn’t enough.   Some things in life must be felt to understand.   This is why runners as a whole usually stand (or run) together.

We know what most people won’t know until they experience it themselves is that

Running is Aweome

Amazing

Calming

and

Bad@ss!

So my question is not why?

My question is why not?

 

 

 

Dreaming the Possible Dream

If you recall last year I was chasing that little thing called the 9 plus 1.   For those who don’t know what that is (even though I know you all do), it is a way to qualify for the New York City Marathon the following year.  I am lucky enough to live close enough to NYC to have made this a viable way for me to get in.   It is not “hard” to do, but it is a commitment of both time and effort.   Thanks to my running friends, I was able to do it!

Now the thing with doing the 9 plus 1 is that even after you complete it, you still must register for the marathon or all that hard work is for naught.   Registration for the 2016 opened today at 12:00.   I believe that I completed my registration by 12:15.   It’s a strange exciting feeling to know that I will be running the New York City Marathon this year.

It’s funny I never imagined that I would ever run a marathon.   Then when I started to think about it and get caught up in the excitement of my fellow Mama runners, I thought well maybe I will one day run the NYCM and check marathon off my bucket list.   Yet, now I’ve done 3 marathons to date and New York will be my 4th.  That being said, I’m looking forward to being able to say that I’ve done New York.   Come on it’s like the expression says, “If I can make it there, I can make it anywhere!”

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I know that NY will be different than the others.   I know NY will hold a special place in my heart as my love for running and some amazing friendships have been developed chasing the dream.   The good thing about dreams though is that reality is always so much more than you imagined.

I am also so excited that I am now one step closer to NYCM as could be shown by how quickly I registered today.

I once thought that NY would be it for me.   That I would hang up my running shoes next to my medal and put the crazy business of running behind me.   Then I realized something…..  There is no putting this behind me.   There is no going back.  I’m an addict.      It apparently is now in the blood.   I will continue to run.    I will continue chase other dreams.   Dreams that have not even been dreamed yet.

What do you dream of?

 

Slowing Down Isn’t Always A Bad Thing

Someone once said  to me that if I was a running dog that I would be a working dog like a husky.   At the time, I took offense to it but now I think I would like to own it proudly.    As a matter of fact, I know that I would.   I would be happy to have the running power and stamina of a husky.

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Besides look how magnificent they look while running.   But that’s another issue.

What has become apparent to me is that for some strange reason, just like the husky, I’ve developed a desire to run and run far.    I actually think that depending where I’m running that I would rather do a long slow run than a quick short one.

Yes, that boggles my mind too!

Now maybe this talk is just because I’m having such a good recovery after my trail marathon.    I don’t know.   I do know though that it is NOT that the trail was easier than a road marathon.   It is just that they really are two very different beasts.    Both road marathons that I have ran I reached a point where I questioned my sanity, I couldn’t believe how stupid I was to sign up for it, and I did hit the proverbial wall.   None of these things happened out on the trail.    NONE.    I’m not sure why.

Yes, both races are technically the same distance.   Although, I do believe that a trail marathon is actually longer but that  will happen.    I think there were a few major differences for me and maybe part of it was because I didn’t approach it like a race.   I went into this with no time limits, no set paces,  nothing.   I went into my trail marathon like I was going for a normal run.  I didn’t watch my pace at all.   There in lies the difference.   It’s not that I wasn’t pushing myself but especially (for me) on muddy trails there is only so fast I can go.    When I ran my MCM I kept a fairly steady pace the entire race of about 10:30 while my average pace on the trails was about 13:30 with some miles hitting 16.

Now don’t think that just because I was running slower that  I wasn’t working.  Trails are a different beast than Satan’s Tar as Dawn now refers to roads.   One of the reasons my pace is so much slower on the trails besides needing to run them more often is that  I approach them with caution.   They are muddy.   They are filled with slipper rocks.   There are places that you really need to pay attention to which doesn’t always happen on the roads.   When running the roads especially in a closed course race, you really can just zone out.   You can never zone out on the trails unless you want to eat the dirt or worse.

Now, the side effect of running slower does mean that you have more time on your feet.   I ran MCM officially in 4:38:18.   I ran this event officially 6:30:08.    So the slower pace does add up.   That being said as far as the actual running goes, I think that I enjoyed the trail running more.   My mother asked me what motivated me to run for such a long time.   I had no answer on the motivation other than I just liked to run.   I’m not winning any races.   This event there wasn’t any bling or even a t-shirt.   It was just that satisfaction of knowing what I could accomplish and that was enough.

I have decided after this weekend’s event, that I really need to do more trail running.   More trail races.    Before this event, I was wondering what I was thinking signing up for the Dirty German.    Now I’m looking to see how I can squeeze more off road races into my schedule.

oh my.

Have your tried the trails yet?

Fake It Till You Feel It

As the weekend comes to a close, I’m working on recovering from it.   I went it to it not really thinking that I would need to recover from it.  I was signed up to run my first trail marathon.   I hadn’t trained like I was running for a marathon.  I hadn’t blogged about it at all.  Outside a few of my running friends, I’m not sure anyone knew I was supposed to do it.   I was very ambivalent about it.   To the point that my coach sent me an email the day before asking how I was feeling and also addressing the fact that I had been VERY quiet which she let go because of the holidays.

My reply to her really held no clues as to what I was going to do or how I was planning to do it either.

“Yeah, I know I’ve been under the radar lately with this trail race.   Things seem to be settling into the normal crazy routine.   I’ve probably been quiet because I’m really a bit ambivalent about this weekends event and really even today just planning to see how it plays out.   I’m thinking because this is not one of my goal events for the year and it is also a place I frequently run at that is causing the lack of excitement.  I also am going into this knowing that even though I could probably run the marathon distance,  I won’t if tomorrow I feel like it’s going to cause me problems for NYC Half training.  This is not to say that I’m not going into it not wanting/planning to run the full.   It just means that I plan to listen to my body.   In saying that I am do not mean that I am expect it to be a piece of cake.   Again, very ambivalent. “

I’m sure after she read my email, she scratched her head and was wondering why the Hell she is coaching me.

 I really was planning not to plan and just do a wait and see approach.   That being said though, I did decide to pretend that I was really going to run a real race.   I carb loaded the night before with some yummy Mac & Cheese and chicken served with a side of bread.   I packed my bucket for the event.   Yes, a bucket.   It was a great suggestion from a running friend, Mary, whose hubby is a pro at these things.

I got to the event and met up with my fellow MRTT Mama’s and friends.   We took the required pre-race pictures!

NJTrail

We were all running different distances, so we  only got to cross the start line together.   I’ve run all my big events by myself.   I’ve also done many of my training runs by myself.    Even so, I still didn’t know what I was going to do.   Part of my mind was thinking that I would just do the 30k and be happy with it.  Part of my mind thought that I might even settle for the half and recognize that was ok especially since I hadn’t been running tons in December.  Then something changed along the way.

Now what changed me from being ambivalent to actually running a marathon?   I’m not really sure.   I think what helped was that in the very beginning I met a fellow runner who I was able to fall into not just a good running pattern with but I was able to chat away the miles with.   She has her own amazing story which isn’t mine to share, but I will say that she has run over 40 marathons, 50K’s, 100 milers.   She is a true Ultra runner. More importantly she was someone who  made the miles go by easily.    So we ran almost 3 laps of the 4 needed for the marathon distance.    She was stopping, but I felt strong.   I felt like I had more in the tank.   Also my mindset somehow changed from ambivalence to “I want this.” I was so close how could I stop?

I recently had a conversation with a friend who had lost her Mojo about how to get it back.   With the New Year, she was starting back with her running.   She was doing it, but her heart wasn’t in it yet.   I told her that she just needed to keep going until one day she realized that she once again had found her Mojo.   I told her to fake it until she felt it and I guess that is what I did at this trail race.    Sometimes, you just need to show up for the magic to happen.

Since I went into this event with no thought, no plan, no idea; I had no pace or time in mind.   So when I ran it, I just ran it.   I wore my watch but I really didn’t pay any mind to it other than when it would beep the miles away.    That being said, my laps were consistent.

Lap times – 1:29:53, 1:29:48, 1:42:57, 1:47:13

I even stopped at the end of lap 3 to take a picture or my running buddy and then some more pictures on the trail.

 

In the end, I am glad that I went as I really had thought of bailing.   The trails as always are beautiful, peaceful, and bring me happiness.  In the end, I am happy with my official time of 6:30:08.   My actual running time according to Nike+ was around 6:18 which I can’t believe.   It boggles my mind to think that I ran that long, but numbers don’t lie.   It also gave me a big confidence boost for the Dirty German 50K as even though I was VERY happy to have finished, I felt like I could have gone more.  Maybe not happily, but I could have if needed.

It was a good day all the way around.   I am so glad I went and I’m even happier that I finished especially when my running buddy Dawn puts it like this about me, she “is always pushing me to take more chances and to go for it. She put her money where her mouth is with a great marathon at Watchung!”

And truth be told, I couldn’t do it without the encouragement that I get from my running and non running friends.

The funny thing is when it was all over both Dawn and my Coach were not surprised that I did the full as that was what I originally wanted to do.   Dawn said I’m too stubborn to back down and my Coach just said that she knew it.

Have you ever gone into a race not caring about the outcome?