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Done is Done

 

5:48:52

Done is Done!

Some people might be upset with an almost 6 hour marathon.

I wholeheartedly admit there might be a time that I might have been one of those people.   I am not today.   I will be 100% honest with you…..

I am happy

I worked my ass off.

I didn’t stop.

Ever.

I never thought I wouldn’t get to the finish line.   I also knew that I had such a wonderful support team.

I went into this marathon with no real plan other than to finish.  No paces.   I knew that I would be doing walk/run.   I had thought I might start with a pace group, but did not.   I just ran.   Maybe this isn’t the smartest way to do it (ok it’s not), but this is what I was going with.

Once again I went out too fast.  I  REALLY, REALLY, REALLY tried not to.   My first few miles  went like this…

8:54, 10:02, 8:24, 8:36

I knew this was not a good way to start.   I knew that this was way fast.  Even at my best, this is not the way to start a marathon.   I wasn’t following the plan.   I wasn’t walking.   I had not even turned on my timer at this point.   I heard my friend’s voice in my head telling “SLOW DOWN!   STICK TO THE PLAN.”

I even texted her that I heard her in my head and that I was trying to be better.   Her texts of support continued during the day and I knew I wasn’t in alone.

At this point, I turned on my timer and made a conscious effort to slow down and stick to the plan.  During a race even if you are not planning to race it is so hard to do.   You are so caught up in the excitement of the day.   I was in it for the long haul, so I did what I could.   I will say that I did not pay attention to my pace.   I was watching   my heart rate as I did on training.

I saw my sister and brother-in-law twice on the course.   The first time around mile 5 which was wonderful, but the second time was key.    They were waiting for me at mile 21  I knew that I had to make it there before they needed to leave for the airport.    I had been slowing down at this point, but I was determined to make it to them.  At this point they were my destination, not the finish line.

I made it to 21.

Hugs

Goodbyes

Unbelievable support

Spectacular.

Then it turned to counting down the miles.

It was hot but I’ve run in hotter weather.   It was humid but I’ve run in more humid weather.   That being said,  I don’t do heat well.   I ran through every hose offered.   Took ever sponge filled with water handed out.   Put the ice in my bra when offered.   And on occasion dumped water on my head at water stations.   The heat was sapping my strength, but not my will to finish.

I kept pushing forward.   I ran when I could.  Finally, I reached a point where I could no longer run.   My legs were dead.  My foot was hurting.   Even with this I did not stop.   Moving forward.   Slow but steady.

I admit that by mile 25, I did start to get emotional.   There were tears.  Partly because of the discomfort and partly because as much as I wanted to run, I just couldn’t bring myself to run.    By this point, my emotions were just raw.   The ups and the downs of the marathon are real.

Chicago8

The tears dried.

The moment passed.  My head was clear and I was focused.   Never stopping.  Never quitting.   Moving forward.

I proudly walked across the finish line.

This marathon was always about proving that I could do it and

I DID!

This was the slowest marathon that I have ever run, but one that I know that I worked the hardest for.   Someone asked me if I was happy with my time.   Hell Yeah I am.    Any day that you can finish a marathon is a good day.   I am proud that I was able to push through and get the job done.

Done is Done!

Chicago11

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to prepare for a Marathon in 10 Days

If you think that’s possible, you might be crazier than I am.

Ha.

But I can’t believe that Chicago is only 10 days away.

It seems like I’ve been training forever for Chicago, but at the same time it has gone by in a blink.    I’m not sure that I’m really ready for this, but I’ve come too far now to quit.   Besides my heals are pretty dug in to cross that finish line.

My mantra

What ever it takes.

How ever long it takes.

Just finish the damn race!

 

Seems like a good mantra to me.

So now 10 days to go and things are settling into place.

Foot is feeling better after my 3rd sugar shot (Prolotherapy)

New shoes.

But not too new and worn it

Flight and hotel all booked.

Today I had lunch with my Running Mama Roomie and traveling partner.

It’s all good.

Now all that is left is to get there, pick up bibs, and yeah

Run/Walk 26.2 miles.

marathon

 

 

Let it Go, Let it Go

As Elsa said, It’s really time to Let it go….

I  never really let things go.

It’s time.

Ok.  It’s past time.

For example, I ordered these pace bands once I got into Chicago.

IMG_2748

If you can’t tell, these are 4:15 and 4:30 pace bands.

Crazy now.   At one point, it was a goal.   Actually it wasn’t even a crazy goal.

In the back of my mind, this was while not a goal, it was possible.   I was secretly holding onto it.    I couldn’t let it go.   No matter how improbable or silly, I held onto it.    In the deep recesses of my brain, I admit now that this was always there.   I kept imagining a miracle in my training.  That something  would click and I would be right back there.   As much as that seed was in the back of  my mind, I realistically trained for where I am today.

I am at a 5 if not a 5 1/2 hour marathon.

I’m a firm believer in goals.   It’s what kept me running.

Some people have goals for speed, some distance, some just getting out the door.   My goal at this point is honestly just to finish.   Each goal is a worthy goal.   Each brings it’s own set of challenges.   That is the beauty of being a runner.   You are only competing with  yourself and your own limitations.   Some real and some imagined.

So with a goal of getting to the finish line, I need to run smart.    As I’ve said before, I’ve hit the wall before at a marathon.   It’s not pretty.  I, honestly, don’t know if I can push through it today.   I’ve got a lot going  on… The calcium issues, the stomach issue, the tendonitis, and oh yeah being 15 pounds heavier than last year.

I’ve sought out advice from those who have dealt with hypoparathyroidism longer than me.   One thing that stuck with me is this response…

“We live a very measured life. We don’t get the option to give it a 70% or an 80%. If we are to accomplish what we are aiming for, We have to give it a 100% . At all times.”

So with this advice, I know that I have no room for show boating.   I’ll save that for a later date with friends whose hands I will grab as we cross the finish line.

A 5 hour marathon is still a marathon.

A 5 1/5 hour marathon is still a marathon.

And I’ve got 6 1/2 hours to get to the finish line.   I will say that I’m hoping to get there before then, but I will get there and be happy about it if that is how it rolls that day.

All I know is that when I get to the finish line, I might hug the person giving me a medal.worth it

 

 

Just This Once

When I ran my first marathon,  I went with to it with the running Mama who was the little birdie in my ear telling me that I should register because after running the Runner’s World Hat Trick I was ready.   I was probably an easy sell, but without her nudging I would not have registered.  She had everything in place and needed a room mate, so it all worked out.

I was all set.

I admit that I was a little sad that my family was not coming to see me, but that was understandable and for another post.    During my training, both my mother and “baby” sister who lives across the country (literally) were my biggest cheerleaders.   They had both expressed how they wanted to be there, but I was really ok with it.    My mother is not one to travel by  herself especially to the city and my sister is on another coast.

The day of the race comes and off we go.    When this race took place, both the half marathon and marathon were not only the same day but started together.   I went into this with no expectations as I really jumped in last minute with only one ever 20 mile training run.   As I was heading into the mid point of the marathon, I could hear the finish line for the half.   The announcer was clearing stating how If you are running the marathon, please stay to the left.   All half marathoners, please go to the right for the finish line.  THE FINISH LINE.   This was disheartening to hear.   At this point, I was thinking that there would be no shame just to run the half and was planning to go right.

Until…

Then crap, I had to run a marathon.   My mantra became, “your sister did not fly across country for you not to finish.

So I did.

Towards the end of the marathon, my sister ran onto the course to give me one single rose to carry across the finish line.   I took it, looked at it, and gave it back to her  telling her it was too heavy.

Yes, I really did.   I think the rose was made of metal.  Ha!

Once the race was over, there were many hugs and before my family and I parted ways my sister informed me that she only did this because it was my first marathon.

One year later…

This time, I am running Marine Corps Marathon.    I am going to DC on my own.    That is until my sister informs me that my mother and her are hitching a ride with me.   She flies in and off we go for a road trip to DC.

MCM11

Once again, she joins me towards the end of the race.   This time she brings no rose.   I  am dealing with some stomach issues.   She hears me drop the F bomb a few times, curse the stupidity of running a marathon even going on about how stupid it is for people to want to watch, and then listens as I tell her never again.

I finish.

MCM4

Once again, we both say never again.   I won’t do another marathon and she can’t keep flying across the country.

Then NY.

My sister although a California girl  but a huge part of her heart is in NY City.    She watched the marathon a few times when she lived in the City.    How could she not come in now.    This time she can not stay for the end as she literally had to catch a plane, but does maneuver herself around the city to see me a few times.

nycm16

 

She is not there this time to hear me curse the never again, but we both have the same thought.   We can’t keep doing this.

Then Chicago…..

I am not going alone this time.   I am going with another Mama Runner.   It’s all set and it’s all good.   Then a text from my sister.   Her husband happens to have something in Chicago that week.   She is going to fly out and meet him and then stay for the marathon.

So it seems like no matter how often we both say never again, we keep meeting like this

and

It will be a wonderful thing.

 

 

The Moment

The moment someone ask what your training for and then the look of surprise when you tell them Chicago marathon.

Then the next question is usually, “Is this your first marathon?”

Then a further look of surprise when you tell them this will be your 5th.

I still haven’t decided weather I take their look of surprise as a compliment or an insult.   Either way, I do see it.   I really can’t hold it against them when as I’ve said before , I don’t have “the traditional runners body.”  What ever the Heck that is.

Then usually they ask how long it takes?

I’ve never really understood why non runners ask this question, because then it is usually followed with, “Is that a good time?”

My answer is usually, ” For me it is.”

Then the final question that grated on my nerves even before I made the concious decision to do walk/run approach, “Do you walk?”

I have found these questions are only asked by non runners.   A runner may ask your finish time or pace, but a runner has never asked if I walk.

Here is the Rub…….

Does it matter?

Is 26.2 miles in 5 hours, still not 26.2 miles?

And even though I’m wondering if I will sneak in this time right under the 6.5 hour cut-off, won’t I still be going 26.2 miles???

Some runners may push themselves to finish a marathon in a Boston Qualifying time.   While some runners may be pushing themselves just as hard and coming in just under the wire.    You don’t know what someone is dealing with.   You don’t know how hard someone is pushing.   We are each pushing ourselves just to get out the door and to the start line.

So this is my pet peeve today.    Please don’t assume just because my pace is slower than those at the front of the Pack  that I am working any less than them.

But as I  said before, most of this comes from people who think I’m crazy anyway:)

We are all just doing the best we can on any given day.

What more can we ask for?

Nothing.

So keep doing what your doing, because you are doing it for yourself and no one else anyway.

Oh, and I admit that I do like a little bling.

So I might also be doing it for the bling:)26.2_1

 

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.

chicago

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.

calcium-1xs87cq

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