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Embrace The Suck

Yesterday  I needed to go for my long run of 15 miles.   I knew going in that the run might be difficult, so from the very beginning I said that my motto for this run would be:

Embrace The Suck!

As I was beginning my run, I chuckled and thought to myself that it kind of is a metaphor for life too.    Now hear me out.    Sometimes in life things are going suck.   Things are going to go wrong.    Things are going to be hard.   And sometimes, things are going to be downright shitty.

Yes I know very uplifting, but we all know that life isn’t always a bowl of cherries.    The thing is that you have to embrace the suck to get to the good stuff.   You have to push through it when it’s hard.   You have to dig your heels in and just keep moving forward.   You have to know that at the end of the suck is something good.  You have to just keep going, because if you stick around long enough  you come out that much stronger.

strenght

So with that being said, I embraced the suck of yesterday’s 15 mile run.    As I said I knew it would be suck some for a few reasons.

  1.  It’s a long run and they usually suck.
  2.  I need new sneakers
  3. I’ve been messing up with my meds

So I went out with the mindset that no matter what, I would embrace the suck.   Do what I needed to do and get my run in.    The goal was to finish no matter what.   I felt like this was a long enough run to gage some things for New York and what I need to do in the next 46 days.

I have realized that it takes my body normally a good 3 miles to get into the rhythm of a run.   This morning was no exception.    Then I realized that I did not take my morning meds, so I ended up looping my run back to my house so that I could do so.    This was more necessary because I’ve been a little off with my timing lately. (Don’t worry, I’m trying to be better).    Anyway, meds taken and out the door I went.   It was hard.   I was sweating like I ran in a sprinkler, but I was embracing the suck and moving forward.    I was running where I should be especially for the distance keeping an average  pace in the 12’s &  13’s.    By mile 10, I was feeling a little off.    For me I can tell when my levels are dipping because I feel like a twitch in my face even if it’s not visible and some tingling/numbness in my hands.    I was prepared and did have some Calez (powdered calcium) to add to my water.    I am thinking for the marathon to fill all my bottles up with this and then just get plain water at the water stations.

I pushed forward.   By almost miles 13, I was out of water which is never good.   Luckily, I plan my runs so that I am never far from a friends house or place I can stop at.   I took my smelly sweaty self into a bistro where I purchased the most delicious chilled Gaterade and a bottle of water to refill.    Then off I went embracing the suck.

Here’s the thing….  As sucky as it was, it was also good.    I did feel stronger at the end of my run.   I did feel confident and the end of my run.    I did realize that running alone through the streets will be so much different than when running with 50, 000 of my closest friends who will all be embracing the suck.  I did feel like I could keep running and I did feel strong enough to keep going.   And I also realized that in the end, it is all worth it.

Run Where You Are

Less than 2 months now.

Wow.

Yikes.

Um…

I will say truthfully that I am feeling confidents in my mish mash of training.   I’m feeling strong.   Not strong like I am going to have an amazing race and PR.   I mean strong like I know that I can and will cross the finish line.   I actually feel quiet calm this go around.  Strange I know.

The other day I went out for just 3 miles.   Since it was a short run, I didn’t really watch pace.   I just let it go and I know that in the beginning I was running too fast, but again I knew it was a short run.    I also thought that even though I haven’t doing training this way, I would consider it a speed workout.   At least I was smart enough to continue the walk/run method.

Here is the thought that I had when out on this run and what I have decided will be my mantra for the beginning of the marathon.

RUN WHERE YOU ARE

NOT WHERE YOU WANT TO BE!

Seriously!  This is what I need to remember.   I was thinking about  when I ran the NYCM in 2016.   I was working with a coach.   I was trained.   I was ready.   I still crashed and burned (see the wall at mile 20)  because I ran the fist half like there was no second half.   I let the crowds carry me.   I let myself get swept up in the excitement of it all.   And let’s be clear, it is exciting.    I have run 5 marathons so far and while each one is special, there really is no bigger party than I have experienced than the NYC Marathon.   It is easy to get swept up which I allowed to happen last time.

 

RUN WHERE YOU ARE

NOT WHERE YOU WANT TO BE!

Here’s the thing, it is so easy to get caught up.   It is easy to tell yourself that you can…

  • Bank the time
  • You can do it
  • I’m not running too fast
  • It’s not a big deal

WRONG, WRONG, WRONG.

  • There is no banking time when you hit the wall.
  • Unless you’ve trained at paces, don’t use them in a marathon
  • See above
  • It is a big deal when you hit that wall.

So my objective, my goal, my mantra is to be realistic.   When I ran Chicago, in the back of my mind I was not realistic.   I was still trying to push paces that I was not able to maintain especially since it was a very hot marathon.   I am being real with myself.   I know that I can do this, if and only if I listen to my body.   I listen to the voice that is writing this post and tune out the other one that is not always thinking clearly:)

I will say that I am making a deal with that voice.   I’ve told her that if she lets me run a smart race, a race that I’ve trained for at a pace I’ve trained at; I will then be able to let her run the last few miles.   When at my peak I listened to the wrong voice, the last few miles were a beast.

Time to be smart.  Be ready and get it done.

MarathonMeme

 

 

 

 

 

Nothing Worthwhile is Easy

As a runner we all have running montras

Your race, your pace

If it was easy, everyone would do it.

Your only competing against yourself.

Your lapping everyone still on the couch.

 

And while all of these montras are true and for the most part I do 100% believe them, there are times when it is hard.   When it is hard to let things go.   When those nasty thoughts enter my head.   Not jealous of other runner and their accomplishments, but angry with myself for where I am.

While I know others have it worse than I do….

While I know that I am not alone in having struggles…

While I know that it could be so much worse and others suffer more…

I also know that there are many people with Hypoparathyroidism that would love to do the things that I currently do because they are unable to.

That does not lesson my struggles and my reality.   As with any chronic disease, each person manifests the symptoms differently.   There is no one size fits all.  And with Hypoparathyroidism, it is different all the time.   Calcium levels fluctuate and there is no way to know.   It’s all just a guessing game on a daily basis since different days may require more calcium intake just to keep your body functioning at not even peak, but just below peak.   There is not at home blood test like a diabetic uses to determine calcium need.   It’s all just a guessing game.

I’ve said it before and I do believe it with not a shred of scientific evidence to back me up that the reason that I am able to do the things I do now is because of the aerobic shape I was in before my surgery.  I literally ran the NYC Marathon just 2 weeks prior to my thyroid surgery.   There are some people with my disease that need to go out on disability because the struggle is so bad.   Again each person is different.

This past weekend I just got back from a 10 day camping trip in Vermont.   I said to my son while we  were out on a 16 mile bike ride around the lake (mind you the day after climbing Jay’s Peaks a 4,000 foot elevation) that I was going to be slow.   I told him that although I make it look easy, I struggle more than he knows.   This is true because while I moan and groan here on my blog, in person I usually just don’t complain.  Really what will it do?

Here is the truth that I’ve said before….. For right now in order to keep my kidneys healthy, I need to keep my calcium level low which brings the symptoms associated with it.     To name a few,  muscle cramps and fatigue which makes training a little more difficult than it used to be.   I also can’t handle the heat as easily as I used to be.

Nothing worthwhile in life is easy.  Marriage, Having kids, raising kids, even some friendships at times are hard.  Nothing is easy.   They are all worth the struggle, but not necessarily easy.   The payoff is worth the effort.

Nothing worthwhile in life is easy….

Especially running a marathon.

This will be my second marathon with Hypoparathyroidism.    It will be my 6th overall.   Each one had it’s challenges.   Each one had it struggles.   I was able to push through all of them and make it to the finish line.   This time it will be no different.

effort

 

 

 

Oh Yeah, I am…..

The other day I was discussing massages and where I normally go to get a massage.   I said to my friend that when I used to be marathon training I had the plan with Hand and Stone.

She looked at me and said, “Your marathon training now.”

Oh Yeah.  And then we laughed.

I’ll be honest it doesn’t feel like it.

Yet.

Don’t get me wrong. I’ve been running.   I’ve been doing what I should be doing.   Although truth be told, I do need to get a few more miles in a week, but I’ve been running.     I’m wondering if it doesn’t feel like training so much yet, because right now my focus has been on my fundraising which is really my priority.   Also, I am training to finish strong and not for a time which makes it different.   I am not doing any specific paces in my training.   I am not doing speed workouts.   Although I have started coaching summer elementary track again and those kids make me run fast with them, so that should count.    But I am not getting a training plan weekly that needs to be followed to the letter T if possible.    I am just doing.

Right now, I’m liking just doing what I’m doing.   Ir’m running the miles.   I’m getting it done and I’m feeling more confident in my running.   Best of all, I’m not stressing about any of it.

Yet.

I’m still playing around with the run to walk ratio.   Today I took my running indoors to a treadmill to avoid the 100 degree temps.   Normally I hate running on the treadmill, but today it was good.   I think I liked it because I was able to control my pace and my inclines.   Today there were no inclines:)   I have been doing a run/walk ratio of 3 to 45 seconds.   Today I did 7 to 1 minute.   I thought this was  a good fit.   I’m not sure if it would work outside, but I will try it when given the chance.

So now that I’ve been reminded that I’m marathon training what will change?

Nothing.

I still plan to try to stay relaxed and just enjoy the process, the race, and the ability to help an important cause.

quote-5

Giving it all I’ve Got

I’ve started training for NYC Marathon.   I had been thinking that I was pretraining, but then I actually looked and yup, I’m training.    I am following the Jeff Galloway “To Finish”  Program and it’s actually a 26 week program.   In looking at the calendar if I do my math correctly, I believe that puts me at week 3 of training.  Oops, time to play catch up:)

Training for a marathon is a long process, yet at the same time it goes quickly.

I’m going to be very upfront in how things are going and I’m sure it won’t all be rainbows and sunshine.   That being said, I am so lucky to be given this opportunity and remind myself that I am not doing this for me, but for Sandy Hook Promise.

Anyhoo…. Even with the “To Finish” program, I know that I will be giving it all I’ve got.

Giving it all i got

I went out for a run.   I was just shy of 5 miles at 4.7, but it happens.   I used the ratio of 3 minutes run to 45 seconds walk.    It seemed like a good ratio, but I’m still feeling it out.   I will say that I liked it.   I tried to keep my run part around 11 and walk not at a Sunday stroll nor a power walk, but somewhere in between.   It seemed to be a good balance as my overall pace was 11:17.

As I was running though, I was trying to connect my body to where my mind is which is harder than you think.   In my mind, I still am so much faster.   My body disagrees.  Besides that  I also have to reconcile that with the run/walk method there will be times that I’m out for my run where I’m going to be walking and people will see.    That’s a mental thing, but one that I will deal with too.

Here is the thing…..   I can only do what I can do.   Yes, running is very much a mental sport, but in the end you can only do what your body will allow.    I’ve also got to use this training time to know when to add more calcium and magnesium.    When I was training for Chicago, I had a doctor who kept my calcium levels  in the mid normal range which may have made things better for running, but overall was not good for my health as it left too much calcium in urine (not good for kidneys).    So I’ve learned more this last year and I’ve also got my specialist that is keeping my calcium at just below normal.    That is good overall, but I do need to adjust more now on running days.   It will also be a training exercise to know how much is enough and how much is too much.

Yesterday was not enough.   It didn’t help that the night before I fell asleep and forgot to take my calcium and magnesium.   I also should have added more calez during run and realized that a Epsom salt bath afterwards might not have been as indulgent as I thought it would have been.

This is what happens when your don’t hit the right balance.   Your muscles dance which isn’t as fun as it sounds….

It’s a work in progress, but whose life isn’t.

We live.   We learn.   We move forward.

 

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

 

 

Taper Town

Well some how I have arrived at Taper town without feeling like I have fully trained or am ready to run a marathon.

Good Times.

Chicago will be my 5th marathon.   I’ve gone into some in what I may have thought was under trained, now I look at those training cycles and realize how ready I was for them.  This is the first marathon where I actually went and read what the cut off time would be as I think I might really need to know this.

  A smarter person may have decided to defer Chicago.   A smarter  person might have said, “another year.”   Here’s the thing though….    I may be crazy, but I am definitely  not stupid.   I’ve adjusted my training.   I’ve adjusted my expectations.   I’ve prepared.

  I’ve trained for this marathon using the walk/run method.    To  go the distance right now, this is what I need.   Then part of me thinks, well I did run a half marathon in April so why not just run the marathon.  But I trained with the walk/run, so I need to use this on race day.   I’m pretty sure when they say don’t do anything different on race day this would fall under that category.   Just saying.     My subconscious is obviously trying to make sure that I know that too because I’m already dreaming about Chicago.

In my last dream, another runner came up to me, got in my face, and yelled at me to run my own race.

Um, ok.

I guess that should be the plan.

Everything is falling into place and as long as I don’t fall apart on the course all should be good.     I will say that I’m praying for a cool race day.   I just can’t seem to tolerate the heat when running anymore.  I’m not sure why but it seems to be a common complaint with those with hypoparthyroidism.  I think it is my meds as dosage did go up after that race.   One of the side effects of Calcitriol is sweating more than usual leading to electrolyte imbalance.   I will also say that while I was always a sweater, I am epic sweater now.   I do think my dosage is too high which is something I will discuss at upcoming appointment with specialist in NY.   Although this close to marathon, I would be reluctant to make any dosage changes.

The other day, I went out for my last long run.    Between mile 12 and 13, I fell apart.   I didn’t need to look at my pace to see that.   I was running in a patch with no shade and I started to overheat.  I was sweating so much I look like I’d peed my pants and I was drenched.    Luckily I pushed through till I got to a bathroom  in the park where I proceeded to fill my empty water bottle up and dump it over me.   After about 4 bottles of water down my back, over my neck, and down my shirt I felt much better.    So note to self, if hot I will be dumping water at water stations on my head.  I’m sure that I will look fabulous in my race pictures too.   Ha!

Anyway, I will stick to the plan.

My Race

My Pace

Walking isn’t a crime.

Do what needs  done.

determination

 

 

3 Minutes at a Time

Today was a day that mentally was required more than it was physically and physically it was a necessity.   18 miles on the books.   After how hard my last 6 were,  I had my doubts about today.   The one thing that I really had on my side…..

DETERMINATION

It’s really the one thing that that keeps my going.

Seriously.

Anyway, I made plans to run the first 10 miles with my amazingly supportive friend who would do walk/run with me.   We decided since it was going to be a cold rainy morning that we would start at noon to miss the rain.   We both know that on any given race day the rain won’t stop us, so no need to go out in it unnecessarily.   Besides as I’ve said before, I’m not really a morning person.   This morning I really wasn’t a morning person.   I woke up at 8:00 proceeded to move to the couch with my coffee and fall fast asleep.   I couldn’t keep awake.   Finally around 9:30, I seemed to come out of my sleep coma.   This gave me enough time to do some things around the house and head out the door in time to run to my friend.

I figured that since I had more miles to do that I would try to get some in before meeting her.   I got about a mile and half in.   Then did some stretching when I got to her house and off we went.

I will say that it is so nice to run  with a friend who you can chat away the miles with.   When your brain is otherwise occupied with discussions of running, family, politics, and life in general; you tend to forget about the soreness the pounding is causing.  Sadly for me her 10 miles came to an end.    We ran back to her house where I could refill water bottles and add my Cal-EZ to my water.

Then off I went.

On my own, I thought about my running strategy and tried to ignore my legs.    Like most runners, I’m trying to determine what my fuel needs will be for the marathon.   I also realized that maybe (not maybe) I had made a mistake only have oatmeal in the morning.   I’m also trying to determine when and how to add extra calcium.    Normally during a race, I do not stop at the water stations and just use my water bottles.   I think Chicago will be different.   I think that I will fill my water bottles with my calcium water via Cal-EZ) and then use the stops for water or Gatorade.  I’m guessing that would be easier than trying to add it while running.   I could take Tums, but I’m partial to Cal-EZ as I know it causes no issues and keeps my levels steady, it’s easy to take, and I can keep track of my dose.

Work in progress and will give it more thought.

By mile 15, I needed to stop for some stretching.   I didn’t let myself stop long as I thought it would get too hard to start again.    At this point the run turned into, it’s only 3 more miles.   I can run 3 miles.   By about 16.5, I reached the 7-11 where I needed to stop to get some Gaterade as my water bottles were empty.   I am a sweater and I really needed to replenish electrolytes.    It’s funny the people at 7-11 must see it all because they don’t look twice at me in my running belt drenched in sweat.   It’s all good.

Some more stretching while I refilled my bottles and then off I went.

The last mile was hard in that I just wanted to be done.   I literally went from counting the mile to counting the minutes.   Telling myself that I could run for 3 minutes and for the most part I did.

Bottom line is that I got it done which is all I needed.    Still not paying attention to pace, but ending up finishing with an average pace of 11:51.   I’m finding that I do seem to be keeping an even pace during the running and I’m not walking like a snail during recovery.

It’s all good.

determination2

 

 

I’m Not One to Talk About it….

 

 

I complain a lot here, but in person not so much.   My family while they know that running is harder now, don’t realize how much harder it is for me now.  There are a few reasons..

  1. What is anyone going to do about it
  2. When your the only runner in the house, you know your spouses first reaction will be to tell you to stop running races and running at all.
  3. No one likes a complainer.

  Believe it or not, it’s not something I really like to talk about.

That’s what I have here for…

IMG_0236

I feel like my life and training are on a bit of a yo-yo.    I’ve had some good runs recently.    Some I can do anything runs.    Then they are followed by the what the Hell am I doing this for runs.

Such is life.

I will say the What the Hell runs do give you the mindset to push through.    The other night I went out for a run.   I wanted to get in at least 6.   I was getting out later than I had wanted to, but you know life.   It was dark.   I was tired and had been on my feet most of the day.    By mile 3, I thought maybe I should cut the run short.   I reminded myself that “Marathons don’t just happen”   so I kept going.   I did need to stop sporadically to stretch my legs.   I find they are much sorer now than I ever remember them being.

Today I had toyed with going out for my long run.   The weather is perfect for running actually.  I have 18 on the books for this weekend.   I just feel that if I go out today it won’t be pretty.   Yesterday I went with the family to Hershey Park.   While it was a lot of fun, it was also a lot of walking.   Per my Garmin, at least 6 miles.    It was also a very long day as the Park is 2 1/2 hours away.

Last night I woke up with leg cramps.   I even got out of bed to take some Motrin.    I even moved to the couch thinking if I could recline and have my legs up that might help.   This morning they were still sore.

To put this in runners terms…..   I felt like I had run a very hard and fast half marathon yesterday.

After some foam rolling, stretching, more Motrin, and more stretching; my legs felt better.    I’m sporadically stretching throughout the day, but I think it would be best to do my long run tomorrow….. even if someone told me it’s supposed to rain.

Boo.

I need to check the weather, but it’s 3:00 PM and I just don’t feel like starting a long run now.   I’m resting and taking it “easy” today.

This makes me think that it is a good thing that I am flying out Friday for Chicago Marathon.    Then I will spend Saturday resting as much as possible.   No wondering around the city.   Just as easy peasy as can be.    I’m finding that I do best with rest day’s in between runs.  I used to train with only one rest day a week.   Learning to run on tired legs.   Well now I don’t need to run every day for them to be tired.

It’s all good.

It will get done.

I will get my run in.

Training is different than in the past, but it’s still training.

Chicago

 

 

Getting to the Finish Line…

 

I’ve already learned or should I say…. I’ve already made the mistake of crashin and burning at one marathon.   I went out WAY too fast in  New York running the first half like I didn’t have 13 more to go.   I suffered the consequences when I hit the wall and hit it hard.    I didn’t get my A, B, or even C goal.   I just squeaked in under the 5 hour mark which was my last resort.    All that being said, when I hit the wall, I was able to maybe not climb over it but I was able to push through it.   I made it to the finish line.

Here is the thing though…

I don’t want to admit it.   I want to pretend that I am exactly where I was a year ago, but every run proves me wrong.    I need to get my head screwed on straight and do it quick.

Yes I talk about it all the time, but it is past time that I stop pretending the I’m “recovering” from an injury at this point in time.   Yes, I did need to recover from my surgery.   Yes, there was a recovery time, but I am no longer recovering.   What I am dealing with is a lifelong illness.

Blah.. Blah… Blah…. Blah.

Yes, I talk about it all the time.   I think about it even more.

Right now though, I can’t both train for the distance and try to get my speed back.   There might come a time where I can hold the pace, but that time is not now.   And lets face it, I’m not getting any younger.   In two years I’m reaching a big milestone and people generally don’t get faster the older they get.   I’m pretty sure that I will not be that anomoly.

Does it suck?

you bet.

Could it be worse?

Much!

Am I lucky?

Yup.

Do I have a choice?

Not really.

Here is the thing….   I can push myself to run a faster pace, but it is not a pace that I could hope to keep for a marathon.   It’s not even a pace that I can keep for a 5K.

Reality bites as they say.

So once again, I am faced with deciding if it is worth pushing my body to hit the wall in Chicago or if I want to make it to the finish line.   I’m pretty sure that I can’t do both.   I’m pretty certain that my training will go a lot better when I start facing the reality of where I am today.   Today, I am at a walk run ratio.   This does not mean that when I am running that I should be hitting under a 10 minute pace or even under 9 which I briefly did.   I’m not there yet.   Maybe once again but not today and certainly not in the 47 days till Chicago.

What to do?   What to do?

As a runner who likes numbers, it is hard to run/walk because when running alone I tend to push the run faster than I should.   I worry that I will do that in Chicago. It is always hard in any race to hold back even when you know you should.

I think what I realistically need to do is just say out loud that I may not run a 5:00 marathon.  I really am not sure what I can do, but am willing to find out.   I have to train to keep my runs where they should be which is no faster than a 10:45 pace.   I have to stop worrying about my average pace.    I have to say….

This is ok.

This is where I am.

The goal is to finish.

That is enough.

It has to be.

butterfly tied to rock