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NO STOPPING

I’ve had a few people tell me that there is no shame in stopping now. While I know that to be true, I’m also not at that point. A prudent man might say, this is not your year. But I’m not a prudent man, I’m a hardcore badass unicorn who knows that she hasn’t reached her limits. This is just another speedbump in a road filled with them.

Exhibit A

Yesterday I went out for my long run. I knew it would be hard. I expected it to be hard. It was and I was filled with many doubts along the way. That being said, I was not expecting this. I went out planning to keep a very conservative pace which I did. I was averaging 13:30 paces which was mix of walking and running. I stopped to stretch along the way because it was just hard. The beginning was worse which I chalked it up to the normal aches and pains of being Hypopara. I was wrong.

I ended up walking the last mile because I was in pain. A lot. Hubby asked why I didn’t call someone to pick me up. To be honest the thought had crossed my mind, but I really wanted to hit 13 which was down from my original 15 I was going for. It was bad but not excruciating. Manageable and I thought, “I’ll be ok once I get home and stretch.” The excruciating part came after I got home, sat down and took off my shoes. I couldn’t get up I was in so much pain. I thought….. let me shower and that will help.

I had to shower sitting down and then soaked in some Epsom salt. When I went to stand up, I couldn’t. I literally slithered out of the tub and dressed on the floor. Not my best moment. Then again, maybe it was. I managed to get up and sit on the bed and call my podiatrist to get an ASAP appointment. Although painful, I was able to tiptoe to my car to make the drive.

There may have been some tears on the phone with a friend. I kept saying I didn’t do anything different. I was being conservative. I was being smart. I’ve only got 4 weeks to go. Boo Hoo. I was also nervous because it was BOTH FEET. One foot, you can hobble around on. This was not that and even having PF before, I never experience this level of pain. It made me nervous it was more.

Thankfully, by the time I got to the podiatrist office about an hour later, I could put pressure on my feet but it was still painful. At least now it was a respectable 6 and not an off the chart pain. I’ve also got a pretty good tolerance for pain which made me nervous.

X-ray shows all is good. Ultrasound image showed swelling in Plantar Fasciitis. Doc said normal is 2. Mine was 3.8. So after some discussion and promise from me not to do ANY running (as if I could) for the next week until I go back, he gave me cortisone shots in both feet followed by adding some cushioning and wrapping. He said swim or bike, but rest feet. NO bare feet around house and shoes while teaching my preschool gymnastics classes.

So here I am. Being a good girl. staying off my feet. Today I am still sore, but it’s a moderate pain. I’ve already ordered some PF supplies, soaked, rolled and tomorrow plan to go for my very first acupuncture session.

Normally at this point in a marathon training cycle, I say trust in the training to get you there. Not this time. What I need to do now is trust in myself. Trust that I know what my body can do even on hard days. Trust that I know it will be difficult, but knowing that I can do hard things. Trust no matter what the outcome that it is enough.

If I wanted to be brutally honest, I would say that I am running a marathon that I have no business running. I’m under trained. I’m out of shape. I’ve got plantar fasciitis. Then there is the whole hypopara thing. This will not be the great come back that I envisioned at the beginning of this training cycle. This will not be the hypopara PR that I was shooting for.

All that being said, this will still be amazing experience. Running as part of the Sandy Hook Promise Team. Spending time with the team. Sharing the cause. This will also be a feat of determination. Mind not just matter, but my body. Pushing. Asking more from it than it willingly will want to give, but can. That is true for every marathon runner. No matter where you are, what your goals, or even your health. Running a marathon proves that yourselve that you can do anything you put your mind to.

And my mind is set.

Rolling With It

Sometimes it feels like life is a ball of yarn that you must keep re-rolling because as time passes it unwinds and gets messy.   As it unwinds, it frays and the dead ends need to be cut off before rewrapping (sorry to my knitters if this is bad analogy).     If you don’t continue to wrap it back up, eventually your yarn will become knotted and unusable. So it’s best to deal with the mess before it’s too late. That’s where I’m at.

Waking up in the morning feeling like you’ve already come back from your run. Needing to be stretched and rolled does not make lacing up your running shoes quick or easy.    That doesn’t make it less necessary.

A mile and a half in and already tingles in the face.    Still working on determining when to take my Calcitriol and calcium because it’s obviously not enough time before I hit the pavement.   Race morning that should not be a problem since I won’t be starting till the 11-ish or later time frame.   I’ve got to work this out and also get morning stomach issues under control.

I feel like I was given hope only to have it taken away.   One of the reasons that I signed up for NYC Marathon as Sandy Hook Promise Runner was because I knew that I was going on Natpara.  Yes, I believe in their cause and am proud to be a runner for them, but I would have supported from the sidelines.    I knew the training would be different than the last year without it.    I knew how hard, frustrating, and exhausting it was without that PTH hormone and I didn’t want to do it all over again.    Now I had no choice to do it all over again, but now in a matter of weeks and not months.

I wonder if I have enough time to get my body used to running without Natpara at the distance I need to be running.   Yes, I’ve done it without Natpara in the past.   The big difference is that I did it from the start.   I had the time to adjust as the weeks went by.   Adjusting and learning what my body needed, when to add calcium, and building up.   Now instead of months to figure this out, I’ve got weeks to get my body and my mind on board.   They are still adjusting.   It’s harder than it should be both mentally and physically.   Knowing that does not make it easier.

Yes, I’ve got the base.   I can look on the bright side and know that for most of the training cycle that I had what I needed and could get the runs in.   I was even running at a pace that I was happy with again.   I didn’t think it would be my marathon pace, but I was doing alright.   Now in these next few weeks as I’m still adjusting my meds, I have to do what I have to do.

What I have to do is train where I am at today.   The bottom line is…. What choice do I have because I’m not quitting.   That is not an option.    To be totally honest with myself is that there is really not much that is going to keep me from the start line.   So with that said I better buckle up and go in trained the best that I can and know that it is going to be a bumpy ride.

I’m going into this marathon trained not as I should be, but as I can be.   It will be enough.   It has to be enough.   There is no other option

Doubt is the killer of all dreams……

And while this above statement is true, there comes a point where you have to face what the doubts are telling you   Running without Natpara, the PTH hormone, and dealing with that loss.  Knowing that I have to adjust expectations, training, and goals. Wondering if I will have what I need to get to the finish line.   Knowing that there isn’t much that will keep me from it either.

Training will be what it will be.   If your looking for tips on how to train for a marathon, this isn’t it.   But having already done 6 marathons, I am comfortable saying that I know I can adjust.   Maybe I walk more that I should although who determines how much “should” is.   I will do what I can and no more.

Who knows maybe I will surprise myself.

Often times the struggle in life comes from not knowing who you are. Knowing what you can be versus what you want to be. Like the little kitten who thinks that he is a lion. Yes, he may have the heart of a lion, but that does not mean that he has the body on one. There are some things that one must accept.

Often in life, our struggles come from reality versus expectations. Some realities with dedication and hard work can change. Then there are times that no matter what you do, how hard you work, or what you are willing to change that reality can not. Often that is where the battle comes in. Where disappointments come in.

Some may have the heart and soul of an elite marathon runner. That does not make it so. That being said, that does not mean that you can not become the best version of you at a given point in your life. Trying to live where you are not at a point in time will put you in constant battle with yourself. If you can accept that reality as it is and not how you want it to be, than you can not only enjoy the process but be happy with it too. Again, easier said than done. This holds true for much of our lives.

I will admit that I do not have the dedication or will to be an elite athlete even if I had the body which I clearly do not. I like to sleep in too much and maybe ice cream more than I should. That being said, I do have a drive to be more than I am. The reality though is that I am now a (ahem) middle aged runner with Hypoparathyroidism who can never compete with the image in her head of how things should be or where I was prior to surgery. The beauty is that doesn’t stop me from trying to be more.

So off I went plugging away. Getting my runs in. Doing what needs to be done. Going about my business. Going out for my longest run this training cycle. 10 miles. I didn’t know if I could do it. I reminded myself of my last post where I clearly said that what you do without the fanfare is more important than when you have it. I also reminded myself to stay true to the training. So I went out thinking no matter what I would just get the run in. My plan actually called for 9, but mentally I needed the 10. So I went out and just plugged away.

Just keep running. Just keep running. Running, running, running.

You know what? I did it. I finished the run. I felt good about it. I felt like I could have kept going. Although I was very happy to be done. It was hard, but it was not impossible. Sometimes you don’t need to be the lion, you just need to be the kitten that is not willing to give up.

Here’s the thing too…… Sometimes though it’s ok for the Kitten to know that maybe it’s not her time to be the lion. Sometimes we need to step back because as fierce as we are, sometimes life has other plans for us and that’s ok too. Every battle does not need to be fought. Sometimes it’s ok to find a new path. Often it is the acceptance of that new path even if it’s just a temporary one is what makes you as fierce as a lion.

The world is filled with people getting shit done. Doing what needs to be done to get through the day. Most you might walk past and not even realize the struggle it may have taken them to get from point A to point B. This is why one of my favorite expressions is “Be Kind” because you never know what someone is struggling with…. be it depression, be it an injury, be it giving up a dream, struggles at home, or maybe they are just having a bad day.

So be the lion. Be the kitten. Be you. Most of all… just be kind.

You Can’t Hide From You

We all do it. Have our moments when we are by ourselves and think…. No one is around. I can….. eat the cookie, drink from the cereal bowl, stay in my PJ’s all day, skip a workout, ect, ect…..

Most of the time what we do in private is our business and it doesn’t matter. That being said, often what we do when no one is watching is more imporatant than when you have an audience.

Easy case in points….. Making sure that someone notices you giving a big tip, doing a good deed but making sure everyone knows you did it, being an ass to someone who can’t say anything back because you can, playing the martyr to anyone willing to listen but leaving your part of the story out. This also holds true to training.

What we do in private is our own business. Everyone has their own thing. Focused on their own goals as it should be. Everyone has to stay true to themselves, their goals, their expectations and just focus on doing what they need to do. Just do it. Do what you can. What you’ve trained to do with no doubt.

The problem arises when people aren’t true to themselves or their training. Anyone can make a training run look spectacular if you stop your watch every time you stop, walk, or take a break. While the miles may get done, it does not give true sense of what you can do or prepare you for where you are going. For some this leads to pressure to perform on a given race day for a performance that you might not be ready for. For some this may lead them to cross lines that shouldn’t be crossed and cheat. In the end though, they really are only cheating themselves out of seeing what they really can do..

Training isn’t usually glamorous. Training isn’t usually all that fun. It is hard. It isn’t always easy and honestly if it’s easy then you aren’t training hard enough. Truth be told, sometimes you just don’t want to do it. (Sounds fun, right?) But the truth is that no one suffers from short changing your training than you. Only you can be honest with your effort, your outcome, and knowing if you pushed when you needed to push. Not your friends. Not your running group. Not the crowds. The only thing that can push you to both train and cross the finish line is you. It comes from a place deep inside. Internally. If you wait and need external motivation to get you there, you will fail.

Now I’m not saying that external forces can not be motivating, because they can be. The crowds of NY can carry you in ways that someone who has never experienced running a marathon can never understand. That being said, when you are out running a 50K in the woods, there tends to not be any crowds to carry you and even during a road race there are solitary places. There certainly aren’t any crowds to carry you through training. This is why every runner, every athlete, needs to find their inner voice. They need to find their why?

Everyone has their own why. Everyone has their own reasons. Some have more than one reason.

When you push yourself to run when you don’t feel like it….To run faster, farther, and for longer than you want without the crowd, without the finish line, without the medal; you are better for it. You are a better runner. You erase doubts. You gain confidence in yourself and your abilities. Because the biggest truth is if you can’t do it when no one is looking, it will be almost impossible when everyone is.

So find your Why? Find your inner voice. Do what you know not only needs to be done, but what you know you can do if you allow yourself to do it. When I started training this cycle, I had my doubts. I had trouble completing 3 miles. I’ve been plugging away. Then last night, I noticed something. I ran my 5 miles and could have kept going. I felt good. I felt confident. This is what training does not just to the body, but to the mind.

Keep doing you.

Great Expectations

We all have them. We all have the thought of how things should be. The what if? The maybe it will happen this way. Maybe it should happen this way. The if then thought process.

What happens when things don’t live up to these expectations which more often than not is true. Sometimes these expectations are not based in reality. Sometimes we don’t like the reality. Sometimes we ignore the reality to our own peril. Sometimes we think our expectations weren’t so lofty, but in reflection we realize that we didn’t prepare for the reality of life and how it doesn’t always measure up to our great expectations. That’s ok too because while not what we thought it would be, sometimes reality isn’t as bad as we think as long as we can let go of the expectations

I’ll be honest. I’ve been on my Natpara for a few months now. It has been amazing the changes. On face value, I could not ask for more but… I had great expecations. I thought that taking it would be like a reset to prior to my surgery and I could just take one shot a day and go about my life.

Reality…..The one shot a day has given me so much back including being more friendly on my kidneys. No more muscle cramps, muscle spasms, dead tired beyond tired, and all the other fun side effects of being Hypopara. Reality is pretty darn good. My expecations though were overblown. I thought that I would no longer need to keep a pill box and reminder to take my calcium and other supplements. Yes, I’m taking much less calcium now but I thought I’d be taking none.

And while my running has improved exponentially, I am still out of shape. I still need to walk. I am still not where I was or thought I would be. I still need a reset of expectations. Expectations are not reality but a dream. They are goals. They are a driving force, but when life doesn’t live up to them you have two choices. You can choose to be disappointed or you can choose to look around, accept and appreciate the reality of where you are on a given point in your life.

Sometimes with running, we get so focused on the hitting a certain time, training a certain way, or realizing that maybe we can get to the finish line but we must adjust our expectations to do so. It’s easier said than done, but reality is what it is. Training will be what it will be and each person must do what is right for them and their body. Sometimes it’s all about what we are willing to accept. I have learned to accept a 6 hour marathon time when once I had dreams of a 4:15. If I had not faced the reality of where my body was last year, I would have been disappointed with that 6 plus our time but to date it was my favorite marathon.

Truthfully in the recess of my mind, I still dream of the 4:30/4:15 marathon. Reality is that will never happen for various reasons. Although I never say never. Truthfully, I believe that this year I might be able to make a 5:30 time and 5:00 if I’m lucky. Is it where I would want to be? Nope. Is it honestly where I will most likely be? Probably. If I did not adjust my expectations/goals, I would not be able to enjoy the process and the eventual finish. I can do this. I will get there, but only if I am honest with where I am right now.

Another year. Another race. Maybe I can adjust those great expecations, but for now…. I would rather do what I can than not do anything at all. That is the point.

Do what you can.

Accept where you are.

Enjoy the journey and smile for the finish.

Today is the Day

Today marks the official beginning of my NYC Marathon training. 18 weeks till I step up to the starting line and I am a hot mess. Today on this hot 85 plus degree day, I went for my first run. It was a short run at only 3 miles, but for me for now that might also be a long run. I intentionally kept the pace slow as I’m trying to work on regaining control of my pace. That being said, I really haven’t been running much and as already said it was hot. Oh did I mention, I’m also out of shape. Although round is a shape, so maybe I’m just a shape shifter.

There might be some people who start marathon training thinking this is going to be great, that they are ready for running and training, or that they’ve got this. I am not one such person. I went out for my run which I pushed off as long as I could. Then I doubted my sanity for doing this, but kept going and got it done.

The reality is that this is the beginning of marathon training. Day 1. If I was ready to run a marathon at the beginning of the training cycle, I should be training for something bigger, longer, or faster. As they say, if running a marathon was easy, everyone would do it and isn’t the point of the next 18 weeks to prepare me to actually run said marathon.

The mental training for a marathon and life also begins immediately. Self-doubt if left unchecked will creep in. Like a weed, it will start small and if not plucked out will take over everything destroying all in it’s path. Doubt grows quicker than confidence which really isn’t fair. So I am working at keeping the doubt in check and building the confidence. I know that every run won’t be great but with each mile checked off the list I am one step closer.

For today this is enough. My goal is to run a good race this year. To find what my body can do with my new medication. To be kind to myself, but also push myself at the same time. Another delicate balancing act that I will work on with everything else

It will be what it will be and that is enough

.

Fire

I’m preparing to start training for NYC Marathon. I’m dotting my i’s and crossing my t’s. Picking my training plan. Kind of doing some pre training. Thinking about goals. All the things that I’m supposed to be doing. With all that being said, I am noticing one thing missing this go around.

Fire.

Don’t get me wrong….. I’m excited to be getting ready to train and run NYC Marathon for Sandy Hook Promise. I’ve got the fire to get to both start and finish line. Let me explain….

When I first started this journey years ago, I had fire and determination. I pushed myself to the limit. I trained. I ran far. I ran fast. I pushed myself to and past limits that I didn’t know I could push through. I got up early. I ran late at night. I had serious goals. Some I reached. Some I didn’t. But I always pushed through.

Now….

I like to sleep in….. I’m comfy on the couch at night. I’m missing that fire to push the limits. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been running (not as much as I thought for pretraining). I’ve been running some local 5K and being pretty consistent in my times. Faster than I thought I’d be. I’ve run 3 5K’s this year. All of them, I said I was just going to run and see what happened. All of them were hard and I pushed myself. All of them I finished around 31 minutes.

Now that being said, I think the reason my fire is a little damp right now is I’m not sure what is going to happen as I start adding the miles. Am I going to fall apart. Is my body which thanks to my Natpara has been feeling good going to give me issues. I’m worried. I like the way I’ve been feeling. You know… feeling like me. I think that I may be afraid to rock the boat. I keep saying I don’t want to go back to how I felt both mentally and physically before I started my Natpara. I love running. I love racing. I love being able to cross any finish line but a marathon finish line is special especially when running for a cause you believe in. That being said as much as I love that…… I love waking up not feeling like grandma. I love not needing a nap in the afternoon. I love not having muscle cramps, spasms and all of those other funky sypmptoms of being hypopara.

So I guess what I will say is…… I have the fire, but I’m afraid to let it burn too brightly right now. I’m going to tend to it. I’m going to care for it, but I’m not going to let it burn out because while I love running; I love being able to live my life like I did before my surgery.

If there is one thing about being hypopara is that it does make you more cautious. Where I used to throw caution to the wind and let the chips fall where they may because I knew I could easily pick up the pieces; I don’t do that now. When they fall, they fall too hard and it takes too long to pick them up.

So I will go into my training following a very low key plan. I will put in the miles. I will do what I need to do and as the 3 miles turns 5 and so forth and so forth; I will reassess. I will adjust. What I will not do is stop….

So I guess I do have more fire than I thought:)

5 Years in and Not Done Yet

When I did my first marathon, I said I was one and done. Then number 2 was a fluke as everyone said how hard it was to get into Marine Corps. I was done. Then I had to run NY because everyone says you’ve got to do it. Then Chicago was another “oops I got in again” moment. Then the call of running for Sandy Hook Promise led me to NY again and now again… This is it… I’m pretty sure. Yeah, really.

I’ve been tooling along right now. Getting runs in, but have not settled on my marathon training plan. There is a reason for that too……

Picking a plan means that I have to set a goal of some type. Then there is the whole picking a plan that is realistic for where I am now in my training, where I will be as I train, and the toll it might take on my body. I also need to decide what I am willing to give up to reach any goals I set.

Currently I am settled on following a Hal Higdon plan. I’m torn between a few of his plans.

“Novice 1 Marathon Training Program. If you are training for your first marathon, this is the training program for you! Even if you are an experienced marathoner, you may choose this as a gentle and low-mileage approach to your favorite sport”

“Novice 2 is designed to fit comfortably between the Novice 1 and Intermediate 1 marathon plans. It is designed for runners who may already have run and finished their first marathon and want to add just a bit more mileage while training for their second or third marathons, hoping to improve their times”

“Intermediate 1 Marathon Training Program is one step up from Novice 2. It is designed for runners who may have used the novice programs to run their first marathons and who are now looking to increase their training levels and hoping to improve their Personal Records.”

In looking at a side by side comparison, the Novice 2 & Intermediate 1 are very similar in mileage. Obviously though there will be differences in pace and training runs. Novice 1 is where I am if training started today, but I have a month so I could get myself ready to start one of the others if I push myself. I’m not looking to PR as I just don’t see that in my future. Although maybe I could PR as Hypopara athlete. Last year I crossed NY in 6:10. Chicago I crossed in 5:48. Maybe I could realistically cross in 5:00 or 5:30? Who knows. My speed has increased since being on Natpara but not sure how that will translate on longer runs with endurance.

It really depends if I want to just train to run a good race and finish or if I’m willing to push the boundaries. I’m not sure that is worth it anymore. When you go through periods that it’s all you can do to make it through the day and then start to feel better again, it’s hard to put it on the line for a finish line.

Every person training for a marathon has to decide how much they are willing to give up and be willing to do to get the finish line and reach their goals. You have to be willing to give up time with your family. You have to push your body to its limit. You have to learn to push through pain because there is always pain at some point. You have to be willing to train even when you don’t want to. You have to run further than you realistically want to. You have to take care of your body, so that it can take care of you and some people will view this as luxury when it is necessity.

Training also takes a toll on you mentally. There will be times when you feel like you can’t go any further. You will doubt yourself, your abilities and your body. Your mind will play tricks on you telling you that you can’t do it, that you should stop, that it’s not worth it and more. You will hear everything from your inner voice from “I’ve got this” to “WTH are you doing?”

That being said, seriously, crossing the finish line always makes it worthwhile.

I’ll be honest…. One of the reasons that I’m having a hard time picking a plan is because I’m not sure how much fire that I have in me anymore. There was a time where I trained hard for a 4:30 marathon. I was 8 minute shy and to a runner, you know it might as well been 8 hours. During that training cycle I got a sub 2 half though. I’m not sure I have that in me anymore. Getting to the finish line might just be enough. Some days not taking a nap is enough.

So as I ponder this, I think I might start out with Novice 1 and am taking intermediate off the table. I will start with 1 and see how I feel. If as the miles increase I feel that I can push it further, I can take it up to Novice 2. Mentally it is better to go up a training plan than have to downgrade.

So the next month, I will start pre-training. Getting 3 solid runs in building up to the fist long run of 6 miles. I’ve got this….

New Beginnings

Life is filled with one new beginning after another. The road to life has many turns, backtracking, ups & downs and hopefully always moving forwards. There are many stops along the way, but the trick is not to idle too long or you may get stuck in one place.

Each journey along the road is a start of something new filled challenges, hopes, dreams and sometimes set backs. When we come to the beginning of a new road, we can either face the challenge, avoid it, change direction or drive into it. Sometimes starting a new journey is familiar. Some times it can be scary. Often a journey begins with hope.

I am about to embark on a few new journeys. Two familiar, yet not the same. One totally new and even with planning, research, and knowledge still a little frightening, exciting, and unknown.

The first journey is the beginning of my NYC Marathon training for Sandy Hook Promise. This is a journey that I faced before, yet it will still be a different road with new challenges, thrills, and hopes. This journey is scary not just for the training of the marathon but the fundraising aspect of it.

For the marathon running, I have been there done this as the saying goes. That being said, I have not done the 2019 marathon whose weather, training, and everything in between still has not been written. I am embarking on a 28 week training plan that has already started. The plan I have chosen is a basic marathon training plan with a slow build up, but will get me to the finish line. For now, I am not setting any training goals other than to finish better than last years 6 plus hour marathon. I also, for now, am not in a place to think about more than just a basic marathon training plan nor do I want to do more than be prepared.

For the marathon fundraising, I have been there done that once before; but again that was last year. This year my goal once again is $3,000 which is a scary goal that I am committed to hitting. For those who have never run as a charity runner, when you make this commitment it is not I will try. It is do and if you don’t hit your mark, you have signed a contract that you will personally make the payment. This is why you must be committed to the cause you are fundraising to which I am. I have been a believer in Sandy Hook Promise since they first organized and I signed up with them. That being said, it is a scary prospect as a mother of 3 children, one finishing his first year of college, one who is currently looking at colleges, to make a commitment like this. So far I’ve raised $50…. Gulp…… That being said, I have just started and this fundraiser is a marathon in itself.

Feel free to make a donation to this worthy cause though at…..https://www.crowdrise.com/o/en/campaign/sandy-hook-promise-foundation-nyc-2019/christinechaillet

Lastly I will also be starting a new adventure in my treatment of Hypoparathyroidism. The medication, Natpara, awaits in proper temperature in my refrigerator for the Natpara Nurse to come Monday to teach me how to prepare the mediation and give myself the daily injections. This is an exciting road that I’m hoping does not have too many bumps as I work out proper dosage and also adjust calcium supplements and Calcitrol dosage. I’m not expecting this to go without a hitch but hoping that it is easy transition. Once I start this treatment and get levels/dosage where they should be with any luck much of the issues that come from not producing the PTH hormone will be gone and my body can go back to factory settings.

Fingers crossed!

New beginnings are a part of life and I’m happy to be taking these paths right now.

Aging Up

Last week I hit what is considered a milestone birthday. It probably is because it was a big milestone. I aged up to the next running group.
I turned the Big 50.

Here’s the funny thing, the 9’s are hard for me. When I turned 49 I was like, “Oh crap, I’m almost 50.” Then by the time 50 rolled around, I had truly embraced it. Seriously. So much so that I had more than one friend tell me that they admired the way that I was handling it which I took as both a compliment and thought weird.

Here is the thing. Age really is just a number. Yes, age changes us both mentally and physically but it doesn’t stop us unless we let it. So I went into 50 boldly. I actually spent the week leading up to my birthday sharing bits and pieces of my past.

Yup, I was a Material Girl living in a material world and also a product of the 80’s!

Christine & boys

Skip over 20 years and it was so much better.

Anywhoo…. Yes, when I was that 16 I thought that 50 was so ancient. Then again I also thought that dressing like Madonna was cool, so my judgement should be questioned. One thing that I’ve learned over the years is that you must not only embrace who you are now, but who you were then. And while that does not mean that I need to share with everyone the who, what, and where of my past; it does mean coming to terms with it. Embracing it to know that all of those things brought me to who I am today and where I am right now.

As I’ve said before, much of what happens to us in life is out of our control. What we control is how we handle it, what we learn from it, and how we let it shape us.

I also know that age really is just a number. I have no choice to be 50, but I do choose to act like I did when I was 49 which means just doing what I’m doing. Besides I am happy to enter a new age category for running. Maybe that will help me. Maybe it won’t. What it won’t do is stop me.

So just days after turning 50, I am entering into another round of marathon training. This week begins NYC Marathon number 3 training (2 for Sandy Hook Promise) and when I cross finish line it will be marathon number seven and my sixth year in a row running one. I ran my first marathon in 2014 at the age of 45. I ran my first (and only so far) 50K at the age of 47. And with this new round of marathon training, I will embrace where I am today but begin it anyway:)

I have always beat to my own drum. I have always followed my own path. I certainly am not going to stop now. Life is a gift. We never know how long we will be able to do what we can enjoy or what is around the next corner. I was not meant to go through life in bubble wrap. No one is. You are meant to face it – the challenges, the good times, the really crappy times….. It all.

Most of all you are meant to live it.

So here is to 50 and all the adventures that it brings