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Starting Line

Life like running is filled with many starting and finish lines. Some you are ready for. Some you thought you were ready for. Some you wonder how you got there and some you wish you never crossed.

Any finish line can bring such a sense of accomplishment, pride, and sometimes even disappointment. It is easy looking back to play the I should have, I meant to, or why didn’t I game. These games are ones that sometimes are important so tht going foward you don’t keep making the same mistakes. The problem is if you never look back and learn from each finish line that you are destined to repeat the same race. Live, learn but don’t always repeat. The most important thing is to keep looking for your next starting line otherwise you will miss out.

Any Starting line is a scary event. They are also exciting. Right now, I am preparing to enter another new race. Actually I have a few but I’m going to talk about this with you first. It is exciting, scary, and one I am very hopeful about.

For the past 2 years since my surgery left me to live with hypoparathyroidism, I’ve kept moving forward. I’ve made the adjustments. I’ve come to terms with my limitations knowing that I have still been so lucky. I’ve done what I needed to do but honestly just waiting for the shoes to drop because either I live in the grey zone of low calcium or keep those levels up waiting for the problems that brings. As I’ve said before, I’ve been very lucky to have with in a year found a specialist in NYC that has both helped me navigate this pathway and also keep me from some of the pitfalls of not being treated properly. It is a delicate balancing act that mentally takes a toll too. I’m tired of being sick and tired and everything in between.

That being said, I am getting ready to enter another new corral that will hopefully bring to a close so many of the side effects of living with hypoparathyroidism.

I’m scared.

I’m excited.

I’m nervous.

Most of all I am ready. 

I have been approved to start a daily injection of Natpara.   This injection replaces the PTH hormone that my body no longer produces.   This will allow my body to self regulate my calcuim levels and function properly.   Something that it has been unable to do and the pile of pills that I take each day now bring their own potential side effects.   This is a better option.

This treatment is EXPENSIVE, but thankfully I have both good insurance and there is copay/deductable assistance. Even with good insurance I would never be able to afford this $8,000 to $10,000 A MONTH medication coast. There is precertification, putting all my ducks in a row, and dealing with the various paperwork to get it done. It requires training on my part as the medication needs to be mixed and injected daily. There is potential for side effects especially in the beginning as dosage is worked out. Although they do have some other very scary side effects listed, through research have found that this side effect has only been in mice and not humans. I’m willing to take the risk because living in the grey area of your life sucks.

I am hopeful.

A new starting line

We All Have Them

So today’s post may be a little different, but I’m a little different. So here goes.

There are people in your life that are suffering.    I would take it one step further and say that there are probably multiple people in your life suffering.   Suffering silently but suffering just the same suffering. I would bet that some you would never guess were anything but the happy go lucky person you think them to be.   Some may be suffering with anxiety, some depression, or some even a physical issue that is not obvious.    And just because you do not see their pain, see how hard they hold it together, or see how to anyone looking that everything really is not ok.    I will further say that often that people who suffer quietly, suffer from more than one thing.   Often they go hand in hand.


It is easy to miss the clues of their suffering becaue to be honest they go out of their way to make sure that no one sees it.   There are a multiple of reasons, but shame is a big factor. Then there is the “I don’t want to bother anyone” factor.   Then there is the lack of understanding. Maybe they’ve opened up but it was missed.   Some try to understand.   Some want to understand.   Some will never understand.   Worse is the one who hears you, but thinks your exaggerating or it’s not a big deal.

To each person struggling no matter what the reason, it is a big deal.

Often when someone opens up about their struggles, it is hard for the person hearing it.   I get that.   I’ve been on both sides of this equation.    It is uncomfortable.   You don’t know what to say.    You try to make it  better, but often words fall flat.    Sometimes it is the words.   Sometimes it is the receivers perception.   Sometimes it is both.    Sometimes we are battling our own demons that it is hard to recognize someone else’s. That is why it is all so difficult, complicated, and hard.


In my life, I have suffered from all of the above circumstances.    Sometimes they go hand in hand.   Sometimes they are minor.   Sometimes they are not.   Often though they are invisible.   Often it would surprise people.   I was once told by someone when I was sharing something about my struggles with hypoparathyroidism that “everyone has their own shit” which is true.   Although this person was telling me this as a way to tell me that I should basically just deal and be quiet. Nice. I know. Nice.

For me sometimes it is just about wanting someone to recognize what your going through.   That is it.   Recognize that the struggle is real.   Recognize that no it must not be nice that I NEED a nap by mid afternoon.   Not the I’ve had a long day, I’m tired nap.   The if I don’t close my eyes for at least 15 minutes I am going to fall to the ground tired because I can no longer function as a human nap.     That when I go through periods where I’m getting out of bed like I’m 80 because my muscles are sore, that I use the wrong words because my brain has brain fog, or that my body can not do what it should be able to do and that these symptoms as others come and go.  That sometimes there may be depression or anxiety that comes with these low calcium levels. That I’m not asking for your pity. I’m not asking you to fix anything. Sometimes a…. “that sucks” response is enough. That’s all it takes some days.

 
For those that struggle no matter what the battle, they know that yes everyone has their own issues. They know that often you must put on a happy face because like when the cashier at the gracery store asks how you are often people in your life want the canned response too.   Some days, you can give it.   Some days you can’t and on those days you realize why you keep it to yourself. 


Here’s the thing though…..  We shouldn’t be keeping these things to ourself.   Those in our circle do want to know.   They want to know when your crying in your car because your devastated by something in your life, they want to know how to help you.   But we are all human and sometimes we are too stuck in the weeds ourselves, so we fail.   We fail ourselves.   We fail those that we love.   We are all human and the only way we are going to get through this thing called life is with each other.

We also need to forgive those that have failed us. For those in my life that I have failed, I am truly sorry. We need to recognize that people in our lives are not perfect, but that doesn’t mean they love us any less or don’t want to be there when we need them.


“If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.”

Regina Brett

This saying could not be more true. So my thought for today is to remember to be kind to each other. Remember that we are not perfect and most of all remember you are not in this alone.

There is No test

Bad Ass
The term gets thrown around a lot in the running community.   Rightly so because there are so many out there.  

That being said….. What if there is not one size shoe fits all for being a bad ass.


You finish a 100 mile challenge – Definitely a Bad Ass

You finish a 50 mile challenge – Defineitly a Bad Ass

You finish a 50K – Definitly a Bad Ass

You finish a Marathon – still definitely a Bad Ass

You finish a Half Marathon – Go you Bad Ass runner

You finish a 5K –  Look at your bad ass self


What about if you don’t do these things but still get up every day deciding to be the best version of you? What if just pushing yourself forward is more than enough?   Does that count?


You bet your Bad Ass self it does!!   There is no test to become a Bad Ass.   There is no standard.   Each person decides for themselves. As I’ve said before, what is easy for one person is a challenge for someone else. What is a challenge for one person might be impossible for another. It goes both ways. What is hard for one person is easy for another. Unless you are a top of the line competitive athlete, there is always someone better, faster, fitter than you. There is probably someone who would also love to be where you are too.

Here is another thing…….. These things change over time. What was once hard may become easy. What was once easy may become hard again. The ups and down of life. This is why you need to live, train, and appreciate where you are in life and your training.

Today I finished my Couch to 5K training. I did my 5K on a treadmill. Where a 5K was once easy, it is now hard but not impossible. Someone said to me today that you haven’t been a Couch person for a while and while they are right, this was right for me. It was good to go back to the beginning. To remember that it is easy to get out of tune with yourself and take stock again. I realized that I need to keep my levels up to a certain point, that maybe speed and daily runs aren’t in my best interest right now. That I can do this. This is what this training has done for me. It has allowed me to reassess where I am, what I can do, and start to think about where I want to go.

Looking forward is so much better than looking backwards. Yes, I’ve realized that for now I am much slower than I used to be. Yes, I am at a point where I’m not sure if I would be comfortable running with others because I would feel like I would be slowing them down. Yes, I am lucky that I can do what I can do. There are others with Hypoparathyroidism that would LOVE to do the things that I can do. I can’t complain. What I can do is live where I am. Run where I am and once again start to enjoy the wind in my face.

Where are you?

Driving with the Handbrake On

I once shared a quote saying that having Hypopara was like driving with the handbrake on. This is really a good description.

Imagine that for a week you stayed up late every night only to have to get up early every morning to go to work. Than after doing this for several days, you not only stay up late but stay up late drinking. You do this for a few nights. Then after several days of doing this you wake up and are expected to run a marathon. Not only did you have to run the marathon, but you were expected to run it well. You were further expected to do so without a complaint and ignoring any discomfort that you might have. Just do it.

This is living with hypopara. And I don’t mean being an athlete with Hypoparathyroidism. I mean just day to day living with it. Now I share this because as my friends know, I am a firm believer that knowledge is power. That sharing our experiences helps us to understand each other and be able to support each other better. That in order to understand someone, you need to understand where they are coming from or have been. This is where I am now. So I share this analogy for that reason.

Today I went out for week 6 Day 3 of my C25K training. This was the longest run yet with this program. After walking for 5 minutes, I needed to run for 22 minutes with no walking. I admit that I wasn’t sure I would be able to do it, but I was determined to do it.

I’ll let you in on a secret. If you haven’t figured it out yet, I am very stubborn. Just ask my mother. I went into this run today determined to do it. I went into this run really not sure if I could do it. There were times on this run that I cursed. I wish on that hill that I had seen the woman in her front yard because she might have thought that I had turrets. There were times I looked at my watch to count the minutes down. I did not stop. I did not quit. I finished.

Not only did I finish, but since I was running outside I had to walk home when done. I ended up finishing a total of 3 miles in a little over 40 minutes.

I am happy. I am pleased with myself. I have my feet in my foot massager. I will nap shortly. But best of all, I did it.

Right and Wrong

No matter where you fall in the spectrum on how we can improve and fix our broken healthcare system in this country, most will agree that there is a problem. I have thought for a long time and it has been brought home to me so much more these last two years that the biggest problem is that we have taken so much of the decision making off of the doctors. Again, there is much to this discussion but I am going to be very narrowly focused on this in this post. This post will focus on my issues and you can glean from that how this effects our system in a broader sense.

For those who have been here a while, you know that two weeks after running the 2016 NYCM I had my thyroid removed. This not only left me without a thyroid, but my parathyroid glands were damaged leaving me also with hypoparathyroidism. I was led to believe prior to surgery that this very infrequent possibility would really just be a minor inconvenience of having to take calcium supplements.

That is both right and wrong.

Wrong – It is not a minor blip.

Right…. Yes, my body no longer produces the parathyroid hormone (PTH), thereby causing my body to be unable to regulate it’s calcium. PTH also controls the level of phosphorus and has a role in the production of the active form of vitamin D. All of these activities are required to maintain calcium balance which does so much more than give you good teeth and strong bones.

Here is a list of common complications

“Tingling of the lips and hands (due to muscle spasms and overactive nerves), muscle cramps, and pain in face, legs, feet Dry hair, brittle nails, dry skin, and weakened tooth enamel Abdomen pain, muscle pain, constant headaches Cataracts, heart arrhythmia, peaked QT waves (shown on EKG) Tetany (muscle spasms) of trachea/larynx, causing breathing difficulties Kidney stones and kidney failure due to high phosphorous. Deafness and hearing loss is connected to hypoparathyroidism due to a defective receptor on the kidneys Irritability, confusion, dementia, hallucinations. Convulsions or seizures Sleep apnea and insomnia Consciousness decreased Learning disabilities and behavioral disabilities (ADD, etc.) Hypocalcemia and hyperphosphatemia “

Now I can tell you off the bat that I’ve had a decent amount of these. I’ve been lucky not to have any of the major ones (yet), although at my last eye exam she did see the beginning of cataracts (I’m not even 50 yet). Now the reason I think that I have been so lucky not to have the kidney issues is because within a year of my surgery, I was seeing a doctor in NYC who specializes in this disorder. If not, I would bet that I would be having issues.

Prior to seeing this specialist, I saw another doctor who only looked at the calcium blood levels. They were great. Right in the normal zone. The problem was that he never checked the output. The first thing this doctor did was order a 24- hour urine test. My results were a 578. To be clear anything over 300 is bad. With these results, we worked on lowering this number. In order to do this, we had to reduce my calcium supplements and prescription medications. Mission accomplished.

Now the flip side to this….. In order to bring down the urine calcium output, I had to bring down the input. Makes sense. BUT that then also reduces my actual blood calcium levels. I live in a state of perpetually low calcium. 8.5 is considered the low end of normal. My last blood drawl, I was at 8. Living on the edge that’s what I do.

So my doctors and I decided that quality of life was suffering due to this constant state of low calcium…… Muscle spasm’s, muscle cramps, dry skin, napping almost daily, brain fog like you would not believe and more. I’ve said to my family that I make this look easy. On a daily basis, I just go about my business getting done what needs to get done but they don’t see the cost…..

Some mornings, needing to use the nightstand to get out of bed like a grandma. Afternoons where it is all I can do to push through till I can literally close my eyes. And I’m not talking about, “Oh I’m tired I wish I could nap” feeling. I’m talking about, “if I don’t rest for at least 15 minutes I’m going to fall down” feeling. There is a lot to this crap that just becomes part of your daily life, so there really is no need to talk about it. Some days I use the grit that gets me to the finish line of a marathon just to make it to the end of the day. You do what you’ve got to do.

I also firmly with no proof believe that being an athlete helped me. It helped me because I was already in tune to my body. Learning to listen to the signs when training that I could tell when my body needed extra calcium and adjusted accordingly. It’s a guessing game, because there is no at home monitoring system like a diabetic has with insulin levels. Because of this, I have been able to adjust and keep myself from crashing which for many requires a trip to emergency room to get IV.

I know that for a whole host of reasons, I am very lucky. Yet, my treatment plan to add Natpara is not mine and my doctors to make apparently. Insurance has denied it because I do not meet their criteria. Even though my doctor and I think I do.

So because apparently this treatment option is very costly, my doctor and I need to jump through hoops to prove why it is necessary. I feel like the monkey in the middle. It is wrong. Wrong. Wrong. So now it’s time to jump through hoops with my doctors help to justify to someone why I should be able to have the treatment plan that my doctor and I agree is the right course of action for me.

I wonder at what point in our country, did we stop letting doctors and patients make decisions that were best for the patient and not the bottom line of an insurance company.



Expectations

Why do we always look at starting over in a negative manner? Isn’t it positive that in many cases we were willing to pick ourselves up and begin again?

Why yes, yes it is.

Don’t we normally look forward and congratulate those who are starting new chapters in their lives….. Weddings, babies, going off to college, ect, ect.. And while some new beginnings are not wanted and are hard, picking yourself up and having the courage to face a new beginning makes you a stronger person even if its one you never wanted or would wish on anyone.

As I’ve mentioned before, once again I’m starting over. Back to square one. I went through the motions and pretended that I didn’t need to do this, but I did. I beat myself up about it even while I was starting it until I realized the beauty of starting over.

No expectations. As nike says…. Just Do It.

I’m working on week 4 in my C25K program. I’m sticking to it. No more. No less, but I’m getting it done. I have enjoyed going back to the beginning. When I started my fitness journey years ago, I needed to learn what my body needed. What it could do. How far I could push it. I’m relearning that again and it feels good.

After NYCM, I went almost 2 months of not running where I felt “normal” where I gave my body a chance to just be. It needed it. I need it. I am now relearning what my body can do and what the effects are once it does it. My legs are once again sore. I need to stretch. I’ve been using my back and foot massager a lot. After 2 months of not feeling like this, it’s an adjustment. One that I like. I’m realizing just how far I can push myself and if I go too far what I will deal with. I’m learning, adjusting, and moving forward with the knowledge.

It was interesting the other day I went for blood work and then after for my run. I’ve been running on the treadmill so that I can more closely monitor my pace and also so I only do what I need to do. I could tell going in that my calcium was low which the blood work confirmed, so I did not push the pace. I had a good run and finished more than 2 miles. What was good about this though is that not only did I do the run, but my instinct about where my body was right on the money. Learning to read the signs and trust them.

I will say that this time is also helping me make friends with running on a treadmill. I am able to control the pace. I am able to control how long I will be running. On the plus side, I am also avoiding the cold. That being said, I’ve had the confidence to push the paces (for me) and hit my targeted goals of sticking with the program.

I’m not sure where this new fitness journey will take me, but i will admit that I am glad the I am on it.

Where are you going?


Give Me A Break….

While this blog is called the Accidentally Running Mama, I’ve decided that I’m going to be the purposefully taking a break from Running Mama for a bit.    I’m not done running.   I’ve got many more miles in me, but I realized that for now running is not bringing the joy to me that it once did.   There are a variety of reasons, but I think the best way to find the joy is to take a moment.  

I’ll be honest, the only thing that motivated me and kept me running these last few months is that I was running for Sandy Hook Promise.   It was never about the running, it was about them.   Now that I do not have that incentive and need to run for me, I just don’t want to.

I have been pushing myself these last 2 years since my surgery.   First recovering from the actual surgery.   Then running Chicago Marathon just to prove that I could still run a marathon.   Then as I just said, NY was not about me but about a cause very near and dear to my heart.    Now it is well past time that I intentionally sit back, reassess where I want to go and how I want to get there.    What is the point in reaching a destination if your not sure that’s even where you want to go.

I admit that I’ve let myself get sucked in.   I’ve let myself be ruled by the what ifs.   The maybes.   The it could happen.   When you do that, you don’t live to the fullest.   You live in the shadows and miss out.   So I’ve been living in the shadows so to speak.   I’ve been pushing forward pretending that I didn’t need this breather, but I do.

I need to take a moment for a few reasons:

In order to keep my urine calcium levels in normal range, I have been keeping my blood calcium under the normal range.   While this has been good for my kidneys, overall it has not been good for me.   The lower calcium blood levels cause fatigue, depression, muscle cramps, muscle spasms’ just to name a few.   Now while it might seem like I am complaining, I also know how lucky I am because there are many who have it so much worse than me.   That is where I’ve been living in the shadows.  Almost waiting for the other shoe to drop and trying to pretend that the shoes are on tight.

I’ve been talks with my doctor to possibly take a daily injection of the hormone my body no longer produces (PTH).   This has been very successful for many.   Allowing them to reduce their medications and supplements.   It is a scary concept because this medication does come with a warning label for bone cancer although I’ve been told that there have been no reported cases.   I’ll be honest, I watched my brave father-in-law die of bone cancer and I don’t think I could be as brave as him.   Plus, I’m only turning 50 this year and I’m not sure what the long term effects of this would be besides the fact that it is ungodly expensive.   Like Seriously, you could buy a house some places for the cost of it for a year.

Anyhoo….. While I ponder the above, I’ve decided that I need to step out of the shadows.   While I have no idea what my calcium levels are since you can only find out with a blood work, I have added an extra 250 mg of Calcium to my regime a day.   And yes, I mean regime….. 4 times a day remembering to take my pills which is why I use a daily pill box.   I can tell though that this small addition has made a difference.  I can actually now make it through most days without NEEDING (like can’t keep eyes open) to take a short nap.   My face no longer passes the Chvostek sign test.  My mother thinks it makes my face look like it wobbly like jello.    That being said, I do not think I’ve raised my calcium high enough to cause other issues because my legs still cramp at night.

On top of that I do believe that I’ve got some foot issues.   My guestimated diagnosis is Morton’s Neruoma but I’m only using Dr Google.  Although I’ve got no clue.   I’m waiting till January to see Podiatrist  if it is still bothering me.   I’ve got a valid reason to wait… Insurance.   Anyway if I am right and even if I’m wrong, resting my foot is usually a recommendation.  

I’ve also decided that I’m going to take this time to start eating healthier.   Adding more natural minerals into my body.   Mainly Calcium and Magnesium.   This past week I have started on this journey by beginning my foray into juicing which I will share in a later post.

And finally, I need to get back to the gym.   Besides the obvious reasons, I do think it will also help me to learn how far I can push myself which has become more of a mental issue.

Anyway, even though I am not going to be running, I am also not planning to sit still.   I hope to be as productive as I can be during this crazy time of year.   But I think for me, at this time, this is what I need.

Time for a Break

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.

Is It Worth It?

Running a marathon is hard.   It is hard for everyone from the first place finisher to the final finisher.   It takes dedication, pain, time, and so much more to not only get to the start line, but to cross that finish line.     Often during marathon training season a runner will question their sanity, their endurance, and their sanity again.

Recently I’ve been mulling around the question in my brain…..

At What Cost?

I’m part of many online running groups and have been for years.   I will say that being part of the Moms Run This Town group is what took my running to the next level.   It introduced me to a group of amazing and dedicated runners whose experience I learned from and helped prepare and gently push me to take leaps of faith in my running.    I really owe that group to where I am today.

With any running/training group there are people for all over the spectrum….. From full Ironman competitions, 100 mile events, 5k’s and any other number of amazing feats.   There are also people whose feats are amazing just for getting out the door.   Everyone determines their own path in this world and just because someone does not take their running “to the next level” does not make their feats any less praise worthy.

Each person chooses their own path.   Their own destiny.   Their own finish line.  Some great feats are obvious to all, but some are not so easily recognized.

Recently I was taking with a woman from my Hypopara athlete training group.   We were talking about various treatment options, comparing levels, and symptoms.   She by trade was an amazingly organized person and created spreadsheets tracking her levels, dosages, and such.   Have to say that I was in awe of what she did and felt like a bit of a slacker, but I’ve never been that organized of a person.   Anyone want to create spreadsheets for me?  Ha!

During our chat,  we talked exercise.   Her doctor who is also a leading doctor for Hypoparathyroidism has different mindset than mine who is also a leading doctor. Hers does not want her to do strenuous exercise because then she must up her calcium intake while my doctor does not think this is an issue as long as my levels stay good.   I do need to up calcium levels during exercise and while I do not take a tremendous amount of calcium compared to some people with the disorder, I do adjust on days that I push myself adding almost 1000mg or more depending upon intensity/sweating/distance.

She asked me a question that I can’t seem to shake….

Is it worth it?

My immediate response was yes because I get so much from it.   Great cardio workout,  hopefully help to maintain weight which creeped up, friendships, and honestly the most important… The peace of mind it brings.   The clarity that I get when my mind ponders things during a run I have not been able to duplicate elsewhere.

Still…. I ponder….

Even with these things I need to ask myself, “Is it worth it?”

Pushing myself can be difficult.   I’ve recently realized that my calcium drops with my cycle but even at my “normal” levels there are issues.   And while I have adjusted and continued my training,  I have been pondering what to do after NYC Marathon.

The marathon is a tough beast.   It is unforgiving.   It is intense.    It is harsh, but in the end and at it’s core

IT IS A BEAUTIFUL AND AMAZING JOURNEY

For now, it is worth it.

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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