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Some people might think because I run marathons that I never suffer from issues from my Hypoparthyridism. They would be wrong. It just is part of the routine now.

Case in point

Claw hand

Yesterday, while cleaning kitchen. Not doing anything out of the ordinary. Unless you count really doing a deep clean. Hmmmm

I think the difference is that while running though, I really pay attention and adjust. During build up of the miles in my training for marathon, I pat attention to the signals. Monitoring when hands start to get tingly. Pay attention to how hard to push before adding more calcium. It is all so random to be honest and changes all the time. Things that always effect it though are temperatures when running, pace and how hard I’m pushing, time of day, time on feet, and really what the calcium Gods decide. At least that last one feels pretty accurate.

One thing that I realized during a training run is definitely extra calcium is required before mile 10. It is always better to keep the levels up than try to recover from when the hands start to tingle. During training if it was a longer run, I would make sure to take my morning dose of calcium and calcitriol before running. If it was a shorter run, I would take it as soon as I got home. If it was a LOOOONG training run, I might add extra calcium powder (Calez) to my water. If it was a hot day, I would do the same. Regardless though, I always kept a pack of the powder with me because some days I needed it and some days I didn’t, Really is a crap shoot.

On marathon day and the day before, I did some preparation. In eventing before the marathon, I took an extra dose of my Calcitriol because normally I aim to keep my blood calcium levels at just below or at the the low end of normal. So I didn’t want to go into the marathon with low calcium already. Then the morning of before I left at the super early hour of 6:00 AM, I took my morning dose which normally I don’t take until 10ish. Then I packed with me my normal meds but taking an extra dose with me as it was going to be a long and hard day. I wasn’t starting until 12:00, so I had to bob and weave before the bob and weaving actually began. So around 11:00 am or so, I took another dose of calcium and calcitriol which really would have been my normal time. Then I made sure to add Calez to one of my water bottles to have along the course. I saved another dose of my calcium, calcitriol and magnesium for when I finished. Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy.

I will say that I think for once I ran a smart race. It helped that I ran the first 16-17 miles with a friend. I think we kept each other in check. We ran paces that were sustainable. We ran smart. We also walked when needed but also encouraged each other to push ourselves to run. I ran a much smarter race when I was running with her. I would have loved to have run the whole thing with her, but we split up when she needed to stop for a bathroom pit stop. At that point, I really was afraid that if I stopped that it would be too hard to start up again. My legs were dead. My foot was hurting. Stopping was not an option for me unless I wanted to call it a day.

So I kept on going……

And going……

And going…..

At first I did not run as smart as I did when I was with Rosa, but I caught on to my stupidity. So I tried to run smarter. I walked more than I probably would have than if I was with her, but the pain was real.

But so was the joy….

The bottom line though was I still got where I wanted to get which was the finish line.

Yes, I know you’ve seen this photo before, but I do so love it.

Everyone who runs a marathon has hardships that they push through to get to the finish line. It wouldn’t be a marathon without it. This is just part of mine. Before becoming Hypopara, I didn’t have to take into account medications and added calcium, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t different challenges. As they say…….

If marathons were easy everyone would do them. I’m just too stubborn not to do what I have to do to get to the finish.

An Actual Running Post

So since this is supposed to be a running blog, I thought I would do something novel and actually talk about my running…. I know, shocking!!!

As you know my training for NYC Marathon has been all over the place. I started off great following my training plan right up until I didn’t. And while my training hasn’t been stellar with following the plan. I feel (especially after yesterday) that I have been doing ok.

You know the expression….. You do you

Well I have been doing me and it has been working. With all my issues both mentally and physically, I just started loosely following the plan and doing what I felt would work for me. Before all my issues, I’ve followed training plans to the letter T (what does that even mean?) with great results. The problem with cookie cutter plans is that when you are not the ”ideal” runner, they might not work for you. Even though I took that into consideration in the beginning, I took it to the next level recently. After yesterday, I would say it has worked for me.

What have I been doing?

Well not as much running as my plan has called for. On days where I had foundation runs, I might have done HITT, biking, combo of biking/running, or even yoga. Since my goal has never been about time, I really stopped worrying about training runs where I needed to hit certain paces/training zones. I would do the run my way. Once I got back on ”schedule” with my plan, my biggest thing was to make sure that I was getting in the miles for long runs which is really where I was lacking. Even then I needed to make sure not to jump my miles too quickly as I was behind. So I adjusted.

Having run multiple marathons, I also know what works for me in training and what doesn’t. I know runners who feel the need to run multiple 20 mile training runs for their marathons. I have done them and I know that for what ever reason they don’t work for me. I find them defeating. I find them hard in a way that is not good for me mentally going into an event. They just don’t work for me. I would much rather do 16 to 18 miles and then the next day do a few miles on tired legs. This works for me.

Now all that being said, yesterday I went out for my longest run this cycle and I started at noon which is about the time that I will be starting NYC. I wanted to see how my body would be at that time of day as normally I run right after I take my morning meds.

16 miles.

It went well. To be honest, it went MUCH better than I expected. I continued with the walking the first 3 miles as I ALWAYS start off too fast. Plus since being Hypopara it does seem to take my body a bit to warm up. Then my goal was to keep the pace in the mid 12’s. To keep it at a level that I felt that I could run more than walking. There was no walk/run time. There was just doing what I could. I found that if I paid attention to pace, ran the “slower” pace, and didn’t try to run something I can’t sustain that I could run. I could run without the need to walk. Now don’t get me wrong…. There was walking, but there was much more running.

In order to conserve my battery, I did the first 6 miles with no music. Just me and my thoughts. I am not a runner who minds being alone and it was nice. Maybe a little boring, but I reminded myself that NYC will not be boring. I normally do not listen to music on race day as I LOVE to listen to the crowds, the runners feet hitting pavement, and just taking it all in. Out alone in my town though it does get boring.

Holding back is what I realize that I need to do if I want to have a good day. Yes, I can run faster BUT I can not sustain those paces AND they are not good for my body or feet. As you can see, I kept a fairly steady pace. At the end though, I wanted to push it to see what I still had in the tank. You know the Finish Strong mentality. I pushed it to the point that my arms literally went numb (you know the feeling like you laid on them). It was a good training run both mentally and physically.

What I learned…… Starting later, I do need to adjust my calcium intake. At mile 10, I added Calez to my water for added calcium but maybe I should start earlier. I also need to add more as miles add up. Maybe even taking a calcitrol at some point during run. This is why my arms/hands went numb at the end. As soon as I finished my run yesterday, I came inside and popped 500 mg calcium and a .25 calcitriol as I felt a crash coming. This also may have been due to the faster pace at the end. Either way, I need to pay attention and adjust accordingly. One thing with calcium levels is that they fluctuate and you have to pay attention to the signs to adjust with them.

Another thing that I made a mistake on yesterday, but to me I think it was a beneficial mistake……. I forgot my bag of fuel. This time around, I have been trying not to use gels but more natural (ok still processed) food. Since I started at 12, I didn’t eat lunch. So I ate a protein bar before starting out. I had a bag of almonds and some bars with me. I left the bag on counter, so I only had one Nutrigrain bar for the entire run. I ate half at mile 6 and then finished off around mile 12. While not ideal, I view this as a win because just think of how much better my body will feel when properly fueled on course. Learning to run/push when the tank is literally empty is not a bad thing.

Recovery…….

When I came home, I stretched. I took added meds. I had a chocolate cake batter smoothie (Sadly no actual cake batter, but healthy proteins). Then I soaked in some epsom salt. Followed by the use of my foot massager. Overall recovery was good. Although I know that I did not replenish both water and nutrients enough. We ordered Thia food and I really couldn’t even eat much as I wasn’t hungry. Weird…. but I will do better today.

Today as I sit here typing, I feel good. I feel like I just ran 16 miles yesterday. My feet are sore, but normal sore. My legs are tired, but normal tired. I will do some restorative yoga and be kind to my body. I will also make sure today’s smoothie has some properties that will benefit recovery.

How is your training going?

It’s Complicated

In a relationship with food?

My relationship with food is complicated. Always has, but hopefully always won’t be. It does have a past though…

As I have said before I was the fat kid growing up. I may sound like a broken record when I say that but for some reason it stays with you. This may have been made more complicated by the fact that I literally had a balerina/Ms Teen USA older sister and lots of other dynamics growing up. Although they may speak more to body image than food relationship, but there is always a correlation.

When I think of my childhood some of my happiest memories are around food. I remember making fudge on the farm with one of my sudo Godmother’s as a young child. I remember my brother’s and sisters making Christmas cookies while listening to Christmas music (The carpenter’s) on an old record player. It’s funny too because I have a horrible memory when it comes to my early childhood but these standout. These are good memories.

I also have the stark recollection of my childhood doctor talking to my mother about my weight and giving her a diet I needed to follow. Do doctors still do that? I mean if you look at the pictures of me as a child, while I was not the ”ideal” weight I also now think this was extreme. Then again, I grew up in the 70’s, so I am betting times have changed. Based on where we lived (we moved several times, so this is how I tell times of my childhood), I would guesstimate that I was probably in 5th or 6th grade. Anyway, I remember getting into trouble for having an extra packet of oatmeal for breakfast. I don’t even remember the trouble (wouldn’t have been more than Mom saying something), but I remember the feeling. (Also in my Mom’s defense, she was deferring to the doctors and again this was the 70’s).

I would also like to give exhibit A to this story……

On the left and adorable but I didn’t know it at the time
On the left again and at that very awkward stage but still not at a level that screams in need of diet

So as I share these stories, I wonder if anyone else has thought about their complicated history with food and how it effects them now?

I have started to think more about my food choices. I have started to think more about my relationship with foods, how it effects my body, and what better choices I can make. For the most part as an adult, I really have never thought about these things. Yes, I have thought about what I want to eat, where we are eating, and all of those things; but I have never really given food choices much thought. I’m hungry. I eat. Not why am I hungry. Why am I hungry for XYZ and why am I making the food choices that I am making and are they really good for my body, my health and my mental well being. That last is in reference to when we gorge ourselves on chocolates, cookies, or what not and how it makes us feel later. You know the… I should not have eaten all of that food guilt/shame.

Recently I had a consultation and then my first session with a Holistic functional nutritionist. In just talking with her these two times, I have started to think about my food choices more. Her open ended questions of simple things….. What if your replaced X with Z, how do you think that would make you feel? Why do think you NEED to have a snack at night? Are you really hungry or is it just habit? She is a runner who has run several marathon’s and I feel this helps. She has also said, we will do no major changes to my diet until after the marathon although changes have already started to occur just in thinking about things. Plus in looking at my diet, she has already pointed out that I need more protein and I also need more water which I can and should implement right away.

For me, this is about my health. This is not about number on the scale. When she asked me what I wanted out of our time together and what our goals were, I thought of my Grandmother. A woman who drank nothing but probably coffee or iced tea. Who never went to the doctors and if she did didn’t really listen to them. Who smoked right up until she kind of forgot she did when she had stroke. Who up until the end was the healthiest unhealthy person you could have met. I said to Lisa (my nutritionist) that I worry with my hypopara and the toll it takes on my body (thinking long term kidney health), having to now use a CPAP machine, and now peri-menopausal that my goal is to be the ”bad ass woman that I was meant to me” channeling my Grandother.

The original badd ass woman

So this is my new life motto:) Ok, it may have already been my unoffical motto but I thought about it now.

So with this in mind, I have started implementing minor changes that are really not so minor but they don’t feel life altering which makes them easier to stick with.

  1. Start my day off with a glass of water before coffee. Preferably with lemon and continued through out the day.
  2. Instead of skipping breakfast or worse grabbing something aimlessly that really offers no value, I have started my day with smoothies (Go to my instgram to see them). I do not feel like I am giving something up and hubby now benefits because I make smoothies for 2. It’s kind of like a game now where he tries to guess what is in them. Besides being tasty (a pre-rec for anything I make), it is packed with nutrients and are filling.
  3. Thinking about what I am actually eating has made me want to eat better.
  4. Realizing that some eating is really just habitual and better choices can be made.

Lisa and I have talked about my Hypopara especially in our initial consultation. Some holistic groups I’ve been in are very anti-medication/supplement and feel like you should get everything naturally. Before working with her, I wanted to make sure not only did she understand but was on board with my circumstances. As a person with hypoparathyroidism, my body does not produce the hormone PTH which helps to regulate many things but Calcium is the big one. I also no longer have a thyroid. Because of these two factors, I take a boat load of pills a day. This is just the way it is…….. Some such as my calcitriol and thyroid meds are a must as is the vitamin D, magnesium, and, of course, calcium supplements.

All that being said, though, as I am entering this journey adding more natural calcium to my diet……. I am beginning to wonder if maybe….. just maybe…… instead of taking calcium supplements 4 times a day……. maybe just maybe….. I only need them twice a day, I could replace one or possible two of them from a food source. Would that be better for my body? Would it help me with my kidney health long term. More importantly for the short term, would it keep my calcium levels where they need to be?

These are things rattling around my brain and only time will tell.

What is your relationship with food and have you ever thought why?

PS – here is Lisa’s info – https://www.embraceyourwellnessjourney.com/blog

Taking Back The Keys

Part of being a passenger of life is abdicating responsibility and therefore accountability. If it is all out of our control, then nothing that happens is our fault. Not really the way it works. I realize that even though I had thought I was taking control, I had handed over the keys and just going along for the ride.

There is truth that with Hypoparathyroidism much is out of my control, but I also recently realized that I was giving up all control to it. That I was believing that due to the Hypopara that I just had to go along for the ride. That there was nothing that I could do That I just had to go along with the status quo. I was wrong.

I have talked about gaining the 20 plus pounds since becoming Hypopara. I’ve tried to loose it with no luck. So I just gave up. And this is not even about the weight but about health. For me this is now about my creeping up cholesterol, feet that are suffering from the extra weight, and now my sleep apnea.

This past week I took a step about taking back control and jumpstarting my healthy nutrition. I completed a five day healthy smoothie challenge which is just what is sounds like. Every morning instead of skipping breakfast or eating something filled with carbs an no nutritional value, I started the morning creating delicous, healthy, and power packed smoothies. They were yummy. They were easy to make and they also left to better choices later in the day.

Pineapple Mango Spinach Smoothie
Sweet Potato Pie Smoothie
Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana
Pineapple Banana Smoothie
Peanut Butter Banana Blueberry Smoothie

I found these to be a great way to start the morning and set me up for a better day. Come lunch, I was making healthier choices and I was thinking about what I was putting into my body instead of just aimlessly grabbing something.

One good choice can lead to another…….

How do you start your morning?

Seriously, Seriously, Seriously

I’ve written about this before, but I will again……..

When you are not a size 8, people automatically think that you must eat nothing but crap all the time. That you start off your morning with a donut. Followed by a Big Mac for lunch followed by fried chicken for dinner. Topped off by bon bons, cake, cookies and what not all during the day.

It’s exhausting

Not the eating. The dealing with the misconception.

These misconceptions come from everyone including healthcare providers. Some are more understanding than others but even the understanding ones I think give you the side eye. Years ago when I was 25 pounds lighter and in great shape, I was considered borderline obese. I was wearing a size 8 but the numbers on the scale were high. Probably because at the time I was doing Crossfit, training for a marathon than, and all muscle. I had a doctor just look at the scale and tell me that I should have a shake for breakfast, a salad for lunch, and a small dinner to get my weight down. I switched doctors.

But now, we fast forward a few years. Due to my thyroid/hypoparathyroidism I gained 20 pounds in one year. Sadly, due to covid year, probably gained another 5. I also know that I am also in not as great shape as my Crossfit days nor am I as young (shocking). That was 2016. I am 51 now. I have my thryoid/para issues. I am premenopausal (sorry guys) and it is hard. Really hard.

So yesterday, I went to see my Endocrinologist. She did take into account some things, but I still feel like she was looking at me like I am making excuses. I pointed out that once again, I am training for a marathon and I am active. She suggested that maybe a food tracking app would be good because sometimes people don’t realize what they are eating. Then went on to say that I should use the setting that doesn’t take into account exercise. WTF! WTF…… Excuse me (ahem) Bitch……. If I am going for a 6, 8, 10 plus mile run, I am going to need to fuel the run and recovery. I also don’t think she believed me when I said that I for the most part eat a healthy diet, am a pescatarian and do balance it.

Exhibits from last week.

Low fat yogurt with fresh fruit and granola
Letting dog have bit of apple once I’m done
To be clear, I did balance with a piece of banana cake but still…

Now, here me out…….. I know I could do more. I know that I could have the damn shake for breakfast, salad for lunch, and small dinner with carrots as a snack. I know. I know…… I know……

Here is the thing……

I don’t freaking want to!

Seriously…….

Maybe it is the trying and trying and trying. Followed by the failing and failing and failing. Who knows. I also know that thryroid/hypoparthyroidism/hormones/age/ect are already working against me. So maybe I have given up before I started, but weight really is just a number. I don’t know why we let us define us so much.

My cholesterol last year while higher than previous with lower good cholesterol than in past is still good. While I take tons of medication daily none of them are for blood pressure or cholesterol, so there is that. My sugar levels are normal. And while I know that the extra weight probably did move my sleep apnea from high end of mild to extreme, I still had it 25 pounds ago.

I am also a petulant child. Tell me to do something and I will dig my heals in, cross my arms, and pout that “I don’t want to do!”

So who knows.

Would I like to fit back into my size 8 jeans?

You bet….

Will it ever happen?

Doubtful.

It is also really frustrating that just because it probably won’t happen that people think it is because I have no self control. Here is another fun fact….. I was a fat kid. I still remember the doctor telling my mom when I was in grammar school that she needed to put me on a diet. I still remember getting in trouble for sneaking a second packet of……. Wait for it……… wait for it…….. Oatmeal for breakfast. The shame. The teasing in school. The name calling.

Of all the things that people should feel shame for being fat isn’t one of them. So while we are now at a point where fat shaming is not really accepted, it is still going strong. Being skinny doesn’t necessarily equate to being healthy any more than being fat equates to being unhealthy.

A Small Step is still a Step Foward

I used to always use the expression

I not only used it, but I meant it. Well what if now I’m not so bold. If I don’t want to go big? If I don’t want to go bold? Yes, I do like the thought of going home, but before doing that I do want to do some stuff.

I remember when I first started running races and my son who was much younger at the time asked me if I was going to win. After laughing, I told him that not only would I not win but I wouldn’t even be close to winning. He looked at me puzzled and asked then why would I even do it. As runners, we know that is a loaded question!

Anyway….. at the time my answer was about pushing myself to do hard things and such. I’m not really there and haven’t been for a long time. Don’t get me wrong, I have been pushing myself to do hard things but the definition of hard has changed:)

So here is where I am………. Some days, I think…. I am going to get up and run. I am going to do xyz……. Then I don’t……. Then I beat myself up because I didn’t do xyz. You know that viscous cycle. That hamster wheal of shame. I want to get off the hampster wheal. I know that I don’t have the drive that I used to have. I don’t have it for many reasons. That being said, I am not ready to stop challenging myself.

This month will tell me a lot about what I want to do. It will give me some answers to is everything I’ve been fealing hypopara related. I’m going for a sleep study as there is a distinct possibility that some of my exhaustion might be due to sleep apnea. Like literally this morning after a full night sleep I woke up exhausted as did hubby due to my snoring. So we will see where that takes us. I am also doing my 24 hour urine test. If things look good, I would like to up my calcium as I am also tired of living in the low to under calcium levels. Plus as I do more physically, I also need to take more calcium. Your body uses more calcium too, but since your body regulates it you don’t even notice.

What I am thinking for this month is just reset number 1 million and 10. I have been reading the 80/20 training method and before I start it, I probably should finish the book but it seems promising. I also would like to start using all those weights that have been getting dusty. I know I am past my crossfit days, but I really do enjoy training with weights. Plus as they say…. A woman your age should strength train even if my days of massive weights are gone. I would like to do something every day….. Be it a mile walk, biking, yoga, strength training. I think mentally it will be good fo me. Plus I do know that physically it would be good too.

I think though, I am going to give myself some flexibility and lots of slack. Just small goals. No go big or go home goals. Just do something good for yourself and go home:). Small steps eventually get you to the end of the road too!

If ever you have suffered from depression, you learn that sometimes small steps will help you….. Get out of bed. Take a shower. Household chores…. Going to work……. Just going through the motions. Those that have suffered know that these small steps help them to get to a place where they can take the bigger step of dealing with it. Sometimes life really is about fake it till you feel it. And while I am not currently dealing with depression, I am going to utilize this same strategy to get me to the next step.

Blowing in the Breeze

I used to want to be a badass. I used to want it. Train for it. I used to want to push myself to and past my limits. There were no limits. There was only not working hard enough. Not pushing hard enough.

To Train

To Train hard

To be at “the top of my game.”

Now……. Let me be clear……… There is NOTHING wrong with that mentality. I get it. I’ve been there. I might get there again. Who knows. I know though…… I am not nor have I been there in a long time. I’ve been swaying in the breeze…. Ever so gently just seeing where I might land.

To be honest, I am not sure where I am right now. I just know it is not the balls to the wall give it all you got place right now. I have no desire to train hard. Most days I might not even have any desire to train. There is no wake up at the crack of dawn to squeeze a run in. There is no going out at night to make sure to hit my miles.

There is just going with the flow. I know that there are many reasons for this change besides being hypopara which may have been the catalyst for change, but change is inevitable anyway. I just don’t have the same drive. I don’t have the same commitment. I don’t have my running crew as we all are in different places. We trained together. We ran together. We raced together. Most of all running was about more than running.

So as with life, things change. People move. Peoples schedules change. Goals change…..

What many runners know too is that without in person events, it just isn’t the same. I often think to when I was growing up our family Minister was a runner. Something he picked up in the service. He went out for runs just to run. This was well before running became mainstream. I thought I had that mindset, but I realize that while I do love running I can’t wait to be at a starting line again. That being said, I am also not in a rush because I want to also do it safely. The thought of a major event (if any are even coming) brings on a bit of a panic attack. Like a serious one…… Not the OMG, she’s having a panic attack meme. Anyone else???? This pandemic has changed many of us in what we once never gave a second thought to, we will think long and hard about before diving in.

I have signed up for a trail race in October. While I don’t have time to train on trails like I used to this race is a friends favorite. Plus they required a waiver of proof of vaccination. I liked that. I respect that and things like that will go a long way to getting us back to normal even if it is a new normal.

Do You Know?

Do you know where you’re going to?

Do you like what life is showing you?

Do you know?

These are lyrics to a Diana Ross song from the 70’s.

Do you remember it?

This chorus has stuck with me. It’s been stuck in my head lately.

Last week a running friend lost her battle with cancer. She was a warrior. Not just in her battle with cancer but in life. She took on all the challenges that life gave her with a smile (and great nails)> Not only did she take on challenges, but she crushed them. She surpassed them and just embraced all that life offered and then some. We always talked about meeting up to run, but we never got around to it.

Besides her smile, what you would notice most about Melissa was her absolute joy for life. The way she embraced it. Pushed herself. Running marathons. Training. Pushing herself. Never complaining about the obsticles in her path and always looking for ways to overcome them. She truly was a warrior, but most of all she was a good human being. The world needs more people like her and she will be missed.

This same week, I had another friend have a very serious medical issue and we weren’t sure where things would go. It makes a person think.

Control is an illusion in life. We like to think that we are in charge of our destination, but we only control so much. We like to think that we can micromanage…. That our decisions determine the outcome…… That everything is in our power…… That is the lie we tell ourselves.

The bigger lie though is that nothing we do matters. We have no control, so see where the universe takes us kind of thing. Since everything is out of our control, we can just see where the chips fall and react and deal with things. Although as I’ve said before, sometimes how we react is more important than any plan we may have. That being said, while the bigger things in life our out of our control…. There is much in it.

Some people deal with lack of control by trying to micromanage. Trying to control everything. Some let it all blow in the wind. Most of us fall in between and sometimes sway between the two extremes. We do all of these things because the thought of having zero control is scary. More scary than any monster we can dream of or horror movie we can watch. (For the record, I don’t watch horror movies because I am a big chicken).

So I’ve been thinking……. What can I control? How can I get where I want to go if I am no longer sure where I want to go? I have a running blog right now without much running? I am on a fitness journey without much fitness. I am tired all the time and no amount of sleep can fix it. I wake up like grandma again thanks to no longer having my Natpara. I pop pills all day just to get to the end of the day (these are for my Hypoparthyroidism…. I do not have any other issues!) I need to reevaluate. I need to reassess. Most of all I need to actually stop floating along and actually think where I am going. Maybe if I do that I can get that song with the 70’s music out of my head.

Do you know where your going to?

https://youtu.be/Uf4P6rGMxWs

Plugging Along

Plugging along. That’s what I do…….. It’s really all any of us can do. Sometimes it is hard to keep going. Sometimes it’s easier. What really doesn’t matter is how fast, how slow, or even how hard you push. What matters is that you keep going.

I remember when I ran my first big race, one of my kids asked me if I was going to win. I told him not a chance and that I was just training to be able to finish the race. One thing that so many people get stuck on is what is the point if you can’t be the best of the best. The thing is they are missing the point. You don’t have to be the best of the best. You just need to be the best version of yourself. No one can do you better at being you than you.

So often in life we let what others think of our accomplishments diminish them. We compare ourselves and when we do that often we do not compare ourselves favorably. We ask ourselves the wrong questions – Why can’t I be as fast as xyz? Why can’t I run as far as xyz? It’s bad enough when we do this with our running, I won’t even get into when we do it in other aspects of our lives ….. But…….. But……But…. What if instead of asking how we compare to xyz, we ask

Am I being the best version of myself?

Am I doing what makes me happy?

Am I doing all that I can?

These and only these answers are in our control. These answers we can realistically and honestly answer. These are questions that if we don’t like the answers, we can evaluate and change so that eventually we get an answer that we want. We have no control over so many things in our lives, but we do have control over the way we react, what we do and how we live our lives

Case in point –

I was texting with a friend about my blog today. She made the comment, “I think it’s because it’s relatable. It’s not some picture perfect mom or athlete”.

When I started this blog it was to share my progress as I trained for my first (and supposed to be only) Sprint Triathlon. I shared what I learned as I learned it. I’ve never pretended to be more than I am….. I middle aged mom trying to do the best that I can. Sometimes my best isn’t what I want it to be, but it is what it is.

So here I am a few months into 2021 trying to be the best version of myself. Trying to find the sweat spot of running with Hypopara while being realistic. I have not been happy with my running. Not because I wasn’t running fast enough but because of the way I felt after and during. My new approach after my break has been much better both mentally and physically. I can realistically say that this month I will hit the 100 mile mark for running/walking with most of those miles being running miles. Even better, I have done these miles in a way that is best for my body.

Remember that we can only do what we can do and sometimes the best thing we can give ourselves is the gift of time to re-access, re-evaluate, and most of all just keep plugging along because eventually you get where you want to go.

Be Brave (Take 2)

Take 2! The first published before it saved changes. Those who I text regularly could recognize my crazy voice and fat finger typing without editing……. Plus, I hate when editing does not change:)

Anywho….

Consistency is key to anything. Repetition is what takes something and makes it learned behavior. Think when you learned your multiplication tables. Who remembers those drills, pop quizzes and all those practice, practice, practice. (yeah, maybe that was just me since math was never my forte). You didn’t learn them from osmosis or at least I didn’t. You’ll learned them because you continually worked on them. Practiced until it became instant recall. My son in college seems to be doing this with formula’s I couldn’t even begin to tell you what they are called, let alone their purpose. During the pandemic many took up baking bread. As a baker, I can attest the more you do so the better the end product. Baking bread to many was like a science experiment with many complicated but necessary steps. Over time it became easier to tell when kneading was done. When your dough had the the right texture,and eventually could just do it by feel. There was no second guessing, you just knew.

The same consistency is required with training and creating a workout routine. For most, we need to schedule time for your workout because it is not part of the routine nor necessarily something we are looking forward to (yet) . Eventually with consistency it becomes part of you and it feels strange if you miss it. I’ve mentioned before how my husband transformed himself with loosing weight through the tried and true method of diet and exercise. In the beginning, it was challenge but now he couldn’t imagine a day where he was not doing something physically active. It has become part of him and he looks forward to one of his daily workouts.

It takes bravery to step out and try something new. It takes bravery to commit to something. To put yourself out there no matter how far or near out there you may go. It takes bravery and commitment to say you are going to do something and then actually do it. Even if it isn’t working for you, it is so much easier to stay in the same place. There is comfort in the uncomfortableness of the known because while it may suck at least you know what you are dealing with. To stay with what is comfortable even if it is not where you want to be instead of tiptoeing into the unknown…… So no matter how hard it is to stay in one place, it is always so much harder to take the first step and then the second.

Consistency is needed in beginning of any plan. It is necessary until it becomes part of you.

Some will go far.

Some will go as far as they can.

Some will go fast.

Some will go as fast as they can.

Pace….. Distance…. Events…..

The most important thing is to be true to yourself. With that thought process, I’ve been plugging away on my half marathon training plan. I’ve been sticking to the program which I admit is much easier to do with a treadmill now. I used to hate treadmill running (and part of me still does), but since I’ve discovered watching shows on Netflix while running it isn’t bad. I also credit the treadmill with allowing me to reboot my training and keeping me in check with where I should be running for that reason alone I owe it some love. That being said, you can’t race from a treadmill which means you need to also do some training outside.

This week for the first time since I started following my Half Marathon training plan, I took the run outside. I didn’t watch my watch, but wanted to test myself and run by feel. I wanted to keep the run conversational for the most part, but also make it a worthwhile training run. So I chatted with myself. Tested how I felt and kept myself where I thought I should be running. Hours later I looked at my paces and info from my run and I surprised myself. I hit the paces that I should be hitting. I actually had surprisingly beautiful negative splits. Most of all and this is the best part…… I enjoyed the run. There was no beating myself up because I wasn’t hitting certain paces, that I was running too slow or any such thing. There was knowledge that I was doing what I should be doing and that was enough.

Sometimes that is more than enough. I know that if I pushed myself that I could hit faster paces, but for now this is not a tradeoff I am willing to make right now. I also realized that this was enough. It is always enough. I might actually be able to push myself faster and harder, but the cost to do so is one that I am no longer willing to pay. We all have to decide what we want. What we are willing to give up. What we are willing to trade off. What we are willing to work for and what is not worth the work. These are individual choices that no one can make for us. There is no one size fits all and that is ok.

What choices are you making today? Remember not making a choice is still a choice, so choose wisely my friend