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Youth is wasted on the Young – not

They say that “Youth is wasted on the young” and that “you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.”   Now I’m not really sure who says these things but they are actually pretty right.

Seriously.

Think about it.

Think back (for me way back) to when you were a carefree kid.   When I was a kid I had extremely low confidence and body image.   Now when I look back on pictures from when I was a kid, I wonder what I was thinking of.   It took many years and really a lot of therapy to get to where I am today but I’m straying.

Youth is wasted on the young…..

I’ve been lucky enough recently to work on a elementary youth track program.   It’s a basic program as we do not have access to a track.   Plus the kids are only 9 and 10.   So really it’s about teaching them the fundamentals and encourage them to enjoy running.   I mean who doesn’t enjoy running?

At the same time I’m watching some of these kids discover that they actually enjoy running and can run fast, I read an article about “older runners.   It went onto say that after 50 it is harder to reach a PR (obviously), your body requires more recovery time, and apparently you just shrivel up.   So I may be stretching that last one a bit, but not much.    Apparently I’ve got 2 years to make the magic happen or call it a day.   Hmmm…

Now I’m not disputing these facts.   Running with 9 and 10 year olds that can whip out a 8 minute pace and then ask if that is good makes you scratch your head.   No pulled muscles.   No worries.   No recover.   Just run your mile and still have energy for a hearty game of tag.

They also don’t have the mental game.   The no overthinking.   No plotting.   No strategy.   Just run for the sake of running.

There is actually a lot of beauty in that.

Maybe we all need this simpler time.   This way when we are older and all the pressures of the world are right there, we can think back to a time when there was not thinking.

Just fun.

Just Run!

FREEDOM!!!

A funny thing happened after I switched my registration from the NJ Marathon to the NJ Half.    As I said before, I felt a sense of relief and a weight off my shoulder.   More impotantly, I felt such a sense of freedom.   I don’t mean freedom to sit on my bottom, I mean a sense of freedom to run.

Seriously.

It was like I was inspired to start running.   You would think it would have the opposite effect, but nope.   It made me want to get out the door again.   Last night I even went to Honey Stinger Website and ordered a bunch of yummy protein bars, gels, and gummys.  (Have I mentioned that I became a Honey Stinger Ambassador this year?)    I can’t wait for them to arrive and incorporate them into my training.

A friend of mine summed it up perfectly…

I thinking signing up for the marathon helped get you moving after you recovery, but doing the half will probably help your running more.

Exactly!

I really think that if I hadn’t initially registered for the marathon, I would not have been pushing myself to start running again after my surgery.   That being said, going from the NY Marathon to surgery.  Then recovery from thyroid surgery and then jumping back into marathon training really did not give me a break.   It was too much.   Now without the marathon looming over me weighing me down, I don’t feel the pressure to train.   I can run just to run which is just what I did today.

7 miles today.

It felt great.   Now I don’t mean great in the sense that it was easy.   It was not.   I was huffing and puffing more than Lady Gaga at the Superbowl last night.   It was great because I was out with friends.   It was a beautiful day for running and there was no “I have to do this run.”   It was, “I want to do this run.”

I will also like to add that this is the furthest I have run since my surgery.  Yeah, me:)

So the lesson of the day…

Do what makes you happy:)

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Pushing on

Starting is hard.   Starting over is just as hard.

Really.

Yes, the first time you try something it is hard.   But the beauty is that there are no expectations.   Your going to give it a shot and see what happens.   Your expectations are just to do the best you can and get the job done.   It is hard.  It is painful.   There are doubts.   The trick is just to keep pushing on.

The problem with coming back from an injury or a break is that you have expectations.   You know what your body is or was capable of doing.   You remember how something that is so difficult now was easy just a few months ago.   It is hard.   It is painful.   There are doubts.   The trick is just to keep pushing on.

It’s been a few weeks now.    It is amazing to me how quickly the body falls apart (ok not really, but it feels that way).   It is amazing how something that took years to develop can feel like it disappears in a matter of months.    I’ve been happy that I have been getting out and getting some runs in.I’ve been steady.   I’ve been lucky that I’ve got a great group of friends to get out the door with.  I will say that I that my goal for right now is just to slowly and steadily build up.   Yes, I know that technically I am in marathon training now, BUT….

My goal right now is just to start back strong.    To come back smart.   The longest run I’ve done yet this year is 5 miles and I’ve only had one of them.   I walk when I feel I need to, but even then I keep the watch going.   I want to keep track of my real progress.   You know what?   Considering I’m coming back from 2 months of no running or any activity, I think I’m doing ok.   As of now, I am not putting any pressure on for the NJ Marathon.   I am happy that I am registered, because that is helping to get me out the door.   Come April I will be ready.   I may not be ready for the elusive 4:30, but I will be able to get the job done.

Right now, my goal is to run 4 days a week with 2 cross training days and one full sit on my behind rest day.   I’m still working out the schedule, but that seems like a good enough plan for right now.   As the weeks go by and I regain some of my former aerobic level and don’t feel like I’m not going to die while I’m out for a run then it will be time to revisit and revise.   This seems like a reasonable goal and plan.   Each run sucks just a little less and I actually did do one 3 mile run at a brisk pace.   So I’ll take it.

I think the trick weather your just starting out, coming back, or just going through a rough patch is just to keep pushing through.   Really what choice do you have?    If you stop then what are you left with?   Regrets and we all know how much they suck.  So I guess that means I will just keep on pushing on.

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What is the longest break you had before coming back?

 

Fake it Till You Feel it?

My new expression really seems to be…..

I’m just not feeling it.

So true.

I know I need to get running again.   This week I actually did start.   I’m proud to say that I went out for 3 three mile runs.    They were not fast.   They were not pretty, but they were all in a different season.   The first one was on a nice day.   The second one it was a cold rain.   Then the last one was run on a cold day with snow covering the ground.   That should count for something.

I guess it does, but

I’m so not feeling it.

Last month I had signed up for a 10K trail race.   I was smart enough to know that I would not be ready for more than that.   I realized that really I wasn’t even ready for that.   I’m sure that I could have gone out and got it done.    I’ve done crazier things than that in the past.    Like last year at this same race I ran what I refer to as a surprise marathon.   I was feeling it.   I had the drive.

Today and most days right now….

I’m not feeling it.

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It’s more than my running too.   It’s just the way I feel right now about most things.    I’m not sure if it’s hormonal.   I’m not sure if it is the medicine’s that I’ve been taking.   I’m not sure if is the lower calcium levels that I’ve been fighting.   I’m just not sure.   I just know that I have not been myself.   I’ve been going through the motions like everyone else, but my heart has just not been in it like normal.    I’m normally a happy go lucky kind of person and I know this just isn’t me.   I’m working on it though.

I have always heard that recognizing there is a problem is the first step.   I recognize that I’m just not myself and will talk to my doctor about it.

In the meantime, I’m going to continue with the fake it till you feel it mentality.   Besides whether I like it or not, I really am officially entering marathon training.   I will go through the motions until I find the joy that I normally get not just from running but life in general.

This weekend I plan to look at marathon training plans.   I do not plan to follow one to the letter T, but I do want to figure out which one I will use as a general guideline.   This marathon will be interesting.   My first big race back running after surgery.    My first race that I will be in charge of my training.    I think I will like the flexibility of it even if I won’t be as prepared as in the past.   Who knows….. I may surprise myself.

What plan do you follow for marathon training?

 

 

Let The Games Begin

Next week at this time I will hopefully be putting the final touches on what I will need for the NYC Marathon.    Hopefully, I will even be getting ready to sit down to a nice carb loading dinner too.

I’ve finally decided to take my head out of the sand and actually it has been very good.   All this talk about not being excited and admitting the truth of how I’m feeling has been freeing.   Dare I say it, it is even getting my a little excited.

I’m an avoider by nature.   I like to bury my head in the sand and not deal with things.   It’s often my way of dealing with things.    Dealing with things is messy, complicated, and means you actually have to face things.    So by pretending the marathon wasn’t happening, I could just go about my business.

BUT

When I pulled back the curtain, I got wise words of advise and incite from friends.   One friend really knows me well and she may have put the final nail in the coffin why I was feeling the way I was feeling.    It was the real thing that I was avoiding which was NOT the marathon….

My surgery.   See the way, I spoke about my upcoming surgery (getting my thyroid removed) was it’s after the marathon.   So if the marathon happens, by default that means then so is my surgery.    Yes all the other reasons for my non marathon excitement are true, but this was true.    When she asked me about it, it really was like a door was opened.   I heard and knew the truth of her words.    I will have to deal with this, BUT FIRST THE MARATHON.

Then another thing happened, in talking with my coach and friends we started talking about my training and goals.  My one running mama pointed out that the if I want to see the sites of NY, we can take a short road trip to see this and that I can run this race.   I realized something.   I think I actually want to run this thing.   I mean not all out I’m going to die run this thing, but I want to run this and I want to run this well.

I’ve got a lot coming up, but it’s time to be a grown up and face them.    I realize that I want this (the marathon not surgery silly).    I want it bad.    I want to hobble from the finish line of the NYCM knowing that I ran a smart race.   That I ran it to the best of my ability.    That my training was not just to get to the start line, but get my ass to the finish line too.

I’ve got this now.

And thank you to all my real life in person friends who have given me encouragement, kick in the behind, and your wonderful incites.   You are amazing and I’m so lucky to have all of you.

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10 DAYS

It’s funny, last year my sole focus was on completing the 9 plus 1 to be able to run the New York City Marathon this year.   Now I am in the final stretch.   Literally.   10 days till me and 50,000 of my closest friends stand at the starting line of one of the most iconic marathons ever.

You know what?

I don’t feel like I’ve got the level of excitement that I should.   I’m actually quit passive about it.   I haven’t put any real thought into what I’m wearing, logistics, or even my race plan.   Thankfully I’ve got a plan on how to get to the start line, but really that is only because one of my friends put together a car service for us.   If not, I might still be wondering about that.   So regardless of what I’m wearing, how I’m getting home, or even what my pace is at least I know I will be at the starting line when I should be.

I’m really not sure what is wrong with me.   I’ve been asked by a few people if I’m excited about running and I’m like Eh.   WTF.    The thing is I want to be excited.   I know I should be excited, but I’m just not there yet.   It seems so unreal to me.   Maybe that is part of the problem.

I think another issue is that I have started to think about my goals.   I’ve been thinking about those A, B, and C goals.   I’ve been thinking about how my training has been.   I’ve been thinking about MCM last year.   I’ve been wondering if I will ever be able to break that elusive 4:30 mark.   It doesn’t help that when trying to figure it out, my Garmin gives me what I and anyone who knows me knows this is a bat sh*t crazy prediction finish time.

predictorHere I’m wondering if I can run a 4:30 and this is giving my a Boston Qualifier time for my age group.   This does me no good.

As a side not for those interested, here are the time qualifiers for 2018 marathon from the Boston Athletic Association.

Age Group Men Women
18-34 3hrs 05min 00sec 3hrs 35min 00sec
35-39 3hrs 10min 00sec 3hrs 40min 00sec
40-44 3hrs 15min 00sec 3hrs 45min 00sec
45-49 3hrs 25min 00sec 3hrs 55min 00sec
50-54 3hrs 30min 00sec 4hrs 00min 00sec
55-59 3hrs 40min 00sec 4hrs 10min 00sec
60-64 3hrs 55min 00sec 4hrs 25min 00sec
65-69 4hrs 10min 00sec 4hrs 40min 00sec
70-74 4hrs 25min 00sec 4hrs 55min 00sec
75-79 4hrs 40min 00sec 5hrs 10min 00sec
80 and over 4hrs 55min 00sec 5hrs 25min 00se

Anyway, I know that I am not a Boston Qualifier.  I don’t really understand how the Garmin comes up with their predictions because they are all way off.   I’ve got two road marathon’s under my  belt, one trail marathon, and let’s not forget the 50K.   I know that I can go the distance.   What I’m starting to wonder though if mentally I can push myself enough when it gets hard.   And it does get hard.   Very hard.   I have a tendency to be too nice to myself during a race.   It is supposed to be hard.   I am supposed to push myself and now I’m wondering how far I should push.   I don’t want to crash and burn, but I don’t want to hobble away after the race thinking that I could have done more.

No, not 3:50 more, but at least 4:30.

I guess it is getting real now.  I think that is why there is no excitement, because where there should be excitement there is doubt and a fear of failure.

fear

As I like to say….

It’s go time.

Time to put all these doubts, fears, and anything else that’s holding me back to bed.   Time to move forward confident in my training, in my coach, and in my abilities.

Easier said than done, but it’s time to try.

What’s holding you back?

Do You Know Where Your Going To?

Diana Ross sang it best and I still can hear her sing the words (Yes, I’m that old)

Do you know where you’re going to?
Do you like the things that life is showing you?
Where are you going to, do you know?
Do you get what you’re hoping for?
When you look behind you there’s no open door.
What are you hoping for, do you know?

It’s been a roller coaster of emotions these last few weeks filled with ups and downs.  It’s made these words play through my mind more than once.

My family went on our annual family camping vacation.   Don’t crunch your nose up, camping really is fun in a back to nature kind of way.   Yes, there are downsides to sleeping in a tent for almost 2 weeks, but the good far out ways the bad.

Really

Here are just some examples of the good

Usually what is even better is this view comes with limited outside noise as there is no  available cell service or wifi in camp and when needed requires seeking it out and leaving camp.   Something, I try not to do to enjoy the peace and tranquility.   This year though this normal good thing did cause somewhat of a dilemma.

This year, time away from camp that would have been spent either running or biking was spent searching for the elusive signal usually followed by the question, “Can you hear me now?”

I gladly gave up this time as I’ve said before sometimes other things are just more important.   While away, sadly but not expectantly, my almost 92 year old grandmother passed away.    Training was not a priority.

Vacation wasn’t a bust, but it was different.    It had it’s ups and downs.   Then two days after we got back, yesterday, we laid my Grandmother to rest.

Today I finally went out on a run.   Not because it was in my schedule which I totally have been off, but because I needed to.

It was hot.   It was humid.   I had to get up early.   It sucked. It was hard.    All that being said, I needed it.   I met a friend for the first half of the run and it was good to run with her.   It is always good to run with her as miles don’t seem as bad when your chatting them away.   Then I ran her home where she refilled my water bottles and I was off again.   As much as I enjoyed running with my friend, I also enjoyed these solitary miles too.   It was nice to be with m own thoughts for a bit too.

The beauty of this run is that it really was just a run to run.   I kept the pace slow due to the heat.   I walked when I felt I needed to.   I stood in a sprinkler when I could find one.   There was no pace.   There was n plan other than to run 10 miles.   It is what I needed.

During the second part of the run, I had Diana Ross’s beautiful voice in my head with no answers.  I’ve been questioning where my running is taking me and what am I hoping for.    I’ve got no answers.   At this point, I plan to just keep plugging way.   Trying to get back onto a schedule.    Trying to find the drive that got me to where I am now, but it’s hard.    Part of me just wants to run to run.   No more training.   Nor more paces.   Just the freedom to run.  It’s not the normal, I’m tired of training that comes near the end of marathon training when it feels like a job.   This is different and I’ve been feeling this way for a bit now.

That being said, I have worked too hard to get where I am.    I am not giving up on running the NY City Marathon.   I’m just hoping to find the spark that started it all again.

I’m holding onto what my friend told me today.   It will come easier when the kids are back in school and I don’t feel like my running is interfering with family time.

Until such time, I will just keep running:)

 

 

Do You Know Where Your Going To?

 

 

 

Just Keep Moving…..

Just like there are peaks and valleys in life.   There are peaks and valleys in training.   Sometimes, you even get stuck in the valley.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.   We all have lives outside of our activities.   Sometimes it gives us the drive to get moving and sometimes it sucks it away.   I’m not talking about time management.   I’m talking the mental game.  We all know how that can make or break you.

I’ve missed a few runs these last few days.   I went out the other morning for my 8 mile cut-down and finished just shy of 4.  It wasn’t even close to the run that I was supposed to do.   Life outside of my running got in the way and I needed to take care of it.  Some things are more important than finishing your run.   Then the next day it was hotter than hell and I figured I would do my long run at night.   Night came and went with no long run.   Figured I would do it the next morning.   I got up for my run at the same time my 9 year old woke up.   We watched Sandlot together.   I figured I would do my run at night.  When the time came though, I didn’t go.

I just had no motivation to get out the door.

Now, we all know the dread we sometimes face when it’s time for a long run.   This is not my problem.  My scheduled run is only 12 miles which is not really a distance that I dread.   Seriously.     My problem with getting out is different.   I just don’t have the drive to go.

I’m as shocked as you are.

I’ve always been goal orientated, but now I’m like so so about my fall races.   Doesn’t make sense since one of them in the NYC Marathon.   What the Hell??!!?!

It really all started last month when I had a bit of a medical scare which thankfully turned out to be nothing.   It was enough time though for my mind to play the what if game.  Remember the race where I said If I could Shut up the Little Man Up?

I was like what does it all matter?

  Then i got my head back on again, but I still didn’t have my drive back.   I really wasn’t fully engaged mentally, but at least I was doing what needed to be done.   Now I’ve got some other things sucking away my drive.   Physically, I’m fine.  Mentally, I may need a tune up.

Nothing has really happened.  Nothing has really changed.   Yet, something is different.   It has taken a bit of my mojo away.

I also think what might not be helping is that I am dealing with the Summer Time blues.    Yes, I know that we all think that it is the Winter Blues, but to me, at least this summer, it is the Summer Time Blues.

Summer leads to lots of fun, but it also means lots of solo running which most of the time I like.   This year I’m missing the time with  my morning running Mama’s.    Maybe I’m avoiding my runs these last few days because the idea of running alone with my own thoughts is lonely.    Who knows.   Maybe I need this solo time to come to terms with things.     I also need some laughs, small talk, and just the fun that comes with running with them brings.

I’m going to force myself to get out the door tonight.   I might even do my 12.   Who knows.   What I do know is that maybe I’m just in need of getting away from it all.   Maybe I’m just getting too close to vacation.   Maybe I just nee to stop over thinking and without a doubt maybe I just need a run.

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