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All or Nothing

Why do we think it has to be all or nothing?

Why do we think that we have to go all in?

Why is balance so hard?

I admit that I have a problem with balance. It might be one of the things that works in my favor when it comes to getting shit done. It also might be one of the things that works against me when it comes to getting shit done. The all or nothing approach comes at a cost.

We can’t start eating healthy because it’s just to hard to give everything up.

We can’t start working out because we don’t have time to commit

We can’t because of this or that or this or that……

But what if instead of thinking we have to commit 110% percent…… What if we just realized that just doing something is better than doing nothing.

What if instead of going gang busters on a new diet plan that we know long term we won’t stick to, we decide that we look at where and how we can make even what might appear to be small changes?

What if instead of waking up at 5:00 AM (you know I’m never doing that) to squeeze in our workout/run in, we just look at what we can do and give that time..

What if instead of thinking that we need to run as fast as we can for what we deem is necessary distance, we just decide to give what we are able to give.

What if instead of sitting on the couch binging Yellowstone (highly recommend), we do it from the treadmill or stationary bike?

There are ways to make what might appear to be small changes….. some might even say insignificant changes……. in a way that are not only sustainable but together can bring big change.

Here is the bottom line…… If you continue to do the same thing, nothing changes. If you start with small changes over time, they will lead to big changes.

So start where you are!

Do what you can!

Most of all be kind to yourself in the process, because you are worth it:)

In Waiting Room

Why are we also perpetually putting our happiness in the waiting room?

I will be happier when I get a new job….

I will be happier when I’m single/married…..

I will be happier when I can fit into a size x again….

I will be happier when I loose X number of pounds…..

I will be happier when I can hit X pace, PR, finish a certain event…..

I will be……

What if we just focus on the will be and see where that takes us?

What if instead of putting our happiness in the waiting room, we focus on what we can do to be happy where we are?

Easier said than done and we all know that.

We live in a society where we are always looking for the next shiny object that is supposed to make us happier. Supposed to make us feel complete. We live in a society that also knows that the discontent makes money.

Now it may seem like I am saying not to have goals…. not to strive for things…… Not to look forward but thats not what I’m saying at all. I am saying we must learn to embrace where we are, what we have, and what we can do in our lives who anything we do will never be good enough.

It also doesn’t help that many of us feel like we are in a holding pattern since the beginning of the Covid Pandemic. NO LIFE DIDN’T STOP even if it is not the same but in many ways a lot is still on hold.

When I was in top form chasing sub 2 half marathons (check), 25 minute 5K (never got it only hit 26 minutes) and a 4:30 half (another miss); these goals kept me motivated. They inspired me to push, but the chase is what made me happy. The disappoints may have been real in not hitting goals, but they also weren’t life changing when I didn’t reach them just as they weren’t when I did.

I was happy with the chase and any goals achieved were the cherry on top.

Right now, I am trying to motivate myself for just the chase. So much to be done and not enough time to do it is keeping the motivation at bay. Many of us are in the same boat because of jobs, family responsibilities, and just the day to day of life. Right now I keep waiting for the motivation to find me, but what I have to do is find the motivation. I’m looking…… I’m really looking…….

If you seek, you will find…..

Motivation…… I’m coming for you…… Is that considered motivation? lol

Failure to Launch

If you don’t try, you will never fail.

If you don’t leap, you will never fly.

If you continue on the same path, you will never go anywhere different.

Familiar is comforting. Same ole same ole is still the same. Same isn’t worse but it will most definitely get old, stale and boring. Why do you think the best marketing strategy is ”new and improved” because marketers know that we get tired of the same ole same ole.

Familiar is comforting but it will never get you anything different. Sometimes that is why we stay with it….. Change is hard. Change is scary. Familiar may not be what we want but if we dare ourselves to think about something different than that means that we have to do something different. You can’t follow the same ole path expecting different results because that is crazy, but….. but…. if we identify what we want different and don’t do anything about it…….. that is a sign of fear. So sometimes we dont even allow these thoughts…

Sometimes we don’t even allow ourselves to fully think about veering off the path because if we do than we know that we need to change course. Just the act of thinking about change is scary. Thinking about what goals would be and more importantly why is an act of revolt. Act of courage.

It is time to be brave. To recognize that failure is not missing a goal, but not actually creating them. To stand still while not striving for anything is failure.

Time to be brave.

Failure is an option, but the biggest failure is never actually reaching for what you want. Even worse never dreaming what you want.

This Is Different

So after NYCM, I said that I didn’t want to run anymore marathons. I meant it. I meant it for several reasons. One, honestly, is that I was getting bored of running. I vividly remember going for a training run one day. I was running fine. I wasn’t tired. I was running/walking fine but I was bored. Now part of it is because I mostly train on my own, but I seriously just was tired of running. Not tired from running, but of running.

I don’t even know if I have run since the marathon which better change as I did sign up for the Fred Lebow half marathon in January.

I will also admit that I have been thinking about triathlons again. My very first race that I ever did before getting off the couch that got me to where I am now was a Sprint Triathlon. It was a big motivator. It also great at making me cross train because it wasn’t really cross training but training. I had one thought that kept me motivated to train especially the swim….

With the Run, you can walk

With the bike, you can coast

With the swim, you will drown….

So train.

Prepare

I am excited about this. This is truly going back to square one.

No coasting.

Train some more.

Most of all, I am feeling a sense of excitement as this will be all new again. I haven’t done a Triathlon since 2016 and never with Hypopara. I may be 100% wrong, but for some reason I think this will be less stress on my body. I also think that with transitions it might be easier to decide when and where to add calcium during training.

Now while this may really feel like it has come out of left field, it has not. I have been mulling over the thought of a triathlon for a while. It’s been in the back of my mind festering. And like all things that fester, eventually you have to do something.

So here I am. Signed up and trying to drag as many of my friends down the crazy train with me…….. This is something all good friends do!

Getting It Done

Day 3 and stairs are no longer my enemy.

Day 4 and besides the healing blister on my foot I feel normal.

I guess that is what successful training is all about.

It’s funny as a runner when you run a marathon, you know recovery is a real thing. You know you have pushed your body to and past the limit, yet some how it’s annoying when you don’t just spring out of bed the next day. When I ran my first marathon, the next day I literally was wearing heals and seriously felt normal. As the years pass…… As the training is not as stellar…… As my feet begin to have issues…… As my body changes………. those days are long gone! I would have cried if I had to put on heals the next day. I switched back between my OOFAS clogs and flip flops for 3 days.

Yesterday, was the first day that I really felt normal. Getting up and down at circle time (remember I work in preschool) with ease. Bouncing up and down stairs like nothing. I only have residual tightness in my hamstrings and honestly it might be because I need to do some rolling. Really not a bad recovery.

Funny thing is that when non runners see you even in midst of recovery they are amazed. Several times I have heard things like…..

If I ran a marathon, I wouldn’t move for a month.

The fact that you are still moving amazes me.

I don’t even like walking to my car, I can’t believe you ran 26 miles.

It used to be only 1% of people have run a marathon. I recently heard that it is up to 2%. Still a small amount. Something that everyone who has ever crossed a marathon finish can take pride in. There is pride in time but there is also pride in the finish.

So I have decided to deconstruct the marathon backwards starting with the finish line…….

In the dark…. 6 hours and 3 minutes 49 seconds after crossing the start line, i crossed the finish line. Pure joy, exhaustion and triumph rolled into one.

I am thankful to the spectators who were playing Eye of the Tiger from a boom box in Central Park. They literally got me up that hill! you think you are done when you turn into the park, but there is still more for the marathon to take and for you to give.

When running a marathon, the finish line seems so far away. The longer you run, the farther it feels or maybe that is just me. For New York though, you know you are ”getting closer,” when you turn down 5th Avenue. In the past, 5th Avenue is wall to wall people cheering you on. It’s heart pumping. It is exhilarating. It is amazing. Often you will see people with their medals and ponchos in the crowd. It gets you up the Avenue into the park.

I will say starting in the the last coral of the last wave, running 5th Avenue was slightly different. Yes, there were crowds on some sections, but it was not wall to wall people. There were not people lining the entire avenue. To be honest by the time that I hit the Avenue, they were already in process of rolling up the NYRR banners. It did not have that heart pumping, energy inducing motivation to run or walk a little faster. I was at the point in the marathon where I was trying to decide if it was more painful to walk or run. So I kept on walking….

Often when people talk, think, or even run a marathon; we focus of how long did it take. The elites finish in a shorter time than most people run their half marathons. They are amazing. Then you see the times of celebrities who finish the elusive 4 hour marathon. They train for it. They earn it as much as the non celebrities we know. They are also amazing. As our the people in our circle who fly like gazelles hitting paces for mile after mile crossing the finish line in times that make our jaws drop. They are amazing! Then there are people like me, who have to answer No to people who ask, ”Did you run the whole thing?”

WE ARE ALSO AMAZING!

There is something about having the grit and determination to get to the finish line while they are rolling up the carpets so to speak. When the crowds are sparse…… When the sun is setting…….. When it is dark in the park……. When you have to be your own cheerleader……. When you have to dig in deep to find your own grit and determination because you are the reason you are there in the first place and you will be the reason that you get to the finish line. There are no massive crowds to carry you to the finish line, but those that are there know how much that you need them. I was lucky to have a friend cheering on 5th Avenue. I almost missed her but she strained your voice to scream my name loud enough that I turned to see her………. It was perfect

As was knowing that I had 2 friends who were volunteering at water station around mile 19. It is no exaggeration that I was pushing to get to them before their shift ended at 5:00 PM. I made it in time. I found them and gave them sweaty hugs stealing energy from them to keep going. Once the goal to reach them was achieved then I could tell myself that the finish line was not so far away. I like to count down the miles which doesn’t work for everyone but it works for me!

Before the water stop, my goal was to find my Sandy Hook Promise Team at 87th and 1rst Avenue. I missed them the first year that I ran for them and am thankful these last 2 times that I have not missed them. They not only give you energy but they give you a reason to keep running….. to keep pushing…… to know that giving up is not an option. They are an amazing team and while they support me during the marathon, they will always have my support running or not running.

I have never been a spectator at any marathon let alone the NYCM and I really think that would be an amazing thing to do. I think spectators underestimate how much energy they give to those running the coarse. I plan to be a spectator in the future and I know that when I do it will be the back in the pack runner that I will be saving energy to give to because we may need it more than those that are flying to the finish.

And yes…… There is more, but for today this is enough especially as I need to get to work:)

Perfection is a Myth

I will be the first to admit that I am not perfect. I am far from it. I have many faults but I really don’t feel the need to list them. I also have many positive traits that I don’t feel the need to list. All that being said, we all know those that put forth the ”perfect life.” They have the perfect home. The perfect style. The perfect this the perfect that….. Blah…. Blah…. Blah….

Let’s be real, there is not such thing as perfect in the real world. Usually when you peel back the mask of perfection, you will see how imperfect it all is. The problem is that often no one bothers to look past the initial layer to see the reality of what striving for perfection cost. Perfection is an unattainable goal and often leads to frustration, giving up, or in some cases drastic measures (think of those celebs who went one cosmetic procedure to far).

In our workout routine or diet, the strive for perfection often leads to people walking away feeling like a failure. We think that we have to follow a strict diet and if we don’t follow to the letter T that we cant do it. Many times people who decide to get fit go gang busters…. Going to gym every day. Starting strong as they say. Then they get sore. They miss a workout. They can’t hit a pace in a run. They feel like they are too slow. That why bother because we just aren’t good enough. The strive for perfection often sets us up for failure.

I am to the point that I am realizing that striving towards “perfection,” towards unattainable goals, to comparing myself to not others but old versions fo me were setting me up for failure. My goal is no longer perfection, but only to be better and the best version of me. A realistic version. A version that I can live with. A version that is sustainable. A version that will never be perfect, never be more than it can be, and one that I can say I did my best.

I’ve been thinking along these lines with my nutrition. I have always said that my problem with diets is that if I get hit by a bus that I don’t want my last meal to be celery. Not that there is anything wrong with celery as I actually had it for snack last night, but you understand. I do not want to live my life feeling deprived. Striving for things that long term will not keep. So as I started thinking about my nutrition, I’ve realized that sometimes change while hard doesn’t always mean depriving myself. I want to develop a nutritional plan that I can live with, feel good about, that is healthy, and most of all sustainable. Also I know for a fact that I am not going to be giving up certain things and that is ok. Embracing the imperfection of moderation.

So far. So good.

The morning smoothies are still a thing and one that hubby and I look forward to. The thinking about what I am eating, when I am eating and why I am eating has been helpful. To be honest, the cravings for certain foods is lessoning. My boss gave me 2 caramel chocolate bars 2 weeks ago that are still uneaten. Not because I am depriving myself but because i just dont want them. That would be unheard of before. My morning coffee is now filled with an almond creamer instead of half and half or such. If you know me, you know I take my coffee seriously so this was a big step. But once I took that step, I realized that it was more in my mind than in the cup because my morning coffee still tastes like my morning coffee. This past week, I also made homemade cinnamon rolls for my family. They are delicious but I didn’t have one because I really didn’t want one. On the other hand, when I made Pumpkin donuts I did eat one. Just one and that was enough. No shame. No Guilt….. Balance.

I have also been taking this approach to my running. I have continued to walk the first few miles of my long run and the first of pretty much all. Then my goal is to keep the pace in the 12’s because that is where I realistically am. In being real with what I can do, how fast I can run, and what my body can do; I have actually been able to run better Striving for unattainable goals has been my downfall with my running. Working towards being the best I can be on each run has been making running both enjoyable and sustainable.

To be the best version you can be on any given day either in your nutrition, in your running or in your life will change day to day. The trick is to give yourself the grace you need to be that version. Accept the version that you are today and if it doesn’t live up to your expectations know that tomorrow is another day!

Passenger or Driver?

You are either a passanger of life or you are driving. I have realized that recently I have been sitting back and allowing myself to view life as a passenger. Like I have no control on what is happening. Where I am headed and what choices do I have to make. Like the trip has been mapped out and I am just going along for the ride. Like it has been predetermined.

It is easy for this to happen. Your driving along. You hit a few speed bumps. Take a few turns and before you know it you are not only heading the wrong direction unaware but you put it on autopilot and just keep going.

I am stopping the ride, getting off and figuring out where I want to go and how I want to get there. In order to do that, I have to step back and just re-access. Start asking where I want to end up and what I’m willing to do to get there and why I want to go.

More to come as I start actually coming up to the answer to some questions

Are you a passenger or driver in your life? If you don’t know, then I think you know:)

Heath Check… One… Two…

So while I have not signed the contract to run NYCM with Sandy Hook Promise, I am laying groundwork. I do think paperwork should be with-in the next week and then it’s off to training we go.

That being said, I am already laying the groundwork. I have my training plan loaded in Training Peaks which I will officially start next week. Until then, I am in pre-training which I should enjoy while I can. I am also not looking to train for speed, but train for a great experience running. But first…..

I am also crossing all the T’s and dotting all the I’s with taking care of myself. I finally after years of my family telling me to get it checked out (again) saw a Pulmonologist and did a sleep study. Not too bad….. I only stop breathing 40-45 an hour and have severe sleep apnea. CPAP apparently is in my near future.

So while this sounds bad, it helps because maybe just maybe my down to the bone tiredness has nothing to do with my Hypopararthyroidism, but the fact that I am getting terrible night sleep! So besides, you know keeping me breathing at night and heading off any potential health issues; this will more than likely also help me with my training since I won’t be so exhausted all the time. Win.. Win.

Then next month (you know because it takes that long to get an appointment) I have my normal visit with my Endocrinologist for my Hypopara stuff and I am going to see Urologist to check on kidneys since I have a high output of calcium in urine. Although now wondering if I made appointment with right type of doctor and might have been better served with nephrologist but too late now. Would rather get some answers than no answers and can always follow up with the nephrologist if I think need to.

By this time, I will hopefully be a month and half into training. I am excited to start. And while my Sandy Hook Promise team place isn’t finalized yet, I think I will stick with training even if something happens.

So it’s go time….. As they say…..

There may come a day that I can not run, but today isn’t that day and I’m going to keep going.

Golden Jet

Let’s first start off with if you want a fun semi action comedy, Central Intelligence is funny. Maybe it’s because I like The Rock or maybe it’s because Kevin Hart is so funny, but it’s one of those movies if it’s on tv you watch it. Anywho…….

Right now I am waiting for my new running shoes to come and I am not running until they come. I haven’t really been paying attention to them and even though I kept saying that I needed to get a new pair, I never did. I also didn’t realize how far gone they were. I think not having actual races last year where I would pay better attention that I just let things slide.

Exhibit A

As I said last post, I am rethinking my training anyway. Plugging through my 80/20 training book, but I am also thinking of non running training. Back in the day (and I mean 2015), I loved not just Crossfit but Cross training. I did Crossfit. I biked. I swam. I did Yoga. I worked with a Personal Trainer. I did group classes. Then I ran and then I ran and ran and ran and stopped doing anything else. So as I ease back into my running and training, I want to keep the balance that I used to have. I want to keep the balance for a few reasons.

  1. “A woman my age” really needs to have balance.
  2. Not that I am going to be as fast or am training for speed, but my best runs overall were when I was more diversified in my training.
  3. My body could really do with the steady stretching of yoga
  4. I miss having good arms and I’ve recently been told by one of my 3 year old students that I have “squishy arms.”
  5. I actually like cross training when I think about it and admit it

So here we are, me trying to become a less rounded person by being more rounded. I have been using an app not on a regular basis, but plan to for cross training. They have a free version which is fabulous. Although I admit the free version constantly reminds you that they have a paid version. That being said they have a whole slew of workouts for everyone and every mood. From meditation to kickboxing to strength training to no equipment and the list goes on. Now in order for me to commit to it, today I decided to buy the year subscription. Honestly for thirty bucks it is still a steal. That used to be my monthly gym fee.

So today I was doing a weight training and a Tabata workout. I had everything here to make it an intense workout. As I was beginning the workout and the instructor was talking about what weights to use. I was ready to grab the bigger weights that we have. I was reliving my Golden Jet moments when I used to be able to bench press. I’m not sure if I have my training journals from back in the day, but I know my deadlift and chest press totals were impressive. So today, I was thinking go for the big weights.

Golden Jet

Golden Jet

Golden Jet

Luckily I remembered that he landed face first when trying to live his glory days. So I dialed it down a notch or two. Guess what? I had a kick ass workout at the intensity that I should be out. So here is to working on a new Golden Jet flip but one that I am actually in a position to land safely.

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.