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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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Don’t Think, Just Run

My town was hosting an inaugural 5K yesterday.   I had signed up for it a month ago as a way to support the event, but really was not sure if I was going to even run it.    The race was to start at 7:30 and a friend texted me in the late afternoon and I still didn’t know if I was going to run or not.   I got dressed in my running gear and figured I needed to run anyway, so I headed over to pick up my bib.

Met up with some of my MRTT and chilled out a bit.

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(This was post race, but we didn’t take a picture before the race.   Also, I forgot to tell you Happy Birthday!   My bad.)

Still didn’t know what I wanted to do, but knew I didn’t want to start in the back.   Would much rather start up front and fad to the back.   Besides it was elbow to elbow.    So I started near the front with another amazing MRTT Mama.   Then saw another one who was running with her two boys.   She was going to run with her 6 year old, but her 10 year old told her he was going to sprint ahead.

So when the race started, I sprinted behind a 10 year old the first mile.    He was faster than I wanted to run and he had no idea that I was following, but I figured I would stick with him and see where it took me.   We ran an 8:12 mile!   Oh my.  Did I mention that it was HOT too!    It was too much for both of us.   I saw him holding his side and I wanted to say something to him about how awesome he was doing, but I thought better since he didn’t know who I was and he might have thought I was a stalker:).   I was so proud of both of us, because although we both slowed for the second mile neither of us gave up.   At this point, I ran ahead as it was time to pace myself.

I will say that I didn’t really look at my watch except to see the distance.   I didn’t want to think about pace, I just wanted to run.    I pushed myself.   I was breathing hard.  I probably wasn’t smiling, but I was running.   This was a run that I needed.   This was the run I didn’t even know I wanted.   I can honestly say that I gave it my all the entire race and really don’t think that I could have pushed any harder than I did.     That really is all I can ask of myself.   At the end of the race I could barely breathe, but I did it.   I  finished in 26:26 which is a PR!

By the way, the 10 year old finished in 28:16!

So I believe the moral of this story is sometimes it is best not to think and just run.  I thought way to much in my 6K and not at all in this one.   The races could not have been any more different.   It might also have helped that this run was in my backyard, so I also knew many people.   Who knows.   All I know is that maybe overall I should just stop thinking so much, stop looking at my watch so much, and just run.

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 PS – the only reason I looked at my watch for distance was to know how far before I could stop

 

Living the Dream!

As you read yesterday, I ran the Staten Island Half this past weekend.   What I didn’t mention in this post though is that I did it!   Now I don’t mean I did the Half because you know that already.    I mean that I completed my 9+1 plan!!!!!

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Words truly do not express how I feel about this.    It is like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders as this has been months in the making having started this journey in January with Fred Lebow Half and ending with the Staten Island Half.   The cherry on top is that not only did I qualify for running THE NEW YORK CITY MARATHON in 2016, but also the NEW YORK CITY HALF!!

Now, I know that I could not have completed this task alone.  I would not have been able to do it.   As the saying goes, “I get by with a little help from my friends.”   In this case, I got by with a lot of help from my friends.   First of all this is the amazing group of women who inspired me to push myself not only in my running but to push myself to dream of doing things I would have never thought possible for me.   These are the women who showed me that with hard work and dedication I can do anything I set my mind to.   These are the women who took a newbie under their wings when I didn’t even know anything about needing actual pace for a race.   Remember my story of my first half?    I have to admit that although there is still so much that I don’t know, I am no longer a newbie.   They helped me in ways they don’t even know by never making me feel less because I am slower than them or didn’t know what I was doing.   They shared themselves and their knowledge so willingly with me.  These are also the women who without making it so fun to run, I would have stopped.   Yes, I now love to run.   Yes, I now need to run, but that all started with this group of women who got me to this point.    There is also the logistics factor because with them I was able to make it to these races.   Yes, I probably could have done it without them, but I’m not really sure that I would have wanted to or it would have been so easy to do.   These are also the women that I have so much respect, admiration, and love for.

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As we all know, I did not grow up dreaming of one day running the New York City Marathon.   I was someone who grew up hoping not to be picked last in gym class, but that is the beauty of growing up.   You realize that all that doesn’t matter because you no longer need to wait to be picked for anything life has to offer.  You create your own future, dreams and if you work hard enough anything is possible.   I may have come late to the party of wanting to run the NYCM, but I have now made that dream a possibility.   It is in my reach and I just need to wait because it will happen.   Although, I’m really not one to sit around and wait for things to happen anymore.   So in the meantime, I’ll be out chasing other dreams.

What are your dreams?