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March 18th

I’m still here.

I’m still training.

I’m still plugging away.

Some days are good and some days are crap.

I try to balance them out, so I don’t feel so bad and out of shape.

March 18th

March 18th

Seemed so far away, but is now so close.

Will I be ready?

Who knows.

I’m trying and that is all I can do.    I’m getting runs in when I can.    I still am only training for distance.   If anything, I am trying to get back to controlling my pace and not let it control me.    My pace currently is slow, but I keep running faster than I should.   If I continue to do that, things will not go well for 13 miles.   I keep telling myself that I just need to finish.  I keep trying to run at what was an easy pace in the past, but is a fast pace now.   It’s easier said than done to change that thought process.

Then I come across a blog post detailing the course and how so much harder it is from the old course.

Thanks.

Just thanks.

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Enough

We live in a world that is constantly telling us that we aren’t good enough.   Every magazine is filled with ads telling us how we can be better.   TV commercials are designed to show us what we need to be happy, fulfilled, and beautiful.    It’s all a lie.

We are constantly bombarded with messages that we are not enough.   That we need to be better.    That we need more to make us happy.    That we need to dress a certain way. That we need to look a certain way.   That the natural make-up free face isn’t enough.   That it is less fearful to inject poison into our skin than age naturally.   It takes a toll.

In every society there are norms designed so that we can coexist.    Many of these norms are not only necessary, but make for a better world.   But many of these norms are a trap, not necessary, and make people feel dissatisfied with where they are in life.

I’ve been questioning things lately.   As I’ve been learning to Let Go of the Ego, I’ve been working on accepting not just my running life but so much more.   As a runner, I’ve always followed my own path so to speak.   I rolled into my first Marathon in Philly not having trained for a marathon but the Runner’s World Hat Trick.   Then only completed one 20 miler before running it.    All of my other marathons, I did not want to nor did I train running any 20 milers.   I just don’t like them.   That is not to say that I didn’t train.   I just did it the way that worked for me.

In life, I’ve also followed my own path.   Never really fitting in with just one space.   Doing my own thing.   As I’ve been trying to accept where I am in my fitness journey, I’ve  also decided that I needed to take it a step further.  I’ve decided that I am enough as I am.  It was time to face the world as I am and not as I’m told that I should be.  And although I’ve never been one to have a make-up routine that lasted more than a few minutes, going naturally is still scary.

So I decided to go for  it   I went out in the world as I am.   Although I will tell you that after two days totally free, I decided that I like a little mascara and Burt’s Bees lip balm with a little color.

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Here is what I learned……… No one turned away in disgust.   Ha.   No one commented.   No one asked if I was ok because maybe I didn’t look the same.   No one even cared.  Now

Now I’m not saying that I will never wear make-up again.   What I am saying though is…

I am enough.

You are enough.

Don’t let the world define you.

Define yourself

It’s Time to Get Serious

Without goals it is hard to know which direction to take.   You wonder aimlessly without a purpose.    It is time that I stop wondering and start seriously thinking about where I want to go in 2018.   It is time to set some realistic goals.   It is time to start pushing myself again.   It is time to  get serious.

Yes, I’ve had a lot going on and I’m still working some things out.  Yes, things are different but that doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t have hopes, dreams, and goals.  It is time to get out of my own way, step out of my comfort zone and start pushing myself again.   I won’t know how far I can go by sitting on the sidelines.

It’s time to get real…..

NYC Half Marathon March 18

Last time I ran it, I squeaked in just under 2 hours.   It was my goal and I pushed myself to do it.  Hard training.   Fast paces.  Lots of sweat. I even took a few selfies while doing it.

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  This time around with the way things are this will not be my goal.   That doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t have a goal.     I’m once again throwing down the gauntlet….. Ready…..

I want to go into this race fully trained.   Run it to the best of my current ability.   Not compare it to where I was in the past.   Push myself.  Finish it.  And most of all enjoy the experience.

This seems like a fantastic goal which means that I have to start training and actually train.   This is not a race not to enjoy.

I am not even going to entertain a timed goal right now.   What I am going to do is train.   Train. And Train some more.   I’ve recently been running but nothing more than I think 6 miles in the last month.    I’m going to figure out a training schedule and stick to it.

Simple enough, Right?

My head is finally clearing.   I know it wont’ be easy.   I know there will be days that I don’t want to do it.   I know there will be frustration, sore muscles, and everything in between but I want this.   I really, really want this.

So for today, I’m throwing it all out there.

I am a runner.   I can do hard things.   Life is not easy and anything worthwhile requires you to work for it.

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Yes It’s Over!

As we near the end of 2017 I keep thinking to myself, “Good riddance.   I am so done with you.”   I know the year isn’t over, but I’ll be honest I’ve kind of given up on it.

We are days away from Christmas and I have no motivation to get out the door running or any such thing.   It’s almost like what is the point.    Besides there is much to be done in these next few days.

All that being said…

Here is to a better 2018 in so many ways.

I am planning for my mad return.   Mad because I will go into it kicking and screaming.   There is much to be done.   There are goals to be set.   There is better health and diets to be had.   I’m pretty sure the reason Santa is so fat is because he eats nothing but Christmas cookies and I have been channeling him a lot lately.

Things will be different though.

I have a few incentives.   One being the NY Half marathon in March.   The second one is the following month I need to go back to my Primary Doctor as she has given be a goal to get my good cholesterol back up and my weight down a few pounds.   Both of these are goals that I would like to meet.

I’m not sure the January will start off that great running as  January 21rst is the Fred Lewbow Half and I’m pretty sure that I’m not going to be ready for it.   Who knows what is going to happen, but I would still like to go.   Besides I’m going to start running very soon.   I need to start training for the NY Half!

As far as the other goal, I have been looking at different diets.    I’m not a huge “diet” fan, but who is?   I don’t want to do shakes, cleanses, or packaged foods.   I want a diet that is more a life style change of healthy eating that will also be beneficial to me.   I keep coming back to one that I found called the DASH diet.  It focuses on eating fruits, veggies, lean meats, low fat dairy and such.   I’m still in the research stage, but I think this might be the way to go.

As we know… I do best when following a plan and not just in running.  Years ago I lost a chunk of weight following the South Beach Diet, because I was following the plan.   I think at this point the DASH diet might be a healthier option for me too.   So we will see.

So here is to kicking 2017 to the curb!

Whose with me?   Bring on a better 2018!!!

2018

 

 

Starting Line….

 

It’s funny I ran the Chicago Marathon  just 5 weeks ago, yet some how I feel like I couldn’t run around the block.   I don’t know how anyone who has run as many races as I have can still feel like she’s back at the starting line again, but I do.

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This probably is not too far from the truth.

As I’ve been recovering from my tendonitis, I’ve been good.   I’ve been doing some limited running.   Some limited cross-training and lots of being lazy.   It’s really not been a good combination for the mind or body.

So as I often do when I feel like I need a little push of motivation, I have signed up for another race.   I know it’s shocking.    I’m trying to drag in….   I mean I’m trying to encourage others to join in on the fun.    I’ve got to say that i do miss the year we were chasing the 9 plus 1 and the fun we had.   It can not be repeated as it was such a special year, but I will say racing with friends is so much better than racing alone.

I needed Chicago to prove to myself that I could still finish a marathon if I wanted to.   Right now, I just want to run a half.   Plus it will keep me running during the holiday’s which really will be necessary.    I’m not even trying to be a super star.   I just want to run to run to find my love of running and racing again.   To get back to normal.

What race you ask…..

Fred Lebow

For extra motivation, I purchased the NYRR 10 week plan for this race.   I want to go into this race trained.   I want to get back to the confidence that comes with being trained.    That being said, my goal for this race is 2:25, so I’m not expecting for this training plan to turn me into speed racer.   Just to get me back into my routine of running.    I miss it.   I want to just let my body put in the miles and bring my mind the peace that running brings.

I have not formulated any plans other than Fred Lebow, but I do know that I just want to rediscover my passion for running.   It’s not as easy as it used to be, but I already know that.    This isn’t a fake it till you feel it thing either.    My body is already chomping at the bit.   I just have to get my head in gear.

So I’ve purchased the plan, so my head doesn’t have to do anything.   Let the body do it’s job.

Tomorrow is day 1 of training….

 

It’s Not Over Till It’s Over

Should I stay or should I go?

If I stay there will be trouble.

If I go it will be double….

The Clash done wrong.  (That’s a group Mom and it’s in reference to a song)

I know after my last post it seemed like I let the whole Runner’s World Event go, but I haven’t.    I can’t seem to let it go.   Yes, part is the money; but that’s not really it.  There is a lot more.   I’ve literally been obsessing over it to the point that it has been in my dreams.

Normal?

Well for an obsessive runner, Maybe:)

I feel like I can do some of it.     I don’t think there is a reason I couldn’t.   I’m not planning to be an idiot.    Just a partial one.

Here is my thought.

So I go pick up my goodie bag (you know that’s what it is).   Runner’s World usually has awesome stuff in theirs – hat, socks, shirt, and some other odds and ends.   My foot has been feeling better.    I need some exercise.   I need to test out my foot.   So why not run a few miles at an easy pace. (Slow).

Today is the trail event.   Less than 4 miles.   Perfect chance to see how things feel.   I’ve been resting it  since Chicago and need to test it anyway.   This way I can update my Podiatrist on how it feels Monday when I see him.

So just this one little event and I’ll take it from there.

No expectations.

No plan.

Just a run in the woods.

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Rest, Roll, RECOVERY

I’ve been through enough this year to know that I need to listen to my body.  To pay attention when it is giving me signs of what it needs.  

As a runner though part of training is to learn to tune your body out.   This is good when it’s Time to push through when your legs feel they can go no more. To make yourself mentally tough to go this distance.   It is a necessity.   To a point….

I’m to that point.    In training for Chicago, I prepared myself to get the job done.   I was mentally tough and physically ready to go the distance.   To push though the pain, but now it is time to listen to not just my body but my doctor too.

Running Chicago was tough.   But now I have to be tough enough to do what I know needs  to be done.     My right foot is doing better as the cortisone shot is working it’s magic.    My left foot on the other hand needs a little more TLC.     I have not run since the Marathon, but I still feel the discomfort on my foot just walking.   I imagine if I ran it would not be good.

So rest it is, but that doesn’t mean training has to stop.

Next week it will be time for cross training.    Biking, swimming and anything that won’t bother my foot.   A good cardio workout is still a good cardio workout.  

It’s going to suck.     

I’m going to want to run.   

 I even have a race next weekend that I can’t defer and is nagging at me because I don’t like to waste money but that is for another post.

It’s Not All Good

Warning I may be a little cranky writing this:)

Now you know I love me a good race.   I often sign up for a race in the wee hours of the night so as to not miss out.    I love getting up early on race morning which coming from a non-morning person says a lot.   I appreciate the security check points.   I LOVE the goodies on bib pick up day.  Then at most races, I don’t even listen to music because I just love the sounds of the race – music on the course, spectators, other runners, and even just the sound of all the feet hitting the ground over and over again.   All that being said, there are some things that I find frustrating about races.

  1.  Cost of the Photo’s  –   I’ve talked about this before.   Yes,  I understand that there is cost involved with hiring professional photographers, equipment, and such.   That being said, there no bigger rip off than the cost of race photos and this is from someone who has bought them on more than one occasion.    All that being said, you can’t tell me that it needs to cost $80 per person.     As I said before, if they were half the cost, I bet they would sell more than twice as many.
  2. Don’t just stop – People who stop right after they cross  the finish line or on the course like you aren’t right behind them.
  3. Deferrals –  I get that the race needs time for bibs, knowing number of runners, and all that goes with putting on an event especially a big event.   Here is what I don’t get.   You can pretty much register for an event up to a week before the race, but if you plan to defer it must be done a month or more in advance.    I’m dealing with this now (more later).   I have an event that I was supposed to run that is still allowing people to register, but if I had wanted to defer I would have had to done it last month.   Now I’m faced with loosing a decent amount of money because I can’t run it due to my feet.  I emailed them even stating that I could provide medical documentations if necessary and they were like “no exceptions”  and they do not allow bib transfers.   I find this to be VERY frustrating to say the least.   I’m still following up, but it doesn’t seem promising.
  4. Distance/terrain – Courses that are either too long, too short, or terrain isn’t what advertised..    Come on you know what distance your advertising, so plot it out correctly.   There is nothing worse when doing a trail race than finding out your running on the sidewalk in the park for a good portion of event or running too far.   I’ve also had the course shortened  and I felt just as annoyed because it messed up my times.

Now all that being said, I’m still going to keep doing races.   The good does out weigh the bad.

 

What are your pet peeves about Races?

 

Done is Done

 

5:48:52

Done is Done!

Some people might be upset with an almost 6 hour marathon.

I wholeheartedly admit there might be a time that I might have been one of those people.   I am not today.   I will be 100% honest with you…..

I am happy

I worked my ass off.

I didn’t stop.

Ever.

I never thought I wouldn’t get to the finish line.   I also knew that I had such a wonderful support team.

I went into this marathon with no real plan other than to finish.  No paces.   I knew that I would be doing walk/run.   I had thought I might start with a pace group, but did not.   I just ran.   Maybe this isn’t the smartest way to do it (ok it’s not), but this is what I was going with.

Once again I went out too fast.  I  REALLY, REALLY, REALLY tried not to.   My first few miles  went like this…

8:54, 10:02, 8:24, 8:36

I knew this was not a good way to start.   I knew that this was way fast.  Even at my best, this is not the way to start a marathon.   I wasn’t following the plan.   I wasn’t walking.   I had not even turned on my timer at this point.   I heard my friend’s voice in my head telling “SLOW DOWN!   STICK TO THE PLAN.”

I even texted her that I heard her in my head and that I was trying to be better.   Her texts of support continued during the day and I knew I wasn’t in alone.

At this point, I turned on my timer and made a conscious effort to slow down and stick to the plan.  During a race even if you are not planning to race it is so hard to do.   You are so caught up in the excitement of the day.   I was in it for the long haul, so I did what I could.   I will say that I did not pay attention to my pace.   I was watching   my heart rate as I did on training.

I saw my sister and brother-in-law twice on the course.   The first time around mile 5 which was wonderful, but the second time was key.    They were waiting for me at mile 21  I knew that I had to make it there before they needed to leave for the airport.    I had been slowing down at this point, but I was determined to make it to them.  At this point they were my destination, not the finish line.

I made it to 21.

Hugs

Goodbyes

Unbelievable support

Spectacular.

Then it turned to counting down the miles.

It was hot but I’ve run in hotter weather.   It was humid but I’ve run in more humid weather.   That being said,  I don’t do heat well.   I ran through every hose offered.   Took ever sponge filled with water handed out.   Put the ice in my bra when offered.   And on occasion dumped water on my head at water stations.   The heat was sapping my strength, but not my will to finish.

I kept pushing forward.   I ran when I could.  Finally, I reached a point where I could no longer run.   My legs were dead.  My foot was hurting.   Even with this I did not stop.   Moving forward.   Slow but steady.

I admit that by mile 25, I did start to get emotional.   There were tears.  Partly because of the discomfort and partly because as much as I wanted to run, I just couldn’t bring myself to run.    By this point, my emotions were just raw.   The ups and the downs of the marathon are real.

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The tears dried.

The moment passed.  My head was clear and I was focused.   Never stopping.  Never quitting.   Moving forward.

I proudly walked across the finish line.

This marathon was always about proving that I could do it and

I DID!

This was the slowest marathon that I have ever run, but one that I know that I worked the hardest for.   Someone asked me if I was happy with my time.   Hell Yeah I am.    Any day that you can finish a marathon is a good day.   I am proud that I was able to push through and get the job done.

Done is Done!

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Perspective

 

When I ran the Philly Marathon, my first, I was nervous and excited.

When I ran the Marine Corps Marathon, I was counting down the days with excitement.

When  I ran the New York City Marathon,  I could not contain myself.   I was that excited.

In a matter of days, I am running the Chicago Marathon.

I have been looking  forward to it but coming at it with different goals of just finishing and different perspective, it was not at the same level of excitement at all.

Truth be told, this week

I am now hum ho about it.

Now, believe me, I realize how excited I should be.

I realize how lucky I am to be given this opportunity.

I realize that there are a whole host of reasons that I should be over the moon with excitement for this race.   Knowing that doesn’t change the facts.

I just don’t have it.

This week has taken the wind out of my sales.  I’m sure that I am not alone in this respect.   It was a gut punch.  One that I’ve felt before.  Sadly, one that I’m getting used to. In this case,  I’ve never even been to Vegas.   I’m not a Country Music fan.   What I am is another devastated American wondering how something this horrendous can happen for as of now no apparent reason.   To be honest, any reason found will still not be valid enough.

It makes you question what is important and what is not.    It makes you realize how fragile life is and that without warning there might be no more tomorrow.    It also makes you realize that no matter how much you think things are in your control, that control is really just an illusion.

This week has seem like forever and it has only been 3 days.    Then there are things like conversations you have with your mother who is now asking about security at your race.    I’ve been to enough big NYC events to have seen the security.    I have never questioned the need for it or actually minded waiting in line.    I remember the year that I did MCM,  security for the start line was tight.    You expect it.   You appreciate it.

So it is with this level of appreciation that I am heading into Chicago.   I am trying to put the wind back in my sales.    I am trying to get my act together.   Most of all, I am trying to appreciate the abundance of blessing that I have in my life.  And while this tragedy and others have no effected me personally, they do effect me.   There is a sadness that I can not just turn off and those who have dealt with depression know this to be true.

I know the excitement will come and can not be forced.   Tomorrow, I begin to start getting my gear together to take.   I’m    flying out with a friend who is running that I am also rooming with.   My sister and her husband will be in Chicago.

It will be an epic adventure.

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