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Great Expectations

We all have expectations in life. When we are starting a new job/school, meeting a new person, entering a new situation; we all have an expectation. Sometimes our expectations are high. Sometimes they are low. Often they are wrong even if we never take the time to admit it later.

These expectations can cause us anxiety. They can cause us fear. They can cause us to doubt ourselves. Often our expectations will color our view and unbeknown to us, we might even force the outcome we expect. You know it happens because weather you admit it or not your expectations become your reality.

You expect someone to be a certain way either friend or enemy. Everything they do can be shaped to fit that view. Right or Wrong.

You expect to hate your job. You will hat your job. Right or Wrong.

You expect people to treat you a certain way. You will accept it when they do. Right or Wrong.


But what if we stop going into things with expectations. With preconceived notions of what will happen thereby giving excuses, narratives, and shaping the outcome? What if instead of great expectations, we decide to just let things (friendships, jobs, training, life) just develop the way they are meant to be?

What if we live life with the motto….

It will be what it will be.

Hmmmm……

Now I am not saying that we don’t prepare for new meetings, new jobs, new events; but what if while preparing we just take the ending out of our thought process?

I’m beginning training for NY. I’m not sure what to expect this time around. I’m another year older. I will be starting a new medication shortly. Going back to the beginning with my training with no expectations has actually improved my running. It’s taken so much of what I thought I could or could not do and put it’s on it’s head. What if as I push myself to train for NY, I continue just to take expectations off the table? What if each run becomes a run of it’s own and not the be end of all the my training? What if I just accept each day for the day that it is and stop questioning what it means in the whole scheme of things? What if….

What if…..

I just enjoy each day, each run for the gift that it is?

As I gear up to turn 50 in 5 days, I keep thinking of where I am in life, in my relationships, in my running, and what it all means. So many people are looking for the meaning of life and all that it entails. It’s purpose. Expectations of where they would be at a certain point in their journey, what they were or are doing with their life, ect, ect.

What if the purpose of it all is just to live. Live without expectations that color our views. Live Well. Do your best at all you can. Treat others fairly and kindly…… and most of all be happy with all that you have even if it doesn’t live up to your expectations because your expectations are not reality unless you choose for them to be.

What if the expectations are what is holding you back and we should live by my two favorite sayings…

It is what it is

and

Live, Laugh, Love



Getting Back into Step


As you know for months now I have said that I am getting back to basics.   I took my running back to square one.   I did the same with my non running workouts.   In January with a friend, I started going to a beginner core class.   It has been good offering a good core workout with a combo of stretching and balance.    My friend and I maybe the younger ones in the class which at my age is nice.   Don’t let that fool you, these grandmas have better abs them me.   I’m still working on finding mine which I’m working on.

Now that we have done this class for a while, we thought we would take it up a notch by adding a class before it.    We added a Step Class.   Yes, your read that right.   So not only am I taking my workout back to the basics, I am taking it back to the 80’s!    Although I realize that I might not be as coordinated as I was back then!    This class also utilizes some weights for a nice full body workout.

It’s funny because years ago when I was doing Crossfit, I would have laughed if you told me that I was going to be doing a step class and low impact ab class.   You know what?    I like it.    I have no desire right now to do the hard core workouts of Crossfit.   I am more concerned with getting a good workout it and make no mistake a step class is a good workout.   I know that some might think it’s a dated workout, but like jumping rope and basic push-ups, what works works.   Bigger and better is not always required or even better.

Again my mindset of what I am looking for is different now.    I have nothing to prove.   I have no need to explain (although isn’t that the point of my blog).    My goal now has become to be well balanced.    I do not need to go from zero to 60.   I just need a good cruising speed to keep me active, use my muscles in a different way than running, and maybe fit in my jeans better or in some cases just in them.     I think for now these classes will help with that.   We all know that core and glutes  are important to running.   These are things that I’ve ignored.   I don’t need to be able to deadlift or squat huge amounts of weights to do that.

My goal going forward is going to try to be more balanced.   Balanced in my workouts.   Balanced in my running.   Balanced with my family, friends and life.    Life that is not balanced can leave you feeling dizzy.   As with all things, it is a work in progress and as long as I’m moving forward; I’m ok with that.

I’ve learned that it is very easy to let things fall out of balance. You give to much with not anything in return. You push too hard without allowing downtime. You listen without being able to talk or the opposite can be true. Sometimes it is necessary to take inventory of where things are and adjust because if it’s one thing about balance….. If you don’t find it, you will surly fall.

Do you have balance and how do you maintain it?

Going By the Numbers

Once video games, TV, and binge watching Netflex has slowed our movement and made us couch potatoes. Now a new crop of technology has started doing the opposite. It began with the Fitbit. Now Smart Watches are taking it a step further. It is getting to be too much?

For me, yes and no.

I got an Apple Watch for Christmas. I admit that I am still figuring out how to use it especially when it comes to workouts and running. For me it is the closing of the damn rings that is taking it to the next level and I realize it’s kind of crazy.

I remember when I read a book about Kathrine Switzer being the first woman to run a marathon. I remember being horrified by her treatment of wanting to be a distance runner, but I also was taken back by the technology of the time. No mapping out the training route in advance for distance. No belts to carry water or fuel. Nothing. Just running. Amazing running, but just running.

Now we live in a time where we basically track everything between our watches and phones. The Apple Watch even has an app that you can use to track your sleep. One morning I woke my son up and as a normal Mom asked him how he slept. His reply was that he would check his sleep app and let me know. WHAT!?!?! We had a conversation about that!

Anyway as a runner, even before my Apple Watch without fail I ALWAYS ran with my Garmin. I liked to see the numbers. I still do and am playing with the Apple Watch to see if I like the presentation as much as my Garmin which I do miss. (Shhhh don’t tell hubby). Although I think it is just because I need to learn more how to utilize the watch for running/workouts. Now that I’ve finished the C25K, I will be slowly setting myself to take the miles up. I need to learn to control my pace again and not let my pace control me. Work in progress.

One thing that I have realized though is that filling the circles becomes a bit of an obsession, but maybe not a healthy one. For example, yesterday I went for 3 miles. I had a fairly active day, but did not wear my watch all day. By the end of the day I realized even though I’m sure that I hit all my daily targets that my calories for the day was under because I didn’t have watch on.

Here’s the thing…… I knew that I was active. I knew that I had a good day. I knew that I hit all my targets for the day, but now I still show an open ring and it bothers me. Like somehow I didn’t meet my targets. Maybe it’s time to control the technology before the technology controls us.

For me: I stopped wearing my watch at night. If I close the circles, I close them. I will work on figuring out the best way to track training and if I’m meeting my goals. Like today being able to put on a pair of jeans that I have not been able to fit into shows much more than any closed circle does.

No Expectations

Things that are worthwhile take work. They take time. They take investment. Sometimes in life we put things on autopilot…
relationships, work, exercise, eating habits, ect.


And while in the short term that may be fine, I think we all know in the long run it is not healthy or does that work out. You become out of touch. After a while you are just go through the motions. Then you begin to wonder why you are going through the motions.   That’s where I was with my running.  I lost touch with why I started running.   Why I continued to run and most of all what I got out of running.   It was never about being the fastest, running the  furthest, or even about the medals hanging on the wall.   While I admit that all of those things are fun to strive for they were never the reason that I started, pushed myself, and did what I did.


I lost that.   I was so concerned with going through the motions…… trying to maintain certain paces, trying to run certain distances, and trying to do runs that it no longer worked for me.   I lost touch with knowing what and how I should push myself and because of that I had (for now) unrealistic expectations of what I should be doing.    I was Violet from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory stamping my feet expecting things to be the way I wanted them still because I wanted them to be that way.


We all know that’s not the way life works.   Being out of step with your own self and your own body and pretending your not is exhausting.     But when I stepped back, slowed down, and pushed the ego to the side; things became not only more clear but more fun.     While I admit, I still have problems keeping my ego in check, I am getting better.   By reconnecting my mind with the body, I am rediscovering why I started running.   I no longer see people running on the streets and think poor them.   I think, what a great day to be running.    I am starting to think outside the box again, but I am keeping myself in check and not putting the cart before the horse.


The C25K program has forced me to step back and reconnect with where my body is today and not where I want it to be. Allowing myself to run with no expectations but to finish the run. No paces. No distances. Just follow the plan.    I have just finished up week 7 of the program where I am running for 25 minutes.   It is hard.  I must push myself.   I run slow, but I am pleased with the progress.   I feel like I am learning what now works for me now. Most of all, I am doing it.

I am learning how to push myself for where I am today not yesterday. To notice the subtle differences is how I feel when pushing the pace. To know that a pace that is hard today was once easy and that’s ok too. What my body needs to recover which I will talk about another day. I’m learning that the saying your race, your pace is true even when not racing. I’ve still got a lot of kinks to work out, but I’ll get there. The difference is that I know that I won’t get there overnight. As the saying goes, all good things come to those that wait……… I’m learning once again that I’m worth it.

And so are you.

Right and Wrong

No matter where you fall in the spectrum on how we can improve and fix our broken healthcare system in this country, most will agree that there is a problem. I have thought for a long time and it has been brought home to me so much more these last two years that the biggest problem is that we have taken so much of the decision making off of the doctors. Again, there is much to this discussion but I am going to be very narrowly focused on this in this post. This post will focus on my issues and you can glean from that how this effects our system in a broader sense.

For those who have been here a while, you know that two weeks after running the 2016 NYCM I had my thyroid removed. This not only left me without a thyroid, but my parathyroid glands were damaged leaving me also with hypoparathyroidism. I was led to believe prior to surgery that this very infrequent possibility would really just be a minor inconvenience of having to take calcium supplements.

That is both right and wrong.

Wrong – It is not a minor blip.

Right…. Yes, my body no longer produces the parathyroid hormone (PTH), thereby causing my body to be unable to regulate it’s calcium. PTH also controls the level of phosphorus and has a role in the production of the active form of vitamin D. All of these activities are required to maintain calcium balance which does so much more than give you good teeth and strong bones.

Here is a list of common complications

“Tingling of the lips and hands (due to muscle spasms and overactive nerves), muscle cramps, and pain in face, legs, feet Dry hair, brittle nails, dry skin, and weakened tooth enamel Abdomen pain, muscle pain, constant headaches Cataracts, heart arrhythmia, peaked QT waves (shown on EKG) Tetany (muscle spasms) of trachea/larynx, causing breathing difficulties Kidney stones and kidney failure due to high phosphorous. Deafness and hearing loss is connected to hypoparathyroidism due to a defective receptor on the kidneys Irritability, confusion, dementia, hallucinations. Convulsions or seizures Sleep apnea and insomnia Consciousness decreased Learning disabilities and behavioral disabilities (ADD, etc.) Hypocalcemia and hyperphosphatemia “

Now I can tell you off the bat that I’ve had a decent amount of these. I’ve been lucky not to have any of the major ones (yet), although at my last eye exam she did see the beginning of cataracts (I’m not even 50 yet). Now the reason I think that I have been so lucky not to have the kidney issues is because within a year of my surgery, I was seeing a doctor in NYC who specializes in this disorder. If not, I would bet that I would be having issues.

Prior to seeing this specialist, I saw another doctor who only looked at the calcium blood levels. They were great. Right in the normal zone. The problem was that he never checked the output. The first thing this doctor did was order a 24- hour urine test. My results were a 578. To be clear anything over 300 is bad. With these results, we worked on lowering this number. In order to do this, we had to reduce my calcium supplements and prescription medications. Mission accomplished.

Now the flip side to this….. In order to bring down the urine calcium output, I had to bring down the input. Makes sense. BUT that then also reduces my actual blood calcium levels. I live in a state of perpetually low calcium. 8.5 is considered the low end of normal. My last blood drawl, I was at 8. Living on the edge that’s what I do.

So my doctors and I decided that quality of life was suffering due to this constant state of low calcium…… Muscle spasm’s, muscle cramps, dry skin, napping almost daily, brain fog like you would not believe and more. I’ve said to my family that I make this look easy. On a daily basis, I just go about my business getting done what needs to get done but they don’t see the cost…..

Some mornings, needing to use the nightstand to get out of bed like a grandma. Afternoons where it is all I can do to push through till I can literally close my eyes. And I’m not talking about, “Oh I’m tired I wish I could nap” feeling. I’m talking about, “if I don’t rest for at least 15 minutes I’m going to fall down” feeling. There is a lot to this crap that just becomes part of your daily life, so there really is no need to talk about it. Some days I use the grit that gets me to the finish line of a marathon just to make it to the end of the day. You do what you’ve got to do.

I also firmly with no proof believe that being an athlete helped me. It helped me because I was already in tune to my body. Learning to listen to the signs when training that I could tell when my body needed extra calcium and adjusted accordingly. It’s a guessing game, because there is no at home monitoring system like a diabetic has with insulin levels. Because of this, I have been able to adjust and keep myself from crashing which for many requires a trip to emergency room to get IV.

I know that for a whole host of reasons, I am very lucky. Yet, my treatment plan to add Natpara is not mine and my doctors to make apparently. Insurance has denied it because I do not meet their criteria. Even though my doctor and I think I do.

So because apparently this treatment option is very costly, my doctor and I need to jump through hoops to prove why it is necessary. I feel like the monkey in the middle. It is wrong. Wrong. Wrong. So now it’s time to jump through hoops with my doctors help to justify to someone why I should be able to have the treatment plan that my doctor and I agree is the right course of action for me.

I wonder at what point in our country, did we stop letting doctors and patients make decisions that were best for the patient and not the bottom line of an insurance company.



Square One

I am exactly where I was when I started this blog. Yet, I am in a totally different spot.

The same, Yet so different.

It’s a good place to be. Back to no expectations. Back to just seeing what my body can do. Back to one day at a time. One run at a time. No need to think about mileage. No need to think about pace.

Just move. Move at what feels good. Move at where I am. Move for 60 seconds at a time. Run. Walk. Just keep moving. Move to find the joy.

I started the Couch to 5K today. This is what I need. This is what I want. Someone asked me why I am doing this if I just ran a marathon in November. Fair question. But I think this is the right step for me right now. It will give me a chance to go back to basics which I have skipped over. It will give me a chance to once again figure out both mentally and physically what my body needs and wants without putting preconceived notions. Just doing what I need to do and seeing where it takes me.

I put this out to friends and in my running group. I have been very pleasantly surprised how many want to also use this program to either get back to running or just start running. The beauty of this program is that anyone can do it and it is nice to have support along the way. I posted the following in the group today:

We come at this from different health issues, fitness and endurance levels, and even age. Distance and pace are not something to worry or even think about. This is about putting the time and effort in. Nothing more. Nothing less. Everything else will fall into place.

This to me is why so many of us get tripped up. We compare to what others are doing. We remember the things we used to be able to do. We doubt ourselves. This is why I am going back to basics, because I want to not think about these things. I want to put the effort in and see how it all falls into place and what I can realistically do.

It’s time to hit the reboot button. This time for real. NO expectations. No worries about hitting a goal. No race on the horizon. No signing up for races to prove something to myself. Just follow the plan. Stop trying to fight my mind and body and take control by allowing myself to make peace with where I am. To do that I need to learn and train for where I am. Every time I tried to do this since my surgery, I tripped myself up by putting expectations on what I should do. Pushing myself to do things by signing up for events. Not this time. This time, it is back to basics and I will say that I had a great first run today with all that baggage off the table.

What’s In the Bag?

Today marks 100 days till NYC Marathon.   Training is underway and while some days I do wonder What I was thinking, overall I think it is going good.   I’ve got some kinks to work out and I think adjusting on my Garmin will help with that.    That is what training is for…. not just to get the body ready, but to work out the kinks.

So while training is underway, I got an email for Bag Check.   Many races, it really is a no brainer to check because it really makes no difference.   NY is different.   If you do not check a bag, you get a super comfy Poncho at the end of the race.    It is like getting into a warm blanket at the end of the race.   Ahhhhh.

Last time I ran NY, there was no thought.   I wanted the Poncho.   Besides feeling like heaven at the end of a long day, it says NYC Marathon on it.   As a soccer mom, I must admit that it has come in handy on the sidelines there too.   That being said, this time I don’t need to get a poncho since I already have one, but it would be nice at the end of the marathon.

Also if you check a bag, it does take longer to get out of the park when your done running.    The downside though to not checking a bag is that you do not have any additional items that you may want at the end either.   You know like a change of clothes.   Maybe a sweatshirt.   Additional calcium and such.    There is much to think of because these are all good things to have at the end of a long day.

That being said last time I ran NY, I had none of the above mentioned things and I survived.  So as of now it is a toss up.

But I’m pretty sure that I am going with the Poncho.   I’ve got time to think this through and I’m sure that I will change my mind several times right up until I hit send.   And then I will question myself some more.

What do you plan to do?

Fire and Determination

people doing marathon

Photo by Snapwire on Pexels.com

It’s been almost a month since I’ve written anything here, but that does not mean that I haven’t still been doing what needs to be done.   That might be why I haven’t been here.   June is a crazy month for most families especially when you have a High School aged child who graduated.    This makes for an even more hectic June, but an awesome one.

That being said, I am still sticking with the program.    For right now I have settled on the run 3 minutes walk 40 seconds balance.    It seems to be working nicely and I am making sure to start out immediately with this and not wait till I feel like I need it.   This is the way the program was designed and for good reasons because it works.

I am still in the beginning of my training and have not gone for any run longer than 5 miles, but that will change in the next couple of days.   Yesterday I did 5 miles.   It was actually a perfect day for running.   It was warm but not humid.   Even with walking, I completed 5 miles with an average pace of 11:33.    I do wonder if this is something that I will be able to keep as the miles increase, but again that is what training is for.

I’ve been doing most of my running alone.   Mostly because of schedule, but also by choice.   I ran into a fellow local MRTT runner last week.   It was a humid and hot day.   She helped me push my pace even though she was recovering from an epic race of her own.    I needed to walk more that day than my program called for.   It was hot and it was just one of those days.   I kept telling her to leave me as I didn’t want to mess her run up.   She stayed and we had a very nice chat.  I was happy to have her make the miles go by.

I’ll be honest.   Sometimes I need to run on my own.   I find it helps clear my mind.   I also have never minded running on my own.   When I was using my running coach, I did most of my training runs on my own because each run I had very specific goals and paces.   I do not now have these same issues, but I also am finding that there is a sense of embarrassment to run with others now.   I know it’s stupid.   I know they don’t care.   I know it’s in my head…. BUT it is also very real.

I know that everyone has their goals.    I know my friends will run with me and stay with me, but that may not be what they need.   That may not help them reach their goals.   It is one thing to go out for a leisure run with friends when you are not training for something,  but it is training time.

I also realize that although I have the desire to run the NYCM to the best of my ability, I do not have the fire that I may have once had.   It is not a bad thing.   I am not chasing any time or goal.   I am training to finish and enjoy the process.   One day I might have the fire and drive to compete for another PR, but this is not that time.    This might come from this year my goal for NY is about Sandy Hook Promise and not myself.  26 miles for 26 angels.

Now just because I say that I do not have fire, does not mean that I do not have drive.   These are 2 very separate things.   I have the will, desire, and determination to train, run, and complete the NYCM.    I also know that my body can and has run this distance before.   I am confident that I can get to the finish line again WTIH PROPER TRAINING.   I have the drive to make that happen.   I will not let my team down.

PS:  If you would like to donate to my Sandy Hook Promise fundraising page: https://www.crowdrise.com/o/en/campaign/sandy-hook-promise-foundation-nyc-2018/christinechaillet

So my daily running challenge is over.   I will say that I am happy to be done with it, but at the same time without the accountability I have not been running these last few days.   That being said though it is freeing to be done because while not running, I have been busy doing other things.   It would have been added stress to worry about when am I going to squeeze my mile in.

I give kudos to those that are dedicated to streak days, months, and years.    I’ll be honest, I think I may have stopped at day 29 and not even hit 30 but I’m ok with that.    Last Friday would have been day 30 and it was a crazy hectic week as they all are and by Friday I felt like a tractor trailer hit me.   I think that I was dozing on the couch by 7:30.    My body needed the rest more than it needed the mile.

What did I learn from this little experiment?

  1. That once you go out for a mile, you might as well do more if time allows
  2. That my body is not designed to run every day.
  3. That it was a good way to jump start my running/training
  4. That I’m glad that I did it
  5. And most of all, I’m glad that it is over!!!

 

Will I do another streak?   Not any time soon.    I do have some plans that I am working on finalizing and will hopefully have everything in place by next week.   This will keep me motivated, busy, and running that is for sure.

So for now, I am going to enjoy one challenge ending while gearing up for a new one.

Stay tuned….

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Sticking to the plan.   I may not be going far every day, but at least I am going every day which was the plan.   Last week was a crazy and brutally busy week, yet I still managed to sneak in a run every day.   I’ve even taken to bringing out the night running gear again because even though it may be the last thing I wanted to do, even though it might of been cold and rainy, or even if I had walked miles at a visit to my son’s soon to be college; I still managed to get a run in.

Tomorrow will be 10 days strong on my streak.  Here is what I’ve discovered so far…

  1.  This is NOT something that I would want to do long term
  2. This HAS actually been good for me so far.
  3. Even though time wise my week may not have allowed many miles, I’m finding that I would like to run more than a mile once started.   Seems like a lot of work getting out the door for just one mile.
  4. I AM getting back into a routine.
  5. I AM definitely remember what it is like to run on tired legs even if it’s just a mile.
  6. I AM GOING TO MAKE IT TO DAY 30!

While I am very certain that streaking is not something that I would want to do long term, I do think it was a wise decision to lay it out there to do for thirty days.   Now the question is no longer, “Will I run today?”   but “When am I going to run today.”

There is not thought to it which makes it so much easier.   It takes the excuses out of the equation and just makes them obstacles to overcome.   Yes, I may be tired; but I’ve still got to run.   Yes, it may be raining but I’ve got a rain jacket.   Yes. Yes. Yes.

This week while busy, hopefully will allow some much needed breathing room and maybe even some more time for longer runs.   Although, since my goal right now is 5K’s I really don’t need a ton of miles.    This past week I ran just 11 miles, but they were probably 11 miles that I would not have run before I started this challenge.   It became too easy to find an excuse even a good one not to run.   20 more days with a reason to run.

Here is not hoping that when this challenge is over that I will be back into the routine of running and running some more.   Until then, I will just keep going.

Its-fine