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Sticking to the Plan

I’m now more than a week into my Gluten Free life.  I’m not sure that it is a permanent thing, but for now it seems to be working out for me.   One would think that gluten free means that it’s all health food, but I will let you in on a little secret.   Chocolate and ice cream are gluten free.   So there’s that.

That being said, I think I’ve been eating fairly healthy.   It might be because for now it requires more thought to think about what I will eat.   Plus I used to eat a decent amount of cereal or PBJ sandwiches for lunch.   These for the most part of turned into pretty yummy salads.    Dinners have not been that difficult surprisingly.   What is a little more challenging is snacking.   But after getting on the scale this week, I really need to be readjusting my snacks anyway.   Work in progress.

One of the things that I really need to look at and read about is how to carb load for running without the traditional runners pastas and breads.    To be honest, I probably ate much more of these things than necessary anyway.    If anyone has gone gluten free and has any good reading recommendations for how to put this together with training, I’m all ears.

So for now, I’m sticking to the plan.   I’ve still been feeling good and that really is what is making it easy to make the choice to stick to the plan.   I’m hoping this continues.  Although I won’t mind the normal soreness and aches that come from training.   It when I’m not training and I feel them that is bothersome.

As I said before, I am starting off with the Hal Higdon Novice 1 training plan.   In looking at my first week, I have 4 days of running with only a total of 15 miles.   The first three runs are only 3 miles and my long run is only 6.   In looking at it, it feels like I could/should do more.   Before my surgery, a short run was only 6 miles and now that I’m starting again it’s my long run.  In my heart, I feel like I should pick a harder plan, push my self, and do more.  In my mind, I know this is right where I need to be right now.  I’ve still got so much to figure out with how my body will adjust to training with my issues that I need to be smart.   I need to be safe. I need to be wise.

 Last year I ran over 1,000 miles.   This year six months in, I have only run 206 miles.   Times have changed.   So I will listen to my mind and not my heart.

Doing the right thing.

Listening to my body.

Sticking to the Plan.

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If it Ain’t Broke Don’t Fix It

And so it begins.  Just a week away till I’m “officially” in Marathon training.   After looking over several plans, I decided to stick with the Hal Higdon Novice 1 Marathon plan.   Yes, I know I’m not a novice but I feel like I’m starting over and this is where I’m at right now.   Besides I look at it as a starting point.   If I determine that I can take it up a notch, you know that I will.

There was another training plan that caught my eye on Training Peaks.   It was specific to Chicago, but it was also for a 4:30 marathon.   Plus I already owned the Hal Higdon Plan, so I saved $80.    I may down the road change to this plan, but not yet.   First I need to start running again and see how that goes.

I’ve recently made some changes that have been helping.   I’m not sure which one is helping but I don’t want to mess with either.   First I added both a magnesium and Vitamin D supplements to my daily dose of things to take.    Second and I’m finding much harder is that I’ve gone gluten free.    I’m doing it because it may help with some of the symptoms that I’ve been having due to the hypoparathyroidism.    I’ve got to say that I’ve actually felt “normal” these last few days.   Not waking up feeling like Grandma.   Not having leg pains.    Feeling like my “old self” if you will.    So I’m afraid to make any changes.  You know what they say…

If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

Now I have a sister who actually has celiac disease, so I know that going gluten free is a hard road to travel.  I also know that many people go gluten free because it’s the new fad diet.  I’ve never wanted to go gluten free, but I’m willing to try it now.   It hasn’t been long  and it might not even be the diet but the supplements, but something is working better.    I am lucky though to have a sister who can guide me on this journey even if I don’t need to be as strict as she is with it.   Right now, I’m in 100% because I feel that is the only way, but I will see where it leads.

What I do need to do is figure out how to carb load without bread and pasta!

Living and Learning

worth it

 

Plugging Along

Most of us lead ordinary lives.   This is not necessarily a bad thing.   It is just a fact of life.   Most of have a pattern to our lives which changes over time.   My Mother refers to it as the “seasons of our lives.”    Right now I feel that I’m between seasons…..

As with the “seasons of our lives,”   we also have seasons in our training.

Right now I feel that I’m in between seasons……

I just came off the NJ Half.   A race that I went in under trained for, but still finished well and with a solid time of 2:20:23.    The race went well.   For the most part,  I felt good overall and it gave me hope that I will be ready to start Chicago Marathon training.    I’m to the point where I need to start preparing for my training.   First thing first is to put the actual date of the Marathon on my calendar.   When people ask me when it is, I truly only knew that it was in October.

Date:  October 8, 2017

152 days from today.

This means that training will start literally in a matter of weeks.

Oh Boy….

My mind is a flurry thinking about gearing up my training,  getting handle on calcium (hypoparathyroidism), figuring out nutritional and supplements,  and being a busy Mom of three.

Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy….

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Honestly right now I’m plugging along with the calcium, but I often feel like I’m just treading water.   There appears to be a fine line between keeping your head above water and letting yourself sink.    It feels like a constant state of not being able to plant your feet.    It is a strange feeling trying to keep your calcium high enough to not be too symptomatic but not so high as to cause other problems. Plus even with keeping my calcium high enough, it is still keeping it in the low range thereby figuring out how to deal with those symptoms.   Those that have dealt with it for a while do say that you eventually get used to the “new normal.”    I’m trying to believe them.

I’m looking forward to the day where I’ve figured it out a little (lot) better than I have right now.   It’s just a constant guessing game.    Plus I’ve come to the realization that what has changed most for me is that really overnight I started to feel my age if you will.   Although I do think that even if I don’t look it being in such good shape has helped with some of the symptoms.

But I will work it out.    I will get my head out of the sand.    I will start training.    Most of all, I will cross the finish line in Chicago.

  I’m trying to find the excitement.   It sounds bad, but I’m not excited about running.   I’m not happy about running it.   I’m not unhappy or unexcited either.   I’m just blah.   It’s not that I don’t want to run it.   It’s just right now I’m not feeling it.   But I’m not feeling a lot of things right now, so I’ll just go through the motions.

One day at a time.

One step at a time.

Every runner no matter what their health knows that nutrition plays a key role in not just their training but their general well being.    That is where I plan to start.

Off to make an appointment with nutritionist.

 

 

 

A New Chapter

We live in a society where strength is looked up to and any kind of weakness should be both stamped out, frowned upon and just wrong.   Asking for help is often seen to some (not all) as an almost sacrilegious thing.   We live in a society where if we don’t like something we just ignore it.   This holds true to so many things from politics to health.   The expression bury your head in the sand didn’t come from nowhere.

You see this in runners (myself included) who rather than deal with an injury may try to shake it off and run anyway.    I did this with my Plantar Fasciitis and also when I twisted my ankle training for the 50K.   It wasn’t until I was out about 2 miles after I twisted it that I knew that I wasn’t going to be able to run off the pain.   I also did it to when coming back from my surgery.   Trying to jump back in where I left off like everything was the same.  Some times you can’t run out the pain.   Some times you need to face it, deal with it, and treat it.

Why do we do these things?     When a friend comes to us in need, we don’t think less of them.   We don’t hold it against someone who has fallen ill or becomes injured.   Then why do we hold ourselves to different standards?

Why indeed?

This weekend I am going to run my first race post surgery.  My first race with hypoparathyroidism.

I am both excited and apprehensive at the same time.    I’ve got my arsenal all ready to go.

I originally signed up for the marathon.   Thank God that I was smart enough to know that was never going to happen.   I’m not even properly trained for the half marathon that I’m running.   Luckily for me though I’m not going in alone.   I’m going in with some friends and we are all going to do what we need to do to get to the finish line.

Even more lucky, these are friends that I trust to keep an eye on me.   I’ll be honest.   Part of me is a little nervous.   Not because I’m not trained enough which I’m not.  I’ve done races before not properly trained.   I’m nervous because this will be my first real test on how I will be able to run distance with my calcium issues.   It’s also a test for how much I need to prepare for Chicago Marathon training.   A base line if you will.

I’m not trained, but I’m still prepared.    I plan to pack my calcium tablets with me and take 2 before the start.   I also am heading a recommendation from a hyperparathyroidism athletes group to put Cal-Ez in my water.

Cal-Ez

I’m not thinking about pace.   Ok I’m thinking about but I know I need to just let it go. The ego is strong, but needs to be left in check.  This is not the day.   I must remind myself of that and let my ego go as this will be the day just to finish.     I am handling it like a test run:)   But a test run with a medal at the end!

This is the first run in a new chapter of my running.

On your mark

Get Set

Go!

Who remembers as a kid singing the song in Health Class about everything being connected?

“The hip bone’s connected to the back bone
The back bone’s connected to the neck bone,
The neck bone’s connected to the head bone,
Now shake dem skeleton bones!”

Cute song that helped us learn about how our bones were connected.   Then on our way we go.   As adults most of us never think about how inter-connected our bodies are and how interconnected everything really is.   Yes, as athletes we know about proper fueling but for most of us that is the extent of our thought process.

Then again.   Maybe that’s just me.

Yes, I do know the rule garbage in equals garbage out.

All that being said, for the most part as a grown up we pretty much know what is considered healthy and what isn’t and eat accordingly.    We really don’t give it much thought other than that.   Honestly, why would we?

The only time a person really starts to think about these things is when they need to.  I’ve been giving more thought to it recently.   They body is an amazing thing the way it works.   How it takes in nutrients and uses them.   How certain foods will help and certain foods will hurt with calcium absorption.   Yes, that’s really all I seem to care about right now.   Forgive me.   But it’s all interconnected.

So I’ve been doing my research, but it can be overwhelming.   Yes, we all know about dairy, but there is a whole host of other foods that are good too.    Then there is a whole host of foods that are not good for calcium absorption such as caffeine, salty foods, and high protein foods just to name a few.   This then creates a quandary.

Remember I had planned to go on my diet May 1rst.    Remember it was going to be a high protein diet because that is what worked for me in the past.   Well obviously it won’t work for me now.   Also, as an athlete I depend on replenish myself after a good workout with protein.   Should I continue with that pattern?   These are questions that I am asking myself now.   These are questions that I need answers to.

So it is all interconnected.

And this isn’t even getting into the discussion of how exercise effects calcium levels.

As of now, I’m reaching out to those who are more knowledgeable and I’m emailing some nutritionist.   I’m looking for an individual who looks at the big picture and can help me individualize something for me.    There are a lot of nutritionists out there.   The key is to find the one that will work well with me and as a plus will take insurance.   I’ve already called and my insurance does cover up to 3 per calendar year and unlimited if medically necessary.   When I asked what that was, they immediately went to a diabetic.   Well I will question if they tell me they won’t cover my visits (but that is a fight for another day).

It’s funny how things you never gave a thought to before suddenly fill your mind.

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Honesty is the Best Policy

Time for some brutal honesty.

I’ve got wiggles.  I’ve got jiggle.   I’ve got a belly that would shake like a bowl fully of jelly if not for the support of  my running pants.   As my son once told me, I’ve got a nice soft tummy like a pillow.

Yup, he said that.

You know what?   He wasn’t wrong when he said it and it’s still very true today.   Instead of a six-pack, my abs could be described more like a marshmallow quality.

I told you that it was time for brutal honesty.

Now as I admit these things, that does not mean I’m beating myself up.   I’m just being honest.   I will also say that I’ve got legs that really are very muscular, strong, and can go the distance.

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.   These legs and the accompanying jiggle have taken me many miles and on awesome adventures.

Truth be told, I wouldn’t mind loosing a few pounds.

Truth be told, I’m not sure if I want to make the sacrifices required to do so either.

Here is the thing….

  • I’ve got a hubby that genuinely doesn’t care about the extra jiggle and I plan on keeping him.
  • My blood pressure is amazing and I’ve got great cholesterol levels.
  • My heart is obviously doing ok with all the cardio (AKA running) that I do.
  • In the whole scheme of things, even though I would be happy if I lost the weight, I am also happy with keeping it.   To be honest it really won’t change my life at all.

Last time that I went on a major diet was between son number two and son number three.   Son number three is now 10.    So it’s been a while.  At the time, I did the South Beach Diet.   It took dedication and planning, but it did work.   I’m just not that sure that I want to be that dedicated.   I’m beginning to ponder and develop a game plan.

I do know that I will do nothing till May 1rst which is the day after the the NJ Half Marathon.   You would think this would have something to do with the actual race, but it doesn’t.  It has to do with not setting myself up for failure.   April is my mother’s, my son’s, and my birthday.   Plus it is Easter.   I don’t want to start something that I know wont end well.

I am thinking that the best course of action will be just to start making wiser decisions which I’m already trying to incorporate.  Drink more water.   Eat more fruit.   Just think about what I’m eating.   Who knows maybe that is all I need right now:)

So if I’m happy with things, why even think about the weight.   Well I’m also thinking about goals for the year.    I know realistically that if I do loose a few pounds that I might actually be able to run the Chicago Marathon well.   Maybe even hitting the elusive 4:30 mark.   Of course, a lot of that also depends on my training.  So if I plan to loose weight it will need to be before marathon training begins.

Right now these are just thoughts.   Pondering.   Weighing my options if you will.

You got to have goals and to have goals you have to have plans.

What’s your goal?

Don’t Run on Empty

I am great at what to eat after a  run.  I have a variety of post workout protein drinks ready to go.   What I’m really not great about is what to eat before and even during my runs.  How to properly “fuel” my run.

I’ve been told that runners have their own language.   It is true to a certain extent, but I think most sports have their own language.   If you were to put me on the sidelines of a football game or any other sport, I would have no idea what they were talking about.   The thing with languages though is that anyone can learn them.   I’m learning the importance of fuel for running now

Full Definition of fuel

  1. 1a:  a material used to produce heat or power by burning b:  nutritive material c:  a material from which atomic energy can be liberated especially in a reactor

  2. 2:  a source of sustenance or incentive

They say that the body is the best designed machine.   I believe that to be true.   Just like a machine then, your body needs fuel to run at it’s best.   When you are running longer distances, fuel becomes so very important to you.   I’m not new to how important, but I’ve realized that I need to be smarter with both my fuel choices and timing of it.   As they say timing is everything.  Take it too soon and you’ve wasted it.   Take it too late and a run can go from good to bad quickly.     From experience I can tell you that for me it is hard to bounce back once you’ve waited to long to fuel.    I can also say that if you take it too soon and end up needing to refuel more often that can lead to problems too.   This is why I have started to pay attention to not only what I’m taking but when I’m taking it.   We train for everything else.   We also need to train for our fueling.

Fuel

This is where I am at.  I want to know how this works better.  I want to understand it because if I can understand it maybe I can actually do it better.   There is much to learn and I am only just beginning.

I have started to keep a detailed training log this year.   With all my runs to include weather, what I wore, how I felt, and when I fueled.    I really believe this is the piece that I’ve been missing.   Not that this is going to make me a super runner because I will never be that.   What it will help me to do though is be the best that I can be.    That is enough.

We all know that we should carb load before a run.   There is truth to this, but it is not the be all end all for the long run.   The body on average can only store 90 minutes of energy for a run.   This is why once you start pushing the distances fuel becomes so important.  That being said once you start pushing the pace, you need more fuel too because just like your car burns more fuel thw faster it goes so does the body.

As with everything in my life, this is a work in progress.   I will say though that I did discover a very tasty Honey Stinger Organic Fruit Smoothie gel that was soooooo very tasty.     This is coming from a GU girl too.    Live and learn.

I’ll keep you posted.

How do you fuel?