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The Ups and the Downs

If 2020 were an object, it would be a pile of dog poop.   You would be hard pressed to find anyone who would say as a whole this year doesn’t suck the big one.    For some it sucks more than others and it doesn’t even take into account the pandemic.

2020 is also the year that one by one major races and events were cancelled.   Boston while shocking was not unexpected since it was in the beginning of the pandemic.   One by one other large events fell to the wayside.   Many of the larger fall events have been holding out hope.  NYRR just announced that they were cancelling the  New York City Marathon.   Not unexpected but still sad.   For those that were planning to run they are giving great choices for deferment which also unheard of from NYRR.    I believe they did the right thing both in canceling it and before most people started training.

This is the years for runners to decide why they run.   This is the year for runners to decide weather they run only for the bling or if they run to run.   Now don’t get me wrong…… I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my bling.

I get a lot out of running besides bling, but when you are not training for anything it does get easy not to stay motivated.   Not to get out the door.   Not to go for longer runs.   Not to push yourself.    One of the reasons, I have been doing the NJ Virtual Boardwalk challenge.    21 days left and more miles than I would like, but I will get it done.

So while 2020 has sucked and seems like is on the path to sucking till the bitter end, we need to regroup, refocus, and adjust.

What if we took this time as a gift.    What if we viewed everything not through the lenses of what has been taken from us, but what has been given.   What if instead of thinking of all we are missing, we embrace all the things that we have.

Time

I currently have no part time job.   I have no practices to run my son to.   I have no this or that to attend, but instead of thinking about all that I’m missing what if I view this time as a gift.

I now have the time to practice yoga.

I now have the time to go for runs/walks.    I have even started walking the dog with my oldest son just about every night.    This is a gift.

Races

I am missing the thrill of big events.   The fun of small events.   Missing my running crew.   Missing training (really).   Missing a lot…. BUT…….    every since my surgery left me with Hypoparathyroidism, I have continued to push myself.   I’ve continued to train, race, and while I have cut back on number events I was doing, I still kept pushing.   Doing a marathon ever year since surgery in 2016 (actually every year now since 2014).     Now, I have no choice though but to stop chasing events because even though I was realistic about them, I still pushed myself.   FOR ME – instead of being upset that I can’t run NY again, what if I use this time to reconnect.   Not just with running, but the way I need to run.   Think about what works best for me as far as miles, pace, and calcium instead of chasing distances and time.

From January even before Covid, this year has had a lot of downs.   Lots of things have gone wrong.   Lots of drama.   Lots of things that I wouldn’t wish to happen to anyone.   But with each of these events, there has been an upside.   Now don’t get me wrong, I would love to have gotten to the upside without the rollercoaster ride but that isn’t how life works.   Sometimes you have to let go of the handles, put your hands in the air, scream as the roller coaster is racing down the tracks and just be happy when you pull into the end.   You can’t enjoy the highs without the lows.

So while many of us our in lows now, we have no choice except to enjoy the ride as much as we can.

So for now…..

I will continue to run.   I will continue to see if maybe I need to do more power walking especially in the heat instead of running.   If maybe, I just keep moving that is enough and for the next 21 days, I have to not skip a beat and apparently I am a streaker.

 

 

 

Time after Time

Time has lost all meaning to me, but I think we’ve pretty much been in going on 6 weeks now.   Who knows.   Is it still April?   I think April now has 675 days.   Each day is the same.   Each day is long.   And yet still there is not enough time to fold the laundry or empty the dishwasher until the sink is filled with dishes.   I’m not sure how that happens, but it does.   This is my life now.   Searching for food delivery slots that are not available.   Making carts on the off chance that someday I will hit the lottery and get a slot which has happened twice in these 6 weeks.   Then there is the inevitable suiting up to go to actual store since teens in a Pandemic apparently will eat more food than required by a heard of elephants.

This is my life.

I am still blessed.

On top of that every and any event has been cancelled.   Not just for now, but for next month and the month after and the month after.   On and on the cancelations go.   So much for my doing a race a month for the year.   Ha.   I will take for still being able to fit into my running clothes when this is over.    That being said,  with health officials already talking about a reoccurrence of this crap in the fall during flu season, you wonder if this year all major marathons will be cancelled.    Chicago while not cancelled is allowing participants to cancel.   Unheard of.   Many while not outright cancelled do not have a new date yet which makes you wonder.   NYRR has cancelled their NYC half and their races through June.   It makes you wonder what they will do for the Marathon that normal has 50,000 runners.   To me, a layman, runner; I just don’t see how it is possible but what do I know.

I had been thinking of running NY again for Team Sandy Hook Promise but I don’t see that happening.   With so many people hurting financially raising $3,000 does not seem feasible.  Honestly nor does the thought of going to an event with 50,000 people.   I went to Target for groceries and thought I would have an anxiety attack with all the people in the store who were wearing masks and most being good about socially distancing from each other.    I couldn’t see myself at the village start line.   Honestly  I can’t imagine how an event like this will happen even though it is still months from now.

Who knows what will happen.   I do know that no matter what I can’t see myself in the middle of it.   That being said, I have run a marathon every year since 2014, somehow someway I do not want 2020 to be the year I don’t.   I’ve already been thinking that trails are the way to go.   Who knows, I might have to do my own virtual marathon.   Then again maybe I just skip this year.   In the whole scheme of things, it is not the be all end all.

Yes, I miss my running crew.

Yes, I miss group events.

Yes, I miss it all.

But what I have taken away the most is that in the big scheme of life….. for me……  although I am a runner, although I love to run,   although I have had and will have again so much fun running……… When this is all over, I do not want it to go back to business as usual.

I want it to better.

I want to think about things differently.

I want to realize that while I am a runner, I am so much more

 

 

 

Rolling With It

Sometimes it feels like life is a ball of yarn that you must keep re-rolling because as time passes it unwinds and gets messy.   As it unwinds, it frays and the dead ends need to be cut off before rewrapping (sorry to my knitters if this is bad analogy).     If you don’t continue to wrap it back up, eventually your yarn will become knotted and unusable. So it’s best to deal with the mess before it’s too late. That’s where I’m at.

Waking up in the morning feeling like you’ve already come back from your run. Needing to be stretched and rolled does not make lacing up your running shoes quick or easy.    That doesn’t make it less necessary.

A mile and a half in and already tingles in the face.    Still working on determining when to take my Calcitriol and calcium because it’s obviously not enough time before I hit the pavement.   Race morning that should not be a problem since I won’t be starting till the 11-ish or later time frame.   I’ve got to work this out and also get morning stomach issues under control.

I feel like I was given hope only to have it taken away.   One of the reasons that I signed up for NYC Marathon as Sandy Hook Promise Runner was because I knew that I was going on Natpara.  Yes, I believe in their cause and am proud to be a runner for them, but I would have supported from the sidelines.    I knew the training would be different than the last year without it.    I knew how hard, frustrating, and exhausting it was without that PTH hormone and I didn’t want to do it all over again.    Now I had no choice to do it all over again, but now in a matter of weeks and not months.

I wonder if I have enough time to get my body used to running without Natpara at the distance I need to be running.   Yes, I’ve done it without Natpara in the past.   The big difference is that I did it from the start.   I had the time to adjust as the weeks went by.   Adjusting and learning what my body needed, when to add calcium, and building up.   Now instead of months to figure this out, I’ve got weeks to get my body and my mind on board.   They are still adjusting.   It’s harder than it should be both mentally and physically.   Knowing that does not make it easier.

Yes, I’ve got the base.   I can look on the bright side and know that for most of the training cycle that I had what I needed and could get the runs in.   I was even running at a pace that I was happy with again.   I didn’t think it would be my marathon pace, but I was doing alright.   Now in these next few weeks as I’m still adjusting my meds, I have to do what I have to do.

What I have to do is train where I am at today.   The bottom line is…. What choice do I have because I’m not quitting.   That is not an option.    To be totally honest with myself is that there is really not much that is going to keep me from the start line.   So with that said I better buckle up and go in trained the best that I can and know that it is going to be a bumpy ride.

I’m going into this marathon trained not as I should be, but as I can be.   It will be enough.   It has to be enough.   There is no other option

Doubt is the killer of all dreams……

And while this above statement is true, there comes a point where you have to face what the doubts are telling you   Running without Natpara, the PTH hormone, and dealing with that loss.  Knowing that I have to adjust expectations, training, and goals. Wondering if I will have what I need to get to the finish line.   Knowing that there isn’t much that will keep me from it either.

Training will be what it will be.   If your looking for tips on how to train for a marathon, this isn’t it.   But having already done 6 marathons, I am comfortable saying that I know I can adjust.   Maybe I walk more that I should although who determines how much “should” is.   I will do what I can and no more.

Who knows maybe I will surprise myself.

Today Was The Day

Today was the day.

Was it everything I expected?

No.

It was more!!!

As always, I will have a lot to say.   So this might take a few days.   Today we will talk the basics.     As I mentioned we were leaving at the crack of the crack of Dawn at 5:00 AM.   This meant getting up at 4:00 as you must have time for a cup of coffee, to get ready, and lets be honest time for coffee to work it’s magic.  (Yes, that is important to us runners).

I was lucky enough to be part of my running groups Clown Car again.   There were, I believe, 14 of us.   It’s nice when you get a group like this because then it is not expensive at all.   Plus the driver will take a group picture.

NYCHalf18_3

As my friend asked is this a group of homeless people or just people trying to stay warm in the cold before a race?

The van dropped us off close to the start where we were able to make a pit stop at a fast food restaurant.   Once we got to the start everyone went their own separate ways as we were starting in different corrals and waves.   Luckily, Mary, was in my corral again.   We were lucky enough to start the NYC Marathon in 2016 and it was nice to have her to chat with pre-race.    Once the race started though, I was on my own.   I kind of like that (usually) in a race.

Going in I had decided on a very conservative pace to start with.   I was bouncing between 11 and 11:15.   I think I picked that because I knew that I would go out too fast and if I picked a slower pace than even out to fast wouldn’t be too fast.    My paces reflect up and down which is fine for the way I intended to run the race.   I walked when I needed to but I still would not say that I took it easy.   I also pushed.   I ran a hard race.   I worked hard and I finished with my realistic A time goal.

Official time was 2:31:29

It was a good day.   My Garmin showed more than the 13.1 but that might be do to too much bobbing and weaving.   My paces were up and down with the course and my plan.

NYCHalf_9

This worked for me.   It might not be what a coach would recommenced, but for this day this was perfect.   In looking at the faster paces at mile 8 & 9 that might explain my feet starting to hurt at that point.

My mantra was “This is your race.   You need to run it your way.”

And I did.

The best part was I enjoyed myself.   I helped someone bob and weave to cross the street.   I took pictures along the way.   I just enjoyed the experience and before I knew it, I was pulling into Central Park.   I will admit the hills of the Park were not that enjoyable, but crossing the finish line in the Park was awesome!

More tomorrow, because to be honest I’m really tired.

What did you do today?

7 Days

This time next week I will more than likely be in the middle of or finishing up a nap with any luck.     In 7 days I am off to run the NY Half Marathon.   Last time I ran this event not only was I chasing but captured the elusive sub 2 Half Marathon.   I ran an average pace of 9:05 finishing just under the wire at 1:58:59.   I literally had a minute to spare.

It was a great day.   I say this not just because of the sub 2, but overall it was amazing.  No lie…https://accidentallyrunningmama.com/2016/03/22/the-good-the-bad-and-the-awesome/

This time many things will be the same and many will be different.

The early than crack of dawn early time is still true.   Unfortunately many that I ran this race with last time will not be there this time, but I’m still going in with friends.    We have decided to take a van into the city that will drop us off at the start line.   After the race, some are meeting their families, some are finding their own way home, and some of us will meet up to travel home together.  There is something special after a race sharing it with friends.   I’ve gone to many races by myself and afterwards it is not the same alone.   Your family only wants to hear so much about your running and I mean so much.

Now this year the course has changed, but it will still run through Times Square.   I’ll be honest I am not familiar enough with the city to know where this course will take me.   Good thing I’ll be in the middle of the pack, so I don’t need to know the way.  Ha!   I do know that this course might be a little hillier than previous one, but it is what it is.

 

Last time I went into this race trained for speed and ready to face the day.    I knew it would be tough hitting the sub 2, but I knew that I had it in me.   This time around, I know that I will make it to the finish line but I need to be smart about it.   This time, I am trained to finish when I finish.   There is no goal time.   I am going into enjoy the ride, see the city, and cross the finish line.

One thing that I am trying to figure out is what pace I will be running.   I plan on being conservative and I have really not trained for a specific time.   I know New York crowds can carry you away and that is what I am most afraid of.   Starting a race, any race, it is so easy to run out too fast.   Starting a race in New York City with NYC crowds it is almost impossible not to be swept up in the excitement.   This is why I must come up with a plan.   I need to have paces to follow.   Paces that my training shows that I can maintain.   Paces that will get me to the finish line with a smile.

That will be my goal this week.   To come up with a plan and follow it!

Do you follow a race plan?

plan

 

I’m Ready

I’ve been having a rough go of it lately. I’ve been stuck. Afraid to move forward.  Afraid of not being enough.  Afraid of things out of my control.  Afraid of failure, but who defines success and failure?

I’ve been stuck wandering in the fog for so long that I thought I would never see clearly again and even though I knew my vision was impaired I clung to it.   It is only after you come out of the fog that you can look at things with open eyes.   I’m ready now.   After one false start after another, I am truly ready now.   I can feel the difference.

I am looking at things clearer than I have in a while.   I do not have 20/20 yet, but really does anyone?    We all carry so much baggage that colors our world.   The trick is knowing what to hold onto and what to let go.   What really sucks is when you pack for summer only to find out that you are stuck in winter.    It is a work in progress, but I feel like I’m getting there in many aspects of my life.

As for my running….. I can finally say that I am coming to terms that things will be different.    Things will be harder.   My body will need more recovery time and be more sore than it had in the past.  I will wake up and my my body will ache.  Things will not feel the same.

BUT…..

Many things will remain the same.

I will still get peace of mind and clarity when running.

I will still feel the accomplishment of finishing a run.

I still will bond with friends while running.

I will still cross finish lines and most of all I will still run for me.

With this acceptance, I am finally able to let go of the ego that I spoke of.   I thought I was holding onto something, but really I was keeping myself from moving forward.   I am tired of standing still and am ready to move on from the past.    One of the reasons that I couldn’t commit to training was because somehow I felt less because I would pick a plan that the pre-hypopara me could have easily kept to, but the me of today can not.   Maybe there will be a day, but that day is not today.

I’ve been thinking of the NYC Half a lot.   NYRR always puts on great events, but these big events are spectacular.   The crowds.   The running on closed NYC streets.   It is an amazing feeling to run through Times Square like this race does.   As I said before, I want to enjoy it.   I want to be ready for it.    I want to embrace where I am today.   Not yesterday.   Not tomorrow.   Not next year.  Today.

So with this thought process, I picked a training plans for Training Peaks for a half marathon with a 2:30 finish time.   Now, I will be honest…. I am not sure that I can do a 2:30 finish.   It might be just a hair out of where I am, but it might not.   It is also much more realistic that 2:15.   Besides you will never know what you can do if you don’t push a little more than you think that you can do.  So I will push, but I will push wisely.

It is time to face this with open eyes, laced up shoes, and the knowledge that as long as I am doing the best that I can that there is no failure.   Failure is not trying.

life-quotes_8702-0

Still NO Regrets

I said no regrets for NYCM and I have no regrets.   I didn’t get the 4:30 I was hoping for and squeaked in at 4:56:04.

NO REGRETS

It was an amazing day that started off at 5:45 AM  with a van ride with a bunch of amazing women to Staten Island.   Couldn’t ask for a more inspiring group of women to spend my time with.    Once the van dropped us off all we had to do is wait and wait and wait some more.    My wave didn’t start till 10:40, so it does make for a long day.

But an awesome day.

nycm4You’ve got to have fun while your waiting:)

Then off to the corrals and they really are named correctly.   We were herded in like cattle, but no one seemed to mind.  Luckily for me one of these Mama’s was in my same corral and wave!

nycm5

Then we were off!

As I said before, I was going to run this race with no regrets and I have none.   Did I get my 4:30.   NOPE.   You know what?   It doesn’t matter.   You’ve got to have goals as a fiend told me yesterday.   These were big goals as far as my spotty training goes.   I had a plan.   I had paces and you know what it all went out the window when I was running.

I am the cautionary tale.   A marathon is a whole different beast than any other road race.   Pace is key.  I know this and yet I seemed to not care yesterday once the race started.   That is why it is important to run a marathon different than lets say a half marathon.    Well, I didn’t:)   I went out the first two miles as much faster than expected and then it went out the window.

I let the crowds carry me.   I bought into the feeling you get at the beginning of a race of “I feel amazing”  and “this is awesome!”

nycm8

This is the face of someone who is feeling good.    But that feeling can only last for so long when you run the first half like you don’t still have 13 miles to go.    I ran the first half in 2:09 and change.    As expected, the second half was much slower.

I have never hit the dreaded wall before in a marathon, but I think that I can say that I hit it yesterday.   And right where they tell you that you will hit it – Mile 20 I ran a 14 minute pace.   My bad.   I must also say that ran might not be the right word.   I walked a decent amount the last few miles.  I really had nothing left to give.   My legs were like lead, my hands and lips had the tingles.   I was honestly afraid I would pass out.   What kept me moving forward was the thought that if I stopped that I wouldn’t start again and if  I passed out I wouldn’t finish.   Finishing was all that mattered!.   So onward I went.   I walked when I needed to and I ran when I could.

It was during this time that I realized even without making my goal, I had no regrets.   None!   I set out to finish and I did.   As I said to my friends, you can’t really say it’s a bad day when you can say you finished the New York City Marathon.  I am not just saying that either.   It was a great day and I am blessed beyond belief to be able to say that I did this amazing race.

Yes there is more to the story, but it is now time to soak in some bath salts:)

How was your weekend?

New York, New York

9 plus 1 – Check

Expo shopping done – Check

I realized this was the first time that I really spent any time at an expo.   It was well worth it.   The excitement of it.    You could just feel the energy.   Plus there were deals to be had!  I may have gone overboard, but I don’t think so.   Besides, I really am only planning to run 1 NYCM, so I need to make it worthwhile!

Bib Pick-up – Check

Photo Opportunities with friends – Check

Gear ready for morning – Check

I am ready as I will ever be.   I’ve trained.   I’ve prepared.   I’m ready

I’ve got a plan too.   You know I like a plan.   If said plan works out I will be rocking along to my 4:30.    What’s my plan you ask?

Well my coach thinks that due to the course that a pace specific plan will work best.   Yes, I wasn’t expecting that either, but I like it and it excites me.   Plus, I’m hoping that worrying about keeping on pace will keep my mind occupied.   We all know that running really is a mental game and I’m mental enough to take this challenge on.

Now tonight all I have left to do is take a nice relaxing soak in the tub and get my pace chart ready.

It’s go time!

Good luck to all running and there will be more to the story:):)

 

 

If I could just Shut the Little Man Up!

This morning started off just right.   Actually woke up right before my alarm.   Had a good night sleep, although maybe not enough.    Got up and was ready for the Queens 10K Crew to pick me up.    Moving right as scheduled, then the brakes get put on.

Literally.

We could arrived to Citifield right before 7:30 giving us plenty of time to get to the start line at 8:30.   At least it should have been more than enough time!   We literally did not park the car till 8:30.

The frustrating part is that there was more than enough parking, but they just didn’t have the lots open.   It was annoying.   It was frustrating.   It was not the volunteers fault who were directing traffic.   Someone made a mistake or underestimated or something, because it was ridiculous!

Queens10k_16Why oh why when there is this much space did we have to wait an hour to get into the lot.   Crazy!

Then we had to do a 3/4 mile jog to the start line and literally jump into a corral and start the race.

Not the best way to start.

The corrals were crazy croweded probably due to people such as ourselves getting to the start line late.    Elbow to Elbow.   Bob and weave.   Stop and go.  Crazy start.

Then I settled into it or as much as I could settle in.   I was on pace.   I was on the money.   Then The little man in my head would not shut up as much as I told him to.   Physically, I think I may have had it in me today even with the heat.   Mentally, my mind just was not there.

Queens10k-16_2Look at these beautiful negative splits……. Backwards!

Mentally, my head wasn’t in the game.   As much as I wanted to pretend it was, it was not there.   It did not help that I did not plan my music accordingly causing thoughts to pop into my head that I had no business thinking about while trying to run a race.

Physically, there is no reason that I needed to walk during this race.   Mentally, I admit that I took a few walk breaks.   There was a point that I almost gave up and walked.  At the end, I did push it but it was too little too late.   It was just not my day.   You need these bad running days to appreciate the good ones.

In the whole scheme of things, it is just a race.   It is not a make or break thing that I didn’t PR today.   It would have been nice, but at the end of the day (to me) I know it really doesn’t matter.   There will be other days, other races, and other PR’s.

And you know what?   As much as I’m going on that the race wasn’t my race, I ran it faster than last year. I still ran it pretty decently even if I walked a time or two.   I still finished with a good place and overall my pace was good.     Was it the race I wanted?   No, but those are the breaks.

try

I finished in 59:14.

So I was under an hour this year and still not a bad race.

Overall 5093 out of 9,982

Women 1594 out of 4,814

Age Place 110 out of 432

So I really think I need to shut up that it wasn’t a good race.   I know that I could have pushed myself and run better but I mentally didn’t care.

Every have one of those days and realize in the end it wasn’t so bad?

me too:)

We’re All A Little Crazy. Aren’t We?

I’ve got a race tomorrow.   A race that until very recently, I had forgotten that I signed up for.   A race that I signed up for in my sub 2 NYC Half haze.   I wanted to race it again and I didn’t want to chance the lottery, so I signed up for a few races.   Then I forgot about them.
These things will happen.   Now I am running a 10K in Queens.
I’m going to be bold
I’m going to be crazy
I’m going to push the envelope
And
With any luck that means I will run fast
Very fast for me
No I haven’t been doing speed workouts, but I’m still going to go for it
Last year I ran the Queens 10k in 1:00:47
My 10k PR is 57:08
So I thought why not go for 55
Crazy, I know!
I’m not ready
I’ve been running slow
I’m in a rut
But
Still..
Maybe this is what I need.    I really think it is.
Why Not?
I may crash and burn
But
Maybe
Just maybe
With a little luck and some unicorn magic
I won’t
I’ll never know unless I try.
Now I’ve put it out there and you know too.
If I crash and burn, at least I will have tried.
effort