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Walk, Run, & Everything in Between

I’ve run a marathon. I’ve run/walked a marathon. Now I can say I’ve walked a marathon. I’m ready to run again…… Ok, not just yet, but you know what I mean.

I walked for 8 hours 11 minutes and 51 seconds. My fastest marathon clocked in at 4:38:14 for perspective. Although post hypopara, I have been getting slower and last year crossed finish at 6:20:41. I guess I can go with since this was my 8th marathon that I was going for an hour for each one. I can honestly say that while I will probably do another marathon that I will NEVER specifically plan to walk another marathon. Then again maybe if it had been an in person event that I would have put more pressure on myself to do more.

I did know that I wanted to complete this event. I realized that I have done at least one marathon a year since 2014, so I didn’t want to break my streak. More than likely I would not have been able to keep the streak going if this was in person. Then again if Covid hadn’t shut everything down, I might have not had the mindset to take a break from running. Who knows?

I will also say that I didn’t tell a lot of people my plan. I really wasn’t sure what my plan was other than to go out and walk 26.2 miles. I did put it out there as I also signed up to with Sandy Hook Promise to raise funds. (https://charity.gofundme.com/o/en/campaign/christines-virtual-sandy-hook-promise-walk/christinechaillet )

Unlike when their is an actual event, there was no minimum to raise, but I missed being part of the team and spreading their message and helping to support their important cause. This year though as with the marathon, there was no pressure. I only posted it on my Facebook pace twice and did not promo it. Honestly based on all the stuff I post, I am sure many people missed it which actually took the pressure off the actually event.

So I planned a route in town. I told my hubby and some friends and then off I went. I started with a friend who walked a few miles. She then joined me for the half way point for a little more. Then I walked the last few on the phone with another friend. Finally I did the las one just walking.

Walking….. Walking…. Walking…..

No music.

No podcasts.

Just silence.

Just the noise rattling around in my mind.

You would think it would be boring. You would think spending that much time just walking without outside stimulus would drive you crazy. I enjoyed the peace. I let my mind wonder. Walking alone taking in the surroundings. Being at peace with my thoughts. It was a good day.

Time on your feet with your thoughts while a good day does not make it an easy day.

Running a marathon is hard. Walking and running a marathon is hard. Walking a marathon is just as hard just a different type of hard.

A few days post marathon and my feet are healing nicely. Only 7 blisters, but only 2 that were thoughts of concern initially but they are both on road to recovery. So I am taking the week off. I am letting my feet totally heal. I am giving my legs a chance to recover. And then…. only then will it be time.

Time to rebuild.

Time to run……….

Whatever that will mean, but we will find out together.

Be Kind…. Even to Yourself

Why are we so hard on ourselves? Why do we always put ourselves down? Why don’t we treat ourselves the way we treat our friends? Why aren’t we kinder to ourselves?

Inquiring minds want to know!

As with everyone, I am in a few group message chains with my friends. These forms of communication are even more important now when you can’t see your friends. In one of these groups recently, we were all saying all the bad but very tasty things we were eating that we shouldn’t be. Then how we needed to get on track. On and on….. You know this conversation because I’m sure you’ve had these converstions.

(Sidebar – Do ONLY women have these conversations? Seriously. Although my husband has said to me about getting back on track, I don’t think he discusses with his fishing or work buddies. Maybe I’m wrong. Am I? )

Anyway after this conversation where we were all beating ourselves up about gaining weight, not loosing weight, and our bad eathing habits I started to think…..

This particular group was a bunch of running Mamas. Some are still running and training for virtual marathons. Those of us not running are still active. We are not sitting on the couch eating bon bons all day even during a pandemic.

A wise friend said, “Life has been extra nuts lately right ? Eat the damn cake chocolate pie cookie ..drink the wine beer pizza whatever …and more importantly be kind to ourselves”

Why is it so hard to be kind to ourselves?

If a friend calls us and tells us they totally blew their diet, blew through their Weight Watcher points, or gained weight; we would come back to them with a kind word (at least I hope so!). We would not berate them. We would not tell them they were hopeless. We would not tell them they blew it. We would reply that it’s ok. That tomorrow is another day. That each day is hard enough without beating themselves up. We would be kind.

So lets be kind to ourselves. Let’s start by treating ourselves the way we treat our friends. Let’s start by giving ourselves a break. Let’s start by knowing that it’s ok to eat the donut, eat the cake, and even eat the brownie but just maybe not in the same night. And if for some reason, we do eat them all in the same night to pick ourselves up the next day and say it’s ok. We will do better.

Here is another thing. As a woman of a certain age, it is pretty damn hard to loose weight. Hormones are all over the place. Metabolism is non existent. Then add no thyroid and a non working parathyroid glands and it is perfect storm of impossible weight loss.

Seriously.

No joke.

No lie.

Now I am by no means saying it is impossible to loose the weight. I am just saying that I am not committed enough right now to engage in trying to the extreme necessary. And while I may eat the donuts, the cake, the treats for the most part I really am not a bad eater. I eat a fairly healthy diet filled with lots of fruits and vegetables For right now, I have embraced a pescatarian diet. I don’t really eat much processed foods. I’ve dieted. I’ve trained and run marathons. On paper, I look good. On the scale is another story.

My sister has suggested that I talk to my doctor about hormone replacement therapy. Truth be told, I take so many pills a day because of my Hypoparathyroidism that the thought of adding to the mix is just tiresome. So I am at a loss and I really do not feel the need to go to extremes as I have maintained where I am for the last 3 years since my surgery when I added these extra 20 pounds.

Now please don’t take this to mean that I have given up. I haven’t. I am not sure when yet, but I will once again start tracking my food. This actually is more for when I go to the doctors for my physical so that we can discuss it. Although my doctor is not one to use the scale as the be all indicator of health. If your doctor isn’t, I would say find one!

Now with all this being said, I am not saying that I wouldn’t be thrilled to wake up 20 pounds lighter tomorrow. I’m just saying for right now….. With all that is going on in the world…… It is just not my priority. I am not saying it won’t one day in the near future, but for today I am content to walk my mile a day and complete my 30 day yoga challenge.

One Month

A month ago I ran the NYC Marathon. Ok, a month ago I power walked the NYC Marathon. Since then….. Not so much. And when I say not so much, I really mean nothing. No cross training. No biking. No nothing.

At first, I said that it was because I needed to rehab my feet which is truthful. They need to get it together. Although a month of rest probably was just what they needed to deal with the Plantar Fasciitis. Then I believe I’m also dealing with Morton’s Neuroma probably aggravated from the power walking which has a completely different landing than running. So rest has been good.

Right up until it becomes more than rest.

So much in life is out of our control. Sometimes it feels like nothing is in our control and no matter how hard we try, we are running in the wind. After a while it is easy to give up trying because what’s the point. It’s easy to use a crutch even a valid crutch to blame everything on until you just stop trying.

I’ve been thinking about the Decade Challenge. I’m sure you’ve seen it on Facebook. The compare where were you then compared to now. I find it somewhat depressing. I jumped in 2013 training for my first ever event… A Sprint Triathlon. You know because why start small and it would be a great way to get back to being healthier. That was just the beginning as you know.

I did get healthier. Probably the fittest that I had ever been. Up until being healthy wasn’t in my control. With the surgery leaving me with Hypothyroidism (expected) and Hypoparathyroidism (very unexpected), I gained 20 pounds. I lost a lot of my steam. I deal with aches, pains, memory issues, and just generally feeling sucky on a daily basis. I persevered and pushed on moving while at a slower pace still moving.

Then there was the beautiful Natapara (my Hypopara peeps understand) which brought me back to normalcy. I was living the life again until the rug was pulled out. Yeah, I know you’ve heard this before. Without the Natpara I had decisions to make. Is it smart to push my body to the limits? If I want to continue to run, I have to get the feet issues under control which also requires addressing the weight issue. For me, with the issues I’ve had with my feet the extra weight is a problem. For me, I’m also not happy with where I am. No, I will never be a size 6 but I need to get back to where I my jeans fit.

Part of having so much in your life out of your control is that it is easier to not face the truth. The truth that while there is so much out of control that there is much in your control. Not to say that the things in your control are easy to face, deal with, or tackle but they are still there. Sometimes the hardest thing is deciding what to do and after that things fall into place. This is true for so many things in our lives. The holding pattern is what keeps us from moving forward. The fear of what if I can’t do it? What if it’s the wrong decision? What if….?????? What if……..??????? What if…..???????? It’s the what if’s in life that hold you down and the fear of failure that keep you from trying.

It is my fear of failure that has kept me from getting back on the horse with my weight. Hubby and I tried in January. He lost 50 pounds. I lost 4 and I’m not sure but I think I may have found them. While he does have it easier by virtue of just being a man. No I’m not being sexist…… My doctor has even used the phrase, “A woman your age with hormone blah, blah, blah….” So there’s that. Than the lack of thyroid. Then the aches, pains, and exhaustion that comes with Hypopara. Yup. Out of my control. What is in my control is what I put in my mouth. How I decide to use my energy and give myself on the days where there is none.

This probably is a good time to start too because it will keep me in check during the holiday season. And while I do have a limited amount of energy during the day, I can find time to do something for myself with it while doing what needs to be done. Simple things that I actually enjoy. Like this morning dusting off my juicer and having a yummy clean eating juice for breakfast instead of processed food. My body needs less processed foods and when I’m eating right, I feel better. I think that’s true for most of us.

I don’t expect this to be easy. I hope that I don’t give up. Even if it takes longer than I want….. Even if it seems impossible…… I know that what I put into my body is equally as important if not more than what the scale says. Most of all I hope to once again realize that I can do hard stuff even if it seems much harder now than it used to be.

So with all of that I’m already thinking of goals for 2020 and ways to actually reach them. Because as the saying goes, hindsight is 2020 (yeah mom joke there… my apologies, but that’s just me).

Recovery Done Right

I will give you that most people don’t need to spend time recovering from just a 5K. I will give you that in the past even at my longest most grueling races, I haven’t really been good about recovery.

Case in point: I ran Dirty German 50K. I crossed the finish line. Since I was doing the race solo, I ended up getting food, gathering my stuff, and diving the few hours home. When I ran the Marine Corps Marathon, I was with my sister and mother. I grabbed some food. We grabbed an Uber back to our hotel that we were already checked out of and we did the long drive from DC to NJ. At least I only drove till we got to the first rest stop where I changed out of my race gear. Then my sister drove. At every NYC marathon, it is hours before I finally make it home to change and clean up.

You see a pattern here.

It’s not a good pattern, but one most can recognize. Running races usually means traveling to event even if it’s in driving distance. Most of us also usually have to get back to a day to day lives relatively quickly without a lot of time to relax.

Besides training, elite runners have an edge when it comes to recovery. It’s part of the job description because they know they need to take the time and they do. Granted, they might not need as much recovery as the rest of us but they also build it into their training. Why do those of us who probably need it more than they do, not take the time?

As said before……. We usually have to get back to our daily routines. We are usually feeling guilty for the time we take to train and do an event that taking that extra step makes us feel a little more selfish. It’s not selfish though. It’s part of training. One that we usually ignore to our own peril.

I am trying to be better which tends to happen when your body forces you to access what it needs. Yesterday it was easy because time was on my side. First I stretched after race. Then I came home and soaked in an Epsom salt bath. Then off to a nice lunch followed by a short nap. If all that wasn’t decadent enough……

I went for a Spa Pedicure that included a hot towel wrap with 10 minute leg massage. Then at completion of pedicure a 10 minute neck and shoulder massage. Pure heaven.

And while maybe a 5K didn’t need this much of a recovery, why not enjoy it when I have the time. Plus outside of my quads today, I am feeling pretty good. Everyone should be sore the day after pushing it in a race.

I am working on not just working so hard, but realizing that if I am going to push it to the limit that I also need to allow time to recover. Not view it as treating myself, but viewing it as necessary. I am turning 50 next month. As the saying goes, I am not getting any younger but that wont stop me. What will stop me is if I don’t realize that I am worth the extra time and not only am I worth it but it is necessary.

Train hard.

Race hard.

Recovery just as hard.

Recover is Part of the Plan!

While there is much to talk about with the actual race, I’m going to skip ahead to where I am today…… Recovery.

You train hard.   You push hard.  You must also think of recovery as another part of training.   You must take it seriously.   If not, even if not now eventually your body will revolt.

When walking through my door after the marathon the first thing that I wanted to do was shower.   I could feel the grit on my face from the sweat.   I’ve never thought of it till right now, but I am a salty runner.    So I showed off the grim of the dried sweat.   Then proceeded to fill the tub and soak in an Epsom Salt bath.

Then I promptly went and devoured food without breathing.   After the race, I drank water with calcium and chomped down the pretzels, but that was all.   By the time I ate around 7:00 that night, I realized that the whole day I had only eaten a pre-race banana and bagel,  then gels during the race, the power bar I got on the course and bag of pretzels all day.   According to my Garmin, I burned  2,2970  calories that day.   I had a lot to make up for.

Then to be honest there was nothing more I could do as I was literally passing out on the couch in between facebooking and trying to rehydrate.   I was in bed asleep by 10:30 which never happens.

The next morning as I’m guessing most of us who ran woke up to sore legs.   I must admit that I was happy that my dresser was close enough to use to help me get out of bed.   Something to think about as I continue to age!    Then when the feet hit the floor.  Oh boy.   After safely getting the boys off to school, the first thing I did was pull out my rollers.

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No pain. No gain when it comes to rolling.

Then I took another soak in the Epsom salts.

While these measures helped, I was still sore (obviously).    Stairs were not my friend which unfortunately due to laundry needing to be done I had to navigate several times.   They were not fun.   They were not pleasant.  I may have looked like Grandma going up and down.

Then I was very lucky to be able to try something that I never tried before…. Acupuncture and Cupping.   Kim Fong is a member of  our group and she put together an amazing experience for those of us who ran NYCM at her office Health In Motion.   I admit while cupping was never anything on my radar, acupuncture has been something I’ve toyed with trying for a long time.   I’ve just been a big ole chicken to take the leap to try it.   This was a perfect opportunity.

Kim was amazing explaining it all so that we were comfortable with the process.   Since many of us were new, she also took a very gentle approach to it.    While I will say that I did notice the needles going in (but not all), they were not painful.   I really do not understand how that works, but it does.   She kept the needles in for about 10 minutes to do their magic.  I noticed them more when being removed but again not painful just an awareness.

 

 

Then she had one of her assistants perform cupping.   Again a very gentle approach.   Since I know that I won’t be able to explain it, I am going to copy from Kim’s website:

” Cupping is the term applied to a technique that uses small glass cups or bamboo jars as suction devices that are placed on the skin. There are several ways that a practitioner can create the suction in the cups. One method involves swabbing rubbing alcohol onto the bottom of the cup, then lighting it and putting the cup immediately against the skin. Suction can also be created by placing an inverted cup over a small flame, or by using an alcohol-soaked cotton pad over an insulating material (like leather) to protect the skin, then lighting the pad and placing an empty cup over the flame to extinguish it. Flames are never used near the skin and are not lit throughout the process of cupping, but rather are a means to create the heat that causes the suction within the small cups.”

IMG_4465

I have to say it was very cool to watch as he heated the cups.   Again there was no pain.   The cups do not feel hot, so it is not a burning sensation of any kind.   I felt the cupping much more than the acupuncture but again not in a painful way.   It is a strange sensation that does leave temporary marks when the cups are removed.   I just laid back, relaxed and let the cups do their work.   Again is was not a long treatment nor was an aggressive treatment.    When the cups were removed, some massaging of the muscles where trigger points were definitely reached.

Then home I went to relax.

Today when I got up…..

While quads are still sore, getting up is no longer a challenge.    Stairs can be walked like normal although truth be told, I will give it another day before I don’t really try to avoid them.   I’m thankful for living in a ranch!

Tomorrow, I will continue to take it easy.   Doing more stretching.   I go back to my classes teaching preschool gymnastics, so tomorrow will be more moving but moving is good.   Thursday, I will try to go for a short run.   I mean short, but it is good to keep moving.

What do you do for recovery?

 

When is the Right Time?

Today, on this random day, I decided that I need to start getting it together.   While there are many things no longer in my control, there are many things that are in my control and I need to take control of what I can.   With that in mind, I pulled out an old training book that I used when I was working with my running coach in 2016.    I opened it up to peruse the pages and on the front page there was a sticky with the following written on it:

As much as I know the time is right, I still can’t help but believe that it is wrong…

Ummm, Ok

I still feel like that.

Do we ever know when is the right time?

I was on a message board the other day and someone was saying how they wanted to get back to running, but needed to loose weight first.    This is not the first time that I’ve heard such things.    I personally know people that have made similar statements.

The truth of the matter is that there is no right or wrong time.    There is only time, opportunities, and chances we must take.    I’ve been sitting here waiting for the right time to get my sh*t together – not be so out of breath when I run, loose weight, not feel like Grandma getting out of bed in the morning,  not have legs feel like I’ve run 10 miles when I’ve only run 1.

As much as I know the time is right, I still can’t help but believe that it’s wrong….

The time is right.    In looking at my training log, I can not see a day where I would be able to maintain that level again.  This is the truth as harsh as it sounds to my ears.   In looking at my training log, two years ago at this time I was running an 18 mile training run at an overall pace of 10:24.    A quote from my log,  “Other than feeling like a long run, it felt great.   Miles were faster towards the end of the run.”

Here’s the thing…..

I could not imagine running that pace that distance again.   Maybe I can.   Maybe I can’t.  I just know that my body does not bounce back the way it used to.    I also know that there are many factors I have now that I didn’t have then.

Here’s another thing…

I don’t know which factor is the causing factor.    I do know that Hypoparathyroidism plays into it.   I also know that hypothyroidism could play a role too.  I’m certainly not getting any younger.   Then there is the weight factor.   But which is coming first the chicken or the egg…. Is the weight a symptom of the thyroid problem or visa versa.

Let’s not even talk about the training time factor today.

Lastly, here is the thing…..

Even with all of the baggage, I still want to run.    I still want to run far.    I still dream the dream of running the way that I used to run and that there is the problem.   I need to live with the reality of today and work towards the reality that I would like to have.

As much as I know the time is right, I still can’t help but believe that it’s wrong….

The real question needs to be…

If not now, When?

time-flies

 

A Week In

I’ve got to say this last week I really have been surprised with how good my recovery has been.   I’ve had harder recovery from training runs.    That being said, I will take it!   It has been a nice and pleasant surprise.

I chalk this up to a few things.   Great running weather the day of the race, but also running a smart race not just the day of the event but leading up to it.    I tried to put my body in the best possible place to run this event.  The week prior to the race, I did very little running.   Just enough, but not as much as I used to.  Then after chatting with my online Hypopara Athletes group,  I decided the week leading up to the race to up my calcium intake.   Then two days prior to it, I upped my Calcitriol.   This would ensure that my calcium levels were good for the 13.1 miles, but also help afterwards as well since they would still be in the normal range (meaning elevated for me).

During the race, I continued to use cal-ez in my water.   This would ensure that my calcium levels would remain consistent during my run.   Did you know that even for a healthy person, your body looses calcium during strenuous exercise and sweating?   It’s true and while that may not be good for you, it’s really not good for me.    I’m a sweater, so I need to ensure that my levels don’t drop.

Than post race, I did some stretching.    I think maybe even the long walk to meet my group might have helped too.   Then home to a nice warm Epsom salt bath and some rest.   I admit that I may have soaked a few times this past week, but you know…

Anyway, this has been a good week.    It has given me hope.

I will also admit though that I did not run at all this week.   I have done lots of stretching and kept active teaching my preschool gymnastic classes.   This has been just right.

Tomorrow I run and I can’t wait:)

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Perspective

We all come at life from different perspectives.    We all look at things just a little different based on our own personal experiences and over time even our own perspective shifts.

Before I ever got off the couch, I could not imagine why anyone would want to run for fun.   Running was something other people did.   People who did were nuts.   Sane people did not run.   Now that may be true, but once I got off the couch and started running my perspective changed.   I became one of “those crazy runners” even if it took me a while to think of myself as a runner.

Now when I started though, I had no thought of “good” pace or finish time and didn’t really put much thought into it.  Ok, I put no thought into it.   I rolled into my first half marathon by just signing up after it was suggested on a long run that I was taking just to take.   I had very little thought on strategy, pace, or even finish time.   I laugh now because in the car on the way to the race, I was in awe and amazed at the other runners talking of such things.    I felt like an idiot to be honest.    When they asked me what my plan was, I was like to finish.   We started together, but I told them to just run without me because I had no clue and didn’t want to hold them back.   Then a funny thing happened, I realized that they were always in my view.   I was stalking them:)   Then they realized I was back there and I joined the party!

I finished in 2:09:24.

Perspective shifted.

I was a runner, but I was just “normal runner.”   I would never do a marathon.

I have since run 5.   The first one was just not to die and then I actually started training for time.

But I would never be one of those crazy runners to run an Ultra.

I have run one 50K,   Truth be told, I secretly (shhhh, don’t tell anyone) want to run one again.  This is in the future, but I think it will happen again one day.

Perspective is a funny thing.

First I couldn’t imagine running.   Then I couldn’t imagine not running.   And now, I’m doing all I can to keep myself running.  Perspective has changed once again.

When I ran the NYCM marathon two weeks before my thyroid was removed in 2016, I was chasing the elusive 4:30 marathon.   I, probably, could have gotten it if I had not run the first half of the marathon like a half totally forgetting that the wall is no joke and not to be messed with.   But I still finished in under 5 hours.   Whew.

Perspective.

Chicago last year, I once again went back to having a goal of just finishing which is what I did.    I walked the last few miles.   I finished in 5:48:52.    I was happy.   I finished.    It was probably the hardest race that I have ever ran even with the slowest time.

Perspective.

I was lucky to be able to do Chicago.   I am lucky that my Hypoparathyroidism allows me to do all the things that I do.  So many with this disease would love to do what I am able to do.   I am very lucky, because it could be much worse.   For now, all is good.   I may have more aches, pains, weight, and such; but I am still able to get out there.

Perspective.

I sometimes think that I need to just enjoy the process now because as with anyone I don’t know what the future will bring.   For now, things are good and I need to just enjoy it all.   The aches.   The pains.   The heavy breathing.

And even with all of it, I am so lucky and it’s all the way you look at things.

When I had my first 24 hour urine test, my levels were off the charts.   My urine calcium level was over 570.   The normal level is supposed to be 200.   In talking to my doctor about changes to medications, she said that for someone with my condition our goal is to have these levels around 300.    The flip side though is that after getting used to a normal calcium level in the 9’s, I would lower my dosages to bring it down to the 8’s again.   What  a difference a point will make, but it’s all good.

I just got the results from my second 24 hour urine test.   The results were coming from my primary doctors office and they would send them to my endocrinologist.   Anyway, the office called and they were very upset as my levels were sooooo high.   The woman nicely was going on and on about how serious this could be with problems with osteoporosis and more importantly lead to kidney stones and damaged kidneys.   She was trying to get her point across how serious it was, when I asked what my levels were.   She replied that they were very high at 263.

Perspetive

I laughed and told her that was great because it had been over 570.

So just like life, running really comes down to our perspective.    I may never be the runner that I was for just a short brief blip, but it really doesn’t matter.

I’m still a runner.

And who knows…  Things could still change because that is just the way life works.

attitude

 

Round and Round We go

We all know that I’m not the bad ass that I used to be.   Not that I was ever the baddest of the baddest bad asses,  but for me and where I started I was pretty bad.    Things change.   Life is full of hills and valley’s.   It is very easy to get stuck in the valley.  Right now, I’m in search of the keys to start engine to get up the hill.

It’s time that I admit that even with my health issues that my running (or lack of running) is not all tied to it.   Yes, it started with the thyroid and calcium problems; but it is so much more now.   It’s a vicious cycle.   Due to the health stuff, I couldn’t run as much.   Not running or exercising as much caused me to loose a lot of my carido strength.   Loosing the cardio strength made running more difficult.   When the running became more difficult, I didn’t want to run as much.

Round and Round we go.

This doesn’t even take into account the mental part of it.

This past week I went for six miles.   By one and half miles in, my legs are burning, heavy, and tired.   My breathing is heavy.    I just want to stop.   Now mind you, I am not even pushing the pace AT ALL.   I thought about turning around and going home, but I didn’t.   And truth be told that is all that I can ask of myself.

Honestly though I do need to ask myself to get out the door more.  Part laziness.   Part knowing it will be hard.   And part wondering if it is worth it.   I know that I will get out.   I know that I am doing a half in January, but here is another fact.   I don’t really care.   I am not motivated.   This is the mental part that I’m talking about.

I ask myself, “Is it worth it.”

Here is the truth.   My legs are sore just from just standing all day baking cookies.   I’m exhausted by the end of a non running day.    It’s actually depressing.   So imagine how I feel on running days.   Although, at least those days I have a reason why.

In the next few weeks before Fred Lebow,  my doctor is going to be adjusting my medications.   I recently took a 24 hour urine test (not as fun as it sounds -Ha).   I failed it swimmingly.     According to my doctor, a normal calcium level for this test is 200.   Someone who is Hypopara, it should be 300.   This is due to the high amounts of calcium/meds  we have to take.   Mine was 578.    So adjust medication we will because if not this will not bode well for my kidneys.

One of the reasons that my levels are so high is that currently my blood calcium levels are great.   They are right where they were prior to surgery.   Sounds good, right?   Wrong.   The levels need to come down and they need to come down a decent amount.   I have to find what is the level to feel good enough to function while protecting my kidneys.   Can you see the dilemma?

To answer my question though.

It is worth it.

But I need to balance it with my actual life.  I’ve already decided that Fred Lebow will be what it will be.   This is no longer a goal race.   The only goal is to finish which I will.

I am making the NY Half marathon a goal race.   I’m not sure the goal, but this race I will give what I’ve got.   I’ll get there.   I just have to not only get my body there, but my mind.

One day at a time.

not-feeling-it

 

Don’t Let Fear Stop You

According to FDR “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”   While I totally agree with this statement that doesn’t mean that it’s all bad.   It’s also not all good either.   Fear is a powerful thing.   It can hold you back.   It can make you plant your feet in one spot and not move forward.   It can keep you from reaching your potential.

There are times when we wear our fears right out in the open, but these fears are usually minor.   Like fear of spiders or watching a horror movie.   Then there are times we hold onto fears that we aren’t even aware of as we don’t want to admit the truth because it makes them real.   Once we admit to the truth of our fears, then and only then can we begin to let go and deal with them.

So I’ve been pretty out in the open in dealing with my Hypoparthyroidism aka calcium issue.  Again people hear calcium and you think bone and teeth, but did you know that calcium is the most common mineral in the body and one of the most important?  Yes it’s needed for bones and teeth, but it also helps nerves work, helps blood clot, the heart to work, and keeps muscles from cramping.  There is probably some other stuff, but I’m still learning.   With this your bone density changes over time and although your bones are thicker, they may be more fragile and prone to breakage.    Did you further know that calcium levels decrease during exercise?    For a healthy person, the body will adjust but when the glands (Parathyroid) responsible no longer function properly there is no adjustment.

 That being said, I’ve been holding onto a lot of fear when it comes to it.   Part of that comes from feeling like I was on my own medical wise.    Yes, I’ve been under the care of an Endocrinologist this last year, but even then I felt like I was on my own.   This condition is not common.  It’s even listed under the National Organizations of Rare disorders.   There is a lot not understood about it even in the medical community.  I still am just beginning to understand how it’s all connected but mostly I go by how I feel.

Prior to my thyroid surgery my surgeon told me that there was less than a 1% chance that this could occur, but if it did it would just mean that I would have to take calcium.   I did not fully understand the impact it would have on me and I’m pretty certain neither did the surgeon.  After the surgery when it became apparent that besides no longer having a thyroid but that my parathyroid glands no longer worked, I saw two separate Endocrinologists.   The first one was good, but I was looking for one more versed in this disorder.   To be honest I think I was better off with the first one because she seemed willing to learn with me.   The best way to describe it was as if a patient was told that they were diabetic and needed to take insulin, but were not given any facts how to manage it.    That being said, I also did my own research found an online support group and learned what I could.   Anytime I would ask a question my second doctor, his response was always, “Your numbers are good.”   But I knew from my own research that my numbers might be too good which could lead to a whole host of problems with my kidneys.   So I persisted.

So after literally months of waiting, I finally was able to see a doctor in a major teaching hospital whose focus and studies involve hypoparthyroidism.   She literally teaches doctors about it while also studying it.    I will say that the best part of seeing her was the feeling of validation of my concerns, the way I’ve been literally feeling, and knowing that my doctor actually knows how to manage the disorder.    She also agreed with me that although my numbers are good, they might be too good for the long therm.   We discussed treatment options,  testing that I should get, and such.   She also gave me her cell phone number which she said she gives to all her hypopara patients.   Seriously, what doctor does that?

So I left her office with a sense of relief.   Nothing had changed, yet it was all so different.

Now if you’ve made it this far, you are probably wondering what any of this has to do with my running…..  Because of all this crap, things are different when it comes to my running.   I tire more easily after training.   I definitely am more sore and cramp easier.   I’ve also been afraid to push my limits which I’ve mentioned before.   On top of that due to the thyroid and not running as much, my weight continues to go up.  This starts a viscus cycle because it makes it even harder to run, I’m out of breath easier, and I can’t keep up.  It’s amazing how much things can change in a year.   I’m hoping by my second anniversary of my surgery, I will be in a better place and back to the confident runner that I was before.   I may down the road decide that I need to tackle the marathon distance again, but not yet.   Right now my focus is on preparing for my January half.

I’m not giving up.   I’m not backing down.   I’m moving forward slightly more confidently because now I know that if I do have issues that I can ask my doctor who will actually understand and be able to help me with it.

start-where-you-are-use-what-you-have