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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

364 Days

So tomorrow marks one year on this magic carpet ride.   Last year at this time, I was prepping for my thyroidectomy.   You know the usually stuff you do prior to a surgery – make sure your will is up to date, make sure the house is clean, make sure the fridge is stocked, Oh and make sure Thanksgiving Dinner was ordered.

Going in I was prepared for the recovery of the surgery.   I was prepared with having to deal with getting my dosage right for my meds to replace my now missing thyroid.   Easy Peasy.    I really was not worried at all.    You see, I knew so many people who either had their thyroid removed or knew someone who had theirs removed.    Another ace in the hole was one of my sons although he has a thyroid, it has not functioned since birth.   To be honest, my only concern was that a surgeon was going to literally be slicing open my neck.   That was my main focus.   Everything else would just work itself out.

So now I am one day shy of my surgery and I realize that it wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be.   The blip on the screen was much bigger than I thought it would be.  Still trying to adjust the thryoid meds which is really what I attribute my 15 pound weight gain this last year too.   Oh and the fact that my running took a dive. It’s a work in progress.

This last year has been an adjustment both physically and mentally.   Prior to the surgery I in my mind was chasing a 4:15 marathon, completed a 50 K, and was pushing my limits.   I did not realize that post surgery dealing with parathyroid glands that decided that they no longer would want to function properly that my limits would change and change drastically.  I didn’t even know that there was such a thing as Parathyroid gland let alone 4 that were very important.

Over time, I may get back to where I was but realistically speaking I am not getting any younger.   In less than 2 years, I will be hitting a number many refer to as a milestone even, but we aren’t there yet!

Where we are is a celebration of where I am today.

Today

Is it where I want to be?   Not exactly.   That being said….

I ACTUALLY RAN THIS WHOLE THING.

There was no walking.   There was no stopping.   There was only running.   And while I will admit that it was so much harder than it used to be and I was so happy to hit the end, it is so much better than it has been.    Life gives you what it gives you.   Today it gave me 3 miles.   For today that is enough.   I admit that some days it’s not, but as I continually remind myself….. You can’t live in the past.    You can’t spend your life living the should of , could of, and would of’s of life.   You get what you get and you don’t get upset.   And my personal favorite that my sister hates….

It is What it is!

So today, I look back on not where I was prior to 11-18-2016, but how far I have come since then.    The support that my friends have given me has helped me continue to push on.    You have been there when I have complained about my aches, my pains, my feeling tired all the time,  and everything else in between.   So this is my shout out to you……   For listening when I complained.   For understanding.  For your ideas and suggestions.  For run/walking with me when I need to and when I need to again and everything in between.   It hasn’t been an easy year learning to deal with “the new normal,” but thanks for taking the trip with me.

 

PS – I’m still following my training plan for the January Half Marathon.   One week down:)

Good Thing Come to Those that Wait

I’ve been good for the most part.   I wisely only did one  race out of the four this past weekend.    Then yesterday I went for a nice six miles with friends using the walk/run method.

Today I went for the umpteenth visit to my Podiatrist.   He was VERY pleased that I did not do the 26.2 Festival this past weekend.   He is also VERY pleased with how much the inflammation has gone down due to following his advice.     When I said that I did not do the 26.2 three day event and only one of them, he thought that was a good idea.   He then asked when my race season was over this year.    I told him that the Runner’s World event was the last one that I had for the year.

Since I’ve been a good girl, recovery is going nicely.  In the last 2 weeks, I have ran a total of 10 miles with zero days of cross training

Yup.

Well to be fair, I really have been very busy with other things these last two weeks.   I’ve also been formulating a plan and my comeback.

Did you know that I was gone and needed a comeback?

Ha!

Yes, I know that I just ran Chicago but I didn’t run it well.     I’m not talking about my finish time.   I’m not talking about that I walked.   I’m just talking about how I felt.    I did not feel strong running it and that’s what I need to work on.

I’ve got some thing mulling around of what I want to do next year, but my focus right now is to get into a place where I have my confidence back.     So this will mean running a few miles a week until I’m completely healed.     I want to get back to Yoga which is perfect because my friend has been asking me to go.    I also plan on hitting the gym again.   I do miss those weights.    And if I have to I might sign up for a swimming class because then I will go (Blah).

My thought is that this will put me where I need to be long term.    I imagine in a few weeks, I will get the ok to run further and push myself a little.   I will balance that with the other cross training.   This way when it’s go time, I will be ready to go.

What do you do during your off race season?

For the record -There is no off running season just off race season:)Patience

And Now It’s Over

Don’t worry that doesn’t mean it’s bad.  Really.

Seriously

First, I have to say that I was right in picking up my race goodies.    The shirt is nice although it’s green this year which threw me off.   They have been blue the last couple of years.   No socks or hat which is sad because I saw the hat they give for the Hat Trick and it was really cute.   It was a nice snow cap.  Those signed up for the Grand Slam do not get all those goodies which is a little odd.   That being said though,  Grand Slam entries got a really nice backpack.   One that I can actually see using.

RW2017_2

Yesterday’s trail race was just what I said to my friend it would be.   A hike in the woods with a little running in between.   I ran yesterday trail run of less than 4 miles in just under an hour with an average pace of 15:37.   It was a pretty trail.   They are correct  their description of it too.  “The course includes plenty of rocks and short, steep climbs to challenge the most experienced trail runners, but even novices will find the terrain runnable.”  I would want to run this trail again.

I went into this as I said not be be a complete idiot and just to get my goodies.   I had thought that I might go out today for the 5K and 10K.   I even  set out my clothes out and set the alarm.    When I woke up, I felt good as I stretched in bed.   Once I got out of bed,  I felt that heal discomfort that Plantar Faciattis brings in the morning.   Nothing unrunnable.   Nothing I haven’t run through before.

So why am I sitting here writing this and not cruising down the highway then?

Because as I said yesterday, I wasn’t planning to be an idiot just a partial one.    I don’t really even think that I was an idiot for yesterday though.    And as I’ve also said in previous posts, I also need to be tough enough to do what I know needs to be done for long term recovery.    Yes, I’m sad that I will be missing out on today’s races, bling, and fun.   That being said I need to thing long term. I’m not a day trader and I’ve got nothing to prove.   I also know especially with shorter races(at least for me), you can’t help but push yourself faster than you should.  I’ve got to think of what is good long term as I’ve got some friends in town waiting to run with me.   That’s more important than a shiny medal and I’ve already got a few of them.

RW2017

Besides there is always next year!

Plus I must admit that it will be nice to actually have a weekend at home after being away these last two weekends with Chicago Marathon and then College tours.   It might be nice to see my family.

 

 

Validated

 

I was very happy after the Chicago Marathon to know that I would be seeing my Podiatrist a few days later.     As I said before, I knew that I had undone all his hard work during the race.     I didn’t need him to tell me, but the ultrasound of the tendon confirms it.  Validation is always nice even when it’s not good news.

On top of that, I had been ignoring pain in my right foot.   I’d been ignoring it because I had dealt with it before in my left for a year or so ago.  Plantar Faciitis.    But since I was going, I had him take a look at it.    Yup another validation.   Although the hobbling around was a big clue.   At least that he was able to give me a Cortisone shot for that.

I had to laugh though because he’s like heat the left foot for the tendon, but ice the right for the Plantar Faciitis.   Talk about running hot and cold!

I have to say that it is nice   to have a Podiatrist that understands the anatomy or a runner and explains thing too.  Anyway, he then goes on to ask about my upcoming schedule.   I am supposed to do the Runner’s World Grand Slam in two weeks (26.2 over 3 days).   He then proceeds because he knows how us runners can be to ask if maybe I could not run for the whole next week or so  and not do the race because in the long term it won’t be good for my feet.

“Rest is the best thing.”

Hmmmmm…….

Well at least this also validates all the pain that I was in in Chicago.

I could do with a little less validation:)

Ha!

Validated

 

 

Creeping Up There….

I went out yesterday for what should have been a “easy” 6 miles.    Even skipping my normal training in Vermont, these 6 miles shouldn’t have been that difficult.   I was not in the mood to keep track of time, so I decided to just keep the pace slow and I would give myself a walk break every mile.   Seemed like the way to go.

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As you can see from the long red and orange line, even at these paces I was working hard.   Harder than I feel that I should, but I imagine the paces don’t really tell it all as it evens out with the walking.  Still need to work on it.   Part of the problem is that in the 8 months since my surgery I have gained 10 pounds.    I’ve never been what one would call petite.   That being said, I had remained steady in my weight for many years.   As I’ve blogged before in Laying It Out There even though the numbers never changed, I could tell that it was redistributing with added muscle.   Sadly, I can not say that now.

Part of the weight gain I attribute to not exercising as much post surgery.   Part of it might be from thyroid surgery while getting my levels correct.  Part of it might be Christmas and winter coming during this non running time.   While I don’t care about the extra weight per se, I do care that my clothes are not necessarily fitting the way that I like them.   I also think this is part of why I am struggling a bit with my running.    Yes, my legs are more sore than before, but that doesn’t account for all the heavy breathing.

Now is the what to do, what to do moment.   I honestly and whole hardheartedly hate dieting.   It’s not my thing baby.   

That being said, I am creeping up to another big milestone that I do think I would be upset to hit as it would be how much I weighed when I was pregnant.

  I  know that with my hypoparathyroidism, I do need to do better with my diet.    It might help with the muscle cramps and other issues.    I have toyed with my diet for this reason, but never committed especially since I still think my parathyroid are going to bounce back and work properly.  I keep waiting for the doctor to tell me they made a mistake.   I know.   I know.   It’s a foolish pipe dream, but I still can’t fully admit that this is permanent and my life yet.   It’s a work in progress.

So maybe it is past time to meet with the nutritionist that I called and never followed up with an appointment.   Not for my clothes.   Not for the way I look, but for my health as I really need to eat a diet with less salt and more calcium rich foods.    There has been much discussion in my hypoparathyroid groups on what is a good diet and I really need to start paying attention.   Also, I really need to figure out proper fully for runs.

So maybe I could turn this all around.   You know make lemonade out of lemon kind of thing.

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

Moving forward is all you can do as sitting still is not an option.