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5 Years, 2 Races…. Different but Same Goal…

5 years ago I trained for NYC Half to finish a sub 2 half. I trained hard. I ran hard. I had a great time doing it too because this is what I wanted. I smiled along the course. I took some great photos including selfies. I can still remember towards the end knowing it would be close and turning the corner to head towards the finish line and running as hard as I could to make it across the finish line in just the nick of time…… 1:58:59 A minute to spare!

It was a great day and I am both happy with the way I trained, how hard I pushed, and, obviously, how I finished. I did what I set out to do that day.

Fast forward 5 years…….

I trained for to run a virtual NYC half in my neighborhood. I trained hard but a different hard. Hard is relative. And while this race could not have been anymore different than an in person event, I still was happy with the outcome. Going into my training, I wasn’t sure how I would run the “race.” It is hard to step up to go out and run a race when there is no start line. No horn to go off. No excitement that comes with a race day. In beginning of training, I had envisioned actually racing. There are some that can do a virtual like a in person event as far as pushing themselves. Me, not so much. Feels like just another training run and as training progressed for the half, I thought well I will just do the best that I can and that is just what I did.

So yesterday, I headed out. I started my watch and off I went. Then I turned the corner and saw a mom friend. After chatting with her a bit, I thought let me start again since I was only at .10 and thats what I did. Then before I made it another .10 my Junior in college Face-timed me. So I answered! Good thing because he was calling to ask for help as he felt like he got something in his eye when he was washing his face. After talking a bit, it was decided that he needed to go get it looked at. While talking to him, I walked which ended up being almost my first mile. With him off to go get his eye looked at, it was time to run.

So I ran.

By mile 7, my feet were hurting. I decided that might need to both get some new shoes even trying a different brand and maybe go see my podiatrist again. The discomfort is different that when I dealt with Plantar Fasciitis as the discomfort (pain) is in the ball of the foot under big toe (yeah thats a good vision). Anyway, I did stop (not stopping watch) and massaged my foot. Off I went. I did a mix of walking and running.

Then my newly returned Freshman college student called asking me to use app to order Chipolte as he couldn’t sign in. So I did. I helped that I also made sure to order myself something to eat when I got home. So I walked, ordered, and texted him the order info for him to pick up.

Kept on moving with my mix of walking and running.

Then 2:00 comes and I am still out since I got a later start than I wanted. Simply because I was sitting on the couch and couldn’t motivate myself to leave. Anyway, I didn’t want to miss my Great Nephews first birthday zoom party to sing Happy Birthday. So I walked, logged on, and sang Happy Birthday on the sidewalk. I had like 5 miles to go at this point.

I kept moving. My foot was annoying. I didn’t stop. I kept up my mixture of walking and running. Besides the NYC Half, I also have desire to hit this goal for my Miles for Meaning Running for Dylan Fundraising Team. For the month of March, I am part of a team where each mile earns points where charities can win money. https://www.dylanswingsofchange.org/ is an organization founded my father of Dylan whose life was taken at Sandy Hook Elementary shooting.

Then I hit the last mile and my oldest son is trying to Face-Time me again. I, of course, answer it. I won’t lie the thought of having a good reason to walk didn’t hurt either. Kind of nice that I started and ended my “race” with him too. He proceeds to tell me that he scratched his cornea. Fun…… not really. I did that about 18 years ago and it sucks. He will be ok and just has to put cream on his eye (oh my!). He was wearing a patch as the light was bothering his eye and it hurt to have eye open.

5 years later, I can once again say that I had a great time doing what I was doing. Races could not have been any more different and I appreciate them for their differences. Yesterday was about doing what I set out to do. As a friend texted me when I was finished, “done is done. You are determined once you commit.”

I will say that today I am feeling good. I am tired but I’m always tired. I am planning to do some yoga later and take dog for a walk. Then I’ll call it a day.

So how was your weekend?

Defining Moment in Time

Life is filled with defining moments. Moments that change us…. for good and bad. Moments that stay with us forever. Some of these moments we go through alone and some we go through collectively. As anyone of adult age at the time, where there were on 9/11 and I would bet everyone has a story. For Many including myself December 14, 2012 is another defining moment.

Those of you that have been here awhile know that Sandy Hook Promise is close to my heart and that I have run 2 NYC Marathons as a charity runner for them. Recently, I was approached to write a blog post for them.

I was honored to be given the opportunity to share my story, but this is the story of many “soccer moms” who woke up demanding change. Change is hard. Change is slow. Change is happening…..

I still remember a year after the unthinkable tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary being in the parking lot of a Toys-R-Us store. I was on the phone with a friend who has very different ideas and we were debating gun control issues. She said to me that I needed to do something because I couldn’t seem to let go of what had happened. I told her that I was doing something…… Something to bring change….. Something to help protect children in the future….. Something….. Anything…….

I also told her that I had joined a few new organizations that formed. One being Sandy Hook Promise that just formed. This has brought me to where I am today.

Here is the link to the blog post…… https://www.sandyhookpromise.org/volunteer-resources/holiday-reflections-from-a-promise-leader/?fbclid=IwAR13M69lqzVdm5lPr1dzyxrE852lkI5stURRoEG9ljEvsuoTZZhmUzEPf7M

We all have a story to tell. We all have these defining moments. We all need to seize these moments and let them stay with us. Let them guide us. Let them change us for the better and work for the change we want to see in the world.

What is your defining moment and what have you done with it?

It’s a Wonderful Life

Often in life we wonder…. Did I make a difference? Was I effective in what I wanted to accomplish? Would Anything be different if I hadn’t been there?

Then again…. Maybe that is just me and George Bailey. If you are unfamiliar with George, you need to acquaint yourself with the classic Christmas film It’s a Wonderful Life. It is one of my favorites. A classic tale of a man who is granted a wish from an angel to see what the world would be like without him. Now my hubby thinks that it is not the stellar movie that I do, so I guess it is a subjective thing. For me, it is a heartwarming story of a man who doesn’t recognize how important he is to those around him and the impact he has had on others.

I think most of us in life do not realize the impact we have on others. We go about doing our things living our lives and often we don’t know how our actions have influenced, helped, or impacted someone else. A kind word here. A deed that maybe we thought went unnoticed noticed there. Sometimes because we don’t see it, we begin to think that maybe we aren’t making a difference or no one is paying attention.

Similar but different to when people post those “I know no one reads my posts” on their social media to see who is paying attention. Not the copy and paste ones, but the real ones. Sometimes in a world filled with noise it is easy to get lost or feel invisible. So when a friend posts something like that don’t just roll your eyes, they may truly feel invisible and just need to feel seen. To feel validated. To not feel alone. Sometimes a simple Hello is all it takes to make someone feel seen.

Then there are the times we wonder if we are being seen. If the things that we do have made a change. We may never know the full impact of our words, deeds and life. There aren’t too many Clarences (angel in above movie) to show us our impact but that does not lesson it. Each and ever person’s life has an impact on another’s life. Good or bad. This is why the expression of being kind is so important. One life really does touch another. Sadly in our society, we often wait till someone is gone to express how impactful they were in life. It really is sad.

The truth of the matter we may never know how we have touched someone’s life. If you think about the people who touched your life, the people who effected your life with a word or deed (good or bad), how many of these people actually know. I thought about a 4th grade teacher who showed me kindness. I thought about people that I worked with that inspired me. I thought about words that I’ve read that have stayed with me. I’ve thought about words that were spoken to me that stayed with me. We all have moments that for one reason or another stay with us while. They stay with us because they impacted us and the other person might not even have a clue. They don’t even need to be big moments……. many of these moments are not the BIG moments in life because every moment is life is a big moment we just don’t realize it. Each day is a gift. It’s not hokey to say. It is true.

As you can tell from this post, I’ve been doing some reflections recently. I believe part of it comes from taking part in Remembering Sandy Hook with 14 Days of Actions. These actions have been showing gratitude, being kind, and self-care. Some days it was as simple as taking a moment to actually talk to a friend…. not text…. not facebook….. have a real conversation which many of us miss as we stay home due to Covid. Some days were as simple as Saying Hello to brighten someones day. Then there were the days of action taking a moment to not only think about what we are grateful for but actually write it out. These things got me thinking about the impact we all have on each other. It is much greater than we realize.

Each life has an impact on another life in ways we might never know. I think having so much time at home has mad me a little more reflective Normally, I send a million and one Christmas Cards. Maybe a slight exaggeration, but my list is long! This year, there was no great family photos to use. I joked that maybe I could take a picture of my couch as that is really where my year unfolded “Merry Christmas from my couch to yours.” Without this photo card, I was didn’t want to send cards. Then a friend said something that got me thinking how in this year of crap how something as simple as a card could make someone’s day brighter. So I changed it up. This year there is no photo card, my list is MUCH shorter, but I am going old school. Sending cards with actual handwritten messages telling those who receive something that I might not let them know enough….. How much I appreciate them. (PS – If you were previously on my list and don’t get a card, please know that I do love and appreciate you too, but time is limited!)

If you don’t already know, I want you to know………

You are important.

You make a difference.

I encourage you, let those in your life know this too.

Is this the Year for Goals?

It is a weird world right now. It is a strange and hard time right now. Even those of us getting by and staying healthy are adjusting to all the changes in our day to day lives right now. We are trying to keep it as normal as we can when there is no normal. There is just getting by.

This is the time of year many of us would start thinking about goals for the New Year. Things we hope to accomplish. Races we want to race. Distances we want to conquer. PR we want to set. As with everything in 2020, goals will be harder to set. More challenging and sadly in some cases unattainable for now.

We do not know what 2021 will bring, but we do know that all the bad juju of 2020 will not be wiped away at the stroke of midnight New Year’s Eve. I really feel that it will end much better, but it will have a bumpy beginning.

Normally I set goals. Never resolutions because I just don’t like them. I set goals. Some easily attainable. Some that need a lot of work but are still attainable. Then there are the goals that are a stretch. Goals that I have to work my ass off to reach and push myself to get there.

A few years ago, I set a goal to run a sub 2 Half Marathon. I worked with a coach. I ran often. I ran fast. I trained hard. Then the day came and I ran the NYC half in 1:59. NYRR just announced that this race will not take place next year as it is in early March and the way things are going they know that there 2021 is going to start off much like 2020 has ben all year.

2021 will be different. Simpilier…

I am setting a goal of being more connected. Now those who know me personally might be rolling their eyes and wonder how someone like me could be more connected I could be. My goal to be more connected is not about upping my online connections, but my personal connections. To be more connected to my day to day life. to disconnect a little more often from online world. To focus on the people in my life.

As I work on setting my personal goals, I saw this……

I have been participating in the Sandy Hook Promise 14 Days of Action. This is part of not just remember Sandy Hook but by honoring them by taking part in actual action. So while I think of my personal goals, I will think about some short term goals to help others. This is what I’ve come up with:

  1. Support local small businesses this Holiday season.
  2. Donate regularly to locate food bank
  3. Still working on
  4. Still working on

No matter what we do or don’t do with our goals, we must know that next year might not be the year to make big goals. Then again maybe we need big goals. Right now, I just need to keep trucking on my C25K program and see what happens.

Do you set goals for the year?

Are you setting goals for 2021?

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.

What if???

What if there is no easy answers?   What if we have no idea what tomorrow will bring?   What if as each day is just like the day before, we still have no idea what the future will bring?    How do we plan?   How do we accept not knowing?   How do we move forward and not stay stuck in limbo?

Why are there so many questions and not enough answers?

What if it is easier to ask the questions than answer them?

What if?

What if?

When will this happen?

When will that happen?

On and on it goes with no clear cut answers.   No answers that you like.   No answers that make things easier.  No answer that doesn’t lead to another question.

What if I tell you that it won’t always be like this?    What if I tell you that even in the best of times that tomorrow was never promised?    That plans fall through.   That life is more complicated and much simpler than we every realized.  That even when you make plans, sometimes plans change.   Sometimes things that you never thought would happen…. happen.    Things that you only dream of….. happen.

Right now so many of us feel in limbo.   We miss people that we now have to be “socially” distant from which really just means physically distant.   Do you even remember the last person not in your home that you gave a hug to before this all started?    Have you thought about how good it will be to give that person a hug when this is all over?   I, honestly, can’t remember the last person that I hugged and that makes me sad.   Althugh I believe it would have been either my mother or my friend, Jen; but I’m not sure.   It was such a normal thing that at the time I might not have given it a second thought.

Second thoughts are the problem now.   Second, third…. a million.    We are all searching for answers but right now there are no answers.    That is hard for so many reasons.   How do you plan for the future when you don’t know.   So many things that we took for granted before are now gone.   A hug goodbye.   The ability to pop in on a friend.   The knowing that even if plans had to change that the world didn’t.    As hard as some people want to put this pandemic behind us, it is here in our lives for a while.   We have no choice but to give up the reigns and that is a hard pill to swallow.

Right now many people are planning for fall races.   I was asked if I wanted to be part of the Sandy Hook Promise Team and as much as I support their cause…….as much as I like to plan….. as much as I want to; I just don’t think I can for several reasons but I go back and forth.

My first thought really is how much harder this year it would be to fundraise.   People are hurting and many disposable income is gone.     Businesses that have been very supportive in the past are doing all they can to survive now.     While these last 2 years I have had great success with my fundraising and had expected to do it again this year, I just can’t see how that would be possible.    It bothers me too because I think Sandy Hook Promise mission is worthy of all of our support.

On top of that honestly, I know so many runners are holding out hope of fall races but I don’t see how that can happen.   How in a matter of months can NYC expect to host an event with 50,000 runners and their supporters.    It seems like a foreign thought to me.   For those holding out hope, I hope I’m wrong.   It will be a strange November without a NYC Marathon but I’m sure the people of Boston felt the same way.

It is hard to plan for the future when the future is so uncertain.   For me, that means just doing the things that I can do daily to make my life seem like I am not a house plant.

Exercise Daily – Check

Shower Daily – Usually

Daily walk – Usually

Try not to eat all the chocolate – I’m trying

For me….   Making a conscience effort not to plan is my plan.      I would love to plan for a fall race, but I just don’t see how that can be.    I would rather let that go now as, for me, that is what I need to do.    This is not to say that I am giving up planning and doing.   I am just going to plan and do things that are in my control.   Right now I am in the process of deciding weather I want to run the NJ Parkway (172.4 miles) or the NJ Turnpike (117.2 miles) – Virtually, of course.   There is an online challenge where you are in control from running the distance of the boardwalk (28 miles) to going as far as taking the Jersey Devil challenge (579 miles).   These distances will be run starting May 15 through July 15th.   Mile wise I’m leaning towards the Turnpike but I’m more of a Parkway girl, so I have not figured it out yet.    That will be something I control.

So, for me, when the world is our of my control; I will take the control back where I can.   How I can.

What are you doing to stay in control?

 

 

 

Challenge Accepted

During the month of December, I accepted a fun Facebook Challenge from a friend to post 10 days of running photos without explanation that had an impact on me or were important. Here are some of what I shared –

I loved this challenged and it reminded me that I used to be somewhat of a bad ass. It reminded me that I can, have, and want to again to hard things. It motivated and reminded me that before I started out, I couldn’t do any of the things that I did. I trained. I pushed myself. I didn’t give up. Most of all…. I tried.

I want to try again.

I will try again.

Most of all, I need to continue to remind myself that the best things in life aren’t easy. So I have been spending December baking cookies, eating cookies; but also plotting. Plotting how to stop feeling like a marshmallow and get back to feeling like I can do anything. Don’t get me wrong, my measurement of being a bad ass might be different than it used to be. That doesn’t make the feats any easier.

I’m putting out some BIG, BIG goals for me for 2020.

1. Loose 25 pounds

2. Run at least 1 event a month

3. Close my activity rings on my watch every day. This will ensure 30 minutes of exercise a day.

4. In the back of my mind, I’m pretty sure I want to run (if they will have me again) the NYCM again for Sandy Hook

These are lofty goals. This are hard goals. These goals will push me. Most of all these are not impossible goals even if as I write them they seem impossible.

I’m laying the ground work and plotting as I so often do. Another hypopara friend asked me to join her group to run the year 2020 challenge with some others. We will create a team and as a team, we will run 2020 miles. A challenge on your own sometimes falls to the wayside, but knowing that you are part of a team will keep you motivated. I’ve already registered for my first 5k on January 1rst.

I’ve already talked to a dietician to help me find a healthy way to loose the weight. When researching good diets for those with Hypopara, I realized that the one I used prior to becoming Hypopara might not be the best alternative now with the once again high urine calcium levels. Must protect the kidneys at all costs because being super vigilant has served me well. So having the help of a dietician will help not just with weight loss but overall health. She has also mentioned that there will be a January weight loss challenge that I can join. As mentioned above, it is easier to stay on track with others.

So as I continue to plot out my plans, I hope to share both the victories and pitfalls (hopefully not too many) with you.

What are you 2020 goals?

Rest, Recover, Repeat?

When running a marathon, so many random thoughts will pop into your mind. Some are fleeting. Some stick with you for a few miles. One that usually pops into my head is “I’m NEVER doing this again.”

Exhibits A, B, C

2014 – First marathon, Philly – This was supposed to be a one and done. I swore I just wanted to cross one marathon finish line and then I could call it a day.

2015 Marine Corps – I put in for lottery and as a fluke got in. I literally was dropping some F bombs to my sister who ran on the course with me at the end. I told her how stupid marathons were. How ridiculous it was that people wasted their time coming to watch runners (mind you she flew in from California). Lastly, I swore NEVER again (after NY because I’d already done the 9+1 for it)

2016 -NYCM – This was it. My first NYCM and was going to be my only. I mean how can you not run NY if your as close to the city as me. I even put off my surgery for my thyroid, so that I could run it. This was only marathon that I hit the wall because I ran the first half like there was not a second half. I was done and had my NYCM medal so what more did I need. NO more!

2017 – I put in for the Chicago marathon while still recovering from getting my thyroid out and dealing with learning to live Hypopara. This was flipping my finger to all that I was dealing with and I just needed to run one as a hypopara to show I could do it. It was not a pretty race as it was hot, but it is my fastest post surgery marathon. I was done. I proved my point. NO more.

2018 – I felt like there were signs that I should sign up to run NYCM as charity runner for Sandy Hook Promise. The signs were everywhere, but if I didn’t get picked at least I tried. Well, damn, they released that I really believe in their cause and picked me. So, yes, I was running with a purpose and I would do what I could to support Sandy Hook Promise; but I was only doing it one time. Until I did it again.

2019 NYCM Sandy Hook Promise Runner

During my run, I thought about that maybe my body just isn’t cut out to be a marathon runner. Maybe I should just stick to running shorter distances. That running 26.2 is just not for me. I could still support my team from the sidelines. I could still spread the message of Sandy Hook Promise. I just needed to give my body a rest because running marathons weren’t for me and I should focus my energy elsewhere.

Then I crossed the finish line.

I still felt that way. I still wondered if maybe this is too much for my body. Wondering if I needed to spend time on recovery. Getting my feet under control. Dealing with the aches and pains. Knowing that maybe worrying about my calcium crashing while running is just not worth it.

Then I went home. I read all the messages from my Facebook live videos, my running group, my friends and the chats with team members. And while I do need to spend time on healing my body – dealing with the tight calves, dealing with the feet, dealing with the pain that still lingers on the side of my calf and knowing that if I really want to run stronger/better/easier on feet that I also need to loose 20 pounds. Like seriously 20 pounds.

Then I thought….. It’s getting to the holiday season. There is no way that is going to happen. Then I realized that training would not start until Spring. Then I thought about how much I love being part of the Sandy Hook Promise Team, how some friends will be running NY next year, and that it might motivate me to keep going.

Then I thought…… Your crazy……

Not wrong.

Not right.

Then I thought about all the work in raising the minimum of $3,0000 to be part of their team. Then I thought of what I could do differently next year. The beauty is that I don’t need to make any decisions now or in the near future. For now my focus is recovery.

So I will continue to roll. I need to get to acupuncture. I need to do the things that I know I should do because chances are pretty good…….. that if you give the girl a medal, she’s going to want another one. Besides I’m pretty much on a roll now.

Lucky # 7

Tomorrow I will be stepping up the start line for my seventh marathon. Hopefully it will by the end of the day I can say that I have finished all 7. We all know that there isn’t much that is going to stop me from getting there. No matter what I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

With each marathon, I’ve learned something. Learned how to push myself. Learned that I am stronger than I realize. Learned that no matter what there is always a little more in the tank.

My first marathon, Philly, was a fluke. That year, I had trained and completed the Runner’s World Hat Trick (5k, 10k, and Half marathon all in two days). When it was over a friend nudged me to sign up for Philly the following month. One 20 mile training run later, I was in. I finished in 4:46:20. This is before I knew anything about running, so I do see humor in that I didn’t push for the 4:45 time..

Then over the next few years would run a marathon a year. For my second marathon, Marine Corps, I trained with a coach. I finished in 4:38:14. This is my current and more than likely my PR for marathon finish times. I should have PR’d my first New York as I was well trained for it, but went out way too fast not following the plan. This is a mistake I will not make tomorrow.

Two weeks after that first New York Marathon was my thyroid surgery leaving me not just without my thyroid, but also working parathyroid glands. I was determined not to let being Hypopara take away my running and the Chicago Marathon was supposed to be my one hypopara marathon and done. A way to snub my nose at it. I learned a lot in Chicago. I learned that for me the set run/walk plan doesn’t work for me. I learned that my body does NOT like running in the heat as it was very hot that year. Most of all, I learned that I can just keep going. All things being considered, an hour slower is pretty awesome.

But then, then it became about something more. Last year when I got picked to be part of the Sandy Hook Promise Team, I could not have been any more honored. I still remember sitting in a Toys R Us parking lot talking on the phone with a friend in 2013, a year after the shooting in Sandy Hook. She could not understand my pain over the horrific shooting when I was not personally involved, but I was involved. I’m a mother, that year my youngest son was also in Kindergarten. I took it very personally because this tragedy as we’ve learned over the years can happen anywhere. She couldn’t understand my pain and told me that I needed to do something as I wasn’t “getting over it.” I didn’t want to get over it, I wanted to do something. So here we are.

Although, even before last year I was involved. I did what I could, but I wanted to do more. This is my more. I can and do share the message of inclusion, stopping gun violence, and making a change. My personal friends know this to be true. I remember one year on Wear Orange for Gun Safety another friend that I ran into at a baseball game while I was wearing my orange shirt saying to me, “Isn’t every day Wear Orange day for you?” She meant this is the nicest way possible because she knows I am always spreading the message.

So here I am getting ready to run my second marathon as part of Team Sandy Hook Promise. At a lunch today it was said, “You weren’t just a number coming into Sandy Hook Promise. You were selected. Your stories and passion are what got you here……. We picked you from the heart.” So I run knowing that this isn’t about me. This is my way to not just share the Sandy Hook Promise message which I do, but about helping to support an organization that is doing so much good. Last year was my slowest marathon to date at 6:10:13; but my most memorable and favorite one.

I am honored. It is more than words. It is a truthful statement.

My goal. My only goal tomorrow is to wear my Sandy Hook Promise shirt with pride. Ok, I may also have a goal of 5:45 time but that is secondary. I know it won’t be easy, but nothing in life worthwhile is a walk in the park. I will get that walk in the park crossing the finish line. I’ve learned a lot about running since my first marathon. I’ve learned a lot about what my body can do even after becoming Hypopara. I will do what it takes knowing that I will have not just the support of family and friends, but the Sandy Hook Promise community.

This picture was taken last year during the marathon. I have taken MANY race day photos. I have NEVER taken one like this with the sun shining down on me. I look at this as a sign that I was not alone. So as I run these 26 miles, I know that the saying 26 miles for 26 angels is more than a catch phrase. It is real.

It’s go time.

NO STOPPING

I’ve had a few people tell me that there is no shame in stopping now. While I know that to be true, I’m also not at that point. A prudent man might say, this is not your year. But I’m not a prudent man, I’m a hardcore badass unicorn who knows that she hasn’t reached her limits. This is just another speedbump in a road filled with them.

Exhibit A

Yesterday I went out for my long run. I knew it would be hard. I expected it to be hard. It was and I was filled with many doubts along the way. That being said, I was not expecting this. I went out planning to keep a very conservative pace which I did. I was averaging 13:30 paces which was mix of walking and running. I stopped to stretch along the way because it was just hard. The beginning was worse which I chalked it up to the normal aches and pains of being Hypopara. I was wrong.

I ended up walking the last mile because I was in pain. A lot. Hubby asked why I didn’t call someone to pick me up. To be honest the thought had crossed my mind, but I really wanted to hit 13 which was down from my original 15 I was going for. It was bad but not excruciating. Manageable and I thought, “I’ll be ok once I get home and stretch.” The excruciating part came after I got home, sat down and took off my shoes. I couldn’t get up I was in so much pain. I thought….. let me shower and that will help.

I had to shower sitting down and then soaked in some Epsom salt. When I went to stand up, I couldn’t. I literally slithered out of the tub and dressed on the floor. Not my best moment. Then again, maybe it was. I managed to get up and sit on the bed and call my podiatrist to get an ASAP appointment. Although painful, I was able to tiptoe to my car to make the drive.

There may have been some tears on the phone with a friend. I kept saying I didn’t do anything different. I was being conservative. I was being smart. I’ve only got 4 weeks to go. Boo Hoo. I was also nervous because it was BOTH FEET. One foot, you can hobble around on. This was not that and even having PF before, I never experience this level of pain. It made me nervous it was more.

Thankfully, by the time I got to the podiatrist office about an hour later, I could put pressure on my feet but it was still painful. At least now it was a respectable 6 and not an off the chart pain. I’ve also got a pretty good tolerance for pain which made me nervous.

X-ray shows all is good. Ultrasound image showed swelling in Plantar Fasciitis. Doc said normal is 2. Mine was 3.8. So after some discussion and promise from me not to do ANY running (as if I could) for the next week until I go back, he gave me cortisone shots in both feet followed by adding some cushioning and wrapping. He said swim or bike, but rest feet. NO bare feet around house and shoes while teaching my preschool gymnastics classes.

So here I am. Being a good girl. staying off my feet. Today I am still sore, but it’s a moderate pain. I’ve already ordered some PF supplies, soaked, rolled and tomorrow plan to go for my very first acupuncture session.

Normally at this point in a marathon training cycle, I say trust in the training to get you there. Not this time. What I need to do now is trust in myself. Trust that I know what my body can do even on hard days. Trust that I know it will be difficult, but knowing that I can do hard things. Trust no matter what the outcome that it is enough.

If I wanted to be brutally honest, I would say that I am running a marathon that I have no business running. I’m under trained. I’m out of shape. I’ve got plantar fasciitis. Then there is the whole hypopara thing. This will not be the great come back that I envisioned at the beginning of this training cycle. This will not be the hypopara PR that I was shooting for.

All that being said, this will still be amazing experience. Running as part of the Sandy Hook Promise Team. Spending time with the team. Sharing the cause. This will also be a feat of determination. Mind not just matter, but my body. Pushing. Asking more from it than it willingly will want to give, but can. That is true for every marathon runner. No matter where you are, what your goals, or even your health. Running a marathon proves that yourselve that you can do anything you put your mind to.

And my mind is set.