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Giving it all I’ve Got

I’ve started training for NYC Marathon.   I had been thinking that I was pretraining, but then I actually looked and yup, I’m training.    I am following the Jeff Galloway “To Finish”  Program and it’s actually a 26 week program.   In looking at the calendar if I do my math correctly, I believe that puts me at week 3 of training.  Oops, time to play catch up:)

Training for a marathon is a long process, yet at the same time it goes quickly.

I’m going to be very upfront in how things are going and I’m sure it won’t all be rainbows and sunshine.   That being said, I am so lucky to be given this opportunity and remind myself that I am not doing this for me, but for Sandy Hook Promise.

Anyhoo…. Even with the “To Finish” program, I know that I will be giving it all I’ve got.

Giving it all i got

I went out for a run.   I was just shy of 5 miles at 4.7, but it happens.   I used the ratio of 3 minutes run to 45 seconds walk.    It seemed like a good ratio, but I’m still feeling it out.   I will say that I liked it.   I tried to keep my run part around 11 and walk not at a Sunday stroll nor a power walk, but somewhere in between.   It seemed to be a good balance as my overall pace was 11:17.

As I was running though, I was trying to connect my body to where my mind is which is harder than you think.   In my mind, I still am so much faster.   My body disagrees.  Besides that  I also have to reconcile that with the run/walk method there will be times that I’m out for my run where I’m going to be walking and people will see.    That’s a mental thing, but one that I will deal with too.

Here is the thing…..   I can only do what I can do.   Yes, running is very much a mental sport, but in the end you can only do what your body will allow.    I’ve also got to use this training time to know when to add more calcium and magnesium.    When I was training for Chicago, I had a doctor who kept my calcium levels  in the mid normal range which may have made things better for running, but overall was not good for my health as it left too much calcium in urine (not good for kidneys).    So I’ve learned more this last year and I’ve also got my specialist that is keeping my calcium at just below normal.    That is good overall, but I do need to adjust more now on running days.   It will also be a training exercise to know how much is enough and how much is too much.

Yesterday was not enough.   It didn’t help that the night before I fell asleep and forgot to take my calcium and magnesium.   I also should have added more calez during run and realized that a Epsom salt bath afterwards might not have been as indulgent as I thought it would have been.

This is what happens when your don’t hit the right balance.   Your muscles dance which isn’t as fun as it sounds….

It’s a work in progress, but whose life isn’t.

We live.   We learn.   We move forward.

 

I’m Ready

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

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

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

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

BUT…..

Many things will remain the same.

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

I will still feel the accomplishment of finishing a run.

I still will bond with friends while running.

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

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

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

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

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

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Starting Line….

 

It’s funny I ran the Chicago Marathon  just 5 weeks ago, yet some how I feel like I couldn’t run around the block.   I don’t know how anyone who has run as many races as I have can still feel like she’s back at the starting line again, but I do.

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This probably is not too far from the truth.

As I’ve been recovering from my tendonitis, I’ve been good.   I’ve been doing some limited running.   Some limited cross-training and lots of being lazy.   It’s really not been a good combination for the mind or body.

So as I often do when I feel like I need a little push of motivation, I have signed up for another race.   I know it’s shocking.    I’m trying to drag in….   I mean I’m trying to encourage others to join in on the fun.    I’ve got to say that i do miss the year we were chasing the 9 plus 1 and the fun we had.   It can not be repeated as it was such a special year, but I will say racing with friends is so much better than racing alone.

I needed Chicago to prove to myself that I could still finish a marathon if I wanted to.   Right now, I just want to run a half.   Plus it will keep me running during the holiday’s which really will be necessary.    I’m not even trying to be a super star.   I just want to run to run to find my love of running and racing again.   To get back to normal.

What race you ask…..

Fred Lebow

For extra motivation, I purchased the NYRR 10 week plan for this race.   I want to go into this race trained.   I want to get back to the confidence that comes with being trained.    That being said, my goal for this race is 2:25, so I’m not expecting for this training plan to turn me into speed racer.   Just to get me back into my routine of running.    I miss it.   I want to just let my body put in the miles and bring my mind the peace that running brings.

I have not formulated any plans other than Fred Lebow, but I do know that I just want to rediscover my passion for running.   It’s not as easy as it used to be, but I already know that.    This isn’t a fake it till you feel it thing either.    My body is already chomping at the bit.   I just have to get my head in gear.

So I’ve purchased the plan, so my head doesn’t have to do anything.   Let the body do it’s job.

Tomorrow is day 1 of training….

 

Reality Check

Yesterday was a good day all around. I took my 3 boys to the trampoline adventure place for some fun. They even had a Ninja Warrior section where we all realized that we are not Nina Warriors. We had a lot of fun, but I did realize that I’m not as young as I think I am. What a workout!

I was worried that my bouncing was going to make my nightly run that I had planned with a friend a nightmare. It ended up being one of my best runs all week and maybe in a while. I even felt like I could have kept running at the end.

Here’s the reality check.

My friend who is in recovery from an injury is doing the walk/run method. The difference is she’s doing it the right way. She has a timer and is doing a 3 to 1 ratio that she follows. Also when running, she was keeping a nice steady pace which meant that so did I. The 3 to 1 worked nicely. The running didn’t seem choppy and even though I didn’t feel like I needed to walk every time, the fact that we did made the run what it was supposed to be. An easy paced 6.

We ended up with an average pace of around 12:00. In thinking about it, I had the reality check of this is where all my runs should be. I think in the back of my mind and right out in the front, I’ve been trying to hit average pace of 10:45 to 11:00. That is not where my body is right now especially for the long haul.

I think I am finally willing to embrace or at least give the run/walk method a really try following a real plan. So much so that after stretching and washing up last night, I hit Amazon and ordered my own timer. It might be time to give this method more than a pretend try and actually follow the program.

I also think following the program will allow me to feel more in control of my running and allow me to run the distances that I need to run. I remember two years ago doing the Runner’s World Half Marathon. I was running with a pacing group and we were staying at a consistent pace. There was a man who was doing the run/walk method that was sticking with us. He walked when he was scheduled to, but still ended up finishing around the same time which was around 2:10. I think if I have any hope to completing the marathon this will be the way to go.

Time to face Reality.

Patience

Plugging Along

‘m just plugging along in my training.   To be honest, I’m kind of doing a mish mash of things right now.   For the most part, I’m following a mileage plan with Training Peaks, but that’s about it.   I’m not doing any speed work. I’m not doing any cut-downs.   I’m not doing anything remotely pace related.   And even though I’m doing the walk/run method and bought the Jeff Galloway book, I’m not really following that either.    I’m kind of doing a little of this and a little of that.

Is this the best way to train for a marathon?

Probably not.

Am I going to change the way I’m training?

Probably not.

Why, you ask?

Because my goal is to just finish.

Yes, I admit, deep down I think to myself that I will get all my shit together and I’ll magically run a 4:30 or better.  Then I wake up and know that’s not happening.

Then there is a part of me that thinks that Chicago might just be my last marathon.  Yes, I know you’ve heard it before but I really mean it this time.   Really.  Seriously.   But I’m also not saying it won’t.   I just don’t know.   I will see how my body reacts.

What I do know is that I’m plugging away.    That I need keep moving just based on the way my pants are fitting.

I’m also excited by the fact that I have an appointment in September with an endocrinologist based out of Columbia Hospital in NY.    She is a doctor who is actually listed as a contributor to the Hypopara Association.   I’ve found lectures that she has given to other doctors teaching about Hypoparthyroidism.  When you have a disorder that only effects 60 to 70 thousand people in the United States, it is kind of hard to find someone local who knows the ins and outs of it.   I’m lucky enough to only live an hour or so outside the city, so I will do the commute for someone who gets it.    Plus I’ve had people tell me in a Hypopara group that on top of being a knowledgeable doctor who has studied this disease, she is also really nice.

So, yeah, I’m excited for this visit.   Who knows maybe she will say the other doctors are wrong and I don’t have it anymore.   (yeah, I know another far fetched thought).   Anyway, I do wish that I could have made the appointment earlier as I would have loved to asked her about how to handle things such as supplements, medicine levels, and calcium intake during training.    She seems to be worth the wait.

Unfortunately though it does seem that until then even that even though I do have a doctor, that I don’t have a doctor that gets it.   I, personally, don’t like the doses of Calcitriol he currently has me on but I’ll keep taking it as I’ve been stable.   Plus I’ve asked some pointed questions about tests recommended for people with hypopara to monitor kidney functions as problems can arise if doses and levels are not kept in check.  The response was basically that calcium levels are good so no worries.  I think that is much easier for him to say than me, but I’m just guessing.    I’m lucky to have found some great online information and groups that help sort things out.

Case in point….

I’ve been taking Magnesium supplements as part of my protocol.   I do think these supplements have been helpful as low magnesium levels effect calcium levels.  It’s amazing the things you learn about when you feel you have to even if it was never anything you ever had a desire to learn.

Fun Fact…  All supplements are not created equally.    Label reading is important for everyone but especially when taking supplements in high doses.   Did you know many supplements contain food coloring, additives, and such?   I didn’t until I started looking at the labels due to side effects.  Plus there are different types of supplements.   Calcium comes in many forms I have learned.   So does Magnesium.   I’ve been taking 800 mg of a High Potency Magnesium in a softgel form which has helped with the levels, but has caused some gastro issues to be delicate.   The side effects actually making it inadvisable to go for early training runs.    I’ve recently (like 2 days ago) switched to a Magnesium Glycinate which is a different form of magnesium that is all natural and per the label promises a no laxative effect.

In looking  the labels though it is clear which you would want to take for the long term:

High Potency Magnesium –  magnesium, medium chain triglycerides, gelatin, glycerin, water, soy lecithin, colors, yellow beeswax

Magnesium Glycinate – magnesium and vegetable capsule (plant cellulose)

Seems pretty clear which one would be best to take.

Anyhow…

What I am learning is that even when you think you are taking something that is good for you, you have to be careful.   I’m hoping this new magnesium will be better on my system while still helping keep my levels in check.

 

Unstoppable

 

 

I am lucky.   I know that.   I know it could be so much worse.   I know there are people fighting much harder battles than me. Knowing this does not make it easier.   It actually makes it worse because of the guilt.

I’m a lucky girl, but I don’t always feel lucky. And I hate that feeling.   Who am I to complain when I have been so blessed and am so lucky?

A small voice whispers, “Me.”

I’m an avoider by nature.   I see nothing wrong with burying your hand in the sand.  The problem with that is eventually you realize that you can’t breath and you’ve made the situation so much worse.

I didn’t realize it until after my run today, but I’m kind of there now.   Remember this week started Chicago Marathon training.   I’ve stuck to the plan.  Three easy runs.  Three days in a row for three miles.   Easy Peasy.

Or in my mind it should have been.

Run

The first run I did at  my local YMCA on the treadmill.   The second run was a fun run with friends.   Then today I was on my own.   Things were going good.   The run in my mind was much harder than it should have been.   I mean seriously it’s only three miles. and the weather is perfect for running.   What more could a girl ask for?

On the run as often happens, my mind processes things.   It’s been a while since I’ve had one of these runs and I needed this time with my thoughts.   I’m keeping a nice easy pace.    Today I want to run the whole thing with no walking.   Should be easy enough.   Mission accomplished.

Here’s the thing though….   By the end of the run, I am literally huffing and puffing.   A lot.   I end the run at my house happy as can be.  I even snap a picture.   You can see that I’m tired.   You can see that I’m sweating pretty decently for a short run.

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Here’s what you don’t see…..

At this point, my face is tingling.    My right arm is tingling.  This causes me irritation because IT WAS ONLY THREE MILES ON A COOL DAY.

If the picture was taken 5 minutes later, you would see me having a good cry.    It sounds bad and it wasn’t pretty, but I think it may have been just what I’ve needed.    During my run, I was thinking how far I had come with my running and where I am now.    It’s several major steps back.   I’m not even at square one anymore because at least when I started on this journey the only thing holding me back was myself.   That is not the case right now.   There is so much out of my control right now.   So many things that I never had to think about before.

Seriously.

It sucks.

But I’ve had my good cry which was well beyond due.   Yes, I’ve been dealing with the actual physical aspects but it’s time I deal and come to terms with the big picture.  I’m pulling my big girl panties on and I’m just going to keep moving forward.  I’m a lucky girl, but sometimes even a lucky girl needs a moment.   I may get where I was before in my running, but I need to accept where I am today.   I also need to accept that it’s ok.   In talking to others that have hypoparathyroidism the key is giving your body what it needs and taking it as it comes.  There are things in my control, but there are also things out of my control and there are things that change depending on the day.   So I will do what I can and start accepting what I can’t.   Giving up control is hard.

This disease will not stop me.

 

 

Sticking to the Plan

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

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

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

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

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

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

Doing the right thing.

Listening to my body.

Sticking to the Plan.

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If it Ain’t Broke Don’t Fix It

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

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

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

If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

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

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

Living and Learning

worth it

 

Do The Right Thing

In Life many times, we wonder if we have made the right decision.   Sometimes we have regrets, but sometimes we can wholeheartedly know we made the right decision.   This is one of those times.

We need to embrace these times too.

Over the last week, I’ve had a few good runs.  I’ve been happy with where I am at.   I’ve started thinking about what I want to do this year.   My first event that I’m scheduled to run is the New Jersey Half Marathon.    Right now my goal is just to run it, but I wanted to look to see how my training has been overall.    When I was hard core training I used a program called Training Peaks.    When I thought I might run the NJ Marathon and not the half, I had bought a marathon training program to use with the program.   Yesterday, I logged on for the first time in probably a month.   This is when I realized that I had done the right thing.

According to the marathon training program, my mileage for the week should have been 32 with a long run of 16.

HA!

My total miles for the week were 13 with a long run of 6.5.

I don’t want to be running 32 miles right now.   Funny thing too is when I changed the training program to a half, it is right about where I am right now.   Better yet, it is right about where I want to be.

I am happy that I took the time that both my body and mind needed.    I’m happy that my running seems to be getting stronger.   I’m happy that i seem to be getting back into the rhythm of not just my running but my life.

I’m happy now:)

And that I will take over running a marathon any day.

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Was It A Waste?

I’ve been talking about the marathon a lot.   I probably will continue to talk about it a lot.  In a recent conversation,  I was asked since I didn’t reach my goal if I thought having a Coach was a waste.   I’ve got to say emphatically NO.    I’m sure that we have all heard that expression, “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink.”    The same is true with having a Coach.    A Coach will guide you, prepare you, and get you were you need to go but it is up to the runner to take the final step.

Here is why I think that not only was it not a waste that it got me to the finish line.

My Coach has prepared me.   She gave me the tools that I needed to not only get to the starting line, but haul my behind to the finish line. Did not always take the tools given, but they were there for me.  That is on me and not her.

Training was hard.   Training on some days was much more intense than I wanted.  Training was never a walk in the park, but that wasn’t what I wanted either.   You can only get out of something what you put into it.   I also know that due to my life, I did not do everything that I needed to do to be ready for a 4:30 marathon.    If I had followed the plan, I’m sure I would have gotten there.   Besides she is a Coach not a miracle worker!

Here is the thing, I and I don’t like the way this will sound because I don’t think of it as a failure.   I blew the 4:30.   She gave me everything I needed in training and even for the day of the marathon to get me there.   She was upfront and honest about the fact that 4:30 was pushing it for this race.   That being said, she gave me the paces, encouragement, and tools to use.   I just  let myself be carried away till I ran right into the wall.

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This is the wall.

This is the face of someone trying to pull her shit together and get it done.

This is the face of someone who knows that she needs to keep moving and not give up.

I think if I hadn’t been working with my coach, I would not have known how to push through this wall.   She gave me the tools that I needed to push through, keep moving, and squeak in under 5:00.      Yes, I am also a stubborn mule who doesn’t give up easily.   That is true.   That being said,  all of the training, hard runs, and insight gave me what I needed to dig deep and know what to do.

Preparation.

No it may not have been pretty, but I kept going.

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I walked when I needed to.

Yes, I kept smiling because I’m in the NYCM!

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I ran when I could

and most of all

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I crossed the finish line!!!

And life is meant to teach us lessons.   I have no regrets, but I did learn the lesson of listening to my Coach.

Just because something does not work out the way you wanted or expected, does not mean it is a failure.    Failure is never trying in the first place:)