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Leaving My Couch Behind

you-are-still-lapping-everyone-on-the-couch

I have to be honest as you know I always am, I really used to hate this expression.   I find it to be condescending.   Smug and even a little obnoxious.

Not everyone wants to get off the couch.   I’m not in competition with those that our sitting on their couch.   Now though I look at it not as a way of shaming those who for whatever reason are not getting out there.   I look at it as a way to say that I am willing to push myself past all the reasons that I could use to stay on the couch.

Recently (like today) though I’ve been thinking about it.   A lot.   It would be so much easier for me to give up.   No one would blame me.   Some might even think it is the smart thing to do.   I can stop at any time if I wanted.  Yet, for some reason I can’t.

It’s just not something that I am willing to do.

 No one is pushing me out the door.   Although I have awesome supportive friends, they would support me no matter what I decided to do.  No one is making me train.   No one is making me run or train for a marathon.   (If anyone would like to, that would be fine with me).

Today’s run I knew would not be a good one.   I knew it before I even walked out the door.   My body aches.   My foot is still hurting.   I had 14 on the books and from the get go decided that I would do 10 today and run tomorrow to kind of make up the difference.  (Yes, I know that’s not how training works; but sometimes you’ve got to adjust).

Out the door I went.

It wasn’t a horrible run, but it might have been up there with worst training runs.  I walked more than I should.   I stopped a few times to stretch.    I just was Blah.   All that being said, I ended up with an 11:40 pace.

Then I did something on my run today that I thought I would never do.    I called for someone at home to pick me up.   If I pushed, I knew I could finish.   I was only 2 miles from home.

Here is the rub.

I didn’t want to.   I just didn’t think with the way my body was feeling that it made any sense to do that.  I also knew that it would not be good for my mental training either.

You would think that I would be freaking out since Chicago is less than a month away.   I’m not.   I’m actually pretty calm about it.    Really this close to the race, pushing when I shouldn’t push will do more harm than good.

So I did the “ride of shame” home, but felt no shame.

I have no doubt that when I step up the Chicago Start line that I will also cross the Chicago finish line.

Remember I’m one stubborn and determined person.   Besides, I do like getting a medal put around my neck.

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3 Minutes at a Time

Today was a day that mentally was required more than it was physically and physically it was a necessity.   18 miles on the books.   After how hard my last 6 were,  I had my doubts about today.   The one thing that I really had on my side…..

DETERMINATION

It’s really the one thing that that keeps my going.

Seriously.

Anyway, I made plans to run the first 10 miles with my amazingly supportive friend who would do walk/run with me.   We decided since it was going to be a cold rainy morning that we would start at noon to miss the rain.   We both know that on any given race day the rain won’t stop us, so no need to go out in it unnecessarily.   Besides as I’ve said before, I’m not really a morning person.   This morning I really wasn’t a morning person.   I woke up at 8:00 proceeded to move to the couch with my coffee and fall fast asleep.   I couldn’t keep awake.   Finally around 9:30, I seemed to come out of my sleep coma.   This gave me enough time to do some things around the house and head out the door in time to run to my friend.

I figured that since I had more miles to do that I would try to get some in before meeting her.   I got about a mile and half in.   Then did some stretching when I got to her house and off we went.

I will say that it is so nice to run  with a friend who you can chat away the miles with.   When your brain is otherwise occupied with discussions of running, family, politics, and life in general; you tend to forget about the soreness the pounding is causing.  Sadly for me her 10 miles came to an end.    We ran back to her house where I could refill water bottles and add my Cal-EZ to my water.

Then off I went.

On my own, I thought about my running strategy and tried to ignore my legs.    Like most runners, I’m trying to determine what my fuel needs will be for the marathon.   I also realized that maybe (not maybe) I had made a mistake only have oatmeal in the morning.   I’m also trying to determine when and how to add extra calcium.    Normally during a race, I do not stop at the water stations and just use my water bottles.   I think Chicago will be different.   I think that I will fill my water bottles with my calcium water via Cal-EZ) and then use the stops for water or Gatorade.  I’m guessing that would be easier than trying to add it while running.   I could take Tums, but I’m partial to Cal-EZ as I know it causes no issues and keeps my levels steady, it’s easy to take, and I can keep track of my dose.

Work in progress and will give it more thought.

By mile 15, I needed to stop for some stretching.   I didn’t let myself stop long as I thought it would get too hard to start again.    At this point the run turned into, it’s only 3 more miles.   I can run 3 miles.   By about 16.5, I reached the 7-11 where I needed to stop to get some Gaterade as my water bottles were empty.   I am a sweater and I really needed to replenish electrolytes.    It’s funny the people at 7-11 must see it all because they don’t look twice at me in my running belt drenched in sweat.   It’s all good.

Some more stretching while I refilled my bottles and then off I went.

The last mile was hard in that I just wanted to be done.   I literally went from counting the mile to counting the minutes.   Telling myself that I could run for 3 minutes and for the most part I did.

Bottom line is that I got it done which is all I needed.    Still not paying attention to pace, but ending up finishing with an average pace of 11:51.   I’m finding that I do seem to be keeping an even pace during the running and I’m not walking like a snail during recovery.

It’s all good.

determination2

 

 

Be Determined

 

You have very few choices in life as they say.

Give up.  Give in or Give it all you’ve got.

I’m a pretty stubborn individual.   Just ask my family:)    That being said, I recently read a quote that brought home to me that in my running being stubborn isn’t always a good thing.

BeDetermined

I realized that I’ve been VERY stubborn about my running.   I may have been a little like a spoiled child.    I wanted my running to be what I wanted and I wanted it now.  We all know that isn’t how life works.   Doesn’t mean that I wasn’t stubborn about it.   I didn’t want to admit that for now things needed to change some.   That things needed to be tweaked.   I was and there will be days that I still will be stubborn again.  I am trying to be more determined than stubborn now.   Although stubbornness is not necessarily a bad thing when used with determination.   Just not pig headed stubbornness.

Case in point

I went out for my long run yesterday.   I had 12 miles that I needed to do.   It was hot, but worse that that it was humid with humidity being 66%.     I was determined to have a good run.    I realized that in order for that to happen that I needed to set myself up for it.   When I started the run, I decided that I would do a 6 to 1 run to walk ratio.   There was no rhyme nor reason where that ratio came from.   It just seemed like a good fit.   In the beginning of the run I reminded myself of the NYCM and that it is best to hold back in the beginning to save something in the tank for the end.   So I forced myself to keep to the ratio.   I could run a little longer than 6 if I was going downhill or something, but I  keep the walk at just a minute.   It seemed to work nicely.

Now don’t think that this was an easy run.   It wasn’t.   I was drenched in sweat.   I will say that my legs felt good or as good as they can feel on a long run.   I think because of the humidity, it was more my breathing.   The air just felt so heavy.

One thing that was a lifeline on my run was one of my running buddies.  Before the run, she messaged me that if I needed anything to call.    I knew that she was home, so I did add her to my route stopping around mile 5.   Cold water from a filtered fridge is so much better than filling from hoses.   I also was able to get some much needed body glide as due to all the sweating I was having issues.    Then off I went knowing that she had my back if I needed anything more.  That’s good feeling.

I continue on with my 6 to 1 ratio.

It’s hard.

I’m am drenched in sweat.

I plan my run to make sure that I go by the local 7-11.   Timing is perfect as I finished all my water right before coming to it.    This time instead of water with Cal-ez, I opt for Gatorade.    By now, the staff of 7-11 is used to me, but the customers not so much.   Oh well.

I do admit that towards the end, my ratio of walk run might have been off some.   My determination pushed me forward and my stubbornness got me to the 12.

Here is the funny thing.   My focus on the run was to make sure that I had a little more control where I didn’t’ feel like I was doing the run fast, walk, run slow, run fast, walk, repeat method.   That being said, I really did not watch my pace.   I was watching the clock for time.    I ended up with an average pace of 12:00 and  my splits were not all over the place.   Although mile 7 did throw off my average with a pace of 12:41

Overall, I am happy.

I am a little less stubborn, but just stubborn enough.

Most of all,

I am determined.

 

 

Yes We Did!

No expectations.

No watching the clock.

Nothing but a plan to cross the finish line with a smile.

Mission Accomplished!

I was worried.   You know that to be true, but I was VERY happy with the way the day went.    I went into this race just to run by feel, wear a  tutu and a smile. It was good day.   It was the kind of day that I needed.    I think planning was key.

First the boring stuff.

From talking to other athletes with Hypoparathyroidism, I had a plan.   I purposely waited till we got to the venue to take my 500mg of Calcium and my Calictriol.    My water bottles were filled with water and cal-ez powder to keep my calcium.   I brought an extra packet to use along the way.    Each packet contained 1,000mg of calcium carbonite, but it is fast absorbing because it also has 1,000 units of vitamin D which is needed for absorption.     Studies have shown that even healthy people calcium levels drop during rigorous exercise.   For a person with working parathyroid glands, the body will adjust (although you still might want to talk to your doctor about adding supplements), but for a person whose body can’t regulate this can be a problem.   Now while it may seem excessive to have taken almost 3,000 mg of calcium in such a short period of time for me I believe it was necessary and a work in progress.   All I know is that I felt good during the run.   I did not experience any face twitches or tingles.   Although I was pushing at the end and did get some tingles in my hand, but all was good.

We left early as you often have to do when running a race that starts at 7:30.   The “clown car” as my son called it when we got home was filled with excited Mama’s.   We were very lucky that one of the Mama’s knew the in and outs of not only getting there but finding an open bathroom before the race.

Then off we went.

It was strange to me that the marathon runners and half marathon runners all started together, but it mattered not to me as long as I was starting with friends.   For the most part we ran together, but as will happen during the course of the race we separated into smaller groups.   Might have something to do with chatting the miles away and not realizing that you’ve lost sight of others in the group.

Am I sore today?

You bet.   But I bet so are so many other people:):)

I’ve got some fun stories to tell about this race, but this is enough for today.

It was a great day with some amazing women and I am so glad we did it!

NJHalf

And yes, I do have a unicorn horn:)

Just Keep Running, Running, Running

Thankfully today is a Rest Day.   Ok, actually I should do some swimming or Yoga.   Maybe I will, but honestly I probably won’t.   I might take a power nap later if that counts.   Doesn’t it?

So how did these last 2 days go?

Pretty good if I do say so.

Let’s start with the Cut-Down.    I went into this confident and I do think that might make a bit of a difference.   What has also helped is that the temperatures cooled  to perfect fall temps.    Yes, indeed, that makes a  huge difference. I have to say this was hands down my BEST cut-down.   I felt good.   I felt confident and my splits are very pretty if I do say so myself and I do:)   I did need to stop around mile 5 as I thought I had something in my shoe.   Took shoe/sock off and all looked good until I got home with bloody toe.   My feet are going to need some major TLC when Marine Corps Marathon is over.   Without further ado, here it is:

 

Total Time: 1:40:02

Splits: 10:53. 9:56, 9:54, 9:48, 9:42, 9:35, 9:25, 9:11, 9:09, 12:30

Pretty sure I was about to have a heat attack by the end of mile 9, but then I remembered this was supposed to be hard and pushed till the end of the mile.  I do admit as soon as my watch marked the mile, I slowed down.  A lot!
I did this run in the afternoon which did concern me as I was planning on my 18 the next morning.    The whole point of the 18 though was to run on tired legs and that’s what I did.    I plotted out a route not that I ever follow it exactly, but it is enough to get me where I need to go.   I started this run with some of my fellow MRTT Mama’s and we did about 6 miles together.   Then off to face the miles alone.   This was a good combination as I will ultimately be running the marathon alone.
I used a combination of shot blocks, sports jelly beans, Gu, and at mile 12 I stopped to refill my water bottles at a Dunkin Donuts.   If you know me, you know that I can’t NOT get a coffee.   So I took a 5 minute coffee break and gulped down a small (which I never get) iced latte.    I’m not really sure that I would do it again.   Although maybe it wasn’t such a bad thing to do since I did finish my 18.
Although, I did get a little help from my friends:):)
As I said, I had my run plotted out.   I planned to stop at mile 16 at my friend Genine’s house as she offered to leave water in a cooler for me.   I’ll be honest once I stopped I REALLY didn’t want to start up again.   But not only was she sweet enough to leave me the water in a cooler, but an inspiring note that really did help push me to keep moving.   It became my temporary mantra, “Finish Strong!”
Finish Strong
So I kept going, chanting until I hit the hill.   I didn’t intentionally plan to end my run on a hill, but it seems to happen to me a lot depending on the way I go.   I think this is a positive thing as we all know running up hills is good training.   The I remembered that the Marathon ends on a Hill literally!   So then I changed my mantra to….
CHARGE THE HILL!
Hey it worked, because I had really good splits at the end.

Moving Time 3:08:26

12:45, 13:01, 10:39, 10:35, 10:46, 11:12, 10:25, 10:32, 10:17, 11:11, 10:52, 10:20, 10:35, 10:32, 11:21, 10:38, 10:18  & then since Garmin didn’t record whole 18 2.36
You Ran How Far?
So today, I am tending to my feet.   Doing some stretching and just as importantly catching up on all the things that I have let slide while putting in the miles.

How do you balance it all?

From Night to Day

I’ve been doing something the last few days that I hate doing.   I’ve been getting up early to run.   Now, I’m not talking crazy early, but I’ve been getting out the door by 7:00.   I like to say that I only wake up early to run only if I’m getting a shiny medal.   For the most part that is true and it’s not like I’m doing track workouts at 5:30 in the morning like some Mama’s I know.   Unfortunately, my training called for runs that really need the light of day.   If I want to be ready for the shiny awesome medal in October than that means a few “early” workouts at least until the kids get back in school.

So what have I been doing?

Wednesday – 9 miles with average pace of  11:15 in 1:41:23.

More night time running which is good and bad.    I would like to say that it was cooler, but it really was still hot and humid.   My pace was supposed 10:50, but it was hard to maintain that pace in the dark even with all my lights.
dark


Thurs:    Aerobic:                      4 miles   Average pace 11:46.   Easy to keep +++ pace with heavy legs.

I like “easy” miles.   Although nothing is easy when in comes to putting in so many miles.   Although my feet have been feeling good, my quads have been feeling tight.   Might be because I’ve been doing so many miles and probably not stretching or rolling as much as I should.   Truth be told is that it is hard enough to find all the hours it takes to get my run in, let alone add the extra time for that.

Fri:        Aerobic:                      10 miles  – Aaverage Pace 11:01 in 1:49:27
This was the the transition to an “early” run.  Truth be told it really wasn’t early as I didn’t get out the door till 8:00 AM.  I should have left a little earlier, but this was still better than leaving at 11:00 AM.  My quads were still tight making legs feel heavy and me feel a little sluggish.  Luckily this was a run where it was more about miles than pace and my goal was to stay in the 10:50 to 11:00 range.   Some miles better than others, but overall a decent run and the overall average pace was on target.

11:00, 11:04, 11:29, 11:01,10:49, 10:39, 10:46, 10:49, 10:51, 11:46

Sat:       Aerobic:                       4 miles average pace 13:03

This run I went out with the intention of finding house #13 for my MRTT scavenger hunt.   Hey, you’ve got to do something to keep your mind occupied while training.   I had a route lined up as my friend lives at #10 on a street.   Got to her street and the numbers on her street went from 11 to 15.   Grrr.   So I started making my way home, going down other streets to find the ever ellusive number 13.   Shockingly many streets were just like the first.   I did finally find one:)   More truth, I would never live in a house number 13.   Yeah, I’m a little superstitious.  Maybe I shouldn’t be because literally right after house number 13, I almost ran into some wild life which I also needed for my hunt.
MRTT Scavenger Hunt 5 MRTT Scavenger Hunt 6
What is life if it’s not fun?
Sun:     Off:        


Off from running.   Did go to a Yoga  class with at Athleta with my MRTT group.   This class felt so good and it made me realize that I need to get back to yoga.   I also realized that I haven’t been all summer.   Maybe this has something to do with why my quads are so tight.

Mon:      MP Aerobic:           15 miles Average pace 10:34 in 2:38:40 but overall time was 3:38:38

I needed to get this run done early because I didn’t want to do it at night since I was going to be running 8 miles of it at marathon pace.   I also didn’t want to be running in the heat of the day.   Luckily, Genine, wanted to run a few miles but she needed to run early.   So we made plans to meet at 7:00 AM which was perfect for me.   Without knowing that she would be meeting me, I’m fairly certain I would have wasted my morning and not gotten out till at least 8:00.  That being said, I think the first thing I said to her when I saw her was “this sucks.”    I was kind of dreading this run since it was such a long one, but it all worked out.  My legs felt better  and I’m not sure if it was extra rolling and stretching or yoga.

Genine stayed with me for the first couple of miles which was good.   I still wasn’t feeling it, but I was already a few miles into it, so what choice did I have but to keep going.   I hit most of the targets and did use fuel which I haven’t been using on my long runs but since I was running at marathon pace, I got to use fuel.  I didn’t get a chance to eat before I left since I burnt my toast, I used a gel with caffeine instead.   Then around mile 3, I ate 2 of jelly belly sport jelly beans (love them).  Then I had another gel with caffeine at mile 8 and Gatorade at mile 10.   Not sure if this was too much fuel for this run, but I figured since I didn’t have breakfast and hadn’t eaten anything since 7:30 the night before I needed it.   Plus even though it was early, it was already hot and humid.   Plus, I am such a hot mess when I run I think I needed it.   Might need to think about Gatorade more as it really hit the spot!   
Now the reason that my overall time was so much more than my actual running time is that I plan my runs so that I can refill my water bottle and I also have to wait at intersections and such.   Still shocked at the difference as I didn’t realize I slowed down that much.   Anyway, first water stop was at the park for bathroom break, refill bottles, a few pictures for my scavenger hunt.  Then my second stop was at the 7-elleven where I normally stop to buy a $1 bottle of water.   For this run though, I decided to get Gatorade for some reason.   Nothing ever tasted so good.   I might have to think about using this again although I don’t know that it would always taste as good as it did on this run.

11:10, 11:46, 10:59, 10:01, 9:44, 10:25, 9:57, 9:59, 9:48, 10:03, 9:59, 10:43, 11:00, 10:50, 12:11

I timed it that this run would end at Dunkin Donuts where I could get a nice recovery iced latte.  Some people do look at you a little funny when your in line, but what’s a  girl to do.   I want (need) my iced latte and I can’t help it that I look like I ran through the sprinklers.   I then cooled down with a short walk home.   I’m also wondering if this is why my overall time is so much different too. I don’t think I reset (ended) my run until I got home,   So who knows.
I don’t have my schedule for this week yet as I get my schedule on Tuesday’s.   I’m curious as to what this week will bring.   Last week since I had the long run with 8 miles at marathon pace, I didn’t have a tempo run which was nice.   I’m thinking that I won’t be so lucky 2 weeks in a row!
How is your training going?
How do you fuel for your runs?