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Skipping a Week

Week one of marathon training went so smoothly, I thought this is going to be fabulous. Right up until half way through week two when I came down with a bad cold. Now I do know it’s only a cold because due to my job and abundance of caution at first sign of symptoms I got a covid test. No covid but a really bad cold. At first it was settling in my chest with a really bad cough. I had thought about trying to run through it but not really smart thing to do. I even googled running with cold and the consensus was not to push through with cold symptoms below the neck. So I didn’t.

Besides the fact that I really don’t think that I could have anyway. Kind of hard to run when your hacking up a lung and and elephant was sitting on your chest. So I missed some runs including my first “long run.” But it seems like while the cold hasn’t passed it is no longer in my chest. The cough is mostly gone. Currently I am just constantly blowing my nose. My eyes are watering, but my chest is clear. So I guess I will call that a win and I’m sure you could have used without that update.

Today is a rest day and while I had thought of maybe making up a run, I thought better of it. So I will pick up week three of marathon training while skipping over week two. Hopefully by the time I run tomorrow my nose will be done running, so my feet can go it alone. Either that or maybe I can run out the cold.

Good times.

So not much to report seeing as this was not a stellar week. I am jumping back in this week and hoping for the best.

Do you push through when you aren’t feeling well?

Slow, Steady & Moving Foward

One week in and 17 more to go, but training seems to be falling into place. Just so happens that a woman in my running circle is also planning to run NY. We are off similar ages and abilities. In talking to her, I explained the 80/20 plan that I am doing. She decided that is a good fit for her and the beautiful thing is that it seems like are fitness level and training zones are compatible, so it’s a go. We are doing slightly different plans, but we can make it work.

I forgot how good it was to run with people. I haven’t really done it in a long time even pre-covid. When people are training seriously even if they say “I will run whatever you are running,” it doesn’t always work out. They aren’t getting the training they need. You feel bad for holding them back or maybe worse run too fast which is worse than running too slow. So finding a training partner for a marathon where you can do many runs together is nice. Even better when you really like the person:)

So week one went well. I will say that holding back is harder than it sounds. All your life you are told to give it all you’ve got. ….To push yourself to the limits…..If you don’t push yourself who will. ……. I’m sure you can think of others that you’ve told yourself. It is always…. GO….GO…. GO.

Now it is…. Slow down. Don’t push it. Slow and steady. It’s harder than it sounds. More times than you would think this past week, it was “we are running too fast.” We need to slow down. We are breathing too hard. Now don’t get me wrong, with the heat and humidity in Jersey this past week slow and steady still was hard. The heart rate spiked a few times. Sweat happened. It was not “easy.”

Here is the thing though….. After this first week of running, there was not a run that when it ended I didn’t think that I could do more. I could run further. I could run faster. I also was able to recover from these runs which is key.

So as I dig deeper into this training, I really need to find out if the zone that my garmin is saying are the right zones. I also would love it if my heart rate didn’t seem to jump up quickly. To keep myself where I needed to be and bring my heart rate down, I would walk until I got back into the zone. So I need to work on this. It will come.

As I do this, I am also in the marathon of fundraising. It’s kind of like doing 2 marathons at once. I’m working on collecting auction items which after this last year you can imagine is not easy task, but onward I go. I’ve gotten some good ones already. (If you know of any, I’m all ears).

So onward I go….. Slow, Steady, and moving foward.

Get Out of Your Own Way

I had planned to run my first in person 5K today. I thought it sounded fun and also safe since it was on the trails. The fun part was dressing in an adult onesie. I was all set to run in my unicorn onesie. I even roped a running friend in for the event. (Roped is a strong word……. I told her about it and asked if she wanted to sign up. So she did).

One of the best things is that my NYC Half Virtual training lined up with a set back week and running a 5K this weekend. Yeah…. When things align

Until they don’t.

Lots of snow last week made it seem like a challenge but a fun one. I do love the snow and I have Yaktraxs for my shoes and they have not been used in a long time.

Then the timing belt on my Honda Pilot decides that 100,090 miles is enough and decides that it is time to be replaced. So while I could have still gone in our other vehicle the prospect of driving over an hour in our big Truck and then trying to park was not appealing. While this is not a big rig, it is a king cab sized truck with a full pick-up bed and parking even my pilot is not my forte. So I decide not to go.

Boo……

My brave and very fu friend still goes as her daughter volunteered to go with her as her support team

Aren’t they cute?

I talked to her afterwards and she had a good run. She told me that I would have been able to park, but I think she overestimates my ability to park the truck. I’m sad that I missed the day, but it did make me realize something…….

I want to run again. Like many runners, I miss in person events and can’t wait to go to one. I also can’t wait to actually race….. Like race at my limit…….. Push myself till my sides hurt.

I did that today. I didn’t want today to be a washout, so I laced up and went on the treadmill. I did a 5 minute warmup walk. Then I cranked up the pace and ran. Unfortunately, I forgot to start my Garmin right away, so I had to actually run more than a 5K, but all is good.

It was hard……. I was pushing as hard as I could. I was sweating…….. At the end, my side was literally hurting……. It felt freaking awesome to push that hard. To go to the limit. To know that if I do what I need to do, I can get where I need to go.

Done is done

When you stop comparing yourself to others……… When you stop comparing yourself to what you once were…….. When you stop thinking about what you wish it was……….. Most of all when you get out of your own way, it is amazing to see where you actually can go.

till next time!

Embrace The Suck

Yesterday  I needed to go for my long run of 15 miles.   I knew going in that the run might be difficult, so from the very beginning I said that my motto for this run would be:

Embrace The Suck!

As I was beginning my run, I chuckled and thought to myself that it kind of is a metaphor for life too.    Now hear me out.    Sometimes in life things are going suck.   Things are going to go wrong.    Things are going to be hard.   And sometimes, things are going to be downright shitty.

Yes I know very uplifting, but we all know that life isn’t always a bowl of cherries.    The thing is that you have to embrace the suck to get to the good stuff.   You have to push through it when it’s hard.   You have to dig your heels in and just keep moving forward.   You have to know that at the end of the suck is something good.  You have to just keep going, because if you stick around long enough  you come out that much stronger.

strenght

So with that being said, I embraced the suck of yesterday’s 15 mile run.    As I said I knew it would be suck some for a few reasons.

  1.  It’s a long run and they usually suck.
  2.  I need new sneakers
  3. I’ve been messing up with my meds

So I went out with the mindset that no matter what, I would embrace the suck.   Do what I needed to do and get my run in.    The goal was to finish no matter what.   I felt like this was a long enough run to gage some things for New York and what I need to do in the next 46 days.

I have realized that it takes my body normally a good 3 miles to get into the rhythm of a run.   This morning was no exception.    Then I realized that I did not take my morning meds, so I ended up looping my run back to my house so that I could do so.    This was more necessary because I’ve been a little off with my timing lately. (Don’t worry, I’m trying to be better).    Anyway, meds taken and out the door I went.   It was hard.   I was sweating like I ran in a sprinkler, but I was embracing the suck and moving forward.    I was running where I should be especially for the distance keeping an average  pace in the 12’s &  13’s.    By mile 10, I was feeling a little off.    For me I can tell when my levels are dipping because I feel like a twitch in my face even if it’s not visible and some tingling/numbness in my hands.    I was prepared and did have some Calez (powdered calcium) to add to my water.    I am thinking for the marathon to fill all my bottles up with this and then just get plain water at the water stations.

I pushed forward.   By almost miles 13, I was out of water which is never good.   Luckily, I plan my runs so that I am never far from a friends house or place I can stop at.   I took my smelly sweaty self into a bistro where I purchased the most delicious chilled Gaterade and a bottle of water to refill.    Then off I went embracing the suck.

Here’s the thing….  As sucky as it was, it was also good.    I did feel stronger at the end of my run.   I did feel confident and the end of my run.    I did realize that running alone through the streets will be so much different than when running with 50, 000 of my closest friends who will all be embracing the suck.  I did feel like I could keep running and I did feel strong enough to keep going.   And I also realized that in the end, it is all worth it.

Sticking to the plan.   I may not be going far every day, but at least I am going every day which was the plan.   Last week was a crazy and brutally busy week, yet I still managed to sneak in a run every day.   I’ve even taken to bringing out the night running gear again because even though it may be the last thing I wanted to do, even though it might of been cold and rainy, or even if I had walked miles at a visit to my son’s soon to be college; I still managed to get a run in.

Tomorrow will be 10 days strong on my streak.  Here is what I’ve discovered so far…

  1.  This is NOT something that I would want to do long term
  2. This HAS actually been good for me so far.
  3. Even though time wise my week may not have allowed many miles, I’m finding that I would like to run more than a mile once started.   Seems like a lot of work getting out the door for just one mile.
  4. I AM getting back into a routine.
  5. I AM definitely remember what it is like to run on tired legs even if it’s just a mile.
  6. I AM GOING TO MAKE IT TO DAY 30!

While I am very certain that streaking is not something that I would want to do long term, I do think it was a wise decision to lay it out there to do for thirty days.   Now the question is no longer, “Will I run today?”   but “When am I going to run today.”

There is not thought to it which makes it so much easier.   It takes the excuses out of the equation and just makes them obstacles to overcome.   Yes, I may be tired; but I’ve still got to run.   Yes, it may be raining but I’ve got a rain jacket.   Yes. Yes. Yes.

This week while busy, hopefully will allow some much needed breathing room and maybe even some more time for longer runs.   Although, since my goal right now is 5K’s I really don’t need a ton of miles.    This past week I ran just 11 miles, but they were probably 11 miles that I would not have run before I started this challenge.   It became too easy to find an excuse even a good one not to run.   20 more days with a reason to run.

Here is not hoping that when this challenge is over that I will be back into the routine of running and running some more.   Until then, I will just keep going.

Its-fine

 

 

 

 

Running through the Suck

Yesterday I went for my last long training run before I start to taper for the NY Half.    It was a good training run for a whole different reason than most.   It was good because as a whole it sucked.

Say what?

Going into the run…. I was tired form not getting enough sleep.   The day before I had screwed up with taking my medications.   On top of that on Saturday I had run hills had left my legs sore.

The run was a success for a host of reasons.   First, I pushed myself out the door to go.   Second, I did not shorten it and got the 11 miles in.   And lastly, I never gave up.

Aerobically I felt good on this run.   That is something because aerobically, I felt like I could keep going.   But the sore legs, feet hurting, and tingling from low calcium would have been valid reasons to stop.

BUT

I pushed through.   I stopped when needed to stretch.   I walked when needed to.   I used extra cal-ez and reminded myself to drink it which helped with tingles.   This run makes me realize that I will finish this half no matter what.   All runners no matter their health have good running days and bad one.   This is why we train.   So on those bad running days, we know that we can still get it done.

They say that to be a runner, you must learn to be comfortable with being uncomfortable.   Pain is not always your enemy.   You just need to know where the line between pushing through and when your body has had enough.   You can only do that by training.   Yesterday’s run was uncomfortable, but a good uncomfortable.

After the run, a friend texted me

“I am proud of you for running through the suck….. this is getting used to a different normal for you, and it is that much harder for you than another runner.”

And that my friends is why we train.

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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:)