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Can I Do That?

Sometimes there are bigger questions we must ask ourselves. It is not….

Can I do that?

but

Should I do that?

These are very different questions that will bring about very different answers for various reasons. They will often bring very different results too. Often what we should do does not give us the instant gratification we want. It does not bring the smug satisfaction of victory, speed, or getting the last word. It might feel safe. It might feel like the easy way out, but often what we should do versus what we can do is so much harder.

Can I eat that cupcake? Most certainly and it will be super yummy and delicious.

Should I eat that cupcake? No because I really don’t need the empty calories and I might feel guilty about it.

Can I respond sarcastically to that person who is being an ass to me? You bet I can and I will get so much satisfaction out of it too.

Should I respond? Nope, because in the long run it will only create more drama and I know the smart thing is just to walk away with my head held high.

There are so many of these sometimes small, sometimes big questions that come up on a daily basis. Our gut wants the instant gratification that comes with the why not attitude and in some cases it really doesn’t matter. Sometimes it matters. It matters to our piece of mind, our waistline, our health and a whole host of things.

This is where I am now. There might be some people who think I’m being overdramatic with coming off the daily injection of Natpara. They would be wrong. In my Natpara support group, someone is tracking hospital visits. As of today there are 62 who went to the emergency room. 30 admitted to the hospital and 7 of those went to ICU. This is no joke and I know that I am one of the lucky ones whose transition is going ok but if it’s one thing people in Hypopara community know things turn on a dime.

So with this thought in mind, I have been asking myself…..

Can I run faster and longer in training? The answer is probably (depending on the day)…. Yes because aerobically I have the base as I’ve been training. By pushing myself while transitioning off medicine and readjusting I will need to face the consequences….. muscle cramps, tingles, and if I push too hard a calcium crash.

The real question is….. Should I keep trying to run faster and longer in training? The answer is No. Again, I’m not a fast runner anyway. I’ve got nothing to prove and I really would like to get to both NYC Marathon feeling good and cross the finish line without needing to suck down packets of calcium or worse.

So the lesson that is always hard to learn is that while you can do something, it is not always prudent to do it. I proved that with today’s run. It helped that the weather was perfect. I have my low mileage plan and went out to do 6 miles. I went into it trying to keep my pace around 11:30 which is what my Garmin show. Nike is faster, but I’m going by Garmin which shows average pace of 11:37. Not sure why the discrepancy with Nike, but doesn’t really matter.

At these slower paces, I could do it. Yes, I walked some but not as much as I thought I would. I kept telling myself to slow down which is probably not what most runners tell themselves. I’m not looking to run fast. I’m looking to run long. Run far. Mostly I’m looking to not want to fall over when I cross the finish line.

So this may be another 6 plus hour marathon this go around. Oh well. Better to know what I should do than pretend to attempt something that for right now I can’t do.

Be Positive

I’m a pretty positive person. I usually take a wait and see approach to life. Usually don’t focus on the negative. That being said, life is messy and complicated and as much as we want to you can’t always post about rainbows and puppy dogs.

I see people on social media who post nothing but positive things. Even going so far as to apologize if something is miscontrud as negative. I am not judging them as that is their choice, but to me it’s not a real choice as life is not all good or all bad. Pretending otherwise is just that pretending.

Sometimes people are crappy. Sometimes XYZ is Crappy. Sometimes life is crappy. Sometimes you don’t want to put on a happy face and sometimes your just not feeling it. That’s life unless your Mr Rogers. It’s ok to get mad. It’s ok to express frustration, disappointment, and even be what might be considered negative. That’s life as long as you don’t just focus on the negative, that’s ok. It’s a balance.

Life has it’s ups. Life has it’s downs. In order to appreciate the ups, you must acknowledge the downs. Acknowledging the downs does not mean that suddenly you are going to be negative Nelly. It just means you are acknowledging that life is complicated and we don’t live Stepford Lives. I can appreciate the good, while acknowledging the suck.

So right now, I still feel like I’m in a holding pattern. Counting the days till the magic juice runs dry. That is 4. Part of me doesn’t like the holding pattern I’m in. Part of me is grateful for it as it has given me time to prepare….. talk to my doctor, order my meds, plan. But now I’ve done all these things, so now it’s just enjoy these 4 days and worry about day 5.

I’m also angry because I accepted the new normal of having to inject myself every day and take just a few calcium supplements a day. I’m angry because I thought this was going to last more than the 5 months and I should have started sooner. I’m angry because of the lack of information on how long this will take and when the medicine may be available again. I’m angry because I felt like I had my life back.

I’m also feeling a little defeated. Finally start getting things together and now this. And again, I know it could be worse and I’ve been lucky Some people might also think I’m being dramatic. Those people would be wrong and really don’t know the truth of this disorder, my life, or what I do to make things look easy. That being said, you would never say to a diabetic, “Well you’ve only a little diabetics.” Yes, I’m lucky in my symptoms. I’m lucky that I’ve been able to do so much. I’m lucky that my schedule will allow be self care as needed, but I still have Hypopara with all that comes with that.

I’m also nervous and these next 4 days I will probably see more Hypopara stories to make me slightly more. As I said before coming off the Natpara is no joke. In my Hypopara support group, someone tracked that there are already 14 who have had to go to ER with 7 being admitted. Again, don’t know what will happen, but it is a little nerve racking. I, honestly, don’t expect that to happen to me because I’ve never had to in the past. I’m hoping for a smooth transition, but it’s always in the back of your mind. If there is one thing Hypopara people spend a lot of time worrying about is their calcium levels, symptoms, and how to handle it all.

Here’s the crux of it too…….. I’ve got about 7 more weeks till the NYC Marathon. Training for a marathon is no joke under any circumstances. I’ve trained before without Natpara, but I use the word train loosely. I’ve trained prior to being Hypopara. I will admit that there comes a point in every training cycle where it kind of sucks, but you know you’ve got to do it. I can do it again. That being said, I’m going to be doing the dance of adjusting my meds while finishing my training. And did I ever mention that sweat and exercise effect your calcium levels. I’m sure I mentioned it. Luckily, I am usually in tune to my symptoms, have a doctor I can text if symptomatic, and am pretty good about keeping my levels. All while working and taking care of my family. Hmmm.

Lastly, I’ve still got $800 to raise for Sandy Hook Promise in these next few weeks while doing everything else.

Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy.

So while I’m being super Negative Nelly that is also not the true story. Yes, all of these feelings, worries, thoughts are valid but there is another side to the coin. I know that I am lucky. I know that it will work out. I’m optimistic that things will go smoothly. That levels will remain stable and I will just keep on keeping on.

You can recognize the negative while embracing the positive. I always say….. Hope for the Best. Prepare for the worst. Most of all accept it all.

Fire

I’m preparing to start training for NYC Marathon. I’m dotting my i’s and crossing my t’s. Picking my training plan. Kind of doing some pre training. Thinking about goals. All the things that I’m supposed to be doing. With all that being said, I am noticing one thing missing this go around.

Fire.

Don’t get me wrong….. I’m excited to be getting ready to train and run NYC Marathon for Sandy Hook Promise. I’ve got the fire to get to both start and finish line. Let me explain….

When I first started this journey years ago, I had fire and determination. I pushed myself to the limit. I trained. I ran far. I ran fast. I pushed myself to and past limits that I didn’t know I could push through. I got up early. I ran late at night. I had serious goals. Some I reached. Some I didn’t. But I always pushed through.

Now….

I like to sleep in….. I’m comfy on the couch at night. I’m missing that fire to push the limits. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been running (not as much as I thought for pretraining). I’ve been running some local 5K and being pretty consistent in my times. Faster than I thought I’d be. I’ve run 3 5K’s this year. All of them, I said I was just going to run and see what happened. All of them were hard and I pushed myself. All of them I finished around 31 minutes.

Now that being said, I think the reason my fire is a little damp right now is I’m not sure what is going to happen as I start adding the miles. Am I going to fall apart. Is my body which thanks to my Natpara has been feeling good going to give me issues. I’m worried. I like the way I’ve been feeling. You know… feeling like me. I think that I may be afraid to rock the boat. I keep saying I don’t want to go back to how I felt both mentally and physically before I started my Natpara. I love running. I love racing. I love being able to cross any finish line but a marathon finish line is special especially when running for a cause you believe in. That being said as much as I love that…… I love waking up not feeling like grandma. I love not needing a nap in the afternoon. I love not having muscle cramps, spasms and all of those other funky sypmptoms of being hypopara.

So I guess what I will say is…… I have the fire, but I’m afraid to let it burn too brightly right now. I’m going to tend to it. I’m going to care for it, but I’m not going to let it burn out because while I love running; I love being able to live my life like I did before my surgery.

If there is one thing about being hypopara is that it does make you more cautious. Where I used to throw caution to the wind and let the chips fall where they may because I knew I could easily pick up the pieces; I don’t do that now. When they fall, they fall too hard and it takes too long to pick them up.

So I will go into my training following a very low key plan. I will put in the miles. I will do what I need to do and as the 3 miles turns 5 and so forth and so forth; I will reassess. I will adjust. What I will not do is stop….

So I guess I do have more fire than I thought:)

Recovery Done Right

I will give you that most people don’t need to spend time recovering from just a 5K. I will give you that in the past even at my longest most grueling races, I haven’t really been good about recovery.

Case in point: I ran Dirty German 50K. I crossed the finish line. Since I was doing the race solo, I ended up getting food, gathering my stuff, and diving the few hours home. When I ran the Marine Corps Marathon, I was with my sister and mother. I grabbed some food. We grabbed an Uber back to our hotel that we were already checked out of and we did the long drive from DC to NJ. At least I only drove till we got to the first rest stop where I changed out of my race gear. Then my sister drove. At every NYC marathon, it is hours before I finally make it home to change and clean up.

You see a pattern here.

It’s not a good pattern, but one most can recognize. Running races usually means traveling to event even if it’s in driving distance. Most of us also usually have to get back to a day to day lives relatively quickly without a lot of time to relax.

Besides training, elite runners have an edge when it comes to recovery. It’s part of the job description because they know they need to take the time and they do. Granted, they might not need as much recovery as the rest of us but they also build it into their training. Why do those of us who probably need it more than they do, not take the time?

As said before……. We usually have to get back to our daily routines. We are usually feeling guilty for the time we take to train and do an event that taking that extra step makes us feel a little more selfish. It’s not selfish though. It’s part of training. One that we usually ignore to our own peril.

I am trying to be better which tends to happen when your body forces you to access what it needs. Yesterday it was easy because time was on my side. First I stretched after race. Then I came home and soaked in an Epsom salt bath. Then off to a nice lunch followed by a short nap. If all that wasn’t decadent enough……

I went for a Spa Pedicure that included a hot towel wrap with 10 minute leg massage. Then at completion of pedicure a 10 minute neck and shoulder massage. Pure heaven.

And while maybe a 5K didn’t need this much of a recovery, why not enjoy it when I have the time. Plus outside of my quads today, I am feeling pretty good. Everyone should be sore the day after pushing it in a race.

I am working on not just working so hard, but realizing that if I am going to push it to the limit that I also need to allow time to recover. Not view it as treating myself, but viewing it as necessary. I am turning 50 next month. As the saying goes, I am not getting any younger but that wont stop me. What will stop me is if I don’t realize that I am worth the extra time and not only am I worth it but it is necessary.

Train hard.

Race hard.

Recovery just as hard.

Finding the Joy

It’s the end of the year which means that many people are accessing how they reached their goals for the year, setting new goals for next year, or just counting the miles. This time of year can make you both sad or happy depending upon where you are with you goals. Then there is me who is ambivalent. It is what it is and kind of where I expected.

According to m Garmin, I was at 392 miles for the year. While I do know there were some runs that weren’t calculated due to not wearing watch, it’s probably not too far off.

There is a saying…

Here is another thing.

Sometimes that isn’t even true. I’m not even in competition with myself. I just am at the point where I want to find the joy in running again. I’m working on it too.

How am I doing that?

I stopped running. As I’ve said before I have not run since I completed the NYC Marathon. I’m glad that I haven’t. I have thought about it, but that is as far as it went because I’ve taken it off the table. I have had no real desire to run. Nope. Nadda. I see you out there running and think, “that’s nice” not “I wish I was out there.” Even on these perfect December running days

Now this does not mean I’m done. It just means that I wanted to be able to put my energy into Christmas. Being a frequent napper already, I don’t think I would have been able to do it all and everything would have suffered. There would be no joy. I want the joy. I want to feel like running is my release and not a job.

So here is how I plan to find the joy……. I’m going back to basics. Come January, I am starting the Couch to 5K. Now I realize that I ran a marathon in November and I really don’t need to go back to this because it’s only been 2 months, I want to find the joy. I don’t want to feel like I should be doing more. I want to just take it back to square one where I fell in love with all that running brought me. I don’t want the pressure (that I put on myself) that I should be doing more. Follow the program and call it a day.

This will go in line with my 2019 goals. No goals to PR. No goals for longer distance. Goals (for me) to just find the joy. I want to just run my town’s local 5K’s (for the fun of running in my town). I want to enjoy the experience of it.

I also plan to start cross training again. I miss that more than I miss running. I also feel like that would do me good. I’ve gained a lot of weight. I’m the heaviest of been without being pregnant and while I really don’t care about the number, I do think it’s not good for my health because I am no longer fit.

So fitness, fun and most of all joy will be my goal. Everyone has to chase a goal that works for them at where they are. For today, for this coming year, for me….. this is where and what I need.

What are your goals?

My Race. My Pace.

We have all head the mantra, My race.  My pace.   Sometimes it’s hard to believe, but it is so true.   Sometimes we get so caught up in thinking about our pace that we miss out on the beauty of running.

For those who have been with me a while know that the run/walk method was really not something that I chose but that chose me.    Although I knew many people who for various reasons used this method it never appealed to me because I was always worried that if I started walking it would be harder to start back running when needed.    I was wrong.

Here is something that I noticed.   Before the walk/run method, I would invariably walk during a marathon, long run, or bad day.   It was hard to start running again because usually I would wait till I couldn’t push it to walk.   That is no longer the case.   I walk BEFORE my body needs it.   I start when the buzzer goes off.   I stop when it goes off again.

I like it. I really like it.

Currently, I am using the 3:30 to 45 run/walk ratio.   This seems to be a good fit.   I finally adjusted my Garmin setting to see current pace and lap pace.   This is something that I hope to work on because my running pace has not been consistent.   So yesterday I went for 10 miles trying to keep my running pace around 11-11:15.    My miles were pretty consistent and my overall run had a pace of 12:08.    This is right where I wanted to be and I am happy with this run.   Plus I feel pretty good today which is a major bonus!

I am happy with where I am with my running.

Here is the thing though…….   I have never had what I call the Balls to Wall mentality in my running.   Not to say that there wasn’t a time where I dreamed of a 4:30 marathon or pushed myself to do a sub 2 half.   It is just that even when I was training consistently with a coach I did not always go out fast every run.   Most of my runs were at a slower pace and then there were days where it was about speed.  I wanted that for me and was willing to work for it.    I have never been about running hard and fast all the time.   Maybe I’m just too soft:)

Here is the  another thing though…..

There is nothing wrong with being too soft.   Although I don’t consider it being soft really.    Every person has a different reason for running.    Everyone gets something different out their running.   A wise person said to me, “I want to be able to “compete” in my own way.”

Yup!

There is no wrong way to train and “race.” (ok there are wrong ways, but I’m talking different paths).    Not everyone wants to stand on the podium.   Some of us want to just be out on the road.   The beauty of running is that there is more than enough road for all of us.

I will further admit that I am knocking on 50’s door in less than a year.   I came to this party late.   Only starting to run in my mid 40’s.   So for who I am and where I’m at, I’m doing ok.    I have never wanted my running to feel like a job which I admit when training for a marathon it usually does near the end.  That being said, overall I want to enjoy my runs.   I don’t want to beat myself over my running.   Life can be hard enough without that added stress.

So what am I trying to say here…..

I guess I’m trying to say whether  you are a front of the pack runner,  a middle of the pack runner,  back of the pack runner or don’t even run it a pack; it’s ok.    Running is  simple but not a simple thing.   Like anything in life you can make it as complicated as your want.   For me, right now, I want uncomplicated.   I want to enjoy my running for all that it brings me…… great workout, even better friends, and most of all the way it clears the cob webs out of my mind.    There are those who may not understand my lack of balls to the wall mentality and that’s ok.   They are on a different path than me and each much not only choose their path but enjoy it while they are there.

Life is too short not to enjoy where you are in your journey.

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Getting It Done

The thing about having an “invisible” illness, a complicated illness, a rare illness is that your start to wonder if it’s all in your head.   It’s easy to do too, because most of the time you keep it to yourself.  Then if you do say something many don’t understand and some will think you are exaggerating.   So after a while you just suck it up and go about your day.   The more you do that, the more you start to wonder if it really is all in your head.  Then you begin to question it all.

Are my legs so sore in  morning because I’m getting older?

Can I not run this fast because I’m just not training enough?

Am I taking it too easy because I forgot how to push myself?

Suck it up Buttercup!

Then you remember…

You do have it.   It is real.   It’s not in your head.   It sucks, but it could be much worse.   Most importantly, your doing the best that you can.

Now the best that I can isn’t what it used to be.   I also know there are many people with this disorder who would love to do what I can do on my worst day. I also  know that I am lucky.   Once when I shared something about Hypoparathyroidism, someone commented to me to my face, “Don’t take this wrong, but everyone has something.”

I was too shocked to do anything but agree with her.   And I do agree with her.   I know that everyone has their own battles.   I will be the first to admit that.   I also know that even the battle that I face could be so much worse.  That being said, just because I share my battles does not mean that I think someone else’s battles are less important.   As the Care Bears used to say, “sharing is caring.”   We all have our stuff and it is good to be able to openly share our battles because it does make the load a little lighter and easier to carry.

These are things that went through my mind on my training run yesterday.   It was the longest run I have done this training cycle.  I notice that it takes my body now a good 3 miles before it gets into the groove of running.   Then I was having some doubts about my running.   Comparing it to the last time that I was training for NY which is crazy because not only was that pre hypoparthyroidism, but I had an amazing running coach who had me hopping.   I never compare myself to other runners, but I do compare myself to where I was which is something that I must stop doing.   I will say that I think I’m in a better place now than when I was training for Chicago.   I do think actually training with the walk/run and following it this time will make for a better race.

Yesterday’s run was good and bad.   That is why we train.   I could start to recognize a pattern.   Start to tweak it.  I also slowed down to wear realistically I should be for my long runs right now.   8 miles with an average pace was 12:23.   I never went into the red zone for my heart rate and kept my heart rate in zone 4 according to my Garmin.   I have recently been trying to pay closer attention to my heart rate as apposed to pace.  I’m also trying to figure out paces for running and walking.   It’s a work in progress, but I am getting it done.  Sticking to the loose plan that I am following.  As the training runs get longer and I approach the NYCM, I want to be able to project approximate target times for distance.   More so that I don’t go out too fast like I did last time.   I don’t anticipate running the paces  I did last time.  If I go out too fast I might not bounce back as I did last time.

 

2016 NYCM

You can clearly see the wall at mile 20.

No Joke.

I think running for Sandy Hook Promise does take the pressure off some and add its elsewhere.   It takes it off because I know that I am not running this for me.  I was serious when I said that I wasn’t planning on any marathons this year.   I am training to be able to run this race as a proud member of the Sandy Hook Promise Team.   Like anyone on a team, your know that it’s not about you.  I don’t want to waste this opportunity given to me.    As I often post with my training runs #26for26.  I am so blessed to be given this opportunity to run for something that I believe in and don’t want to squander this opportunity.

 

Sandy Hook Promise Fundraiser

 

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It’s Only a Month

It’s amazing that I can have run a half marathon literally less than a month ago and feel so out of shape.   I ran a good race too.    I need to get it back together.    I need to get back to not being out of breath and sweating like I’ve just ran a half marathon after teaching a gymnastics class.   Literally drenched in sweat today.

I remember when I was training for my 50K that I ran 6 days a week.   My short run was 5 miles.

Good Times.

Now I’m not saying that I want to get out every day for 5 miles, but I do miss the feeling that I could if I wanted to that I could.    I also know that I need to get back into better cardio shape which might help.   My schedule has not been my own lately, but I’ve decided that I need to stop making excuses and get it together.

So I’m thowing down the gauntlet.

I’m going to start streaking.

Now those of you that know me personally know that I’ve really never been into the concept (for me) of streaking.    I know people who have been streaking for years and I am in awe of them, but have never felt like joining in the crazy.    I’ve done streaks of working out every day, but never running.

Until now.

Although I do plan to limit my crazy.   It will be for 30 days.   Actually 28 because I started 2 days ago.   A minimum of a mile a day for the next month.   I think this might be just what I need to get back on track

This is really something that hopefully should be relatively easy to keep too.   Monday, I start coaching elementary track 4 days a week.   So it should be easy enough to get my mile in those days since I will already be in running attire and out of the house.    There will be challenging days some that I already know of and some I’m sure will crop up unexpectedly but it’s only a month.

A lot can change in a month…..

Here’s hoping.

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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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March 18th

I’m still here.

I’m still training.

I’m still plugging away.

Some days are good and some days are crap.

I try to balance them out, so I don’t feel so bad and out of shape.

March 18th

March 18th

Seemed so far away, but is now so close.

Will I be ready?

Who knows.

I’m trying and that is all I can do.    I’m getting runs in when I can.    I still am only training for distance.   If anything, I am trying to get back to controlling my pace and not let it control me.    My pace currently is slow, but I keep running faster than I should.   If I continue to do that, things will not go well for 13 miles.   I keep telling myself that I just need to finish.  I keep trying to run at what was an easy pace in the past, but is a fast pace now.   It’s easier said than done to change that thought process.

Then I come across a blog post detailing the course and how so much harder it is from the old course.

Thanks.

Just thanks.

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