Training for a marathon seems to take forever. From the moment you sign up, you start thinking about what plan you are going to follow. Then it’s actually implementing. Even harder yet….. Sticking to the plan.
So here we are 7 days out and it will be what it will be.
Am I ready?
Surprisingly, I feel ready. I did not follow the plan to the letter T or probably not even close. That being said, I still feel ready.
Shocking I know…. But I do.
I think the biggest thing is that I really adjusted expectations. I adjusted what I thought I should do with the reality if what I might be able to do. Most of all, I know that if I am not an idiot, don’t go out too fast, and do what I need to do the finish line will only be 26.2 miles away.
Easy Peasy lemon squeazy
Ok, not at all but it is in reach. I have trained. My legs have done it before. Mentally I am in the right place. I am looking forward to it.
So now this week it will be putting the finishing touches on the logistics. It helps that I have reached my fundraising goal for Sandy Hook Promise too. That takes some of the pressure off.
Last week I had a bake sale. Have I mentioned that I LOVE to bake. I also LOVE to share baked goods and message of Sandy Hook Promise. I just about sold out. Had lots of generous donations and reached my goal….. That makes it worth it.
More later this week, but just wanted to let you know I’m ready as I will ever be. Today final “long run” at only 10 miles. Went with some friends and was a good run. It’s always nice to end with a good run. This week some short 3 milers to keep legs loose.
So since this is supposed to be a running blog, I thought I would do something novel and actually talk about my running…. I know, shocking!!!
As you know my training for NYC Marathon has been all over the place. I started off great following my training plan right up until I didn’t. And while my training hasn’t been stellar with following the plan. I feel (especially after yesterday) that I have been doing ok.
You know the expression….. You do you
Well I have been doing me and it has been working. With all my issues both mentally and physically, I just started loosely following the plan and doing what I felt would work for me. Before all my issues, I’ve followed training plans to the letter T (what does that even mean?) with great results. The problem with cookie cutter plans is that when you are not the ”ideal” runner, they might not work for you. Even though I took that into consideration in the beginning, I took it to the next level recently. After yesterday, I would say it has worked for me.
What have I been doing?
Well not as much running as my plan has called for. On days where I had foundation runs, I might have done HITT, biking, combo of biking/running, or even yoga. Since my goal has never been about time, I really stopped worrying about training runs where I needed to hit certain paces/training zones. I would do the run my way. Once I got back on ”schedule” with my plan, my biggest thing was to make sure that I was getting in the miles for long runs which is really where I was lacking. Even then I needed to make sure not to jump my miles too quickly as I was behind. So I adjusted.
Having run multiple marathons, I also know what works for me in training and what doesn’t. I know runners who feel the need to run multiple 20 mile training runs for their marathons. I have done them and I know that for what ever reason they don’t work for me. I find them defeating. I find them hard in a way that is not good for me mentally going into an event. They just don’t work for me. I would much rather do 16 to 18 miles and then the next day do a few miles on tired legs. This works for me.
Now all that being said, yesterday I went out for my longest run this cycle and I started at noon which is about the time that I will be starting NYC. I wanted to see how my body would be at that time of day as normally I run right after I take my morning meds.
It went well. To be honest, it went MUCH better than I expected. I continued with the walking the first 3 miles as I ALWAYS start off too fast. Plus since being Hypopara it does seem to take my body a bit to warm up. Then my goal was to keep the pace in the mid 12’s. To keep it at a level that I felt that I could run more than walking. There was no walk/run time. There was just doing what I could. I found that if I paid attention to pace, ran the “slower” pace, and didn’t try to run something I can’t sustain that I could run. I could run without the need to walk. Now don’t get me wrong…. There was walking, but there was much more running.
In order to conserve my battery, I did the first 6 miles with no music. Just me and my thoughts. I am not a runner who minds being alone and it was nice. Maybe a little boring, but I reminded myself that NYC will not be boring. I normally do not listen to music on race day as I LOVE to listen to the crowds, the runners feet hitting pavement, and just taking it all in. Out alone in my town though it does get boring.
Holding back is what I realize that I need to do if I want to have a good day. Yes, I can run faster BUT I can not sustain those paces AND they are not good for my body or feet. As you can see, I kept a fairly steady pace. At the end though, I wanted to push it to see what I still had in the tank. You know the Finish Strong mentality. I pushed it to the point that my arms literally went numb (you know the feeling like you laid on them). It was a good training run both mentally and physically.
What I learned…… Starting later, I do need to adjust my calcium intake. At mile 10, I added Calez to my water for added calcium but maybe I should start earlier. I also need to add more as miles add up. Maybe even taking a calcitrol at some point during run. This is why my arms/hands went numb at the end. As soon as I finished my run yesterday, I came inside and popped 500 mg calcium and a .25 calcitriol as I felt a crash coming. This also may have been due to the faster pace at the end. Either way, I need to pay attention and adjust accordingly. One thing with calcium levels is that they fluctuate and you have to pay attention to the signs to adjust with them.
Another thing that I made a mistake on yesterday, but to me I think it was a beneficial mistake……. I forgot my bag of fuel. This time around, I have been trying not to use gels but more natural (ok still processed) food. Since I started at 12, I didn’t eat lunch. So I ate a protein bar before starting out. I had a bag of almonds and some bars with me. I left the bag on counter, so I only had one Nutrigrain bar for the entire run. I ate half at mile 6 and then finished off around mile 12. While not ideal, I view this as a win because just think of how much better my body will feel when properly fueled on course. Learning to run/push when the tank is literally empty is not a bad thing.
When I came home, I stretched. I took added meds. I had a chocolate cake batter smoothie (Sadly no actual cake batter, but healthy proteins). Then I soaked in some epsom salt. Followed by the use of my foot massager. Overall recovery was good. Although I know that I did not replenish both water and nutrients enough. We ordered Thia food and I really couldn’t even eat much as I wasn’t hungry. Weird…. but I will do better today.
Today as I sit here typing, I feel good. I feel like I just ran 16 miles yesterday. My feet are sore, but normal sore. My legs are tired, but normal tired. I will do some restorative yoga and be kind to my body. I will also make sure today’s smoothie has some properties that will benefit recovery.
I am at the point in my training where I am admitting that I have now failed in my training. That my training has gone off the rails. That I am not where I should be in my marathon training. That family events (passing of MIL), injuries (dealing with feet), flooding (we weren’t so bad, but dealing with flooded basement is exhausting), and just life in general has pushed training to back burner. I will say though that at least the burner is still on, so I am continuing to move foward.
This really is the time in everyone’s training where it is time to re-access and take stock. For some, they can realistically turn it around to possibly make any goals and tweak their training. Others will look at this as a time to decide weather even running is an option as they know they will not be happy with doing their best. For someone like me…. I am just adjusting expectations and I am ok with that.
Here is what I’ve got going for me….. My experience and my attitude.
Here is what is working against me….. My feet and not being where I should be in training.
So how to reconcile the two?
For me, it is and always been about expectations. Yes, I thought going into my training that I would be in a different place. My training started off great. I was following the plan. I was doing well. I was right on track, but we must remember that sometimes the tracks twist and turn. You have to be willing to twist and turn with them. So I am adjusting expectations which I am ok with. I was never going to win the NYCM. I was more than likely never going to finish under 5 hours which honestly in beginning I thought maybe just maybe would be doable. I used to be a upper middle pack runner, but those days are long gone.
I am a middle aged woman who is overweight with medical issues who also has feet that are not always happy.
For me…… Crossing a finish line of the NYC Marathon is a victory.
Now I do know for others, that not crossing in a certain time is a failure but failure is defined by how you define it in this situation.
I know my strengths. I have legs that dont give up and I do have the muscles and muscle memories to prove it. I also have the desire to get to the finish line. I also have the experience of completing 7 marathon’s (8 if you count a virtual one that I walked last year). 3 of these marathons are NY. I also have the knowledge that knowing my favorite marathon was my last in person NY which was also my slowest at 6:20:41 as I just took it all in. I ran some. I walked much, but I just enjoyed the experience. It is also the marathon that I remember the most about as I took in the crowds, the sites, and the people on the course.
I also know that I just really don’t care that much about my times anymore. OMG!!! Am I allowed to say that out loud? Yes, yes I am. Now don’t get me wrong….. everyone runs for their own reasons. There is nothing wrong with being someone who is running for time. I used to and I may again but I doubt it. I just want to run, walk and everything in between and feel good about it both physically and mentally.
Here is the thing…. I have a life outside of running. A life that I need to be on my feet for that life. For work – I am a preschool teacher which does not allow for much sitting. I love to bake which requires standing in kitchen. I have soccer games to attend and just life in general. So I can not push my body, my feet, to the point that it effects my life outside of running.
So here I go adjusting expectations …… AGAIN….. But isn’t that what life is about?
Just like when running in a crowded race, you must learn to bob and weave. So with that I am bobbing and weaving yet again.
100 days is so far away, yet so close. 100 days till NYCM. 100 days to worry if my training is not enough. 100 days to doubt if my body can handle it. 100 days to worry about what is going on with the new Delta Covid Variant and how this will all play out.
On top of that…..
100 days to fundraise. 100 days to spend as much time fundraising as I do training. 100 days to continue to remind people of the good work that Sandy Hook Promise does that only happens with fundraising. 100 days to remind people that while I do love running this race is more than about running. 100 days to hit my goal.
Is there anyone who doesn’t take on this challenge who doesn’t question why they are doing it, if they should be doing it, and how you can do it better.
Now don’t get me wrong. Training is going good. Although I have already had some foot pain which is concerning. This are things that lead to doubt. These are things that make me realize that I need to go see my podiatrist. More just to make sure that there are no issues and to see if it is time for new inserts for my shoes. I just don’t want to deal with foot pain all through out training and I did have that pain after running only 8 miles. So there is concern.
One thing that I hate to admit as I’ve had issues with my feet 20 pounds ago…… The extra weight is not helping when it comes to my foot health. It’s not so much the weight but the weight combined with being prone to having issues with my feet is not a good combo. Although this time the pain was different. It was on the outside of my foot, so I wonder if something else is going on. And while I know the easy solution is to say….. I’m going to loose 20 pounds. That is much easier said than done.
So the reality is that I’m not going to loose the 20 pounds. Unless I plan to go on a very strict diet (which I won’t), I need to figure out some things out.
Should this be my last marathon (thats a hard one)
Do I need to see my podiatrist (yes)
Is it time for new insoles? (Not sure)
Do I need to focus on foot strike and form (maybe)
I really need to not bury my head in the sand like I’ve done in the past and takle this head on. Although I do like to ignore things till they blow up in my face. (Doesn’t everyone or is that just me?)
It annoys me too because this go around I am doing everything that I should be doing. But for now, it is not something that is bad enough to cause me to stop. Besides I already have some ideas – like to spend some of my “foundation runs” with biking. To make sure to spend stretching and just listening to my body.
I not only used it, but I meant it. Well what if now I’m not so bold. If I don’t want to go big? If I don’t want to go bold? Yes, I do like the thought of going home, but before doing that I do want to do some stuff.
I remember when I first started running races and my son who was much younger at the time asked me if I was going to win. After laughing, I told him that not only would I not win but I wouldn’t even be close to winning. He looked at me puzzled and asked then why would I even do it. As runners, we know that is a loaded question!
Anyway….. at the time my answer was about pushing myself to do hard things and such. I’m not really there and haven’t been for a long time. Don’t get me wrong, I have been pushing myself to do hard things but the definition of hard has changed:)
So here is where I am………. Some days, I think…. I am going to get up and run. I am going to do xyz……. Then I don’t……. Then I beat myself up because I didn’t do xyz. You know that viscous cycle. That hamster wheal of shame. I want to get off the hampster wheal. I know that I don’t have the drive that I used to have. I don’t have it for many reasons. That being said, I am not ready to stop challenging myself.
This month will tell me a lot about what I want to do. It will give me some answers to is everything I’ve been fealing hypopara related. I’m going for a sleep study as there is a distinct possibility that some of my exhaustion might be due to sleep apnea. Like literally this morning after a full night sleep I woke up exhausted as did hubby due to my snoring. So we will see where that takes us. I am also doing my 24 hour urine test. If things look good, I would like to up my calcium as I am also tired of living in the low to under calcium levels. Plus as I do more physically, I also need to take more calcium. Your body uses more calcium too, but since your body regulates it you don’t even notice.
What I am thinking for this month is just reset number 1 million and 10. I have been reading the 80/20 training method and before I start it, I probably should finish the book but it seems promising. I also would like to start using all those weights that have been getting dusty. I know I am past my crossfit days, but I really do enjoy training with weights. Plus as they say…. A woman your age should strength train even if my days of massive weights are gone. I would like to do something every day….. Be it a mile walk, biking, yoga, strength training. I think mentally it will be good fo me. Plus I do know that physically it would be good too.
I think though, I am going to give myself some flexibility and lots of slack. Just small goals. No go big or go home goals. Just do something good for yourself and go home:). Small steps eventually get you to the end of the road too!
If ever you have suffered from depression, you learn that sometimes small steps will help you….. Get out of bed. Take a shower. Household chores…. Going to work……. Just going through the motions. Those that have suffered know that these small steps help them to get to a place where they can take the bigger step of dealing with it. Sometimes life really is about fake it till you feel it. And while I am not currently dealing with depression, I am going to utilize this same strategy to get me to the next step.
Take 2! The first published before it saved changes. Those who I text regularly could recognize my crazy voice and fat finger typing without editing……. Plus, I hate when editing does not change:)
Consistency is key to anything. Repetition is what takes something and makes it learned behavior. Think when you learned your multiplication tables. Who remembers those drills, pop quizzes and all those practice, practice, practice. (yeah, maybe that was just me since math was never my forte). You didn’t learn them from osmosis or at least I didn’t. You’ll learned them because you continually worked on them. Practiced until it became instant recall. My son in college seems to be doing this with formula’s I couldn’t even begin to tell you what they are called, let alone their purpose. During the pandemic many took up baking bread. As a baker, I can attest the more you do so the better the end product. Baking bread to many was like a science experiment with many complicated but necessary steps. Over time it became easier to tell when kneading was done. When your dough had the the right texture,and eventually could just do it by feel. There was no second guessing, you just knew.
The same consistency is required with training and creating a workout routine. For most, we need to schedule time for your workout because it is not part of the routine nor necessarily something we are looking forward to (yet) . Eventually with consistency it becomes part of you and it feels strange if you miss it. I’ve mentioned before how my husband transformed himself with loosing weight through the tried and true method of diet and exercise. In the beginning, it was challenge but now he couldn’t imagine a day where he was not doing something physically active. It has become part of him and he looks forward to one of his daily workouts.
It takes bravery to step out and try something new. It takes bravery to commit to something. To put yourself out there no matter how far or near out there you may go. It takes bravery and commitment to say you are going to do something and then actually do it. Even if it isn’t working for you, it is so much easier to stay in the same place. There is comfort in the uncomfortableness of the known because while it may suck at least you know what you are dealing with. To stay with what is comfortable even if it is not where you want to be instead of tiptoeing into the unknown…… So no matter how hard it is to stay in one place, it is always so much harder to take the first step and then the second.
Consistency is needed in beginning of any plan. It is necessary until it becomes part of you.
Some will go far.
Some will go as far as they can.
Some will go fast.
Some will go as fast as they can.
Pace….. Distance…. Events…..
The most important thing is to be true to yourself. With that thought process, I’ve been plugging away on my half marathon training plan. I’ve been sticking to the program which I admit is much easier to do with a treadmill now. I used to hate treadmill running (and part of me still does), but since I’ve discovered watching shows on Netflix while running it isn’t bad. I also credit the treadmill with allowing me to reboot my training and keeping me in check with where I should be running for that reason alone I owe it some love. That being said, you can’t race from a treadmill which means you need to also do some training outside.
This week for the first time since I started following my Half Marathon training plan, I took the run outside. I didn’t watch my watch, but wanted to test myself and run by feel. I wanted to keep the run conversational for the most part, but also make it a worthwhile training run. So I chatted with myself. Tested how I felt and kept myself where I thought I should be running. Hours later I looked at my paces and info from my run and I surprised myself. I hit the paces that I should be hitting. I actually had surprisingly beautiful negative splits. Most of all and this is the best part…… I enjoyed the run. There was no beating myself up because I wasn’t hitting certain paces, that I was running too slow or any such thing. There was knowledge that I was doing what I should be doing and that was enough.
Sometimes that is more than enough. I know that if I pushed myself that I could hit faster paces, but for now this is not a tradeoff I am willing to make right now. I also realized that this was enough. It is always enough. I might actually be able to push myself faster and harder, but the cost to do so is one that I am no longer willing to pay. We all have to decide what we want. What we are willing to give up. What we are willing to trade off. What we are willing to work for and what is not worth the work. These are individual choices that no one can make for us. There is no one size fits all and that is ok.
What choices are you making today? Remember not making a choice is still a choice, so choose wisely my friend
I’ve thrown my hands up giving myself up to enjoy the ride
I’ve wondered if I was foolish to even get on as it begins to take off. The anticipation while you wait in line, strap yourself in and begin to take off wondering if you are up for what lies ahead. The thing is once the ride takes off, you have no choice but to buckle in and make the best of it. You can scream. You can laugh. You can throw your hands up and just enjoy the ride. Doesn’t matter what you do because once it takes off, you are commited. Sometimes you think you have reached the end of the ride only to realize that you are going around another bend.
A few times I’ve thought that I reached the end of my roller coaster ride only to realize how wrong I was. I think I am really finally coming into the station of acceptance with my 2016 post surgery Hypopara running. You may be thinking…… it has taken since 2016. Acceptance isn’t as easy as it sounds. Then there are the times where you think you have reached the stage of acceptance only to realize that you have just been getting by and really have not. Letting Pride really keep you from making it to the end.
Here is the thing. Since my 2016 surgery left me Hypopara, I kept trying to push myself to run at a pace where I no longer was physically able to run. Mind you I knew that I was no longer at a run sub 2 half pace, but I still never embraced where I should realistically should be running even if at times I thought I did.
Recap for new followers –
For about two years or so before my surgery, I was working with an amazing coach. With her guidance I ran a sub 2 half marathon, a 50K, and I was able to even run a 26:26 5K. I was at the top of my game and I even timed my surgery to be after running the 2016 NYC Marathon. I’ve said it before, the surgery was just going to be a blip.
Until is wasn’t.
Then I kept riding the roller coaster knowing that I was the same, but trying to be something that I wasn’t. Not to say that I won’t be again, but not now. After surgery, I origionally was over medicated so I was able to keep my running up. Then realization that I could no longer keep calcium levels up in the 9’s but for safety of kidney’s . Needing to keep levels just below or at normal level’s. Doesn’t sound like much but for those of us with Hypoparathyroidism, we can tell you that there is a BIG difference how one feels with calcium at a level 9 compared to 8.2 or even 8.5. I also think that for right now I have found a happy medium where my calcium has been around 8.4 last couple times. The balancing act is real.
Anywho…… for the longest time a year or two after my surgery I kept trying to run paces that while much slower than my 2016 paces but realistically were not paces that I should be running. The thing is that I really couldn’t maintain them either. I did a lot of running too fast. Needing to walk and then running again. Then with the 20 pound post surgery weight gain and everything else, running a 10:45 pace was not where I should be even though at the time I thought that was “slow.” I remember posting in a group that my former coach runs about having to walk during my runs and I’m paraphrasing because honestly I don’t remember exactly what she said even if I remember the meaning behind what she was saying. She basically said that I was walking because I was running too fast and maybe (I add that in my mind) pride was the reason. Even though I knew the truth of her words, like many not willing to accept reality I blew off what she was saying. Although if there is one thing anyone who has worked with Caolon knows…… She knows what the (beep) she is talking about even if you choose not to hear her.
So I went on….. and on….. and on…… until I finally gave up running completely. I spent months just walking. I walked and walked and walked some more. I even walked a virtual marathon. Then I was ready to run again. I wanted to run again. There was beauty in having not run for a long time. I was 100% starting from the beginning and needed to respect starting from scratch. My mind was in the right place this time. I also think that deciding not to train by pace but heart rate helped because it gave me the ability to learn where I should be running to actually run.
So here I’ve been just running and training. 100% recognizing that pace is not the goal right now. That the goal is to find where I should be running and run there. I’ve been embracing the running and am now following a training plan for the NYC Virtual Half. I am only using the plan for milage and training not following anything by pace. It has also been helpful that even though I hate it, I have been running on the treadmill. This is good because it does allow me to control pace that I’m running at without concern that I end up running at a pace I shouldn’t be.
I’ve also realized pace is irrelevant to me right now. I am more concerned with being able to run without leaving myself and my body depleted. Since running by heart rate and finding the correct pace while still pushing myself, I have realized that I have not been getting muscle spasms. I am not depleted to the point where I NEED (not want) to nap and most of all I can function in my day to day life.
Last week I ran a hard 5K.
Then this week in training I ran 4.5 running 4 without stopping and feeling good. I did this running average pace of 12:37. This “hard” run was literally a minute faster than what I used to do my easy runs at. So today I needed to run 7 miles, my longest run so far this training cycle. Since this was a long run that meant I need to run slower. I started off with a 5 minute warm up walk and then when I hit every mile I walked for 45 seconds. I’m not sure that I actually needed the walk, but it did break up the treadmill running. Who knows what that would parlay to outdoor running, but for right now I am happy to be running, not feeling like I can’t do it, and feeling like I could do more when I stop.
I’ve been thinking a lot about accepting where I am lately. I realized that while I thought I had accepted where I am right now that I really had not. I do think that this roller coaster ride is finally coming into the station. Acceptance does not mean that I won’t push to try to do better. It does not mean that I can’t work to do better in the future. It does not mean that I won’t have days where things bother me. It just means that I am ok with where I am today.
Often in life we hold on when we should let go. We dig in deep instead of walking away. We hold on too tight for fear of loosing something when we know it’s time to loosen our grip. It’s hard. Our instinct is to tighten our grip because while it is hard to hold on, letting go is even harder.
We see this with so many parts of our lives and the lives of people we know. Everything in society and media reinforces this –
Don’t Give Up
Hold on Tight
The Only Thing Holding You Back is Yourself
Push Yourself to the Limit
Yes, sometimes this is true. Sometimes we do need to hold on tight, not give up, and push ourselves to the limit. There are also times that this does not work for us and actually does us a great disservice. The trick is to know when that is the right advice and when it is time to call it a day, let it go.
I’ve talked about letting go in the past. Sometimes we let go only to grab back on and don’t even realize it. It’s a long and tedious process. Holding on tighter and thinking we are doing what needs to be doing.
I’ve been finding that starting over with no expectations has been both surprising and good. It’s actually much harder than you think because we all have expectations. Sometimes in order to find yourself, you need to let go of all that is holding you back. All the expectations that are actually hold you back and don’t let you move forward.
As mentioned before, I recently started training for my virtual NYC Half. I was looking forward to actually training and have been going by heart rate and not pace. It has been freeing to not watch my pace. It’s been harder than I thought to try to not push to run faster. Although do not confuse this with thinking that these are not hard runs. To not feel like I am failing because I am trying to maintain something that for now I have no business trying to maintain. It has taken away disappointments of not hitting paces, not maintaining paces, or dealing with the effects of doing so. Effects from my Hypoparathyroidism like muscle spasms, muscles cramping, and recovery that more than your average recovery.
Last time I was training for NYC Marathon, I was training to run a sub 2 half which I ended up doing. I still remember pushing during the race. I remember feeling confident in my training. I vividly remember the last push to the finish line and so much about the day. That was where I was then. I recently found a slip of paper with paces that I used for a training run and it struck me how different my running is now. How much has changed in such a short time and how long it has taken me to realize different isn’t bad, just different.
I also know that there are so many that have Hypoparathyroidism that would love to run the paces that I am running. That would love to be healthy enough to even run let alone train for a Half Marathon. No I am not where I used to be, but I am still able to do so much and should appreciate it for what it is not what it used to be….. not what I want it to be…… not for what I think it should be…… for what it is.
When you take pace off the table and just listen to your body, you might actually surprise yourself. Yesterday I went for a 4 mile treadmill run. Although my treadmill and my Garmin have differing average paces, I felt good with the pace. This run was just right for where I am now. It was hard, but it was also doable. It is where I should realistically be and it where I should be running. Dreams are necessary and worth striving for but living in reality is necessary too.
Time to lay it out there.
Time to be proud of where I am because I should be proud of it
What if there is no easy answers? What if we have no idea what tomorrow will bring? What if as each day is just like the day before, we still have no idea what the future will bring? How do we plan? How do we accept not knowing? How do we move forward and not stay stuck in limbo?
Why are there so many questions and not enough answers?
What if it is easier to ask the questions than answer them?
When will this happen?
When will that happen?
On and on it goes with no clear cut answers. No answers that you like. No answers that make things easier. No answer that doesn’t lead to another question.
What if I tell you that it won’t always be like this? What if I tell you that even in the best of times that tomorrow was never promised? That plans fall through. That life is more complicated and much simpler than we every realized. That even when you make plans, sometimes plans change. Sometimes things that you never thought would happen…. happen. Things that you only dream of….. happen.
Right now so many of us feel in limbo. We miss people that we now have to be “socially” distant from which really just means physically distant. Do you even remember the last person not in your home that you gave a hug to before this all started? Have you thought about how good it will be to give that person a hug when this is all over? I, honestly, can’t remember the last person that I hugged and that makes me sad. Althugh I believe it would have been either my mother or my friend, Jen; but I’m not sure. It was such a normal thing that at the time I might not have given it a second thought.
Second thoughts are the problem now. Second, third…. a million. We are all searching for answers but right now there are no answers. That is hard for so many reasons. How do you plan for the future when you don’t know. So many things that we took for granted before are now gone. A hug goodbye. The ability to pop in on a friend. The knowing that even if plans had to change that the world didn’t. As hard as some people want to put this pandemic behind us, it is here in our lives for a while. We have no choice but to give up the reigns and that is a hard pill to swallow.
Right now many people are planning for fall races. I was asked if I wanted to be part of the Sandy Hook Promise Team and as much as I support their cause…….as much as I like to plan….. as much as I want to; I just don’t think I can for several reasons but I go back and forth.
My first thought really is how much harder this year it would be to fundraise. People are hurting and many disposable income is gone. Businesses that have been very supportive in the past are doing all they can to survive now. While these last 2 years I have had great success with my fundraising and had expected to do it again this year, I just can’t see how that would be possible. It bothers me too because I think Sandy Hook Promise mission is worthy of all of our support.
On top of that honestly, I know so many runners are holding out hope of fall races but I don’t see how that can happen. How in a matter of months can NYC expect to host an event with 50,000 runners and their supporters. It seems like a foreign thought to me. For those holding out hope, I hope I’m wrong. It will be a strange November without a NYC Marathon but I’m sure the people of Boston felt the same way.
It is hard to plan for the future when the future is so uncertain. For me, that means just doing the things that I can do daily to make my life seem like I am not a house plant.
Exercise Daily – Check
Shower Daily – Usually
Daily walk – Usually
Try not to eat all the chocolate – I’m trying
For me…. Making a conscience effort not to plan is my plan. I would love to plan for a fall race, but I just don’t see how that can be. I would rather let that go now as, for me, that is what I need to do. This is not to say that I am giving up planning and doing. I am just going to plan and do things that are in my control. Right now I am in the process of deciding weather I want to run the NJ Parkway (172.4 miles) or the NJ Turnpike (117.2 miles) – Virtually, of course. There is an online challenge where you are in control from running the distance of the boardwalk (28 miles) to going as far as taking the Jersey Devil challenge (579 miles). These distances will be run starting May 15 through July 15th. Mile wise I’m leaning towards the Turnpike but I’m more of a Parkway girl, so I have not figured it out yet. That will be something I control.
So, for me, when the world is our of my control; I will take the control back where I can. How I can.
Many people want to head straight for the finish line before they have even gotten to the start line or even started training. I, myself, am no exception. Patience isn’t always my specialty or a virtue that I posses. To be honest, I’m not sure that I have any specialty but live by the expression Jack of all trades. Master of none. That’s me. I’m cool with that. A little of this. A little of that.
Right now like so many people staying at home, I’ve got a lot of time on my hand. I’ve filled a lot of it with baking. This week alone I have made Mocha cupcakes with espresso buttercream, Rose Water Cupcakes with Rose Water buttercream, and today I’ve made bagels for the first time. That is a lot of goodies. I need to balance out these extra calories with a more sedentary lifestyle by adding more exercise.
I’m not sure if I mentioned that we semi converted our garage into a home gym. We don’t have a lot but we’ve got more than others and enough to get the job done. I’ve also been dabbling with the Nike Training App which currently has free upgraded access to the premium workouts. I’ve really been enjoying the workouts. They have all different types of workouts. I’ve done tried all the different types (endurance, mobility, strength and yoga).
I will further say that I enjoy the endurance workouts on days that I am not running which due to the weather has been a decent amount. I feel that these will help me push myself while running. The Mobility has been great for cool downs, hip opening, and general flexibility. What I’ve really been spending some time on is the different yoga routines. Several years ago, I regularly practiced at a Hot Yoga studio. It was intense. It was a workout. It helped with flexibility and balance which I could desperately need. I loved it and I really don’t know why I stopped. As I said before, I let other workouts fall to the wayside as I focused more on my running. I’m reminded recently how these all go hand in hand and can be beneficial.
What I also noticed besides how tight my legs are is that I forgot how strong you must be to do yoga. I remind myself that when I am holding my body with up that is a pretty decent amount. I also thought that in order to improve, I will need to continue to practice because as the saying goes practice makes perfect. Although is their perfect in yoga? Just good form which I don’t have either. A work in progress.
So I will practice. I will remind myself that as cool as it would be to be able to a handstand or any of the inversion movements that I must start at the beginning. Like a marathon, you can’t just show up and expect to get to the finish line. So I begin at the beginning with the basics. The basics for me are not so basic anyway. I need to find muscles that I forgot to use. I need a core which has gone MIA. I need to start at the beginning.
It is these beginning steps which make crossing even the smallest finish lines worthwhile. If everything came easy, they would be no sense of accomplishments. And while I have a long ways to go, I am still proud of how far I’ve come even if that just means entering my garage to practice yoga or any workout.
I further admit that I needed to remind myself of all of this because it is easy to throw in the towel and say, “Well I can’t do it.” Really what we need to say is “I can’t do it today but I will eventually be able to do it and if I can’t I enjoyed the process.”