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Be Where You Are

I’m not where I used to be.    A major part of me knows that is ok.   A small part of me is still coming to terms with it.   I really wish that I could shut that small part of me up, but it’s a work in progress.   I feel that right now everything is a work in progress but isn’t that everyone?   What was once easy is now difficult, but what was once impossible is now possible.   It’s all in the way you look at things.

Moving forward but not giving up.

I’ve said before that mentally I think that I need to run Chicago.    What I need to do though and I’ve said it before is adjust expectations.    Easier said than done, but I am getting better.

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Here’s the thing that I keep reminding myself and coming back to……

I’m not an elite athlete.   I’m not winning any medals except the medals that I earn just crossing the finish line.     I’m not a contender.    Running is not my job and I do not want to make it feel like it is my job either.   There is no hidden agenda in my running.

Here is what I am….

I am a Mama runner who just wants to run.    I want to be able to clear my head by going out for a run.   I want to be able to get a good workout in at the best of my ability.    I want to run with my friends.     I want to be healthy and running is something that both mentally and physically helps with that.

So I’m really trying to let go of where I used to be and hold onto where I am.    I also know that I am very lucky.   There are some people with calcium issues that can’t do anything physically without their calcium crashing.    I also know that I have to be smart with my training for Chicago.   I’ve got a lot going on and I’ve still got a lot to learn with how my body will deal with not just the training but the training in the heat.   It seems to effect me more now.   It’s a learning process.  As a friend a ran with today pointed out, I’ve got a lot of pieces that still need to be put together.

I’m trying to embrace being where I am at and I am very lucky to have a great support system of not just “running friends” but real friends who I happen to run with!    Today I went out with a friend for a few miles.   The weather is in the 80’s with 73% humidity.   With the humidity at those levels, it was brutal.   I did walk when I needed to which “is what it is.”    Even with walking, it was still a hard run.   It was still 6 miles and I still got it done.   And honestly it was overall still a good pace at 12:13.

We all know that running is a mental sport…. From talking ourselves out the door to pushing our bodies to make the impossible possible.    It (and I’ve said this before) is also accepting where you are on a given day and period in your life.   I am where I am today and that is enough.

It is enough…..

To get out the door

To run and to also walk.

To do the best that I can at a given day.

To accept that no matter what pace I’m running, it is enough.

To cut myself a break when needed and push myself when needed.

And most of all….That I am in competition with no one not even who I used to be.

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You Just Have to Go

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again more for me than you:)

I’m not a world class athlete.   I’m not a top 10 finisher.  Although I have had a few good finishes I will admit.   Those have been at smaller events though.   In looking over my races in Athlinks, I can say that I’ve had some good races with some nice paces.  Normally though I admit that I am a middle of the packer.

I’m not many things, but what I am is determined.

I am determined to not to be the fastest or run the furthest, but to just keep going.   At this point it is all I can do and really all I want to do.    I’ve pushed myself to run fast.   I’ve pushed myself to run far.   Right now all I want to do is push myself out the door.   To run with no purpose other than to run.   No agendas.   No plans.

This is not to say that in the back of my mind I don’t have goals or plans.   I do.   Everyone does.    But for right now, getting out the door is enough.

I have no desire to run 40 miles a week that I was running before my surgery.   I would like thought to get out the door at least three times during the week.   I would be happy with 20 miles a week.    I’m not even close to being there yet.

I was having lunch with a friend today and we were lamenting about how easy it is to stop running, but how hard it is to start back up again.   Even when you really have the desire to run.  Routines change.   Excuses are easier to form.   Life gets in the way.    Right now it’s really a day by day thing.   I’m trying to get back into the routine of it all.    It does my heart good o know that I am not alone.  There are a few of us for various reasons all trying to get our mojo back.   I think that now that Spring is on the horizon that will help tremendously.

On today’s run we were talking about how the NJ Half is only a month away.   We are all know that it’s well past time to stop putting off on our training and that we need to get serious.   One thing that I was saying is that although I have been very happy not to have had an event on my calendar every month like in previous years, that it is much easier to put off running when your feel like your calendar is clear.  That will be something I will think about for next year.

For now though I am thinking only about getting out and running.

As I said today…

You don’t have to go far.   You don’t have to go fast.   You just have to go.

This will be my new manta for now.

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So this week is off to a great start with 5 miles in the books.   Tomorrow will be a rest day with some blood work to see how things are going.   Then Wednesday, its time to get back out there.

Do The Right Thing

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

We need to embrace these times too.

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

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

HA!

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

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

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

I’m happy now:)

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

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ROAR!

Facebook is a funny thing.    Some of it I love.   Some of it I don’t and sometimes it depends on the day.   Today was a day that I loved.   I had a memory pop up into my feed of a post from this date in 2013 that read the following:

Ok, I’m putting it out there since it seems to be getting out……I signed up for the September Danskin Triathlon for September. 1/2 Swim in Sandy Hook Bay, 10 mile biking, and 3 mile run (maybe walk). My goal is just to complete it and not die:)

What a great reminder.

When I wrote this post, I was just starting to work out after I’m talking YEARS off and having three c-section babies.   I had not done anything other than chasing kids for a long time.   Even though it was purely by accident that I even heard of the race, it was even a bigger surprise that I signed up for it.   I had a very persistent friend talk me into it.  I’m so glad she did.

This Facebook memory is perfect  after yesterday’s post.  Looking back, I had no business signing up to run a Sprint Triathlon.   I couldn’t swim 2 laps without stopping in a pool and I won’t even mention that I wasn’t swimming with proper form.   Not only did I not have the right bike, but I only ever rode my bike around the campgrounds on vacation.   Then there was the running.   I hated it because I couldn’t do it.   I got winded running out to my car.

None of that mattered at all though.

What I did have was a willingness to push myself.  To take myself out of my comfort zone.    To know that no matter what I was going to give it my all and not give up.   I had passion.   I had drive.   I had attitude.  I may also have been an idiot, but at least I was an idiot who was willing to do what it took.

Part of the reason that I pushed myself so hard was to prove to myself and those who doubted me that I could do it.   Now it is not others doubting my abilities, it is me.   So maybe instead of doubting myself, it is time to prove what I can do.

It is time to go old school (back to 2013).

Time to start setting some realistic goals or for that matter any goals.

Game on.

The Little Runner that Could

One of my boys favorite books when they were little was The Little Engine That Could.   That feel good story about a little train who knew he could get over the mountain and did.   We can all learn from that little blue train.

little-engineSeriously.

How many times do we talk ourselves out of something before we even attempt it?   Believing you can do something will push you to at least try.   Doubting that you can do it will make you say, “What is the point?”    We need to take a lesson from the little blue engine.   Now I’m not saying just because I start chanting, “I think I can.   I think I can.” am I going to  be able to run a sub 3 marathon.   What it does mean though is that if I set a somewhat realistic goal like a sub 4:30, I might be able to do it with lots of hard work.   It’s all abut knowing where you are and pushing yourself to do the things that might be just a little bit hard.

It’s about going out of your comfort zone.

Today I pushed myself out of the relatively comfy running I’ve been doing.   I decided that I needed to push myself from where I am today not 4 months ago.

You know what?

It was a good run.

I had a plan.   I wanted to do 5 miles.   I wanted to push myself to run faster than I have been lately which has been in the mid 11’s.   I also wanted to get back to controlling my pace and not letting it control me.

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It might not look like it, but I felt like I took control back today.   My goal was a warm up mile, 2 miles at 10:30, 1 at 10:15 and 1 at 10:00.   Then I came home and took the dog for a mile walk to cool down.   So I actually got in 6 miles today!

What was different about today’s run.   I went into in knowing it was going to be hard.   It was hard.   What surprised me though is that after I started running I actually tweaked my plan to these paces shaving off 10 seconds for each mile.    Even then I did feel like I had to hold back and I had to keep myself in check.   Overall it was a good run and it was a good confidence booster.

It might have been just what I needed.

I think I can.

I think I can.

I will.

Time to Get Going

You know what they say

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Well I already know from life experience that  I’m pretty tough.   So it is time to get going.  That being said, I will be honest.   I almost didn’t get out the door today.   I’m out of habit.   I’m out of shape and my couch was just too comfy.   Luckily, I had made plans to run with a friend and she texted about going out for our run.  Hard to say I just want to sit on the couch when your friend is texting and your 10 year old is saying “Run Forest Run.”

Out the door I went.

It wasn’t really that pretty.   I have definitely lost stamina while more than likely increasing mass, but I’m not getting on a scale to verify.   No more negative splits.

You know what?

I’m actually ok with that.

You know why?

I’m running again.

It is going to take time to build a base again.   I’m also right where I want to be.   I’ve got 4 months to build back up for the NJ Marathon.   Perfect timing and incentive to get going.

I’ve got this.

 

Moving Forward While Sitting Still

When I wrote my last post about taking the rest of the year off, I really did not know what type of feedback that I would get.   I mean this is a running blog.   I have a lot of amazing running friends.    And again, this is a running blog….

Guess what?

I’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback and nothing negative.   Now this is not to say that people may not have thought, “What the heck is she doing and she’s an idiot.”   If they felt that way, they didn’t say it.  As I said before, I know that I will pay the price for time off my feet.   It is a price that I am more than willing to take though.

Sometimes we put so much internal pressure on ourselves just because we think that we should be doing XYZ and for what?   I know for me, I am not someone who will ever win a race.   I’m not going to ever be a Boston Qualifier.   At this point, I’m not even sure if I will ever get the elusive 4:30 marathon time I’ve been chasing.   This is all internal.   There is no one yelling at me to go faster, work harder, or run further.   To be honest, I think my hubby might like this little break that I’m on even if like me he knows its only temporary.

The end of the year is normal a reflective time for many of us not just about our fitness goals but life in general.   For those of us just coming off of fall marathon season, it is also a time to reflect how our performance measured up to the reality of the race.     This then can add to the pressure.   I’m going to be reflecting on those goals and seeing what if any goals to make for 2017.

I’ll be honest……   As happy as I was to finish NYCM, it was my worst finish time for a marathon for a whole host of reasons I’ve already discussed.   Anyway in my mind, I had dreamed that NY would be the best marathon (time wise) that I would or have ever run.   That is not the reality.  Even though it has been my favorite marathon and I love it, time wise it didn’t measure up.  I didn’t measure up.   Running a marathon takes a toll not just on the body which it beats up pretty badly, but it also takes a toll on the mind.    So just as the body needs a break to recover from running, the mind needs a break from it too.

I was texting a friend who contacted me about my last blog post.    She was saying how she had dreamed about running NY here whole life and although she finished, she was not happy with her time either.   Since the marathon, she has been pushing herself with her miles and paces.   The thing is…….    No matter what she does now, it will not change the outcome of the marathon.   As I told her though, just finishing is honestly an amazing accomplishment.    As another saying goes, if running a marathon was easy; everyone would do it.   As true as that statement is, it does not necessarily make it better though.   That being said, as with everything in life you must make peace with the past.   Our marathon times are in the past.    We can’t go back and change them and the would of, could of, and should of’s in life will drive you nuts.   So it is time to more forward.

Life is about redemption.   Moving forward.   The past is important.   Lessons should be learned and with any luck mistakes will not be repeated.

There are other races even the same ones if we choose.

There is also time.    Time may not heal all wounds ( I think that is the biggest misconception), but it does make things easier.     And no amount of running today will change races already run.   There will be a time to decide on what paces, distances, and races to run but today is not that day.     Next year’s races are just that.

Next year….

2017

 

Like Starting Over

The name of my blog is truly reflective of how I discovered my love for running.    I only ran because I needed to for my one and done triathlon.   Yes there have been more than one at this point, but I didn’t know that at the time.    By the time I finished the Couch to 5K program, I realized that I couldn’t imagine not running.

But today was different.   It was no accident that I laced up.   It was a choice.  It was like starting over……

That’s because it really is starting from square one.  Ok, maybe not square one but I am certainly not where I was a month ago which is about how long it was since I have run.   I’m excited to start over.   I have more knowledge than when I accidentally started.   I can go into this with some thought and maybe not as clumsily.    That being said, toady…

It was slow

It was hard.

It was short.

There was heavy breathing

But….

There was joy.

There was excitement.

There was knowledge that I can do this.

   I am not looking at this as what I have lost, because the body and muscles know what to do.   The lungs quest for working hard.   This is a new beginning.

This is stating over and it is a wonderful thing.

Today it was only a mile and a half and a slow pace of 11:15.   I think it was the right distance and I know it was the right pace.   It felt great to be out there again.

One day at a time.

One run at a time.

 

Why Not?

So things are looking up.    After changing my medication and going for only 3 blood tests last week, my calcium level now falls into only “moderately low.”    That is opposed to the “if it goes any lower we are going to need to infuse you with calcium via a iv.”   So I will take the moderately low but better counts.    Things must be looking up because I have only gone for one blood test this week and will only go for one more.   I can feel that I’m on the upswing.

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That being said, I do know that weather it be the medicine I’m taking to improve my calcium that I’m just not “right” yet. I’m taking a medicine in conjunction with the 8 calcium pills a day that helps your body absorb the calcium.   Good times.    It is all tied with my calcium because my other levels are fine.   Today is a perfect example of not being on my  A game.   After taking kids to school, I met a friend for coffee.    By the time, I got home I was exhausted to the point that I actually climbed back into bed and took a short nap.  This is a big adjustment for someone who was running 40 miles a week and now hasn’t even gone around the block in 3 weeks or so.   I will get there, but this will take time.

That being said, I also know that Christmas is just around the corner.   There is baking to be done.   Gingerbread houses and marshmallows to be made.   There are presents to be bought, wrapped, and put under the tree which has yet to be brought home.   So I am not going to push it.   I love Christmas more than I love running.   Yes, I went there.

My running friends and I already have a plan how to get back in the game.   We all know that there really is no point in stressing out now, so come January we are all back in.   NO, this is NOT a resolution.   This is just giving ourselves time to not stress out about our running and we know our running shoes will be waiting for us come January 2nd because whose ready to run on the 1rst.    Besides by this time, I think I will be totally back on track.   Every day I’m feeling better.   Yes, I still can tell my calcium is low with slight tingles now in the face when it’s getting low.   This is a marked improvement from having fingers that clench up and muscles cramps.   One day at a time.

Now, we all know that I need motivation.   My one running friend is doing a half in April that she convinced me would be a good idea to sign up to run.   I was admit that I would not sign up for any races, but I thought maybe this wouldn’t be so bad.   Here’s the thing…. I’m nuts.   I admit it.   I go to the site and instead of clicking half, I register for the full.    But wait, I can explain….

As I told my friend, I don’t want to sound obnoxious.    I know it will come off that way, but considering I just ran a marathon less than a month ago signing up for just the half did not seem like it would challenge me enough.   I also thought about it (yes, very briefly but more since I signed up).   I am going to run and train for this marathon on my own terms.    I have run a few marathons now.    This is supposedly a nice flat course which really means nothing for 26 miles as it’s still 26 miles.   That being said, this will be the first marathon that I train on my own.  No Coach.   Before, I come up with a plan (you know I like plans) I will see where I am in my health, what I think I can do come April, and decide what I will train for.   I will then train, but I want to train with flexibility.    This does not mean that I will go easy on myself but I think I want to do this on my own this time.   It will be a learning experience and life is about learning and living.

So there you have it………

I’m running the NJ Marathon.

Why Not?

 

 

Quiet Please

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Yesterday, I had what my coach calls a cut-down.    I guess it is similar to a tempo run but a little different.

When I first started with my coach it took me a while to adjust to these runs.    With most things, it gets better with practice.   I find these runs are also a great way to get good at learning to keep pace.   The thing is when I started my cut-downs were not as fast as they are now.    Here was yesterdays scheduled run:

1 mile easy
1 miles @ 8:55-9:05
1 miles @ 8:45-55
1 miles @ 8:35-45
1 miles @ 8:20-35
1 miles easy

Just looking at these paces makes me wonder what I am doing.   But this week I am determined to get all my assigned runs in at my assigned paces if possible.   If nothing else I am comitted to stop making lame excuses.    Although it’s not always easy.

I knew that I wanted to do this cut-down on a treadmill.   I also knew that I wouldn’t be able to go till the evening.   Then evening comes and I’m ready to go…… But first

Hubby has been home sick and I run to pick him up some soup (yeah, I’m good like that)

Literally while pulling into parking lot of YMCA – “Mom, can you pick me and my friends (they are out at local festival) and they are going to come back and hang out our house.”   I’m like sure when only to find out that he meant right then.   Out of the parking lot I go.

Hubby, “Are you still planning to go run?”

AHHHHHH,    yes I am.   On a day less committed, I might have said no.   Not last night.   So finally get to the treadmill and think that maybe I won’t do the full 6.   Maybe I’ll only do 5.   Maybe I won’t run as fast as cut-down calls for.   On and on that little voice goes and mile by mile I shut her down.

Was the run hard.   You bet, but I think that is the point.    I’m always amazed when a hard run is over that I could actually do it.    There is a sense of accomplishment not only with completing a hard run, but shutting down that inner voice that wants you to take the easy way out.

Some days the voice is quiet, but on these days where it is a constant struggle to shut it up I know I am that much stronger.   It is learning to shut up this voice that will help me push through the wall in a marathon or any hard run for that matter.    For most or at least for me, the wall is not based on pain or at least pain that can’t be run through.  It is when the voice becomes to loud and I fall into the trap and listen to her.   These are the runs that teach me that she doesn’t know what she’s talking about.   These are the runs that will remind me that that voice is a liar.

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