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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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Rain, Rain, I’ll Still Come Out to Play

Some people wait for the sunshine to run.   Some people will begrudgingly run in the rain.   And some people will not only run in the rain, but happily do it.  today was such a day.   I’ve been for the most part sticking to my training schedule.   I’ve been feeling good about getting the miles in, but I will say that I’ve hated getting them in.   The reason is because most of my recent miles have been on the treadmill.   Treadmill runs with no music as I can not find my skullcandy headphones.  (boo)

Miles are miles and sometimes that is all you need.   That is what I’ve needed.   But running more than 3 miles on a treadmill with no music is akin to torture.   Plus I hate running at the gym feeling like a hamster on a wheel.   I like to be outside where I can play my music through my phone and hear my own thoughts.

So today, I wanted to get out and do 5 miles.   My time was limited as I needed to be washed up and ready for work by 11:30 and I wanted to be in the air.    Today’s weather was warmer but still a little cool with rain.   I suited up appropriately with my hat to keep the rain off my face and a running rain jacket.    It was time to reclaim my “I will run in any weather badge” that I’ve lost this past winter. Besides I needed to have some true alone time alone brought by an outside run.

Today was a run about running.   About getting 5 miles in.    About seeing if I could carry a conversation with myself.   Once I warmed up and got going, I actually took off my rain jacket and wrapped it around my waste.   I flipped my Garmin around so as to not see the pace, heart rate, or any such thing.   And I ran.    I tried to stay in control of the run.   I tried to keep a conversational pace but sometimes I needed to remind myself of that.

  I just ran.  There was some walking, but not much.   I enjoyed the rain which I believe kept me from overheating.   I’m really not joking when I say that I run hot.  I honestly would pick a day like today for the NY Half.   Off and on rain to keep me cool, but I’m getting ahead of myself.   First I have to keep this training up.   If I could run in the rain though but keep my feet dry that would be amazing.

So today with no thought.   No set paces.   no plan other than to push myself and get 5 miles in, I had the best run I have had in ages.   I’ll blame it on the rain,  but this was the best run I’ve had in ages and I’ll take it!

 

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Letting Go of Your Ego

Today I went for a run.   I’ve been running inside on the treadmill and wanted to hit the streets again.  It was finally a little warmer today at 31 degrees.    I figured perfect weather to run the NYRR Virtual Race.    That being said, I wasn’t racing so much as running.    I did start off too fast and slowed myself down.   I did walk.   Here is the thing that I kept reminding myself and thinking about while I was running today….

It’s ok not to be the fastest.   It is also ok not to be as fast as I once was.   Besides that is part of life.   Most people don’t get faster as you age even if you don’t have hypopara.   So run.   Just run.

Remember that you do this to feel the pavement under your feet.   You do this for the peace of mind it brings.    You do this for you.    You always have and to do it for any other reason is kind of stupid.

Here’s the thing though…… Ego gets in the way.    Ego is not helpful.    Ego will only hold you back.    You can have pride in your running (and life), but to let ego lead where to take you it won’t end well.   If I were to let my ego in charge, I might not leave the house in my running shoes.    I might just say what the heck, what’s the point, and just stay home.

Ego is not your friend.

Ego will hold you back.

Once you let go of your ego and are proud of where you are things can only get better.

So today I went for a run.   3.32 miles in 38.18 minutes.    It was hard.    I needed to walk.   My breathing was heavy.   My calf had a cramp in it most of the run, but….

BUT

I had the sun on my face.

Time to process life.

Time to enjoy life.

Time to be……

The saying that some people think is bull is so true.   A lesson we learned in preschool, but can not truly appreciate till we are adults not just as a runner but in our everyday lives too.

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It’s Time to Get Serious

Without goals it is hard to know which direction to take.   You wonder aimlessly without a purpose.    It is time that I stop wondering and start seriously thinking about where I want to go in 2018.   It is time to set some realistic goals.   It is time to start pushing myself again.   It is time to  get serious.

Yes, I’ve had a lot going on and I’m still working some things out.  Yes, things are different but that doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t have hopes, dreams, and goals.  It is time to get out of my own way, step out of my comfort zone and start pushing myself again.   I won’t know how far I can go by sitting on the sidelines.

It’s time to get real…..

NYC Half Marathon March 18

Last time I ran it, I squeaked in just under 2 hours.   It was my goal and I pushed myself to do it.  Hard training.   Fast paces.  Lots of sweat. I even took a few selfies while doing it.

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  This time around with the way things are this will not be my goal.   That doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t have a goal.     I’m once again throwing down the gauntlet….. Ready…..

I want to go into this race fully trained.   Run it to the best of my current ability.   Not compare it to where I was in the past.   Push myself.  Finish it.  And most of all enjoy the experience.

This seems like a fantastic goal which means that I have to start training and actually train.   This is not a race not to enjoy.

I am not even going to entertain a timed goal right now.   What I am going to do is train.   Train. And Train some more.   I’ve recently been running but nothing more than I think 6 miles in the last month.    I’m going to figure out a training schedule and stick to it.

Simple enough, Right?

My head is finally clearing.   I know it wont’ be easy.   I know there will be days that I don’t want to do it.   I know there will be frustration, sore muscles, and everything in between but I want this.   I really, really want this.

So for today, I’m throwing it all out there.

I am a runner.   I can do hard things.   Life is not easy and anything worthwhile requires you to work for it.

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Be Where You Are

And so it begins…..

I am committed to this.   I am all in.   It’s only been going on day 2 of the DASH diet and it sucks.   It’s not that I’m not eating yummy foods or even enough of them.   I am.   It’s the breaking my body from the unhealthy choices.    After this rest stage it will be easier and it will be better.   It helps that I lost a pound.   They do say that it is ok to weigh yourself every day in the initial reset stage as it will give you motivation.   This one missing pound is keeping me strong and I’m hoping that he takes many of his friends with him these next few weeks.

On top of eating better, I have been consistent with my training going on my second week now.   I’ve done some cross training, outside running, indoor biking, and even some treadmill running.   It’s just keeping my eye on the prize…..   The prize right now is getting my stamina back.   Feeling like I can do this again.  Feeling like I know what I’m doing.   One day at a time.   One workout at a time.

Here is one thing that I noticed today….

Ego and pride need to be checked at the door.   They serve no purpose and only hold you back.   I knew that today that I wanted to do a 5K on the treadmill today.   I wanted to run it faster than I have been running and use this indoor running time as a speed workout.    Here is where it gets dicey…. Speed workouts today are not where they were before.  It also doesn’t help that my body is adjusting to lower medication, so I could feel that I needed my cal-ez today.

My ego today wanted me to go full force.   I figured that if I had a calcium crash at least I would be at a public place:)   Luckily, I checked my ego.    Now this is not to say that I didn’t push myself because I did.   I just did it smartly for where I am today.    You can’t live in the past and you only have the day before you.  So today, I warmed up with a brisk walk and then took the treadmill up to 5.5 which is now really fast for me.   Then at the beginning of every mile, I would walk again in the beginning of each mile.   It helped me count down the miles too.  Then I sprinted the last part of the 5K.    My heart rate was up.   I was sweating.   It was a good run.

Run where you are, so that you can get to where you want to be.

One day at a time.

One Run at a time.

This is so true in all that we do..  Often we focus on where we used to be or where we are going that we forget to just enjoy where we are.   I’m trying.   I encourage you to try to.

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Starting Line….

 

It’s funny I ran the Chicago Marathon  just 5 weeks ago, yet some how I feel like I couldn’t run around the block.   I don’t know how anyone who has run as many races as I have can still feel like she’s back at the starting line again, but I do.

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This probably is not too far from the truth.

As I’ve been recovering from my tendonitis, I’ve been good.   I’ve been doing some limited running.   Some limited cross-training and lots of being lazy.   It’s really not been a good combination for the mind or body.

So as I often do when I feel like I need a little push of motivation, I have signed up for another race.   I know it’s shocking.    I’m trying to drag in….   I mean I’m trying to encourage others to join in on the fun.    I’ve got to say that i do miss the year we were chasing the 9 plus 1 and the fun we had.   It can not be repeated as it was such a special year, but I will say racing with friends is so much better than racing alone.

I needed Chicago to prove to myself that I could still finish a marathon if I wanted to.   Right now, I just want to run a half.   Plus it will keep me running during the holiday’s which really will be necessary.    I’m not even trying to be a super star.   I just want to run to run to find my love of running and racing again.   To get back to normal.

What race you ask…..

Fred Lebow

For extra motivation, I purchased the NYRR 10 week plan for this race.   I want to go into this race trained.   I want to get back to the confidence that comes with being trained.    That being said, my goal for this race is 2:25, so I’m not expecting for this training plan to turn me into speed racer.   Just to get me back into my routine of running.    I miss it.   I want to just let my body put in the miles and bring my mind the peace that running brings.

I have not formulated any plans other than Fred Lebow, but I do know that I just want to rediscover my passion for running.   It’s not as easy as it used to be, but I already know that.    This isn’t a fake it till you feel it thing either.    My body is already chomping at the bit.   I just have to get my head in gear.

So I’ve purchased the plan, so my head doesn’t have to do anything.   Let the body do it’s job.

Tomorrow is day 1 of training….