How Did I get here????

If you’ve been following my journey, you know that I whole heartedly did not want to run any big races this year.   I was content to run the NYC Half and call it a year.   I clearly said that I did not want a fall marathon.   I did not want to train over the summer with my oldest leaving for college.   I stomped my feet, crossed my arms, and knew that I was going to sit this year out.

But things change.

Things evolve.

And sometimes, sometimes you are given clear signs that you need to do something that you said you wouldn’t do.

This is what happened.

I am a believer is receiving signs if you are open to them.    At first, I ignored them but then I realized that this was something that I needed to do.   Not to run a marathon, because I meant that part about not wanting to run one.    I will run one though.   I will run it happily because to me this year it is not about the marathon but about the cause.

Sandy Hook Promise

This was a group that I joined almost as soon as I heard about it.    The tragedy at Sandy Hook hit me hard as with so many others.   It changed me.    It made me want to get involved which I did, but I always felt that I could and should do more especially as each tragic shooting occurred.   This is something that I can do.   This is something that is a concrete way to help an organization that is trying to what we all want: Protect children from gun violence.

Here is their mission and approach:

“Prevent gun-related deaths due to crime, suicide and accidental discharge so that no other parent experiences the senseless, horrific loss of their child.”   They are working and implementing in communities and schools research based programs and practices such as Know the Signs programs.   You can visit the SandyHookPromise.org website for more information.

This is my way to help them help others.    I will be running NYC Marathon to raise $3,000 for this cause that I feel so strongly about.    This is a leap of faith because while I know that I can run a marathon, I’m not too sure about my fundraising skills.   I am willing to take this risk.

If you would like to contribute to this worthy cause, please visit my fundraising page at Fundraising Website.

I am excited about this prospect for many reasons and the process of being part of a team of runners who support this amazing cause.   I am heading into this marathon training to finish the race, enjoy the process, and most of all support such a worthy cause.

SandyHookPromise

 

 

So my daily running challenge is over.   I will say that I am happy to be done with it, but at the same time without the accountability I have not been running these last few days.   That being said though it is freeing to be done because while not running, I have been busy doing other things.   It would have been added stress to worry about when am I going to squeeze my mile in.

I give kudos to those that are dedicated to streak days, months, and years.    I’ll be honest, I think I may have stopped at day 29 and not even hit 30 but I’m ok with that.    Last Friday would have been day 30 and it was a crazy hectic week as they all are and by Friday I felt like a tractor trailer hit me.   I think that I was dozing on the couch by 7:30.    My body needed the rest more than it needed the mile.

What did I learn from this little experiment?

  1. That once you go out for a mile, you might as well do more if time allows
  2. That my body is not designed to run every day.
  3. That it was a good way to jump start my running/training
  4. That I’m glad that I did it
  5. And most of all, I’m glad that it is over!!!

 

Will I do another streak?   Not any time soon.    I do have some plans that I am working on finalizing and will hopefully have everything in place by next week.   This will keep me motivated, busy, and running that is for sure.

So for now, I am going to enjoy one challenge ending while gearing up for a new one.

Stay tuned….

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The Unpleasant Truth

Everyone has something that they are afraid of.   Everyone knows that you can run from your fears, but you can’t hide from them.

  But what if……

What if sometimes the fear is just under the surface?

But what if……

What if instead of facing our fears that we just ignore them.   Pretend they don’t even exist?

Will that make them go away?

Reality and past experiences say no.

Someone recently asked me what is it that I’m afraid of when it comes to my running right now.   (I’m talking actual running not running away from my fears).   After thinking about it, I knew in my heart the answer.

The fear of not being good enough.

Once I had said this out loud, I knew the truth of my answer.   I had the answer before she even asked the question.   You see the night before, I had had a dream.  Seriously.   In my dream I went out to my car and ALL my running magnets were removed from the back of my car.

NO 50K

NO 26.2

NO 13.1

NO MRTT

Nothing………    Empty space where my pride used to be.

Silly dream, but it speaks volumes.    And then it begs to question, who do I have to be good enough for?   Not my family.   Not my friends.  Not my ever so supportive running community.  Not my co-workers.    Not the strangers along courses.  All  I need is to be good enough for me and why isn’t my best good enough?

It’s time to deal with the unpleasant truth.   A truth I’ve spoken of before, but still am grappling with I admit.    It’s not easy to let go of expectations realistically or unrealistically that you put upon yourself.    It’s not so easy to deal with unpleasant truths that you want to ignore.    And most of all when you finally face the unpleasantness of it all, you realize that you were holding onto things for all the wrong reasons.

letting-go

Truth

But letting go doesn’t mean giving up.   It doesn’t mean putting away my running shoes. It doesn’t mean pushing my limits.    It means letting go of the things that are holding me back.    I’m not talking about holding me back from PR’s or such.    I’m talking about holding me back from taking the next step.

Acceptance.

Yes, if it was that easy the world would be a better place.    But I’m talking about acceptance that things will be different and that’s ok.

I’m not a person of change.   I know this to be true.   My mother often asks me, “What’s new.”    I often respond, “Nothing and that’s a good thing.”   But the truth is that you have a choice in life, either change with it or live in the past and miss out on the possibilities of the future.

It’s time to look forward.   It’s time to change with the times.    It’s time to accept where I am today….

I am a woman who struggles due to her Hypoparathyroidism with limitations that I did not have before.  Pretending they are not there, will not make them go away.    I’ve been trying that and it hasn’t worked.   They are still there, but I make it look easy:):)

BUT

That does not mean I am not a runner anymore.   It just means that I need to learn to change.   Change expectations.   Change the way I train.    Change the way I run by embracing the run/walk method whole heartily this time.     Change is scary but sometimes necessary and often good.

It also means that you are open to new opportunities and I’ll be honest there is a new opportunity that I’m hoping comes my way.   One that if I accept that I need to be willing to change  to fully enjoy and experience.   (Yes, that’s a teaser:)

 

 

 

 

When is the Right Time?

Today, on this random day, I decided that I need to start getting it together.   While there are many things no longer in my control, there are many things that are in my control and I need to take control of what I can.   With that in mind, I pulled out an old training book that I used when I was working with my running coach in 2016.    I opened it up to peruse the pages and on the front page there was a sticky with the following written on it:

As much as I know the time is right, I still can’t help but believe that it is wrong…

Ummm, Ok

I still feel like that.

Do we ever know when is the right time?

I was on a message board the other day and someone was saying how they wanted to get back to running, but needed to loose weight first.    This is not the first time that I’ve heard such things.    I personally know people that have made similar statements.

The truth of the matter is that there is no right or wrong time.    There is only time, opportunities, and chances we must take.    I’ve been sitting here waiting for the right time to get my sh*t together – not be so out of breath when I run, loose weight, not feel like Grandma getting out of bed in the morning,  not have legs feel like I’ve run 10 miles when I’ve only run 1.

As much as I know the time is right, I still can’t help but believe that it’s wrong….

The time is right.    In looking at my training log, I can not see a day where I would be able to maintain that level again.  This is the truth as harsh as it sounds to my ears.   In looking at my training log, two years ago at this time I was running an 18 mile training run at an overall pace of 10:24.    A quote from my log,  “Other than feeling like a long run, it felt great.   Miles were faster towards the end of the run.”

Here’s the thing…..

I could not imagine running that pace that distance again.   Maybe I can.   Maybe I can’t.  I just know that my body does not bounce back the way it used to.    I also know that there are many factors I have now that I didn’t have then.

Here’s another thing…

I don’t know which factor is the causing factor.    I do know that Hypoparathyroidism plays into it.   I also know that hypothyroidism could play a role too.  I’m certainly not getting any younger.   Then there is the weight factor.   But which is coming first the chicken or the egg…. Is the weight a symptom of the thyroid problem or visa versa.

Let’s not even talk about the training time factor today.

Lastly, here is the thing…..

Even with all of the baggage, I still want to run.    I still want to run far.    I still dream the dream of running the way that I used to run and that there is the problem.   I need to live with the reality of today and work towards the reality that I would like to have.

As much as I know the time is right, I still can’t help but believe that it’s wrong….

The real question needs to be…

If not now, When?

time-flies

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Its-fine

 

 

 

 

BE NICE!

Why are we always harder on ourselves than we are on our friends?    It’s one of life’s biggest mysteries.

Examples 1

Friend, “I can’t believe how slow my last run was.”

Caring Response, “At least you got out there.   Don’t worry about it.   We all have bad days.”

Response to self for slow run, “What is wrong with you.   Suck it up.   Push harder.”

Example 2

Friend, “I’m planning to take some time off from running to heal injury, just not feeling it, no time or any such thing.”

Response, “Smart move.   Give yourself time that you need.   The road will be there when you are.”

Response to self for time off, “Your loosing it.   You better lace up and go for a run.  What is wrong with you.   Your lazy, ect, ect.”

Example 3

Friend, ” I finished the Race in XYZ.   It wasn’t my goal time.”

Response, “Still a great race.   So proud of you.   You tried your best and you can try for that goal again.”

Respnse to self, “What is wrong with you.   You didn’t train hard enough.   You blew it, ect, ect, ect”

 

These examples don’t just happen in our running.   I’m sure that we each could pick things from our “real lives” that we do the same things.

  Why though?

I used to think it was just me, but I realize over time that so many of us do it.   We all come to life with our own baggage.

Why is it so easy to show our friends compassion when we do not give ourselves the same courtesy.   We are not lying to our friends when we respond to them.   We aren’t trying to just make them feel better.   We truly mean these kind words.    So why do we not cut ourselves the same break?   It’s time to break the cycles.

Yeah, if only it was that easy.   Most of the time we don’t always know we are doing it.   Kind of like when someone gives you a compliment and you dismiss it with some self deprecating comment.  STOP THAT.    It’s time to realize that you deserve to be treated the way you treat others.

I’ve been trying to be nicer to myself with my running.   I’ve beaten myself up on how I need walk breaks, how out of breath I am, ect, ect, ect.     What I realized is that if a friend was in my position, I would be so much kinder to their situation than I have been to mine.   What I’ve also realized is that this pattern was developed over time and it will take time and work to change it.

So here is what I propose we all do:

  1.  If you wouldn’t say it to a friend, don’t say it to yourself.
  2. Build yourself up.  Not in an obnoxious way, but remind yourself that you are worth it too.
  3. Criticizing yourself is not the way to self motivate.   If you feel you could/should have run faster, tell yourself that you did your best but will try again next time.
  4. Take time for yourself and don’t feel like you don’t deserve to splurge on you.

Yeah, if only it was that easy.   The truth is that it’s not hard either.   It just takes time, energy, and being mindful of your inner voice.

Your worth it!

and

So am I!

 

 

 

 

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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No Thinking Required

It is true that the body can only do so much.   It can only do what it can do and no more.   That is a fact.   BUT what if it can’t reach it’s full potential because the mind doesn’t believe.   If the mind opts out before the body is ready, it will take the body with it.   It is in control.

Training teaches us to push through, push past, and to work through the pain.

It is just as important to train mentally as it is physically.   The Ying and the Yang of training.   The body can only do what the body can do, but with the mind on board that is where the magic can happen.

I went out for a run tonight.   I knew that if I didn’t get my run in today that it wouldn’t happen.   I wanted this run.   I want to get back to running on a more consistent basis.  I pushed myself to get out the door when truthfully I was very comfy on the couch watching Tanked.    If I win the lottery, I am so having them make me a huge tank in my new house.   (Dreaming the dream).

Anywho….

I made myself get out the door.   In the back of my mind, I wanted to get at least 5 miles in if not 6.   I told myself that I would settle for 3 to get myself out the door.   Suited up for a night run and out the door I went.    One of the beautiful things about night running is that I have no idea what pace I’m running because I can’t see my watch.   So I was running by feel.   There was no over thinking.   Just running.

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On my run, I was thinking about things and just running to run.   I felt good on the run .   I think it would classify as a conversational pace running night if I had anyone to chat with.   I was just enjoying the big beautiful moon and what might be considered perfect running temperatures.    No thinking.   No over analyzing.   Just running.

Here’s the thing though…. I ended up with beautiful negative splits.

11:57, 11:50, 11:28, 11:06, 10:58

5 miles that I just enjoyed.

So the lesson that I took from tonight is that although I know that the body can only do what the body can do.    I also know that sometimes my mind hold me back.   Sometimes I over think.   Sometimes I worry too much.  Sometimes it’s ok to just run.

I may see some more “naked” no watching the watch runs in my future.

quote-thomas-edison

 

 

Feeling Zen with New Goals

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…

In all things that we do, we need goals and it is ok for our goals to change over time.   Goals should be a reach, but also realistic.    I would love to set a goal to run a 6 minute mile, but that is not a realistic goal for me and would only set me up for disappointment and pain.   So I will scrap that one, but I’ve been thinking about what I want next now that I completed the NY Half……

So I was recently talking to a friend about where she is right now.  In texting with her and I will only share my part of the story, I was telling her nothing that she wouldn’t have told me and probably has in the past.

Things like

Your body can only do what it is ready for.

The mind is a powerful but it must work in harmony with the body.

Sometimes we don’t get the answer why and must just deal with what is…

She asked me, “Were you always this zen or did you become Buddha post Chicago?”

I thought about it for a moment and told her truthfully that “acceptance of where I am has been my friend.”

Truthfully.

  For those that have been here a while, you know that Chicago while finished was not pretty.    There were many reasons for it out of my control such as weather, but there was much in my control.   I tried to train and run Chicago like I would have trained pre Hypopara.   I was fighting where my body is at this given time.  I could not push my body to do any more than it could do on that day which is why it was not pretty.

Don’t get me wrong, I am very proud of crossing the Chicago finish line.   I just think that if I had accepted where my body was during training and on race day, it could have been different.

Now I will be the first to admit that training for a half is a different beast than a full marathon.   It is an apple and an orange, but it is still not a walk in the park.    BUT I went into training for the NY Half with a different mindset.   I went into it knowing it would be different.   Knowing my limitations and working within them.   Now when I say limitations, I don’t mean that in a negative way.   I mean knowing where my body was during training and where it was on race day.   Yes, I pushed.   Yes, I worked hard; but I did so within the reality of what I could do.   I went into this with my eyes wide open knowing that I would not be running a 2:15 half, but knowing that I might be able to do it in under 2:45.   Working within the reality of where my body is got me there in 2:31 which is I am very proud of as I think anyone who crosses any finish line should be.

So here I am reaching the final stage…. acceptance.

You know what it’s not a bad place to be.   Now that I know that my mind is no longer working against my body, I can work on setting goals that will challenge me but not kill me (Ha!).

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So what goal did I set for myself being as I do not have any races on my schedule….

I’ve been thinking for a while now that when the NY Half was over, I would like to run some local races.   I would like to concentrate on 5K’s for a few reasons.

  1.   I don’t want to train or run any long races in the fall as my oldest son is leaving for college then and since I don’t know where he will be going yet, I don’t have any schedule.   Plus I would like to have flexibility over the summer.
  2. I don’t really want to train for any long races right now.   I realize that I have ran a marathon every year since November of 2014 and have run 5 in that short time.
  3. I want to work on building my speed back up and I think I will be better able to do that with a shorter distance.
  4. Because I want to:)

So now that I know where I am going, I thought about what a realistic 5K goal for me would be based on where I am today not the body of yesteryear that ran it in 26:26.   In thinking about that, I though realistically with lots of hard work and pushing myself that I might be able to run a 30 minute 5K.    So that is where I am today and if I reach this goal wonderful.   If I don’t, it is also ok too because my running is not my time.  My running is for me and while I will be happy to reach this goal, I will also be happy striving to reach it.

Gauntlet thrown down.

Now off to see what I need to do to get there…

What are your goals?

 

 

 

A Week In

I’ve got to say this last week I really have been surprised with how good my recovery has been.   I’ve had harder recovery from training runs.    That being said, I will take it!   It has been a nice and pleasant surprise.

I chalk this up to a few things.   Great running weather the day of the race, but also running a smart race not just the day of the event but leading up to it.    I tried to put my body in the best possible place to run this event.  The week prior to the race, I did very little running.   Just enough, but not as much as I used to.  Then after chatting with my online Hypopara Athletes group,  I decided the week leading up to the race to up my calcium intake.   Then two days prior to it, I upped my Calcitriol.   This would ensure that my calcium levels were good for the 13.1 miles, but also help afterwards as well since they would still be in the normal range (meaning elevated for me).

During the race, I continued to use cal-ez in my water.   This would ensure that my calcium levels would remain consistent during my run.   Did you know that even for a healthy person, your body looses calcium during strenuous exercise and sweating?   It’s true and while that may not be good for you, it’s really not good for me.    I’m a sweater, so I need to ensure that my levels don’t drop.

Than post race, I did some stretching.    I think maybe even the long walk to meet my group might have helped too.   Then home to a nice warm Epsom salt bath and some rest.   I admit that I may have soaked a few times this past week, but you know…

Anyway, this has been a good week.    It has given me hope.

I will also admit though that I did not run at all this week.   I have done lots of stretching and kept active teaching my preschool gymnastic classes.   This has been just right.

Tomorrow I run and I can’t wait:)

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