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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Perspective

We all come at life from different perspectives.    We all look at things just a little different based on our own personal experiences and over time even our own perspective shifts.

Before I ever got off the couch, I could not imagine why anyone would want to run for fun.   Running was something other people did.   People who did were nuts.   Sane people did not run.   Now that may be true, but once I got off the couch and started running my perspective changed.   I became one of “those crazy runners” even if it took me a while to think of myself as a runner.

Now when I started though, I had no thought of “good” pace or finish time and didn’t really put much thought into it.  Ok, I put no thought into it.   I rolled into my first half marathon by just signing up after it was suggested on a long run that I was taking just to take.   I had very little thought on strategy, pace, or even finish time.   I laugh now because in the car on the way to the race, I was in awe and amazed at the other runners talking of such things.    I felt like an idiot to be honest.    When they asked me what my plan was, I was like to finish.   We started together, but I told them to just run without me because I had no clue and didn’t want to hold them back.   Then a funny thing happened, I realized that they were always in my view.   I was stalking them:)   Then they realized I was back there and I joined the party!

I finished in 2:09:24.

Perspective shifted.

I was a runner, but I was just “normal runner.”   I would never do a marathon.

I have since run 5.   The first one was just not to die and then I actually started training for time.

But I would never be one of those crazy runners to run an Ultra.

I have run one 50K,   Truth be told, I secretly (shhhh, don’t tell anyone) want to run one again.  This is in the future, but I think it will happen again one day.

Perspective is a funny thing.

First I couldn’t imagine running.   Then I couldn’t imagine not running.   And now, I’m doing all I can to keep myself running.  Perspective has changed once again.

When I ran the NYCM marathon two weeks before my thyroid was removed in 2016, I was chasing the elusive 4:30 marathon.   I, probably, could have gotten it if I had not run the first half of the marathon like a half totally forgetting that the wall is no joke and not to be messed with.   But I still finished in under 5 hours.   Whew.

Perspective.

Chicago last year, I once again went back to having a goal of just finishing which is what I did.    I walked the last few miles.   I finished in 5:48:52.    I was happy.   I finished.    It was probably the hardest race that I have ever ran even with the slowest time.

Perspective.

I was lucky to be able to do Chicago.   I am lucky that my Hypoparathyroidism allows me to do all the things that I do.  So many with this disease would love to do what I am able to do.   I am very lucky, because it could be much worse.   For now, all is good.   I may have more aches, pains, weight, and such; but I am still able to get out there.

Perspective.

I sometimes think that I need to just enjoy the process now because as with anyone I don’t know what the future will bring.   For now, things are good and I need to just enjoy it all.   The aches.   The pains.   The heavy breathing.

And even with all of it, I am so lucky and it’s all the way you look at things.

When I had my first 24 hour urine test, my levels were off the charts.   My urine calcium level was over 570.   The normal level is supposed to be 200.   In talking to my doctor about changes to medications, she said that for someone with my condition our goal is to have these levels around 300.    The flip side though is that after getting used to a normal calcium level in the 9’s, I would lower my dosages to bring it down to the 8’s again.   What  a difference a point will make, but it’s all good.

I just got the results from my second 24 hour urine test.   The results were coming from my primary doctors office and they would send them to my endocrinologist.   Anyway, the office called and they were very upset as my levels were sooooo high.   The woman nicely was going on and on about how serious this could be with problems with osteoporosis and more importantly lead to kidney stones and damaged kidneys.   She was trying to get her point across how serious it was, when I asked what my levels were.   She replied that they were very high at 263.

Perspetive

I laughed and told her that was great because it had been over 570.

So just like life, running really comes down to our perspective.    I may never be the runner that I was for just a short brief blip, but it really doesn’t matter.

I’m still a runner.

And who knows…  Things could still change because that is just the way life works.

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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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Enough

We live in a world that is constantly telling us that we aren’t good enough.   Every magazine is filled with ads telling us how we can be better.   TV commercials are designed to show us what we need to be happy, fulfilled, and beautiful.    It’s all a lie.

We are constantly bombarded with messages that we are not enough.   That we need to be better.    That we need more to make us happy.    That we need to dress a certain way. That we need to look a certain way.   That the natural make-up free face isn’t enough.   That it is less fearful to inject poison into our skin than age naturally.   It takes a toll.

In every society there are norms designed so that we can coexist.    Many of these norms are not only necessary, but make for a better world.   But many of these norms are a trap, not necessary, and make people feel dissatisfied with where they are in life.

I’ve been questioning things lately.   As I’ve been learning to Let Go of the Ego, I’ve been working on accepting not just my running life but so much more.   As a runner, I’ve always followed my own path so to speak.   I rolled into my first Marathon in Philly not having trained for a marathon but the Runner’s World Hat Trick.   Then only completed one 20 miler before running it.    All of my other marathons, I did not want to nor did I train running any 20 milers.   I just don’t like them.   That is not to say that I didn’t train.   I just did it the way that worked for me.

In life, I’ve also followed my own path.   Never really fitting in with just one space.   Doing my own thing.   As I’ve been trying to accept where I am in my fitness journey, I’ve  also decided that I needed to take it a step further.  I’ve decided that I am enough as I am.  It was time to face the world as I am and not as I’m told that I should be.  And although I’ve never been one to have a make-up routine that lasted more than a few minutes, going naturally is still scary.

So I decided to go for  it   I went out in the world as I am.   Although I will tell you that after two days totally free, I decided that I like a little mascara and Burt’s Bees lip balm with a little color.

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Here is what I learned……… No one turned away in disgust.   Ha.   No one commented.   No one asked if I was ok because maybe I didn’t look the same.   No one even cared.  Now

Now I’m not saying that I will never wear make-up again.   What I am saying though is…

I am enough.

You are enough.

Don’t let the world define you.

Define yourself

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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I’m Ready

I’ve been having a rough go of it lately. I’ve been stuck. Afraid to move forward.  Afraid of not being enough.  Afraid of things out of my control.  Afraid of failure, but who defines success and failure?

I’ve been stuck wandering in the fog for so long that I thought I would never see clearly again and even though I knew my vision was impaired I clung to it.   It is only after you come out of the fog that you can look at things with open eyes.   I’m ready now.   After one false start after another, I am truly ready now.   I can feel the difference.

I am looking at things clearer than I have in a while.   I do not have 20/20 yet, but really does anyone?    We all carry so much baggage that colors our world.   The trick is knowing what to hold onto and what to let go.   What really sucks is when you pack for summer only to find out that you are stuck in winter.    It is a work in progress, but I feel like I’m getting there in many aspects of my life.

As for my running….. I can finally say that I am coming to terms that things will be different.    Things will be harder.   My body will need more recovery time and be more sore than it had in the past.  I will wake up and my my body will ache.  Things will not feel the same.

BUT…..

Many things will remain the same.

I will still get peace of mind and clarity when running.

I will still feel the accomplishment of finishing a run.

I still will bond with friends while running.

I will still cross finish lines and most of all I will still run for me.

With this acceptance, I am finally able to let go of the ego that I spoke of.   I thought I was holding onto something, but really I was keeping myself from moving forward.   I am tired of standing still and am ready to move on from the past.    One of the reasons that I couldn’t commit to training was because somehow I felt less because I would pick a plan that the pre-hypopara me could have easily kept to, but the me of today can not.   Maybe there will be a day, but that day is not today.

I’ve been thinking of the NYC Half a lot.   NYRR always puts on great events, but these big events are spectacular.   The crowds.   The running on closed NYC streets.   It is an amazing feeling to run through Times Square like this race does.   As I said before, I want to enjoy it.   I want to be ready for it.    I want to embrace where I am today.   Not yesterday.   Not tomorrow.   Not next year.  Today.

So with this thought process, I picked a training plans for Training Peaks for a half marathon with a 2:30 finish time.   Now, I will be honest…. I am not sure that I can do a 2:30 finish.   It might be just a hair out of where I am, but it might not.   It is also much more realistic that 2:15.   Besides you will never know what you can do if you don’t push a little more than you think that you can do.  So I will push, but I will push wisely.

It is time to face this with open eyes, laced up shoes, and the knowledge that as long as I am doing the best that I can that there is no failure.   Failure is not trying.

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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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Rolling With The Times

As much as I know change is inevitable.

As much as I know that change is part of life,

As much as I know that standing in one place with your feet moored to the ground is not the way to go in life,

As much as I know that you can’t stop life from changing,

I do not like change.

I like consistency.

One of the things that drives my mother nuts is when she asks what is new and I tell her nothing.   I like that answer.   If nothing is new. Nothing has changed and again I like that.

I know…

Boring !

What can I say, I’m not exciting or fun.

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Oh wait, yes I am:)

This past year, there has been so much change.  I would like to say, some good and some bad; but that I think would be a lie.   For the most part, most has been bad.   I’m not having a pity party, I am just trying to accept the changes.

Change is hard.

I’m learning to go with the flow (a little bit), but the problem is the flow keeps changing.

I was and am getting into a good rhythm of working out and running, but I am no where near where I should be to run a half marathon this month.    I am supposed to run the Fred Lebow half, but it most likely will not be happening.   I’m sure that I could suck it up, but I haven’t run longer than 6 in a while.    This would not be smart.   It wouldn’t be smart for anyone, but with Hypoparathyroidism it would really not be smart especially when my doctor is changing my dosages.   I can feel the effects of the lower dosages.   I can feel the difference of lower calcium levels and am actually waiting some blood work as I’m sure that we will need to make another change.  We have not yet found the sweet spot.

These are good changes though.   It is nice to finally have a doctor that I have confidence in.   Although I really was feeling good with the treatment plan of my last endocrinologist, it was only a matter of time before it led to disaster.   My kidneys will like the new doctor better even if it means that I’m back to waking up with leg cramps and sore in the morning.  So many fun things.  I will work on these adjustments.

Last year it was all about coming to terms with the fact that I had this disease.  I kept thinking it would go away.   It didn’t.  I’m a lifer now.   It sucks.   It’s one of the things that isn’t changing, BUT this year with a doctor who can properly guide me….. This is the year I take me life back.

Will things be different?

Probably

Will I have to learn new strategies to get where I want to go?

Probably.

But change is good.

Plotting, Planning, and rolling with the changes…..

 

 

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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