Tag Archive | Encouragement

There is No test

Bad Ass
The term gets thrown around a lot in the running community.   Rightly so because there are so many out there.  

That being said….. What if there is not one size shoe fits all for being a bad ass.


You finish a 100 mile challenge – Definitely a Bad Ass

You finish a 50 mile challenge – Defineitly a Bad Ass

You finish a 50K – Definitly a Bad Ass

You finish a Marathon – still definitely a Bad Ass

You finish a Half Marathon – Go you Bad Ass runner

You finish a 5K –  Look at your bad ass self


What about if you don’t do these things but still get up every day deciding to be the best version of you? What if just pushing yourself forward is more than enough?   Does that count?


You bet your Bad Ass self it does!!   There is no test to become a Bad Ass.   There is no standard.   Each person decides for themselves. As I’ve said before, what is easy for one person is a challenge for someone else. What is a challenge for one person might be impossible for another. It goes both ways. What is hard for one person is easy for another. Unless you are a top of the line competitive athlete, there is always someone better, faster, fitter than you. There is probably someone who would also love to be where you are too.

Here is another thing…….. These things change over time. What was once hard may become easy. What was once easy may become hard again. The ups and down of life. This is why you need to live, train, and appreciate where you are in life and your training.

Today I finished my Couch to 5K training. I did my 5K on a treadmill. Where a 5K was once easy, it is now hard but not impossible. Someone said to me today that you haven’t been a Couch person for a while and while they are right, this was right for me. It was good to go back to the beginning. To remember that it is easy to get out of tune with yourself and take stock again. I realized that I need to keep my levels up to a certain point, that maybe speed and daily runs aren’t in my best interest right now. That I can do this. This is what this training has done for me. It has allowed me to reassess where I am, what I can do, and start to think about where I want to go.

Looking forward is so much better than looking backwards. Yes, I’ve realized that for now I am much slower than I used to be. Yes, I am at a point where I’m not sure if I would be comfortable running with others because I would feel like I would be slowing them down. Yes, I am lucky that I can do what I can do. There are others with Hypoparathyroidism that would LOVE to do the things that I can do. I can’t complain. What I can do is live where I am. Run where I am and once again start to enjoy the wind in my face.

Where are you?

No Expectations

Things that are worthwhile take work. They take time. They take investment. Sometimes in life we put things on autopilot…
relationships, work, exercise, eating habits, ect.


And while in the short term that may be fine, I think we all know in the long run it is not healthy or does that work out. You become out of touch. After a while you are just go through the motions. Then you begin to wonder why you are going through the motions.   That’s where I was with my running.  I lost touch with why I started running.   Why I continued to run and most of all what I got out of running.   It was never about being the fastest, running the  furthest, or even about the medals hanging on the wall.   While I admit that all of those things are fun to strive for they were never the reason that I started, pushed myself, and did what I did.


I lost that.   I was so concerned with going through the motions…… trying to maintain certain paces, trying to run certain distances, and trying to do runs that it no longer worked for me.   I lost touch with knowing what and how I should push myself and because of that I had (for now) unrealistic expectations of what I should be doing.    I was Violet from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory stamping my feet expecting things to be the way I wanted them still because I wanted them to be that way.


We all know that’s not the way life works.   Being out of step with your own self and your own body and pretending your not is exhausting.     But when I stepped back, slowed down, and pushed the ego to the side; things became not only more clear but more fun.     While I admit, I still have problems keeping my ego in check, I am getting better.   By reconnecting my mind with the body, I am rediscovering why I started running.   I no longer see people running on the streets and think poor them.   I think, what a great day to be running.    I am starting to think outside the box again, but I am keeping myself in check and not putting the cart before the horse.


The C25K program has forced me to step back and reconnect with where my body is today and not where I want it to be. Allowing myself to run with no expectations but to finish the run. No paces. No distances. Just follow the plan.    I have just finished up week 7 of the program where I am running for 25 minutes.   It is hard.  I must push myself.   I run slow, but I am pleased with the progress.   I feel like I am learning what now works for me now. Most of all, I am doing it.

I am learning how to push myself for where I am today not yesterday. To notice the subtle differences is how I feel when pushing the pace. To know that a pace that is hard today was once easy and that’s ok too. What my body needs to recover which I will talk about another day. I’m learning that the saying your race, your pace is true even when not racing. I’ve still got a lot of kinks to work out, but I’ll get there. The difference is that I know that I won’t get there overnight. As the saying goes, all good things come to those that wait……… I’m learning once again that I’m worth it.

And so are you.

Enough

In life we are often made to feel like we need to be doing more. That what we bring to the table is never enough unless we are pushing ourselves to the limit.

As a runner who has done many races, I daily get emails reminding me how much there is to do…. Register for this race. Don’t miss the price increase for that race. Push your limits. Go the distance. Monthly distance challenges. Yearly running challenges.

Go. Go. Go.

When is enough enough?

There is a poem from a little book called To Be Enough – A Lenten Journey. And while it is not Lent yet, this poem is fitting.

To Be Enough

You were simply not made to do it all
Children of Adam
return to the garden.
Lay yourself down in the moss to rest.
Lure the hourglass to pass you by.
Let the trees whisper their secrets
Let the evergreens cover your stillness.

Children of Adam, rise up from the dirt.

You were not made to do it all.
Simply, you are enough.

It is often hard to remember that we are enough. What we are doing is enough. Often our unhappiness comes from trying to do too much. Pushing ourselves not because we want to be pushed but by external forces that make us think we need to be pushed. I am pushing back against those forces.

I am enough.

I am doing enough.

I am where I want to be…… For today.

Yesterday I completed the first day of week 3 of my Couch to 5K training. There have been days that I felt like I should do more. That I felt like I was not pushing myself enough. The truth is that I have been enjoying it. I think my foot has been enjoying it too as I have had not hand any issues with it. Building up slowly and smartly is always a wise thing. I think this is where I should be. Yet, I have found myself questioning if this was enough. The emails, the social media posts, my own thoughts and on and on…….. But as I’ve said before, this is what I want to do right now and it is true. I believe both mentally and physically this is what I should be doing. Yet it isn’t always easy allowing yourself to say….. This is enough.

It has been a nice change too not feel like I need to get out there and concur the world. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but sometimes the world does not need concurring. Sometimes it is nice to realize that the best way to get where you want to go is by slowing down and enjoying the journey. One thing that I have noticed following the plan is that I am starting to enjoy running again. If you are always looking for your next conquest, you don’t always enjoy the small victories and they are there if you allow yourself to see them.

Why do we always think that we should be doing more?

If I had the answer to that I could probably make some real money selling the answer because everyone I know, every family, every child is usually overscheduled and pushed to the limit.

But for today, for now…..

I am enough.

PS – Here is link to the book…https://www.amazon.com/Be-Enough-Lenten-Journey-Attempts/dp/1985206544


Embrace The Suck

Yesterday  I needed to go for my long run of 15 miles.   I knew going in that the run might be difficult, so from the very beginning I said that my motto for this run would be:

Embrace The Suck!

As I was beginning my run, I chuckled and thought to myself that it kind of is a metaphor for life too.    Now hear me out.    Sometimes in life things are going suck.   Things are going to go wrong.    Things are going to be hard.   And sometimes, things are going to be downright shitty.

Yes I know very uplifting, but we all know that life isn’t always a bowl of cherries.    The thing is that you have to embrace the suck to get to the good stuff.   You have to push through it when it’s hard.   You have to dig your heels in and just keep moving forward.   You have to know that at the end of the suck is something good.  You have to just keep going, because if you stick around long enough  you come out that much stronger.

strenght

So with that being said, I embraced the suck of yesterday’s 15 mile run.    As I said I knew it would be suck some for a few reasons.

  1.  It’s a long run and they usually suck.
  2.  I need new sneakers
  3. I’ve been messing up with my meds

So I went out with the mindset that no matter what, I would embrace the suck.   Do what I needed to do and get my run in.    The goal was to finish no matter what.   I felt like this was a long enough run to gage some things for New York and what I need to do in the next 46 days.

I have realized that it takes my body normally a good 3 miles to get into the rhythm of a run.   This morning was no exception.    Then I realized that I did not take my morning meds, so I ended up looping my run back to my house so that I could do so.    This was more necessary because I’ve been a little off with my timing lately. (Don’t worry, I’m trying to be better).    Anyway, meds taken and out the door I went.   It was hard.   I was sweating like I ran in a sprinkler, but I was embracing the suck and moving forward.    I was running where I should be especially for the distance keeping an average  pace in the 12’s &  13’s.    By mile 10, I was feeling a little off.    For me I can tell when my levels are dipping because I feel like a twitch in my face even if it’s not visible and some tingling/numbness in my hands.    I was prepared and did have some Calez (powdered calcium) to add to my water.    I am thinking for the marathon to fill all my bottles up with this and then just get plain water at the water stations.

I pushed forward.   By almost miles 13, I was out of water which is never good.   Luckily, I plan my runs so that I am never far from a friends house or place I can stop at.   I took my smelly sweaty self into a bistro where I purchased the most delicious chilled Gaterade and a bottle of water to refill.    Then off I went embracing the suck.

Here’s the thing….  As sucky as it was, it was also good.    I did feel stronger at the end of my run.   I did feel confident and the end of my run.    I did realize that running alone through the streets will be so much different than when running with 50, 000 of my closest friends who will all be embracing the suck.  I did feel like I could keep running and I did feel strong enough to keep going.   And I also realized that in the end, it is all worth it.

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

 

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.

do_not_stop_quote-low_res

 

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.

determination2

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.

Fake it Till You Feel it?

My new expression really seems to be…..

I’m just not feeling it.

So true.

I know I need to get running again.   This week I actually did start.   I’m proud to say that I went out for 3 three mile runs.    They were not fast.   They were not pretty, but they were all in a different season.   The first one was on a nice day.   The second one it was a cold rain.   Then the last one was run on a cold day with snow covering the ground.   That should count for something.

I guess it does, but

I’m so not feeling it.

Last month I had signed up for a 10K trail race.   I was smart enough to know that I would not be ready for more than that.   I realized that really I wasn’t even ready for that.   I’m sure that I could have gone out and got it done.    I’ve done crazier things than that in the past.    Like last year at this same race I ran what I refer to as a surprise marathon.   I was feeling it.   I had the drive.

Today and most days right now….

I’m not feeling it.

not-feeling-it

It’s more than my running too.   It’s just the way I feel right now about most things.    I’m not sure if it’s hormonal.   I’m not sure if it is the medicine’s that I’ve been taking.   I’m not sure if is the lower calcium levels that I’ve been fighting.   I’m just not sure.   I just know that I have not been myself.   I’ve been going through the motions like everyone else, but my heart has just not been in it like normal.    I’m normally a happy go lucky kind of person and I know this just isn’t me.   I’m working on it though.

I have always heard that recognizing there is a problem is the first step.   I recognize that I’m just not myself and will talk to my doctor about it.

In the meantime, I’m going to continue with the fake it till you feel it mentality.   Besides whether I like it or not, I really am officially entering marathon training.   I will go through the motions until I find the joy that I normally get not just from running but life in general.

This weekend I plan to look at marathon training plans.   I do not plan to follow one to the letter T, but I do want to figure out which one I will use as a general guideline.   This marathon will be interesting.   My first big race back running after surgery.    My first race that I will be in charge of my training.    I think I will like the flexibility of it even if I won’t be as prepared as in the past.   Who knows….. I may surprise myself.

What plan do you follow for marathon training?

 

 

No Regrets

5 Days

Yup that’s it.

The taper crazies are not setting in as I’ve got too much going on and could use the time away from running.   That being said, it doesn’t mean that my mind is not going.

I’ve been looking at the course.   I’ve been thinking about my goals.   I’ve been thinking about how far I’ve come and it’s been far.

Very far.

I started this journey just a few short years ago.    I think it’s been 5 years now.   How the time goes.

IMG_2278This is me when I started going to the gym.   When I decided it was time.    When never having even done a 5K, I signed up for my first Sprint Triathlon.    It was during this training that I realized that running wasn’t so bad.    That is was actually something to be enjoyed not just endured.    That I would miss it on days that I didn’t run.  That it would bring people into my life that I adore.   It also taught me that I could accomplish things I could only imagine if I just worked hard enough.

Then I thought about my last marathon (can’t believe I use the word last and not only).    I ran Marine Corps Marathon in 4:38:14.    It was a solid race, but there were things I would have done differently.   There were regrets.

 365840_210208824_XLarge(As a side note, I am only 10 pounds lighter here than in the picture above but look at those solid legs.    Remember the number on the scale can lie)

Now back to the story….

The other day I went out for 6 miles.   I spent a good portion of that run having a pep talk with myself reminding myself how far I’ve come.    I reminded myself that I’ve come even further since MCM.    That I am stronger now.   That I have already proven that I can go the distance.   That this year alone I’ve already run more than  1050 miles and still going strong.  Last year I literally was going out at the end of December to hit 1000.    That I am better trained that I was for MCM.   That I’m stronger and faster.  That I need to run (not walk) away from the NYC Marathon with one thing…

NO REGRETS!

Yes, a little phycing out is a good thing.

I came up with my goal.   A realistic goal according to my coach too.

So what is my goal?

I want to run the NYCM in 4:30.

I’ve got a goal and now I’ve got a plan and don’t see a reason why I can’t reach it either.

No regrets.

As long as I give it all I’ve got.    As long as I don’t give up.   As long as I push to the end.

There will be

NO REGRETS

Can You Do It?

It’s hard not to compare yourself to others.   I wonder if it’s human nature.

Yesterday I completed my longest run since my 50K.    I ran 14 miles and to be honest, I didn’t run the whole thing.   During this time, the baddest BAMR that I know was completing her I believe third FULL Ironman.   She truly is amazing.

You know what?

Her amazing and mind boggling feats do not cancel out my hard fought 14 miles.

You know why?

It’s an apple and an orange.

Because I am in competition with no one but myself.   Yes, right now, I am not the best competitor, but still.

Some of us (and I admit sometimes me too, but only briefly) think….

I’ll never be as fast as….

I’ll never run as far as….

I’ll never be blah, blah, blah…

You know what?

20140429-144653

It’s all noise.   It’s all a distraction.   It means nothing.    It keeps us from our potential. For a long time I let what others could do that I couldn’t hold me back.  I haven’t in a long time.   I have the feeling that Meb and others at the top of their game don’t do this.   Not because they are better than the rest of us (which lets be honest, they are).   It is because they have confidence in themselves and their abilities.   Yes, it’s probably much easier to do if your Meb, but there can only be one Meb.

 For the average person, having confidence in oneself is hard.   It means putting yourself out there even just in our own mind.    Sometimes we talk ourselves out of something by saying we can’t do it.  On some level it is easier to doubt ourselves than to try and then fail.  Hence the reason I haven’t really committed to a diet:(

Here’s the thing though……

If you don’t put yourself out there, how will you know what you can do?

Now I’m not saying that we all need to run marathons, complete an ironman, or even run any races.   I’m saying that we need to be honest with ourselves, our goals, and what we really want.    If you never set any goals, how will you know when you’ve gotten to where you want to go?

I have a friend whose goal is simply to run 3 times a week.   Another friend wants to qualify for Boston.   Others streak every day for a mininimum of a mile.   Some have BIG goals and others are just starting out and want to be able to run a mile.    No matter what the goal, no matter how big or small you think they are, it important to have them.

I’m beginning to wonder if this is my problem with my NYCM training.   Yes my goal last year was to quality which I did, but now I really don’t have a goal.   I’ve already run 2 road marathons.   Last year I set a private goal for the Marine Corps Marathon of finishing in 4:30 which I missed by 8 minutes and 14 seconds (yes, the seconds count).   So maybe part of my problem is that in the back of my mind I’m wondering if I won’t be able to do it this time either.  A little self sabotage goes a long way.

There is a saying that I love about children.   It speaks about how children become what you tell them they can or can not be.   The same thing applies to adults though.   If your inner voice says you can’t do something, you won’t ever do it.

So it’s time I take my own advice and remember……

It’s better to have tried and failed than to never have tried in the first place.

1484103_622769931126137_927190818_n

What are your goals?