Tag Archive | goals

Great Expectations

We all have expectations in life. Great expectations. We all have a vision of how we want our life to be. Expectations are good, but what happens when life doesn’t live up the vision of what we think it should be? This leads to disappoint and sand ness.

All those years ago, actually only 7, when I started on my fitness journey there was no expectations.    I didn’t know what my body could do.   I didn’t know what a good time for an event was.    Hell, I really didn’t know anything….. Except that I wanted to do something.     Because I was starting from zero, I put no expectations on myself.   I jokingly said that my only goal with my first ever race, Iron Girl Sprint Tri, was not to die.   To me that was enough of a goal and anything after that was a win.

There was no… I should hit this many miles. I should hit this pace. I should do this or that for training. I knew nothing, so I expected nothing.

When I ran my first ever half which I signed up for because I was running just to run with my MRTT (Mom’s Run This Town) Mama’s. I was running 8 miles and more just to run them. Then on one run one of the Mama’s, Janna, said, ” You should sign up for the Superhero Half. Your ready for it.”

So I did. I had no expectations. I just showed up for the car ride to the event. While in the car, the seasoned runners spoke of pacing, race strategy, fueling and such. When they asked me mine, I had none. My goal was to finish.

Thanks to Janna who took me under her wing, I finished in 2:09. She knew about pacing and she also knew that I could finish in under 2:10 and she got me there. I just ran when she made me run and had a fun time doing it.I further admit that I didn’t even know that 2:09 would be a good time for a half. To me it was just about running to run and having a good time.

Then something happened, I started putting expectations on my running.   I also became ” a serious” runner.    I learned of pacing, training strategy, and proper fueling and for a while I even had a kick ass coach.   And while I still enjoyed running, it lacked the simplicity of when I first started.  I put expectations on myself and I was able to live up to my expectations right up until I couldn’t which was right after my thyroid surgery left me with Hypoparthyroidism.   And even after I came to terms with that, I still put expectations on myself.   Expectations that I could no longer meet.

You know what? I’m done with expecations! I want to find the joy that I had when I first started running.    I want to stop overthinking, overanalyzing, and just find the joy in allowing my body to do what it can do.   No matter the pace.   No matter the distance. 

The thing that screws us up so much in life is not accepting what we have and being upset it’s not what we think it should be. Sometimes getting out of our own way is the best thing that you can do. Sometimes you have to make a conscience decision to let things go, to reassese, and just allow what is to be enough.

With this thought process, I had picked the Hal Higdon Novice 1 training plan for the NJ Half at Rutgers.   No, I admit, I am not a novice runner; but I want to be.   I want to run with no expectations.   I have been so focused on doing what I thought I should do that I was missing out on what I could do. I am going back to seeing what my body can do.   To discovering where I am today.   And while I may have had this thought in the last 3 years I really have not embraced it in my running.    I am now. 

You know what?….. I’ve been enjoying my 2 training runs so far.   I have just been running to run.   No expectations.   No watching the pace.   Just letting my body decide.   It’s been good.   The runs have felt good.    I have felt good and the bonus is that both runs had negative splits which will not be the expectation nor will it be.  

So I will be happy to run where I am today. Not where I was 3 years ago. Not where I think I should be. Not where other people are. Not about pace. Not about anything, but enjoying where I am at this point and that will be enough.

Looking on the Bright Side

Sorry I’ve been off the grid. January has been a month to say the least. The first full week of January my husband and I both came down with what we assume was the flu. Down and out for the count. This is where I was thankful that my kids are old enough and self sufficient enough (when need be) to take care of themselves. Then was getting back into the swing of my routine and catching back up.

In the spirit of catching up, I did manage to sign up for a Half Marathon in April on my actual birthday. I will be doing the NJ Half at Rutgers. It was either this one or the NYRR Shape, but since did that one years ago I thought maybe something different this time.

The deciding factor was time as it will be easier to get in and out of this one. Plus it’s not 2 loops of the hills in Central Park. I even got a friend to do it with me. Win. Win.

Then the month kept rolling along. Yesterday, I had the fun of getting a colonscopy. Have to say the prep worried me a little bit because I wasn’t sure how my calcium would be, but I took extra in prepping for the prep. I did get a little tingles during the second dose of my prep, but I added some calcium and was good to go. What surprised me is my calcium getting low last night well after the procedure. Tingles around lips. Tell tail Chvostek sign. Hypoparathyroidism is a strange beast. I took some extra calcium and thankfully bounced back by morning.

I will say all of these things did make for a great month as far as helping me with my weight loss goal. Not what I would recommend to jump start your diet, but 8 pounds is 8 pounds and I’m even more motivated because I’m 2 pounds away from a number I haven’t seen in a while. So I guess now I have to stick with the healthy eating thing!

And since I was feeling better today, I went out for my first half marathon training run. I decided to go back to the very beginning using the Hal Higdon Novice 1 training program. This program is designed for those who have never done a Half before, but since I’m going back to basics I thought this was a great way to start. Besides I haven’t done much since NYCM and the Half is in 12 weeks, so I think this is just where I need to be.

I’ve decided I’m going back to the very beginning. Like I did all those years ago when I first hit the pavement, I am claiming this once again as the year of me. This means that I will be focusing on taking time for myself, getting myself in shape, and just enjoying seeing what I can do. I surprised myself all those years ago and I think I just might do it again. Who knows! I surprised myself on todays run which I allowed myself to walk when I needed. I ended up with very pretty negative splits and was happy with myself. What more can a runner ask for?

How are you doing on your goals?

New Year. New Me. I don’t think so.

I hate the New Year New Me montra. This implies that there was something wrong with the “old” me and I don’t think that’s true. I personally like the New Year Better Me mantra. This is more an accure description of what I’m going for this year.

I’m going for heathier eating habits. I’m going for a weight that will not cause me foot issues when running. I’m going for balance. I thought that I would go for closing my apple watch rings every day, but then got sick and a new puppy which made me give that one up fairly quickly. Besides that was more pressure than I wanted.

In order to know if I’m achieving my goals on the last day of 2019 I did a weight and more importantly a measurement check. I care more about the inches around the belly than the number on the scale. Although I will say that in order for the inches to go down, so does the scale. I will also say that little by little I have allowed the number on the scale to get to a number that I once would have found unacceptable.

I will further say that I may have been a little shocked by the tape measurer. Unlike a scale, it is hard to say that the number is wrong because my hair is wet, my shirt weighs 10 pounds, it’s wrong time to get weighed and all the other little lies we tell ourselves.. I’m not going to get obsessive with these numbers either but use them as a way to check progress.

I also started the New Year off with a fun local 5K on the cold first day of the year. I went into it knowing that I have not run since completing the NYC Marathon. I further more have not done any type of real exercise since then either. So I was not expecting much. My goal was to just go have fun. Get some miles in and kick start the year reminding myself that I can do this.

I started in the back of the pack as I wanted to make sure that I didn’t do something stupid and try to run at a pace that I could not maintain and would have no business trying to do. As the race started, I ended up being next to a friend. We ran it together. We walked when need be. We chatted the few miles. We made sure to pass and finish in front of the lady who was rude to us near the finish line. Most importantly we had fun. We also finished in a very respectable time of 37 minutes.

One thing that jumped out at me front and center yesterday is how much I miss the running community. I have both intentionally and unintentionally backed away from it and kept to myself with my running. I don’t want to feel like I’m holding people back. Don’t want to slow anyone down. Don’t want to “embarrass myself” with how slow, out of shape, and just everything else. Then their is the logistical side where I am just so bad at planning and just kind of do what I can when I can.

It was good to be back. It was good to see so many smiling faces. Faces that I’ve missed. The only judgment their that day was my own self inflicted judgement on myself. It was just a good day. I need more days like that. I need more days where I get out of my own head. I need more days with people. I’ve always been a person to be on the outside looking in if I don’t force myself to be in the mix. There are many reasons for it that will have to wait for the non existent book to delve into. Anyway, I realize that my slow exile from my running community has also been a bit of slowly turning into myself leaving me alone. I need to be better.

So here is to starting January off right and seeing where it takes me. I’m doing some plotting. I’m doing some planning. Most of all I’m still trying.

Challenge Accepted

During the month of December, I accepted a fun Facebook Challenge from a friend to post 10 days of running photos without explanation that had an impact on me or were important. Here are some of what I shared –

I loved this challenged and it reminded me that I used to be somewhat of a bad ass. It reminded me that I can, have, and want to again to hard things. It motivated and reminded me that before I started out, I couldn’t do any of the things that I did. I trained. I pushed myself. I didn’t give up. Most of all…. I tried.

I want to try again.

I will try again.

Most of all, I need to continue to remind myself that the best things in life aren’t easy. So I have been spending December baking cookies, eating cookies; but also plotting. Plotting how to stop feeling like a marshmallow and get back to feeling like I can do anything. Don’t get me wrong, my measurement of being a bad ass might be different than it used to be. That doesn’t make the feats any easier.

I’m putting out some BIG, BIG goals for me for 2020.

1. Loose 25 pounds

2. Run at least 1 event a month

3. Close my activity rings on my watch every day. This will ensure 30 minutes of exercise a day.

4. In the back of my mind, I’m pretty sure I want to run (if they will have me again) the NYCM again for Sandy Hook

These are lofty goals. This are hard goals. These goals will push me. Most of all these are not impossible goals even if as I write them they seem impossible.

I’m laying the ground work and plotting as I so often do. Another hypopara friend asked me to join her group to run the year 2020 challenge with some others. We will create a team and as a team, we will run 2020 miles. A challenge on your own sometimes falls to the wayside, but knowing that you are part of a team will keep you motivated. I’ve already registered for my first 5k on January 1rst.

I’ve already talked to a dietician to help me find a healthy way to loose the weight. When researching good diets for those with Hypopara, I realized that the one I used prior to becoming Hypopara might not be the best alternative now with the once again high urine calcium levels. Must protect the kidneys at all costs because being super vigilant has served me well. So having the help of a dietician will help not just with weight loss but overall health. She has also mentioned that there will be a January weight loss challenge that I can join. As mentioned above, it is easier to stay on track with others.

So as I continue to plot out my plans, I hope to share both the victories and pitfalls (hopefully not too many) with you.

What are you 2020 goals?

Looking Foward Not Back

We live in a society that is always sending the message that

BIGGER IS BETTER

NEW & IMPROVED

FASTER & FASTER

GO BIG OR GO HOME

We buy into it. Sometimes these are right. Sometimes they are wrong. At some point in our lives these can be true, but what happens when they no longer fit into your life? What happens if you no longer buy into these messages? Where does that leave you?

What happens if after years of chasing longer distances, faster paces, challenge after challenge; you just aren’t feeling it? Is there a place for us?

I think many people get burnt out because we start pursuing things not because they are something we want to do, but something we feel we should do. I ran a 5K, I should do a half. I’ve run a few half marathons, I should do a full. I’ve concurred the full, I should do an ultra. Sometimes these are things that start out as wants but then turn into expectations. The pressure is often all on us.

We get burnt out. We loose the joy. We stop running.

I have and maybe one day again, have pursued the distances. I’ve only completed one 50K, but in the recess of my mind I don’t feel that is the end. The same with marathons…. I’ve done 6 now. I have no desire to run one in the near future but also don’t feel that is the end. I’ve chased the ever elusive 25 minute 5k. To a non runner, I was close at 26:26, but we know the truth. I’ve chases an obtained a sub 2 Half Marathon coming just under wire at 1:59. I’ve had monthly running goals. Yearly running goals (1000 miles in a year). I’ve had goals big and small.

I have no goals right now. No distance or pace goals. My goal right now is just to as said many times, get back to the basics. I’m actually ok with that. I’ve been doing my running following the C25K program. 3 runs a week. Part of me wonders if some people think I’m not pushing hard enough, so what’s the point. Part of me is like, “that is not enough.” Then part of me is like, “enough.”

ENOUGH

I am enough. I have been embracing it as you’ve probably heard before but it is a constant reminder. If you are always looking at where you came from, you won’t see where you are going. I am going forward. I am continuing my journey. Yes, it is a much different journey than I thought I would be on at this point. To be honest, at this point I really thought I would have done another ultra, hat trick, and that 25 minute 5k. I was disappointed because I thought I wasn’t where I should be. That I wasn’t doing what I was supposed to be doing. These thoughts still creep in.

I am FINALLY getting to the point where I realize that I am right where I need to be. Doing what I need to be doing. My journey is my journey alone. Alone doesn’t mean that I am by myself on it. It just means that I can only be happy with it if I accept it. I really think I am getting there.

I have been running my runs on a treadmill for the most part. I’ve been conscience to keep the pace under control. The max I’ve been using is 5.3 and those are for briefer intervals. Sometimes I feel like I’m not pushing hard enough. Then I remember that for now it does me no good to push the pace and really for what purpose. Running on the treadmill while boring has kept me in check. This is what I’ve needed because the few runs I’ve done outside, I’m not as in check. I am actually starting to like it. I also know that once I get back outside that I will have to learn to control paces again.

Sometimes life doesn’t give us what we want. Let’s be honest…. often life doesn’t give us what we want. But if you make peace with what life does give you, you are able to enjoy where it takes you in a way that you can’t when swimming against the tides. I’ve been having this conversation with one of my sons that attitude is everything and it’s true.

I have started looking forward. Thinking about new challenges that I can take. Realistic challenges for where I am at. Sometimes it’s good to pivot right when you’ve always been going left because you never know where the new path will take you.

Finding the Joy

It’s the end of the year which means that many people are accessing how they reached their goals for the year, setting new goals for next year, or just counting the miles. This time of year can make you both sad or happy depending upon where you are with you goals. Then there is me who is ambivalent. It is what it is and kind of where I expected.

According to m Garmin, I was at 392 miles for the year. While I do know there were some runs that weren’t calculated due to not wearing watch, it’s probably not too far off.

There is a saying…

Here is another thing.

Sometimes that isn’t even true. I’m not even in competition with myself. I just am at the point where I want to find the joy in running again. I’m working on it too.

How am I doing that?

I stopped running. As I’ve said before I have not run since I completed the NYC Marathon. I’m glad that I haven’t. I have thought about it, but that is as far as it went because I’ve taken it off the table. I have had no real desire to run. Nope. Nadda. I see you out there running and think, “that’s nice” not “I wish I was out there.” Even on these perfect December running days

Now this does not mean I’m done. It just means that I wanted to be able to put my energy into Christmas. Being a frequent napper already, I don’t think I would have been able to do it all and everything would have suffered. There would be no joy. I want the joy. I want to feel like running is my release and not a job.

So here is how I plan to find the joy……. I’m going back to basics. Come January, I am starting the Couch to 5K. Now I realize that I ran a marathon in November and I really don’t need to go back to this because it’s only been 2 months, I want to find the joy. I don’t want to feel like I should be doing more. I want to just take it back to square one where I fell in love with all that running brought me. I don’t want the pressure (that I put on myself) that I should be doing more. Follow the program and call it a day.

This will go in line with my 2019 goals. No goals to PR. No goals for longer distance. Goals (for me) to just find the joy. I want to just run my town’s local 5K’s (for the fun of running in my town). I want to enjoy the experience of it.

I also plan to start cross training again. I miss that more than I miss running. I also feel like that would do me good. I’ve gained a lot of weight. I’m the heaviest of been without being pregnant and while I really don’t care about the number, I do think it’s not good for my health because I am no longer fit.

So fitness, fun and most of all joy will be my goal. Everyone has to chase a goal that works for them at where they are. For today, for this coming year, for me….. this is where and what I need.

What are your goals?

It’s Not Just About the Numbers

I will admit that I am a numbers person.   I like keep track of how far I’ve run.   I like to keep track of pace and distance.   I am never one to run without my Garmin.   That being said, there is so much more to running that sometimes we forget.   Sometimes the universe sends us a curve ball to remind us.

Now I am not saying there is anything wrong with chasing time.   I’ve done it.    I trained hard to be able to get a sub 2 half.    I was never able to obtain the 4:30 marathon or 25 minute 5K.   Although I admit that I came close with a 26.26 5K and I could never shave off the 8 minutes to get the 4:30.    But as much as I chased these dreams, I was never completive enough to be totally vested in them.

To me this race was never about the race, but the experience.   It was about raining money for Sandy Hook Promise and trying to bring about change.   It was about so much more for me.   I was excited about the challenge of raising money for them.   I was not equally excited about running the marathon.   My heart was in the fundraising, but also in just getting to the finish line for those 26 angels who broke my heart and made me promise to try and bring about change for the future.

45377532_10215894900197880_9159796036858806272_n (1)When I saw this picture after the race, I took this as a sign that those 26 angels were with me that day.   They were the reason that I ran.    They were what got me to the finish line.  Yeah, I really do believe this.

It was by far my slowest marathon at 6:10:13.    I can honestly say though it was my most enjoyable race ever.   Not that I wasn’t in pain by mile 6.    Not that I didn’t need to stop to take more calcium because I was feeling wonky from low calcium.    It’s because for the first time I really, really took in my surroundings.   Not chasing time allowed me to chase the experience more fully.    This is not to say that when I ran for time that I didn’t enjoy it, but there was much I missed.

I missed stopping to take in this view and take a picture.

I missed helping a little old lady with a cane navigate her way across the street when she looked overwhelmed, (Seriously, I helped an old lady cross the street)

I missed walking with a man whose been running the marathon since 1978 and hearing his stories of how the marathon has changed.   He loves the changes.   He love the race and he loves how even though his goal now is to try to finish before dark that he is still moving.

I missed taking in the grit of a hand cyclist at he was hours into the race and still pushing through.

I missed stopping to take pictures with random strangers because I loved their sign.

I missed around mile 23 taking a power bar from a child passing them out and hearing his mother telling him that she told him someone would take it.   Then seeing how excited he was.   Best of all, devouring said energy bar that never tasted so good.

I missed remembering that even at my fastest the time really didn’t matter because as much as a number person I am that I had to look what my PR marathon time was (4:38), but I will always remember the 6 hours and 10 minutes and 13 seconds running this marathon took.

More tomorrow as there is always so much to unpack with a marathon!

Is It Worth It?

Running a marathon is hard.   It is hard for everyone from the first place finisher to the final finisher.   It takes dedication, pain, time, and so much more to not only get to the start line, but to cross that finish line.     Often during marathon training season a runner will question their sanity, their endurance, and their sanity again.

Recently I’ve been mulling around the question in my brain…..

At What Cost?

I’m part of many online running groups and have been for years.   I will say that being part of the Moms Run This Town group is what took my running to the next level.   It introduced me to a group of amazing and dedicated runners whose experience I learned from and helped prepare and gently push me to take leaps of faith in my running.    I really owe that group to where I am today.

With any running/training group there are people for all over the spectrum….. From full Ironman competitions, 100 mile events, 5k’s and any other number of amazing feats.   There are also people whose feats are amazing just for getting out the door.   Everyone determines their own path in this world and just because someone does not take their running “to the next level” does not make their feats any less praise worthy.

Each person chooses their own path.   Their own destiny.   Their own finish line.  Some great feats are obvious to all, but some are not so easily recognized.

Recently I was taking with a woman from my Hypopara athlete training group.   We were talking about various treatment options, comparing levels, and symptoms.   She by trade was an amazingly organized person and created spreadsheets tracking her levels, dosages, and such.   Have to say that I was in awe of what she did and felt like a bit of a slacker, but I’ve never been that organized of a person.   Anyone want to create spreadsheets for me?  Ha!

During our chat,  we talked exercise.   Her doctor who is also a leading doctor for Hypoparathyroidism has different mindset than mine who is also a leading doctor. Hers does not want her to do strenuous exercise because then she must up her calcium intake while my doctor does not think this is an issue as long as my levels stay good.   I do need to up calcium levels during exercise and while I do not take a tremendous amount of calcium compared to some people with the disorder, I do adjust on days that I push myself adding almost 1000mg or more depending upon intensity/sweating/distance.

She asked me a question that I can’t seem to shake….

Is it worth it?

My immediate response was yes because I get so much from it.   Great cardio workout,  hopefully help to maintain weight which creeped up, friendships, and honestly the most important… The peace of mind it brings.   The clarity that I get when my mind ponders things during a run I have not been able to duplicate elsewhere.

Still…. I ponder….

Even with these things I need to ask myself, “Is it worth it?”

Pushing myself can be difficult.   I’ve recently realized that my calcium drops with my cycle but even at my “normal” levels there are issues.   And while I have adjusted and continued my training,  I have been pondering what to do after NYC Marathon.

The marathon is a tough beast.   It is unforgiving.   It is intense.    It is harsh, but in the end and at it’s core

IT IS A BEAUTIFUL AND AMAZING JOURNEY

For now, it is worth it.

fd0282994ece078d885b3af9e1b58726

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….

32085066_1838892302854618_2516394559605309440_o

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.

7c0d338ac986f3a8678c6370007c8a11