Tag Archive | goals

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.

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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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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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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?

 

 

 

Behind the Curtain

I said that I wanted to go int the NY Half fully trained and I really feel that I accomplished this goal.   I went into this race knowing that I would make it to the finish line.   I went into this race confident and prepared.   That doesn’t always happen, so when it does it’s a beautiful thing.   So how did I do that?

First and most important I was a realist who put in the miles, but I did it my way.   I had a guide that I used more for the mileage and not the actual workouts.   I didn’t do any fartleks, cut-downs, or focus on pace really at all.   This race wasn’t about speed at all.   This day was about having a good race.

I admit that when you are at the starting line in a corral based on previous times which put me in the first wave, it was hard to hold back.  It’s hard not to feel like you should be running faster.   Part of the reason that it is hard is because of the excitement, but part of it is also because everyone else is moving and your moving with them.   At this point, it important to remember that each person is running their own race.  It is important to remember that it doesn’t matter if they pass you either.

During the race, I was thinking a funny thing…….

Most of us are just your average runner.    Most of us no matter how hard we train will never get to the front of the Pack.    It’s not for lack of pushing ourselves, but lets be honest training can only take you as far as it can take you.   If I had unlimited resources and hired a dietician, training coach, and followed their plan to a T that will still not make me as fast Shalane Flanagan.  That just is not who I am.

So on my run, I was reminding myself of who I am and what I want out of my running.    The biggest thing is I want to run.   I need to run.   It is good for me not just physically but mentally.    Then as I was trying to run a smart race, I did wonder why so many of us are so tied into the numbers of our run.   I know that I am, but I am trying to be better.   Based on my heart rate yesterday, I was in the training zone 5 out of 5 for the day.    My heart rate averaged 156 for the race and at one point (although this doesn’t seem right) it showed maximum of 198 which would also indicate when I overlay pace it shows that I started walking.

For me, I was pushing it.   That being said, I also did walk.    I have had races where I had a timed goal.   Some I reached.   Some I didn’t.    Overall, if you ask me what my times were at any given race there are only a few that I could tell you exactly (not counting seconds and I know we count seconds).   But if you asked me to tell you about some of my races, I could probably tell you who I went with and some of our adventures on it.   Those are the moments I cherish.   Those are the memories that mean the most.

 I’ve always said goals are good and I do believe that they are.   That being said, I’m to the point where my goals are changing.   I’m not as concerned with a PR, but in how I ran that day.   Did I push my limits?   Did I do my best?   Most of all did I have fun doing it?

I’ve been thinking a lot about that last question.    I know that it would take an act of God for me to ever PR again.   This is not to say that I am discounting it, but I’m trying to be more realistic.  Again…. not getting any younger.     My body is not the same.   My mindset is also not the same.

For me, it is no longer about the numbers.   For me it is about pushing my limits while at that same time being smart.   Now this is in no way saying that people shouldn’t be chasing time goals.   I would bet that if I hadn’t had my surgery that I would still be chasing time.   But as I said in my post Perspective, things changed for me.

My goal is to set myself up to be running not just a particular race but a year from now. Two years from now.   I want to be a cool grandma runner (which I have YEARS AND YEARS to go before getting there).

In order to make that happen, my goals will be my goals.   To run my own race, my own way.   It may not be the way everyone would want to run it and I may over time get to a point where I reassess these goals.   For now though, this is where I am which is a good place.

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Crossing the finish line with a smile is my new goal:)

and being to get out of bed the next day is a bonus!

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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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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Yes It’s Over!

As we near the end of 2017 I keep thinking to myself, “Good riddance.   I am so done with you.”   I know the year isn’t over, but I’ll be honest I’ve kind of given up on it.

We are days away from Christmas and I have no motivation to get out the door running or any such thing.   It’s almost like what is the point.    Besides there is much to be done in these next few days.

All that being said…

Here is to a better 2018 in so many ways.

I am planning for my mad return.   Mad because I will go into it kicking and screaming.   There is much to be done.   There are goals to be set.   There is better health and diets to be had.   I’m pretty sure the reason Santa is so fat is because he eats nothing but Christmas cookies and I have been channeling him a lot lately.

Things will be different though.

I have a few incentives.   One being the NY Half marathon in March.   The second one is the following month I need to go back to my Primary Doctor as she has given be a goal to get my good cholesterol back up and my weight down a few pounds.   Both of these are goals that I would like to meet.

I’m not sure the January will start off that great running as  January 21rst is the Fred Lewbow Half and I’m pretty sure that I’m not going to be ready for it.   Who knows what is going to happen, but I would still like to go.   Besides I’m going to start running very soon.   I need to start training for the NY Half!

As far as the other goal, I have been looking at different diets.    I’m not a huge “diet” fan, but who is?   I don’t want to do shakes, cleanses, or packaged foods.   I want a diet that is more a life style change of healthy eating that will also be beneficial to me.   I keep coming back to one that I found called the DASH diet.  It focuses on eating fruits, veggies, lean meats, low fat dairy and such.   I’m still in the research stage, but I think this might be the way to go.

As we know… I do best when following a plan and not just in running.  Years ago I lost a chunk of weight following the South Beach Diet, because I was following the plan.   I think at this point the DASH diet might be a healthier option for me too.   So we will see.

So here is to kicking 2017 to the curb!

Whose with me?   Bring on a better 2018!!!

2018

 

 

The Numbers are Good

Those who know me or have been following my blog long enough know that I’m a numbers person.  Know I don’t mean numbers person like my accountant husband.   I just mean that I’m a numbers person when it comes to my running.

I like to see paces.   I like to keep track of distances.   I like to compare and contrast.   I just like my numbers.   This is why even when I’m not paying attention to the numbers on a run, I am always tracking it.   Just can’t do a naked (non garmin) run.   Not going to happen.

Now maybe the reason that I like the numbers so much is that since I’ve been serious about my running, I’ve been tracking.   Paces have gone down.   Distances have gone up.   It have been fun to see this happen and how far this non athletic person has come.   Anyway, yesterday I got an email from Strava on this years numbers.

Here is how I did so far.

542.3 miles

65,018 calories

10.4  miles averaged a week

Those are good numbers.  These numbers are nothing to sneeze at.  These are the numbers that I will try to improve upon for next year.   These numbers tell a story too if I compare to 2016.

2016

1,094 miles (should have run 6 more miles)

121,219 calories

21 miles averaged a week.

So there are a few ways to look at these numbers.   You know that glass half full or half empty kind of thing.   I’m going with the half full and here is why.

This year, health wise, has kind of sucked but it could have been worse.   That being said coming to terms with being Hypopara is hard and the learning curve which I’m still on is hard too.   It’s getting better for a variety of reasons.   First is that I’ve finally got a doctor that I have confidence in how to treat this.   Secondly, they don’t classify it as permanent till after a year which I passed in November.   Up until then, I kept expecting them to tell me that it was all working properly and get back to the way it used to be.   Lastly I’m realize that the only thing stopping me is me.

So now I’ve got my numbers and I know what’s what.   So it’s time to start planning for 2018 and new goals and aspirations.

 

Let it Go, Let it Go

As Elsa said, It’s really time to Let it go….

I  never really let things go.

It’s time.

Ok.  It’s past time.

For example, I ordered these pace bands once I got into Chicago.

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If you can’t tell, these are 4:15 and 4:30 pace bands.

Crazy now.   At one point, it was a goal.   Actually it wasn’t even a crazy goal.

In the back of my mind, this was while not a goal, it was possible.   I was secretly holding onto it.    I couldn’t let it go.   No matter how improbable or silly, I held onto it.    In the deep recesses of my brain, I admit now that this was always there.   I kept imagining a miracle in my training.  That something  would click and I would be right back there.   As much as that seed was in the back of  my mind, I realistically trained for where I am today.

I am at a 5 if not a 5 1/2 hour marathon.

I’m a firm believer in goals.   It’s what kept me running.

Some people have goals for speed, some distance, some just getting out the door.   My goal at this point is honestly just to finish.   Each goal is a worthy goal.   Each brings it’s own set of challenges.   That is the beauty of being a runner.   You are only competing with  yourself and your own limitations.   Some real and some imagined.

So with a goal of getting to the finish line, I need to run smart.    As I’ve said before, I’ve hit the wall before at a marathon.   It’s not pretty.  I, honestly, don’t know if I can push through it today.   I’ve got a lot going  on… The calcium issues, the stomach issue, the tendonitis, and oh yeah being 15 pounds heavier than last year.

I’ve sought out advice from those who have dealt with hypoparathyroidism longer than me.   One thing that stuck with me is this response…

“We live a very measured life. We don’t get the option to give it a 70% or an 80%. If we are to accomplish what we are aiming for, We have to give it a 100% . At all times.”

So with this advice, I know that I have no room for show boating.   I’ll save that for a later date with friends whose hands I will grab as we cross the finish line.

A 5 hour marathon is still a marathon.

A 5 1/5 hour marathon is still a marathon.

And I’ve got 6 1/2 hours to get to the finish line.   I will say that I’m hoping to get there before then, but I will get there and be happy about it if that is how it rolls that day.

All I know is that when I get to the finish line, I might hug the person giving me a medal.worth it