Tag Archive | Hypopa athlete

Start Strong to Finish Strong

I am going to run a Half Marathon.

I am going to run the NYC NYRR Half Marathon.

Of course, i will be running it in my town and not the streets of NYC. I am running another virtual race. It is what I do now. It is what we all do now. Ok, not all but I need to train for something. I need motivation. I need something. And while virtual races do not have the pull as in person, this time it is going to be different…… I hope.

I have a novel approach to this half marathon. One that I haven’t done with any of my “recent” events. I haven’t used this approach in years. Here we go………… I want to go into this race the old fashioned way. I want to go into it confidently. I want to go into it ready. Most of all……….

I want to go into it trained.

Now this is not to say that I didn’t train for previous events. You know back in the day when there were in person events. I did. I did……… Right up until I didn’t.

I stopped trying. I stopped pushing. I did the bare minimum that I needed to do to get me to the finish line. Maybe even less than the bare minimum too.

Now I want to get to the finish line not with a struggle. Not with and excuse. Not with baggage. I want to go back to the days of feeling confident in my training. Feeling confident in my ablilities. Knowing that I am ready to tackle the miles before me. In order to trust the training, there must be actual training.

I want to go back to the mantra….

FINISH STRONG!

Some where along the line I forgot that in order to finish strong, you must also start strong. And so it begins….

8 Weeks and here we go…. Starting strong to finish strong.

In the Eye of the Beholder

I’ve been hard on myself. I’ve been easy on myself. I’ve been in between the two.

I’ve been proud. I’ve been embarrassed. I’ve been in between the two.

I’ve pushed. I’ve pulled back. I’ve been in between the two.

I’ve been fearless. I’ve been full of fear. I’ve been everything in between.

Somewhere along the lines from not knowing anything when I started out to being at the top of my game in 2016 to where I am now; I forgot something. I forgot that it doesn’t matter what I am doing as long as I am doing something. I forgot that I can’t be more than I am at any given time. That trying to swim against the current is a sure fire way to allow the current to pull you under. That it’s ok to use a flotation device to stay afloat as long as you stay afloat. Most of all that in the whole scheme of things it is about enjoying what I’m doing.

Although I’ve never really stopped to some extent I have stopped giving it my all. I’ve stopped pushing. I started thinking that if I couldn’t hit previous expectations that I was somehow failing. That I needed to keep doing more than I could physically do and when my body couldn’t I wondered what was the point. What was the point of it if I couldn’t do everything the way I wanted.

That reality is what we make it. That pretending the world is not the way we want it to be doesn’t change the way it really is even if we don’t ever want to admit it. Acting like a toddler because things don’t go your way doesn’t suddenly make them go your way. So maybe it’s not toddler mentality so much as human nature. Unlike a toddler though, as an adult we are able to recognize the self sabotage and be willing to change.

The truth of the matter is….. I want to recognize that I am not where I used to be. I might (chances are pretty good) never be there again. I recognize that I need to train and run smarter. I need to give my mind and body what it needs which is to live in reality and not the past or a version of reality that is not based in reality but fantasy.

Reality isn’t bad. Reality is challenging and hard and a good place to be. Reality is every changing too. So who knows. We can be our biggest champions or we can be our biggest deterrent. How we view ourselves, our abilities and our future (even our past) determines how we live our lives. Determines the way we look at the world and what we can accomplish. It determines if we make it to the finish line or never even get to the start line.

People look at me at think I am an optimistic person. I am not sure about that. I like the epression….

It is the truth….. A truth for every aspect of our lives from where we live to the job we hold to our athletic abilities. When I go to a race, I know that I will never be the fastest. I am not usually the slowest. I used to be a middle of the pack runner. Now I might be a back of the pack runner, but at this point I wouldn’t know because there are no races.

I also realize that I am at the point where I want to push again. I don’t mean push to run a sub 2 half-marathon. I mean push to see what I can do. I mean pushing to where I am not where I want to be. I’ve realized that the only way that I will be able to do this is actually to do something. So it’s time to actually do something.

So in that spirit I signed up to run the virtual NYC Half Marathon in March. I have currently been working on my running. Learning to find out where I am and what I should be realistically be running for right now. The furthest I have run recently is 3 miles, so this should be interesting. It will be hard. It will be challenging. Most of all it will be educational as you only know what you can do if you try.

So with that….. I am ready to try. I am ready to push myself with no excuses but understanding that I dont need to be anymore than I am on any given day.

How Does This Keep Happening

So I did a thing.   As often, I did it on a whim.   I did it without agonizing over it.   I did it without really thinking about it.    My sister mentioned it and off I went.

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What did I do now you wonder?

I signed up to virtually complete the NYC Marathon.

Gulp.

Now you might be wondering how I am planning to do this when I am only walking right now and have committed to walk through the end of the summer.   Easy Peasy…. I plan to train and mostly walk 26.2 miles.

Say what!?!

Seriously…. Once I signed up and thought, “What did I just do?”    I searched for walking plans.   I actually think since it is a virtual event this is more doable because I don’t need to worry as much about meeting a cut off time.   Plus lets be honest, last year I basically power walked 3/4 the in person NYC Marathon.

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I have been mentioning that I’ve been thinking about goals.    Completing a marathon length event was actually one.   Remember how I have said that I have completed a marathon every year since 2014?   I did not want this year to be any different and now it will be an official event.   So while this may seem like it has come out of left field, it really hasn’t.   Completing a marathon this year has always been rattling around in my head.   I just wasn’t sure if I would be able to make it happen.   Now I am.

I have not settled 100% on a plan but I have narrowed down already   My walking this last month has set me up to be ready to roll into this plan.    Walking 103 miles last month puts me in a good spot to start.   Plus we all know that I need a goal.

It’s go time.

Just Show Up

So this post might be a little different, yet not.   So stick with me!

Something exciting happened recently that I have been waiting to share.   I’ve been waiting because I wanted to be able to actually see if I would it really was something that I could be excited about.   Since the mail arrived two days ago and I’ve done my own testing I can say that I’m excited.

So here is the thing….. I was recently asked (yes ASKED) to become a Pineapple Clothing Ambassador.    This was not something that I sought out, but through my Instagram account they reached out to me.   Now I will say, that I’ve gotten DM’s in the past but nothing like this.   Usually they are the random “How you doing today?’ messages where you immediately block them or the guy who liked EVERY one of my feet pics (you know as a runner, we do those things).    This DM was different though.

Anyway, they were reaching out to me to see if I was interested in becoming an Ambassador for their company.   Now who knows maybe they asked everyone, but you know it’s nice to be asked to the dance.   Plus I don’t know that ask everyone but either way I was flattered.   I’m really not going to lie, it was very flattering with all the content out their to be asked (so please don’t pop my bubble).

Here is the thing and these are the facts I know….. I am not a young woman, but I am not an old one either!  I do not have a traditional athletes body.    I will never have a traditional athletes body.   I’m just not built that way nor do I have the desire to do what it takes to get down to whatever size the world thinks I should be.    What I do have though is an athletes heart and will to push through challenges.    I may not be the picture that comes to mind of what an athlete is but make no mistake I am an athlete.    Many times athletes like me are under-represented but that is slowly changing.

This under representation of people who like me sometimes hold other people back from taking the first step for a positive change.    You look at yoga studio and it seems like everyone is under a size 4 and can bend themselves in a pretzel.   Me…. I am still working on not falling down and my balance.      You look at fitness blogs (obviously not mine) and you see the finished product.   I will never be that finished product.     When you look at ads for fitness and runners, you see the top athletes.   The thing is those are people at the top of their game while most of us are still deciding what we want to play.

We’ve all had a friend say or maybe we have even said it that before the great pause that they will start going to the gym/running/yoga/any group activity that they need to loose 20 (fill in blank) pounds FIRST.   That’s not the way it works.

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We need to be willing to show up as we are today not as we want to be tomorrow.    If we can’t show up as we are we will never be happy even when we finally deem we are ready to show up.    Who we are is not determined by the size of our jeans or leggings.   It is not determined if we have the “perfect” body.   It is not determined by anything on the outside, but on what we carry on the inside.   You can never be happy with anything else unless you can love the inside. (yeah I know hokey expression but could not be more true).

This past year, someone I know who looked like they should have it all together fell apart.    They have the right look.   They appeared on the outside to have everything that should make them happy.    They weren’t and they hit rock bottom.   Someone made a comment about being surprised because she was the last person you would expect and their in lies the problem.   Often we focus on living how we think others think that we should live –   looking a certain way  — Being part of the “right” group —–  doing the “right” things  —- on and on it goes, when really all we need to focus on is who we are and what we need to make us happy because if you are not happy with that nothing else can fill that void for you.

Circling back……..

So when I was asked to be a Pineapple Clothing Ambassador and determined that their USA made products were something that I could endorse, I jumped in.

 

As I said in my Instagram post today:  Proof you don’t need a fancy workout space. You don’t need a size 6 body. You don’t need negativity. You just need to show up!

So I am showing up.   I am sharing my not ready for prime time shape.

Pineapple Clothing

Use code: chrcha for 20% off your order too!

 

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?

Take 5, or is it 6 or 7?

Life is about transformation.

Metamorphosis

Changing from one stage to the next. Often we get comfortable in one stage and don’t like the thought of change. Most often the metamorphosis is not up to us and will happen whether we like it or not. Change is hard. Change is often unexpected. Change is inevitable.

The thing about change though is that often we are not ready for it. We have reached a level of comfort and we want to stay in the comfort zone. This does not mean that the comfort zone is all that comfortable, but we are used to it. We know it. We accept it. We can deal with the known because the unknown is frightening.

Surprise.

Time to move out of your comfy zone. You can not stop a change any more than the caterpillar can stay in it’s cocoon forever. It needs to break free and let the sun shine on it’s wings and fly. If it does not emerge from it’s cocoon it will wither and die.

So here I am. Now 5 Weeks till NYC Marathon getting ready to figure it all out again. I’ve been thinking this last week about my training. I’ve trained for marathons healthy. I’ve trained for marathons with hypoparathyroidism without Natpara. I’ve been training with hypoparathyroidism with Natpara which let me tell you is soooooo much nicer. Now 5 weeks till NYC Marathon I’m getting ready to figure it all out again.

Last year when I trained, I was able to build my miles up learning when I needed to ad more calcium, what would effect my levels, and how I needed to adjust my training. I was able to build up the miles slowly and plan accordingly. This training cycle with Natpara has been different as I have not been so symptomatic and it was going nicely. Now as my body adjusts to being off the Natpara even without the added stress of running, I need to figure out how much calcium to take, when to take it and also how much Calcitriol and supplements to take to find a balance. Add training for NY to the mix and it is a little stressful. My body and even mentally I’m trying to work it all out. Instead of having the summer to figure it out and get it together, I literally have weeks.

It can be done. It will be done. I was scrambling. Doubting. Wondering how to pull it all together. A good friend shared with me an 8 week marathon training plan with low millage. I’ve been putting in the miles. I have the base. I can do this. It is not designed for someone who is looking to race, PR, or push. It is designed for someone like me who just wants to get to the finish line. So I’m jumping in with 5 weeks to go and let this next transformation be what it will be.

I’m Not Unpacking

You already know the whole Natpara thing has thrown me for a loop. It’s to be expected, but I’ve got literally a week of it left so I might as well make the best of it. It’s hard though when you see posts of people in your hypopara support groups already suffering with the effects of coming off of it and some already in the ER. It’s no joke.

What I keep thinking of though is that prior to Natpara I was lucky enough not to have visited an ER. So chances are pretty good that I won’t now either. At least that’s what I keep telling myself because you just never know because now it’s not just the hypopara but body adjusting to not having Natpara. I’m hopefully optimistic especially because I am also lucky enough to have a doctor not just well versed in Hypopara but also in Natpara. I trust her judgement and the instructions she gives to make this as smooth as possible. It will be a balancing act. Not too low. Not too high which is just as bad. We are looking for just right. Fingers crossed.

So yeah, I admit that I’m nervous. I think that I might be a fool if I wasn’t. But since the medicine is no longer available, I’ve got no choice expect to face it head on with as positive an outlook as I can.

Now Lastly I will admit that I’ve also been thinking about how NYC Marathon is in 8 weeks. Training has been going good in my opinion. I’ve been for the most part following my plan. I’ve been getting out the door. Doing what needs to be done to be able to cover the distance. I have not been concerned with paces as that has never been part of the goal. That being said paces have been better than I have expected. Part of me was starting to think that I might actually have a 5:15-5:30 marathon in me.

Well that’s out the door.

I have been experiencing a little tiny pity party these last few day. Not getting in one run since the news came out. Part of me is like…. why bother? A What will it matter pity party.

So it’s time to dust off the stink of the pity party. The Party is over and I refuse to unpack here, because I don’t know what is coming anyway. Besides I was never doing this marathon for me, but for Sandy Hook Promise anyway. So be what may, I will do what I can. At any pace that I can. Smart and safe as I can (don’t worry Mom). I will do this any way that I can, but I will do it.

So with that being said…. It’s time to run again.

I

Fire

I’m preparing to start training for NYC Marathon. I’m dotting my i’s and crossing my t’s. Picking my training plan. Kind of doing some pre training. Thinking about goals. All the things that I’m supposed to be doing. With all that being said, I am noticing one thing missing this go around.

Fire.

Don’t get me wrong….. I’m excited to be getting ready to train and run NYC Marathon for Sandy Hook Promise. I’ve got the fire to get to both start and finish line. Let me explain….

When I first started this journey years ago, I had fire and determination. I pushed myself to the limit. I trained. I ran far. I ran fast. I pushed myself to and past limits that I didn’t know I could push through. I got up early. I ran late at night. I had serious goals. Some I reached. Some I didn’t. But I always pushed through.

Now….

I like to sleep in….. I’m comfy on the couch at night. I’m missing that fire to push the limits. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been running (not as much as I thought for pretraining). I’ve been running some local 5K and being pretty consistent in my times. Faster than I thought I’d be. I’ve run 3 5K’s this year. All of them, I said I was just going to run and see what happened. All of them were hard and I pushed myself. All of them I finished around 31 minutes.

Now that being said, I think the reason my fire is a little damp right now is I’m not sure what is going to happen as I start adding the miles. Am I going to fall apart. Is my body which thanks to my Natpara has been feeling good going to give me issues. I’m worried. I like the way I’ve been feeling. You know… feeling like me. I think that I may be afraid to rock the boat. I keep saying I don’t want to go back to how I felt both mentally and physically before I started my Natpara. I love running. I love racing. I love being able to cross any finish line but a marathon finish line is special especially when running for a cause you believe in. That being said as much as I love that…… I love waking up not feeling like grandma. I love not needing a nap in the afternoon. I love not having muscle cramps, spasms and all of those other funky sypmptoms of being hypopara.

So I guess what I will say is…… I have the fire, but I’m afraid to let it burn too brightly right now. I’m going to tend to it. I’m going to care for it, but I’m not going to let it burn out because while I love running; I love being able to live my life like I did before my surgery.

If there is one thing about being hypopara is that it does make you more cautious. Where I used to throw caution to the wind and let the chips fall where they may because I knew I could easily pick up the pieces; I don’t do that now. When they fall, they fall too hard and it takes too long to pick them up.

So I will go into my training following a very low key plan. I will put in the miles. I will do what I need to do and as the 3 miles turns 5 and so forth and so forth; I will reassess. I will adjust. What I will not do is stop….

So I guess I do have more fire than I thought:)

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.

attitude