For those of us who have been waiting and waiting and waiting….. and yet again waiting for them to resolve the Natpara issue, this last week was a kick in the gut.
For those of you who have never heard of Natapara, I will give you a very brief unscientific explanation. For those of us who live with Hyopara (Hyparathyroidism), it a nutshell it means our parathyroid glands do not work or work properly. Never heard of a parathyroid? Well that’s because it is one of those things that the body usually never has a problem with. Most (not all) of us came to the Hypopara world due to a problem with thyroid surgery where the parathyroid glands (there are 4) were damaged. At least that’s how I got here. Your parathyroid glands produce a hormone that is responsible for helping your body regulate calcium levels. Not a big deal you think, until you look at this chart.
For a brief moment, all of this was secondary because I got to be on Natpara, a daily injection of the synthetic parathyroid hormone. I was on it for a blip before it got recalled. My body worked the way it was supposed to work without a barrage of pills, self checks and symptoms. I also no longer worried about my kidneys since all levels than were in normal range. Then for reasons that really don’t make sense, this option was taken away. When I say doesn’t make sense it is because it is still available in others parts of the world, just not in the US. So back to daily routine.
As the saying though goes though….. Just because I carry it well does not mean the load is not heavy. It is heavy. Sometimes you get so used to carrying the heavy load that you forget it is there, but it is always there. You stop really speaking about it because you just do what you need to do and even those in your circle don’t see the struggles. Always lurking. Waiting to remind you that it is there. It is those moments that are frustrating. I also know that I am lucky because even with my Hypoparthyrioidism I am able to accomplish and do so much.
But for now, I know that many in the Hypopara community have no choice but to keep carrying our heavy load because we all got notified that Natpara is not coming back. It makes no sense to know that there is something out there that will take away the symptoms, help to protect kidneys because we were no longer taking high doses of calcitrol and calcium, where your face doesn’t start to tingle telling you that your calcium is dropping (that’s what mine does but everyone is different), your feet uncontrollable cramp up, or have muscle spasms in legs. Just sitting here waiting for the other shoe to drop as you deal with the life of hypopara……… because in the end
What choice do we have
especially when the only viable one was taken from us.
So today, I ran the NYC Half. You wouldn’t know about that because I’ve been a little absentee with both updating my blog and my training. My goal is to try and do better with both.
As far as training goes, I followed no plan. I didn’t run nearly as much as I should have especially if I had followed a plan which fell through the cracks. In February, I did mostly 3 mile runs and this month, mostly 2. Then I did one 8 mile run and one 10. I would like to say that I was offsetting that non running with cross training, but that would be a lie. So the race was going to be what the race was going to be.
Got to say, for lack of training, not having a plan, and just overall preparation; I really pulled this out of nowhere.
100% I should not have had the race I had today, but I had a great race. So I will take it. I won’t knock it. I won’t question it with the exception of questioning what I might be able to accomplish if I actually trained:) My goal today was to run a smart race and I feel that I did.
For my Hypopara friends, running a smart race meant making sure that I paid attention and added my calcium BEFORE I would need it which I knew from last years marathon training. I also adjusted my doses today. Normally I take .25 Calcitriol in morning with my pills. This morning I took .50 with my normal calcium amount. Then on the course around mile 5.5, I added 1,000 mg of calcium and 25 mcg of Vitamin D. It add them to my water, so it forces me to continue to hydrate. Post race, I took another of my normal dose of Calcitriol and calcium. Overall, this made for a good day. I am lucky that I had last years marathon training to fall back on to know what I would need when. So I don’t necessarily recommend doing this without training for this reason alone.
As far everything else goes, I feel like everything fell into place. The weather was perfect. Picture perfect. Great day to run. Blue skies. Slight breezes. Sunny and in the low 60’s. I could have done with 5 degree lower but that would just be greedy to ask for that. Therefore, I will go with picture perfect.
My goal was to run a smart pace which meant watching the pace and keeping it in check. I walked when I wanted which most definitely was the bridges and maybe a little more than I should have, but again I was watching average pace as well as running pace. I knew from my whopping two long runs, that if I kept the pace in check I would feel good and would be able to get to the finish feeling comfortable. So that’s what I did. Once I got to mile 11, I pushed a little harder which made me need to walk but by mile 12 I knew I was pushing when I got a stitch in my side. Well it’s not a race if you don’t push:) My average pace according to my Garmin was 12:34 which really is the sweet spot for me right now. That being said I did push enough that my best pace was 8:36. So there’s that:) Overall my I was running in zone 4 for most of the race which is just where I should be. I was at Zone 5 for the finish which is also where I should be for the finish.
Today was a great day for running. It makes me want to be better training for the Queens 10K to see what I can do and how far I can push (smartly…. always smartly)
Some people might think because I run marathons that I never suffer from issues from my Hypoparthyridism. They would be wrong. It just is part of the routine now.
Case in point
Yesterday, while cleaning kitchen. Not doing anything out of the ordinary. Unless you count really doing a deep clean. Hmmmm
I think the difference is that while running though, I really pay attention and adjust. During build up of the miles in my training for marathon, I pat attention to the signals. Monitoring when hands start to get tingly. Pay attention to how hard to push before adding more calcium. It is all so random to be honest and changes all the time. Things that always effect it though are temperatures when running, pace and how hard I’m pushing, time of day, time on feet, and really what the calcium Gods decide. At least that last one feels pretty accurate.
One thing that I realized during a training run is definitely extra calcium is required before mile 10. It is always better to keep the levels up than try to recover from when the hands start to tingle. During training if it was a longer run, I would make sure to take my morning dose of calcium and calcitriol before running. If it was a shorter run, I would take it as soon as I got home. If it was a LOOOONG training run, I might add extra calcium powder (Calez) to my water. If it was a hot day, I would do the same. Regardless though, I always kept a pack of the powder with me because some days I needed it and some days I didn’t, Really is a crap shoot.
On marathon day and the day before, I did some preparation. In eventing before the marathon, I took an extra dose of my Calcitriol because normally I aim to keep my blood calcium levels at just below or at the the low end of normal. So I didn’t want to go into the marathon with low calcium already. Then the morning of before I left at the super early hour of 6:00 AM, I took my morning dose which normally I don’t take until 10ish. Then I packed with me my normal meds but taking an extra dose with me as it was going to be a long and hard day. I wasn’t starting until 12:00, so I had to bob and weave before the bob and weaving actually began. So around 11:00 am or so, I took another dose of calcium and calcitriol which really would have been my normal time. Then I made sure to add Calez to one of my water bottles to have along the course. I saved another dose of my calcium, calcitriol and magnesium for when I finished. Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy.
I will say that I think for once I ran a smart race. It helped that I ran the first 16-17 miles with a friend. I think we kept each other in check. We ran paces that were sustainable. We ran smart. We also walked when needed but also encouraged each other to push ourselves to run. I ran a much smarter race when I was running with her. I would have loved to have run the whole thing with her, but we split up when she needed to stop for a bathroom pit stop. At that point, I really was afraid that if I stopped that it would be too hard to start up again. My legs were dead. My foot was hurting. Stopping was not an option for me unless I wanted to call it a day.
So I kept on going……
At first I did not run as smart as I did when I was with Rosa, but I caught on to my stupidity. So I tried to run smarter. I walked more than I probably would have than if I was with her, but the pain was real.
But so was the joy….
The bottom line though was I still got where I wanted to get which was the finish line.
Yes, I know you’ve seen this photo before, but I do so love it.
Everyone who runs a marathon has hardships that they push through to get to the finish line. It wouldn’t be a marathon without it. This is just part of mine. Before becoming Hypopara, I didn’t have to take into account medications and added calcium, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t different challenges. As they say…….
If marathons were easy everyone would do them. I’m just too stubborn not to do what I have to do to get to the finish.
My relationship with food is complicated. Always has, but hopefully always won’t be. It does have a past though…
As I have said before I was the fat kid growing up. I may sound like a broken record when I say that but for some reason it stays with you. This may have been made more complicated by the fact that I literally had a balerina/Ms Teen USA older sister and lots of other dynamics growing up. Although they may speak more to body image than food relationship, but there is always a correlation.
When I think of my childhood some of my happiest memories are around food. I remember making fudge on the farm with one of my sudo Godmother’s as a young child. I remember my brother’s and sisters making Christmas cookies while listening to Christmas music (The carpenter’s) on an old record player. It’s funny too because I have a horrible memory when it comes to my early childhood but these standout. These are good memories.
I also have the stark recollection of my childhood doctor talking to my mother about my weight and giving her a diet I needed to follow. Do doctors still do that? I mean if you look at the pictures of me as a child, while I was not the ”ideal” weight I also now think this was extreme. Then again, I grew up in the 70’s, so I am betting times have changed. Based on where we lived (we moved several times, so this is how I tell times of my childhood), I would guesstimate that I was probably in 5th or 6th grade. Anyway, I remember getting into trouble for having an extra packet of oatmeal for breakfast. I don’t even remember the trouble (wouldn’t have been more than Mom saying something), but I remember the feeling. (Also in my Mom’s defense, she was deferring to the doctors and again this was the 70’s).
I would also like to give exhibit A to this story……
So as I share these stories, I wonder if anyone else has thought about their complicated history with food and how it effects them now?
I have started to think more about my food choices. I have started to think more about my relationship with foods, how it effects my body, and what better choices I can make. For the most part as an adult, I really have never thought about these things. Yes, I have thought about what I want to eat, where we are eating, and all of those things; but I have never really given food choices much thought. I’m hungry. I eat. Not why am I hungry. Why am I hungry for XYZ and why am I making the food choices that I am making and are they really good for my body, my health and my mental well being. That last is in reference to when we gorge ourselves on chocolates, cookies, or what not and how it makes us feel later. You know the… I should not have eaten all of that food guilt/shame.
Recently I had a consultation and then my first session with a Holistic functional nutritionist. In just talking with her these two times, I have started to think about my food choices more. Her open ended questions of simple things….. What if your replaced X with Z, how do you think that would make you feel? Why do think you NEED to have a snack at night? Are you really hungry or is it just habit? She is a runner who has run several marathon’s and I feel this helps. She has also said, we will do no major changes to my diet until after the marathon although changes have already started to occur just in thinking about things. Plus in looking at my diet, she has already pointed out that I need more protein and I also need more water which I can and should implement right away.
For me, this is about my health. This is not about number on the scale. When she asked me what I wanted out of our time together and what our goals were, I thought of my Grandmother. A woman who drank nothing but probably coffee or iced tea. Who never went to the doctors and if she did didn’t really listen to them. Who smoked right up until she kind of forgot she did when she had stroke. Who up until the end was the healthiest unhealthy person you could have met. I said to Lisa (my nutritionist) that I worry with my hypopara and the toll it takes on my body (thinking long term kidney health), having to now use a CPAP machine, and now peri-menopausal that my goal is to be the ”bad ass woman that I was meant to me” channeling my Grandother.
So this is my new life motto:) Ok, it may have already been my unoffical motto but I thought about it now.
So with this in mind, I have started implementing minor changes that are really not so minor but they don’t feel life altering which makes them easier to stick with.
Start my day off with a glass of water before coffee. Preferably with lemon and continued through out the day.
Instead of skipping breakfast or worse grabbing something aimlessly that really offers no value, I have started my day with smoothies (Go to my instgram to see them). I do not feel like I am giving something up and hubby now benefits because I make smoothies for 2. It’s kind of like a game now where he tries to guess what is in them. Besides being tasty (a pre-rec for anything I make), it is packed with nutrients and are filling.
Thinking about what I am actually eating has made me want to eat better.
Realizing that some eating is really just habitual and better choices can be made.
Lisa and I have talked about my Hypopara especially in our initial consultation. Some holistic groups I’ve been in are very anti-medication/supplement and feel like you should get everything naturally. Before working with her, I wanted to make sure not only did she understand but was on board with my circumstances. As a person with hypoparathyroidism, my body does not produce the hormone PTH which helps to regulate many things but Calcium is the big one. I also no longer have a thyroid. Because of these two factors, I take a boat load of pills a day. This is just the way it is…….. Some such as my calcitriol and thyroid meds are a must as is the vitamin D, magnesium, and, of course, calcium supplements.
All that being said, though, as I am entering this journey adding more natural calcium to my diet……. I am beginning to wonder if maybe….. just maybe…… instead of taking calcium supplements 4 times a day……. maybe just maybe….. I only need them twice a day, I could replace one or possible two of them from a food source. Would that be better for my body? Would it help me with my kidney health long term. More importantly for the short term, would it keep my calcium levels where they need to be?
These are things rattling around my brain and only time will tell.
What is your relationship with food and have you ever thought why?
I am at the point in my training where I am admitting that I have now failed in my training. That my training has gone off the rails. That I am not where I should be in my marathon training. That family events (passing of MIL), injuries (dealing with feet), flooding (we weren’t so bad, but dealing with flooded basement is exhausting), and just life in general has pushed training to back burner. I will say though that at least the burner is still on, so I am continuing to move foward.
This really is the time in everyone’s training where it is time to re-access and take stock. For some, they can realistically turn it around to possibly make any goals and tweak their training. Others will look at this as a time to decide weather even running is an option as they know they will not be happy with doing their best. For someone like me…. I am just adjusting expectations and I am ok with that.
Here is what I’ve got going for me….. My experience and my attitude.
Here is what is working against me….. My feet and not being where I should be in training.
So how to reconcile the two?
For me, it is and always been about expectations. Yes, I thought going into my training that I would be in a different place. My training started off great. I was following the plan. I was doing well. I was right on track, but we must remember that sometimes the tracks twist and turn. You have to be willing to twist and turn with them. So I am adjusting expectations which I am ok with. I was never going to win the NYCM. I was more than likely never going to finish under 5 hours which honestly in beginning I thought maybe just maybe would be doable. I used to be a upper middle pack runner, but those days are long gone.
I am a middle aged woman who is overweight with medical issues who also has feet that are not always happy.
For me…… Crossing a finish line of the NYC Marathon is a victory.
Now I do know for others, that not crossing in a certain time is a failure but failure is defined by how you define it in this situation.
I know my strengths. I have legs that dont give up and I do have the muscles and muscle memories to prove it. I also have the desire to get to the finish line. I also have the experience of completing 7 marathon’s (8 if you count a virtual one that I walked last year). 3 of these marathons are NY. I also have the knowledge that knowing my favorite marathon was my last in person NY which was also my slowest at 6:20:41 as I just took it all in. I ran some. I walked much, but I just enjoyed the experience. It is also the marathon that I remember the most about as I took in the crowds, the sites, and the people on the course.
I also know that I just really don’t care that much about my times anymore. OMG!!! Am I allowed to say that out loud? Yes, yes I am. Now don’t get me wrong….. everyone runs for their own reasons. There is nothing wrong with being someone who is running for time. I used to and I may again but I doubt it. I just want to run, walk and everything in between and feel good about it both physically and mentally.
Here is the thing…. I have a life outside of running. A life that I need to be on my feet for that life. For work – I am a preschool teacher which does not allow for much sitting. I love to bake which requires standing in kitchen. I have soccer games to attend and just life in general. So I can not push my body, my feet, to the point that it effects my life outside of running.
So here I go adjusting expectations …… AGAIN….. But isn’t that what life is about?
Just like when running in a crowded race, you must learn to bob and weave. So with that I am bobbing and weaving yet again.
I’ve written about this before, but I will again……..
When you are not a size 8, people automatically think that you must eat nothing but crap all the time. That you start off your morning with a donut. Followed by a Big Mac for lunch followed by fried chicken for dinner. Topped off by bon bons, cake, cookies and what not all during the day.
Not the eating. The dealing with the misconception.
These misconceptions come from everyone including healthcare providers. Some are more understanding than others but even the understanding ones I think give you the side eye. Years ago when I was 25 pounds lighter and in great shape, I was considered borderline obese. I was wearing a size 8 but the numbers on the scale were high. Probably because at the time I was doing Crossfit, training for a marathon than, and all muscle. I had a doctor just look at the scale and tell me that I should have a shake for breakfast, a salad for lunch, and a small dinner to get my weight down. I switched doctors.
But now, we fast forward a few years. Due to my thyroid/hypoparathyroidism I gained 20 pounds in one year. Sadly, due to covid year, probably gained another 5. I also know that I am also in not as great shape as my Crossfit days nor am I as young (shocking). That was 2016. I am 51 now. I have my thryoid/para issues. I am premenopausal (sorry guys) and it is hard. Really hard.
So yesterday, I went to see my Endocrinologist. She did take into account some things, but I still feel like she was looking at me like I am making excuses. I pointed out that once again, I am training for a marathon and I am active. She suggested that maybe a food tracking app would be good because sometimes people don’t realize what they are eating. Then went on to say that I should use the setting that doesn’t take into account exercise. WTF! WTF…… Excuse me (ahem) Bitch……. If I am going for a 6, 8, 10 plus mile run, I am going to need to fuel the run and recovery. I also don’t think she believed me when I said that I for the most part eat a healthy diet, am a pescatarian and do balance it.
Exhibits from last week.
Now, here me out…….. I know I could do more. I know that I could have the damn shake for breakfast, salad for lunch, and small dinner with carrots as a snack. I know. I know…… I know……
Here is the thing……
I don’t freaking want to!
Maybe it is the trying and trying and trying. Followed by the failing and failing and failing. Who knows. I also know that thryroid/hypoparthyroidism/hormones/age/ect are already working against me. So maybe I have given up before I started, but weight really is just a number. I don’t know why we let us define us so much.
My cholesterol last year while higher than previous with lower good cholesterol than in past is still good. While I take tons of medication daily none of them are for blood pressure or cholesterol, so there is that. My sugar levels are normal. And while I know that the extra weight probably did move my sleep apnea from high end of mild to extreme, I still had it 25 pounds ago.
I am also a petulant child. Tell me to do something and I will dig my heals in, cross my arms, and pout that “I don’t want to do!”
So who knows.
Would I like to fit back into my size 8 jeans?
Will it ever happen?
It is also really frustrating that just because it probably won’t happen that people think it is because I have no self control. Here is another fun fact….. I was a fat kid. I still remember the doctor telling my mom when I was in grammar school that she needed to put me on a diet. I still remember getting in trouble for sneaking a second packet of……. Wait for it……… wait for it…….. Oatmeal for breakfast. The shame. The teasing in school. The name calling.
Of all the things that people should feel shame for being fat isn’t one of them. So while we are now at a point where fat shaming is not really accepted, it is still going strong. Being skinny doesn’t necessarily equate to being healthy any more than being fat equates to being unhealthy.
I not only used it, but I meant it. Well what if now I’m not so bold. If I don’t want to go big? If I don’t want to go bold? Yes, I do like the thought of going home, but before doing that I do want to do some stuff.
I remember when I first started running races and my son who was much younger at the time asked me if I was going to win. After laughing, I told him that not only would I not win but I wouldn’t even be close to winning. He looked at me puzzled and asked then why would I even do it. As runners, we know that is a loaded question!
Anyway….. at the time my answer was about pushing myself to do hard things and such. I’m not really there and haven’t been for a long time. Don’t get me wrong, I have been pushing myself to do hard things but the definition of hard has changed:)
So here is where I am………. Some days, I think…. I am going to get up and run. I am going to do xyz……. Then I don’t……. Then I beat myself up because I didn’t do xyz. You know that viscous cycle. That hamster wheal of shame. I want to get off the hampster wheal. I know that I don’t have the drive that I used to have. I don’t have it for many reasons. That being said, I am not ready to stop challenging myself.
This month will tell me a lot about what I want to do. It will give me some answers to is everything I’ve been fealing hypopara related. I’m going for a sleep study as there is a distinct possibility that some of my exhaustion might be due to sleep apnea. Like literally this morning after a full night sleep I woke up exhausted as did hubby due to my snoring. So we will see where that takes us. I am also doing my 24 hour urine test. If things look good, I would like to up my calcium as I am also tired of living in the low to under calcium levels. Plus as I do more physically, I also need to take more calcium. Your body uses more calcium too, but since your body regulates it you don’t even notice.
What I am thinking for this month is just reset number 1 million and 10. I have been reading the 80/20 training method and before I start it, I probably should finish the book but it seems promising. I also would like to start using all those weights that have been getting dusty. I know I am past my crossfit days, but I really do enjoy training with weights. Plus as they say…. A woman your age should strength train even if my days of massive weights are gone. I would like to do something every day….. Be it a mile walk, biking, yoga, strength training. I think mentally it will be good fo me. Plus I do know that physically it would be good too.
I think though, I am going to give myself some flexibility and lots of slack. Just small goals. No go big or go home goals. Just do something good for yourself and go home:). Small steps eventually get you to the end of the road too!
If ever you have suffered from depression, you learn that sometimes small steps will help you….. Get out of bed. Take a shower. Household chores…. Going to work……. Just going through the motions. Those that have suffered know that these small steps help them to get to a place where they can take the bigger step of dealing with it. Sometimes life really is about fake it till you feel it. And while I am not currently dealing with depression, I am going to utilize this same strategy to get me to the next step.
I used to want to be a badass. I used to want it. Train for it. I used to want to push myself to and past my limits. There were no limits. There was only not working hard enough. Not pushing hard enough.
To Train hard
To be at “the top of my game.”
Now……. Let me be clear……… There is NOTHING wrong with that mentality. I get it. I’ve been there. I might get there again. Who knows. I know though…… I am not nor have I been there in a long time. I’ve been swaying in the breeze…. Ever so gently just seeing where I might land.
To be honest, I am not sure where I am right now. I just know it is not the balls to the wall give it all you got place right now. I have no desire to train hard. Most days I might not even have any desire to train. There is no wake up at the crack of dawn to squeeze a run in. There is no going out at night to make sure to hit my miles.
There is just going with the flow. I know that there are many reasons for this change besides being hypopara which may have been the catalyst for change, but change is inevitable anyway. I just don’t have the same drive. I don’t have the same commitment. I don’t have my running crew as we all are in different places. We trained together. We ran together. We raced together. Most of all running was about more than running.
So as with life, things change. People move. Peoples schedules change. Goals change…..
What many runners know too is that without in person events, it just isn’t the same. I often think to when I was growing up our family Minister was a runner. Something he picked up in the service. He went out for runs just to run. This was well before running became mainstream. I thought I had that mindset, but I realize that while I do love running I can’t wait to be at a starting line again. That being said, I am also not in a rush because I want to also do it safely. The thought of a major event (if any are even coming) brings on a bit of a panic attack. Like a serious one…… Not the OMG, she’s having a panic attack meme. Anyone else???? This pandemic has changed many of us in what we once never gave a second thought to, we will think long and hard about before diving in.
I have signed up for a trail race in October. While I don’t have time to train on trails like I used to this race is a friends favorite. Plus they required a waiver of proof of vaccination. I liked that. I respect that and things like that will go a long way to getting us back to normal even if it is a new normal.
Take 2! The first published before it saved changes. Those who I text regularly could recognize my crazy voice and fat finger typing without editing……. Plus, I hate when editing does not change:)
Consistency is key to anything. Repetition is what takes something and makes it learned behavior. Think when you learned your multiplication tables. Who remembers those drills, pop quizzes and all those practice, practice, practice. (yeah, maybe that was just me since math was never my forte). You didn’t learn them from osmosis or at least I didn’t. You’ll learned them because you continually worked on them. Practiced until it became instant recall. My son in college seems to be doing this with formula’s I couldn’t even begin to tell you what they are called, let alone their purpose. During the pandemic many took up baking bread. As a baker, I can attest the more you do so the better the end product. Baking bread to many was like a science experiment with many complicated but necessary steps. Over time it became easier to tell when kneading was done. When your dough had the the right texture,and eventually could just do it by feel. There was no second guessing, you just knew.
The same consistency is required with training and creating a workout routine. For most, we need to schedule time for your workout because it is not part of the routine nor necessarily something we are looking forward to (yet) . Eventually with consistency it becomes part of you and it feels strange if you miss it. I’ve mentioned before how my husband transformed himself with loosing weight through the tried and true method of diet and exercise. In the beginning, it was challenge but now he couldn’t imagine a day where he was not doing something physically active. It has become part of him and he looks forward to one of his daily workouts.
It takes bravery to step out and try something new. It takes bravery to commit to something. To put yourself out there no matter how far or near out there you may go. It takes bravery and commitment to say you are going to do something and then actually do it. Even if it isn’t working for you, it is so much easier to stay in the same place. There is comfort in the uncomfortableness of the known because while it may suck at least you know what you are dealing with. To stay with what is comfortable even if it is not where you want to be instead of tiptoeing into the unknown…… So no matter how hard it is to stay in one place, it is always so much harder to take the first step and then the second.
Consistency is needed in beginning of any plan. It is necessary until it becomes part of you.
Some will go far.
Some will go as far as they can.
Some will go fast.
Some will go as fast as they can.
Pace….. Distance…. Events…..
The most important thing is to be true to yourself. With that thought process, I’ve been plugging away on my half marathon training plan. I’ve been sticking to the program which I admit is much easier to do with a treadmill now. I used to hate treadmill running (and part of me still does), but since I’ve discovered watching shows on Netflix while running it isn’t bad. I also credit the treadmill with allowing me to reboot my training and keeping me in check with where I should be running for that reason alone I owe it some love. That being said, you can’t race from a treadmill which means you need to also do some training outside.
This week for the first time since I started following my Half Marathon training plan, I took the run outside. I didn’t watch my watch, but wanted to test myself and run by feel. I wanted to keep the run conversational for the most part, but also make it a worthwhile training run. So I chatted with myself. Tested how I felt and kept myself where I thought I should be running. Hours later I looked at my paces and info from my run and I surprised myself. I hit the paces that I should be hitting. I actually had surprisingly beautiful negative splits. Most of all and this is the best part…… I enjoyed the run. There was no beating myself up because I wasn’t hitting certain paces, that I was running too slow or any such thing. There was knowledge that I was doing what I should be doing and that was enough.
Sometimes that is more than enough. I know that if I pushed myself that I could hit faster paces, but for now this is not a tradeoff I am willing to make right now. I also realized that this was enough. It is always enough. I might actually be able to push myself faster and harder, but the cost to do so is one that I am no longer willing to pay. We all have to decide what we want. What we are willing to give up. What we are willing to trade off. What we are willing to work for and what is not worth the work. These are individual choices that no one can make for us. There is no one size fits all and that is ok.
What choices are you making today? Remember not making a choice is still a choice, so choose wisely my friend
I’ve thrown my hands up giving myself up to enjoy the ride
I’ve wondered if I was foolish to even get on as it begins to take off. The anticipation while you wait in line, strap yourself in and begin to take off wondering if you are up for what lies ahead. The thing is once the ride takes off, you have no choice but to buckle in and make the best of it. You can scream. You can laugh. You can throw your hands up and just enjoy the ride. Doesn’t matter what you do because once it takes off, you are commited. Sometimes you think you have reached the end of the ride only to realize that you are going around another bend.
A few times I’ve thought that I reached the end of my roller coaster ride only to realize how wrong I was. I think I am really finally coming into the station of acceptance with my 2016 post surgery Hypopara running. You may be thinking…… it has taken since 2016. Acceptance isn’t as easy as it sounds. Then there are the times where you think you have reached the stage of acceptance only to realize that you have just been getting by and really have not. Letting Pride really keep you from making it to the end.
Here is the thing. Since my 2016 surgery left me Hypopara, I kept trying to push myself to run at a pace where I no longer was physically able to run. Mind you I knew that I was no longer at a run sub 2 half pace, but I still never embraced where I should realistically should be running even if at times I thought I did.
Recap for new followers –
For about two years or so before my surgery, I was working with an amazing coach. With her guidance I ran a sub 2 half marathon, a 50K, and I was able to even run a 26:26 5K. I was at the top of my game and I even timed my surgery to be after running the 2016 NYC Marathon. I’ve said it before, the surgery was just going to be a blip.
Until is wasn’t.
Then I kept riding the roller coaster knowing that I was the same, but trying to be something that I wasn’t. Not to say that I won’t be again, but not now. After surgery, I origionally was over medicated so I was able to keep my running up. Then realization that I could no longer keep calcium levels up in the 9’s but for safety of kidney’s . Needing to keep levels just below or at normal level’s. Doesn’t sound like much but for those of us with Hypoparathyroidism, we can tell you that there is a BIG difference how one feels with calcium at a level 9 compared to 8.2 or even 8.5. I also think that for right now I have found a happy medium where my calcium has been around 8.4 last couple times. The balancing act is real.
Anywho…… for the longest time a year or two after my surgery I kept trying to run paces that while much slower than my 2016 paces but realistically were not paces that I should be running. The thing is that I really couldn’t maintain them either. I did a lot of running too fast. Needing to walk and then running again. Then with the 20 pound post surgery weight gain and everything else, running a 10:45 pace was not where I should be even though at the time I thought that was “slow.” I remember posting in a group that my former coach runs about having to walk during my runs and I’m paraphrasing because honestly I don’t remember exactly what she said even if I remember the meaning behind what she was saying. She basically said that I was walking because I was running too fast and maybe (I add that in my mind) pride was the reason. Even though I knew the truth of her words, like many not willing to accept reality I blew off what she was saying. Although if there is one thing anyone who has worked with Caolon knows…… She knows what the (beep) she is talking about even if you choose not to hear her.
So I went on….. and on….. and on…… until I finally gave up running completely. I spent months just walking. I walked and walked and walked some more. I even walked a virtual marathon. Then I was ready to run again. I wanted to run again. There was beauty in having not run for a long time. I was 100% starting from the beginning and needed to respect starting from scratch. My mind was in the right place this time. I also think that deciding not to train by pace but heart rate helped because it gave me the ability to learn where I should be running to actually run.
So here I’ve been just running and training. 100% recognizing that pace is not the goal right now. That the goal is to find where I should be running and run there. I’ve been embracing the running and am now following a training plan for the NYC Virtual Half. I am only using the plan for milage and training not following anything by pace. It has also been helpful that even though I hate it, I have been running on the treadmill. This is good because it does allow me to control pace that I’m running at without concern that I end up running at a pace I shouldn’t be.
I’ve also realized pace is irrelevant to me right now. I am more concerned with being able to run without leaving myself and my body depleted. Since running by heart rate and finding the correct pace while still pushing myself, I have realized that I have not been getting muscle spasms. I am not depleted to the point where I NEED (not want) to nap and most of all I can function in my day to day life.
Last week I ran a hard 5K.
Then this week in training I ran 4.5 running 4 without stopping and feeling good. I did this running average pace of 12:37. This “hard” run was literally a minute faster than what I used to do my easy runs at. So today I needed to run 7 miles, my longest run so far this training cycle. Since this was a long run that meant I need to run slower. I started off with a 5 minute warm up walk and then when I hit every mile I walked for 45 seconds. I’m not sure that I actually needed the walk, but it did break up the treadmill running. Who knows what that would parlay to outdoor running, but for right now I am happy to be running, not feeling like I can’t do it, and feeling like I could do more when I stop.
I’ve been thinking a lot about accepting where I am lately. I realized that while I thought I had accepted where I am right now that I really had not. I do think that this roller coaster ride is finally coming into the station. Acceptance does not mean that I won’t push to try to do better. It does not mean that I can’t work to do better in the future. It does not mean that I won’t have days where things bother me. It just means that I am ok with where I am today.