Tag Archive | marathon training

Great Expectations

A friend reached out to me after my last post which if you read this one, I really appreciated (so thanks).   She felt the need to send a hug my way.    In talking to her about doing Chicago this year, I said that even if I’m the last person to finish Chicago that I want to do it.   Her reply was accurate in that even if I “don’t do it (this year) it doesn’t make you any less of a runner.”

She’s right.

The problem is that I want it.   I think I need Chicago more mentally than anything else.   It is my way of literally giving the middle finger to this stupid thing call hypoparathyroidism.    I know very mature.

Although in chatting with my friend, others with the my issue, and giving some thought; I know it’s time (at least for now) to reevaluate my running expectations.    One of my goals as a runner has always been to run a full marathon without walking.   Even perfectly healthy, I was never able to accomplish.     I’ve also had a goal of running a 4:30 (and in the back of my mind faster) marathon.    But it is time to reevaluate my goals.   It’s time to be realistic of where I am today.   Right now.   Down the road, I might be able to get back to these goals but I need to make goals based on reality.

There are moments when I wonder why do I feel the need to push myself to do this.   Then there are moments when I wonder why wouldn’t I push myself to do this.   These thoughts are the same thoughts that I had previously.    These are thoughts that I think anyone who pushes themselves beyond their comfort zone gets.   And you know what I have said more than once…..

comfortzone-crop

Some people think that being a bad-ass runner means running 100 miles, running a marathon, running a half marathon, or running fast.   These are all great feats and a challenge to anyone who pursues them.

Here is the thing though…… Anyone can be a bad-ass.   It is about pushing your limits.   Pushing yourself to do what was once impossible for you and making it possible.

Everyone has to start from where they are and I must remember that I am not where I used to be and that is ok.  That doesn’t mean I will always be where I am today either.   There are people who have this disease and have completed Iron Man events.    I am also not the only one training Chicago with it either.    I am just new at it.   It will take time to learn what my body needs.

Nothing is impossible.

Someone in my online group posted the following

” Pushing your endurance is hard. However its painfully destructive with hypocalcemia BUT you feel so much better emotionally, physically, and cognitively. So you can do it. Just move, with hydration and proper nutrition! You are stronger than this!”

A friend gave me the best advice today.

She said very simply,

“Be Kind to yourself.”

She is so right because often we are kinder to others than ourselves.    I am going to take her advice into my training.     Not to the point that I won’t push myself, but to recognize where I am is ok.  To recognize that I need to think more about hydration, nutrition, and recovery than I did before.    To know that no matter what it is enough as long as I am doing the best that I can do.

We really can’t ask any more of ourselves.

So be kind to yourself to.   Know that you are enough.   Know that it is ok not to win as long as you showed up.

 

 

 

 

 

Unstoppable

 

 

I am lucky.   I know that.   I know it could be so much worse.   I know there are people fighting much harder battles than me. Knowing this does not make it easier.   It actually makes it worse because of the guilt.

I’m a lucky girl, but I don’t always feel lucky. And I hate that feeling.   Who am I to complain when I have been so blessed and am so lucky?

A small voice whispers, “Me.”

I’m an avoider by nature.   I see nothing wrong with burying your hand in the sand.  The problem with that is eventually you realize that you can’t breath and you’ve made the situation so much worse.

I didn’t realize it until after my run today, but I’m kind of there now.   Remember this week started Chicago Marathon training.   I’ve stuck to the plan.  Three easy runs.  Three days in a row for three miles.   Easy Peasy.

Or in my mind it should have been.

Run

The first run I did at  my local YMCA on the treadmill.   The second run was a fun run with friends.   Then today I was on my own.   Things were going good.   The run in my mind was much harder than it should have been.   I mean seriously it’s only three miles. and the weather is perfect for running.   What more could a girl ask for?

On the run as often happens, my mind processes things.   It’s been a while since I’ve had one of these runs and I needed this time with my thoughts.   I’m keeping a nice easy pace.    Today I want to run the whole thing with no walking.   Should be easy enough.   Mission accomplished.

Here’s the thing though….   By the end of the run, I am literally huffing and puffing.   A lot.   I end the run at my house happy as can be.  I even snap a picture.   You can see that I’m tired.   You can see that I’m sweating pretty decently for a short run.

Run2

Here’s what you don’t see…..

At this point, my face is tingling.    My right arm is tingling.  This causes me irritation because IT WAS ONLY THREE MILES ON A COOL DAY.

If the picture was taken 5 minutes later, you would see me having a good cry.    It sounds bad and it wasn’t pretty, but I think it may have been just what I’ve needed.    During my run, I was thinking how far I had come with my running and where I am now.    It’s several major steps back.   I’m not even at square one anymore because at least when I started on this journey the only thing holding me back was myself.   That is not the case right now.   There is so much out of my control right now.   So many things that I never had to think about before.

Seriously.

It sucks.

But I’ve had my good cry which was well beyond due.   Yes, I’ve been dealing with the actual physical aspects but it’s time I deal and come to terms with the big picture.  I’m pulling my big girl panties on and I’m just going to keep moving forward.  I’m a lucky girl, but sometimes even a lucky girl needs a moment.   I may get where I was before in my running, but I need to accept where I am today.   I also need to accept that it’s ok.   In talking to others that have hypoparathyroidism the key is giving your body what it needs and taking it as it comes.  There are things in my control, but there are also things out of my control and there are things that change depending on the day.   So I will do what I can and start accepting what I can’t.   Giving up control is hard.

This disease will not stop me.

 

 

Sticking to the Plan

I’m now more than a week into my Gluten Free life.  I’m not sure that it is a permanent thing, but for now it seems to be working out for me.   One would think that gluten free means that it’s all health food, but I will let you in on a little secret.   Chocolate and ice cream are gluten free.   So there’s that.

That being said, I think I’ve been eating fairly healthy.   It might be because for now it requires more thought to think about what I will eat.   Plus I used to eat a decent amount of cereal or PBJ sandwiches for lunch.   These for the most part of turned into pretty yummy salads.    Dinners have not been that difficult surprisingly.   What is a little more challenging is snacking.   But after getting on the scale this week, I really need to be readjusting my snacks anyway.   Work in progress.

One of the things that I really need to look at and read about is how to carb load for running without the traditional runners pastas and breads.    To be honest, I probably ate much more of these things than necessary anyway.    If anyone has gone gluten free and has any good reading recommendations for how to put this together with training, I’m all ears.

So for now, I’m sticking to the plan.   I’ve still been feeling good and that really is what is making it easy to make the choice to stick to the plan.   I’m hoping this continues.  Although I won’t mind the normal soreness and aches that come from training.   It when I’m not training and I feel them that is bothersome.

As I said before, I am starting off with the Hal Higdon Novice 1 training plan.   In looking at my first week, I have 4 days of running with only a total of 15 miles.   The first three runs are only 3 miles and my long run is only 6.   In looking at it, it feels like I could/should do more.   Before my surgery, a short run was only 6 miles and now that I’m starting again it’s my long run.  In my heart, I feel like I should pick a harder plan, push my self, and do more.  In my mind, I know this is right where I need to be right now.  I’ve still got so much to figure out with how my body will adjust to training with my issues that I need to be smart.   I need to be safe. I need to be wise.

 Last year I ran over 1,000 miles.   This year six months in, I have only run 206 miles.   Times have changed.   So I will listen to my mind and not my heart.

Doing the right thing.

Listening to my body.

Sticking to the Plan.

8e44d9bde3909704812d6fc518660407

 

If it Ain’t Broke Don’t Fix It

And so it begins.  Just a week away till I’m “officially” in Marathon training.   After looking over several plans, I decided to stick with the Hal Higdon Novice 1 Marathon plan.   Yes, I know I’m not a novice but I feel like I’m starting over and this is where I’m at right now.   Besides I look at it as a starting point.   If I determine that I can take it up a notch, you know that I will.

There was another training plan that caught my eye on Training Peaks.   It was specific to Chicago, but it was also for a 4:30 marathon.   Plus I already owned the Hal Higdon Plan, so I saved $80.    I may down the road change to this plan, but not yet.   First I need to start running again and see how that goes.

I’ve recently made some changes that have been helping.   I’m not sure which one is helping but I don’t want to mess with either.   First I added both a magnesium and Vitamin D supplements to my daily dose of things to take.    Second and I’m finding much harder is that I’ve gone gluten free.    I’m doing it because it may help with some of the symptoms that I’ve been having due to the hypoparathyroidism.    I’ve got to say that I’ve actually felt “normal” these last few days.   Not waking up feeling like Grandma.   Not having leg pains.    Feeling like my “old self” if you will.    So I’m afraid to make any changes.  You know what they say…

If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

Now I have a sister who actually has celiac disease, so I know that going gluten free is a hard road to travel.  I also know that many people go gluten free because it’s the new fad diet.  I’ve never wanted to go gluten free, but I’m willing to try it now.   It hasn’t been long  and it might not even be the diet but the supplements, but something is working better.    I am lucky though to have a sister who can guide me on this journey even if I don’t need to be as strict as she is with it.   Right now, I’m in 100% because I feel that is the only way, but I will see where it leads.

What I do need to do is figure out how to carb load without bread and pasta!

Living and Learning

worth it

 

One Run at a Time

I have not yet decided on a Marathon Training Plan.   I’m still researching.   I do know that I am the type of person who needs a plan.   The problem with purchasing a training plan is that it also forces me to think of what my goals will be for Chicago.   Realistically, I just don’t know.   In my heart, I’m still dreaming of the elusive 4:30; but I just don’t know.   More likely I will purchase a a plan for 4:30 and  see what happens.

I am lucky in that I know that I will have several Mama’s that will be training for NYCM.   I am unlucky in that I have to start training a month earlier than them as Chicago is October 8th and NYCM is November 5th.    So I will be a month into my training when they are starting.

I will say that considering that I have not been running much (or really at all), I’m very calm about starting my training.   It’s not that I’m not dedicated to finishing Chicago.   It’s not that I don’t have goals.   It’s not even that I know that this is the worst shape that I’ve been running wise going into the beginning of marathon training.

Here’s what it is……

I am training for a reason.   I am training because it is necessary.    I am also just STARTING my training.   That’s the whole point.    I don’t have to be ready to finish Chicago when my training starts in less than two weeks.   What I have to be is dedicated to start my training.   This is the beginning.   So realistically I am right where I should be.

Seriously.

Only elite athletes and a few rock star Mama’s (yeah you Robyn!) that I know are ready to run a marathon on a moments notice.   The rest of us will take months of training to hope to be able to cross the finish line a get our medal.

It’s all good.

One Run at a time

how-far

Under Pressure

So I’ve been off the radar with my blog updates for what seems like a long time, but in reality it has only been a week.   Where has the time gone?    What have I been up to?   Well I will let you in on  little secret……

I’ve been running:)

The closer you get to your goal marathon (or at least this is true for me), the more pressure you have.   Not the pressure of training as with training it becomes more about the time.    The pressure of finding the time as the runs are longer.    It’s the pressure to find a few hours several days a week while doing everything else that needs to be done.

Under Pressure

When I first started my pretraining if you will.   I was running a few hours a week and now some of my runs are hours.

Sept

This does not allow for much down time.

The pressure to try to keep up the house.   Now, I’m not talking keep up the house so that you can eat off the floor.   I mean the pressure of getting all the things that need to be done done.

Laundry.   Grocery shopping.   Getting kids to activities.   Getting kids home from activities.   Feeding family, showering, ect, ect, ect.   You know the drill.

It is the pressure of doing all the things that need to be done actually done while maintaining a training schedule that requires more miles and more hours than when you came up with the brilliant idea of running a marathon.

That being said, I can see the silver lining.   I am almost to taper time.   It’s getting close.

The closer you get too, you have to realize that sometimes you sadly must realign things.   You must make choices about what you can and can’t do.    As my Coach has said to me, you must keep your eye on the prize.

Today, I should be running the Paine to Pain Trail Half Marathon.   I registered very early in the year and this was going to be an epic adventure for Dawn and me.   She did it last year and loved it.   We were going to do it together.   I had thought maybe I would still run it as a training run, but the closer it came to it the more I realized that it might not be the smartest thing for me to do right now.   Also the closer you get to your goal race, the more paranoid you get that you will twist an ankle or something (again at least me.).   So for this year, I had to give up my adventure with Dawn.

Dawn

Although, I’m sure that she will still have an epic adventure!   She actually decided to become a sweeper for the race.   I can’t wait to hear all about it and am slightly sad that I am not there.   Truth be told though I did NOT miss the early wake up call:)   Dawn and I will have many more times for epic adventures and this was just not to be.

I am to the point in my training where I need to remember to enjoy the ride.   I’ve put in countless hours and countless miles (that’s not true I do keep track).   I feel as ready as I will ever be, but I have to not let the pressure trip me up.

How do you handle the pressure of training and life?

Just Keep Running, Running, Running

Thankfully today is a Rest Day.   Ok, actually I should do some swimming or Yoga.   Maybe I will, but honestly I probably won’t.   I might take a power nap later if that counts.   Doesn’t it?

So how did these last 2 days go?

Pretty good if I do say so.

Let’s start with the Cut-Down.    I went into this confident and I do think that might make a bit of a difference.   What has also helped is that the temperatures cooled  to perfect fall temps.    Yes, indeed, that makes a  huge difference. I have to say this was hands down my BEST cut-down.   I felt good.   I felt confident and my splits are very pretty if I do say so myself and I do:)   I did need to stop around mile 5 as I thought I had something in my shoe.   Took shoe/sock off and all looked good until I got home with bloody toe.   My feet are going to need some major TLC when Marine Corps Marathon is over.   Without further ado, here it is:

 

Total Time: 1:40:02

Splits: 10:53. 9:56, 9:54, 9:48, 9:42, 9:35, 9:25, 9:11, 9:09, 12:30

Pretty sure I was about to have a heat attack by the end of mile 9, but then I remembered this was supposed to be hard and pushed till the end of the mile.  I do admit as soon as my watch marked the mile, I slowed down.  A lot!
I did this run in the afternoon which did concern me as I was planning on my 18 the next morning.    The whole point of the 18 though was to run on tired legs and that’s what I did.    I plotted out a route not that I ever follow it exactly, but it is enough to get me where I need to go.   I started this run with some of my fellow MRTT Mama’s and we did about 6 miles together.   Then off to face the miles alone.   This was a good combination as I will ultimately be running the marathon alone.
I used a combination of shot blocks, sports jelly beans, Gu, and at mile 12 I stopped to refill my water bottles at a Dunkin Donuts.   If you know me, you know that I can’t NOT get a coffee.   So I took a 5 minute coffee break and gulped down a small (which I never get) iced latte.    I’m not really sure that I would do it again.   Although maybe it wasn’t such a bad thing to do since I did finish my 18.
Although, I did get a little help from my friends:):)
As I said, I had my run plotted out.   I planned to stop at mile 16 at my friend Genine’s house as she offered to leave water in a cooler for me.   I’ll be honest once I stopped I REALLY didn’t want to start up again.   But not only was she sweet enough to leave me the water in a cooler, but an inspiring note that really did help push me to keep moving.   It became my temporary mantra, “Finish Strong!”
Finish Strong
So I kept going, chanting until I hit the hill.   I didn’t intentionally plan to end my run on a hill, but it seems to happen to me a lot depending on the way I go.   I think this is a positive thing as we all know running up hills is good training.   The I remembered that the Marathon ends on a Hill literally!   So then I changed my mantra to….
CHARGE THE HILL!
Hey it worked, because I had really good splits at the end.

Moving Time 3:08:26

12:45, 13:01, 10:39, 10:35, 10:46, 11:12, 10:25, 10:32, 10:17, 11:11, 10:52, 10:20, 10:35, 10:32, 11:21, 10:38, 10:18  & then since Garmin didn’t record whole 18 2.36
You Ran How Far?
So today, I am tending to my feet.   Doing some stretching and just as importantly catching up on all the things that I have let slide while putting in the miles.

How do you balance it all?

Feeling Good, But Not Too Good!

So just because I didn’t train for my Tri, does not mean I’m not serious about my training.   If you’ve been here for a bit, you know that although I do like to have fun with my running; I do not take it for granted.   I run.   I run hard.   I train.   I train hard.   All of my races including the Tri have been about preparing for my goal race, The Marine Corps Marathon.   Everything else is just gravy.

That being said, don’t tell anyone but I’m starting to feel strong and confident in my training.   I am by no means feeling cocky or like I could slack off at all.   I’m also by no means thinking that this is going to be a cake walk. I’m just feeling good about it.   I’ve had a good training week and today was a rest day.   Who could ask for more.

Me.

Tomorrow, I have a 10 mile cut-down.   I’m still trying to figure out when I’m going to fit it in my day.   It’s going to be a hard run.   It’s going to be a fast run.   But believe it or not, I am excited to be attempting to tackle it.   I will give it my all and then some.   So what exactly am I doing tomorrow?

1 mile warm up @ 11:00
2 mi @ 10:05-9:55 (+/- 5secs)
2 mi @ 9:55-45 (+/- 5 secs)
2 mi @ 9:40-30 (+/- 5 secs)
2 mi @ 9:10-20 (+/- 5 secs)
1 mile cool down @ 11:00

Doesn’t that sound fun?

I didn’t think so either, but it does sound like a challenge.

and

I do love a challenge.

If that isn’t enough,

It will be followed by hopefully 18 miles on Monday.

Yup, I’m in the thick of it now.

There is no time to step back because there are only 35 days left.

No time to back down.

No time to not give it all I’ve got.

18794d4ea330bc3dbb941fbfeb9d69ef

How About Them Apples!

I went for a run today.   I know that is just shocking!   The thing is today’s run was actually a thing of beauty.   Now, I don’t mean that I looked spectacular while running because I’m pretty sure that never happens as the below is probably closer to the truth.

running

What I mean is that there are runs where everything just seems to come together and it is a thing of beauty.   Today was such a day.    To be honest, today was the type of run that I needed.   We all know that I had let the doubts creep in, but this last week I’ve seem to push them aside.   I’ve had a couple of good runs, but today was the money shot.   Today was the all feared, all dreaded cut-down.   The bane of my existence.   A run that if I flubbed again would get inside my head.

I was ready for it.   I kept reading my coaches email with words of encouragement.   I read and reread a blog post she did called One Bad Apple.   That post really helped because it made me realize that I was not the only one who did this and that it was up to me to remember the good runs.

I went into this run prepared.

I went into this run with the confidence.

I went into this run knowing that I could do this.

  I remembered all the good runs that I had leading up to it.   I knew that I could do it.   I knew that I had done it in the past.   I knew in this instance the only one holding me back was me.   I also knew that I would need to change the way that I was going into these runs.    I had to stop psyching myself out and instead look at them as the challenge they are supposed to be.   Life without challenges would be boring.   You may be shaking your head no, but think about it.   What happens when things become to easy, you get bored and move onto something else.    So I needed to take this challenge and go with it.   I needed to steer into the skid and just enjoy the ride.

cut-downNot only did I hit all the paces that I wanted to, but I did them while feeling great doing so.    Some runs you may hit your target pace, but it just feels so hard it makes you wonder why you are even doing it.   Some runs, you do let it get to you making you doubt yourself.   Then some runs the stars align and it all just seems to come together to remind you that this is what it is all about.   These are the runs that must be held onto when the doubts creep in.   These are the runs that we should remember.   No not every run is going to give you the “runners high,” but you need to hold onto it.   You need to internalize it.    You need to remember.

It really is easy to let one bad apple spoil the bunch.

apple

I found it more than a little poetic that I literately came across this apple towards the end of today’s run.   It was almost like the universe was giving me a sign.  It may have just been an apple that someone threw out their car window, but either way it was a reminder that are a whole lot more good apples waiting to be had as long as you don’t give up.apple2

I’m not fooling myself into thinking that just because I had a great run today that my training is going to be easy or that every run is going to feel this way.   I’m pretty sure that after my 16 miles tomorrow, I won’t be feeling so good BUT

I will remember

and

if by some chance I forget;

I know there will be people there to remind me.

Do you remember your good runs or your bad runs?

I

Suck it Up Buttercup and Smile

I’ll let you in on a not so secret secret

Running a Marathon is hard.

I’ll let you in on another not so secret secret

Training for a marathon is even harder.

Yup, I said it.

I think that the training is just as demanding as running the actual marathon,

maybe even more so because you don’t tend to have cheering fans on a training run even if using Nike+

but

in a very different way.

Yes, Running a Marathon is VERY hard

as the saying goes,

If it was easyIt really is the truth.

Now, I’m not saying that everyone has to run a marathon if you don’t want to.

What I’m saying is that since I for some reason have said that I’m going to run a marathon, I need to train so that I can finish said marathon.    Anyone who has read the last few posts, might know that I’ve been struggling.    My struggles though have been more mental which has made my running suffer.   I made the mistake of letting the doubts creep in.   Yes, everyone has doubts time to time.   The trick is to use your doubts to motivate you to push through not give you an excuse to fail.   I needed to take a step back.   A brief one as I’m running out of time to flub my training.   I messed up a run.   I missed some runs.   I was becoming my own worst enemy.   I needed to get out of my way and just run.

I went back and looked at my training runs realizing that I was able to do these runs that I was flubbing.   I talked to Dawn.   I talked with my coach.   Both had very similar words of advice for me.

” You have done so well with this training and IT IS NOT EASY. “

NO it’s not easy.   I never expected it to be easy, but even though I ran a marathon last year; this is my first time marathon training.   I just did not take into account how hard it would be, but I’m realizing that is a good thing.    I need it to be hard.   I need to push myself.   I want to do this and most of all I want to enjoy doing this.

Today, I went for a training run where I did not worry about my pace.   I needed this run to get my head in the game.   I only wanted to finish my 9 miles.   I downloaded a mix on my Rock My Run App, put on my sun block, loaded up with water, and out the door I went.   I used to run to think about why I started on this journey.   I really just fell into running because of my first Sprint Triathlon.   I hated it, but over time I realized what it brought into my life.    That although not a “fast” runner, I could be a steady runner.   It was something that I did for me.   I also thought about how far of come, how much I’ve accomplished, and how much I can still accomplish if I just keep my head on straight.

Back to the run.   I did it.   I did what I set out to accomplish.   Running just to run.   Running for the joy I get out of it.   Then when I looked at my splits, I realized that I wasn’t that far off pace from what my training plan called for 20-25 seconds.    Average pace ended up being 11:06 in 1:37:12.   My head is back in the game….   At least for today!

insane 2