So my last post about unmotivated seemed to start my summer theme, but…..
It’s been a minute and I thought I would re-introduce myself and my new motivation.
My name is Christine and I think I am a runner?
But I am also a home baker busy with my new Cottage Food Baking business. Baking, researching, practicing, plotting.
I also work part time outside the home at a child care center. If you have ever worked with 3 year olds, you know that it is exhausting in a fun kids are too cute way.
I am also a home maker. Although 1 of my boys is a college graduate this past June and now in the work force, I still have one more college student at home and a High School student.
I also have Hypoparathyroidism which makes everything a balancing act.
I love to garden.
I am a busy, busy, bee….
I am also a blogger? At least think I am. I’ve written many a blog posts in my mind never to have actually made it to WordPress. I hope to change that. I hope to change a lot of things. So with that let’s catch up!
Although I haven’t been blogging or training, I have actually been moving (somewhat). I’ve been pretraining training. For what you ask.
I am running the NYC Virtual Marathon for Sandy Hook Promise. Those of you here a while know that I had made it to the in person marathon team for the 3rd time, but this year gave my spot up for a few reasons. I was at peace with that. Then Uvalde and I wanted back in. So I am now ”running” and raising money for Sandy Hook Promise as part of a virtual marathon team. Even though it will still be 26.2 miles, the pressure is off.
Now before entering to do the virtual marathon, I had already signed up to do a Sprint Triathlon. This is one that I have never done, but have wanted to do. Sprint Triathlons have a special place in my heart as my very first race was a Sprint Triathlon – The NJ Iron Girl.
This was the race that started my crazy journey. That I started blogging to share my progress. That motivated me to run and made me realize that I actually like running. That got me where I am today because I cross trained and liked it which is the main reason I liked the idea of jumping back into a tri. Although I do not enjoy the swim as much as others. The swim will be in the bay at LBI. It also requires training. I always say with a tri…. The bike, you can coast. The run, you can walk, but the swim….. you will drown. Not really because they always have safety measures, but you get it.
So I have been pre training. I’ve been doing some biking. Still running sporadically, but really no swimming except some laps at the summer pool. This will all change next week…….
Because my training plan will officially start and I will be off the couch and out the door!
Sometimes we think we need to do something, but the thought of it brings worry.
Sometimes we want to do something, but the thought of the task at hand brings us anxiety.
Sometimes we know that what we want to do is maybe not what we need right now, but we worry we will miss out if we don’t do it. FOMA is real.
Sometime we know that the job is important, it is a worthy cause and necessary but we must realize that there might be others who can take it over while we take care of ourself.
We make decisions. We change our mind. We change it again……and again…. and again…..
So here it is and to some of you it will come as a shock.
I filled my application out to run NYCM for for the 4th time for Sandy Hook Promise. As I filled it out I second, third and fifth guessed the wisdom. I guessed not because I do not believe in their mission of protecting children and bringing much needed change because I do. I guessed not because I have not seen the impact of their programs because they are real. I guessed not because they are not an amazing organization with amazing leaders who are making a difference and giving it all they have got because they all are.
I guessed because I wondered if right now it is what my body needs. I guessed because I don’t know weather I can mentally and physically push myself to train for a marathon. I guessed because I am not sure that it would be a smart thing to do right now for so many reasons. With all of these guesses, I still filled out my application to run for them because I believe in them so much. I was accepted to run and all I needed was to fill out the contract to be on the team.
I was in!! The thought did not bring me peace for all I mentioned above.
Then an email came that they had an abundance of runners waiting in the wings, so instead of sending in my application; I passed the baton to the next runner. I always said that Sandy Hook’s mission was not a sprint but a marathon. I just forgot that it was a relay marathon. So as I pass the baton to the next runner, I realize that when the time is right I can step back in my lane to get the baton again. Until then there are other ways to both support those now running with the baton and the mission itself of Sandy Hook Promise.
The biggest way I know it was time to pass this baton is that when talking with a friend who was shocked I wasn’t going to run this year, I realized that I was at peace with the decision. There was no second guessing. There was not third guessing. While at peace with it, it is very bittersweet as I will miss being part of the marathon team but you don’t need to run a marathon to make a difference. You just need to show up and get involved.
Training for a marathon seems to take forever. From the moment you sign up, you start thinking about what plan you are going to follow. Then it’s actually implementing. Even harder yet….. Sticking to the plan.
So here we are 7 days out and it will be what it will be.
Am I ready?
Surprisingly, I feel ready. I did not follow the plan to the letter T or probably not even close. That being said, I still feel ready.
Shocking I know…. But I do.
I think the biggest thing is that I really adjusted expectations. I adjusted what I thought I should do with the reality if what I might be able to do. Most of all, I know that if I am not an idiot, don’t go out too fast, and do what I need to do the finish line will only be 26.2 miles away.
Easy Peasy lemon squeazy
Ok, not at all but it is in reach. I have trained. My legs have done it before. Mentally I am in the right place. I am looking forward to it.
So now this week it will be putting the finishing touches on the logistics. It helps that I have reached my fundraising goal for Sandy Hook Promise too. That takes some of the pressure off.
Last week I had a bake sale. Have I mentioned that I LOVE to bake. I also LOVE to share baked goods and message of Sandy Hook Promise. I just about sold out. Had lots of generous donations and reached my goal….. That makes it worth it.
More later this week, but just wanted to let you know I’m ready as I will ever be. Today final “long run” at only 10 miles. Went with some friends and was a good run. It’s always nice to end with a good run. This week some short 3 milers to keep legs loose.
So since this is supposed to be a running blog, I thought I would do something novel and actually talk about my running…. I know, shocking!!!
As you know my training for NYC Marathon has been all over the place. I started off great following my training plan right up until I didn’t. And while my training hasn’t been stellar with following the plan. I feel (especially after yesterday) that I have been doing ok.
You know the expression….. You do you
Well I have been doing me and it has been working. With all my issues both mentally and physically, I just started loosely following the plan and doing what I felt would work for me. Before all my issues, I’ve followed training plans to the letter T (what does that even mean?) with great results. The problem with cookie cutter plans is that when you are not the ”ideal” runner, they might not work for you. Even though I took that into consideration in the beginning, I took it to the next level recently. After yesterday, I would say it has worked for me.
What have I been doing?
Well not as much running as my plan has called for. On days where I had foundation runs, I might have done HITT, biking, combo of biking/running, or even yoga. Since my goal has never been about time, I really stopped worrying about training runs where I needed to hit certain paces/training zones. I would do the run my way. Once I got back on ”schedule” with my plan, my biggest thing was to make sure that I was getting in the miles for long runs which is really where I was lacking. Even then I needed to make sure not to jump my miles too quickly as I was behind. So I adjusted.
Having run multiple marathons, I also know what works for me in training and what doesn’t. I know runners who feel the need to run multiple 20 mile training runs for their marathons. I have done them and I know that for what ever reason they don’t work for me. I find them defeating. I find them hard in a way that is not good for me mentally going into an event. They just don’t work for me. I would much rather do 16 to 18 miles and then the next day do a few miles on tired legs. This works for me.
Now all that being said, yesterday I went out for my longest run this cycle and I started at noon which is about the time that I will be starting NYC. I wanted to see how my body would be at that time of day as normally I run right after I take my morning meds.
It went well. To be honest, it went MUCH better than I expected. I continued with the walking the first 3 miles as I ALWAYS start off too fast. Plus since being Hypopara it does seem to take my body a bit to warm up. Then my goal was to keep the pace in the mid 12’s. To keep it at a level that I felt that I could run more than walking. There was no walk/run time. There was just doing what I could. I found that if I paid attention to pace, ran the “slower” pace, and didn’t try to run something I can’t sustain that I could run. I could run without the need to walk. Now don’t get me wrong…. There was walking, but there was much more running.
In order to conserve my battery, I did the first 6 miles with no music. Just me and my thoughts. I am not a runner who minds being alone and it was nice. Maybe a little boring, but I reminded myself that NYC will not be boring. I normally do not listen to music on race day as I LOVE to listen to the crowds, the runners feet hitting pavement, and just taking it all in. Out alone in my town though it does get boring.
Holding back is what I realize that I need to do if I want to have a good day. Yes, I can run faster BUT I can not sustain those paces AND they are not good for my body or feet. As you can see, I kept a fairly steady pace. At the end though, I wanted to push it to see what I still had in the tank. You know the Finish Strong mentality. I pushed it to the point that my arms literally went numb (you know the feeling like you laid on them). It was a good training run both mentally and physically.
What I learned…… Starting later, I do need to adjust my calcium intake. At mile 10, I added Calez to my water for added calcium but maybe I should start earlier. I also need to add more as miles add up. Maybe even taking a calcitrol at some point during run. This is why my arms/hands went numb at the end. As soon as I finished my run yesterday, I came inside and popped 500 mg calcium and a .25 calcitriol as I felt a crash coming. This also may have been due to the faster pace at the end. Either way, I need to pay attention and adjust accordingly. One thing with calcium levels is that they fluctuate and you have to pay attention to the signs to adjust with them.
Another thing that I made a mistake on yesterday, but to me I think it was a beneficial mistake……. I forgot my bag of fuel. This time around, I have been trying not to use gels but more natural (ok still processed) food. Since I started at 12, I didn’t eat lunch. So I ate a protein bar before starting out. I had a bag of almonds and some bars with me. I left the bag on counter, so I only had one Nutrigrain bar for the entire run. I ate half at mile 6 and then finished off around mile 12. While not ideal, I view this as a win because just think of how much better my body will feel when properly fueled on course. Learning to run/push when the tank is literally empty is not a bad thing.
When I came home, I stretched. I took added meds. I had a chocolate cake batter smoothie (Sadly no actual cake batter, but healthy proteins). Then I soaked in some epsom salt. Followed by the use of my foot massager. Overall recovery was good. Although I know that I did not replenish both water and nutrients enough. We ordered Thia food and I really couldn’t even eat much as I wasn’t hungry. Weird…. but I will do better today.
Today as I sit here typing, I feel good. I feel like I just ran 16 miles yesterday. My feet are sore, but normal sore. My legs are tired, but normal tired. I will do some restorative yoga and be kind to my body. I will also make sure today’s smoothie has some properties that will benefit recovery.
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 been on vacation the last week, so I thought I would give an update on my training. It would be nice if training stopped on vacation, but alas it does not. That being said, I will be the first to admit that in my case the training does immensely slow….. slow down………
I tried to time it so I didn’t miss to much therefore I did my long run the day we left. I did “cheat” and not actually run but did a long indoor bike ride. I felt it best not to push my feet and I also didn’t feel like doing a long run on the treadmill. I really just need the cardio workout.
And cardio workout I got!
So off I went to a lake in NY State. I had thought I would do a few runs there and packed accordinly. Unfortunately, I only did one run during the week. The roads really were not the best for running as we were on a busy street. That being said, I did do a great hill workout.
All was not lost thought as I took doge on multiple walks a day averaging at least 2.5 miles a day. Plus every time I had to leave to walk the dog or anything else, I got a great stair workout in.
Case in point.
On top of these routines, I got some great cardio in with kayaking.
This verified for me that I really need a lake house. Luckily there was one that was on my dog walking and kayaking route that was for sale. Apparently it is currently owned by Derek Jeter which might mean more to some of you than me. Unfortunately at over 12 Million it is out of my price range. Unless someone would like to buy it for me. I took multiple pictures (not because it’s Jeter’s house but because it is a really cool house) Seriously who wants to buy it for me? I will let you visit and swim in the infinity pool……….
Ok, so no one is going to buy it for me…….
Ok…. No one is going to buy it for me……Back to reality I came! Once home I went out for a long run hitting 10 miles. I will say that while I still think a visit to podiatrist is in the cards, I was pleasantly surprised with how things went.
100 days is so far away, yet so close. 100 days till NYCM. 100 days to worry if my training is not enough. 100 days to doubt if my body can handle it. 100 days to worry about what is going on with the new Delta Covid Variant and how this will all play out.
On top of that…..
100 days to fundraise. 100 days to spend as much time fundraising as I do training. 100 days to continue to remind people of the good work that Sandy Hook Promise does that only happens with fundraising. 100 days to remind people that while I do love running this race is more than about running. 100 days to hit my goal.
Is there anyone who doesn’t take on this challenge who doesn’t question why they are doing it, if they should be doing it, and how you can do it better.
Now don’t get me wrong. Training is going good. Although I have already had some foot pain which is concerning. This are things that lead to doubt. These are things that make me realize that I need to go see my podiatrist. More just to make sure that there are no issues and to see if it is time for new inserts for my shoes. I just don’t want to deal with foot pain all through out training and I did have that pain after running only 8 miles. So there is concern.
One thing that I hate to admit as I’ve had issues with my feet 20 pounds ago…… The extra weight is not helping when it comes to my foot health. It’s not so much the weight but the weight combined with being prone to having issues with my feet is not a good combo. Although this time the pain was different. It was on the outside of my foot, so I wonder if something else is going on. And while I know the easy solution is to say….. I’m going to loose 20 pounds. That is much easier said than done.
So the reality is that I’m not going to loose the 20 pounds. Unless I plan to go on a very strict diet (which I won’t), I need to figure out some things out.
Should this be my last marathon (thats a hard one)
Do I need to see my podiatrist (yes)
Is it time for new insoles? (Not sure)
Do I need to focus on foot strike and form (maybe)
I really need to not bury my head in the sand like I’ve done in the past and takle this head on. Although I do like to ignore things till they blow up in my face. (Doesn’t everyone or is that just me?)
It annoys me too because this go around I am doing everything that I should be doing. But for now, it is not something that is bad enough to cause me to stop. Besides I already have some ideas – like to spend some of my “foundation runs” with biking. To make sure to spend stretching and just listening to my body.
One week in and 17 more to go, but training seems to be falling into place. Just so happens that a woman in my running circle is also planning to run NY. We are off similar ages and abilities. In talking to her, I explained the 80/20 plan that I am doing. She decided that is a good fit for her and the beautiful thing is that it seems like are fitness level and training zones are compatible, so it’s a go. We are doing slightly different plans, but we can make it work.
I forgot how good it was to run with people. I haven’t really done it in a long time even pre-covid. When people are training seriously even if they say “I will run whatever you are running,” it doesn’t always work out. They aren’t getting the training they need. You feel bad for holding them back or maybe worse run too fast which is worse than running too slow. So finding a training partner for a marathon where you can do many runs together is nice. Even better when you really like the person:)
So week one went well. I will say that holding back is harder than it sounds. All your life you are told to give it all you’ve got. ….To push yourself to the limits…..If you don’t push yourself who will. ……. I’m sure you can think of others that you’ve told yourself. It is always…. GO….GO…. GO.
Now it is…. Slow down. Don’t push it. Slow and steady. It’s harder than it sounds. More times than you would think this past week, it was “we are running too fast.” We need to slow down. We are breathing too hard. Now don’t get me wrong, with the heat and humidity in Jersey this past week slow and steady still was hard. The heart rate spiked a few times. Sweat happened. It was not “easy.”
Here is the thing though….. After this first week of running, there was not a run that when it ended I didn’t think that I could do more. I could run further. I could run faster. I also was able to recover from these runs which is key.
So as I dig deeper into this training, I really need to find out if the zone that my garmin is saying are the right zones. I also would love it if my heart rate didn’t seem to jump up quickly. To keep myself where I needed to be and bring my heart rate down, I would walk until I got back into the zone. So I need to work on this. It will come.
As I do this, I am also in the marathon of fundraising. It’s kind of like doing 2 marathons at once. I’m working on collecting auction items which after this last year you can imagine is not easy task, but onward I go. I’ve gotten some good ones already. (If you know of any, I’m all ears).
So onward I go….. Slow, Steady, and moving foward.
I’ve had a few people tell me that there is no shame in stopping now. While I know that to be true, I’m also not at that point. A prudent man might say, this is not your year. But I’m not a prudent man, I’m a hardcore badass unicorn who knows that she hasn’t reached her limits. This is just another speedbump in a road filled with them.
Yesterday I went out for my long run. I knew it would be hard. I expected it to be hard. It was and I was filled with many doubts along the way. That being said, I was not expecting this. I went out planning to keep a very conservative pace which I did. I was averaging 13:30 paces which was mix of walking and running. I stopped to stretch along the way because it was just hard. The beginning was worse which I chalked it up to the normal aches and pains of being Hypopara. I was wrong.
I ended up walking the last mile because I was in pain. A lot. Hubby asked why I didn’t call someone to pick me up. To be honest the thought had crossed my mind, but I really wanted to hit 13 which was down from my original 15 I was going for. It was bad but not excruciating. Manageable and I thought, “I’ll be ok once I get home and stretch.” The excruciating part came after I got home, sat down and took off my shoes. I couldn’t get up I was in so much pain. I thought….. let me shower and that will help.
I had to shower sitting down and then soaked in some Epsom salt. When I went to stand up, I couldn’t. I literally slithered out of the tub and dressed on the floor. Not my best moment. Then again, maybe it was. I managed to get up and sit on the bed and call my podiatrist to get an ASAP appointment. Although painful, I was able to tiptoe to my car to make the drive.
There may have been some tears on the phone with a friend. I kept saying I didn’t do anything different. I was being conservative. I was being smart. I’ve only got 4 weeks to go. Boo Hoo. I was also nervous because it was BOTH FEET. One foot, you can hobble around on. This was not that and even having PF before, I never experience this level of pain. It made me nervous it was more.
Thankfully, by the time I got to the podiatrist office about an hour later, I could put pressure on my feet but it was still painful. At least now it was a respectable 6 and not an off the chart pain. I’ve also got a pretty good tolerance for pain which made me nervous.
X-ray shows all is good. Ultrasound image showed swelling in Plantar Fasciitis. Doc said normal is 2. Mine was 3.8. So after some discussion and promise from me not to do ANY running (as if I could) for the next week until I go back, he gave me cortisone shots in both feet followed by adding some cushioning and wrapping. He said swim or bike, but rest feet. NO bare feet around house and shoes while teaching my preschool gymnastics classes.
So here I am. Being a good girl. staying off my feet. Today I am still sore, but it’s a moderate pain. I’ve already ordered some PF supplies, soaked, rolled and tomorrow plan to go for my very first acupuncture session.
Normally at this point in a marathon training cycle, I say trust in the training to get you there. Not this time. What I need to do now is trust in myself. Trust that I know what my body can do even on hard days. Trust that I know it will be difficult, but knowing that I can do hard things. Trust no matter what the outcome that it is enough.
If I wanted to be brutally honest, I would say that I am running a marathon that I have no business running. I’m under trained. I’m out of shape. I’ve got plantar fasciitis. Then there is the whole hypopara thing. This will not be the great come back that I envisioned at the beginning of this training cycle. This will not be the hypopara PR that I was shooting for.
All that being said, this will still be amazing experience. Running as part of the Sandy Hook Promise Team. Spending time with the team. Sharing the cause. This will also be a feat of determination. Mind not just matter, but my body. Pushing. Asking more from it than it willingly will want to give, but can. That is true for every marathon runner. No matter where you are, what your goals, or even your health. Running a marathon proves that yourselve that you can do anything you put your mind to.
Sometimes it feels like life is a ball of yarn that you must keep re-rolling because as time passes it unwinds and gets messy. As it unwinds, it frays and the dead ends need to be cut off before rewrapping (sorry to my knitters if this is bad analogy). If you don’t continue to wrap it back up, eventually your yarn will become knotted and unusable. So it’s best to deal with the mess before it’s too late. That’s where I’m at.
Waking up in the morning feeling like you’ve already come back from your run. Needing to be stretched and rolled does not make lacing up your running shoes quick or easy. That doesn’t make it less necessary.
A mile and a half in
and already tingles in the face. Still
working on determining when to take my Calcitriol and calcium because it’s
obviously not enough time before I hit the pavement. Race morning that should not be a problem since
I won’t be starting till the 11-ish or later time frame. I’ve got to work this out and also get
morning stomach issues under control.
I feel like I was given hope only to have it taken away. One of the reasons that I signed up for NYC Marathon as Sandy Hook Promise Runner was because I knew that I was going on Natpara. Yes, I believe in their cause and am proud to be a runner for them, but I would have supported from the sidelines. I knew the training would be different than the last year without it. I knew how hard, frustrating, and exhausting it was without that PTH hormone and I didn’t want to do it all over again. Now I had no choice to do it all over again, but now in a matter of weeks and not months.
I wonder if I have
enough time to get my body used to running without Natpara at the distance I
need to be running. Yes, I’ve done it without Natpara in the
past. The big difference is that I did
it from the start. I had the time to
adjust as the weeks went by. Adjusting
and learning what my body needed, when to add calcium, and building up. Now instead of months to figure this out, I’ve
got weeks to get my body and my mind on board.
They are still adjusting. It’s
harder than it should be both mentally and physically. Knowing that does not make it easier.
Yes, I’ve got the
base. I can look on the bright side and
know that for most of the training cycle that I had what I needed and could get
the runs in. I was even running at a
pace that I was happy with again. I
didn’t think it would be my marathon pace, but I was doing alright. Now in these next few weeks as I’m still
adjusting my meds, I have to do what I have to do.
What I have to do is
train where I am at today. The bottom
line is…. What choice do I have because I’m not quitting. That is not an option. To be totally honest with myself is that
there is really not much that is going to keep me from the start line. So with that said I better buckle up and go
in trained the best that I can and know that it is going to be a bumpy ride.
I’m going into this
marathon trained not as I should be, but as I can be. It will be enough. It has to be enough. There is no other option
Doubt is the killer
of all dreams……
And while this above statement is true, there comes a point where you have to face what the doubts are telling you Running without Natpara, the PTH hormone, and dealing with that loss. Knowing that I have to adjust expectations, training, and goals. Wondering if I will have what I need to get to the finish line. Knowing that there isn’t much that will keep me from it either.
Training will be what
it will be. If your looking for tips on
how to train for a marathon, this isn’t it.
But having already done 6 marathons, I am comfortable saying that I know
I can adjust. Maybe I walk more that I
should although who determines how much “should” is. I will do what I can and no more.