Tag Archive | Marathon

It Wasn’t a Lie

Most ”normal” people need to be talked into running a marathon. Usually either a friend will lure them in or it is a personal goal, but event then there must be some type of persuasion to do it. Unless, of course, you have already run a marathon. Then it isn’t so much talking youreslef into running another marathon as much as trying to keep yourself from inadvertantly signing up for another one.

How do I know this?

Because I am living the life.

I truthfully without sarcasm have 110% been honest that I am done running marathons. I love the idea of not training for anything. I have talked with friends about how awesome it would be to meet up for a run and then do brunch. We are even planning to go to NYCM as spectators and then do brunch again. It seems like a great plan. An amazing plan. A fun plan. A sane plan.

I also admit that my body is tired. I have been spending countess hours working on getting my home baking business into an actual business while still working almost 30 hours outside of the home. Oh and ”taking care” of said home and all that is supposed to entail. While having somewhat of a non existent but existent social life that someone who is a extrovert introvert (it’s a real thing) enjoys.

I have not been lying when I say that I don’t want to train for any more marathons They are grueling. It is exhausting. The whole process is horrendous. Seriously. Does ANYONE really enjoy training for a marathon?

So why do we do it? Why do we put ourselves through so much for the ”pleasure” of running 26.2 miles on race day. The blisters….. The early wake up….. The training when we don’t want to……. the feet issues….. the chaffing….. so many reasons not to do it. So many VALID and SANE reasons not to do it……..

Conversation with son this morning in car as we see an ”elderly female runner.”

Son, ”that’s you.”

Me, ”No, she is running faster than me and has better form. Although, I have filled out my application to run NYCM for Sandy Hook Promise again. I haven’t sent it in yet though because I’m not sure.”

Son, ”Don’t Do it. You ALWAYS regret it.”

Truer words have not been spoken…….

Yet….. here we are with my finger one key stroke away from hitting send. Will saner minds prevail or will I jump back into crazy town. I, honestly, don’t know…… I wasn’t lying when I said I was done with the marathon. I’m just not sure that the marathon is done with me especially when this would be 10 marathon and also with 10th anniversary of Sandy Hook.

So many reasons to say no…….

So many reasons to say yes…….

I have until April 30th to ponder.

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

Claw hand

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……

And going……

And 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.

Ready or Not Here I Come

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.

Bob and Weave…. AGAIN

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.

Not quite winging it but close enough!

100 Days……

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)

GRRRRRR

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.

100 days……..

Slow, Steady & Moving Foward

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.

Heath Check… One… Two…

So while I have not signed the contract to run NYCM with Sandy Hook Promise, I am laying groundwork. I do think paperwork should be with-in the next week and then it’s off to training we go.

That being said, I am already laying the groundwork. I have my training plan loaded in Training Peaks which I will officially start next week. Until then, I am in pre-training which I should enjoy while I can. I am also not looking to train for speed, but train for a great experience running. But first…..

I am also crossing all the T’s and dotting all the I’s with taking care of myself. I finally after years of my family telling me to get it checked out (again) saw a Pulmonologist and did a sleep study. Not too bad….. I only stop breathing 40-45 an hour and have severe sleep apnea. CPAP apparently is in my near future.

So while this sounds bad, it helps because maybe just maybe my down to the bone tiredness has nothing to do with my Hypopararthyroidism, but the fact that I am getting terrible night sleep! So besides, you know keeping me breathing at night and heading off any potential health issues; this will more than likely also help me with my training since I won’t be so exhausted all the time. Win.. Win.

Then next month (you know because it takes that long to get an appointment) I have my normal visit with my Endocrinologist for my Hypopara stuff and I am going to see Urologist to check on kidneys since I have a high output of calcium in urine. Although now wondering if I made appointment with right type of doctor and might have been better served with nephrologist but too late now. Would rather get some answers than no answers and can always follow up with the nephrologist if I think need to.

By this time, I will hopefully be a month and half into training. I am excited to start. And while my Sandy Hook Promise team place isn’t finalized yet, I think I will stick with training even if something happens.

So it’s go time….. As they say…..

There may come a day that I can not run, but today isn’t that day and I’m going to keep going.

Blowing in the Breeze

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

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.

Time after Time

Time has lost all meaning to me, but I think we’ve pretty much been in going on 6 weeks now.   Who knows.   Is it still April?   I think April now has 675 days.   Each day is the same.   Each day is long.   And yet still there is not enough time to fold the laundry or empty the dishwasher until the sink is filled with dishes.   I’m not sure how that happens, but it does.   This is my life now.   Searching for food delivery slots that are not available.   Making carts on the off chance that someday I will hit the lottery and get a slot which has happened twice in these 6 weeks.   Then there is the inevitable suiting up to go to actual store since teens in a Pandemic apparently will eat more food than required by a heard of elephants.

This is my life.

I am still blessed.

On top of that every and any event has been cancelled.   Not just for now, but for next month and the month after and the month after.   On and on the cancelations go.   So much for my doing a race a month for the year.   Ha.   I will take for still being able to fit into my running clothes when this is over.    That being said,  with health officials already talking about a reoccurrence of this crap in the fall during flu season, you wonder if this year all major marathons will be cancelled.    Chicago while not cancelled is allowing participants to cancel.   Unheard of.   Many while not outright cancelled do not have a new date yet which makes you wonder.   NYRR has cancelled their NYC half and their races through June.   It makes you wonder what they will do for the Marathon that normal has 50,000 runners.   To me, a layman, runner; I just don’t see how it is possible but what do I know.

I had been thinking of running NY again for Team Sandy Hook Promise but I don’t see that happening.   With so many people hurting financially raising $3,000 does not seem feasible.  Honestly nor does the thought of going to an event with 50,000 people.   I went to Target for groceries and thought I would have an anxiety attack with all the people in the store who were wearing masks and most being good about socially distancing from each other.    I couldn’t see myself at the village start line.   Honestly  I can’t imagine how an event like this will happen even though it is still months from now.

Who knows what will happen.   I do know that no matter what I can’t see myself in the middle of it.   That being said, I have run a marathon every year since 2014, somehow someway I do not want 2020 to be the year I don’t.   I’ve already been thinking that trails are the way to go.   Who knows, I might have to do my own virtual marathon.   Then again maybe I just skip this year.   In the whole scheme of things, it is not the be all end all.

Yes, I miss my running crew.

Yes, I miss group events.

Yes, I miss it all.

But what I have taken away the most is that in the big scheme of life….. for me……  although I am a runner, although I love to run,   although I have had and will have again so much fun running……… When this is all over, I do not want it to go back to business as usual.

I want it to better.

I want to think about things differently.

I want to realize that while I am a runner, I am so much more

 

 

 

Rest, Recover, Repeat?

When running a marathon, so many random thoughts will pop into your mind. Some are fleeting. Some stick with you for a few miles. One that usually pops into my head is “I’m NEVER doing this again.”

Exhibits A, B, C

2014 – First marathon, Philly – This was supposed to be a one and done. I swore I just wanted to cross one marathon finish line and then I could call it a day.

2015 Marine Corps – I put in for lottery and as a fluke got in. I literally was dropping some F bombs to my sister who ran on the course with me at the end. I told her how stupid marathons were. How ridiculous it was that people wasted their time coming to watch runners (mind you she flew in from California). Lastly, I swore NEVER again (after NY because I’d already done the 9+1 for it)

2016 -NYCM – This was it. My first NYCM and was going to be my only. I mean how can you not run NY if your as close to the city as me. I even put off my surgery for my thyroid, so that I could run it. This was only marathon that I hit the wall because I ran the first half like there was not a second half. I was done and had my NYCM medal so what more did I need. NO more!

2017 – I put in for the Chicago marathon while still recovering from getting my thyroid out and dealing with learning to live Hypopara. This was flipping my finger to all that I was dealing with and I just needed to run one as a hypopara to show I could do it. It was not a pretty race as it was hot, but it is my fastest post surgery marathon. I was done. I proved my point. NO more.

2018 – I felt like there were signs that I should sign up to run NYCM as charity runner for Sandy Hook Promise. The signs were everywhere, but if I didn’t get picked at least I tried. Well, damn, they released that I really believe in their cause and picked me. So, yes, I was running with a purpose and I would do what I could to support Sandy Hook Promise; but I was only doing it one time. Until I did it again.

2019 NYCM Sandy Hook Promise Runner

During my run, I thought about that maybe my body just isn’t cut out to be a marathon runner. Maybe I should just stick to running shorter distances. That running 26.2 is just not for me. I could still support my team from the sidelines. I could still spread the message of Sandy Hook Promise. I just needed to give my body a rest because running marathons weren’t for me and I should focus my energy elsewhere.

Then I crossed the finish line.

I still felt that way. I still wondered if maybe this is too much for my body. Wondering if I needed to spend time on recovery. Getting my feet under control. Dealing with the aches and pains. Knowing that maybe worrying about my calcium crashing while running is just not worth it.

Then I went home. I read all the messages from my Facebook live videos, my running group, my friends and the chats with team members. And while I do need to spend time on healing my body – dealing with the tight calves, dealing with the feet, dealing with the pain that still lingers on the side of my calf and knowing that if I really want to run stronger/better/easier on feet that I also need to loose 20 pounds. Like seriously 20 pounds.

Then I thought….. It’s getting to the holiday season. There is no way that is going to happen. Then I realized that training would not start until Spring. Then I thought about how much I love being part of the Sandy Hook Promise Team, how some friends will be running NY next year, and that it might motivate me to keep going.

Then I thought…… Your crazy……

Not wrong.

Not right.

Then I thought about all the work in raising the minimum of $3,0000 to be part of their team. Then I thought of what I could do differently next year. The beauty is that I don’t need to make any decisions now or in the near future. For now my focus is recovery.

So I will continue to roll. I need to get to acupuncture. I need to do the things that I know I should do because chances are pretty good…….. that if you give the girl a medal, she’s going to want another one. Besides I’m pretty much on a roll now.