Tag Archive | NYC Marathon

Run Where You Are

Less than 2 months now.

Wow.

Yikes.

Um…

I will say truthfully that I am feeling confidents in my mish mash of training.   I’m feeling strong.   Not strong like I am going to have an amazing race and PR.   I mean strong like I know that I can and will cross the finish line.   I actually feel quiet calm this go around.  Strange I know.

The other day I went out for just 3 miles.   Since it was a short run, I didn’t really watch pace.   I just let it go and I know that in the beginning I was running too fast, but again I knew it was a short run.    I also thought that even though I haven’t doing training this way, I would consider it a speed workout.   At least I was smart enough to continue the walk/run method.

Here is the thought that I had when out on this run and what I have decided will be my mantra for the beginning of the marathon.

RUN WHERE YOU ARE

NOT WHERE YOU WANT TO BE!

Seriously!  This is what I need to remember.   I was thinking about  when I ran the NYCM in 2016.   I was working with a coach.   I was trained.   I was ready.   I still crashed and burned (see the wall at mile 20)  because I ran the fist half like there was no second half.   I let the crowds carry me.   I let myself get swept up in the excitement of it all.   And let’s be clear, it is exciting.    I have run 5 marathons so far and while each one is special, there really is no bigger party than I have experienced than the NYC Marathon.   It is easy to get swept up which I allowed to happen last time.

 

RUN WHERE YOU ARE

NOT WHERE YOU WANT TO BE!

Here’s the thing, it is so easy to get caught up.   It is easy to tell yourself that you can…

  • Bank the time
  • You can do it
  • I’m not running too fast
  • It’s not a big deal

WRONG, WRONG, WRONG.

  • There is no banking time when you hit the wall.
  • Unless you’ve trained at paces, don’t use them in a marathon
  • See above
  • It is a big deal when you hit that wall.

So my objective, my goal, my mantra is to be realistic.   When I ran Chicago, in the back of my mind I was not realistic.   I was still trying to push paces that I was not able to maintain especially since it was a very hot marathon.   I am being real with myself.   I know that I can do this, if and only if I listen to my body.   I listen to the voice that is writing this post and tune out the other one that is not always thinking clearly:)

I will say that I am making a deal with that voice.   I’ve told her that if she lets me run a smart race, a race that I’ve trained for at a pace I’ve trained at; I will then be able to let her run the last few miles.   When at my peak I listened to the wrong voice, the last few miles were a beast.

Time to be smart.  Be ready and get it done.

MarathonMeme

 

 

 

 

 

Is It Worth It?

Running a marathon is hard.   It is hard for everyone from the first place finisher to the final finisher.   It takes dedication, pain, time, and so much more to not only get to the start line, but to cross that finish line.     Often during marathon training season a runner will question their sanity, their endurance, and their sanity again.

Recently I’ve been mulling around the question in my brain…..

At What Cost?

I’m part of many online running groups and have been for years.   I will say that being part of the Moms Run This Town group is what took my running to the next level.   It introduced me to a group of amazing and dedicated runners whose experience I learned from and helped prepare and gently push me to take leaps of faith in my running.    I really owe that group to where I am today.

With any running/training group there are people for all over the spectrum….. From full Ironman competitions, 100 mile events, 5k’s and any other number of amazing feats.   There are also people whose feats are amazing just for getting out the door.   Everyone determines their own path in this world and just because someone does not take their running “to the next level” does not make their feats any less praise worthy.

Each person chooses their own path.   Their own destiny.   Their own finish line.  Some great feats are obvious to all, but some are not so easily recognized.

Recently I was taking with a woman from my Hypopara athlete training group.   We were talking about various treatment options, comparing levels, and symptoms.   She by trade was an amazingly organized person and created spreadsheets tracking her levels, dosages, and such.   Have to say that I was in awe of what she did and felt like a bit of a slacker, but I’ve never been that organized of a person.   Anyone want to create spreadsheets for me?  Ha!

During our chat,  we talked exercise.   Her doctor who is also a leading doctor for Hypoparathyroidism has different mindset than mine who is also a leading doctor. Hers does not want her to do strenuous exercise because then she must up her calcium intake while my doctor does not think this is an issue as long as my levels stay good.   I do need to up calcium levels during exercise and while I do not take a tremendous amount of calcium compared to some people with the disorder, I do adjust on days that I push myself adding almost 1000mg or more depending upon intensity/sweating/distance.

She asked me a question that I can’t seem to shake….

Is it worth it?

My immediate response was yes because I get so much from it.   Great cardio workout,  hopefully help to maintain weight which creeped up, friendships, and honestly the most important… The peace of mind it brings.   The clarity that I get when my mind ponders things during a run I have not been able to duplicate elsewhere.

Still…. I ponder….

Even with these things I need to ask myself, “Is it worth it?”

Pushing myself can be difficult.   I’ve recently realized that my calcium drops with my cycle but even at my “normal” levels there are issues.   And while I have adjusted and continued my training,  I have been pondering what to do after NYC Marathon.

The marathon is a tough beast.   It is unforgiving.   It is intense.    It is harsh, but in the end and at it’s core

IT IS A BEAUTIFUL AND AMAZING JOURNEY

For now, it is worth it.

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Nothing Worthwhile is Easy

As a runner we all have running montras

Your race, your pace

If it was easy, everyone would do it.

Your only competing against yourself.

Your lapping everyone still on the couch.

 

And while all of these montras are true and for the most part I do 100% believe them, there are times when it is hard.   When it is hard to let things go.   When those nasty thoughts enter my head.   Not jealous of other runner and their accomplishments, but angry with myself for where I am.

While I know others have it worse than I do….

While I know that I am not alone in having struggles…

While I know that it could be so much worse and others suffer more…

I also know that there are many people with Hypoparathyroidism that would love to do the things that I currently do because they are unable to.

That does not lesson my struggles and my reality.   As with any chronic disease, each person manifests the symptoms differently.   There is no one size fits all.  And with Hypoparathyroidism, it is different all the time.   Calcium levels fluctuate and there is no way to know.   It’s all just a guessing game on a daily basis since different days may require more calcium intake just to keep your body functioning at not even peak, but just below peak.   There is not at home blood test like a diabetic uses to determine calcium need.   It’s all just a guessing game.

I’ve said it before and I do believe it with not a shred of scientific evidence to back me up that the reason that I am able to do the things I do now is because of the aerobic shape I was in before my surgery.  I literally ran the NYC Marathon just 2 weeks prior to my thyroid surgery.   There are some people with my disease that need to go out on disability because the struggle is so bad.   Again each person is different.

This past weekend I just got back from a 10 day camping trip in Vermont.   I said to my son while we  were out on a 16 mile bike ride around the lake (mind you the day after climbing Jay’s Peaks a 4,000 foot elevation) that I was going to be slow.   I told him that although I make it look easy, I struggle more than he knows.   This is true because while I moan and groan here on my blog, in person I usually just don’t complain.  Really what will it do?

Here is the truth that I’ve said before….. For right now in order to keep my kidneys healthy, I need to keep my calcium level low which brings the symptoms associated with it.     To name a few,  muscle cramps and fatigue which makes training a little more difficult than it used to be.   I also can’t handle the heat as easily as I used to be.

Nothing worthwhile in life is easy.  Marriage, Having kids, raising kids, even some friendships at times are hard.  Nothing is easy.   They are all worth the struggle, but not necessarily easy.   The payoff is worth the effort.

Nothing worthwhile in life is easy….

Especially running a marathon.

This will be my second marathon with Hypoparathyroidism.    It will be my 6th overall.   Each one had it’s challenges.   Each one had it struggles.   I was able to push through all of them and make it to the finish line.   This time it will be no different.

effort

 

 

 

What’s In the Bag?

Today marks 100 days till NYC Marathon.   Training is underway and while some days I do wonder What I was thinking, overall I think it is going good.   I’ve got some kinks to work out and I think adjusting on my Garmin will help with that.    That is what training is for…. not just to get the body ready, but to work out the kinks.

So while training is underway, I got an email for Bag Check.   Many races, it really is a no brainer to check because it really makes no difference.   NY is different.   If you do not check a bag, you get a super comfy Poncho at the end of the race.    It is like getting into a warm blanket at the end of the race.   Ahhhhh.

Last time I ran NY, there was no thought.   I wanted the Poncho.   Besides feeling like heaven at the end of a long day, it says NYC Marathon on it.   As a soccer mom, I must admit that it has come in handy on the sidelines there too.   That being said, this time I don’t need to get a poncho since I already have one, but it would be nice at the end of the marathon.

Also if you check a bag, it does take longer to get out of the park when your done running.    The downside though to not checking a bag is that you do not have any additional items that you may want at the end either.   You know like a change of clothes.   Maybe a sweatshirt.   Additional calcium and such.    There is much to think of because these are all good things to have at the end of a long day.

That being said last time I ran NY, I had none of the above mentioned things and I survived.  So as of now it is a toss up.

But I’m pretty sure that I am going with the Poncho.   I’ve got time to think this through and I’m sure that I will change my mind several times right up until I hit send.   And then I will question myself some more.

What do you plan to do?

Running for a Cause

When fundraising for a race, there is so much more that needs to be put on the line than your running shoes.    Before committing to it, you really need to weigh the options.

I have never been one who wanted fundraise for my running.   Then the epiphany was that I’m not really fundraising for my running, but for a cause that I believe in.  I’ve said it several times, I would be perfectly fine not to be running NY This year.   But I am also extremely stoked about being able to run it as a Sandy Hook Promise Runner.   Running NYC is a bonus to being able to help support Sandy Hook Promise.   As I’ve said in previous posts, I felt that this was meant to be which is why I took the leap of faith.

So the first piece of advice is to make sure that the charity you are raising money for is one that you firmly believe in and can get behind.    With Sandy Hook Promise, I didn’t just sign up on the dotted line.   I had to fill out a questionnaire regarding volunteer work and explain why this cause was important to me.   This was easy for me to do because I have been active in this cause since the Sandy Hook shooting.   Just ask any  of my friends especially those on my Facebook page.

You must be also willing to put your money where your mouth is.   When push comes to shove, you have to be willing to put up your own money if you don’t reach your fundraising goal.   I pledged to raise $3,000.   I am happy to report that I have reached the half way point in my fundraising efforts, but I still have a ways to go.

You also have to be willing to go out of your comfort zone.    I’ve had to be bolder than I wanted to be.   I’ve had to point blank ask people for donations.   I’ve had to put myself out there in ways that I never would if I was asking for myself, but I am willing to put myself there for Sandy Hook Promise.  This is not about me.

You also have to be willing to put the time in.   Raising a large sum of money is not something that you can do in your sleep.   It does become a bit of a part time job and you must be willing to put in the hours.   Yes, I do mean hours.    Unless you have rich family and friends willing to finance your fundraising effort, you are going to need to work for it.   That being said since it is a cause that you firmly believe in,  you know that it is all worth it.

On top of this, you do need to still train for said race.   Anyone who has ever trained for a marathon knows that in and of itself is a part time job.   So you will need to deal with two part time jobs until you reach your fundraising goal.

Now with all that being said……

I am beyond  honored to be running as part of the Sandy Hook Promise Team.    I am thrilled to share their message.    Their cause of protecting our children is one that we can all get behind.    I have run 5 marathons and each one of them I ran for me and I had my own goal.   This time, my only goal is to run (walk) wearing my Sandy Hook Promise gear and be worthy of wearing the Sandy Hook Promise Gear.   When I say that I run for #26for26, I truly mean it and how honored I am to be able to run for the victims of Sandy Hook.   That day changed me and I am so honored to run for them, give back and help to bring about change.

One of my favorite quotes that I often use is Be the Change you want to see in this world.

Be_the_Change

So if you ever want to run a race for charity, I say go for it.

Now if you are inspired to make a donation, you can right here Fundraising Page for Sandy Hook

See you’ve got to be willing to ask and get out of your comfort zone!

 

 

Getting It Done

The thing about having an “invisible” illness, a complicated illness, a rare illness is that your start to wonder if it’s all in your head.   It’s easy to do too, because most of the time you keep it to yourself.  Then if you do say something many don’t understand and some will think you are exaggerating.   So after a while you just suck it up and go about your day.   The more you do that, the more you start to wonder if it really is all in your head.  Then you begin to question it all.

Are my legs so sore in  morning because I’m getting older?

Can I not run this fast because I’m just not training enough?

Am I taking it too easy because I forgot how to push myself?

Suck it up Buttercup!

Then you remember…

You do have it.   It is real.   It’s not in your head.   It sucks, but it could be much worse.   Most importantly, your doing the best that you can.

Now the best that I can isn’t what it used to be.   I also know there are many people with this disorder who would love to do what I can do on my worst day. I also  know that I am lucky.   Once when I shared something about Hypoparathyroidism, someone commented to me to my face, “Don’t take this wrong, but everyone has something.”

I was too shocked to do anything but agree with her.   And I do agree with her.   I know that everyone has their own battles.   I will be the first to admit that.   I also know that even the battle that I face could be so much worse.  That being said, just because I share my battles does not mean that I think someone else’s battles are less important.   As the Care Bears used to say, “sharing is caring.”   We all have our stuff and it is good to be able to openly share our battles because it does make the load a little lighter and easier to carry.

These are things that went through my mind on my training run yesterday.   It was the longest run I have done this training cycle.  I notice that it takes my body now a good 3 miles before it gets into the groove of running.   Then I was having some doubts about my running.   Comparing it to the last time that I was training for NY which is crazy because not only was that pre hypoparthyroidism, but I had an amazing running coach who had me hopping.   I never compare myself to other runners, but I do compare myself to where I was which is something that I must stop doing.   I will say that I think I’m in a better place now than when I was training for Chicago.   I do think actually training with the walk/run and following it this time will make for a better race.

Yesterday’s run was good and bad.   That is why we train.   I could start to recognize a pattern.   Start to tweak it.  I also slowed down to wear realistically I should be for my long runs right now.   8 miles with an average pace was 12:23.   I never went into the red zone for my heart rate and kept my heart rate in zone 4 according to my Garmin.   I have recently been trying to pay closer attention to my heart rate as apposed to pace.  I’m also trying to figure out paces for running and walking.   It’s a work in progress, but I am getting it done.  Sticking to the loose plan that I am following.  As the training runs get longer and I approach the NYCM, I want to be able to project approximate target times for distance.   More so that I don’t go out too fast like I did last time.   I don’t anticipate running the paces  I did last time.  If I go out too fast I might not bounce back as I did last time.

 

2016 NYCM

You can clearly see the wall at mile 20.

No Joke.

I think running for Sandy Hook Promise does take the pressure off some and add its elsewhere.   It takes it off because I know that I am not running this for me.  I was serious when I said that I wasn’t planning on any marathons this year.   I am training to be able to run this race as a proud member of the Sandy Hook Promise Team.   Like anyone on a team, your know that it’s not about you.  I don’t want to waste this opportunity given to me.    As I often post with my training runs #26for26.  I am so blessed to be given this opportunity to run for something that I believe in and don’t want to squander this opportunity.

 

Sandy Hook Promise Fundraiser

 

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How Did I get here????

If you’ve been following my journey, you know that I whole heartedly did not want to run any big races this year.   I was content to run the NYC Half and call it a year.   I clearly said that I did not want a fall marathon.   I did not want to train over the summer with my oldest leaving for college.   I stomped my feet, crossed my arms, and knew that I was going to sit this year out.

But things change.

Things evolve.

And sometimes, sometimes you are given clear signs that you need to do something that you said you wouldn’t do.

This is what happened.

I am a believer is receiving signs if you are open to them.    At first, I ignored them but then I realized that this was something that I needed to do.   Not to run a marathon, because I meant that part about not wanting to run one.    I will run one though.   I will run it happily because to me this year it is not about the marathon but about the cause.

Sandy Hook Promise

This was a group that I joined almost as soon as I heard about it.    The tragedy at Sandy Hook hit me hard as with so many others.   It changed me.    It made me want to get involved which I did, but I always felt that I could and should do more especially as each tragic shooting occurred.   This is something that I can do.   This is something that is a concrete way to help an organization that is trying to what we all want: Protect children from gun violence.

Here is their mission and approach:

“Prevent gun-related deaths due to crime, suicide and accidental discharge so that no other parent experiences the senseless, horrific loss of their child.”   They are working and implementing in communities and schools research based programs and practices such as Know the Signs programs.   You can visit the SandyHookPromise.org website for more information.

This is my way to help them help others.    I will be running NYC Marathon to raise $3,000 for this cause that I feel so strongly about.    This is a leap of faith because while I know that I can run a marathon, I’m not too sure about my fundraising skills.   I am willing to take this risk.

If you would like to contribute to this worthy cause, please visit my fundraising page at Fundraising Website.

I am excited about this prospect for many reasons and the process of being part of a team of runners who support this amazing cause.   I am heading into this marathon training to finish the race, enjoy the process, and most of all support such a worthy cause.

SandyHookPromise

 

 

Calling Dr. Google

 

Even though I didn’t get out for my long run Saturday, I plan to do it Sunday morning.    Sometimes you have to change things up especially when life gets in the way.   I once again slept in this morning as honestly I’ve not been sleeping the best.   Problem was that I slept in too late to get a run in or I would be late for an important appointment.   I thought to myself, “no worries, I’ll just run when i get back from picnicking at my mother’s house.”

  Well when you don’t get home till almost 10:00 and you’ve got 12 miles on your schedule that run just isn’t happening.

Nope.

Now, it will have to happen in the morning.   Without a doubt.   I am getting and planning to stay back on track for my marathon training.   I’ve got reason to be committed (other than the obvious that I will be running the NYCM).   I now am 100% positive baring any injuries that I will be running.

What am I talking about you ask?

You did ask, right?

google

So during this somewhat stinky summer, I had to get a biopsy done on 3 nodules on my thyroid.   I’m not a fan of needles in my neck, so I was more concerned with that than the actual biopsy.   I will say that according to my consultation with Dr. Google who my lawyer friend told me was not licensed to practice in this state; I had high expectations of being told that my thyroid would need to be removed.   The results came back fine for the bigger nodules, but they wanted to retest the smallest one as results were not conclusive.   Ok.   Another round of needles.   Yeah, me.

Waiting…..

Waiting….

Phone rings

“Hello this is So and So from Dr. So and So’s office.  Don’t worry the results don’t show C, but the Dr. would like for you to come in to go over your results.   She has an opening today.   Are you available?”

Yeah, that’s never a good thing.

Off I go to the Dr’s who says in a nutshell that the results are once again not able to determine if it is bad or good.   Blah, Blah, Blah more medical information.    Bottom line is we need to take your thyroid gland out.

Me, who expected this months ago but then pushed it aside after first round of tests is shocked.   My main concern because I’m a crazy runner, “Can I push it off till after NYCM?”

That’s totally rational.

“Sure no problem.   Call Surgeon So and So now though to set up appointment as he is in leadership position and it’s hard to get into see him.”

Following Dr So and So’s order, I call the next day and this hard to see Surgeon So and So can see me in two days for my consultation.

WHAT???

So this consultation was today.   I feel much better after meeting Surgeon So and So.   He gave me the clear ahead to wait till after the marathon, but not much longer after that.  I liked that he knew that my body would need to recover after running such a long distance and the fact that he said the surgeon who would assist him is also running NYCM.

So now this reignites the fire.   It removes the cloud that has been hanging over my training and it also adds a little motivation as he might ask how I finished in said race.   Would hate to not have a good finish time to tell him.

So while all is not perfect.   While I may be freaking out a little or a lot depending on the time of day, I’m better knowing what is going to happen.   There is a plan.   I’ve been told that I like a plan and it is true.

Time to get myself moving!

ny_slogan

Do you have a plan?

Come Back to Me……

After many months, I was FINALLY able to get a much need run in with a friend tonight.    The beauty of your running friends is they will tell you what you want to hear, sometimes things you don’t want to hear, and just listen while you ramble on too.   It’s a special thing:)

We were talking about my training and her training as she is also doing New York.    We both have similar goals except that I’m not really sure of my goals right now.   Things are kind of up in the air, but she made me laugh telling me not to be a “teenager and just do it.”    She further pointed out that my training has been getting back on track and that if I give it just a little more time so will my head.    Part of that has to do with once the kids get back in school and I can get back to my normal schedule.

Here’s hoping.

I said to her that it has really been a difficult summer and it is even ending on a not so fun note.   All of these things are have not totally sucked the life out of my training because I am finally able to get my workouts in.   Maybe not all of them, but I’m getting better.   I’m getting back doing what I need to do, it is just sucking my get up and go.

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I’ve said before that part of my problem is that last year when training for Marine Corps Marathon, I had committed goals.  They were concrete.    I don’t have that this time.    I am missing the drive that I had.   I am trying to find it.   I really am, but part of me keeps questioning in the end what does it matter.    I know it would be a source of pride to me to run a marathon in 4:30 or under, but other than that what will the point be?   I have PR’d in various events.    In looking at Athlinks today, I realized that there were a few events that I finished decently and one I even came in first in my age group.   Of course, there were only 4 women in that group but still.   I’m wondering……  What does it matter?

I not only love  to run, but being a runner is part of who I am now.    If I were to never run another race again (that’s not happening – don’t panic), I would still need running in my life.   I love running, but I’m growing weary of training.   Not physically, but mentally.

I know all this mumbo jumbo in my head is due to all that has happened this summer.    You can’t loose a loved one and not think about what is important in your life.  I wish that was all, but like the commercials says “but there’s more!”

I am committed to running the New York City Marathon.   I am committed to training for the New York City Marathon.     I am committed to finishing the New York City Marathon.   I just wish I knew how I wanted to finish it and what I want out of race day.

It feels good to say that.   It feels good to know that.

That is the one thing that has fallen into place today while other things were falling out of place.   I do know that I am committed to New York which will mean that I will be committed to training for it.   Like a child whose old toys is about to be thrown away, I did not realize how important this has become to me until the prospect of having to bow out became a possibility.

If there sounds like there is more to this story, there is but I’m not at a point to share it all.     In the scheme of things it’s not anything tragic or bad, it is just something that I have to deal with.   Like laundry, some things just need to be done.    When the time is right, I will let you know.

 

Living the Dream!

As you read yesterday, I ran the Staten Island Half this past weekend.   What I didn’t mention in this post though is that I did it!   Now I don’t mean I did the Half because you know that already.    I mean that I completed my 9+1 plan!!!!!

9+1

Words truly do not express how I feel about this.    It is like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders as this has been months in the making having started this journey in January with Fred Lebow Half and ending with the Staten Island Half.   The cherry on top is that not only did I qualify for running THE NEW YORK CITY MARATHON in 2016, but also the NEW YORK CITY HALF!!

Now, I know that I could not have completed this task alone.  I would not have been able to do it.   As the saying goes, “I get by with a little help from my friends.”   In this case, I got by with a lot of help from my friends.   First of all this is the amazing group of women who inspired me to push myself not only in my running but to push myself to dream of doing things I would have never thought possible for me.   These are the women who showed me that with hard work and dedication I can do anything I set my mind to.   These are the women who took a newbie under their wings when I didn’t even know anything about needing actual pace for a race.   Remember my story of my first half?    I have to admit that although there is still so much that I don’t know, I am no longer a newbie.   They helped me in ways they don’t even know by never making me feel less because I am slower than them or didn’t know what I was doing.   They shared themselves and their knowledge so willingly with me.  These are also the women who without making it so fun to run, I would have stopped.   Yes, I now love to run.   Yes, I now need to run, but that all started with this group of women who got me to this point.    There is also the logistics factor because with them I was able to make it to these races.   Yes, I probably could have done it without them, but I’m not really sure that I would have wanted to or it would have been so easy to do.   These are also the women that I have so much respect, admiration, and love for.

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As we all know, I did not grow up dreaming of one day running the New York City Marathon.   I was someone who grew up hoping not to be picked last in gym class, but that is the beauty of growing up.   You realize that all that doesn’t matter because you no longer need to wait to be picked for anything life has to offer.  You create your own future, dreams and if you work hard enough anything is possible.   I may have come late to the party of wanting to run the NYCM, but I have now made that dream a possibility.   It is in my reach and I just need to wait because it will happen.   Although, I’m really not one to sit around and wait for things to happen anymore.   So in the meantime, I’ll be out chasing other dreams.

What are your dreams?