Tag Archive | NYCM

A Warm Embrace

While I’m no longer in recovery right now, I will say that I am in some type of holding pattern.   I have not run since NY.   Not even from the house to the car.   Maybe a fast walk, but nothing close to a run.   There are a few reasons, but those aren’t for today.

Toady I still want to talk about NY.

Prior to the marathon I toyed with not getting the NYCM poncho and checking a bag instead.   Logistically checking a bag made more sense because I was planning to take the train out of the city and without a checking bag, I would literally only have what I could carry with me.   I went back and forth and realized that for me, there is nothing better than having the poncho draped around my shoulders by the very caring volunteers.

I’ve done many events (including triathlons) where I come home in what I raced in.   The worst, I admit, was after running the Marine Corps Marathon.   After it, I used wipes to clean up the best I could and then got in my car and drove away.   It wouldn’t have been bad for a normal drive home, but I was leaving DC to go to NJ.   I did manage to do a clean up in a rest stop on the way home.  A close second was the 2 hour drive home after running a 50K.   This is not recommended though.   So with this thought process, I knew that I would be able to hop a train in my running attire.

I also knew that I could make this work, because I am not a minimalistic  runner and wear my Fitletic belt that I also have an add of to hold a phone.   Since I put my phone in the big pocket, I knew that I could use this accessory to hold extra medications, charger, fuel, and even my headphones.   Then I put my credit card and id in the main belt.   I do admit that I might refer to my Fitletic belt as my bat belt.    As a mother of all boys, I identify with Batman having all the tools he needs on his belt.

My only concern would be if the weather was very cold or it was raining.   I had decided though that it didn’t matter and if for some reason I felt the need to have anther set of clothes that I would be in NY and it would be very easy to acquire them.   Luckily the weather was perfect, so this became a non issue.

There is something very nice at the end of a long day to have a smiling, friendly volunteer envelope you in your poncho.    There is no comparison to a heat sheet.

So now that the race is over, what do I plan to do with my poncho?   Keep it, of course.   I have kept my old one in the trunk of my car and used it at my kids sporting events.   I have used it when unprepared for rain/snow or just he cold.   I plan to put this one in our second car.

So when given the choice….. Get the poncho!

What have you done with yours since the race?

The Calm Before the Storm

I’ve recently been asked on more than one occasion and in more than one way,

“Are you ready?”

My response has been all over the place, but it really is a loaded question.

Am I ready?

Yes and No and everything in between.

I’ve done the training.   Not like training in the past but ultimately I do think that I’ve done enough to be ready.    I’ll be honest, for all the bluff about knowing I will get to the finish line; I do have some doubts.   Small doubts, but doubts just the same.  I actually think these doubts will work in my favor.

I know that I can run this distance.   I’ve done it before.   I’ve done it more than once.   Muscle memory aside, I’ve also know mentally what it takes to push through when you want to stop.   Who remembers me literally crying when running Chicago?   I still got to the finish line.

I also know that each race is different.   No two marathons are alike.   No two races are alike even if it is the same course.   With knowledge is power.   I have the knowledge of how hard this day will be.   I have the knowledge that it won’t be a walk in the park even if it ends in Central Park.  I have the knowledge that my body can go the distance.    I have the knowledge of knowing that no matter what I will continue to move forward to get the finish line.   Most of all, I have the knowledge to know how sweet it is to cross the finish line.

I think this knowledge is bringing a calmness to the preparation of the day.   I am looking forward it tremendously, but I am calm about it.   No nerves.   It  will be what it will be.   I think this will help me.   The no expectations.   The knowing what to expect.   These things will help me to keep myself in check.   EVERYONE is excited at the beginning of any race.   The trick is to know that what you feel like at mile one is definitely not what you will feel like at mile 20.    So the knowledge that I have in how hard the end of the race will be will keep me from not following the plan.   I t will keep me to be realistic in my pace, my expectations, and my finish time.    This will not be a BQ.    This will not be a PR.    This will be my slowest marathon.   I am ok with that. It is this knowledge and peace that will help me to keep my head on and my feet moving:)

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9 Days

It’s been over a month since I’ve posted anything.    I would like to say it is because training has been going stellar, but that might be a bit of an overreach by a lot.   I’ve been plugging away doing the best that I can.   I’ve been meaning to update but really what would I say….

I’m doing the bare minimum right now.

Not very inspiring.

Honest, but not very inspiring.

Since the beginning, I have said that running NY this year was not part of the plan.   It only became part of the plan because of Sandy Hook Promise and wanting to be part of something to help bring about change.    Although I have been plugging away with my training, my focus really has been about supporting their organization.  My way of giving back to an organization that is doing amazing things and given me hope for change. This go around the marathon really isn’t about me, but about a cause so much bigger.

I’ve been pumped to raise money for Sandy Hook Promise.

Pumped.

I’ve not been so pumped to run.

I’ve been struggling a bit with my running.   Some physical.   Some mental.      I will honestly be excited the day after the marathon to put this to bed.    I am trying to muster up the excitement that I had last time that I ran NY, but it’s just not there.    Don’t judge me for this.  There is much going on right now and running is taking a back seat to much of it.

That being said, I know that NYC will be amazing and I am looking forward to running the streets of NY wearing my Sandy Hook Promise tank.    I’m working it all out.   Putting things in place and getting ready to get to the start and finish line of NY.

SHPTeam

All In A Day!

So today was many things….

Wear Orange Day

It was Wear Orange Day which has become the defining color for gun violence prevention movement.    Hadiya Pendleton died  way too young and way too violently  on January 29, 2013.  This was just one week after performing at President Obama’s Inauguration and after finishing her exams at her High School Prep School.

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A week after her tragic death, her friends and community came together in her favorite color orange to stand against gun violence.   Every day on average 96 people die from gun violence and 6 of them are under the age of 18.   This is far too many.   To be honest, one is one to many.

So we wear orange.   We march.   We raise awareness and we try to do better.

We can do better.

We will do better.

I wore orange today all day, but especially when I went for my first pre marathon training walk/run of 3 miles today.   I will officially begin marathon training in July, but I need to build back up to a starting point for training.   I would like to get to 15 miles a week before training begins.

One thing that I thought about on my run tonight is how different this marathon training cycle will be.   It will be different for many reasons, but one is my attitude.   I’m training not for time, but to finish, enjoy the experience, and represent the Sandy Hook Promise organization proudly.   So as well as fundraising, I also need to be able to run 26.2 miles.    A marathon is still a marathon even if you aren’t chasing a 4:30 finish time.

Hypopara Awareness Day

Hypoparday

For those new or needing a reminder, I was diagnosed with hypoparthyroidism after my parathyroid glands were damaged when my thyroid was removed 2 weeks after running the NYCM in 2016.

Many people ask, “What does this mean?”

This is a complicated issue as this is a very rare disease and each person manifests it differently.

Here is the official information: The condition affects the body’s production of parathyroid, a hormone that regulates the body’s levels of calcium and phosphorus, the condition has to be monitored and treated with supplements and medication. One of the main issues is very low calcium levels, affecting the strength and development of bones, teeth and nails as well as affecting the nervous system.

What does this mean…. For me, it means that my body feels like it aged 20 years after my surgery. My body aches and is sore in ways it never was even when training for my 50K! It means some days needing to lay down in the afternoon for a solid nap not because I’m drowsy but because I feel like I’ve just finished running a marathon and can’t move another step. It means constantly assesses “how do I feel” because if my calcium gets too low my face will twitch, my fingers with get tingly, and if gets too low it could be a problem. I’ve been lucky in that being a marathon runner prior to surgery, I was very tuned into how my body felt so I know when adjustments need to be made because the only way to find out your calcium level is through blood tests at your doctors.
This is all doable though with medication, supplements and just being smart. That being said, these things take a toll on the mind and body. I also need to monitor my kidney health as the medication to keep my levels at just under the normal range also raises urine calcium levels which is not good for the kidneys. Again, I’ve been lucky in that I’ve found a doctor in NYC who specializes in this. We are working on getting these levels down before issues arise. It’s a work in progress.

All this being said, I refuse to let this stop me. While things are different, I am keeping doing what I’m doing. May be slower and not run as far, but I’m still running (remember that marathon I’ve got coming up in November). I’m still getting done what I need to get done. And I’m lucky enough to have friends that support me when I need them:)

And on top of all of this it was also

National Donut Day, but I forgot to get my donut.

Boo.

 

 

Was It A Waste?

I’ve been talking about the marathon a lot.   I probably will continue to talk about it a lot.  In a recent conversation,  I was asked since I didn’t reach my goal if I thought having a Coach was a waste.   I’ve got to say emphatically NO.    I’m sure that we have all heard that expression, “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink.”    The same is true with having a Coach.    A Coach will guide you, prepare you, and get you were you need to go but it is up to the runner to take the final step.

Here is why I think that not only was it not a waste that it got me to the finish line.

My Coach has prepared me.   She gave me the tools that I needed to not only get to the starting line, but haul my behind to the finish line. Did not always take the tools given, but they were there for me.  That is on me and not her.

Training was hard.   Training on some days was much more intense than I wanted.  Training was never a walk in the park, but that wasn’t what I wanted either.   You can only get out of something what you put into it.   I also know that due to my life, I did not do everything that I needed to do to be ready for a 4:30 marathon.    If I had followed the plan, I’m sure I would have gotten there.   Besides she is a Coach not a miracle worker!

Here is the thing, I and I don’t like the way this will sound because I don’t think of it as a failure.   I blew the 4:30.   She gave me everything I needed in training and even for the day of the marathon to get me there.   She was upfront and honest about the fact that 4:30 was pushing it for this race.   That being said, she gave me the paces, encouragement, and tools to use.   I just  let myself be carried away till I ran right into the wall.

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This is the wall.

This is the face of someone trying to pull her shit together and get it done.

This is the face of someone who knows that she needs to keep moving and not give up.

I think if I hadn’t been working with my coach, I would not have known how to push through this wall.   She gave me the tools that I needed to push through, keep moving, and squeak in under 5:00.      Yes, I am also a stubborn mule who doesn’t give up easily.   That is true.   That being said,  all of the training, hard runs, and insight gave me what I needed to dig deep and know what to do.

Preparation.

No it may not have been pretty, but I kept going.

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I walked when I needed to.

Yes, I kept smiling because I’m in the NYCM!

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I ran when I could

and most of all

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I crossed the finish line!!!

And life is meant to teach us lessons.   I have no regrets, but I did learn the lesson of listening to my Coach.

Just because something does not work out the way you wanted or expected, does not mean it is a failure.    Failure is never trying in the first place:)

Still NO Regrets

I said no regrets for NYCM and I have no regrets.   I didn’t get the 4:30 I was hoping for and squeaked in at 4:56:04.

NO REGRETS

It was an amazing day that started off at 5:45 AM  with a van ride with a bunch of amazing women to Staten Island.   Couldn’t ask for a more inspiring group of women to spend my time with.    Once the van dropped us off all we had to do is wait and wait and wait some more.    My wave didn’t start till 10:40, so it does make for a long day.

But an awesome day.

nycm4You’ve got to have fun while your waiting:)

Then off to the corrals and they really are named correctly.   We were herded in like cattle, but no one seemed to mind.  Luckily for me one of these Mama’s was in my same corral and wave!

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Then we were off!

As I said before, I was going to run this race with no regrets and I have none.   Did I get my 4:30.   NOPE.   You know what?   It doesn’t matter.   You’ve got to have goals as a fiend told me yesterday.   These were big goals as far as my spotty training goes.   I had a plan.   I had paces and you know what it all went out the window when I was running.

I am the cautionary tale.   A marathon is a whole different beast than any other road race.   Pace is key.  I know this and yet I seemed to not care yesterday once the race started.   That is why it is important to run a marathon different than lets say a half marathon.    Well, I didn’t:)   I went out the first two miles as much faster than expected and then it went out the window.

I let the crowds carry me.   I bought into the feeling you get at the beginning of a race of “I feel amazing”  and “this is awesome!”

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This is the face of someone who is feeling good.    But that feeling can only last for so long when you run the first half like you don’t still have 13 miles to go.    I ran the first half in 2:09 and change.    As expected, the second half was much slower.

I have never hit the dreaded wall before in a marathon, but I think that I can say that I hit it yesterday.   And right where they tell you that you will hit it – Mile 20 I ran a 14 minute pace.   My bad.   I must also say that ran might not be the right word.   I walked a decent amount the last few miles.  I really had nothing left to give.   My legs were like lead, my hands and lips had the tingles.   I was honestly afraid I would pass out.   What kept me moving forward was the thought that if I stopped that I wouldn’t start again and if  I passed out I wouldn’t finish.   Finishing was all that mattered!.   So onward I went.   I walked when I needed to and I ran when I could.

It was during this time that I realized even without making my goal, I had no regrets.   None!   I set out to finish and I did.   As I said to my friends, you can’t really say it’s a bad day when you can say you finished the New York City Marathon.  I am not just saying that either.   It was a great day and I am blessed beyond belief to be able to say that I did this amazing race.

Yes there is more to the story, but it is now time to soak in some bath salts:)

How was your weekend?

New York, New York

9 plus 1 – Check

Expo shopping done – Check

I realized this was the first time that I really spent any time at an expo.   It was well worth it.   The excitement of it.    You could just feel the energy.   Plus there were deals to be had!  I may have gone overboard, but I don’t think so.   Besides, I really am only planning to run 1 NYCM, so I need to make it worthwhile!

Bib Pick-up – Check

Photo Opportunities with friends – Check

Gear ready for morning – Check

I am ready as I will ever be.   I’ve trained.   I’ve prepared.   I’m ready

I’ve got a plan too.   You know I like a plan.   If said plan works out I will be rocking along to my 4:30.    What’s my plan you ask?

Well my coach thinks that due to the course that a pace specific plan will work best.   Yes, I wasn’t expecting that either, but I like it and it excites me.   Plus, I’m hoping that worrying about keeping on pace will keep my mind occupied.   We all know that running really is a mental game and I’m mental enough to take this challenge on.

Now tonight all I have left to do is take a nice relaxing soak in the tub and get my pace chart ready.

It’s go time!

Good luck to all running and there will be more to the story:):)

 

 

No Regrets

5 Days

Yup that’s it.

The taper crazies are not setting in as I’ve got too much going on and could use the time away from running.   That being said, it doesn’t mean that my mind is not going.

I’ve been looking at the course.   I’ve been thinking about my goals.   I’ve been thinking about how far I’ve come and it’s been far.

Very far.

I started this journey just a few short years ago.    I think it’s been 5 years now.   How the time goes.

IMG_2278This is me when I started going to the gym.   When I decided it was time.    When never having even done a 5K, I signed up for my first Sprint Triathlon.    It was during this training that I realized that running wasn’t so bad.    That is was actually something to be enjoyed not just endured.    That I would miss it on days that I didn’t run.  That it would bring people into my life that I adore.   It also taught me that I could accomplish things I could only imagine if I just worked hard enough.

Then I thought about my last marathon (can’t believe I use the word last and not only).    I ran Marine Corps Marathon in 4:38:14.    It was a solid race, but there were things I would have done differently.   There were regrets.

 365840_210208824_XLarge(As a side note, I am only 10 pounds lighter here than in the picture above but look at those solid legs.    Remember the number on the scale can lie)

Now back to the story….

The other day I went out for 6 miles.   I spent a good portion of that run having a pep talk with myself reminding myself how far I’ve come.    I reminded myself that I’ve come even further since MCM.    That I am stronger now.   That I have already proven that I can go the distance.   That this year alone I’ve already run more than  1050 miles and still going strong.  Last year I literally was going out at the end of December to hit 1000.    That I am better trained that I was for MCM.   That I’m stronger and faster.  That I need to run (not walk) away from the NYC Marathon with one thing…

NO REGRETS!

Yes, a little phycing out is a good thing.

I came up with my goal.   A realistic goal according to my coach too.

So what is my goal?

I want to run the NYCM in 4:30.

I’ve got a goal and now I’ve got a plan and don’t see a reason why I can’t reach it either.

No regrets.

As long as I give it all I’ve got.    As long as I don’t give up.   As long as I push to the end.

There will be

NO REGRETS

10 DAYS

It’s funny, last year my sole focus was on completing the 9 plus 1 to be able to run the New York City Marathon this year.   Now I am in the final stretch.   Literally.   10 days till me and 50,000 of my closest friends stand at the starting line of one of the most iconic marathons ever.

You know what?

I don’t feel like I’ve got the level of excitement that I should.   I’m actually quit passive about it.   I haven’t put any real thought into what I’m wearing, logistics, or even my race plan.   Thankfully I’ve got a plan on how to get to the start line, but really that is only because one of my friends put together a car service for us.   If not, I might still be wondering about that.   So regardless of what I’m wearing, how I’m getting home, or even what my pace is at least I know I will be at the starting line when I should be.

I’m really not sure what is wrong with me.   I’ve been asked by a few people if I’m excited about running and I’m like Eh.   WTF.    The thing is I want to be excited.   I know I should be excited, but I’m just not there yet.   It seems so unreal to me.   Maybe that is part of the problem.

I think another issue is that I have started to think about my goals.   I’ve been thinking about those A, B, and C goals.   I’ve been thinking about how my training has been.   I’ve been thinking about MCM last year.   I’ve been wondering if I will ever be able to break that elusive 4:30 mark.   It doesn’t help that when trying to figure it out, my Garmin gives me what I and anyone who knows me knows this is a bat sh*t crazy prediction finish time.

predictorHere I’m wondering if I can run a 4:30 and this is giving my a Boston Qualifier time for my age group.   This does me no good.

As a side not for those interested, here are the time qualifiers for 2018 marathon from the Boston Athletic Association.

Age Group Men Women
18-34 3hrs 05min 00sec 3hrs 35min 00sec
35-39 3hrs 10min 00sec 3hrs 40min 00sec
40-44 3hrs 15min 00sec 3hrs 45min 00sec
45-49 3hrs 25min 00sec 3hrs 55min 00sec
50-54 3hrs 30min 00sec 4hrs 00min 00sec
55-59 3hrs 40min 00sec 4hrs 10min 00sec
60-64 3hrs 55min 00sec 4hrs 25min 00sec
65-69 4hrs 10min 00sec 4hrs 40min 00sec
70-74 4hrs 25min 00sec 4hrs 55min 00sec
75-79 4hrs 40min 00sec 5hrs 10min 00sec
80 and over 4hrs 55min 00sec 5hrs 25min 00se

Anyway, I know that I am not a Boston Qualifier.  I don’t really understand how the Garmin comes up with their predictions because they are all way off.   I’ve got two road marathon’s under my  belt, one trail marathon, and let’s not forget the 50K.   I know that I can go the distance.   What I’m starting to wonder though if mentally I can push myself enough when it gets hard.   And it does get hard.   Very hard.   I have a tendency to be too nice to myself during a race.   It is supposed to be hard.   I am supposed to push myself and now I’m wondering how far I should push.   I don’t want to crash and burn, but I don’t want to hobble away after the race thinking that I could have done more.

No, not 3:50 more, but at least 4:30.

I guess it is getting real now.  I think that is why there is no excitement, because where there should be excitement there is doubt and a fear of failure.

fear

As I like to say….

It’s go time.

Time to put all these doubts, fears, and anything else that’s holding me back to bed.   Time to move forward confident in my training, in my coach, and in my abilities.

Easier said than done, but it’s time to try.

What’s holding you back?

Can You Do It?

It’s hard not to compare yourself to others.   I wonder if it’s human nature.

Yesterday I completed my longest run since my 50K.    I ran 14 miles and to be honest, I didn’t run the whole thing.   During this time, the baddest BAMR that I know was completing her I believe third FULL Ironman.   She truly is amazing.

You know what?

Her amazing and mind boggling feats do not cancel out my hard fought 14 miles.

You know why?

It’s an apple and an orange.

Because I am in competition with no one but myself.   Yes, right now, I am not the best competitor, but still.

Some of us (and I admit sometimes me too, but only briefly) think….

I’ll never be as fast as….

I’ll never run as far as….

I’ll never be blah, blah, blah…

You know what?

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It’s all noise.   It’s all a distraction.   It means nothing.    It keeps us from our potential. For a long time I let what others could do that I couldn’t hold me back.  I haven’t in a long time.   I have the feeling that Meb and others at the top of their game don’t do this.   Not because they are better than the rest of us (which lets be honest, they are).   It is because they have confidence in themselves and their abilities.   Yes, it’s probably much easier to do if your Meb, but there can only be one Meb.

 For the average person, having confidence in oneself is hard.   It means putting yourself out there even just in our own mind.    Sometimes we talk ourselves out of something by saying we can’t do it.  On some level it is easier to doubt ourselves than to try and then fail.  Hence the reason I haven’t really committed to a diet:(

Here’s the thing though……

If you don’t put yourself out there, how will you know what you can do?

Now I’m not saying that we all need to run marathons, complete an ironman, or even run any races.   I’m saying that we need to be honest with ourselves, our goals, and what we really want.    If you never set any goals, how will you know when you’ve gotten to where you want to go?

I have a friend whose goal is simply to run 3 times a week.   Another friend wants to qualify for Boston.   Others streak every day for a mininimum of a mile.   Some have BIG goals and others are just starting out and want to be able to run a mile.    No matter what the goal, no matter how big or small you think they are, it important to have them.

I’m beginning to wonder if this is my problem with my NYCM training.   Yes my goal last year was to quality which I did, but now I really don’t have a goal.   I’ve already run 2 road marathons.   Last year I set a private goal for the Marine Corps Marathon of finishing in 4:30 which I missed by 8 minutes and 14 seconds (yes, the seconds count).   So maybe part of my problem is that in the back of my mind I’m wondering if I won’t be able to do it this time either.  A little self sabotage goes a long way.

There is a saying that I love about children.   It speaks about how children become what you tell them they can or can not be.   The same thing applies to adults though.   If your inner voice says you can’t do something, you won’t ever do it.

So it’s time I take my own advice and remember……

It’s better to have tried and failed than to never have tried in the first place.

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What are your goals?