Tag Archive | running

Welcome to the Tribe

I tease my Mother that she is not a spring chicken anymore.   Truth of the matter is at 73 that she has more strength, endurance and will to push herself than most people half her age.   Some days even me.

She has fire.

My mother is inspiring for many reasons.   I would bet that she has no idea how many people in how many different ways are inspired by her.   By her love of family.   By her faith.   By the way she lives her life.    By the way she sees the best in people.    By the way she lives her life.    Like many, here life has not always been easy and it’s not my story to tell but through it all she has never given up and kept moving forward.

That is how she got running.

Moving forward.   Starting with one step at a time.   Starting with walking.   Then walking and running.    Then setting small goals turning into bigger goals and sticking to it even when it didn’t work out.   She is primed and ready for us to run her first 5K and she knows it won’t be any time soon now.   So rather than put her shoes away, she made a new goal.

She decided she wanted to run 5 miles.   Then she did.

Then she ran 7 miles by mistake the first time but has since done it again and again.

My mother calls me her coach although she doesn’t always listen.   She sometimes does her own thing without telling me till it’s too late, but that is a different story.    While that may be true, I am impressed with her stamina to keep pushing herself.    I give her lots of advice…. Make sure she stretches.   Make sure she rests.   Make sure she pays attention to time on her feet and recovery. Lots of advice that she listens to 80% of the time.

Right now I am actually trying to reign her in because although she is doing great, I do worry that she is going to injure herself as she jumped her miles too quickly (not my advice) and her longer runs can be almost 2 hours.

I need to pay attention to the advice that I give her too.   Although it is always so much easier to give advice than take it.

Anyway today on National Running Day, I wanted to celebrate a new member to the running tribe…. My Mom.

There is no test to take to be a runner.   There is no pace required to be a runner.   There is no distance required to be a runner.    No races that need to be run. The only thing required is that you run and YES… she runs. So I herby decree that she is the Accidentally Running Grandma:)

Running1

Out of Balance

amazing balance blur boulder

Photo by Nandhu Kumar on Pexels.com

I’ve been in better shape.

I’ve been in worse shape.

I’ve been stronger.

I’ve been weaker.

I’ve been in better shape.

I’ve been in worse shape (really).

I’ve been so many things and I will end up being so many more.  Things ebb and flow.   Up until a month ago, I seemed to be right on target for my Birthday Half Marathon right up until the world stopped.   Since then, training has not been training but getting a run in here and there as allowed.   Races right now are non existent.  Although, I think I might still try to do the  virtual run, but I don’t think I will run the full half.   Probably just the 8K.

Since formal training has come off the table and I have been trying to not loose my mojo.    Not just me but my whole household.   You know when you have nowhere to go and nothing to do, you really have time to squeeze in a workout.    We even cleaned out the garage.   Bought some equipment, mats for the floor and are in process of turning our garage into a home workout space.   It helps that many are sharing workouts online.   One that I have found that I like is the Nike Training App.   During the Stay at Home orders they are even allowing you to view workouts for free.   Yeah.

I even went so far as to dust off a no equipment workout from my CrossFit days.   Let me just say that while I did the workout, it was not pretty and it made me think.   I realized that while I’m not sure that I would want to be doing CrossFit now that I was in the best shape of my life when I was doing it.   The cross training was key.   I further realized that I gave my all to running and allowed everything else fall to the wayside.   Time was limited and I chose running over yoga, CrossFit, cross training, and everything else.  It seemed like a necessary tradeoff but it wasn’t a smart one.

On top of that I realized that by letting everything else go, I was missing out.   Now I realize that I am now in my early 50’s, but I have lost a lot of upper body strength.   A lot.  Yes, I can run marathons.   Yes, I have endurance.    Yes, I can get to the finish line.   All those things are true, but I lost balance.   Balance in life is good.   Balance in life brings harmony.   Balance is easy to loose.   I could still run a marathon but I had to push harder than I should because of all that I stopped doing.

When I had balance with running, biking, HIT workouts, weight lifting not only was I in great shape physically but I was also able to run faster and further without injury.   Now I realize that I am getting older by the day, so I may not get faster but I can certainly get stronger and find the balance that I lost.   And since I am getting “older,”  my body needs balance more than ever.  I also realized I missed it.   Yes, I’m a runner but I’m am more than legs especially at 5 foot 2.   In thinking about it to, saying I am a runner made it ok not to be anything else.    I used it as an excuse not to do other things even things that I enjoyed doing.

Often our lives become out of balance with out us even realizing it.   We take more responsibility at work, our families require more of our energy, volunteering for important causes takes time, pets, responsibilities and one and on it goes until we realize we don’t have time for “self care.”   We become out of balance without even paying attention or noticing.

Now some people hate the phrase “self care” or view it as hokey.   Some think it’s selfish. Some think that there is no time.   Some don’t understand that it doesn’t necessarily mean bubble baths, salon visits, or even running.   Self care is what is necessary in order to recharge your batteries what ever that may be for you.

Right now most of us have a lot of extra time.    There is no where to go.    There is no better time to give yourself some TLC because you deserve it.   Right now the world is raw, emotional, and tender.   Everyone is worried.   Everyone is stressed.   Everyone has their own baggage that most people have no clue about.    There is no better time to add balance and self care to your life because you can’t care for others if you don’t care for yourself.

So with that said,  I’m looking to control what I can in my life and bring balance to it where I can.    For now that means adding full body workouts.   Taking time to do more than just lace up my shoes.    And the good thing is that right now I have to the time to see where this will take me.   Hopefully it will take me to a more balanced approach to my running.

Do you have balance?

 

 

Settling In

We are all settling into our new normal.   School at home.    Work at home.   Eat at home.   Stay home.   Don’t go anywhere.   Home.  Home. Home.

Even with that, I will be the first to say that I am in a very lucky situation.   My husband has a job where he was able to immediately work from home.   While he took over my computer/office area, I’ll take it.   My kids are old enough and self sufficient enough that the only help I give them on “school days” is waking up to get online.   While I temporarily lost my job as a Preschool Gymnastics teacher, this was extra family income to pay for activities we no longer are able to do while staying at home.   So I know that I am lucky beyond belief.

On top of that, my kids are all home even my college age son.   While I’m not sure he is as happy to be on Stay at Home time as me, I readily admit that it eases anxiety having them all under the same roof with me.

All that being said, I know that not everyone is in the same boat as I am.   I have friends who have lost their jobs.   I have friends worried about their jobs.     I have friends doing their jobs while also now having to help their children with their school work.   I have friends who are working in the hospitals treating the sick.   These are some scary times and if your not scared or worried about something, you must be more zen than most of the world.

On top of all of that just about everyone is scrambling to find everyday staples of life.   I feel like the hunter/gatherer of the family.   While my husband works, I look for online shopping slots, alternative ways (farm boxes), and when need be go to the store to get supplies.

This is the new normal.

This is a temporary normal.

But for now this is normal.

We are in this together which is why when the CDC recommended wearing masks, I accepted it.    There are many who don’t.

I went out for 8 miles last week.   My timing was off, so  I was out mid day.   It was warm when I ran, but I still wore my buff to cover my mouth.   I was not only in the minority, I was one of only 4 people that day wearing one.   One person was driving in a car, so they might not even count.   Now, not everyone I saw was running.   Many were families out walking/biking but everyone was out trying to enjoy the day.  I avoided all crossing streets when needed, changing route, and going out of my way to social distance from everyone.

As I said, it is not just the running community questioning the use of face masks but the population as a whole.   In the running community there are many opinions.   Many reasons why to wear.   Many reasons why not to.   It is up for debate.  Some feel that since they are solo running it isn’t necessary.  In my state all parks are now closed because they were jammed pack like the beach of fourth of July.   Even if you were trying to socially distance, you just couldn’t.   So it made sense to close them while many also don’t agree with that either.

Here is my take……. There is a lot we don’t know about Coronavirus.   A lot.   What we do know is that it is contagious.   We also know that you could feel fine, but have it and spread it without even knowing it.    By the time you know your sick (if you ever do), you have already been contagious and able to spread it.    So the wearing of the masks seems like a good idea.   I wear my mask to protect you.   You wear yours to protect me.   It’s part of being in a community.

So if you see me out there running (which I admit I need to do more of), I will be wearing a buff, a bandanna, something.   I hope you are too.

 

 

 

Cancelled

cancelled

Everything is cancelled.

Rightly so.

Everything is cancelled and while we understand why, we appreciate the gravity of the situation, we know the necessity of it; for some reason we think we shouldn’t feel sorrow over the loss.   Maybe it’s just me, but I call BS on that.   Not just for runners whose races have been cancelled, but anyone who has anything which is everything cancelled.

We are allowed to miss meeting friends for coffee.

We are allowed to miss meeting our Mom’s for lunch.

We are allowed to miss running with our friends.

We are allowed to miss all the things that are important to us.

If our child came to us and told us they were upset that their soccer season was cancelled (which it is), we would never tell them that their soccer wasn’t important and they were being selfish.   At least most of us would not say that.   We would tell them that their feelings are understandable.   That it is ok to be disappointed.   That we understand that their soccer (dance, play, graduation, prom or what not) is important to them and that we wish things could be different.  That it sucks and we are sorry.

It is no different for us.

We are allowed to be disappointed that races we thought we would train and be ready for our cancelled.   For the runners who were ready to rock a race and then week before the rug was pulled out from them.   You are allowed to be upset.   You are allowed to feel sadness.   You are allowed to feel.

And just because you feel that way does not mean for one iota of a second that you don’t understand that there are people suffering, that people are loosing loved ones, that first responders are putting themselves in harms way for the good of the many.    You can hold both feeling and truths in the same heart.

You are allowed to feel.

 

 

Look for the Rainbow

photography of green grass field with rainbow

Photo by Alex on Pexels.com

As much as this sucks….

And it does.

As hard as this may be…..

It’s harder for some than others.

We must look for the good.    We must look for the silver lining.   We must look for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.   We must look to the helpers.   We must focus on more than the negativity,  the trauma, the losses.    We must acknowledge the bad.   We must pay attention.   We must listen, but we can not bathe in it.

One thing that I have noticed that I haven’t really seen in a long time.   I’m noticing families coming together – physically.   I’m noticing families spending time together.   I’m noticing families sitting on the porch while their children play in yard.   I’m noticing families taking walks together.   I’m sure many are even eating dinner together.   And while this has always been happening, it has not happened at the levels currently.

This has only happened because the world stopped, the calendars cleared, and there was nothing else that needed to be gone to.   No soccer games filling up weekend.   No school events.   No this.  No that.   Nothing but having to be home with the people who mean the most, but we don’t often spend quality time together because we are all so busy.

Today I had no excuse to skip my run because I had no where else I needed to be.   I even had time to take the dogs for a walk before I headed out.   While out and about running,   I saw the parents walking with their teens (if you have teens you know how big that is).   I saw Moms/Dads pulling wagons on young kids.    Family bike rides.   Elderly couples walking together.   I will admit as someone who runs outside frequently, the level of families out together right now is unprecedented.

So I ran.   I enjoyed the sun, the wind on my face and thankful to be outside.    I went out running wanting to do about 7 to 8 miles.   I got 7 in and was happy.  There was not agenda.   There was no pace.   There was not “have to.”   There was just I wanted to go for a long run.   So I did.  Funny thing is that I had a great run.   My splits weren’t pristine and I wasn’t trying to be.   Running to run and it was enough.   Also maybe to run off all the junk I’ve been eating.

My hope is that when this is over and life turns back to “normal” that we reflect on where they spend their time as their calendars fill up.   Is it necessary to be busy, busy, busy all the time.   Is it necessary for our kids to be scheduled, scheduled, scheduled from morning till night.   My hope is that we will remember having time to actually sit and enjoy just being.   Being with our families.   Being able to have time to think without worrying what is on our calendars.   Most of all remember that chasing the brass ring isn’t necessarily what life is all about.

 

PS – Don’t worry for everyone’s protection as I ran today, if I saw a family I crossed the street.   I adjusted my route.   I stayed away.

 

Unless you have been hiding under a rock, you know what is happening not just in the United States but across the globe.

People are stressed

People are scared.

People are freaking out!

People are on the search for toilet paper.

If your not, you might be…

On the younger side

Not paying attention

A very zen individual.

For the rest of us….

We are stressed

We are scared

We are freaking out a little bit

No we are not letting the fear control us, but as I said before…. A little fear is a good thing.     It will keep you from doing the things you need to do.

We are freaking out, because no one knows what is going to happen.   We are doing these things, because we know there is a whole host of people who don’t believe “the hype.”   We are stressed because the store shelves are empty and there is no end it sight.   Even my 72 year old mother keeps sayin, “this has never happened before.”

She would be right.   This is not normal.   This is not business as usual.   This is putting strains on families worrying about paying bills, about isolation, and about trying to keep everything going.   This is putting stress both mentally and physically on people.   Remember that as you deal with people in your day to day life.

its-not-what-happens-to-you-but-how-you-react-to-it

The one thing about clearing your calendar and having nothing to do is that you have the gift of time.   It’s a strange feeling because you feel like you have so much you should do, but yet so much you don’t want to do.   Then before you know it, it is the end of the day and you still have laundry in the dryer.   Lets be honest though no one wants to fold laundry no matter how much time you have.

I did get an email on what my options are with my birthday half marathon.    One is to do a virtual run still getting medal and shirt and other is to roll it over to another race.   I am leaning towards doing the virtual race.   Although not really a race, but a run.   As I said before, this was about celebrating my birthday with a half marathon.   I’m still following my training plan to the best of my ability right now.  Who knows, maybe by April we will be able to have a group run and do it together.  Fingers crossed.

So I will run.

I will also start doing some of the great online classes being posted online.   Today I did a home core Pilates class.  I do think that I will feel it tomorrow, but I guess that’s the point.   I’d like to think that I would come out of this home arrest in better shape, but then there is the brownies.   So probably not.

Besides if there is one thing that we can all take away from this is that so much of what we deem important means nothing.    The silver lining in an otherwise cloudy sky right now.

Tomorrow the sun is supposed to be out and weather is going to be beautiful, so I will head out the door.   I will run solo but I will run.

How are you holding up?

 

 

 

 

It’s Serious Now

Closed

You know the sh*t is serious when they start cancelling races.   Big races.   Little races.  All races.   It usually takes an act of God for that to happen.   We are apparently there now.

Not shocking but somewhat since it’s a month away my Birthday Half Marathon is cancelled.    I am proud of these race organizers from NYRR to those organizing Boston Marathon for making these tough decisions.   While I know people are disappointed, it’s really just running.   It’s not life or death which is really what’s going on in the real world now.

Right now the real world is scary.   You can’t even escape to Disney World anymore because that is closed (not that I was going).  Go to a Broadway Show.  The show is not going on, so nope.   Can’t watch any sporting event (not that I would) because they are all cancelled.    Can’t run a race because that’s cancelled too.   You know what though….. None of that matters.

Seriously.

What matters in life is how you face disappointments.   How you deal with the world when the world is spinning out of control like it is right now.   And again, what is important is not just your health but the health of your loved ones friends, and neighbors.

For me, I’m still running.   I’m still going to follow my training plan.   I’m still preparing to run a half marathon that I won’t actually run, but I could.    For me this race was going to be a fun birthday run, but it was also a way for me to get back to running.   I don’t need to cross a finish line to do that.    All I need is to go out the door and run.

So I will continue to do what I’ve been doing.   I will get my runs in.   I will follow the plan.   I will do what I need to do for no other reason than that is what I want to do.    Isn’t that the reason I was doing this in the first place.   So even without crossing the finish line, it seems like I’ve already accomplished what I set out to do.

Find my joy in running again:)

So while the world is going crazy looking for toilet paper and hand sanitizer and everything is out of your control, remember that what is in your control is how you respond.   When you realize that, you realize that none of the other stuff matters because what happens in life even on a good day is never in your control.   So you just have to roll with it and make the best of it and if you can’t do that just accept it.   Once you can do that everything else will fall into place.

Control

Just Run

Life is messy.

Life is complicated.

Life has it ups.

It always has it’s downs, but with any luck they don’t last long.

It’s the little things in life that makes up the big things. Often we forget that. We forget that with friends. We forget that with family. We forget that with many things in life including our running. We focus so much on the big goals… The pace, the distance, the races that we forget the important reasons to run.

Going back to basics has been good for me. Not just with my running which has actually improved. Feeling better. Running negative splits not because I was watching the pace, but because my body naturally wanted to run them. Having no expectations and just enjoying running.

Taking this step back has also allowed me to reconnect not just with my body, but why I love running so much. For me, running is a place to clear my mind. To think. To spend time with friends chatting the miles away. I forgot all of that. I forgot that I didn’t start running because I wanted to PR, running set number of miles, or anything except that running was my happy place.

Sometimes you just need a happy place. A place to let your stress go. A place to let tears flow. A place to chat about unimportant and important things with a friend. A place to let your mind wander. Most of all it is supposed to be something that helps alleviate  your stress not add to it. If it adds to it, your doing something wrong.

I was doing it all wrong.

I’m happy to report that I am finally doing it right. I am looking forward to getting out the door again. I am making plans to run with friends again. I am allowing my running to help me destress and not stress me out. I may be running slower that I had been trying to run, but I am also running faster than I thought I would. That being said, I am NOT even remotely looking at my watch when I’m running. Time is not my goal right now. For now, I am running. I am running and that is enough. That is more than enough and all I want.

Life is filled with so much pressure. So much expectations. I am not an elite athlete. I’m never going to be on the podium. To be honest, for now, I have no desire to do more than what I am doing which is…..

To Run.

 

Keeping Up With the Joneses

We all do it. Whether it be on Facebook, Instagram or real life, we look at other people’s lives. We look to see what they are up to, how they look living their lives, and then we compare. Some people let it bother them. Others have a live and let live attitude and don’t really think about it. When it comes to real life issues, I don’t really care who has the bigger house, takes fabulous vacations, or what not. I pretty much have live and let live attitude and am not a jealous person when it comes to these things. Besides no matter how fabulous someone’s life is, I don’t know what it took to get them there. I also don’t know what struggles they have that they are not posting all over social media. Everyone has a battle they are fighting and not everyone needs to share their battle with you.

In running though, many times a runner will do this too. We look at peoples posts of their training runs. We look at their finish times. We look and we look and we look. And I will say, in running it is harder not to let it get to you. Even none runners have asked me when I’ve done a marathon, “Did you run the whole time or did you walk?” So many runners, running magazines, blogs, posts are about getting faster, PR’ing, and running further. It can be very motivating…… Right up until it’s not.

What if you will never PR again?

What if your not sure the distance your body can push?

What if you just want to run to run….. Race to race?

What if it’s not all about running faster or further?

What if you just want to run to run?

Is there a place for someone who just likes to head out the door?

YES!

The problem is that for many it doesn’t feel like there is a place. Most online groups only the fastest and further gets the accolades. What if it’s hard to share your accomplishment because you feel like in comparison to others, it isn’t worth sharing? And believe me it is hard and it’s not because it wouldn’t be well received (because at least for the groups I’m in it would be). It’s hard because sometimes you feel like your accomplishement isn’t worth celebrating.

What if your wrong?

Keeping up with the Joneses is too hard not just physically but mentally too. One of the reasons that I stopped running with people besides knowing everyone has their own training plan is………….

Wait for it…….

What if I was embarrassed with where I was physically. Embarassed of the extra weight. Embarassed because I was out of breath. Embarassed because my pace was “slow” even if I felt like I was pushing it. Embarassed because I thought I should be more. So I pulled back even if I wasn’t sure why I was pulling back. I stopped running with people and while some of it is due to scheduling, I’ve scheduled runs before. It’s hard to admit that you are not where you want to be. It’s hard to realize that you might not ever get where you want to be. What is harder though is feeling like you are giving up something that you realize that you miss…..

Now don’t get me wrong, I do like to run alone. When I was doing specific training, I needed to run alone. Also my schedule is wonky and sometimes I run when I can on the fly. For me, it clears my head. I like to be a solo runner, but I also LOVE to run with friends. As I said recently, running alone clears the mind; but running with friends is good for the sole.

Yesterday, I went out for a run with a friend. We ran. We walked. We chatted. I was supposed to only run 2. I looked down and realized that I was almost at 3. Whoops. The power of running with friends.

So this year as I am finding the joy in just running again, I also plan to find the joy in running with friends again. If I breath hard, if I need to walk, if it’s harder than it should be; it will be that much easier when chatting the miles away. Besides if I’m running with a friend, they won’t mind:) I’ve got some really good friends that way.

We all know the expression, if you run you are a runner. I think somewhere along the way I forgot that.

Can I Do That?

Sometimes there are bigger questions we must ask ourselves. It is not….

Can I do that?

but

Should I do that?

These are very different questions that will bring about very different answers for various reasons. They will often bring very different results too. Often what we should do does not give us the instant gratification we want. It does not bring the smug satisfaction of victory, speed, or getting the last word. It might feel safe. It might feel like the easy way out, but often what we should do versus what we can do is so much harder.

Can I eat that cupcake? Most certainly and it will be super yummy and delicious.

Should I eat that cupcake? No because I really don’t need the empty calories and I might feel guilty about it.

Can I respond sarcastically to that person who is being an ass to me? You bet I can and I will get so much satisfaction out of it too.

Should I respond? Nope, because in the long run it will only create more drama and I know the smart thing is just to walk away with my head held high.

There are so many of these sometimes small, sometimes big questions that come up on a daily basis. Our gut wants the instant gratification that comes with the why not attitude and in some cases it really doesn’t matter. Sometimes it matters. It matters to our piece of mind, our waistline, our health and a whole host of things.

This is where I am now. There might be some people who think I’m being overdramatic with coming off the daily injection of Natpara. They would be wrong. In my Natpara support group, someone is tracking hospital visits. As of today there are 62 who went to the emergency room. 30 admitted to the hospital and 7 of those went to ICU. This is no joke and I know that I am one of the lucky ones whose transition is going ok but if it’s one thing people in Hypopara community know things turn on a dime.

So with this thought in mind, I have been asking myself…..

Can I run faster and longer in training? The answer is probably (depending on the day)…. Yes because aerobically I have the base as I’ve been training. By pushing myself while transitioning off medicine and readjusting I will need to face the consequences….. muscle cramps, tingles, and if I push too hard a calcium crash.

The real question is….. Should I keep trying to run faster and longer in training? The answer is No. Again, I’m not a fast runner anyway. I’ve got nothing to prove and I really would like to get to both NYC Marathon feeling good and cross the finish line without needing to suck down packets of calcium or worse.

So the lesson that is always hard to learn is that while you can do something, it is not always prudent to do it. I proved that with today’s run. It helped that the weather was perfect. I have my low mileage plan and went out to do 6 miles. I went into it trying to keep my pace around 11:30 which is what my Garmin show. Nike is faster, but I’m going by Garmin which shows average pace of 11:37. Not sure why the discrepancy with Nike, but doesn’t really matter.

At these slower paces, I could do it. Yes, I walked some but not as much as I thought I would. I kept telling myself to slow down which is probably not what most runners tell themselves. I’m not looking to run fast. I’m looking to run long. Run far. Mostly I’m looking to not want to fall over when I cross the finish line.

So this may be another 6 plus hour marathon this go around. Oh well. Better to know what I should do than pretend to attempt something that for right now I can’t do.