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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…..
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?
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.
Sometimes there are bigger questions we must ask ourselves. It is not….
Can I do that?
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.
We have all head the mantra, My race. My pace. Sometimes it’s hard to believe, but it is so true. Sometimes we get so caught up in thinking about our pace that we miss out on the beauty of running.
For those who have been with me a while know that the run/walk method was really not something that I chose but that chose me. Although I knew many people who for various reasons used this method it never appealed to me because I was always worried that if I started walking it would be harder to start back running when needed. I was wrong.
Here is something that I noticed. Before the walk/run method, I would invariably walk during a marathon, long run, or bad day. It was hard to start running again because usually I would wait till I couldn’t push it to walk. That is no longer the case. I walk BEFORE my body needs it. I start when the buzzer goes off. I stop when it goes off again.
I like it. I really like it.
Currently, I am using the 3:30 to 45 run/walk ratio. This seems to be a good fit. I finally adjusted my Garmin setting to see current pace and lap pace. This is something that I hope to work on because my running pace has not been consistent. So yesterday I went for 10 miles trying to keep my running pace around 11-11:15. My miles were pretty consistent and my overall run had a pace of 12:08. This is right where I wanted to be and I am happy with this run. Plus I feel pretty good today which is a major bonus!
I am happy with where I am with my running.
Here is the thing though……. I have never had what I call the Balls to Wall mentality in my running. Not to say that there wasn’t a time where I dreamed of a 4:30 marathon or pushed myself to do a sub 2 half. It is just that even when I was training consistently with a coach I did not always go out fast every run. Most of my runs were at a slower pace and then there were days where it was about speed. I wanted that for me and was willing to work for it. I have never been about running hard and fast all the time. Maybe I’m just too soft:)
Here is the another thing though…..
There is nothing wrong with being too soft. Although I don’t consider it being soft really. Every person has a different reason for running. Everyone gets something different out their running. A wise person said to me, “I want to be able to “compete” in my own way.”
There is no wrong way to train and “race.” (ok there are wrong ways, but I’m talking different paths). Not everyone wants to stand on the podium. Some of us want to just be out on the road. The beauty of running is that there is more than enough road for all of us.
I will further admit that I am knocking on 50’s door in less than a year. I came to this party late. Only starting to run in my mid 40’s. So for who I am and where I’m at, I’m doing ok. I have never wanted my running to feel like a job which I admit when training for a marathon it usually does near the end. That being said, overall I want to enjoy my runs. I don’t want to beat myself over my running. Life can be hard enough without that added stress.
So what am I trying to say here…..
I guess I’m trying to say whether you are a front of the pack runner, a middle of the pack runner, back of the pack runner or don’t even run it a pack; it’s ok. Running is simple but not a simple thing. Like anything in life you can make it as complicated as your want. For me, right now, I want uncomplicated. I want to enjoy my running for all that it brings me…… great workout, even better friends, and most of all the way it clears the cob webs out of my mind. There are those who may not understand my lack of balls to the wall mentality and that’s ok. They are on a different path than me and each much not only choose their path but enjoy it while they are there.
Life is too short not to enjoy where you are in your journey.
It’s amazing that I can have run a half marathon literally less than a month ago and feel so out of shape. I ran a good race too. I need to get it back together. I need to get back to not being out of breath and sweating like I’ve just ran a half marathon after teaching a gymnastics class. Literally drenched in sweat today.
I remember when I was training for my 50K that I ran 6 days a week. My short run was 5 miles.
Now I’m not saying that I want to get out every day for 5 miles, but I do miss the feeling that I could if I wanted to that I could. I also know that I need to get back into better cardio shape which might help. My schedule has not been my own lately, but I’ve decided that I need to stop making excuses and get it together.
So I’m thowing down the gauntlet.
I’m going to start streaking.
Now those of you that know me personally know that I’ve really never been into the concept (for me) of streaking. I know people who have been streaking for years and I am in awe of them, but have never felt like joining in the crazy. I’ve done streaks of working out every day, but never running.
Although I do plan to limit my crazy. It will be for 30 days. Actually 28 because I started 2 days ago. A minimum of a mile a day for the next month. I think this might be just what I need to get back on track
This is really something that hopefully should be relatively easy to keep too. Monday, I start coaching elementary track 4 days a week. So it should be easy enough to get my mile in those days since I will already be in running attire and out of the house. There will be challenging days some that I already know of and some I’m sure will crop up unexpectedly but it’s only a month.
Today I went for a run. I’ve been running inside on the treadmill and wanted to hit the streets again. It was finally a little warmer today at 31 degrees. I figured perfect weather to run the NYRR Virtual Race. That being said, I wasn’t racing so much as running. I did start off too fast and slowed myself down. I did walk. Here is the thing that I kept reminding myself and thinking about while I was running today….
It’s ok not to be the fastest. It is also ok not to be as fast as I once was. Besides that is part of life. Most people don’t get faster as you age even if you don’t have hypopara. So run. Just run.
Remember that you do this to feel the pavement under your feet. You do this for the peace of mind it brings. You do this for you. You always have and to do it for any other reason is kind of stupid.
Here’s the thing though…… Ego gets in the way. Ego is not helpful. Ego will only hold you back. You can have pride in your running (and life), but to let ego lead where to take you it won’t end well. If I were to let my ego in charge, I might not leave the house in my running shoes. I might just say what the heck, what’s the point, and just stay home.
Ego is not your friend.
Ego will hold you back.
Once you let go of your ego and are proud of where you are things can only get better.
So today I went for a run. 3.32 miles in 38.18 minutes. It was hard. I needed to walk. My breathing was heavy. My calf had a cramp in it most of the run, but….
I had the sun on my face.
Time to process life.
Time to enjoy life.
Time to be……
The saying that some people think is bull is so true. A lesson we learned in preschool, but can not truly appreciate till we are adults not just as a runner but in our everyday lives too.