Tag Archive | running

My Race. My Pace.

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.”

Yup!

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.

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It’s Only a Month

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.

Good Times.

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.

Until now.

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.

A lot can change in a month…..

Here’s hoping.

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Letting Go of Your Ego

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….

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.

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It’s Time to Get Serious

Without goals it is hard to know which direction to take.   You wonder aimlessly without a purpose.    It is time that I stop wondering and start seriously thinking about where I want to go in 2018.   It is time to set some realistic goals.   It is time to start pushing myself again.   It is time to  get serious.

Yes, I’ve had a lot going on and I’m still working some things out.  Yes, things are different but that doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t have hopes, dreams, and goals.  It is time to get out of my own way, step out of my comfort zone and start pushing myself again.   I won’t know how far I can go by sitting on the sidelines.

It’s time to get real…..

NYC Half Marathon March 18

Last time I ran it, I squeaked in just under 2 hours.   It was my goal and I pushed myself to do it.  Hard training.   Fast paces.  Lots of sweat. I even took a few selfies while doing it.

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  This time around with the way things are this will not be my goal.   That doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t have a goal.     I’m once again throwing down the gauntlet….. Ready…..

I want to go into this race fully trained.   Run it to the best of my current ability.   Not compare it to where I was in the past.   Push myself.  Finish it.  And most of all enjoy the experience.

This seems like a fantastic goal which means that I have to start training and actually train.   This is not a race not to enjoy.

I am not even going to entertain a timed goal right now.   What I am going to do is train.   Train. And Train some more.   I’ve recently been running but nothing more than I think 6 miles in the last month.    I’m going to figure out a training schedule and stick to it.

Simple enough, Right?

My head is finally clearing.   I know it wont’ be easy.   I know there will be days that I don’t want to do it.   I know there will be frustration, sore muscles, and everything in between but I want this.   I really, really want this.

So for today, I’m throwing it all out there.

I am a runner.   I can do hard things.   Life is not easy and anything worthwhile requires you to work for it.

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Round and Round We go

We all know that I’m not the bad ass that I used to be.   Not that I was ever the baddest of the baddest bad asses,  but for me and where I started I was pretty bad.    Things change.   Life is full of hills and valley’s.   It is very easy to get stuck in the valley.  Right now, I’m in search of the keys to start engine to get up the hill.

It’s time that I admit that even with my health issues that my running (or lack of running) is not all tied to it.   Yes, it started with the thyroid and calcium problems; but it is so much more now.   It’s a vicious cycle.   Due to the health stuff, I couldn’t run as much.   Not running or exercising as much caused me to loose a lot of my carido strength.   Loosing the cardio strength made running more difficult.   When the running became more difficult, I didn’t want to run as much.

Round and Round we go.

This doesn’t even take into account the mental part of it.

This past week I went for six miles.   By one and half miles in, my legs are burning, heavy, and tired.   My breathing is heavy.    I just want to stop.   Now mind you, I am not even pushing the pace AT ALL.   I thought about turning around and going home, but I didn’t.   And truth be told that is all that I can ask of myself.

Honestly though I do need to ask myself to get out the door more.  Part laziness.   Part knowing it will be hard.   And part wondering if it is worth it.   I know that I will get out.   I know that I am doing a half in January, but here is another fact.   I don’t really care.   I am not motivated.   This is the mental part that I’m talking about.

I ask myself, “Is it worth it.”

Here is the truth.   My legs are sore just from just standing all day baking cookies.   I’m exhausted by the end of a non running day.    It’s actually depressing.   So imagine how I feel on running days.   Although, at least those days I have a reason why.

In the next few weeks before Fred Lebow,  my doctor is going to be adjusting my medications.   I recently took a 24 hour urine test (not as fun as it sounds -Ha).   I failed it swimmingly.     According to my doctor, a normal calcium level for this test is 200.   Someone who is Hypopara, it should be 300.   This is due to the high amounts of calcium/meds  we have to take.   Mine was 578.    So adjust medication we will because if not this will not bode well for my kidneys.

One of the reasons that my levels are so high is that currently my blood calcium levels are great.   They are right where they were prior to surgery.   Sounds good, right?   Wrong.   The levels need to come down and they need to come down a decent amount.   I have to find what is the level to feel good enough to function while protecting my kidneys.   Can you see the dilemma?

To answer my question though.

It is worth it.

But I need to balance it with my actual life.  I’ve already decided that Fred Lebow will be what it will be.   This is no longer a goal race.   The only goal is to finish which I will.

I am making the NY Half marathon a goal race.   I’m not sure the goal, but this race I will give what I’ve got.   I’ll get there.   I just have to not only get my body there, but my mind.

One day at a time.

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Don’t Let Fear Stop You

According to FDR “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”   While I totally agree with this statement that doesn’t mean that it’s all bad.   It’s also not all good either.   Fear is a powerful thing.   It can hold you back.   It can make you plant your feet in one spot and not move forward.   It can keep you from reaching your potential.

There are times when we wear our fears right out in the open, but these fears are usually minor.   Like fear of spiders or watching a horror movie.   Then there are times we hold onto fears that we aren’t even aware of as we don’t want to admit the truth because it makes them real.   Once we admit to the truth of our fears, then and only then can we begin to let go and deal with them.

So I’ve been pretty out in the open in dealing with my Hypoparthyroidism aka calcium issue.  Again people hear calcium and you think bone and teeth, but did you know that calcium is the most common mineral in the body and one of the most important?  Yes it’s needed for bones and teeth, but it also helps nerves work, helps blood clot, the heart to work, and keeps muscles from cramping.  There is probably some other stuff, but I’m still learning.   With this your bone density changes over time and although your bones are thicker, they may be more fragile and prone to breakage.    Did you further know that calcium levels decrease during exercise?    For a healthy person, the body will adjust but when the glands (Parathyroid) responsible no longer function properly there is no adjustment.

 That being said, I’ve been holding onto a lot of fear when it comes to it.   Part of that comes from feeling like I was on my own medical wise.    Yes, I’ve been under the care of an Endocrinologist this last year, but even then I felt like I was on my own.   This condition is not common.  It’s even listed under the National Organizations of Rare disorders.   There is a lot not understood about it even in the medical community.  I still am just beginning to understand how it’s all connected but mostly I go by how I feel.

Prior to my thyroid surgery my surgeon told me that there was less than a 1% chance that this could occur, but if it did it would just mean that I would have to take calcium.   I did not fully understand the impact it would have on me and I’m pretty certain neither did the surgeon.  After the surgery when it became apparent that besides no longer having a thyroid but that my parathyroid glands no longer worked, I saw two separate Endocrinologists.   The first one was good, but I was looking for one more versed in this disorder.   To be honest I think I was better off with the first one because she seemed willing to learn with me.   The best way to describe it was as if a patient was told that they were diabetic and needed to take insulin, but were not given any facts how to manage it.    That being said, I also did my own research found an online support group and learned what I could.   Anytime I would ask a question my second doctor, his response was always, “Your numbers are good.”   But I knew from my own research that my numbers might be too good which could lead to a whole host of problems with my kidneys.   So I persisted.

So after literally months of waiting, I finally was able to see a doctor in a major teaching hospital whose focus and studies involve hypoparthyroidism.   She literally teaches doctors about it while also studying it.    I will say that the best part of seeing her was the feeling of validation of my concerns, the way I’ve been literally feeling, and knowing that my doctor actually knows how to manage the disorder.    She also agreed with me that although my numbers are good, they might be too good for the long therm.   We discussed treatment options,  testing that I should get, and such.   She also gave me her cell phone number which she said she gives to all her hypopara patients.   Seriously, what doctor does that?

So I left her office with a sense of relief.   Nothing had changed, yet it was all so different.

Now if you’ve made it this far, you are probably wondering what any of this has to do with my running…..  Because of all this crap, things are different when it comes to my running.   I tire more easily after training.   I definitely am more sore and cramp easier.   I’ve also been afraid to push my limits which I’ve mentioned before.   On top of that due to the thyroid and not running as much, my weight continues to go up.  This starts a viscus cycle because it makes it even harder to run, I’m out of breath easier, and I can’t keep up.  It’s amazing how much things can change in a year.   I’m hoping by my second anniversary of my surgery, I will be in a better place and back to the confident runner that I was before.   I may down the road decide that I need to tackle the marathon distance again, but not yet.   Right now my focus is on preparing for my January half.

I’m not giving up.   I’m not backing down.   I’m moving forward slightly more confidently because now I know that if I do have issues that I can ask my doctor who will actually understand and be able to help me with it.

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Perspective

 

Sometimes in life we get stuck in a rut.   It is so easy to get caught up in the minutia of it all.   To look at things with eclipse glasses on where everything is darkened out.   We are waiting to see the eclipse only to realize that we are looking the wrong way.  Then you change directions and see the beauty before you.

You get perspective.

It is so easy to get caught up in thinking about where you were and what has changed that you forget that the journey isn’t over yet.

Nothing has changed, but there has been a shift in my thinking.

I need to stop looking backwards and start looking forwards again.

It’s a lesson that I learned a long time ago, but seemed to have forgotten.

Perspective.

Today I went out for 3 miles.   I had planned to do the walk/run for it but changed my mind.   Honestly the only reason that I changed my mind is because it was raining and I didn’t want to walk in the rain.   Anyway, I just focused on the run.   I let my body be in charge of it.   There was no thought of pace.   Just focusing on my breathing, how I felt, and enjoying running in the rain.

Here’s what happened…

I hit mile 1 without walking.   Then I hit mile 2.   Then I thought to myself, it’s been a long time since I actually ran a full 5K.

So I did….

I felt good.   I could tell that I was breathing heavier the last mile, but that is because it was raining a little harder.   Besides it was a good heavy breathing.    I felt good and am really happy with myslef.

NOW this doesn’t’ change my plan for Chicago because running a 5K does not make a marathon.

One day at a time

One run at a time.

Just running to run..

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Funny How It Works

It’s funny how things work.   I started my blog way back when just to keep track of my fitness journey.   When I started and even now, I write my blog for me.     Really.      It’s my way of processing things and expressing myself.   I’m always surprised that anyone reads it, but I do know that there are a few who follow my journey.   Even with that, when I write; I don’t think of that and write for me.   If I didn’t I might not put it all out there as honestly as I do.

So first of all, if anyone is reading this…..     Hi there:)

Now I’ve been pretty open about how much my running has sucked lately and how disappointing I’ve been.    Again, I do this because writing helps me to process things and sometimes it even gives me an Aha moment.    Then sometimes, someone will send me a message or a comment to open my eyes to that not only are people reading but they have insight and words of wisdom too.

Then sometimes you get a message from someone unexpectedly.  Someone who I’m shocked my blog even makes her reading list.   Someone who if you look up badass runner in the dictionary will have her picture and stats.   Someone who inspires me and leaves me in awe.   Someone who honestly I would now be too embarrassed to run with, but know that she wouldn’t bat an eye at taking a run with me.   She’s just that awesome.

Anyway,  sometimes it helps to hear things that you know to be true but somehow it rings truer when coming from someone whose badassness can’t be questioned.

 “Try to not apologize for pace or distance. You got out there. That’s it! You ran! You sweat! You put in the hard work! You feel pain and elation! Focus on the feeling not the pace. Fuck it.”

“In the end, it’s not about your pace or your time. It’s about the journey”

“Don’t run for anyone else. Run for yourself.”

These are words that I know are true.   These are words that I’ve tried to tell myself too, but somehow when I said them to myself I felt like I was copping out or making an excuse.   Now she is not the first to say these things to me, but somehow when I read her message to me, I really just wanted to cry.

She (and others) have been right.  I’ve been too focused on pace and distance.   I’m doing the best I can on any given day.   Like everyone some days are better than others. As long as I’m doing what I can, what more can I ask for?    I’ve always ran for me.    I’ve ran because I enjoy pushing my limits and the actual feel of running.  I think somehow I got caught up in a bit of a pity party.   Kind of stupid actually.

I need to focus on the basics which is running to run.   Running because it is what I want to do.   I need to remember that this is actually something that I both want to do and enjoy doing.  No one is making me run.   This isn’t gym class.

I need to find the joy!

So today I went out for a run (shocking).   Before I left though, I turned my Garmin to only show me distance and time of day.   I set my timer for my 3 to 1 walk ratio and out the door I went.   I ran on feel.   I ran to run.   I ran for me.

You know what?

I had a great run.   I don’t mean pace or distance.   Truth be told, I wanted to do 12 today but due to time restrictions I only got 7 in.   During the run, I went only by the way my body went and it felt good.   I know if I had had the time that 12 would have happened today and I would have felt good about it.   I also felt good about the 7 that I was able to do because they were a happy 7.    I ran by feel.   I walked when the timer went off and ran again when it beeped again.

Now I will admit that I am never going to run without my Garmin.   Just not going to happen.  What I can do though is like today take the focus off it and put it back on the run.   The funny thing is that when I allow my body to do it’s job, it knows what to do.   Today I did not feel choppy in my run.   I did not feel pressure.   I just enjoyed the beautiful running weather.   When I did download my run though, I did notice something.    I was pretty consistent in it.

So maybe it’s time to just say….

Just run

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Reality Check

Yesterday was a good day all around. I took my 3 boys to the trampoline adventure place for some fun. They even had a Ninja Warrior section where we all realized that we are not Nina Warriors. We had a lot of fun, but I did realize that I’m not as young as I think I am. What a workout!

I was worried that my bouncing was going to make my nightly run that I had planned with a friend a nightmare. It ended up being one of my best runs all week and maybe in a while. I even felt like I could have kept running at the end.

Here’s the reality check.

My friend who is in recovery from an injury is doing the walk/run method. The difference is she’s doing it the right way. She has a timer and is doing a 3 to 1 ratio that she follows. Also when running, she was keeping a nice steady pace which meant that so did I. The 3 to 1 worked nicely. The running didn’t seem choppy and even though I didn’t feel like I needed to walk every time, the fact that we did made the run what it was supposed to be. An easy paced 6.

We ended up with an average pace of around 12:00. In thinking about it, I had the reality check of this is where all my runs should be. I think in the back of my mind and right out in the front, I’ve been trying to hit average pace of 10:45 to 11:00. That is not where my body is right now especially for the long haul.

I think I am finally willing to embrace or at least give the run/walk method a really try following a real plan. So much so that after stretching and washing up last night, I hit Amazon and ordered my own timer. It might be time to give this method more than a pretend try and actually follow the program.

I also think following the program will allow me to feel more in control of my running and allow me to run the distances that I need to run. I remember two years ago doing the Runner’s World Half Marathon. I was running with a pacing group and we were staying at a consistent pace. There was a man who was doing the run/walk method that was sticking with us. He walked when he was scheduled to, but still ended up finishing around the same time which was around 2:10. I think if I have any hope to completing the marathon this will be the way to go.

Time to face Reality.

Patience

The Ungettable Get

Sometime we want things in life that we just can’t have.   Sometimes we want things in life that will never be.     Sometimes we are so busy looking backwards that we stop moving foward.

Sometimes…..

It is so easy to get bogged down in the would have, should haves, and could haves in life.

If only…..

Sometimes it is easier to stay in the mud because the thought of moving forward is scary.   I’ve said before that change while not always good is always inevitable.    Just because you know something is true doesn’t mean that you don’t stomp your feet, cross your arms, and scowl at the new normal.

Last week I ran a local 5K right here in my town.   I ran it last year and it was a fun race made even better by so many local faces both in the crowd and in the pack.   Plus it is a charity race with the proceeds going to good causes.   Last year I ran this race just to run it and run fast.    I pushed myself to a 26.26 finish.

This year, I knew I was not anywhere in shape to run like that but I still wanted to push myself.   I wanted one fast mile.    It was a hot night like last year, but I still went out with all I had.    I pushed my first mile to a 9:16 pace, but that was it I was out of gas after that.   In my mind, I knew it would be true, but in my heart I needed to see.    Mile two was an 11:44 pace and mile three I was able to pull in an 11:16 pace (thanks Jen!).    Finish time 33:49.

Here’s the thing.     I know my finish time wasn’t bad.  I know that I’m lucky to be running.    I know that I’ve got to build up again.    All that being said…..

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At the beginning of the race, I told my one friend that I was going to go out fast but that she would be passing me on the course.   She might of thought I was joking but I was dead serious and dead on.   She passed me around mile 2 by which point I was doing walk/run.   I ran with her and one of her friends.    I may have complained a bit.    One thing that I said that was so true is that “I’m not where I was, but I’m where I should be.”   I hate that it’s true, but I know it is.

Will I get to where I once was in my running?

Who knows.   Maybe

Does it matter if I’m never as fast of a middle of the Packer as I was before?

Not to anyone else and I need to let go of expectations.

Is it time to readjust my running goals?

You bet.

Who knows what will happen?

Not me.

  Maybe it is time to give my body  to adjust to this new normal.   Maybe it’s time to get back into running shape.   Maybe it’s past time to let go of expectations.

With that, I’m once again re-evaluating.   The wheels are turning.    I’ve been training for Chicago.   I’ve been getting runs in (for the most part).   I’ve also been walking as needed.    I’ve actually been toying with a run/walk marathon training.    You know what?   My average running time for my runs has been good.

Work  in progress.

As always…. Pushing forward.   Not giving up and doing what I need to do.

One day at a time.

One run at a time.