Tag Archive | running

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.

 

 

 

Be Where You Are

I’m not where I used to be.    A major part of me knows that is ok.   A small part of me is still coming to terms with it.   I really wish that I could shut that small part of me up, but it’s a work in progress.   I feel that right now everything is a work in progress but isn’t that everyone?   What was once easy is now difficult, but what was once impossible is now possible.   It’s all in the way you look at things.

Moving forward but not giving up.

I’ve said before that mentally I think that I need to run Chicago.    What I need to do though and I’ve said it before is adjust expectations.    Easier said than done, but I am getting better.

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Here’s the thing that I keep reminding myself and coming back to……

I’m not an elite athlete.   I’m not winning any medals except the medals that I earn just crossing the finish line.     I’m not a contender.    Running is not my job and I do not want to make it feel like it is my job either.   There is no hidden agenda in my running.

Here is what I am….

I am a Mama runner who just wants to run.    I want to be able to clear my head by going out for a run.   I want to be able to get a good workout in at the best of my ability.    I want to run with my friends.     I want to be healthy and running is something that both mentally and physically helps with that.

So I’m really trying to let go of where I used to be and hold onto where I am.    I also know that I am very lucky.   There are some people with calcium issues that can’t do anything physically without their calcium crashing.    I also know that I have to be smart with my training for Chicago.   I’ve got a lot going on and I’ve still got a lot to learn with how my body will deal with not just the training but the training in the heat.   It seems to effect me more now.   It’s a learning process.  As a friend a ran with today pointed out, I’ve got a lot of pieces that still need to be put together.

I’m trying to embrace being where I am at and I am very lucky to have a great support system of not just “running friends” but real friends who I happen to run with!    Today I went out with a friend for a few miles.   The weather is in the 80’s with 73% humidity.   With the humidity at those levels, it was brutal.   I did walk when I needed to which “is what it is.”    Even with walking, it was still a hard run.   It was still 6 miles and I still got it done.   And honestly it was overall still a good pace at 12:13.

We all know that running is a mental sport…. From talking ourselves out the door to pushing our bodies to make the impossible possible.    It (and I’ve said this before) is also accepting where you are on a given day and period in your life.   I am where I am today and that is enough.

It is enough…..

To get out the door

To run and to also walk.

To do the best that I can at a given day.

To accept that no matter what pace I’m running, it is enough.

To cut myself a break when needed and push myself when needed.

And most of all….That I am in competition with no one not even who I used to be.

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Yes We Did!

No expectations.

No watching the clock.

Nothing but a plan to cross the finish line with a smile.

Mission Accomplished!

I was worried.   You know that to be true, but I was VERY happy with the way the day went.    I went into this race just to run by feel, wear a  tutu and a smile. It was good day.   It was the kind of day that I needed.    I think planning was key.

First the boring stuff.

From talking to other athletes with Hypoparathyroidism, I had a plan.   I purposely waited till we got to the venue to take my 500mg of Calcium and my Calictriol.    My water bottles were filled with water and cal-ez powder to keep my calcium.   I brought an extra packet to use along the way.    Each packet contained 1,000mg of calcium carbonite, but it is fast absorbing because it also has 1,000 units of vitamin D which is needed for absorption.     Studies have shown that even healthy people calcium levels drop during rigorous exercise.   For a person with working parathyroid glands, the body will adjust (although you still might want to talk to your doctor about adding supplements), but for a person whose body can’t regulate this can be a problem.   Now while it may seem excessive to have taken almost 3,000 mg of calcium in such a short period of time for me I believe it was necessary and a work in progress.   All I know is that I felt good during the run.   I did not experience any face twitches or tingles.   Although I was pushing at the end and did get some tingles in my hand, but all was good.

We left early as you often have to do when running a race that starts at 7:30.   The “clown car” as my son called it when we got home was filled with excited Mama’s.   We were very lucky that one of the Mama’s knew the in and outs of not only getting there but finding an open bathroom before the race.

Then off we went.

It was strange to me that the marathon runners and half marathon runners all started together, but it mattered not to me as long as I was starting with friends.   For the most part we ran together, but as will happen during the course of the race we separated into smaller groups.   Might have something to do with chatting the miles away and not realizing that you’ve lost sight of others in the group.

Am I sore today?

You bet.   But I bet so are so many other people:):)

I’ve got some fun stories to tell about this race, but this is enough for today.

It was a great day with some amazing women and I am so glad we did it!

NJHalf

And yes, I do have a unicorn horn:)

Moving Forward While Sitting Still

When I wrote my last post about taking the rest of the year off, I really did not know what type of feedback that I would get.   I mean this is a running blog.   I have a lot of amazing running friends.    And again, this is a running blog….

Guess what?

I’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback and nothing negative.   Now this is not to say that people may not have thought, “What the heck is she doing and she’s an idiot.”   If they felt that way, they didn’t say it.  As I said before, I know that I will pay the price for time off my feet.   It is a price that I am more than willing to take though.

Sometimes we put so much internal pressure on ourselves just because we think that we should be doing XYZ and for what?   I know for me, I am not someone who will ever win a race.   I’m not going to ever be a Boston Qualifier.   At this point, I’m not even sure if I will ever get the elusive 4:30 marathon time I’ve been chasing.   This is all internal.   There is no one yelling at me to go faster, work harder, or run further.   To be honest, I think my hubby might like this little break that I’m on even if like me he knows its only temporary.

The end of the year is normal a reflective time for many of us not just about our fitness goals but life in general.   For those of us just coming off of fall marathon season, it is also a time to reflect how our performance measured up to the reality of the race.     This then can add to the pressure.   I’m going to be reflecting on those goals and seeing what if any goals to make for 2017.

I’ll be honest……   As happy as I was to finish NYCM, it was my worst finish time for a marathon for a whole host of reasons I’ve already discussed.   Anyway in my mind, I had dreamed that NY would be the best marathon (time wise) that I would or have ever run.   That is not the reality.  Even though it has been my favorite marathon and I love it, time wise it didn’t measure up.  I didn’t measure up.   Running a marathon takes a toll not just on the body which it beats up pretty badly, but it also takes a toll on the mind.    So just as the body needs a break to recover from running, the mind needs a break from it too.

I was texting a friend who contacted me about my last blog post.    She was saying how she had dreamed about running NY here whole life and although she finished, she was not happy with her time either.   Since the marathon, she has been pushing herself with her miles and paces.   The thing is…….    No matter what she does now, it will not change the outcome of the marathon.   As I told her though, just finishing is honestly an amazing accomplishment.    As another saying goes, if running a marathon was easy; everyone would do it.   As true as that statement is, it does not necessarily make it better though.   That being said, as with everything in life you must make peace with the past.   Our marathon times are in the past.    We can’t go back and change them and the would of, could of, and should of’s in life will drive you nuts.   So it is time to more forward.

Life is about redemption.   Moving forward.   The past is important.   Lessons should be learned and with any luck mistakes will not be repeated.

There are other races even the same ones if we choose.

There is also time.    Time may not heal all wounds ( I think that is the biggest misconception), but it does make things easier.     And no amount of running today will change races already run.   There will be a time to decide on what paces, distances, and races to run but today is not that day.     Next year’s races are just that.

Next year….

2017

 

No Guilt Required

I’m experiencing Christmas hangover and the holiday’s aren’t even over.   One thing that I did decide though is that I am officially taking the rest of the year off from running.   Not that I’ve been doing any running lately, but I’ve made the executive decision not to feel like I should be running.

No guilt required.

The opposite of streaking.

The I’m not going anywhere streak.

I’ve hit 1100 miles for the year.

I’m good.

Besides..

I’ve been thinking about what I want to do when I do start back up and how I want to start.     I’ve been running almost 3 years with no break and I will say this break has been nice with the exception of not running off all these Christmas cookies, candies, and food calories.   I can tell too because somehow my jeans did shrink slightly.   I’m still not running though.   I plan to just keep on indulging now and pay for it later.

And I will pay.

I realized this when I went out for my first real run last week (before I decided to not run til January 1rs).    I went out for about 3 miles.   My average pace was 11:19, but that doesn’t actually tell the story….

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What this doesn’t tell is that even with this short run I was slightly windy and even sore the next day.   3 miles used to be just a blip for me, but I will have to build back up.   This is one of the reasons that I am taking the rest of the year off.   I don’t want to be sore for Winter Break.   I don’t want to stress to squeeze in a run.   And finally, I want to build back up not haphazardly but with somewhat of plan or at least some thought.

I also want to add more cross training into my running plan.   I might go back to a swimming class for the winter.   It’s a great cross training for running being low impact with a really good cardio workout.    I would also love to add some yoga and weight training.   I just have to see how and when I can add these in as soon it is going to be time to start training for my spring marathon, but I first need to regain what I’ve lost since the NY Marathon which is when I really last ran long:)

So like most of the people I know, I will say that I’m going start running in the New year.

I’m looking forward to it as much as I’m looking forward to enjoying this next week off!

What do you resolve to do more of in the New Year?

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Flexibility is the Key

Yesterday I had an 8 mile run scheduled.

As anyone with school aged kids will tell you, the start of the school season is ruff.   First there is the adjusting to the schedule to knowing who needs to be where when and everything in between.   On top of all of that craziness, I in my infinite wisdom a few years ago took on the responsibility of running my son’s Cub Scout Pack in addition to being his Den Leader.   So this brings on a whole host of responsibilities and just like the beginning of the school year, the beginning of the Scouting year is also a bear.

Now normally when the kids are all dropped off at school, I like to start my run by 9:00.   Yesterday though I figured that I would first take care of some Cub Scout stuff that needed to be done.   I figured that I would be done by 11:00 at the latest.   One thing leads to another and another.   Before I know it, it is almost noon.

CRAP!

Now I’m hungry.

So knowing I’ve got a run, I quick eat a bowl of cereal.   Finally get out for my run a little after 12:45.   Do some quick calculations and realize that there is just NO WAY that I am getting in a whole 8 miles due to needing to start the school pick-up cycle.

CRAP!

Then I start to map out in my mind how far and where to run.   I figure that I can probably squeeze in 5 miles or close to it.

CRAP!

Then in the midst of my panic, I wonder what the Hell my problem is and what is wrong with me.   Running is supposed to be my stress relief.   It felt good to get out the door after sitting all morning.   Why am I causing myself more anxiety instead of letting the run take it away?

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Then I had an epiphany that I’ve had before.    Running is NOT my job.  I RUN BECAUSE I LIKE TO RUN!    Yes, I know that I need to stick to my schedule and train if I want to be able to finish all these races that I’ve signed up for.    Yes, I know that training is important, but so is flexibility.    My “job” is to do the things that I do at home not only because I “have to” but because I want to.   No one assigned me these jobs.   I decided that I wanted kids.   I decided that I wanted 3 of them.   I decided that I wanted to do the things that I do for our house, my kids, and our family.   They are my priority.

That is not to say that I should not take time for myself and the things that I want to do.  My run at the beach is a prime example of that rationale.   That is not to say that everything that is important to me comes second.   It just means that I need to be more flexible and cut myself a break.   Especially when there is a lot going on.   The trick is to know what days, I really need flexibility and what days I need a kick in the pants.

Quiet Please

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Yesterday, I had what my coach calls a cut-down.    I guess it is similar to a tempo run but a little different.

When I first started with my coach it took me a while to adjust to these runs.    With most things, it gets better with practice.   I find these runs are also a great way to get good at learning to keep pace.   The thing is when I started my cut-downs were not as fast as they are now.    Here was yesterdays scheduled run:

1 mile easy
1 miles @ 8:55-9:05
1 miles @ 8:45-55
1 miles @ 8:35-45
1 miles @ 8:20-35
1 miles easy

Just looking at these paces makes me wonder what I am doing.   But this week I am determined to get all my assigned runs in at my assigned paces if possible.   If nothing else I am comitted to stop making lame excuses.    Although it’s not always easy.

I knew that I wanted to do this cut-down on a treadmill.   I also knew that I wouldn’t be able to go till the evening.   Then evening comes and I’m ready to go…… But first

Hubby has been home sick and I run to pick him up some soup (yeah, I’m good like that)

Literally while pulling into parking lot of YMCA – “Mom, can you pick me and my friends (they are out at local festival) and they are going to come back and hang out our house.”   I’m like sure when only to find out that he meant right then.   Out of the parking lot I go.

Hubby, “Are you still planning to go run?”

AHHHHHH,    yes I am.   On a day less committed, I might have said no.   Not last night.   So finally get to the treadmill and think that maybe I won’t do the full 6.   Maybe I’ll only do 5.   Maybe I won’t run as fast as cut-down calls for.   On and on that little voice goes and mile by mile I shut her down.

Was the run hard.   You bet, but I think that is the point.    I’m always amazed when a hard run is over that I could actually do it.    There is a sense of accomplishment not only with completing a hard run, but shutting down that inner voice that wants you to take the easy way out.

Some days the voice is quiet, but on these days where it is a constant struggle to shut it up I know I am that much stronger.   It is learning to shut up this voice that will help me push through the wall in a marathon or any hard run for that matter.    For most or at least for me, the wall is not based on pain or at least pain that can’t be run through.  It is when the voice becomes to loud and I fall into the trap and listen to her.   These are the runs that teach me that she doesn’t know what she’s talking about.   These are the runs that will remind me that that voice is a liar.

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