Tag Archive | running

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….

run

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?

all

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?

antistress-quotes-1-0-bs-512x250

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

c269fe555c7d413b510ba45ea2b4f024

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.

10686949_1498527800396690_6555815312635136764_n

Just Keep Moving…..

Just like there are peaks and valleys in life.   There are peaks and valleys in training.   Sometimes, you even get stuck in the valley.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.   We all have lives outside of our activities.   Sometimes it gives us the drive to get moving and sometimes it sucks it away.   I’m not talking about time management.   I’m talking the mental game.  We all know how that can make or break you.

I’ve missed a few runs these last few days.   I went out the other morning for my 8 mile cut-down and finished just shy of 4.  It wasn’t even close to the run that I was supposed to do.   Life outside of my running got in the way and I needed to take care of it.  Some things are more important than finishing your run.   Then the next day it was hotter than hell and I figured I would do my long run at night.   Night came and went with no long run.   Figured I would do it the next morning.   I got up for my run at the same time my 9 year old woke up.   We watched Sandlot together.   I figured I would do my run at night.  When the time came though, I didn’t go.

I just had no motivation to get out the door.

Now, we all know the dread we sometimes face when it’s time for a long run.   This is not my problem.  My scheduled run is only 12 miles which is not really a distance that I dread.   Seriously.     My problem with getting out is different.   I just don’t have the drive to go.

I’m as shocked as you are.

I’ve always been goal orientated, but now I’m like so so about my fall races.   Doesn’t make sense since one of them in the NYC Marathon.   What the Hell??!!?!

It really all started last month when I had a bit of a medical scare which thankfully turned out to be nothing.   It was enough time though for my mind to play the what if game.  Remember the race where I said If I could Shut up the Little Man Up?

I was like what does it all matter?

  Then i got my head back on again, but I still didn’t have my drive back.   I really wasn’t fully engaged mentally, but at least I was doing what needed to be done.   Now I’ve got some other things sucking away my drive.   Physically, I’m fine.  Mentally, I may need a tune up.

Nothing has really happened.  Nothing has really changed.   Yet, something is different.   It has taken a bit of my mojo away.

I also think what might not be helping is that I am dealing with the Summer Time blues.    Yes, I know that we all think that it is the Winter Blues, but to me, at least this summer, it is the Summer Time Blues.

Summer leads to lots of fun, but it also means lots of solo running which most of the time I like.   This year I’m missing the time with  my morning running Mama’s.    Maybe I’m avoiding my runs these last few days because the idea of running alone with my own thoughts is lonely.    Who knows.   Maybe I need this solo time to come to terms with things.     I also need some laughs, small talk, and just the fun that comes with running with them brings.

I’m going to force myself to get out the door tonight.   I might even do my 12.   Who knows.   What I do know is that maybe I’m just in need of getting away from it all.   Maybe I’m just getting too close to vacation.   Maybe I just nee to stop over thinking and without a doubt maybe I just need a run.

8e44d9bde3909704812d6fc518660407

Some Like It Hot

I admit, I like it hot

but only when swimming at the pool or on the beach.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

For running, I much prefer a balmy 60 degree day.    Fall is a beautiful time to run (usually).   That being said,  July is not usually perfect running weather in Jersey.   That doesn’t keep me home though and I know it doesn’t keep anyone home that has a big fall race on the calendar either.    It just causes us to make adjustments or pay the price for not.  Most of us just don’t want to though or think it doesn’t apply to us.   I make them usually kicking and screaming.

The most obvious and easiest adjustment should be to get up super early and run before the heat of the day.   During the school year, I normally do my runs mid morning.   In the summer, I like to sleep in when possible.   Beating the heat does not allow for this.

Boo early runs.

Boo.

I will admit that depending on what type of run that I am doing, I may sleep in and just deal with the heat.   Yes, I may suffer a little bit in the heat but I got to sleep in or may even go for an evening run:)   I will say this does not work for days where I have a specific pace or cut down run.    This really only works on slow steady days.

Runner’s are usually all about the numbers.  When you’ve already embraced the running slower approach in your training, it is even worse.   You think to yourself, “Well I’m already running XYZ pace, so I’m good.   I don’t need to slow down any more.”

FALSE

Here is the thing –  coaches, articles, friends and even Google will tell you that heat is a huge factor in training.   I imagine if you live a a place where it is hot ALL year round and 80’s is a cool day that your body had adjusted to the heat, so this probably doesn’t apply to you.   For me though, I can tell that the heat makes a difference.    Even once my body has adjusted to the higher temperatures of summer, I still need to adjust (slow it down).  Here is the thing, no one wants to feel like a speed walker can pass them because they slowed their pace down to what feels like a stand still.   Sometimes, I admit, I think that I should tape a sign to my back saying….

I can run faster

Really

That being said, if you try to nail your assigned paces that were designed for the perfect running day (50 to 60’s), then you are going to overwork yourself trying to hit those paces.   You may not even be able to complete your run or if you do it won’t be pretty.   I’ve been there.  As much as we want to pretend it isn’t so, if you run a 10:45 pace on a 60 degree day, then when the temperature soars to 80 you need to slow down to 11:05.   There are some good online calculators for adjusting your pace due to heat.   The hotter it is outside, the more you need to slow down.  You get the same benefit running slower on a hotter day.  Really.

Really, it won’t kill you to run slower.

Then there is this.

Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate

Normally, I run with my Fitletic belt with 2 bottles.   Now that we are in the midst of summer, I have added an additional 2 bottles.   I plot my routes to go by friend’s houses, parks, or even 7-11 so that I can refill them.    I may also break out my running vest as that has bigger water bottles and more storage.   Although, I think I will save that for long runs only.

The bottom line is we are all grown ups and know what we should be doing.   Now we just have to do them.

Be safe.

Be smart.

Run.

Oops I Did It Again

As mentioned before, the second loop of the Dirty German I was on my own.   I had my trusty Garmin on counting down the miles left.   (Yes, at a certain point I like to think in terms of how many miles are left not how many I already ran).  When I was getting near the end though it seemed like the finish line would never come.   Then I heard noise in the distance breaking the silence of the trail.   It was like the call of the Sirens propelling me forward.    It beckoned me.   It gave my tired legs a jolt of energy.   It brought me out of the trail and across the finish line.

I thought it only fitting that the song playing while crossing the finish line was Brittney Spears Oops I did it again.      This seems to be how I get into these races in the first place.   I just kind of jump right in and then say to myself, “Oops I did it again”   guess I’m running another race.

10675715_10154784850980220_5640191669692384447_n

It was going to be different after the Dirty German I was 100% sure.   This was just going to be something to cross off my list.   Before the race, I even told my coach that I was going to need a break when it was over.   I was sure my body was telling me it was time to slow down and run like a normal person.   I’m sure that she’s heard these type of things from other runners, so she was like, “Yes, we can change things up, keep your base so your ready for marathon training, and have some fun.”    That may not really have been what I wanted to hear.   I wanted to hear, have a great summer, don’t eat to much ice cream, and have fun running like a normal person.

So here we are not even a  full two week post Dirty German.   I’ve had a few recovery runs and I’m chomping at the bits to get out there again.   I miss it.   I’ve got a lot of time when not running hours every day.    Still not enough time to get everything done, but that’s a different story.    Anyway, I told myself I was done.   I was toast.   I was not running anymore long races.   Couldn’t wait to be done with NYCM, so I could officially end my training.

Then like every normal person or should I say every normal runner I Know, I go and sign up for another race.   Actually, I signed up for three but it’s one event so I can count it as one sign up.   I’m heading back to the Runner’s World Festival in October to do the Hat Trick again.   This is the event where you run a 5K rest for about an hour.   Then run a 10K and go home.   Then come back the next day to run a half marathon.    Now signing up for this makes perfect sense to me.    Really, I can totally justify it…..

  1. I previously talked to my coach about it.   She, obviously, said the choice was mine and it would really depend how I wanted to run them and what I wanted to get out of NY since it is fairly close to it.
  2. I love this race as it was my first big event.
  3. I totally am justifying it by saying this will be good training for NY due to the hills.    Really.   Makes perfect sense.
  4. I couldn’t help myself.

Besides, I think I still have self control because I had been thinking of signing up to run a trail event in the beginning of June.   I haven’t done that yet, so I don’t think I’ve totally lost it yet.   (Must be strong!)

As I said before, when you surround yourself with encouraging people doing amazing things, you can’t but help yourself.

How do you keep yourself in check?

 

 

 

One Thing At a Time

Danger Will Robinson,

I am going to sound like the old lady that I am pretending not to become…….

When I was a kid we didn’t have all the technology we have now.    What am I talking about?   We didn’t have ANY.     There were no cell phones, i-pods, 24/7 updates.   Hell our phones were still attached to the wall and if you wanted to take music on the go, it was a big ole boom box.   Not conducive to going anywhere except your front lawn.

You know what?

We didn’t miss anything.   No we really didn’t.  They were good times.   We may have actually been more aware of what was going on than “the kids of today.”   I see it everyday at pick-up.   The first thing the kids do when they come out of school is look at their phones.   Walking out with their heads down missing it all.  Many of the parents too.   Don’t get me wrong, I am as bad as the next person.   I admit it.   I might be worse, but I’m work in progress.

Now what does this have to do with running?

I’m getting there.

When I was at Dirty German on Sunday, I knew I probably would not run with headphones as many times when I’m running I don’t use music.   I usually never do during a race because I usually like to experience the race around me. (try it)   Part of me thinks that on my second loop inspiring music might have helped as I was running by myself, but being as I didn’t bring earbuds the decision had already been made.   It didn’t really matter on the first loop because even though I was running by myself, I was not alone. (Yes, there is a difference).

There is a big part of me that loves running races without music, especially when I am by myself which is the norm. To save my phone battery, I even turned my phone onto airplane mode.   No interruptions.    I could hear my own breathing, I could be with my own thoughts, I could listen to the sounds of the trail, and really just be.    It is almost meditative.   Really.   This kind of “alone” time is hard to come buy in the world we live in today.  (Yes, I know I sound like Grandma).

We are so connected yet at the same time so disconnected.    No I did not have some  awe inspiring idea pop into my head or resolve an issue but it has happened.   This run was all about the run.   All about the distance and all about finishing.    So no I was not thinking about anything else but my run – moving one foot in front of the other.    This was enough.    We don’t do that enough.   We have become the age of the great multitaskers that we forget that sometimes it is ok to just do one thing at a time.

  It is enough.

How could I not get into the zone when running these trails alone.

There is something to be said about taking the time to be by ourselves with no distractions.   To get away from it all and just be.   Our minds need it.    A run like this recharges not just the body, but the mind.

relax

What do you think?

 

 

Tick Tock Tick Tock Goes The Cuckoo Clock

Just two more days and really at this point of the evening it really is one more day.   Two days till I attempt to run a 50K.   Somehow this really seemed like an amazingly great idea a few months ago.   Today not so much.   Today is the more, “What was I thinking?” kind of day.

What was I thinking

I usually get asked two questions about my upcoming race.   The first one is how far in miles is a 50K.   I had to look it up because although I knew it was 31 point something, I really didn’t know what the point was either.   It is 31.7 miles.    At some point it doesn’t matter except at the end when you are counting them down.

The second question is why?    We’ve been through this before.   Why not?

You think I would be nervous.   You think I’d be packed.   You think I would have read through all the information they sent.    I don’t even have directions to the hotel mapped out.  I will get to all of these things shortly I’m sure.    I’m actually pretty calm for some reason.   I guess you might refer to it as the calm before the storm.    Besides at this point I’m in for the LONG haul which hopefully will be only 31.7 miles baring any wrong turns.   Again, this is why I need to read the information and look at the map.   I can’t just follow the crowd because how do I know they won’t leave me in the dust or even that they know where they are going.

As far as goals, my number one and really only goal is to finish.   I would, of course, like to finish well but finishing is number one.   And as far as what I mean by finishing well, I do not mean winning the Cuckoo Clock the winners get.   I mean to finish strong.   To finish like I trained for this.   To finish without feeling like I want to die.  (Why am I doing this again?)   I would also like to make sure to finish before the twelve and half hour alloted time.   I think I should be ok as when I did the trail marathon in January I was at six and half hours.   That gives me a nice cushion:)

But it is time to get prepared.    It’s time to open the door to utra running and see what that is all about.    I would like to say that I will be one and done, but I said that about marathons too and I’ve already run 2 more than I said I would not counting NYCM coming in November.    And I won’t lie in the back of my mind I’m already toying with a 50 miler for the year I turn 50 which thankfully is a few years away.    Besides, I really should just get through this weekend before I start talking smack!!

Either way it’s going to be a great time filled with lots of laughs and good company since there are many BAMR’s going from my running group.   Some are doing 25k, some 50k, and the truly insane ones are doing 50 miles but insanity is a wonderful thing!  The support of these women is something I wish everyone experiences in their life in some shape or form.

Friends

So I’m off to do all the things that I need to do, but you can count on hearing more about this not matter how it turns out.

What are you doing this weekend?