100 days is so far away, yet so close. 100 days till NYCM. 100 days to worry if my training is not enough. 100 days to doubt if my body can handle it. 100 days to worry about what is going on with the new Delta Covid Variant and how this will all play out.
On top of that…..
100 days to fundraise. 100 days to spend as much time fundraising as I do training. 100 days to continue to remind people of the good work that Sandy Hook Promise does that only happens with fundraising. 100 days to remind people that while I do love running this race is more than about running. 100 days to hit my goal.
Is there anyone who doesn’t take on this challenge who doesn’t question why they are doing it, if they should be doing it, and how you can do it better.
Now don’t get me wrong. Training is going good. Although I have already had some foot pain which is concerning. This are things that lead to doubt. These are things that make me realize that I need to go see my podiatrist. More just to make sure that there are no issues and to see if it is time for new inserts for my shoes. I just don’t want to deal with foot pain all through out training and I did have that pain after running only 8 miles. So there is concern.
One thing that I hate to admit as I’ve had issues with my feet 20 pounds ago…… The extra weight is not helping when it comes to my foot health. It’s not so much the weight but the weight combined with being prone to having issues with my feet is not a good combo. Although this time the pain was different. It was on the outside of my foot, so I wonder if something else is going on. And while I know the easy solution is to say….. I’m going to loose 20 pounds. That is much easier said than done.
So the reality is that I’m not going to loose the 20 pounds. Unless I plan to go on a very strict diet (which I won’t), I need to figure out some things out.
Should this be my last marathon (thats a hard one)
Do I need to see my podiatrist (yes)
Is it time for new insoles? (Not sure)
Do I need to focus on foot strike and form (maybe)
I really need to not bury my head in the sand like I’ve done in the past and takle this head on. Although I do like to ignore things till they blow up in my face. (Doesn’t everyone or is that just me?)
It annoys me too because this go around I am doing everything that I should be doing. But for now, it is not something that is bad enough to cause me to stop. Besides I already have some ideas – like to spend some of my “foundation runs” with biking. To make sure to spend stretching and just listening to my body.
So while I have not signed the contract to run NYCM with Sandy Hook Promise, I am laying groundwork. I do think paperwork should be with-in the next week and then it’s off to training we go.
That being said, I am already laying the groundwork. I have my training plan loaded in Training Peaks which I will officially start next week. Until then, I am in pre-training which I should enjoy while I can. I am also not looking to train for speed, but train for a great experience running. But first…..
I am also crossing all the T’s and dotting all the I’s with taking care of myself. I finally after years of my family telling me to get it checked out (again) saw a Pulmonologist and did a sleep study. Not too bad….. I only stop breathing 40-45 an hour and have severe sleep apnea. CPAP apparently is in my near future.
So while this sounds bad, it helps because maybe just maybe my down to the bone tiredness has nothing to do with my Hypopararthyroidism, but the fact that I am getting terrible night sleep! So besides, you know keeping me breathing at night and heading off any potential health issues; this will more than likely also help me with my training since I won’t be so exhausted all the time. Win.. Win.
Then next month (you know because it takes that long to get an appointment) I have my normal visit with my Endocrinologist for my Hypopara stuff and I am going to see Urologist to check on kidneys since I have a high output of calcium in urine. Although now wondering if I made appointment with right type of doctor and might have been better served with nephrologist but too late now. Would rather get some answers than no answers and can always follow up with the nephrologist if I think need to.
By this time, I will hopefully be a month and half into training. I am excited to start. And while my Sandy Hook Promise team place isn’t finalized yet, I think I will stick with training even if something happens.
So it’s go time….. As they say…..
There may come a day that I can not run, but today isn’t that day and I’m going to keep going.
I’ve thrown my hands up giving myself up to enjoy the ride
I’ve wondered if I was foolish to even get on as it begins to take off. The anticipation while you wait in line, strap yourself in and begin to take off wondering if you are up for what lies ahead. The thing is once the ride takes off, you have no choice but to buckle in and make the best of it. You can scream. You can laugh. You can throw your hands up and just enjoy the ride. Doesn’t matter what you do because once it takes off, you are commited. Sometimes you think you have reached the end of the ride only to realize that you are going around another bend.
A few times I’ve thought that I reached the end of my roller coaster ride only to realize how wrong I was. I think I am really finally coming into the station of acceptance with my 2016 post surgery Hypopara running. You may be thinking…… it has taken since 2016. Acceptance isn’t as easy as it sounds. Then there are the times where you think you have reached the stage of acceptance only to realize that you have just been getting by and really have not. Letting Pride really keep you from making it to the end.
Here is the thing. Since my 2016 surgery left me Hypopara, I kept trying to push myself to run at a pace where I no longer was physically able to run. Mind you I knew that I was no longer at a run sub 2 half pace, but I still never embraced where I should realistically should be running even if at times I thought I did.
Recap for new followers –
For about two years or so before my surgery, I was working with an amazing coach. With her guidance I ran a sub 2 half marathon, a 50K, and I was able to even run a 26:26 5K. I was at the top of my game and I even timed my surgery to be after running the 2016 NYC Marathon. I’ve said it before, the surgery was just going to be a blip.
Until is wasn’t.
Then I kept riding the roller coaster knowing that I was the same, but trying to be something that I wasn’t. Not to say that I won’t be again, but not now. After surgery, I origionally was over medicated so I was able to keep my running up. Then realization that I could no longer keep calcium levels up in the 9’s but for safety of kidney’s . Needing to keep levels just below or at normal level’s. Doesn’t sound like much but for those of us with Hypoparathyroidism, we can tell you that there is a BIG difference how one feels with calcium at a level 9 compared to 8.2 or even 8.5. I also think that for right now I have found a happy medium where my calcium has been around 8.4 last couple times. The balancing act is real.
Anywho…… for the longest time a year or two after my surgery I kept trying to run paces that while much slower than my 2016 paces but realistically were not paces that I should be running. The thing is that I really couldn’t maintain them either. I did a lot of running too fast. Needing to walk and then running again. Then with the 20 pound post surgery weight gain and everything else, running a 10:45 pace was not where I should be even though at the time I thought that was “slow.” I remember posting in a group that my former coach runs about having to walk during my runs and I’m paraphrasing because honestly I don’t remember exactly what she said even if I remember the meaning behind what she was saying. She basically said that I was walking because I was running too fast and maybe (I add that in my mind) pride was the reason. Even though I knew the truth of her words, like many not willing to accept reality I blew off what she was saying. Although if there is one thing anyone who has worked with Caolon knows…… She knows what the (beep) she is talking about even if you choose not to hear her.
So I went on….. and on….. and on…… until I finally gave up running completely. I spent months just walking. I walked and walked and walked some more. I even walked a virtual marathon. Then I was ready to run again. I wanted to run again. There was beauty in having not run for a long time. I was 100% starting from the beginning and needed to respect starting from scratch. My mind was in the right place this time. I also think that deciding not to train by pace but heart rate helped because it gave me the ability to learn where I should be running to actually run.
So here I’ve been just running and training. 100% recognizing that pace is not the goal right now. That the goal is to find where I should be running and run there. I’ve been embracing the running and am now following a training plan for the NYC Virtual Half. I am only using the plan for milage and training not following anything by pace. It has also been helpful that even though I hate it, I have been running on the treadmill. This is good because it does allow me to control pace that I’m running at without concern that I end up running at a pace I shouldn’t be.
I’ve also realized pace is irrelevant to me right now. I am more concerned with being able to run without leaving myself and my body depleted. Since running by heart rate and finding the correct pace while still pushing myself, I have realized that I have not been getting muscle spasms. I am not depleted to the point where I NEED (not want) to nap and most of all I can function in my day to day life.
Last week I ran a hard 5K.
Then this week in training I ran 4.5 running 4 without stopping and feeling good. I did this running average pace of 12:37. This “hard” run was literally a minute faster than what I used to do my easy runs at. So today I needed to run 7 miles, my longest run so far this training cycle. Since this was a long run that meant I need to run slower. I started off with a 5 minute warm up walk and then when I hit every mile I walked for 45 seconds. I’m not sure that I actually needed the walk, but it did break up the treadmill running. Who knows what that would parlay to outdoor running, but for right now I am happy to be running, not feeling like I can’t do it, and feeling like I could do more when I stop.
I’ve been thinking a lot about accepting where I am lately. I realized that while I thought I had accepted where I am right now that I really had not. I do think that this roller coaster ride is finally coming into the station. Acceptance does not mean that I won’t push to try to do better. It does not mean that I can’t work to do better in the future. It does not mean that I won’t have days where things bother me. It just means that I am ok with where I am today.
I had planned to run my first in person 5K today. I thought it sounded fun and also safe since it was on the trails. The fun part was dressing in an adult onesie. I was all set to run in my unicorn onesie. I even roped a running friend in for the event. (Roped is a strong word……. I told her about it and asked if she wanted to sign up. So she did).
One of the best things is that my NYC Half Virtual training lined up with a set back week and running a 5K this weekend. Yeah…. When things align
Until they don’t.
Lots of snow last week made it seem like a challenge but a fun one. I do love the snow and I have Yaktraxs for my shoes and they have not been used in a long time.
Then the timing belt on my Honda Pilot decides that 100,090 miles is enough and decides that it is time to be replaced. So while I could have still gone in our other vehicle the prospect of driving over an hour in our big Truck and then trying to park was not appealing. While this is not a big rig, it is a king cab sized truck with a full pick-up bed and parking even my pilot is not my forte. So I decide not to go.
My brave and very fu friend still goes as her daughter volunteered to go with her as her support team
Aren’t they cute?
I talked to her afterwards and she had a good run. She told me that I would have been able to park, but I think she overestimates my ability to park the truck. I’m sad that I missed the day, but it did make me realize something…….
I want to run again. Like many runners, I miss in person events and can’t wait to go to one. I also can’t wait to actually race….. Like race at my limit…….. Push myself till my sides hurt.
I did that today. I didn’t want today to be a washout, so I laced up and went on the treadmill. I did a 5 minute warmup walk. Then I cranked up the pace and ran. Unfortunately, I forgot to start my Garmin right away, so I had to actually run more than a 5K, but all is good.
It was hard……. I was pushing as hard as I could. I was sweating…….. At the end, my side was literally hurting……. It felt freaking awesome to push that hard. To go to the limit. To know that if I do what I need to do, I can get where I need to go.
When you stop comparing yourself to others……… When you stop comparing yourself to what you once were…….. When you stop thinking about what you wish it was……….. Most of all when you get out of your own way, it is amazing to see where you actually can go.
Some people wait for the sunshine to run. Some people will begrudgingly run in the rain. And some people will not only run in the rain, but happily do it. today was such a day. I’ve been for the most part sticking to my training schedule. I’ve been feeling good about getting the miles in, but I will say that I’ve hated getting them in. The reason is because most of my recent miles have been on the treadmill. Treadmill runs with no music as I can not find my skullcandy headphones. (boo)
Miles are miles and sometimes that is all you need. That is what I’ve needed. But running more than 3 miles on a treadmill with no music is akin to torture. Plus I hate running at the gym feeling like a hamster on a wheel. I like to be outside where I can play my music through my phone and hear my own thoughts.
So today, I wanted to get out and do 5 miles. My time was limited as I needed to be washed up and ready for work by 11:30 and I wanted to be in the air. Today’s weather was warmer but still a little cool with rain. I suited up appropriately with my hat to keep the rain off my face and a running rain jacket. It was time to reclaim my “I will run in any weather badge” that I’ve lost this past winter. Besides I needed to have some true alone time alone brought by an outside run.
Today was a run about running. About getting 5 miles in. About seeing if I could carry a conversation with myself. Once I warmed up and got going, I actually took off my rain jacket and wrapped it around my waste. I flipped my Garmin around so as to not see the pace, heart rate, or any such thing. And I ran. I tried to stay in control of the run. I tried to keep a conversational pace but sometimes I needed to remind myself of that.
I just ran. There was some walking, but not much. I enjoyed the rain which I believe kept me from overheating. I’m really not joking when I say that I run hot. I honestly would pick a day like today for the NY Half. Off and on rain to keep me cool, but I’m getting ahead of myself. First I have to keep this training up. If I could run in the rain though but keep my feet dry that would be amazing.
So today with no thought. No set paces. no plan other than to push myself and get 5 miles in, I had the best run I have had in ages. I’ll blame it on the rain, but this was the best run I’ve had in ages and I’ll take it!
I have to be honest as you know I always am, I really used to hate this expression. I find it to be condescending. Smug and even a little obnoxious.
Not everyone wants to get off the couch. I’m not in competition with those that our sitting on their couch. Now though I look at it not as a way of shaming those who for whatever reason are not getting out there. I look at it as a way to say that I am willing to push myself past all the reasons that I could use to stay on the couch.
Recently (like today) though I’ve been thinking about it. A lot. It would be so much easier for me to give up. No one would blame me. Some might even think it is the smart thing to do. I can stop at any time if I wanted. Yet, for some reason I can’t.
It’s just not something that I am willing to do.
No one is pushing me out the door. Although I have awesome supportive friends, they would support me no matter what I decided to do. No one is making me train. No one is making me run or train for a marathon. (If anyone would like to, that would be fine with me).
Today’s run I knew would not be a good one. I knew it before I even walked out the door. My body aches. My foot is still hurting. I had 14 on the books and from the get go decided that I would do 10 today and run tomorrow to kind of make up the difference. (Yes, I know that’s not how training works; but sometimes you’ve got to adjust).
Out the door I went.
It wasn’t a horrible run, but it might have been up there with worst training runs. I walked more than I should. I stopped a few times to stretch. I just was Blah. All that being said, I ended up with an 11:40 pace.
Then I did something on my run today that I thought I would never do. I called for someone at home to pick me up. If I pushed, I knew I could finish. I was only 2 miles from home.
Here is the rub.
I didn’t want to. I just didn’t think with the way my body was feeling that it made any sense to do that. I also knew that it would not be good for my mental training either.
You would think that I would be freaking out since Chicago is less than a month away. I’m not. I’m actually pretty calm about it. Really this close to the race, pushing when I shouldn’t push will do more harm than good.
So I did the “ride of shame” home, but felt no shame.
I have no doubt that when I step up the Chicago Start line that I will also cross the Chicago finish line.
Remember I’m one stubborn and determined person. Besides, I do like getting a medal put around my neck.
All the kings horses and all the kings men couldn’t put Humpty together again.
I admit it, I’ve been feeling a little bit like Humpty for a while. Say, since November 18th. That being said, I have recently been coming to terms with my cracked shell and the realization that it’s up to me to put the pieces together again. They might fit a little different, but that’s the way things go.
I’ve also realized thanks to the reminder of Training Peaks that I am now six weeks into my training. They were also nice enough to point out that the Chicago Marathon is only twelve weeks away. Time flies and I know it will be here before we know it.
I’ve been happy with my training recently. I think it has something to do with the above realization. Anyhow, I am (trying) to not beat myself up anymore and just roll with it.
You know what?
I’ve had some good runs recently. Now my good runs to a front of the packer might make them scratch their head, but I’ve been happy and isn’t that enough? Why yes, yes it is!
Case in point
Last night I went out for 7 miles. I was comfy on the couch after a nice dinner, but forced myself to leave the mindless TV watching to go for my run. It was bordering on becoming dark, so I suited up accordingly. I forgot how nice it is to run at night when the streets are quiet and everyone is inside their house. I went out knowing it would be a slow run. Still trying to balance the walk/run thing and just figured that I would just let things take a natural progression. Another plus is that once it got dark enough, I could NOT see my Garmin for pace.
I ran just to run.
I ran for the miles
I ran just to enjoy the night.
I ran just to see how I would run.
Most of all, I allowed my mind just to focus on the run.
Here are my paces and to be honest, I am actually very happy with them.
Once I hit my groove at mile 3 and after miles 4 I had negative splits. Not bad considering that I wasn’t aiming for them or thinking about pace. I did consistently ask if “I needed to walk” or “If I wanted to walk.” I found that last night I didn’t need to walk as much. I think part of it was that I was having a good day, I was well hydrated, and I am slowly getting back to running mojo. Either way, I will take a good run when I can get one.
Yes, I am sore today and was much sorer last night than I should have been for 7 miles. I’m noticing that it is my feet and my right quad that seem to be paying the price. Going to see if I can squeeze in a massage this week and I really should foam roll more.
I’m also putting the pieces together for Chicago logistically speaking. As soon as I realized that I got into Chicago, I did book a room for the day before the marathon and leaving the day after. I’ve literally gotten into a car and driven home after running the Marine Corps Marathon and thought, “never again.” I also figured that I would just see how things play out. They seem to be playing out nicely:)
One of the other Moms in my Moms Run This Town group is also running Chicago. We’ve started formulating a plan to fly to Chicago on Friday. We can get a room near the airport for Friday night. Then the next day move to the hotel room that I already have booked. (Yes, I tried to see if I could add Friday onto my stay, but it was a no go). Anyway, it is nice to know that we are in this together. Plus she’s a sweetheart and it should be lots of fun!
I do so love it when a plan comes together and it finally seems like things are coming together for Chicago.
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.
We all know that I’ve never claimed to be an expert at running. I readily admit that I have so much to learn, but that isn’t to say that I don’t have some knowledge as I’ve been at it a few years now. A running friend recently asked me about my running. She’s gearing up for marathon training as many of my running friends are and she wanted to know about my paces. She specifically wanted to know about the “running slower” in training. As most of you know, my coach and now me, swear by this approach. My coach can give you all the schooled reasons why it makes more sense to train slower (Chronic Runner), I can just give you my take on it.
Before I wisely started working with my coach, I would estimate that almost ALL of my runs were at the same pace. It didn’t matter if it was a long run, a short run, or anywhere in between. You could count on an almost steady 10:20 pace. I thought I was doing good, but I was wrong. It wasn’t good for my body and it wasn’t good for my training.
I know that concept of slowing down to speed up sounds entirely crazy. I know it doesn’t make any sense. It goes against the grain. You think to yourself if I’m going to get faster, I need to run faster and I need to run faster a lot. Well, yes, yes you do need to run faster. Here is the thing though. You don’t need to run faster ALL the time and honestly most of the time you should be running slower. Seriously. No joke. No lie.
The first thing that my coach had me do when I started with her was to slooooooow down. Most of my daily runs except the ones designed for speed were slowed down to 11 minute pace or slower. I didn’t get it. I thought this doesn’t make sense, but I listened. I followed her advice. These slower days balanced out with days where I pushed it and ran hard. There was a balance that I didn’t have before. It was the key that I was missing (that and most of the key chain). I didn’t always understand, but I understood enough to know that she was right.
Here is the thing too. Before I slowed down, I battled plantar fasciitis. I battled it a lot. Taping my foot. Running in pain. I just thought, “this is part of being a runner.” I was wrong. Now, I am not saying that I am always pain free. I am not saying that new shoes and inserts have not also helped. What I am saying is that running slower when I didn’t need to be running fast helped. Not only with injuries, but also allowing my body to have the juice it needed on days I needed to run fast and then allow it recover from those hard days too.
Here is the bottom line from all this slowing down. I am an average runner. I do not have what is considered the “runners body.” I am short with short (but powerful) legs. I am a few pounds overweight. You know what all of that means? NOTHING. Really. Not only have I been able to run longer distances without injury since slowing down, but I have also run faster than I ever thought I could. In my 5K last week that I PR’d in 26:26. I ran the fasted mile that I have ever run. EVER. I ran a mile in 8:12. This was unimaginable to me. This still boggles my mind. Yes, I realize it’s only a mile but my 3rd mile of the 5K was 8:19. I may never get any faster that this, but I know that I would never have made it here if I hadn’t slowed down.
Thankfully today is a Rest Day. Ok, actually I should do some swimming or Yoga. Maybe I will, but honestly I probably won’t. I might take a power nap later if that counts. Doesn’t it?
So how did these last 2 days go?
Pretty good if I do say so.
Let’s start with the Cut-Down. I went into this confident and I do think that might make a bit of a difference. What has also helped is that the temperatures cooled to perfect fall temps. Yes, indeed, that makes a huge difference. I have to say this was hands down my BEST cut-down. I felt good. I felt confident and my splits are very pretty if I do say so myself and I do:) I did need to stop around mile 5 as I thought I had something in my shoe. Took shoe/sock off and all looked good until I got home with bloody toe. My feet are going to need some major TLC when Marine Corps Marathon is over. Without further ado, here it is:
Pretty sure I was about to have a heat attack by the end of mile 9, but then I remembered this was supposed to be hard and pushed till the end of the mile. I do admit as soon as my watch marked the mile, I slowed down. A lot!
I did this run in the afternoon which did concern me as I was planning on my 18 the next morning. The whole point of the 18 though was to run on tired legs and that’s what I did. I plotted out a route not that I ever follow it exactly, but it is enough to get me where I need to go. I started this run with some of my fellow MRTT Mama’s and we did about 6 miles together. Then off to face the miles alone. This was a good combination as I will ultimately be running the marathon alone.
I used a combination of shot blocks, sports jelly beans, Gu, and at mile 12 I stopped to refill my water bottles at a Dunkin Donuts. If you know me, you know that I can’t NOT get a coffee. So I took a 5 minute coffee break and gulped down a small (which I never get) iced latte. I’m not really sure that I would do it again. Although maybe it wasn’t such a bad thing to do since I did finish my 18.
Although, I did get a little help from my friends:):)
As I said, I had my run plotted out. I planned to stop at mile 16 at my friend Genine’s house as she offered to leave water in a cooler for me. I’ll be honest once I stopped I REALLY didn’t want to start up again. But not only was she sweet enough to leave me the water in a cooler, but an inspiring note that really did help push me to keep moving. It became my temporary mantra, “Finish Strong!”
So I kept going, chanting until I hit the hill. I didn’t intentionally plan to end my run on a hill, but it seems to happen to me a lot depending on the way I go. I think this is a positive thing as we all know running up hills is good training. The I remembered that the Marathon ends on a Hill literally! So then I changed my mantra to….
CHARGE THE HILL!
Hey it worked, because I had really good splits at the end.
Moving Time 3:08:26
12:45, 13:01, 10:39, 10:35, 10:46, 11:12, 10:25, 10:32, 10:17, 11:11, 10:52, 10:20, 10:35, 10:32, 11:21, 10:38, 10:18 & then since Garmin didn’t record whole 18 2.36
So today, I am tending to my feet. Doing some stretching and just as importantly catching up on all the things that I have let slide while putting in the miles.