Tag Archive | Training

One Run at a Time

I have not yet decided on a Marathon Training Plan.   I’m still researching.   I do know that I am the type of person who needs a plan.   The problem with purchasing a training plan is that it also forces me to think of what my goals will be for Chicago.   Realistically, I just don’t know.   In my heart, I’m still dreaming of the elusive 4:30; but I just don’t know.   More likely I will purchase a a plan for 4:30 and  see what happens.

I am lucky in that I know that I will have several Mama’s that will be training for NYCM.   I am unlucky in that I have to start training a month earlier than them as Chicago is October 8th and NYCM is November 5th.    So I will be a month into my training when they are starting.

I will say that considering that I have not been running much (or really at all), I’m very calm about starting my training.   It’s not that I’m not dedicated to finishing Chicago.   It’s not that I don’t have goals.   It’s not even that I know that this is the worst shape that I’ve been running wise going into the beginning of marathon training.

Here’s what it is……

I am training for a reason.   I am training because it is necessary.    I am also just STARTING my training.   That’s the whole point.    I don’t have to be ready to finish Chicago when my training starts in less than two weeks.   What I have to be is dedicated to start my training.   This is the beginning.   So realistically I am right where I should be.

Seriously.

Only elite athletes and a few rock star Mama’s (yeah you Robyn!) that I know are ready to run a marathon on a moments notice.   The rest of us will take months of training to hope to be able to cross the finish line a get our medal.

It’s all good.

One Run at a time

how-far

Not Backing Down

hy

I know what it feels like after you’ve run a half marathon.    I know what it feels like after running a marathon.    I even know what it feels like after running  50K.   When your an athlete whose run as many miles as I have you pay attention to these things.  I’ve trained my body to run on tired legs.   I always joke that I come from hearty stock because even though times my body has been sore, I’ve always recovered fairly quickly.   The day after the Philadelphia marathon, I was even wearing heals.   Like a bumble, I just bounce back.   I also think both the way that I have pushed my body in the past and know how to roll sore muscles are helpful now.   I know how to pay attention to the needs of my body.

Sometimes by the end of a busy day, my body feels like I’ve run a race that I haven’t run.

My legs are sore.   My back aches.   I’m exhausted.

In reading many comments and stories from people with this disease (hypoparathyroidism), I really believe that my training has set me up for success.   As much as it sucks, these are not feelings I’m unused to.   What sucks is feeling this way and not having a medal to show for it!

I keep hearing from my online support groups that I will get used to the “new normal” but that it takes a LONG time to get there.   That eventually you forget what it’s like to wake up without all the aches and such.   It’s a work in progress.   I think one of the things that takes getting used to is looking fine, but feeling like this.

Again it’s a work in progress. What further helps is that I’m pretty tenacious and head strong.   I will keep pushing through  even if things are harder to accomplish.   I will not give up as long as I can do the things that I want to do.

What does worry me as I start planning my Chicago Marathon training is if I feel like this without really doing much running, how will I feel once I’m training.    Training starts in a matter of weeks.    I need this just as much physically as I do mentally.   I will be prepared going in knowing it’s going to be harder this time around.   Knowing that it will be even more important when loosing calcium through sweat while training in the heart of summer, to replenish during a run and not wait for a crash.     I will be prepared to take care of myself after runs too.   Where in the past because I could get away with it, I was not the best about post stretching, rolling, or soaking in mineral salts.    I will ad that time into my training.

I am a runner.

I am an athlete.

I am a marathon runner and I’m not letting anything get in my way.

tenacious

 

 

 

Plugging Along

Most of us lead ordinary lives.   This is not necessarily a bad thing.   It is just a fact of life.   Most of have a pattern to our lives which changes over time.   My Mother refers to it as the “seasons of our lives.”    Right now I feel that I’m between seasons…..

As with the “seasons of our lives,”   we also have seasons in our training.

Right now I feel that I’m in between seasons……

I just came off the NJ Half.   A race that I went in under trained for, but still finished well and with a solid time of 2:20:23.    The race went well.   For the most part,  I felt good overall and it gave me hope that I will be ready to start Chicago Marathon training.    I’m to the point where I need to start preparing for my training.   First thing first is to put the actual date of the Marathon on my calendar.   When people ask me when it is, I truly only knew that it was in October.

Date:  October 8, 2017

152 days from today.

This means that training will start literally in a matter of weeks.

Oh Boy….

My mind is a flurry thinking about gearing up my training,  getting handle on calcium (hypoparathyroidism), figuring out nutritional and supplements,  and being a busy Mom of three.

Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy….

treadingwater

Honestly right now I’m plugging along with the calcium, but I often feel like I’m just treading water.   There appears to be a fine line between keeping your head above water and letting yourself sink.    It feels like a constant state of not being able to plant your feet.    It is a strange feeling trying to keep your calcium high enough to not be too symptomatic but not so high as to cause other problems. Plus even with keeping my calcium high enough, it is still keeping it in the low range thereby figuring out how to deal with those symptoms.   Those that have dealt with it for a while do say that you eventually get used to the “new normal.”    I’m trying to believe them.

I’m looking forward to the day where I’ve figured it out a little (lot) better than I have right now.   It’s just a constant guessing game.    Plus I’ve come to the realization that what has changed most for me is that really overnight I started to feel my age if you will.   Although I do think that even if I don’t look it being in such good shape has helped with some of the symptoms.

But I will work it out.    I will get my head out of the sand.    I will start training.    Most of all, I will cross the finish line in Chicago.

  I’m trying to find the excitement.   It sounds bad, but I’m not excited about running.   I’m not happy about running it.   I’m not unhappy or unexcited either.   I’m just blah.   It’s not that I don’t want to run it.   It’s just right now I’m not feeling it.   But I’m not feeling a lot of things right now, so I’ll just go through the motions.

One day at a time.

One step at a time.

Every runner no matter what their health knows that nutrition plays a key role in not just their training but their general well being.    That is where I plan to start.

Off to make an appointment with nutritionist.

 

 

 

Do The Right Thing

In Life many times, we wonder if we have made the right decision.   Sometimes we have regrets, but sometimes we can wholeheartedly know we made the right decision.   This is one of those times.

We need to embrace these times too.

Over the last week, I’ve had a few good runs.  I’ve been happy with where I am at.   I’ve started thinking about what I want to do this year.   My first event that I’m scheduled to run is the New Jersey Half Marathon.    Right now my goal is just to run it, but I wanted to look to see how my training has been overall.    When I was hard core training I used a program called Training Peaks.    When I thought I might run the NJ Marathon and not the half, I had bought a marathon training program to use with the program.   Yesterday, I logged on for the first time in probably a month.   This is when I realized that I had done the right thing.

According to the marathon training program, my mileage for the week should have been 32 with a long run of 16.

HA!

My total miles for the week were 13 with a long run of 6.5.

I don’t want to be running 32 miles right now.   Funny thing too is when I changed the training program to a half, it is right about where I am right now.   Better yet, it is right about where I want to be.

I am happy that I took the time that both my body and mind needed.    I’m happy that my running seems to be getting stronger.   I’m happy that i seem to be getting back into the rhythm of not just my running but my life.

I’m happy now:)

And that I will take over running a marathon any day.

be-happy-quotes

The Struggle is Real:)

For those who have been here you know that I’ve been struggling a little recently.  I could tell that I’ve been off both emotionally and physically.  I recently changed the way that I’ve been taking my medicine and I think the change is working.    I was waking up and taking my thyroid medicine, 2 of the 8 calcium pills that I take during the day, and another pill to help my body to absorb the calcium.   It now appears that when my thyroid was removed, my parathyroid glands were damaged or have decided they need an extended vacation.   There is a chance they could still bounce back and start working but it seems unlikely at this point.  Surgery was 3 months ago and most people are back to normal within two  weeks.   My doctor did say in rare cases it could take up to 6 months, but I’m not hopeful at this point.

My last blood work showed that my calcium was just under the normal limit.   This got me thinking that maybe I shouldn’t be taking everything at once in the morning.   I’ve never been a pill or medicine person, so maybe it was just too much for my body.   After talking to my pharmacist, I implement the change.   It has only been going on two weeks, but I really think it is making a difference.   I guess we will see when I go for my blood count again in two weeks.  I already think my calcium will be on target with the changes or at least I hope so.   I can tell my nails are not as brittle, but I’ve still got really dry skin.  Your guess is as good as mine.

And you thought calcium was just for strong bone and teeth.   Who knew calcium was so important?  Not me.  Live and learn.   It is important for a whole host of reason.

I do think though even if I have to tweak the calcium dosage that my thyroid levels should be good.   My doctor upped my dose a month ago and I think that those levels will be on target.   I have more energy.   I am also starting to get  back to my old self which I think getting back into my old routine is helping with.   I’m paying attention.

So what is that routine….

I’m still not where I was, but the good news is I don’t need to be there right now.   Since I wisely switched from the NJ Marathon to the Half Marathon, I don’t feel the need to push myself to the 40 miles a week I was running presurgery.   I do hope to build to a 20 to 25 a week, but I’m in no hurry.  My goal for NJ Half is just to finish.  Period.  End of Story.

Now that I’m looking forward, I also want to take time to reflect on my 2016 and how I fared.   This will allow me to FINALLY see what goals if any I want to set this year.   I’ll let you know how that goes tomorrow.

un-slumping

 

 

The Little Runner that Could

One of my boys favorite books when they were little was The Little Engine That Could.   That feel good story about a little train who knew he could get over the mountain and did.   We can all learn from that little blue train.

little-engineSeriously.

How many times do we talk ourselves out of something before we even attempt it?   Believing you can do something will push you to at least try.   Doubting that you can do it will make you say, “What is the point?”    We need to take a lesson from the little blue engine.   Now I’m not saying just because I start chanting, “I think I can.   I think I can.” am I going to  be able to run a sub 3 marathon.   What it does mean though is that if I set a somewhat realistic goal like a sub 4:30, I might be able to do it with lots of hard work.   It’s all abut knowing where you are and pushing yourself to do the things that might be just a little bit hard.

It’s about going out of your comfort zone.

Today I pushed myself out of the relatively comfy running I’ve been doing.   I decided that I needed to push myself from where I am today not 4 months ago.

You know what?

It was a good run.

I had a plan.   I wanted to do 5 miles.   I wanted to push myself to run faster than I have been lately which has been in the mid 11’s.   I also wanted to get back to controlling my pace and not letting it control me.

5-miles

It might not look like it, but I felt like I took control back today.   My goal was a warm up mile, 2 miles at 10:30, 1 at 10:15 and 1 at 10:00.   Then I came home and took the dog for a mile walk to cool down.   So I actually got in 6 miles today!

What was different about today’s run.   I went into in knowing it was going to be hard.   It was hard.   What surprised me though is that after I started running I actually tweaked my plan to these paces shaving off 10 seconds for each mile.    Even then I did feel like I had to hold back and I had to keep myself in check.   Overall it was a good run and it was a good confidence booster.

It might have been just what I needed.

I think I can.

I think I can.

I will.

Nothing to Prove; Nothing to Loose

maya-angelou-quotes

There is a lie that I’ve been telling myself.   I think it’s a lie that many runners tell themselves.   I’ve been thinking that I haven’t been working hard enough because I’m not working as hard as I used to.   But it is a lie, it is a bold faced lie.  I’ve been comparing paces and distances to last year when I was at my peak.  I am far from my peak now.  I have been getting out there.   I have been getting things done.   Putting in miles.   Then when I was out on a run last week, I had an epiphany…

I have been telling myself an even bigger lie.  The biggest lie of all….

Ready…

Here it goes.

Ready for the truth?

I don’t want to train for a marathon right now.

Now, I don’t mean the, “Oh, I wish I didn’t have to run 12 miles tomorrow.”   I mean I just don’t want to train for a marathon right now.  I  just don’t have the drive or desire right now to push myself the way I should be to train for a marathon.   I have no doubt that I could push myself to be ready to run a marathon in April.   The real crux of it is that I don’t want to do it.    I’ve got a whole host of reasons why it would be good to push myself to do it, but I also have a whole host of reasons why right now is not the time to push myself either.

The bottom line is that I have nothing to loose and nothing to prove.  I am just not feeling it.   I know with training that I could do it.   I just don’t want to do it.   I know this is a shocking thing.   It is shocking to me too.

Runners are a funny group.   We will run through injury.   We will push our bodies past the point of sanity.    We are always thinking, I’ve got to go bigger, faster, further.    I’ve been there and I’m sure I will be there again.    There is nothing wrong with that line of thinking.   Just as there is nothing wrong with recognizing that sometimes we need for various reasons to slow down, to not go as far, and just enjoy running for running.

After writing this post, I went to the NJ Marathon site and changed my registration from the marathon to the half-marathon.   I thought that I would feel sadness.   Feel like a sense of failure or something.   I felt none of that.   I felt a sense of relief.   I felt a release of pressure.    As I said before, I’ve got nothing to loose and nothing to prove to myself or anyone else.  I also don’t want to push myself to the point where running is no longer something that I enjoy.

Sometimes it is best to take a step back and that is what I plan on doing.

Have you stepped back?

 

 

It Seems So Far Away

So I thought that I should really start looking at my NJ Marathon Training plan.   Even though I am not running for a PR, I still need to be able to complete it. 26.2 miles don’t just happen.   It seems so far away, but when I get my handy dandy calendar out to count out the weeks I see that I am officially in marathon training.

13 weeks.

How did that happen?   I know that seems so far away, but it’s not. I’m ok with it though.   I think because of how I’m going into this marathon.  Either way, this weekend I will fine tune as in print out or really look at where I should be in my training.    I went out for 6 miles today.   Felt good, but I did do some walking.   What was interesting is that I didn’t stop my watch for walking.   I did stop it when I had to take a phone call and fix my shoe, but I kept it going otherwise.    My fiend that I was running with stopped her watch.

Now disregard the trouble I was having in the beginning as I was trying to fix my setting.   Anyway, as I’ve said before I plan to keep my watch running during training for my reality check.    Now I do like the second picture better and the splits looks o much prettier, but that is not where I am right now.   Although even with walking you can see we weren’t doing so badly and we only walked less than .4 miles.   Probably a lot less than the beginning of the month.   Even with the walking though I was pushing it as can be shown with my heart rate.

heartMy heart rate was up and actually in the red zone for training for 54% of the run.   I think that is a good run.   I actually felt good  today cardio wise.   The reason I wanted to walk was that yesterday I did cross training on the bike and my legs felt it on hills today.    I’ve still got to figure out which days I will be doing what.   I need to have an idea so that I don’t work my legs cross training before the day I’m going to do a long run.

Either way, I’m very happy.   I feel like I’ve been making progress.   I feel like I’m getting stronger.   Plus I am upping my thyroid medicine not for training but because my TSH levels show it needs to be raised.   Anyway this will only help me not just in training but overall.  Maybe then I won’t need a nap by the end of the day that I never seem to be able to take.  I think that is more about staying up too late and being a mom of 3 though.

Either way things are coming together.

How’s your training going?

 

Nothing to Prove; Nothing to Loose

Ok this isn’t entirely true.  As with millions of others, I do have a little bit to loose after the holidays.   Who after indulging all through the holiday’s didn’t notice their buttons on their jeans a little harder to snap?   Come on, hands in the air!

Although not counting calories nor going on a diet as I hate those things, I am making better choices.   Getting back to adding more fruits, veggies, and better meals into my weeks.   That being said, if I want to have french toast with whipped cream and banana foster I will.

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I did.

I still think that once I’m back into my new running/exercise routine things will fall back into place.  NO you can’t exercise away a bad diet, nor is it a good idea to train and run a marathon on crap food.   So as I start fueling with better things, I start running more miles, and I start adding cross training the jeans will start to feel better:)   I went to the doctors yesterday and got on the dreaded scale.   I’ve got my reality check.   I go back in two months, so I will know how things are going.    It’s called eating for life.

I’m getting energized about my exercise plan too.   Too often many of us do nothing but run.   I am pretty guilty of this.   But there is more to training than running.   I know, scandalous.    I’ve just finished reading Mastering the Marathon, Time-Efficient Training Secrets for the 40-plus Athlete.   Well that’s me!   Had a lot of great information.   One of the things that I really am going to embrace is the use of brick workouts.  I have decided for the NJ Marathon, my goal is not a specific time goal.   This will make training a lot less stressful and allow me a lot of wiggle room.   My goal will be to finish and finish well.   Since this is the first marathon where I am 100% on my own for my training, I would like to use this training time as a way to find out what works for me.   I am going to try different things – brick work outs, possibly less miles since I will be doing brick workouts, and lots of cross training.   Then I plan to take the things that I learn from NJ and take that to my Chicago training.

Living

Learing

Moving on

 

Pushing on

Starting is hard.   Starting over is just as hard.

Really.

Yes, the first time you try something it is hard.   But the beauty is that there are no expectations.   Your going to give it a shot and see what happens.   Your expectations are just to do the best you can and get the job done.   It is hard.  It is painful.   There are doubts.   The trick is just to keep pushing on.

The problem with coming back from an injury or a break is that you have expectations.   You know what your body is or was capable of doing.   You remember how something that is so difficult now was easy just a few months ago.   It is hard.   It is painful.   There are doubts.   The trick is just to keep pushing on.

It’s been a few weeks now.    It is amazing to me how quickly the body falls apart (ok not really, but it feels that way).   It is amazing how something that took years to develop can feel like it disappears in a matter of months.    I’ve been happy that I have been getting out and getting some runs in.I’ve been steady.   I’ve been lucky that I’ve got a great group of friends to get out the door with.  I will say that I that my goal for right now is just to slowly and steadily build up.   Yes, I know that technically I am in marathon training now, BUT….

My goal right now is just to start back strong.    To come back smart.   The longest run I’ve done yet this year is 5 miles and I’ve only had one of them.   I walk when I feel I need to, but even then I keep the watch going.   I want to keep track of my real progress.   You know what?   Considering I’m coming back from 2 months of no running or any activity, I think I’m doing ok.   As of now, I am not putting any pressure on for the NJ Marathon.   I am happy that I am registered, because that is helping to get me out the door.   Come April I will be ready.   I may not be ready for the elusive 4:30, but I will be able to get the job done.

Right now, my goal is to run 4 days a week with 2 cross training days and one full sit on my behind rest day.   I’m still working out the schedule, but that seems like a good enough plan for right now.   As the weeks go by and I regain some of my former aerobic level and don’t feel like I’m not going to die while I’m out for a run then it will be time to revisit and revise.   This seems like a reasonable goal and plan.   Each run sucks just a little less and I actually did do one 3 mile run at a brisk pace.   So I’ll take it.

I think the trick weather your just starting out, coming back, or just going through a rough patch is just to keep pushing through.   Really what choice do you have?    If you stop then what are you left with?   Regrets and we all know how much they suck.  So I guess that means I will just keep on pushing on.

fit-stop-giving-up

What is the longest break you had before coming back?