Just me and Hal for the next 12 weeks

Oh wow. It has been a long time since I wrote a post. I had a few saved but I just did not get excited about finishing either one of them. This post will be about running because if you know me… talking running always gets me excited!

Yesterday was the beginning of the first training cycle for me. Cleveland Half Marathon is #1 on the list which takes place in May. I am not sure yet what my goal will be. Maybe I will have a better idea once the miles start to pick up. Breaking 1:55 would be amazing but I also need to be honest with myself. I have truly rested the last 4 months with a few runs a week here and there. Sickness has plagued me and my family. Glad that we are all on the other side of it.

I do have  few goals for the next 12 weeks. Writing them here to keep myself accountable.

  1. Cross train. For real. Not just one time. Every week. I am following Hal Higdon’s Intermediate 1 training plan which has cross training for Mondays. I can do this.
  2. Strength training. I want to do this Thursday’s.  Run in the morning and then strength train in the evenings.
  3. Stretch. Especially after anything over 5 miles.
  4. Hydrate like a mofo before and after  long runs.
  5. Cut down on the booze. Once a week should be enough.
  6. Run in new places even if this means traveling 45 minutes- 1 hour away.
  7. Read 2 books that are running related.
  8. Yoga. Once a week.
  9. Treat myself to a massage. I still have not gotten one for the marathon back in October.
  10. Hit up the trails a few times. Maybe even do a trail 5-10k. Just for fun. No time expectations at all.

I have got my training plan hanging on the fridge and I know my darling daughter will check it every day to see what I need to accomplish!

Whatever you are training for, may this training cycle be filled with fun, love for the sport and NO INJURIES!

Happy running, friends!

 

 

Ruminating

Another year has passed by so ever swiftly. I  make a conscience effort of  not living in the past but I do feel it is important to look back on the good, the bad and the ugly. This, for me, develops a stepping stone on areas of needed growth as well as holding some joy for the breathtaking moments that I will be sure to conjure up all my remaining living days.

Here is what I have learned in 2016.

-I need time by myself.  Neglecting this results in a pissed off mom, resentful wife and a not engaged friend. Furthermore, I need this daily. Gs nap time is such a precious piece of my day. This is my time to reboot and do whatever it is that I need to do. Nap. Read. Declutter. Watch a pointless TV show. Bake. Mediate. Sit outside in the quiet. I am well aware that the nap will be making an exit soon but knowing just how important this is to my being, I just know an alternative will be found. Waking up early in the morning to have some “me” time is also critical. I have to start my day before the kiddos rise. Christmas break was a wonderful respite and we did sleep in every single day. Now that school is back in session, my goal is to be up at least 1 hr ahead of everyone else. This ensures I get to have a hot cup of coffee, mediate and make my to do list.

-Running is part of who I am and denying this piece of me leads to toxic behavior. Truth be told, I still get giddy, nervous butterflies everytime I lace up. Sometimes more than others. I think this is because of the anticipation of what the run will bring for me. Sometimes it is a struggle with every single step. Others runs, it feels like I am an Olympian that could run an ultra without even trying. Every run is different and teaches a new lesson. After running the Chicago Marathon, I took a 3 month break from running ( well, everything). I ran maybe 4 times. These 4 times were social events just to see some of my dear running friends. Luck was on my side and I did get in the 2017 Chicago Marathon. To be honest, I did take a few weeks to contemplate if I wanted to do another marathon. Marathon training is intense. Other areas of my life go away. Resting, eating proper foods and following a strict training schedule dominates who I am for 10 months. Dear hubby is the lead duck on the weekends ( especially when the long runs hit the 15, 16,1 7, etc mile marker). After much consideration and even some daily praying, I want to run Chicago again. Running another marathon is good for me- body, mind and soul.

-I think I had a social media addiction. Facebook would be the first thing I did when I woke up and the last thing I did before bed. I would feel left out of the loop if I did not stay logged in and aware of what all my 200+ “friends” were doing. Kiddos and hubby would not get the full me because I was distracted by some other persons life other than being engaged in my own. The hours wasted on this makes me want to throw up. Guilt is still present. For lent a few years ago, I gave up Facebook and I remember reading so many books with the free time that I had.  While most of 2016 I was logged in, I am proud to say that the last few months I have definitely cut back on my social media time significantly. Enforcing a time limit has helped and some days I deem as no Facebook days.This makes me feel less cluttered and more engaged at home. I am now also excited to actually see friends and family because I have not seen every facet of the past 3 months documented on a timeline. The only reason why I do not think I will give up Facebook completely is because of my irun4buddy, Jacob. This is how we communicate and I post for him my runs with pictures, jokes, etc.

-The election brought up some hidden demons that have been a part of me for 30 years. I do not and will not get political now but I have to admit, I was shocked at what surfaced. It also provoked conversations, internal and external, on how to raise a daughter vs a son. I am still working through all of this and I think I will be for a while. Self reflection is a good thing.

-Following a vegan diet is best for MY body. I have dabbled in being vegan on and off for a few years now. When I am 100% on the “V train”, I feel my best. I get better sleep. My skin looks freaking amazing. I actually cut about 30-45 seconds off of my overall pace. My clothes fit. I have a sex drive. All and all, vegan is best for me. I am not a preachy vegan. I truly believe that everybody needs to find what works best for their body. My one friend swears by Paleo. Her results are the same as when I am vegan.  For the last 5 months, I have kinda eaten anything that I have wanted too. The results are not pretty. I hit the resist button a few days ago and I already feel amazing. This is a work in progress for me but knowing what makes me feel the best is such a huge step.

-Cancer truly does suck. Seeing one of best friends get up everyday and help her daughter fight is heartbreaking and sometimes even takes the breath from my lungs. To continue to see just how brave, resilient and strong P is, is inspirational. This also keeps her parents going ( at least on most days) and fighting the good fight. Some days the diagnosis seems unreal. The desire to skip all of this and to get back to “normal” is an overwhelming feeling. P is here to teach us all. The lesson is not yet revealed but I know it will be. Maybe it is to be more grateful, more loving, more resilient. Maybe its all of that. Or none. To be a witness to so much strength will forever be life changing.

2017 brings with it a much clear perspective on goals that I want to accomplish. Instead of running on the hamster wheel or having most days feel like groundhog day, I feel clarity, focused and determination.

Cheers to the New Year! Hoping 2107 brings to you whatever is needed in order for your life to be amazing!

 

 

Time marches on

I will not throw time away doing things that are not contributing to me being my best self

Week 7 of marathon training is under way. Run, eat, “mom”, rest and repeat. The miles that I am logging is certainly taking a toll on my body. My feet have even grown and I cannot longer fit into any of my size 7.5 shoes.  Weird.

Saturdays long run is the focus on my entire week regardless if it is a Monday morning or a Sunday night.  I am very blessed to have a core group of ladies that I run with.  The long run crew usually is the same for every Saturday. We take turns picking the route and location so we do not get bored with the same old scenery. My alarm clock is set for an hour before the sun even considers getting up. The increase in miles is making me take a closer look at all my nutrition and hydration. Tailwind is my #1 choice along with salt tablets. I think these salt tablets have saved me more runs than I even wanna know.  This week, we run 14 miles on Saturday. Weekly mileage is going to be at 29. I have  not done this amount of miles prior and not with the humidity at 80%. Besides Tailwind, I think I may start to experiment with some pretzels, fruit snacks and raisins during the run. Gatorade afterwards.

The hubby is full on support with these training runs and understands when I return on Saturdays, I may not be up for a zoo trip or a bike ride to the park to play. With the hours that he endures at his job ( it is not unusual for hubby to work 14-15 hrs multiple times a week), he gladly takes lead as chief parent on the weekends so I can run and more importantly, rest.

As I lay in bed after a long run and shower, the mom guilt starts to enter.  Sometimes I think perhaps I am sacrificing too much to complete this marathon. The increase in running  is taking away from something. I no longer want to be out past 9pm as most likely, I have a run to rest up for the next day.  The hours of 1-3pm usually provide me with a daily nap.  I have been taking advantage of napping since my alarm clock often goes off at 4:30am to make a 5am or 5:30am run through out the week. This is when my 2 yr old still naps and my 6 yr gets in her summer reading, homework and a little screen time.

Before marathon training, this time was for cleaning the house, organizing, meal prep and following up on email, texts, Facebook bullshit, etc. Now that this time is utilized for simple rest, I am starting to notice just whats important to me. I am more precious with my time. Spending 1 hr doing nothing on Facebook is no longer appealing. That is one hour that I could be spending doing something meaningful and productive. You never realize how quickly time goes when you think the time you have is endless.

If I were to get diagnosed with a life changing disease or terminal illness, I don’t think I would just waste my precious time. I think I would honor what I truly want to be doing. You somehow get sucked in to other peoples lives and forget that your own life is passing you by one status update after another.

I have expressed the guilt I am feeling with other runner friends and they remind me that taking the time to do something that I enjoy is worth every minute. I do still love running. Every run challenges me in different ways. There is always mental and physical barriers to break through. Life will always be busy. Is there a perfect time to train for a marathon? Kids, house, husband, family and friends will always need me ( and I am very happy about this!)

When I first started the marathon training, my running pal who has trained for 5 marathons, told me that the actual marathon will be tough but the 18 weeks training for the event will be the hardest part. Juggling the heat, sleep, work schedules and kids is no joke. That being said, we have managed for  7 weeks. Sure the floors are vacuumed a little less and I am kind of a bore when it comes to Friday night plans, but to me, this is how I want to spend my time.

Tackling this goal of a marathon is more important to me now then when I started training. The last few weeks, I have been barely getting my runs in. My focus was not on rest, nutrition and hydration. I would awake to feeling like I barely slept. I went to see my doctor. He told me that I was experiencing  adrenal fatigue syndrome. This happens when your adrenaline and cortisol levels are all out of whack and your adrenals are unable to produce enough hormones that you need. My doctor actually prescribed napping to me. He also ordered me to bed no later than 9pm every night. I am monitoring my food intake and also taking an adrenal herbal supplement. Overall, it will take a few months to even out, but I should feel noticeable better in a few weeks. I have completed one week of above treatment and I do feel a little bit better.

Time is my most valuable asset that I can give to myself and to the things that I love. I will no longer feel guilty for running and resting. This marathon training is a short time compared to the rest of my life. That being said, I will not throw time away doing things that are not contributing to me being my best self.

What are you doing or not doing with your time?Time-1

 

My kind of Town…. Chicago is….

Holy shit.  I awoke to an email today saying that I have gotten myself into the Chicago Marathon!  Dear hubby was a tad scared as out loud was saying ” Oh my gosh. Oh my gosh. I got in.  I am running Chicago”.  Then the tears of joy came. Then the tears of fear came. Then praising to God and being utterly grateful and thankful came.  As I write this, some 8 hours later, I am still in shock.  In 6 months time, I will be running one of the most amazing marathons in the world! It will be first and maybe even my last.  The journey that I will embark on while training for this event will be life changing.  What I take away and leave after running 26.2 miles will make an imprint on my life forever.

Before I start training for Chicago, I am going to shatter the hell out of Toledo Glass City half marathon on this Sunday.  My goal is sub2.  I have not ran a race half marathon in 3 years.  My friend and gal from my running group, Boston Nancy, is running with me.  She is an incredible mentor and I know with her encouragement, my goals will be reached.  Two of my besties will also be coming along to cheer me on as hubby needs to stay back with the gremlins!

Have you ever felt in your soul self that your life is on an amazing path?  This year will be one that I will replay in the nursing home for years to come.

Running on Empty

Yesterday afternoon, I busted out 10 miles. Truth be told, I had anxiety the entire week about this run.  While laying in bed yesterday morning, I had come up with at least 14 excuses to not run the 10 miles.  “Oh. Its SO cold out ( it was 30 degrees). My throat hurts.  I have enough time in my training so I can skip 1 long run. I can do my run Monday morning at 5am before anyone gets up”. Husband just let me say my excuses and he listened to me play this out loud.  Finally, I told him the truth.  I was scared of 10 miles.  Something about 10.  Being out of the single digits. More time on my feet.  “What if I forget how to run?  What I get cold, hungry, thirsty or tired?  What if I get kidnapped? What if I get hit by a falling tree?  The “What Ifs” in my mind were none stop.

Husband headed downstairs to fix fancy breakfast potatoes ( so very good!) and I had more time to really face my anxiety head on. Anxiety was fear. Fear of failing.  Not being good enough. The self imposed expectations that I had placed on myself were showing their ugly faces (again.) I started to do some soul searching about my relationship with running.  Is this healthy if it is causing me such a level of anxiety?  Running is such a part of who I am ( soul level speak here) that just like I can not imagine my life without husband, I can’t imagine my life without running.

Yesterday , I committed to myself to not live in fear of the “what if”.  Sure, some things are scary because they are new or uncharted territories but you don’t know, until you know.  Not to mention, I did sign myself up for the Chicago Marathon lottery. 10 miles has nothing on 26.2 miles! My current training is to hit sub2 at the half marathon I am running on April 24th.

A gal from my running group agreed to meet me for the run yesterday.  She was only supposed to run 6 but after I told her I had 10 to tackle, she said ” Ah. Whats 4 more!” The run was awesome. Amazing. Goal pace was 9:30. We crushed it.

This weeks intention before running… empty my negative thoughts, fears and doubts.  Right foot.Left foot. Repeat. 10miler