Running with a purpose

I am no longer running the Chicago Marathon. This decision was not an easy one to make. I have hemmed and hauled for the past few months. The runs have not been easy. All of the long runs felt like I was getting a root canal.  Physically, I am exhausted. Averaging 4 hours of severely broken sleep is probably the reason. It feels almost like those newborn days again where I was only sleeping in 30-45 minute increments. Mentally, as of now, I can’t even see getting through a 5 mile run let alone 26.2 miles. Every week I would stare at my Hal Hidden schedule and feel angry that I would need to somehow get in 17 mile run. This is not the type of runner that I am. Not one that forces myself to run no matter what. Running was a stress relief for me not a stress inducer. being undertrained and overemotional is not how I want to be at the start line.

My dear friends daughter passed away on August 13 from a year long battle with Ewing’s Sarcoma. P was on hospice for 4 weeks prior to her death. My heart is broken. I am angry, sad, depressed and kind of still in shock.

Giving myself grace, patience and letting go of anything that is causing me more stress is severely needed at this time. There is no doubt in mind that I will run another marathon- someday- just not one in 45 days…. and I am ok with that.  Now it is time to run for my broken heart, soul and spirit.

Until we meet again, Chicago.

 

P.M.S.? ( post marathon sadness)

Chicago marathon was 50 days ago. Since this, I have been in a funky funk. Sad. Lethargic. Depressed. Tired. Sick. Unmotivated.Just Blaaahhhhhhhhhhhh.

At first, I was beyond excited to sleep in. Not hearing the alarm go off at 4:3oam was so very nice. Running in snow, rain, and the humidity was a true testament to how bad I wanted to accomplish my goal of running a marathon. I could stay up to watch Jimmy Fallon and not stress about only getting 4.5 hours of sleep. Weekends were no longer structured around ” Momma’s long run”.

Laundry was no longer filled with shorts, sports bras, socks, compressions, tanks, jackets, hats, and visors. ( For running being advertised as “not needing much but a good pair of shoes” kinda sport, I sure have a hella lotta stuff!)

My Garmin went dead for the first time in 14 months. I actually lost my charger. Found it last week. We are back in business.

I lost touch with some of my BRF’s. We were no longer texting every hour updating on whatever we were talking about during the latest long run. My bitmojis haven’t been used nearly enough.

My oh my. I have gained 10 lbs- easy- from the lack of running and just allowing myself to pretty much eat and drink whatever the heck I have wanted. My pants with zippers are retired and out comes the leggings. I feel unhealthy and very out of shape. Something has to give. How did this body run a marathon 50 days ago?!?!?!

I have ran 4 times since the marathon. The longest distance was 4 miles. The others were 3, 3, and 2. Not breaking any mileage records.

Today, I got up at 5:30am.  Not too early but much earlier than my 50 days of waking up at  7:05am ( or later on the weekends). This gives me 10 minutes before M gets up for school. I was smart enough to have my clothes laid out last night. I do not even remember putting in my contacts. I stumbled out the door and decided to stick close to home and run a 1 mile loop 3 times . My pace was awful. My legs felt like I have never ran a day in my life. My shoes felt like the bottoms were falling out. It was not pretty at all BUT I did it. The first run after a hiatus is either simply amazing, like no time has past or like the run I had this morning.

I started making excuses for the shitty run. ” I didn’t have coffee.  Music always makes me focus ( I left the music at home because it was 5:45am and I am scared of freaky clowns jumping out of bushes. This is a real thing here in Ohio. Insanity). I do better if my body is more awake. Friends make every run better (#truth). I should have had some breakfast”. The excuses continued.

All of sudden, I stopped my Garmin.  I had less than a mile left. I took 5 deep yoga deep breaths and decide to turn off my Garmin. I knew the general idea of where a mile was. Focusing on my pace was digging me deeper down the rabbit hole.  I went by feel and not expectation. Instead of focusing on my concrete legs and the muffin top squeezing over my too tight capri tights, I started to realize how incredibly beautiful the run was. It rained all night long and the smell of the rain mixed in with the fall leaves… amazing. The temperature was 52 degrees in Cleveland ( Westside) at the end of November. I was up before my entire house. This was MY time. Before I am ” Momma. Sherri. Babe. Mrs.Coleman”.

This is what I need. I NEED to run. Running is a part of me now. It makes me- me. The break was nice. Sleeping in and eating /drinking whatever I wanted was simply spectacular but returning to what makes me whole is going to be even better.

Here is to 4:30am wake up calls to embrace whatever is waiting for me outside the front door in order for me to face whatever is waiting for me when I return.

Happy running and run happy!

Has anyone else experienced P.M.S.? If so, what did you do to get out of it?

Done… Next.

Please add marathoner to my stack of “hats” that I wear.  I did it.  I completed The Chicago Marathon on 10.9.16 coming in at 04:35:26

There are days that I wake up and still can not believe that I get to cross “run a marathon” off of my list. The year of training was hard. Early than earlier mornings. Running in the heat, snow and rain. Overcoming an injury that took me out of training for 2 weeks. It seems like a blur but also like such a long year. I could not have done this with our the support of my husband, family and friends. Running was all that I talked about and really, all that I wanted to talk about.

After you run a marathon, people want to know if you will be “one and done”. I knew the minute I crossed that finish line that I will do another (several). I am already looking forward to running Chicago again next year ( if I am lucky to get picked in the lottery) and maybe /likely a spring marathon as well ( pending the winter weather). The mental and physical demands that I placed on my body was overwhelming. The fact that my mind and body responded so very well to 90% of the training made me feel like this is what I am supposed to be doing.

Now, I am not winning any medals with my time but that’s not why I am a runner. Some people run for competition. Thats not me. I run for stress relief and to bond with some of my dearest friends that I would not have met if not for running. I run to give my body what it needs and deserves. I run to be a better me not to be better than someone else.

I have only ran 1 mile since the marathon. My husband and I took a vacation to Mexico the day after the marathon. Since being home, I have done a few short yoga sessions while G naps. I think I just needed a little break from the early morning wakeups and the training schedule demanding from me what to do that day. There is no doubt that I will get back at running soon.

Run happy. Run always.

PS- This is my gal pal and one of my BRF, Krista.  We ran the entire marathon side by side. This was her third marathon and she PR’d!  I will write more on her later 🙂

Ps k-and-i

 

Calf strain scare.

Chicago Marathon is 26 days away.  I had a left calf strain due to dancing in my kitchen a few Thursday mornings ago in hopes to making a not so happy 2 yr old laugh.  The dancing was not anything crazy. Not even one of my signature moves.  Just a little side shuffle action to the microwave and then towards Grant.

At first I felt a “POP”.  Thinking it was nothing, I limped myself outside to see if I go run to the stop sign and back ( maybe 1000 ft). My left leg was not having it. I could not even get 3 strides in.  I immediately sent a text to my BRFs and told them what had happened.   ” Ice now. Elevate. Put on your compression stocking”.  I did all the above and then got G to the back up sitters so I could not move. I iced my ass off. Called my PCP. Scored an appointment for the next day. Did X-ray. Got diagnosis. Scheduled appointment with ortho/sports med doc. Iced my ass off some more.

Hubby took the kiddos away for Labor Day weekend and I stayed back so I could continue to RICE. Took the rest of the week off as well and followed up with ortho PA.  PA told me to rest for another week BUT I was allowed to ride my bike fro 20-30 minutes as well as do some calf exercise.  Two weeks off completely right before my first marathon was mentally challenging.  I was a bag of emotions and just generally felt like I had a black cloud over my head.

Yesterday, I had another follow up with my girl. My lady. My favorite sports med doc in the entire world. She is a runner. And a mom. And just an amazing human being.  Doc has ran over 20 marathons. After the initial physical exam, I was cleared to run. Doc then sat down with me along with my ratty marked up Hal Higdon Novice 2 marathon training plan that has been hanging on my fridge since May and helped me.  She laid out for my what the next 26 days should look like in the “if I were you…”. Now, this week, I need to concentrate on the warm up and cool down as well as foam rolling. Icing after the run and at night is also a part of the plan. I was given heel gel supports to wear in my shoes for the short runs in order to absorb some of the shock that my calves would be taking on.

We ended this appointment by her telling me some encouraging words given the fact that this is my first marathon.  She asked that I email her after the marathon to let her know how I did. ( Goal is just to finish standing upright).

While being off for two weeks was a total mental f*ck, I am happy to say that not running made me realize how much I need to run.  Every area of my life just felt off.

After the appointment, I rushed home, put on my running gear and hit the pavement.  Run felt wonderful. I felt strong and proud. I also took the time to give gratitude to my body.

26 days until my life will no doubt be changed.

Happy and healthy running!

calf

8 ( because it is my favorite number) things that I did not expect when I first started running with a group

1. I talk about everything and I mean everything with my running partners. Who knew you would be sharing deep dark dirt with gals that you merely have only met a year or two ago  (sometimes less than that). We have covered some pretty hefty topics in 5 , 10, or  14 miles that I have just grazed with dear hubby of almost 15 years.

2. You become obsessed with them reaching their goals almost more so than your own. Recently, I went away on a girls weekend with two of my non-running friends ( I am shocked they still wanna hang with me as running is my hot topic and all conversations lead back to me talking about running somehow…) and some of my dear running group friends were running a half marathon. I could not stop logging in to FB to see how they were doing. I also signed up to get text updates for a few of them.  Their victories are mine along with their losses. To be able to feel so ecstatic or so sad shows the depth of the relationship that has developed over the miles.

3. I am shocked at my ability to get up at 4:30am to meet these ladies for a run. If I try getting up at this time to go for a run by myself, it doesn’t happen. I have tried it. Even today. Set the alarm for 5am. Snoozed multiple times.  Because of this, I have already  lined up  3 “early bird” runs for this week with my alarm set for 4:15am. Not only do I get to catch up with some of my BRFs, I get my run in before the sun and kiddos are up.

4. You fall in to peer pressure… but the good kind. Plank challenge for 30 days straight. Sure! Can you run this half marathon with me? Ok! Lets do that 5k that is setting up after we just ran 8 miles and its hot has horse balls out. No problem! This actually just happened this past Saturday with my BRF Leslie. We were super tired and hot but we heard the 5k fee was for youth summer camp ( and we also paper, rocked, scissored- which in my opinion- is the best way to decide anything.).  They actually postponed the race for us so we could sign up and pay. SO much fun.  I even came in 3rd in my age division. Ok- so there were only like 15 people and I really wasn’t going that fast but I will take my 3rd place yellow ribbon proudly and mail it off to my whoirun4 buddy, Jacob. In fact, I thought the time said 24:38 and that we were going to break 25 minutes ( which is a summer goal I have for myself). Nope. The sweat got in my eyes and I could not see.  The time was actually 28: something. This just makes this spur of the moment 5k an even better memory.

5. You recruit other people to become a part of your running group because it is simply the best running group ever with the most supportive woman you will ever find.  I also belong to another running group and it is nationally known but to be honest, I am not a huge fan. They are very competitive (not my gig) and kinda bitches ( in my honest opinion). I am sure that they feel the same about their running group as I do mine.

6. You have this need to want to try to merge your running friends with your non running friends but you need them both for different reasons. Separate but equal. I love you both the same but in different ways.

7. The support goes beyond running. You are getting a divorce- how can I help? Need a new job- let me pass along your resume. Looking for a sitter- my teenage daughter is available. Where should we go on vacation? Belize for sure. I think my two year old is turning into a bully. Mine as well. Can I borrow your fancy black dress for this wedding I don’t want to go to? Of course!  The network is strong and build on a solid trusting foundation.

8. You can swear and bitch about your husband (not you of course sweetie), kids, jobs, in laws ( but not mine as they are truly the best), the rude stranger at the store, why in the hell is milk $5, lack of motivation, fell of the nutrition wagon ( again for the the third time this week), etc and after you are done, you feel better. Lighter. Less angry. More human.

Running is cheaper than therapy (except when you go to your favorite local running store to just buy new shoes and walk away with a new hat, socks, visor, nutrition, and whatever inspirational book they are promoting).

What do you love most about your running crew? group running

Finding the flowers amongst the weeds.

To say that the last two months the Universe has been testing me is an understatement. Now, I am aware that many other humans are suffering and going through shit storms that do not even compare to what I feel has been a trying time. Please note, that my perspective and disposition is typically Positive Polly although I do (sometimes) show my old  “waiting for the bottom to fall out” circa embryo to about 5 years ago.

I will not go through the entire list that keeps circulating in my head when I think back to the beginning of May to the present.  That will only make this time stay with me longer. Reliving and giving these events more energy is just like feeding a Gremlin after midnight.

Earlier this week, I met my yoga teacher/gal pal E for a short 3 mile run, dinner and drinks. E is my safe zone. I am my authentic self. Sometimes 100% crazy oversharing me. Sometimes the positive polly. Sometimes negative nancy. Sometimes quiet. One of the several traits that I admire about E is that she “gets on my level”. She listens with no judging when needed and sometimes judging when I ask her too. E and I were talking about how much we love “Hands Free Mama”. After we read this blog, while wiping the tears from our eyes and snot from our nose, this blogger gives us the motivation to become a little bit more. More patient. More loving. More real.  E sent me the link to one of her favorite “Hands Free Mama”posts.  It came at a perfect time. My new mantra after reading this is to find the flowers amongst the weeds.

 

Weed: My Uncle Gary took his final breath May 9th. He was 59 years old.

Flower: Besides no more suffering ( severe depression, CHF, COPD, diabetes), my cousin has returned to our hometown to live  in order to handle the path of destruction that my Uncle left behind. J, cousin that returned, was not doing so hot. Drinking to numbness became a daily (not nightly) occurrence.  J recognized this and took himself to AA. The strength to do this is admirable. I am not sure J would have came home without his passing. J would have stayed in his current situation and the spiral would have continued.

Weed: My Grandmother took her final breath June 4th. She was 89 years old.

Flower: Again, beside no more suffering ( Alzheimers, renal failure) and living in a nursing home that she despised, this side of my family has re-united after not much contact for the past 5-30 years ( depending on which family members/ different relationships). We all look older but the same personalities still shine through. Personalities and dispositions are timeless. Sharing what life has been like ( marriage, kids, divorce, marriage again, more kids, troubles with the law, getting clean from meth, retiring, moving, grandchildren) were just some of the lives that we have lived that none of us knew about. My hope is that this death has now brought life to our family again.

Weed: Earlier mornings. Later nights. Less “fun” ( I am being very picky with who I spend my time with and the events I attend).

Flower: I am training for my first marathon.( Eek. Gulp.OMG.) 4:30am is my alarm for tomorrow. Yes it is a Saturday and the Cavs are playing. I am finishing this post ( and my beer) and hitting the hay. Training for this marathon will keep me disciplined and I am only choose events that I truly want to go too. My BRFs are telling me that this training will be life altering. I can see this already. If it was not for running right now, I think I would be a hotter mess. Thank you to my body for holding me up when all I want to do is lay down.

Some more weeds have occurred in my flower bed but from now on, I am only admiring the growing, prospering and beautiful blooms.

 

 

1:56:49

It has been well over a month since my first half marathon of the season.  Glass City (Toledo, OH) was the half that I selected to conquer my goal of a sub2. The running group that I am so happy to be a part of (FTR… which means finish the race OR depending on how awful in is, F*ck this Race!) sets goals every January for the upcoming year.  For me the goals were 1) sub2 2) run a half for fun without considering goal time or pace 3) run a half at a steady pace the entire time  and 4) run a marathon .  It brings me joy to report goals 1 and 2 are complete!  Glass City was amazing.  1:56:49 was my time.  A friend from FTR, I call her Boston Nancy, paced me.  Nancy is a rockstar.  She knew just what to say and when to say it.  She talked me off the ledge miles 9.5-11. I am not sure what happens, but every single time I near 10 miles, even on a training run, my mind starts wigging out and then my body follows. Once I get past 11, I am gravy for the next 2. In fact, I have a tendency to speed up the last 2 miles.

Goal #2 was the Cleveland half.  I signed up for this with my gal pal/yoga teacher Erica 1 week before the race.  We wanted to do the CLE half  because we both love the little neighborhoods that CLE tucks away.  CLE half was my very first half marathon May 2012. It has a super cozy spot on my heart. Also, it is usually down right HOTTTTTT to the point that many people have passed out or have ended up in the medic tent due to dehydration. Not this year.  This year it was 30 degrees and  I am not kidding when I tell you, we witnessed all possible weather conditions in 13 miles.  On the way to downtown, we saw 8 cars in the ditch due to freezing rain/hail/ice.  Did I mention, that I also had strep throat?  Did I also mention that my uncle had died 4 days prior?!?!?!?  I was a hot cold mess.  Despite all of the above, we just took our sweet ole time.  We stopped at every water stop. We assisted a fellow runner who was pushing a girl with Rhetts syndrome.  We were literally removing hail and snow from this poor girls face while trying to wrap her up in dry trash bags.  E is in the type of person who just radiates calmness and good vibes.  If I do not see my friend weekly, I feel off. She balances me and makes me,me ( if that makes sense.). Our finish time was somewhere in 2:32ishhh range.  By far the slowest BUT the most rememberable race to date.

Goal #3- I have a half marathon in mind for this in the Fall.

Goal #4- Chicago marathon training started this morning.  7 miles at 8am.  Holy Shitballs batman.  It was ROUGH. Like- consider “why in the hell am I even a runner ” rough. I am so very thankful I had my sole sister Leslie with me. We were both on the struggle bus today.  Legs felt sloppy. Humidity was insane. Stomach was uneasy. Yesterday, M (6) and I did a lady tutu 5k but we did a run/walk combo so I don’t think that was it.  We did also take a bike ride and I mowed the lawn as well as helped lay some mulch. I didn’t feel sore. I felt outside of  myself. Like my body was foreign to me. So weird. Hoping to never experience this again.

The last few months I have been sick. I have had allergies, strep throat, and bronchitis with croup ( all diagnosed by the doc and treated with different meds). Because of this, my running, eating, sleeping, and hydration has been off. Todays run proved to me just how serious I need to get.  A marathon is a major event and proper training needs to take a priority in my life. Giving 100% is all I can do. I want to stand at the starting line knowing I gave it my all. Speaking of.. I better get off here and go drink some water.

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.