Run N Slug ’15 and Thyroid Strikes Back

Memorial Day Run and Slug 13k

This is the second time I have run this event, thought the course very familiar  as I use it as a training location because of its location and distance. I treated myself to a new shirt that will remain a thought in my head this summer and beyond, “Progress not Perfection”. My goal this year was to better my time from last year. My momma as always was there to wish me luck and off we went. The entire run was into a rather strong wind for here and I was very thankful for the water stops, at least the first lap around, they were non-existant the second time around, had I known I would have been prepared by dropping my own bottles. As I turned the corner heading up Ewing Fight Song came on and I began to cry, it’s been a really long, hard, emotional week for me and the words just pushed me. I felt pretty good, tired but I could see the stop light at the top of the hill and then I saw him. My dad. He’s never been to see me finish, and today he was there to see me finish, last again. 1:42:27, three minutes better than last year – however I think if I had, had water between miles 2.5 and 8 I would have done better. I own it. I’m good with it, it was progress and family made it perfection.

  
Thyroid Strikes Back...

When I was 22 I went through a period in life where I was thin without trying, hot all the time (99+), sleepless, a visible pounding chest, amid other symptons I didn’t give much attention to. I had to have a physical for new insurance so in I go la-tee-da and come out convinced I am going to die. Christmas Eve ’98 I learn I have Graves Disease, a hyperthyroid diagnosis. After two years of treatment I had to make the decision that I wanted to have kids and the medication I was on was on the pregnancy mom no list. So my first husband and I decided I would have I131 treatment, radioactive iodine. This was one of those things while it’s happening you think this is the stuff people fear…. a pill delivered by iron ball and a nurse wearing a hazmat suit, they open it up and hand you a plastic cup of water and expect you to take it barehanded – and then  the thought, s*** I have to swallow it.  It was too late so down the hatch. The next two weeks I avoided people like the plague – slept on cheap sheets we threw out, ate off paper plates, and even wiped the toilet clean after each use, why you ask? Because I was radiating!! That chemical was seeping out through my “secretions”. For another year I was on varying dosages of medication until I was diagnosed in remission!! With the advice that some day this would decline, as all functions do with age.

I went last year. .27-4.2 is the “normal range” mine, 4.2. I was concerned as I hadn’t been feeling my best, they didn’t do anything because it was normal, what they didn’t know is this was an increase from the previous result. Bring on fall…emotionally I begin to crumble, I want to run and can’t because I am so tired, start seeing a therapist because I feel like I am losing my mind….so last week my sister said, “how’s your thyroid?” I didn’t ever think this could have been a factor. Once a year to the Drz is a good idea anyhow, yeah I’m overweight, but my BP is normal, my RHR is lower than average, do you exercise? Ummm yeah training for a marathon and I love yoga. I mention to the Dr. the reason I am there and he orders bloodwork. Friday morning I get the results much sooner than I expected, 8.97 – WOAH right?! So what I suspected was happening happened, I now own the diagnosis of subclinical hypothyroidism. Medication for life. However in 6-8 weeks I should seee my symptoms begin to resolve. The thyroid controls all the endocrine system, it’s kinda a big deal.

 So life goes on, with a little relief that some of what I have been feeling isn’t just situational but based on a health warning issued 15 years ago.

Running with No Music

Last week I forgot my iPod at work one day and I dislike listening to music on my phone, it drains the battery and since I also forgot my watch, it’s a trend here, I was going to have to rely on run-keeper and that is a huge battery suck. I decided to run without music.

Music is huge to me, I have written about it several times. It stems I believe from my days in Martial Arts and the competitive training that was always set to music. I have learned to lean on it while I run, if my pace is off a bit I can choose a song to boost me, or if I start to think way too much I can turn it up louder, I find my sing-a-long aids in the passage of miles and meanings to me behind the songs I choose are with purpose.

So what if I didn’t have any music, what if it was just me and my thoughts….and I had a movie flashback to What Women Want and that scene with Helen Hunt as she tries to develop a slogan for Nike…the woman’s feet hitting the pavement, her letting go of whatever weighed her down because for that next mile or hour it was just her, the shoes and the road.

What if I embodied that mentality and it was running for me? So I listened.

It was evening, and at my house that means, barn owls, bull frogs, crickets, coyotes, the soft rustle of wind through the trees, a diesel truck heading up the road, the heartbeat in my ears, the bellow of the cows in the pasture just a quarter-mile away; the aroma of the day ending, yes it has a smell, the heat of the sun softening as it set over the hill. My feet. My shoes. My run. For me. My tears, crying seems to be all I do with regularity these days.

I owned those miles, just two. My feet still very sore from the half, and upon returning home realizing that I was not healed enough to run just yet. When I stopped did running without music really impact me at all…my pace was exactly what it normally is.

So maybe as an intermediate runner, which I now consider myself to be, given that I know way more about shoes, socks, chaffing, hydration, and pacing; the run so much isn’t about the progress as it is the process. I know I am never going to be a top finisher, I never set out to be, my body is not built for that; but maybe just maybe music isn’t always what I need when I am out there, maybe its the moment, those few precious moments when it’s just me, my shoes, my footfall on pavement, me letting go of what holds me back, my confidence that I know I am what I need to be for me.

Columbus or BUST

Today begins the unofficial official training plan for my first marathon, I say first because I plan on more than one. I scoured the internet for plans, groups, teams, clubs and realized I am more a loner than a “group” runner. Groups bring out my competitve nature and I am the only competition I need at this stage in my life. So I borrowed bits of plans and made my own.  

 

I’m not one to tempo, or sprint, I am more of the tortise slow and steady, increases gradually, listening to bodily cues more than a “regime”. I am realistic and know that life is going to prevent some of these days from happening, and I may come to a point where I don’t wanna but I know me and know how to push myself. Along with this plan comes a rededication to clean eating, I feel so much better over time when I gift myself healthy meals than the temporary pleasure I get from indulgent items, not to say I wont have a beer now and then, and chocolate well no one wants to see that me. Day by day I will get closer to my goals:

* finish the marathon in under 6 hours (secretly hoping for 5.5)

* drop this last 30# I have been battling for 3 years

* live upto my new found motto Everything is beautiful, and nothing hurt.

With my family behind me, my heart and head on the right path, a clear and concise vision I have no doubt that come October I will have made great strides physically, emotionally and in my relationships.

  

The Art of Being Done

I realized I am the only me I can be—and not being unapologetically true to myself is a disservice to my soul, I am done listening to the noise of the world. I realized the quiet voice of my own soul is the most beautiful sound.

 I am done questioning my motives, my intentions, the call of my soul. I realize questions seek answers, and maybe I already know the answers.

I am done striving, forcing, pushing through and staying on the hard path. I realize toughing things out might be a sign to pick another path.

I am done with friends that don’t understand I swim in the deep waters of life, I feel at home in their dark depths and die if I  lived on the surface.

I am done with the distractions, the denials, the small addictions that pull me away from the true desires of my soul. I realize that strength of character comes from focus and commitment.

I am done not following the desires that yell out in my soul every day. I realize if I do nothing about them, they die a quiet death that took a piece of my soul with them.

I realize the beverages created distortion and a temporary happiness that isn’t real and disappeared in the light of the day.

I am done trying to please everyone. I realized it can never be done.

I am done questioning myself. I realize my heart knows the truth and I need to follow it.

I am done analyzing all the options, weighing the pros and cons and trying to figure everything out before leaping. I realize that taking a leap implied not fully seeing where I land.

I am done battling with myself, trying to change who I know myself to be. I realize the world has made it hard enough to fully be myself, so why add to the challenge.

I am done worrying, as if worry is the price I had to pay to make it all turn out okay. I realize I don’t  need to worry.

I am done apologizing and playing small to make others feel comfortable and fit in. I realize fitting in is overrated and shining my light makes others brave enough to do the same.

I am done with the should’s, ought to’s and have to’s of the world. I realize the only must’s in my life come from things that beat so strong in my soul, I can’t not do them.

I am done with remorse and could have’s. I realize hindsight never applies because circumstances always look different in the rearview mirror and you experience life looking through the front window.

I an done with friendships based on shared history and past experiences. I realize if friends couldn’t grow together, or were no longer following the same path, it was okay to let them go.

I am  done trying to fit in—be part of the popular crowd. I realize the price I had to pay to be included was too high and betrayed my soul.

I am done not trusting. I realize I have placed my trust in people that were untrustworthy—so I will start with the person I  can  trust the most—myself.

I am  done being tired. I realize it comes from spending my time doing things that didn’t bring me joy or feed my soul.

I am done trying to figure it all out, know the answers, plan everything and see all the possibilities before I began. I realize life is unfolding and that the detours and unexpected moments are some of the best parts.

I am done needing to be understood by anyone but myself. I realize I am the only person I would spend my whole life with and understanding myself is more important than being understood by others.

I am done looking for love. I realize loving and accepting myself was the best kind of love and the seed from which all other love started.

I an done fighting, trying to change or not accepting my body. I realize  the body I came into the world with was the only one I have —there are no exchanges or returns—so love and acceptance is the only way.

I am done being tuned in, connected and up-to-date all the time, the news and noise of the world is always there—a cacophony that never slowed or fell quiet and that listening to the silence of my soul was a better station to tune into.

I am done beating myself up and being so hard on myself as if either of these things led to changes or made me feel better. I realize kindness and compassion towards myself  means far more.

I an done comparing and looking at other people’s lives as a mirror for my own. I realize holding my own mirror cast in the best, most beautiful light serves me the greatest.

I am done being quiet, unemotional and holding my tongue. I realize my voice and my emotions could be traced back to my deepest desires and longings, if only I dare follow their thread.

I am done having to be right. I realize everyone’s truth was relative and personal to themselves, so the only right that is required is the one that felt true for me.

I am done not feeling at home in the world. I realize I might never feel at home in the world, but that feeling at home in myself is enough.

I am done being drained by others—by people who didn’t want to take the time for their own process and saw shortcuts though hers. I realize I can share my experience, but everyone needed to do the work themselves.

I am done thinking I have so much to learn. I realize I already knew so much, if I only listened.

I am done trying to change others or make them see things. I realize I can only lead by example and whether they see or follow it is up to them.

I am done with the inner critic. I realize  its voice is not my own.

I am done racing and being discontent with where I am, the present moment holds all it needs to, to get me to the next moment. It wasn’t out there—it is right here.

I am done seeing hurt as something to be avoided, foreseen or somehow my fault. I realize that hurt shapes me as much as joy and I need both to learn and grow.

I am done judging. I realize I  assumed the presence of right and wrong—and that there is  a difference between using information to inform and making someone else wrong.

I am done jumping to conclusions. I realize I only needed to ask.

I am done with regrets. I realize if I had known better I would have done better.

I am done being angry. I realize my  anger is just a flashlight that shows me what I was most scared of and once it illuminated what I need to see, I  no longer need to hold on to it.

I am done being sad. I realize  sorrow arises when I betray my own soul and make choices that aren’t true to myself.

I am done playing small. I realize  if others can’t handle my light, it is because they are  afraid of their own.

I am  done with the facades and the pretending. I realize masks are suffocating and claustrophobic.

I am done with others’ criticism and complaints, they told me nothing about myself —only informed me of their perspective.

I am done yelling above the noise of the world,  living out loud can be done quietly.

I am done needing permission and validation…

I am done being something I am not, the purpose of my life is to be truly, happily who I was born to be,and if I pause long enough to remember, I will  recognized myself.


So this is ME; after the gift of time alone, happy and sad, reflecting on who I am and where I am going. 


Flying Pig Half-Marathon ….finally

It was 2013 I decided I wanted to do this event, inspired by the team running in honor of an Inspirational young man, the son of someone I went to High School with who needed a liver transplant and years later a team ran in his name to raise money for the COPA. I didn’t make it that first year but I was a member of Sparkpeople and it was my long term goal. 2014 I had just recovered from faciaitis and had the determination but not the time to prepare. 2015 was it. I signed up a few months ago with intent to best myself, 2:45 ish from the Queen Bee last fall. I signed up because I have been told so many times that I was not a runner, because I said I would do this someday. 

When I signed up I had a plan in mind, I already knew I could do the distance t was just getting in the training. I didn’t. I let everything else be priority. Counting today I have run 53 miles today…who goes out and runs a half marathon with 40 miles of “training”. My expectatio lowerd, let’s finish, under 3 hours 13mi/hr pace. I started in the back as usual, repeating to mysel over and over, slow, steady…my first mile over 13 mins, I knew mile 6-8 were Eden park – hills upon hills. Mile 8.27 Here Comes the Sun, here came the tears, thankyou to the woman who walked into a crowd of runners to hug me – I don’t know your name but you saved that mile. Thank you to Barb, who ran miles 10-12 besife me and helped me at my hurdle monent. Ididn’t  walk other than the water stops until mile 11.75 and I could feel the blisters that adorned both feet, to finish now was the challenge.  I reminded myself there was a time when I couldn’t run a mile, and here I had just over a mile to finish. Mile 12 to the finish I ran, tears streaming down my face, shirtless and didn’t care it was warm.

My watch: 2:53:19 13:00 pace. 

Running for me is is personal, I can dedicate myself to an intention, a goal, a promise, I can feed an emotion, resolve a hurt – when its done, when my foot hits the mat, my watch stopped its gone. It’s behind me. A memory or new goal. I let go today of something I have harboured for too long and resolve to make myself stronger from it. My goal: Columbus 10/18/2015, finish in under 6 hours. Did I just say that??? Yes. I will finish a marathon.

Thankyou to my mother, my husband, Scott, my beautiful daughters, Ailey and Piper for all being as close to the finish as they could be. For all those who texted and facebooked words of encouragement that I saw when I was done; you will never understand how incredible it was to see.

 

Course Map

  

My pre-race ritual photo.

    

Official results

 

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