Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Final 2013 Thoughts

Quote of the day!!

I use to use this blog as a daily diary of sort for myself which provided me an outlet to my thoughts and to keep myself focused on the right things. I look back pre-Hashis diagnose I wrote in here at least 3-5 times a week with those intentions. It helped to align my thoughts and with my actions. Keep me moving towards my goals. Well if I look back at the last year of writing it has been sparse and lacks the excitement and passion that I once had. I think I let myself be more consumed with healing of Hashi's than my passion for running and the journey get a bit lost. I got more focused on the obstacle and less focused on the dream/goal. I let my shadow win at times. 

Henry Ford quote

I am recommitting myself to using this blog as I once did. I will funnel my love for running and life in this blog to refine my focus on a daily basis. Focus on all that is good, happy and sunny.

Albert Einstein / Happy Dappy Bits

Find parts of my journey that are exciting me. Focusing on those pieces and highlighting them. No longer letting my past 2 year struggle continue to a weigh in my movement forward. No longer letting the past yuckies get in my way of having amazing runs. Leaving my past struggles in the past. Focusing on all the good that is come both in running, life and my health. 


Sunday, December 29, 2013

Week in Review

=As they said #love by astridtroillet - alinebortone@gmail.com - Gmail

I thought I'd a blog post today. It is has been almost 2 weeks since Kiawah and with the holidays, life has been busy. I was able to get in a good bit of running this week. Just enough to keep fit but not enough to tire me out too much and still allow for recovery from the marathon.

Week in Review

Monday OFF
Tuesday 6 miles @ 8:40 pace
Wednesday Christmas OFF
Thursday 3 mile W/U, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 @ 6:05-6:33 pace with 2 minutes rest, 2 mile C/D (Mini- workout to get legs moving again) Felt tough but good. Glad to hit target which was 6:25-6:35. The first few I got a pick quick and it definitely made the last intervals tougher.
Friday 7 easy @ 8:59 average - First 3 miles were super slow like 9:20s and than I felt great after mile 3 and picked it up a bit in the 8:20-8:40s
Saturday 14 easy @ 8:35 - Legs felt good but I felt a bit tired.
Sunday - OFF (long walk and yoga)

I am happy with the week given the holidays and travel out of town. I definitely needed Sunday off. Glad to have a lazy Sunday, cleaning, taking a walk, and hanging with family.

I would liked to have run more like 38-40 miles but with Monday being in Michigan and with family - I opted for more rest. Rest is best when returning to running. One extra day off this week can only help me at this point.

Week Total - 34 miles

That is all! I am feeling good. I have felt a bit on the hyper side of thyroid things this past week but with no real hard training I think it will even itself out before my next race. I believe that is why I haven't felt super duper in my runs. Also I am bit worn from the holidays and looking forward to returning to an easy training route after the Holidays.

I am taking some time today to think about my 2013 and set some goals for Goals 2014. Keeping my eye the journey and enjoying what is right now.

Yeaaaaaa goals are good and all but a life of happiness is better. Trying to determine my 2014 goals but instilling the fact that next year ...

Monday, December 16, 2013

Kiawah Island Marathon & Failure is the path to greatness

EVEN OUR FAILURES WILL WORK FOR OUR GOOD WHEN GOD IS IN CONTROL OF OUR LIFE: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths," Proverbs 3:5-6.

As I think about my race this weekend, I am still a bit befuddled by the results and the day as a whole. I felt stronger than every in the weeks leading up to the marathon. I knew my fitness was where it needed to be and I was staying positive all week the week before even when I got sick just 6 days before the race with a gluten reaction to a gluten exposure. I didn't let myself get upset but keep telling myself my tummy would be right by race day. I was super proud of myself for staying so positive. By mid-week, the mummers of the weather were starting take Kiawah runners attention. The beautiful, cool, crisp weather we had been experiencing looked like it was going to take a turn for the worst for one day - that day was marathon day. I ignored it pretty well. Not looking at the weather till the day before and still thought I was going to give my best effort. Not once did I let it in my head that the weather would be a factor in my race outcome. I did decide to go out more conservative in the first few miles but I still had it my mind prepare to chase down the goal time.

When we woke up to go to the car, it was warmer than the day and night before. Ugh! When we started I could feel like I was working harder than I should be and I was struggling for a bit of air. My garmin never picked up satellite and did not work the entire race so I was completely going on feel. I was trying to relax myself into a marathon pace effort. The first few miles felt harder than they should. I kept thinking that once I relaxed into a rhythm the breathing would sort itself out. By mile 8, I was wheezing pretty hard. By mile 13, I was still on pace for 3:24-3:25 as the 3:25 pacer was behind me and I thought I could rally in the second half but nope by mile 14 the 3:25 pace group was swallowing me whole. I could not stay with them past mile 15. I started really feeling the heat and the humidity as my body was soaked. My shorts were sticking to me and I could not drink enough water and feeling like I wanted to vomit. I knew my mile 18, there was no rally in me. It was just going to be pushing as hard as I could without falling apart too badly. 

I finished in 3:37:30. Dazed, confused, and a little bit sad. 

This race was not my day but I know that there is a greater plan at play so I walk away knowing I controlled what I could control and the rest was out of my control. 60-70s and high humidity in the middle of winter just took more of me than I had. 

I know the times were overall slower and there were lots of PR casualties from the heat/humidity but I didn't want to be one of them. 

Oh well I will live to fight another day! I am healthy and my body is strong so I will rest and build back up for my next marathon.

At bedtime, I was talking to my wise son about my race. I said "Mommy, didn't get the time I wanted but I will keep trying".

He said to me some pretty amazing things. First he said - Failure is part of progress. Yup this is coming out of my 10 years mouth. Than he told me when he was getting bad grades at the beginning of the year and failing tests. He kept trying and look at where he is now. I was like "you are right Christian - you are doing so great now". He said that was because he failed and than he kept trying. I said so I had to fail to get better. He said no if you fail, you try your best the next time and you will do better. Such a deep talk with my 10 yr old, wise, deep thinking son. Than he paused and said this - "Failure is the path to greatness". Oh I love this sweet thing. I was like where did you hear/read that. He said I just made it up in my head. Than we laid quietly next to each other while he was doozing off and I got up to leave and he said Mommy, when I finally become an author - I am going to write all my stories about you being the main character and I am going to tell everyone that I got to be here because my mom taught me to Never give up. 

WOW - I feel like an angel spoke to my heart. Children's heart are so wise and open. They have not yet started seal themselves off from hope. They innately know what we as adults shut out when we experience disappointment. We adults make things much complicated.

Maybe my dream isn't about me at all but it is about the legacy I leave for my children. What they will learn and know in their hearts by me pursing my passion, taking risks, staying positive, failing, keep trying, staying open and hopeful. 

What I know about failure is that it is such an important part of success. No one daring greatly that is successful has not failed and risked their hearts in the process. Once you close yourself off after not meeting a goal, you have lost the dream. 

"Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm." #WistonChurchill #Quotes by @Candidman

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Taper Magic

Relax and enjoy life quote via www.Facebook.com/SilentHymns

Funny how you feel every emotion possible during a taper. Well I do anyway. My first week of my taper was heavy with excitement and confidence. My second week totally took me by surprise I was struck with a bit indifference that lead it's way to an over pouring of overwhelming amount of deep feelings. They were not negative feelings but rather like a year in reflection that brought up emotions I hadn't dealt with. I was literally crying for 3 days straight. Not sad crying but just feeling crying. I was not sad in my tears at all. Feeling gratitude so deeply that I was overwhelmed by it. If I sat with my thoughts for even a second than a steady stream of tears would follow. I am thankful for the friends that listened to my tears last week. That emotional wave was replaced with a peace and contentment that I am sitting with going into the last few days of the taper. I feel very low key and confident with my race plan so there is no need to continue to think about the race. Just enjoying what each day of the taper brings. There is still much resting and relaxing the needs to take place before I am ready to toe the line this weekend.

I ran a 7 mile easy run yesterday and I feel like I was floating. My legs and my attitude during the run made me feel closer to being ready that I had in weeks so that was a very bright spot of the week. It is always something you hope you are going to feel and sometimes in the second week of the taper when you are still a bit tired you think OMG, I sure hope I feel better next week. Oh and when you do - you sit back and take a deep breathe - ah Taper Magic.

Enjoy the journey.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Last Long Run on the way to Kiawah Island Marathon

Take it all one day at a time and enjoy the journey | quote

I was a ball of nerves last night preparing for my last long run. Both kids had kids sleeping over and I was getting to bed a bit later. All I could think about was how tired I had been this past week. How was I going to hang for long run with these 2 fast guys? I thought maybe I would sleep in and go on my own later. But than my alarm started going off at 6AM and I was wide awake. A bit weary and scared but up so I rolled out of bed trying to not think about the run. The guys were waiting for me when I arrived as they ran a few miles before getting me. Shaun was cracking jokes with me my about my lack of texting abilities and had me laughing with allowed me to jump in with ease next to him. Before I knew it we were 2 miles in and watching 2 whitetail deers cross our paths. It was a cold but beautiful morning and I was falling in love with the run. We were still a bit slower due to it being like 25 degrees out but by mile 4 we were rolling and I was hanging with them fine. They helped out with the chit chat early on but I realized they weren't going to be much help in that department so I told them if they weren't going to talk then they would just have to listen to me. That they did until we hit a mile long climb and I shut up. We dropped Shaun sometime between mile 11-12 and Craig and I went at the rest of the miles alone. Mostly in a comfortable silence. I realized a few miles back that the guys preferred the silence so I obliged and drifted into my own head. So Craig and I clicking off the final miles which made me think of when we first moved to Baxter Village. Craig is my neighbor and his wife, Angela, who is a close friend use to send Craig to run with me. Lets just get this straight, Craig is like Lance Armstrong fit. He does not run as much as he is a avid cyclist that is totally fierce. I was always huffing and buffing trying to act like oh yeah this is easy for me when he would run with me. I was afraid when Angela would try to send for Craig to run with me. Anyway flash forward about 5 years later, I am hammering out a long run with Craig. We are training for a marathon together. Surreal thought for me, for sure! Finish out my long run and very pleased by the last 4 months of training.

I actually have been a ball of emotional all day. Crying lots not out of sadness but out of total gratitude in how far I have come. Thinking back to the trials of last year and all that has pasted and coming back to health. The journey back has been very sweet and filled with lots of emotional highs and lows. But those emotions have been beautiful and the journey has been sweetened by my dear friends that have held the belief in me and encouraged me every step of the way.

Be grateful for obstacles in your journey quote via www.Facebook.com/JoyEachDay

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Week In Review

Take it day by day (:

I haven't done one of these in awhile but realized that is good to take a moment to reflect backon  the week.

It has been a good week back in training after a down week and race. I jumped right back into training but midweek I was feeling way tired so I took an unscheduled day off. It is always so hard to do this but my mistake last year was not listening to my body and running when I was feeling that heavy fatigue. I listened this week, took the day off and was able to bounce back well from fatigue and put in some good work.

Monday 6 Recovery @ 8:59
Tuesday 11 miles - 10 X 2 minute Hard/2 minute Easy @ 5:41-5:59 pace
Wednesday 10 Easy @ 8;29
Thursday Yoga
Friday 10 with Short Tempo @ 6:38 pace
Saturday 20 @ 8:16
Sunday 7 Recovery @ 9:17

Mile Total = 64

I am pretty pleased with this week. I didn't think I would pop back so quickly after the race. And to be honest really in the week I let myself get overwhelmed with what was on my schedule. I kept thinking can I keep going at this rate and for how long. I still have 8 weeks till my marathon, can I keep it going this strong for 8 weeks.

Than a great friend reminded to take it day by day. It was the perfect advice and since than I have been just concentrating on each day and trying to not look too far down the road.

Taking it day by day

Friday, November 22, 2013

In search of Confidence

"You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face.  Do the thing you think you cannot do."  --Eleanor Roosevelt

Here is the thing I have come a long way from last year. Last year humbled me and torn my confidence to shreds. I bombed one race after another and limped back to race after race for more of that kind of ass whipping more times than I care to remember.

Slowly and surely I have started to rebuild my confidence with the help my coach. I can see it being restored. I am not all the way there but am I confident (:-)) it will return. I am confidently executing very intense works speed workouts and tempos. I am running long runs hard and fast. Next step it is carry this confidence over to a race setting. I need to be patience with myself though. Rome was built in a day. Trying to enjoy each step of the process and it will come.

My coach dropped a bomb on me this week by telling he believes I can run a very fast half based off my current fitness. I was stunned and speechless. Lost for words cause I had not entertained that I was that fit. I knew things had changed in my fitness but those numbers never entered my head.

I know I am going to have to be very confident in my next race to execute those paces. I need to be aggressive and confident and ready to push when I am tired and hurting. I need to learn how to race a half marathon. Yes I have run a ton of half marathons but I have yet to race one.

Honestly this is a lot to come to terms with and I know I am my biggest obstacle at this point. My goal over the next 3 weeks in route to Kiawah Half marathon is to gain the confidence to run hard, really hard.

I work with my clients on setting short-term reasonable goals. The key is setting a goal that you believe to be achievable, BUT not too easy. You want to challenge yourself--that way you will have a confidence boost when you meet your goal! www.notsalmon.com

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Richmond Half Marathon Race Report

The morning began as usual waking up and getting in all the usual pre-race food and routine stuff. I woke Nick and Christian when I was ready to go down to the hotel lobby. When I got down to the lobby it was full to the brim with runners taking refuge from the down pouring rain outside. Runners where covered in garbage bags to protect their clothes from getting wet while walking to the start line. I was anxious to get one myself. Lucky that the concierge desk had a roll sitting at the desk. I put on one and decide to brave the downpour because I had to get to bag check and try to get in a mini-warm up.

We were super lucky because the downpouring let up for about 15 minutes before the race so we able to get to the corral semi-dry. It would stay mostly misty rain from that point but what was left was the humidity and my lungs did not take to it kindly. I wheezed hard pretty much from mile 1. I was hoping it would settle the future I went in but I was really struggling in miles 6-9. Those miles were tough for me and I pretty sure I slowed quick a bit especially since my darn shoe kept untieing. I stopped 3 times to fix it. I remember talking to a girl around mile 9 and we exchanged goals. She wanted to sub 1:40 and I wanted to survive with my lungs in tact. I at that point was fighting not to stop but than she said something that perked up my ears. She said "we are almost there and pointed to mile 10". I was like okay I just need to not dip any slower in pace and I can savage this race. I worked to stay relax and moving forward at a little bit faster clip than I was managing in miles 6-9. I was so happy when I saw Nick and Christian at mile 12. That helped me to keep it rolling and we had a nice downhill finish which help me slip under 1:38.

Here are my splits -

7:09 (last mile)
last .20 (1.09) 1:37:47

Small PR! But a PR is a PR and I am finally moving in the right direction which is something to celebrate.


Friday, November 15, 2013

What is Courage?

courage quotes | Courage Quotes and Sayings - MotivationalWellBeing

One definition I found was the ability to do something that frightens one.

I am running a half marathon tomorrow. Part of me is very scared. I own that. I have worked very hard over the past year to rebuild my health and get my fitness back. One thing that has eluded me has having predictable TSH (thyroid hormone) levels. During training I can deal with the uncertainty of not feeling well, if a workout does not go as well as hoped or a run is more difficult than it should be than no big deal there is always another day but dealing with in a race setting is another beast. 

I am hoping that I feel great and can run a time that reflects my training efforts and all that I have put into it physically, mentally and emotionally. 

I know that if I am given the opportunity on race day to run hard, I am going to seize it and savor it. 

I am SCARED - you bet! I am scared that it won't work out and that I will be forced to pick up the pieces from another thyroid jamming race. Looks at the faces that love and support me and say that's okay I will keep trying. 

But with the fear, I also play with the possibility that my day may come where I am able to run true to my abilities. I know with a certainty that when the conditions are right everything I have done will come through. Will it be tomorrow?

I have no idea but I will have the courage to face this fear so that I may succeed.  Cause what I have learned you have to risk a certain amount of yourself and put yourself out there to truly succeed. 

be yourself and let your light shine

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Just Plain Happy

Life is 10% of what happens to you and 90% of how you react to it.

Really I had some bumps in the road last week but made it over them quickly. My TSH had become elevated again and we didn't know why but I was suspect it was a hard long run and being sick both putting extra stress on my thyroid.  But by end of the week and having a unscheduled rest day I felt the so much peppier and my zippiness returned.

I ran 2 real quality runs on Friday and Saturday. Friday I ran a 3 mile tempo @ 6:40 average pace (6:29, 6:48, 6:46) and than hard long run of 16 miles on Saturday averaging 8:05 pace. I felt pretty peppy and smooth in runs. Pretty stoked about that after my lab results. I proved to myself that I can still run hard when my labs aren't perfect.

Today I ran mile reps @ 6:09, 6:09, 6:11, 6:11 :-) And they came easily and wasn't having to press hard or struggle to get there. I even thought back on the workout if I was pressing hard enough but part of me was holding some back knowing I am racing a half in 4 days.

Goal for the rest of the week! Stay positive and relaxed. I am excited about this Half mostly because I ready to test out these legs over a longer distance. I am excited to see how hard I can press and how to hold on when I am tired.  I also really interested to see where all the hard work of the past couple of months has taken my fitness level.

Stay positive <3...I believe in the power of positive thinking @LunaKrick

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Midweek Pep Talk

The beauty of this image and that word together, sum up what I feel like when I have an entire morning free to run and explore and think and just be.

A lot of times I write in this blog for me. I find it therapeutic and help me to get out feelings and give myself direction when I am feeling a bit lost.

I have been working really hard these past 4 weeks. I have average 63 miles plus lots of intense workouts. I am starting to feel the fatigue a bit. Past few days I have lacked that excited mojo that gets me out the door singing. I always feel befuddled when the motivation isn't high. I know it is part of the process sometimes the motivation wanes a little and you to keep doing work even when the motivation is low. The Happy MoJo comes back when it does and I am always happy that I hung on when it went away.

I am setting out to run an easy 10-12 miles AM after having a hard work out yesterday. I am hoping the energy is high and I can clipping away nicely this AM but always be sure not to push the pace too much as I have a HARD tempo tomorrow on tap. I love Tempos so maybe that will bring back the Woo hoos :-) I also need to have this be a one more solid week hitting 60 miles and than next week is a down week a mini taper for the Richmond Half Marathon.

I also need to get more sleep in the next. I have sleep pretty crap in the last few nights which may be adding to my fatigue and befuddlement.

I think I have 2 days off before the Half that will help put some bounce in my step for the race.

Brenda Della Casa is the Managing Editor of I Am Staggered USA, LLC, The Director of Online Content for Preston Bailey and the Author of Cinderella Was a Liar and Walking Barefoot www.strollwithoutshoes.com

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Rough Waters Clearing

A smooth sea never made a skilled sailer

Today I ran another strong long run in preparation for marathon in January. I actually felt horrible in the beginning and knew it was just going to be one of those runs you grind through. Not sure why I didn't feel great but I suspect a little bit of allergies as my breathing was taking a hit in the final miles. What was great about this long run wasn't necessary the pace but the fact that I lead 2 other very strong runners through this 20 miler. I kept the pace and pushed the pace when we started to get too comfortable and slowing too much. I kept them on their toes and kept up the chatting. About mile 15, I dropped back behind the others to slow for some slippy wet leaves and they were concerned that I was dropping and no longer leading. I jumped back in front and lead them to a 7:43 mile. I kept it rolling until mile 18 where I started feel my lungs way more than my legs. My legs felt feisty and were ready to keep the pace but by mile 18 my tummy was not feeling the last gel and lungs were hurting so I back off the led and let my running partners drag me in to mile 20.

I feel like this is a sign that I am really strong right now. I have averaged 63 miles for the last 4 weeks.

Overall I have way more good days than bad days. I feel way more energy both in my running and my everyday life. I wake up refreshed and most days I feel pretty chirpier the whole day through. I still have days where running seems daunting but I always feel better having doing it. I feel the my thyroid and adrenals are in a very good place.

I have a half in 2 weeks, another half in 6 weeks and 12 weeks to my marathon.

I am not sure where I am going time wise but I have a feeling it is going to be beautiful.

Praying that God's light shines down on my hard work, perseverance and most of my faith.

My Rough Waters are becoming calm and clear.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Make it hurt HARD

Do what you can!

One thing that is different about my training under Tyler than my previous training - my workouts HURT HARD. The intensity and paces of his training is beyond anything I have ever done. I know when it is workout day it is time to hurt. Some days I am better at embracing this than others. Some runs I seek out that line and happy that I crossed over it into the hurtlocker and bringing the workout to vomit inducing level. Others days like today I am bit freaked by it and wonder how much I have it in me to dig that deep. This morning I had a case of the blahs and just not jumping up and down to go to the hurtlocker. Part of me was like oh I don't want to run that hard today but I also knew it had to get down and no matter what.

After a 3 mile warm-up and some strides, I didn't feel that great in warm up and the strides were pretty tame. I didn't know what I had in me to run 5 X 5 minutes hard with 2 minutes easy/recovery running in between. My legs felt super tired and heavy in the first 2 but started to feel better as the workout went on and I actually felt more at ease as the workout progressed and ran the last 2 the fastest.

These end of being basically 1200s or more or rather .80 on the garmin of totally distance.

Splits were 6:16, 6;13, 6:13, 6:10, 6:07

I am pretty pleased that I was able to work hard on a day that mind was not super jazzed about doing it. It did hurt but I find it exciting that my fastest reps were the last 2 and I felt like I could definitely handle another one.

Hardest part of training for a marathon is staying in it mentally for the long haul. Today tested me mentally to do the hard work when I wasn't in a "I am in all attitude" mood. Today proved that you have to do that hard work even when you do not feel like it.

Success is such a personal thing.  YOU get to decide what success is for YOU.  It can mean so many different things for different people.  But, not only do you get to define it, you have to do the work required to reach it.  Surround yourself with people who encourage you, and find people who have the tools to help you, but at the end of the day it is up to you.  Go out and get it!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

2 Weeks of Focus

focus  More inspiration on: https://www.facebook.com /VivaLaVidaLifestyle #inspiration #life #quote

These next 2 weeks will be the biggest in terms of mileage and intensity since working with my coach Tyler. He has keep me between 40-60 miles pretty much from the get go when he starting coaching me last April. Mainly keeping the mileage low because of my thyroid and adrenals did not get affected by the training load which I think it is hasn't because I have been able to handle it well.

With a big week of 69 miles on tap, I am super excited but I know it is going to take some focus and elimination of distractions so that I am running, eating, stretching, relaxing and sleeping all well this week. This is not the week for extra activities. It will take lots of discipline not to get distracted because the sleeping and resting/relaxing are going to be crucial to my recovery.  I have already alerted my husband to my schedule so that he will be aware if I am tired or snappy ;-)

It has been a long time since I hit that mileage so I am looking forward to training hard this week and making it count. 14 weeks to my marathon and 4 weeks to my half marathon. Time to focus and go to work.

FOCUS quotes quote gym fitness workout motivation weight exercise motivate fitness quote fitness quotes workout quote workout quotes exercise quotes focus

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Celebrating Progress and Building Positive Momentum


I ran my first 5K in long time today. Last year I ran 2 5Ks and those did not go so well so my nerves were pretty much in full alert before the race. Lucky to have a friend to chat about other stuff in our warm-up but I was pretty nervous. I had hoped to go under 21 minutes and all my workouts indicate I can run significantly faster but my mind is not yet on board with that so baby steps with a sub 21 minute goal. 

The course is suppose to be one of Charlotte's Flattest courses. Well here is the thing with Charlotte, it is hard to find a mile that is flat let alone a 3 mile stretch of roads that are flat. This course is flatter and more of rolling hills but not flat which sort of took me off guard but anyway I went with it and but alas legs were feeling the hill repeats from earlier in the week. Another thing is I kept finding myself trying to settle in marathon style like find a hard pace and settle in. You just can not to do that in a 5K. You have to push the entire way and try to fry the legs a bit in the process. I was not that successful in doing that as I was loosing focus and would find my body in the wrong rhythm of running. I think I just need some practice at racing this distance but I am really pleased at the results as it was a 1 minute PR and good enough for 2nd place overall Masters award. I am really grooving on these Masters Awards. I guess there are benefits to turning the big 4-0!!!! 

Overall time was 21:15 - splits 7:18, 7:02, 6:45 and 5;50 (last .10) 

I walk away proud and with my head high. I did not taper for race and ran a tough hill repeat workout on Tuesday and hard 14 miler on Wednesday so to pull a small PR in a big training week is a win for me.

The goal in training is progress not perfection. I have not seen any type of PR in 2 years so I will take this victory and carry it with me to my next race/

~ Keep Moving Forward

Progress- you'll get there!  www.healandrestore.blogspot.com

Strive for progress not perfection

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Never Settling


I have learned above else this year is Never Settle for more than you know you are and deserve in life. I was well on my way to my running dream marathon time when I was struck with Hashimotos, an autoimmune disease that reeks havoc on your body and mind. Well it wasn't a sudden event but a progression in a disease that had been silently destroying my thyroid for years. Only when the symptoms started to become more severe and reduced me to a fatigued and brain fogged soul did I take notice of what was going on inside my body. The months of fatigue was finally explained and I was discouraged by doctors and others that running would not be apart of my future especially endurance running.

My heart knew different and I set out this past year to find the best doctors and resources and coach to get me back on track. I have fought hard. I knew that something in me was more than this disease said their could be. I was worth the fight and my dream was worth fighting for. I was not willing to set it aside when my heart still screamed this is possible - keep going! 


Last year when things were bad, running a 10 minute mile was difficult and running 2 miles was difficult and many runs had me walking away in tears- confused and lost. Where did my strong body go? Just months before 7 minute miles were totally within my abilities.

Month by month working on my health and taking my training day by day I have seen tremendous progress. Some days still suck and running is more difficult than it should be but I keep going on the days when parts of my want to quit. Most days I go into each run having no idea how I will feel. Will it be there or not or will I be gutting out a tough day. There are days that I feel feverish and clammy running like I have the flu or I felt like couldn't breathe and my heart was working too hard for an easy effort or my pace is much slower than I think it should be but everyday I am out there trying is like a gift to myself. I am trying and effort in life is everything. I am not out there being defeated I am winning just by trying. 

I remember two months or so ago when I had a breakthrough workout. I literally finished this amazing run and cried my heart out on the track. I had run faster than I had every thought was even possible for me. In the weeks before I was struggling with hair loss and in and out drs appts overwhelmed by Hashimotos but than I was given unexpected gift on the track one morning. It was like my gift for keeping at it when all signs were pointing to let go of this dream. That one workout gave me enough emotional fuel to keep going and keep doing the work both phyiscal and mental. Everyday is like a brick you get to lay and you want to lay it the best you can so you can build a strong wall. That is how I view each run no matter how fast or not fast I run, I want my effort to be my best. In the end that is all I am responsible for my effort and my attitude the rest is left up to a high power than myself. 

And I believe that that high power is supporting me in my fight! I believe that I am suppose to be doing this with my whole heart even on the days and races that others may not see the progress I know I am making progress each day. I know while it isn't always apparent or consistently shining through like it would for someone without Hashimotos, I know it is there. I see glimpses of the greatness that is inside waiting for all the elements to be in place to shine through. I am good with that! 

This weekend I ran the fastest and strongest long run ever and totally at effort that was well within my abilities and I did not strain to run this fast. For 18 miles @ 8:07 average pace. This is what never give up and never settling looks like for me. 

What is crazy is that 2 years ago when I was training for Houston Marathon when I was healthy and the best shape of my life, I was doing marathon paces runs in the 7:50-8:00 range this was difficult but this weekend I ran 18 miles in that range. This gives me a glimpse into how far I have come and that there really is amazing fitness there ready to tap into when the time is right. 

Sometimes sitting back and savoring how far I have come in the year is the most amazing feeling.

how far

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Remembering that when one door closes, another one will open

Shut Doors

This is a lesson I have learned before and recently relearned it. Funny how life always reminds of us these life lessons.

You know I will be 100% honest that I was heartbroken that I did not run well at my 15K this weekend. I had hopes of running strong but my thyroid had a complete different idea. I found out in fact my thyroid levels were off. For anyone that knows anything about thyroid physiology I was at .29 TSH which made me hyper. It is much more difficult to run in hyper state than it is to run in a hypo state from my experience. I know it doesn't make sense cause you think hyper oh you will be faster - nope. Hyper is just as a crappy state as Hypo and when running cause you have too much thyroid hormone in your blood so your heart can not regulate itself properly thus making running feel awful.

I was frustrated and heartbroken on Sunday not really understanding why I was still on this thyroid rollercoaster. By Monday, I had let go of that frustration and was determine to make sense of the day.

I knew that both the thyroid and allergy season were both at play and contributed to my bad race experience. This made me really question should I be doing a marathon in December given that we are still working to stabilize my thyroid and with allergy season going through October. My next marathon I want to run well at not just jump in cause I sort of did the training. No I want a training cycle that reflects where I truly am fitness wise. So I had to shut the door on my Kiawah Island Marathon goal. In doing so a new goal marathon emerged and I am super excited about it. I will be running the Charleston Marathon which is one month later. This will give us more time to tweak my hormone levels and get me past allergy season so that I start training in November for my January marathon.

I am excited about this change in direction. I feel like had I not had such a terrible race day than I would never taken a deeper look at my plans.

God shuts doors and opens doors as He wills- nothing is ours- it is all in God's hand

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Race Gone Bad

perserverence i love this quote

What do you do when you have high hopes and pray for the highest good and it turns out bad?

I have no idea. I guess you just accept that is was necessary a part of your journey is the only thing I can come up with.

I had high spirits about this race. I had experienced some shortness of breath and chest tightening early in the week leading up to race but I was also feeling confident that good things can happen when you stay positive. I stayed positive and did a good job of shaking off the doubts that keep popping in my head about the allergies season and thyroid stuff. I felt like okay even if I do not run what I know I capable of running than I can run it as a marathon run and still PR running at marathon pace.

I woke up with a feeling of happiness to see a great day come to pass. I was excited to run. In the first mile, I actually felt pretty strong and thought okay maybe I will be able to run this faster than marathon pace. I was cranking and feeling pretty smooth after a hilly second mile and going into the 3rd mile, I felt a tightening in my chest and I was struggling for air. I worked hard to stay calm and work through it but it just kept feeling tight so I had to slow to a pace that I could breathe. Not once did I look at my watch but knew I was slowing down and starting to get passed. Yup I thought about walking quite a few times but just stayed in each mile. That is pretty much how this ended. I did pass one runner in the mile but finished this race 2 minutes slower than 2 years before. Logically I know why I was effected, I couldn't breathe. I was running slower than I ran the last 8 miles of my long run last week. I was slower than I ran my 7 mile leg at Blue Ridge, where I climbing 700 ft over 2.5 miles at 4,000 ft elevation. Not matter how much you logicially know there is a reason behind, you are still left bewildered. I have never been affected this dramatically by allergy induced bronchialspasm. Yes I struggled this a few weeks every Fall but never to this extent. Never felt stopped in my tracks by it.


So I just sucker punched again...but than when I was struggled I kept thinking about how grateful I am to be running and continuing to put work in even if my efforts do not show through at the moment. That doesn't mean that I am not working just as hard. I know a few close friends that have stress fractures and would love to be out there racing even if at sub-optimal times. I know some friends that are ill that would love to be running. I know so many that too suffer with Hashimotos and can not exercise at all. I thought of them when I struggled. I thought of the gift that I have given even when the circumstances can sometimes suck major ass.

I told a close friend after this race..this is first time I wondered if I am suppose to be doing this and she reminded of what I have already gone through and there is no going back now. I knew that on some level but in the emotionally aftermath, I didn't think about it that way.

I am blessed to have friends that reach out to me and encourage me when my heart breaks a little.

So tomorrow I will wake up and put on my shoes and work out some of the heartache and find the strength to soldier on. Cause that is what I do..always keep moving forward. Eye on the prize Kiawah Marathon.


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Day by Day

day by day

Sometimes you just have to take life day by day and be grateful for what your body gives you in any given moment. That is the thought that went through my head over and over again this AM during my speed workout.

I felt decent in my warm-up, not amazing but what do you expect at 6AM in the dark of the morning. Something a friend said recently about running scared. Yeah that was me at the track with no lights but eerily red EXIT signs until the sun rised, I was pretty much running freaked out. As I prepared for my work-out, I did a few strides and I easily nailed some fast ones so I thought okay today is going to be a great day if I can run strides uner sub-5 minute pace out the gate. 

Than BAMB in my first rep I struggled something fierce to hit 5:43 which 3 weeks ago was totally achievable. Than each one after that got slower like 5:50-6:00 which would be 20-30 seconds slower than when I did this workout a few weeks ago. Instead of getting frustrated, I stayed calm and thought okay lets just take what the body can give today for whatever reason it (thyroid or allergies) was not allowing me to run as fast as I know I can. Just take it rep by rep and work hard and by effort and that is all that matters. I ran hard and every single second I fought for. I stayed as relax as possible which each rep and remind myself that I am still making gains and that effort is what matters. I always go into these workouts prepared to fight and I did. At no time, did I let myself get upset or frustrated. Here is a post from Joel Osteen, I read before I left for my run and it came in handy - When you make up your mind that no matter what life deals your way you're going to stay calm and in peace, all the forces of darkness cannot keep you from your destiny.

You see what I know to be true is what I am working towards is there and each day I handle with grace and appreciation is bringing me closer towards my goals. Each experience is necessary and apart of the process. If it were all easy and no roadblocks, would be forced to grow into more? Resistance is needed. I know there is a lesson in every experience. And this experience was to be happy and grateful in any circumstance and not to let a single run steal any of my joy but add to my joy. For I know for me the physical is the easy part of my journey, it is the mental and emotional part of myself that must be strengthened. Even experience gives me an opportunity to develop that strength.

Something that I thought about as I ran my cool-down was just taking things day by day, giving myself fully to task at hand, appreciating everything about it and walking away satisfied that I did good work. There are days I am going have to fight harder both mentally and physically but staying hopeful and confident that progress is being made. Taking the time to thank god for this amazing journey that I have been gifted with.


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

How Far I have come. Something to appreciate

Karen Salmansohn

I was thinking about what I would write about today and this theme has been ringing in my ear. Sometimes we frustrated with how far we think we still have to go from where we are now. I stopped doing that a long time ago due it causing a circle of frustrating thoughts. 

Recently I pulled out all my hand written running logs from the past few years. I was stunned at far I have come. While it is not always apparent in my races and running times, I have gone from 8:00-8:30 minute miles seeming hard a couple of years ago where it is now in the range what I run my general aerobic runs. I still run in the 9:00-9:30 range for recovery runs but I all my workout times and long runs have improved dramatically over the past 2 years. This helped me realize that while I know I have a ways to go - I need to STOP and be grateful for how far I have come. Being grateful for that I have been taken through some rough patches but with God I am still standing and fighting on. 

Sometimes you need to stop praying to be taken further but start thanking God for have far he has taken you. 


Friday, September 13, 2013


"The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new." - Socrates quote

So after my attention has been diverting to my health this past year, I feel like I have lost a bit of focus on what I was after in the first place. Add summer time fun, vacations, and just keeping my running on maintenance mood while kids were home. I feel like my attention in the past month(s) has been going several directions and not so focused on my goals.

After Blue Ridge Relay, I knew I needed to find a way to get that mental focus back. I took this week as recovery - easing back into easy running but also resting a bit more. Like I had a choice though with the resting, Blue Ridge kick my butt in terms of needing recovery. My legs were fried and tired till Wednesday and I had fatigued that has lingered all week. Early in the week, I felt like I was a walking zombie. Ready to curl up into any place I could for a quick cat nap. It is Friday, I am starting to feel like I can rejoin the land of living.

We must always change, renew, rejuvenate ourselves; otherwise we harden. –  Goethe #quote

So after I rest and recoup from Blue Ridge, my goal is focus, focus, focus on my running goals. Yes, my attention may on occasion get diverted to my health and its relationship to my running but I know now how to compartmentalize the two. I need to employ those mental tactics so I can stay FOCUSed even when life will try to have it's way or try to turn my attention. I have to fight the mental battle back by staying positive, staying patient and knowing that all good things are coming my way. And stay in love with my life!!! 

Focus on the light! Re-pin to remind your friends! #inspiration #Quote

Monday, September 9, 2013

Blue Ridge Relay - AWESOME

What a great experience!!! I never even knew I wanted to do. It was so super strange. It was like I was meant to be out there. In the weeks leading to the race, I was invited to join by 3 separate teams. I would turn down one offer and I would get another message, asking me to come. I know now why I was I meant to out there. I faced fears and did things that expanded me. For instances,  I was super imitated by being asked to run with this fast team. I had a fear of not being able to pull my weight on the team. I was assigned the the lead runner position - so the first leg of the race. Yikes, really! I was the one who was to set the tone and rhythm of the race. This sort of freaked me out.  On the drive up to the race, my team captain said to me " Jamie, everyone is going to go crazy and head out at a sub-6:30 pace" do not go with them.   I was like okay cause I can't run that fast so problem. Well I ended up running the first 4 mile leg at 6:27 average pace coming in within 10-15 seconds of the leaders.  Another thing, I did not want a night leg at all. Of course, I would be the first person on the team to head out as night set in. I ended up running the most at night through mountains roads with no one around me but pitch black night air and the stars. On the leg that started at night fall with a 2.5 Mile climb up Grandfather mountain that rolling hills after that finished that 7 mile leg on that trashed quads. Than my 3rd leg was not only in pitch black @ just before 4AM but add dense fog. I could see only blinking lights of runners I was going pass ahead of me. It was so exhilarating and this something I totally thought I would not want to do!! I slept 10 minutes total which was probably not best to let myself sleep because I was super groggy and confused when they woke me at 3:30 - Team captain called in the van "Jamie - u run in 15 minutes". I had to dart to bathroom, get nightgear on and get my arse to the exchange point. Fun though :D Our team was actually in the led by over 25 minutes but in the night our #11 got lost..missed a turn and we ended losing our led plus gaining an additional 6 minutes by the time the 3rd leg of the race started..because I runner #1 I had to try make up some if those minutes..super happy as I was able to bring us within 3 minutes after my 3rd leg than it was pretty much a back and forth race at that point...but alas we lost by 6 minutes when our final runners came in. I made amazing friendships and connected with people in such an incredible way. Our team was so diverse in ages and background but we shared the most random & awesome conversations, experiences and laughs for 36 hours. In our Van, I connected with 27 yr guy, we laughed so much together that my abs are as sore as my legs.  I said once in the van that I feel I am talking a lot. Of my teammates said nope it is either u or Matt talking and if one of you isn't talking it is because u are listening to the other but we are mentally participating your conversations. There was a time we tried to sleep in the van and him and I would just keep talking. He commented that is was like a slumber party where you were told to go to sleep but you keep thinking of something else you want to talk about. It was neat to make a close connection with someone you normally would not spend time with. But this true of so many connections made out there.  I connected with another one of my teammates that had never run BRR and I can see the nerves in her just as I had them in me. It was comforting to know that I was not the only one experiencing those nerves.  This sort of tied us together and we become very comfortable and supportive of each other out there. Our connection allowed us to open up to each other and feel very truly connected. We were actually on the verge of tearing up when saying our goodbyes to each other and our other teammates.

I overcame a huge fear of not being good enough to run with these guys, I ran in the middle of night which I had feared, I climbed a fricking mountain road 2.5 mile climb, gaining +700 in elevation at 4,000 ft and I hate hills but ran them with no fear and usual dread of running a hill. 

Our team JITFO (Jog it the F*** Out) would take 11th overall out 150 teams and 2nd Mixed Teams Overall.