Monday, April 29, 2013

Focus on your GOLD

So focus on positive things!

So after having a blah moment or rather days, I knew I needed to turn my focus to what is good and GOLD about my current circumstances.

I looked at my splits post Boston on Friday for the first time ever. I never looked at them during the race and totally disregarded pace in favor of effort and focusing on fun. I was pleasantly surprised as I wasn't as slow as I thought given the finishing time. And for having an elevated TSH not so bad. I will  admit to being very thankful in being lead to believe that my TSH was normal going into Boston. Had I know or even thought my hormone level was going to be off in the days before hand than Boston might had been a very different experience for me. So I am thanking my lucky stars for having this small gift of ignorance.

Mile 1 - 8:26
Mile 2 - 8:12
Mile 3 - 8:20
Mile 4 - 8:13
Mile 5 - 8:20
Mile 6 - 8:19
Mile 7 - 8:16
Mile 8 - 8:36 - Stopped for picture
Mile 9 - 8:18
Mile 10  - 8:27
Mile 11 - 8:25
Mile 12 - 8;23
Mile 13 - 9:26 - Stopped 2 times for pictures in Welleseley  - AWESOME Mile
Mile 14 8;10
Mile  15 8:40 - First  Big Hill
Mile 16 8:11
Mile 17 8:56 - BIG HILL
Mile 19 8:42
Mile 20 9:01 - Boston College - Stopped for picture
Mile 21 10:03 - HEARTBREAK!! Stopped for picture at the very top, helped a girl run up hill that her hips where locking up

Mile 22 9:10
Mile 23 8:56
Mile 24 - 9:15 - Had to slow down to watch out for family - knew they would be between mile 24-25 so I had slow to watch out for them
Mile 25 - 9:15 - Saw family, stopped for hugs and kisses
Mile 26 8:00-  crying all the way in :-)

So big win for me was NO muscle soreness or aches or pains - Quads held up and were ready for the thrashing! I ran and finished with a high TSH, I stayed positive, I enjoyed the moment, I met a couple of great gals and I achieved a goal I had set years ago.

I have a BQ in my pocket for next year! So I hope to go back next year and run a strong race with a healthy body.

I have made a coaching change in the last weeks. I am very excited about this change as my current coach has undergone through thyroid issues and understands them very well. Oh that fact he is the one of the best distance runners in the entire country is sort of cool too :-)

Focus on.positive

Jamie - Where did you put your groove?


I think a lot had come at me in the past couple of weeks. I really trying to process everything and stay positive. I believe the 2 week rest period did me good. In the beginning I had no desire to run so that good as I didn't have to fight with myself not to run. I think the thyroid was pretty elevated which had me more in a fog of fatigue too plus the emotional rollercoaster post-Boston.  Also I didn't realize how draining it would be to really get more answers on my thyroid condition by going to several drs. I finally got a prescription for an natural hormone replacement which is suppose to be better than the synthetic. After the overdose of synthroid, I have been cautious about supplementation with hormone in hopes my body would regulate itself. That didn't happen at all and my TSH continued to be elevated.

Additionally, I think this funk is also combined with the post-marathon blues that are inevitable but also a bit disorientating.

Anyway I feel overall much better in the past few days on the new hormone. Keeping hopes up that I will feel good running on it.

This week I return to running and hope to get my groove back in all ways!

mama said there'd be days like this

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Resting, Waiting and Taking care of Thyroid

I am officially in a 2 week rest period where I have been instructed to do not much and NO exercise - less is more right now. I had to clarify though if walking, pilates and yoga are exercise and again told less is more. We are waiting to see if my body self-regulated itself thyroid wise. My TSH going to Boston was not optimal at all but nowhere near the rock bottom state I was in my overdosed state. Without hormone replacement my TSH would continue to climb steady to an elevate state.  I have felt that deep fatigue this past week but hard to determine if it was the marathon and events preceding that sent me back into the fatigue or if my sluggish thyroid was involved. I went in for more bloodwork today and it will be the truest results yet and give us the most information related to my thyroid and running.

Here is a fascinating article this was such published  as lately the running world has been a buzz with the thyroid drama - best explained in this blog by Steve Magness For anyone that is interested my condition. If not, please feel free to disregard.

I have hopes of really getting more answers and fixable solutions to running health. I am very hopeful as much of this research and information coming out  from greats like Ryan Hall who has thyroid issues and gluten issues. It gives me hope that it can be worked out and I can get back to running well one day soon.

I am excited that all the answers I will need will be coming in the weeks ahead and the direction that my coach is taking with my training.   I believe that all is well and happening as it should.


Saturday, April 20, 2013

My Boston Experience

A week of processing this event still leaves me not quite clear on how I feel on all accounts.

One thing I know is I fell in love with Boston just like everyone said I would. Once Boston is in your blood it sticks with you.

Most of you know my personal accounts of Boston and where we were and what we went through so I will leave that be.

I was sad and shocked on Monday, turned to grief on Tuesday but by Tuesday night I was moving past to acceptance and looking for the love and light. Found lots of it! Many family and friends surrounding us with love and helping us process the events with kind notes, flowers on our doorsteps, gifts, and tons of hugs. How can not move out of sadness when your world is full of love.

By Wednesday I was starting to get to a point of fight! Deciding I am going back to Boston in 2014! I am happy for my BQ in December and so happy to have that since the opportunities to BQ before September are few.

Now onto the race itself!! I had such high hopes for feeling good. In the weeks before Boston, I had felt better than than I had in weeks/months. I had allowed myself to believe that just maybe I would rock it. We had such an amazing trip into Boston. Spent lots of time with family & friends in the city. Basically living up the Boston experience.  I was so full of joy and living on a high of unbelievable support from all my family & friends. I felt like I had the whole world on my side when I got to the start line. I said a start line prayer for the best day possible.

It is thick in the early miles and I was in no hurry to waste energy moving around for better position. So I sat back and let things roll but immediately in those early minutes I felt that thyroid yuck. It is nearly impossible to explain but you know when you feel it. I held out hope that the feeling would pass. But by the mile 6 it was there and not going away. I knew I had to back off  and not take any risks to push the pace because I was running the BOSTON MARATHON and I would not be DNFing today. I worked to refocus on having a great day despite the thyroid yuck. I slapped as many kids hands as I could, I adsorbed the crowds cheers, I tried to make eye contact with as many volunteers to say thank you for being there, I stopped for 5-6 times for pictures with crowds in several places, I slowed down through Wellesley to read signs, to smile and appreciate this area, I hugged the guys in Boston College as they tried to share their beer with me, I took my time on Heartbreak, I slowed down through miles 24-25 to make sure I didn't pass my family.  I enjoyed myself to the fullest and than I ran my last mile the strongest with my eyes full of tears and happiest. I had set a goal years ago to qualify and run the Boston Marathon and I had seen a dream come to pass. My heart was heavy with happiness and joy when I crossed that finish line at exactly 3:51:01. I had not really looked at my watch in terms of time in all those miles but was proud of my run given I had done what I set out to do. I really believe it was the day that I was meant to have. If I was to have trail blazing time, God would had made it so with letting me feel 100%. I did the best I could and I can walk away knowing that my dots are going to connect one day. Maybe not in Boston, maybe not my next marathon but one day my next goal/dream will come to pass. I am willing to keep trying, keep believing and maybe even fall down a few more times  on my way as I know I will need every experience from here to there to reach my big awesome goal.

I knew when I started in BOSTON that the outcome of this day was out of my control that I was only responsible for 2 things on that course - my attitude and my effort and the rest was in GODs hands. I knew if I steeled my mind in positively that my effort would be something I could be proud of no matter the outcome.

I fell in love with Boston - the city and it's marathon.

I hope to go back more than once in  my lifetime! I am a Boston Marathoner!

Motivation and Positive Attitude Team SparkTeam

Thursday, April 18, 2013

I don't know what to say yet...

Emotions of  all sorts have been swirling in my head.  I yet to make complete sense of it.

Really I do not know what to say yet...that is why I have yet to write about Boston.

All I know is that I have great big love for the city of Boston and its marathon.

Love Boston

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

In the absence of Taper Madness

Calm, serene and content is how I am feeling these last few days. It is very strange because these things to do not normally describe my personality type. More like high energy, bubbly and gregarious are much more like the person you'd like meet if we ran into each other on the street. Alas,  I think that girl is tucked away safely storing up her energy for the big weekend. Until then, me the reserved and peaceful Jamie will take up residence in the Carolinas for the next 3 days.

peace be with you, and me.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Taper Time - Week in Review

Appreciate what you have!

This picture just about sums up how I feel especially since just 5 weeks ago I was deep in synthroid overdose fog and the awake & alive were something I was praying for. The meaning of this is not lost on me as just driving to my run yesterday I was overcome with tears thinking that I was so thankful to be running but mostly thankful for being awake and alive knowing that I had angels by side.

This week went well. I worked out on Monday than took 3 days off of running to see how my body responded to the time off and was reward with an awesome 12 miler on Friday where I ran easily in 1:35. Than rounded out the weekend with some easy running. I am officially tapering now. Still have no taper madness or nervousness which is weird to me but I will take it. No complaining just interesting cause I am know to obsess over marathons in the past.  I think it is cause I am not so much focused on Boston but on my post-Boston plans which are totally exciting.

I am so thankful to be running again and feeling good while doing it. Just so happy!

Monday 2.5 W/U, 8X800, 2.5 C/D
Tuesday 1 hour Hike
Wednesday Yoga
Thursday Off
Friday 12 Steady State
Saturday 6 Recovery
Sunday 10 easy with 6 X 1 minute Hard effort in the middle of the run

Total miles - 37

Cherish those memories...

Friday, April 5, 2013

Be Proud to be Awesome

be proud, be confident, be happy

You know we are are suppose to be proud of ourselves. Not in the "I am better than you" sort of way or in a "boostful look at me look at me sort of way" but in the way we can smile at ourselves for a job well done or in I am in love with my life sort of way. 

I was thinking about this in the context of a relationship - a really amazing marriage like mine :-) I have been with my husband for 16 yrs and going to celebrate our 14th Anniverssay this summer. I can smile about our relationship and love with a deep sense of pride that we fought for this strong marriage when it was hardest to do so, that we loved each other through some of the toughest years and moments, that when the going got tough we stayed strong and held on to each other. Marriages of any length are not easy. They take work, commitment and immense love. Above those virtues a deep & satisfying marriage takes the willingness to ride out the storms knowing that it will be worth it. 

I can look at my marriage with pride to say that I am part of something truly rare and wonderful. 

I can also look at my running life with a deep sense of pride. That I have fought through some big storms to remain standing. That I continued on to fight for this dream when it was hardest to do so. That I held on when strong winds blew through. I am proud of myself that I kept running when it was physically, emotionally and mentally hardest to do so. That I keep my chin up & stayed positive even when tears threaten to pour over from frustration and disappointment.

I am proud of that girl that decide to ride out the storm knowing it would soon end and the sun would come out again. 

Dear Past Jamie, Thank you for staying strong, keeping the faith, and doing all the hard work. I am proud of you and thankful that you held on. Love, Present Day Jamie

DO something that your future self will thank you for

Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Quiet before the Storm


Seriously tapers are weird! 11 days out and I am as mellow as a kitty sitting in the sun without a care in the world. Last week I was hyped, elated, and ecstatic about the 3 week mark. This week that enthusiasm is still there somewhere but I think it is resting with the rest of my body and mind. After the hype of the 3 week and last long run, I sort of settled into rest the mind and body routine. It is a weird place to be sort like the quiet and mellowness before the rush of next week. I know that by no means is a good thing to be jazzed and wired to thinking about Boston this week (too much thinking can lead to over-thinking) but part me is like what is wrong with you? Boston is coming and you are so should be doing happy dances every 15 minutes. Alas, I am not and I am chilled out, tucked away in my own little mellow world where thoughts of Boston float in and out my head on occasion but I have not dwell too much on it.

I am however very excited about my training Post-Boston. These last couple of weeks of running well and getting in some good workouts was has had me loving training again. I do plan to take 2 weeks off post-Boston to recovery and track my TSH to see how long post marathon it takes my TSH to stabilize. It will be interesting and to see if I need a very small hormone boost to get the TSH to stay stable. Either way I am hopeful.

It is very interesting a few articles/blogs have come to light about the effects of training and the rampant thyroid issues in the elite & sub-elite ranks. There is not a lot of research or support out there for these issues so maybe with some high profile runners finally talking openly about it, everyday runners that find themselves with thyroid issues, we have more information and support.

This a blog an Olympian struggling with the same issue as myself and his detailed account of how devastating it had been on him and his running and how he is bouncing back.


Monday, April 1, 2013

No April Fooling around

life is a beautiful struggle

Today was my last workout effort before Boston. I wanted something that would boost my confidence but not overly stress my body so I opted for yasso 800s. Now there are some that believe Yassos are a predictor workout which would approximate your goal race like 800 at 3:30 pace with equal rest would indicate the potential to hit a 3:30 marathon given you have the endurance behind you. Some say it is not a great marathon specific workout. For me, I know that I really can not gain much fitness in the next 2 weeks and doing anything terrificly hard would do more harm than good so my goal was to run 8 X 800 @ 3:30 pace.

I set out and did this work out at my beloved local track with 2 miles of easy running, strides and some dyanmic warm-up drills. Feel okay but it was much hotter than it has been (65-75) and windy so I was not feeling overly ambitiuos and was just hoping to hit 3:30 pace for the 8.

I went out in the first 800 feeling like it was fast but controlled. And the first repeats of any workout always feel fast as you ease into a workout. I was super surprised when I looked at my pace at the 400 -Yikes - 5:50 pace. I was like girlfriend you need to slow this down big time or you will not be finishing all these intervals. I managed to slow it down to an overall 6:16 pace. I was shocked as that is a 3:08 split. I regained my compoure in the rest and made the mental note that I must keep rain in this effort as I wanted to be sure to get the entire workout in. The following one was a bit more controlled but still came in 6:25 pace = 3:13. It was crazy because my legs literally were going with or without me. I felt them trying to get faster and I was needing to pull back so I thought if I could get the next 4 slower than I had a decent chance of finishing this workout.

I was able finish the workout and surprised that they got faster and smoother. I could have even done 2 more but I knew I did not want to go to the well and this needed to be an medium effort workout. I did what I set out to do run fast, build some confidence and recover quickly.

My 8 went like this 3:08, 3:13, 3:14, 3:14, 3:12, 3:14, 3:11, 3:11

So I had this thought as I was cooling down - my speed is there and definitely have the endurance but I am still slightly concerned about the stamina or the marathon specific fitness. I have NO idea what I am capable in the marathon at this point. I literally have no expectations for a goal time with having no idea. I actually think there is freedom of not having a goal or expectations. Just go live in the moment and see what is there. Let go expectations and let god determine my day. Sort how I have been handling my running over the past weeks. It seems to be working out for me so that is just how I am going to roll into Boston.

I am going to rest for a few days just to be sure I recover from this workout and hope that keeps the TSH level in the normal range. Not that I know what the current number but today was a good indication of it being at a happy place.

Happy Day!

God's purpose is the best purpose. Thank you, God, that I can never ruin your perfect will.