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.

FALL ALLERGIES - YOU SUCK!!!!

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.

STRENGTH

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.


Circumstances




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. 


Believe!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Refocusing

"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. 




Thursday, September 5, 2013

It is not my WHY NOT, It is my WHY!!!

 

This Hashimoto's fight is no longer mine alone. It is for all those women (and men) that are fight for health, happiness and well-being. I have heard from so many others as I have been vocal about my fight with Thyroid. I realized by being quiet and keeping the fighting to myself, I was not serving the way I am suppose to. You see other people stories have healed me and brought out the fire in me. I need to let others see me in my darkest hours so they can see me rise which in turn (my hope) it gives them the courage to fight their fight. We all have different paths and journey's but our stories can heal each other and provide hope. If I can provide hope or inspiration to others to fight through their struggle than I am living my life well.

For me it is no longer why me but rather I get it is why me now. I need to fight hard to show others the way and that it can be done. Remembering that ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE!!!! That you do not have to accept tired, overweight and sad as your standard of life. That you can make it through to the other side. I am ready to forge that path even if it hurts a lot emotionally and physically. I am strong enough for this fight. I believe in myself to never to give up and believe that no matter what comes that God is with me. He wouldn't have put the dream in my heart if he didn't give me the tools to get there. I believe that with my whole soul that I am suppose to be forging this path. I read good advice once that if you had a chose of two paths, pick the most difficult one as it provides the most rewards.

Honestly there aren't many others that have gone this way to say HEY FOLLOW ME and you will get there so I have to be brave enough to follow my heart and intuition as it can not lead me astray even when I hit the bumps and the sucker punches. I have to get up believing that I will find a way.

That is all. Dear Lord, Thank you for helping find a way today. Amen. and Peace and Love.

All things are possible

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Must get back to posting regularly

Karen Salmansohn, best selling author via facebook

I know, I know I keep saying and honestly get excited about doing it and than it all becomes so much.

The ups and downs of Hashimotos are ridiculous. One week I am flying high and everything seems to be working out and than CRASH! Hormones go crazytown and I left wondering wtf? The rollercoaster ride can take its toll and did if fact do that to me last week.

I had been feeling amazing and running really well for about 4-6 weeks and than last week I started feeling a bit off. In the craziness and busyness of kids going to school and preparing for my trip to Cali, I did not pay much attention to the signs that my body was moving from an optimal state into an "hyperthyroid" state. I needed that extra energy to get things done so the fact that I was so wired and not sleeping - totally okay with me for a couple days to get shit done but than I started to feel the "crash" of hyper state coming my way just 3-4 days before I was race a half marathon. I had an amazingly fast workout 5 days out, I felt off during both warm-up and cool-down but I literally flew through the workout with ease. The next day during my recovery run, I felt fine running both this weird calmly feeling after run and shivers and a cold sweat the rest of the day. Totally weird and the calmy & sweaty feel would come and go. Than happen the next day after my easy run. I was in California by this point enjoying the wonderful, humidity free air and a little concerned about how I was feeling. I knew something was off but really tried my best to know that it was going to be okay both for my trip and race. Because I was visiting with my sister, it was easy to distract my mind from my health but at night as I lay trying to sleep, I could feel my heart racing a bit harder than normal. I stop taking my meds 2 days before the race, hoping that would lower my hormones levels and bring them back into balance as I knew these were all signs that I was hyperthyroid.

Race day morning - I had a positive outlook and my hopes were high but also cautious. As I did my warm-up, within 10 days of warm-up that yucky feeling was there. After I did my strides I felt even worse and my hands felt like they were swelling - it was was weird. I toe-lined the hoping and praying for the best. The race was actually delayed by 10 minutes and I was there trying to keep myself for focusing the worst case scenarios. Yes the thoughts of DNFing were there and I kept trying to not let myself go there. I lined up near the 1:40 guy and thought okay if I just stay with him, I will be okay. Honestly my goal was sub 1:35 but at this point, I knew it would be beyond lucky if I could run a 1:40. So I was happy to run near this pace guy. Race started and I dropped in right behind the 1:40 guy. After the first mile, I thought okay I can do this my body is handling this pace fine and I even got a bit ahead of the pacer after 2 miles. I was not wearing a Garmin and just going on feel but I felt all sudden that was pressing way too hard and ask the gal next to me what pace were running and she said 7:32. I was shocked as the pace felt more like 5:30 to me at that point. And I struggled mental as I was feeling like total crap and thought it would be a miracle for me to even run 6 miles feeling like this. I let the 1:40 guy go on past me around 6 miles and I just tried to stay in it. I finished at 1:41:40. I was beyond thankful to finish because each mile beyond 3 was a mentally grueling effort. I never gave up during the race. This race time no where reflect where my coach or myself feel my fitness is at but it is what I had I on this day.

I am proud of myself for not getting down or beating myself up. I stayed positive when things looked bleak both in the days before and during the race. I didn't get upset and kept my chin and just know one day all this will make sense. I know that if I keep patient and positive, I will be able to run a race the reflects all my hard work and efforts.

We do not get to pick our obstacles or trials. We do get to pick our attitude and how we are going handle the disappointments. I will not let this disappointment set me back. I know that I am moving forward and good thing lie ahead.

The size of your success is measured by the strength of your desire. The size of your dream and how you handle disappointment along the way