Friday Fitness News: Bummer News

Over the years that I’ve volunteered with disabled athletes, and become one myself (sort of), I have learned a lot from my newfound friendships.

Love Achilles!

Love Achilles!

-You don’t have to have sight to see who your friends are or complete multiple marathons. 

-You don’t have to have all your limbs in tact to hold people in your embrace or beat 90% of the racing field.

-Only you define your limits and they are endless, including competing in triathlons.

We have all been inspired by the Special Olympics and this summer’s groundbreaking news of a disabled athlete, double amputee Oscar Pistorius, competing against able-bodied athletes. Sadly, it seems that image of Pistorius-the-Great is gone now that he’s been charged with murdering his model girlfriend on Valentine’s Day. As the story unfolds, it continues to be a very sad, shocking, and disappointing situation.

Oscar "The Bullet" Pistorius seems like an eerie nickname now. (Image courtesy of the Washington Post)

Oscar “The Bullet” Pistorius seems like an eerie nickname now. (Image courtesy of the Washington Post)

In other news…

Brrrrrrrr!!!!

Brrrrrrrr!!!!

 

 

And that’s the news this week, friends. Don’t forget the lulunatics meet tomorrow at 9am for 8 miles in Central Park. Come run with us…if it’s not snowing like crazy or icey. Eeeeeeek!

Now go out and run!

Kiss Post-Marathon Blues Goodbye

I ran my first marathon in New York City. It was an amazing experience that I’ll always remember and cherish. I was so excited to have finished a marathon and to have done it in New York!

Me and my very first marathon medal the next morning. Yay!

But I also remember being seriously bummed out as the post-marathon high wore off. What the heck? Wasn’t I supposed to be walking on airs for at least a few weeks, basking in the glow of the finish line glory for all the world to see? Well, yes, buuuuuuut, that died down after about a week. People stopped asking about it and life, you know, moved on.

My high was gone and I was still in marathon recovery mode, so I couldn’t exactly just pick up and race again. So sad. I had reached my goal! Now what?

I eventually came out of my funk but it took a whole new experience to get me going again. That’s when I found Achilles International and started volunteering on Saturday mornings as a guide for disabled runners in Central Park. Running with these amazing athletes definitely helped me get my groove back and even gave me a goal for the next marathon season.

Me and my friend, Leol, who also finished the NYCM this year!

So what’s the key?

Do something else. Anything else. Maybe even do something besides running (gasp!) or do something running-related, like volunteering at a local race with kids or something cute like that. The Girls On the Run 5K is on December 10th, which I’m going to use as my post-marathon, holiday season, do-gooder, get-off-my-post-marathon-a** and do something new event.

But what gets YOU going after a marathon? A new challenge: triathlon, 30 day yoga challenge anyone? A new activity: indoor cycling/climbing/kickboxing? Something completely different: book club/rearrange your apartment furniture/clean out all your closets/volunteer at a homeless kitchen…what else?

Or maybe you caught the marathon bug and are already searching for your next race and a new training schedule to have an even better finish time. That’s what I’ve done after the past few marathons. I got to a place where my marathons didn’t leave me as spent as they did in the beginning (don’t get me wrong, I was TIRED and I worked HARD, but I recovered faster) so I decided to switch up my training schedule to accommodate two marathons a year instead of one.

The result was Jersey. Which…well, it wasn’t a success where time was concerned BUT it was a HUGE success where my training was concerned. I finished super-strong and on pace despite having a hideous middle eight miles. To me, that was the biggest success of my running career.

Yay! Proudest finisher at the NJ Marathon!

So, if you’re finding yourself down in the dumps post-marathon (or any other race/goal), set a new goal. Don’t have one? Sit down with a friend who motivates and encourages you and get the conversation going in the direction of a new goal.

I cannot stress enough to you how very real this problem can be. You’ve achieved a goal that many people never even consider attempting and that can be a very difficult high to come down from. This is the best way I have learned how to deal with the post-marathon blues. What are your tricks?

Tell me all about it and then go out and run!

Keep Calm and Carry On: DON’T PANIC

When I started this whole blogging thing, I had a few goals in mind. #1. To share my knowledge about running, exercise in general and the human body with others #2. To be the change I want to see in the (IBD) world #3. To inspire people to be healthy.

I didn’t want my blog to be all about me and my own fitness journey and my IBD. Rather, I wanted it to be a place where I use my experiences to paint a broader picture about how to be the best runner/athlete you can be. I am totally on that journey and I hope that you are, too. I guess I don’t do too bad a job at that since one reader commented on a post where I mentioned my Ulcerative Colitis, “I didn’t know you have UC!”

But today I can’t think about anything else but Philly. So, today is all about me Being the Change I Want To See In the World and being open about my struggles with Ulcerative Colitis. If it’s not your thing, sorry for the detour in the blog. I’ll be back to our regularly scheduled programming tomorrow!

Between the added stresses that life seems to be constantly throwing my way (and everyone else’s, I’m sure) and my continued flare-up, I’m totally panicking about Philly. I just want to run. I want to be able to show up to the corrals and to have my pace be the only thing I’m worried about, not how many POJs are out there on the course. I want to worry about my clothes and my hair and how I will look in my pictures (don’t lie, you worry about this, too), not how I can communicate with my husband if I’m in trouble out there on the course like I was in Jersey.

So, today I am doing my best to Keep Calm and Carry On.

Image courtesy of Amazon.com

Did you know that phrase has its origins in WWII Britain? Yeah, that certainly makes me pause when I start to panic. What’s a little bathroom trouble when you’re comparing it to being bombed by Nazis? Eeek.

There are lots of places I am looking to for perspective because, in the long run if things get really bad, I will just do the half. I mean, I’m not obsessed with times and places and I certainly don’t beat myself up if I have to drop down to shorter distance because of my chronic medical condition. It’s not like I’m quitting. I know I will finish and that’s really the most important thing to me.

I mean, in the end, finishing is all that really matters. Ask Maickel.

But I DO wish I could race it without a care in the world.

Dr. Boz and I have a Plan. Not that I want to have to use The Plan. It involves a not-so-pleasant day of not-so-pleasant things, although the result will be that I can run virtually worry-free where the POJs are concerned. But, still, I don’t want to have to use The Plan.

I guess I wish I wasn’t sick. Isn’t that what it comes down to? I wish I didn’t have to deal with all this crap (Ha! That never gets old). I’m not one to panic about working out. In fact, it’s usually the one place where I feel most at peace and relaxed but it’s now something I get anxiety about, especially if it’s in a group setting. Or a new place. Or not near a bathroom. Or something I have to do for work where people are counting on me/paying for my time. So frustrating.

Ugh. So, I’m Keeping Calm and Carrying On and reminding myself of Maickel’s courageous finish and others who are “running” other “marathons”, experiencing things much, much worse than anything I’ve gone through. Perspective.

I will cross the finish line no matter how long it takes me or how many miles I decide to cover, given how I’m feeling that day. I will have a picture like these to show you in a little over a week:

 

Keep Calm and Carry On, everybody.

Now go out and run!