Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Transitioning

September? Really? I remember last winter here in Denver being exceptionally looooonnnng and dreaming about the warmer temps so I didn't have to wear 3 layers of Merino wool under a wind breaker and two pairs of gloves to go outdoors for a run. Fast forward 8 months and here I sit with the month of September's blank calendar staring at me, screaming to be filled in with lots of miles as the summer I so longed for to train comes to a close. With very few miles banked.


The onslaught of back-to-school madness has over taken over - both for myself and my boys. My twin boys are now in high school *sigh* - the same school I'm at, to boot. I had mixed feelings about meshing our daytime lives in the same territory but so far it's been really good. Brendan, always my affectionate child, comes into my office daily and gives me a hug before he heads out to lunch - I'm sure that will change soon but for now I eat it up. Ryan doesn't pop in much, unless he wants a ride home after his study hall, which coincides exactly with my 2:00 departure time. And the best part is I get to spy on them (hourly??) and make sure they're hanging in there and doing the the right thing.

After 9 weeks of total summer slug mode, getting into a new routine is not without it's adjustments. With a new school start time of 7:10 (alarming for any school age child over the age of 13) the 5:30 alarm clock is jolting. The mad rush to get ready is chaotic (a new shower routine needs to be implemented - I am the one always losing out with not much hot water and then scrambling like a maniac to get my butt out the door on time). Then there's lunches amass in assembly line production between bites of my beloved Kashi Go Lean cereal; signing countless teacher expectations forms; checking to make sure homework is in backpacks (and not left at home, which was our nemesis last year); write checks for t-shirts, band fees, cross country fees and agenda notebooks. We fill water bottles, stuff backpacks, stuff granola bars in pockets for after-school activities (band for B and cross country for R) and locate lost shoes. We let the cat in and out 50 times and if I'm lucky, I sometimes manage to get my peanut butter sandwich and banana in my bag for lunch.


Then there's college daughter, who is still enjoying her last few days of freedom as we painstakingly try to figure out her financial aid and what classes to take, along with "what do I do with my life" questions. To be 19 and trying to sort out your professional strengths is never easy.


Cross Country track meets, marching band competitions, college daughters and a new client who's running the Houston Marathon.....we are all trying to find our rhythm - but right now we're just slightly off.

We will get there eventually. Like every transition from one way of life to another, it just takes some time to adjust and find our groove.


To top off the crazies, last Friday and Saturday I got to spend the day working the Skirt Chaser 5K here in Denver. A couple months ago, Beth from "Shut up and Run" asked me if I'd help be one of the logistic coordinators for the big event. Never one to pass up an opportunity to give back to the running community I have taken so much from, I gladly accepted. Well, the paycheck didn't hurt either. Throughout the summer, I have passed out race postcards, toured the police station numerous times - and not because there was a warrant out for my arrest due to recklessly pulling out of my garage and smashing my fender numerous times - but to obtain permits and hire police to man the numerous intersections, and deal with cranky city of Denver officials - who obviously hate their jobs. The race is pretty cool: the chicks get a 3 minute head start over the dudes and in place of a running shirt, the women get running skirts. Cool, huh? Sorry guys, you don't get a skirt - but I did see a few males sporting them nevertheless. The job wrapped up with the big venue on Saturday later afternoon with a 95 degree 5K race. I got there early-ish to fill my 10-hour day by stuffing race packets, registering late participants, eating too much food, drinking too much beer (ok, not really. I had good intentions to keep up with Beth and Tara but the stuff wasn't sitting in my stomach well so a half was all I could down - sorry Jamoosh), cheering on the girls (sorry guys - total girl power here), clipping off timing chips while handing out high-fives, and cleaning up after a 1200 runner post-race party. Whew, my legs were beat and ached worse than any marathon I've ever endured. Seriously. I guess it didn't help that I ran and went to AT class that morning...but nevertheless, it was a lot of fun and something I can use to my advantage on my running resume one day, perhaps.

Tara, me and Beth enjoying a much-needed beer break from the rat-race festivities. Man Beth, you have some cut arm muscles! Not that I hate you or anything!

It was really fun to be on the other side of the race as the runners came in - and since I don't particularly care for 5K's, my heart wasn't aching to join in. So who do you think finished first...was it a guy or a gal? Chicks get a 3-minute head start, remember. I am very proud to say a girl won!! Whoohooo! In fact, her finish time was 17:20 something (is that incredible or what? She didn't even have that runner's build you see with super fast women) so a guy to beat her would have had to run 14:20. I was talking to the cross country coaches at school and there are about 3 males in the state of Colorado running college track that can endure that fast time right now....but it's on a flat track (my guess is they run at CU Boulder, which has a powerhouse track team) so no way anyone was going to pass her. Yes, the chicks rule. In fact, the first 6 finish line runners were female. YAY!

So now that the Skirt Chaser is done and I look at my blank September calendar and wonder at great lengths if running will occupy those little daily calendar squares.

Marathon training has become one of the pillars in my life, holding things up and giving them form. It's so much a regular part of me and I can’t imagine my life without it. I love the training. I love how my body feels fit and clean when I'm on a program. I love how excuses are nonexistent. I love to wake up early and get it done. I love having a purpose to my speed work, tempo runs, hill workouts, and long runs. I love the confidence building aspect of suffering. I love the sacrifices. I am afraid to let go of my training. I am afraid of not pushing myself and afraid of what there is after my heel issue - or worse, IF there will be an after heel issue. I am afraid of wandering aimlessly again with no direction or purpose with my running. I am afraid that by taking a few slow days, I will lose the desire to train….like I did post San Diego marathon 7 years ago when I had some pretty serious hydration issues. The mere act of taking my mess to the road with intent puts everything in perspective for me: I simply run better with a purpose behind it where I can challenge my momentum.

August ended with a grand total of 29 miles - that's like a recovery week during marathon training - blek. 2010 mileage count is 1167.9 - bleeeek. No way I'll reach my "2010 mile" goal for the 2010 year. And that's ok, I guess. I'm transitioning from marathon training to just banking some miles right now - a place I haven't been in a very long time and like our transition from lazy days summer mode to chaotic back-to-school mode, it's not easy to transition from marathon training to just putting in some miles; but I just need to make the adjustments - preparing myself by collecting energy and harnessing positive thoughts to making sure I am firmly rooted for the test ahead.

I FINAAAALLLLY got some somewhat positive news today from my doctor - who has been the actual hold-up on all this insurance mess. The insurance wasn't going to insure me until I got an OK from the doctor that I was cancer-free. I've been fighting with the doctor's receptionist for 3 weeks trying to get a return call from my doctor. Turns out, the doctor's been trying to call but had one of my phone number digits off (or more likely the receptionist, who is NOT my bff) and therefore was not able to get ahold of me last week, as promised. So today when I called back again I was put on hold and eventually got to talk to the doctor LIVE! After discussing the entire situation, she starts reading my folder and it turns ou, believe it or not, I actually HAD a followup biopsy done after my D&C (the "issue" the insurance company denied me on) AND that biopsy turned out negative - no signs of cancer or even pre-cancer. So the insurance company was totally in error with this whole mess and SHOULD have insured me back on August 2nd. Grrrrrr! So the doctor is going to write a letter to the insurance company, along with my negative biopsy results, and hopefully within a couple weeks, I can get this whole insurance disaster laid to rest.

In the meantime, I am running. 29 miles for August, as I mentioned above. I can't foresee September looking a whole lot better, but we'll see. How's the heel behaving, you ask? Eh, so-so. My farthest run was almost 6 on Sunday with my neighbor, Jim, and all was good (but it did hurt a little later that day) - what's really pathetic right now is my pace. But again, I'm in a transition - pace is irrelative, or so I need to force myself to understand. Right now it's about running healthy and not about speed - yet it's very difficult to see the Garmin hovering around the mid-9 range. But at least I'm out there doing what I love to do best: run! A new pesty ailment is actually hindering over my heel: Saturday morning during AT class, I was doing these frog jumps over these short hurdles, a drills that just aches my knee so I usually do something else instead; but we were grouped into teams and I felt obligated to my team so we could move to the next station, so the frog jump I did. And now my knee is really bothering me. I mean, I usually can run through knee pain but this is excruciating to just walk! I ran okay on it Sunday but last night when I tried to run, no way was it happily going to let me do so. When I went to meet Tara tonight for our weekly Wednesday swim (aka: chat) session, I walked into the locker room with my knee fully covered in KT Tape. I had to google how to apply the stuff so I'm certain it wasn't applied correctly; but psychologically, I knew it was magically healing my knee. I'm going to go apply some of this magical hocus-pocus blue tape to my heel tonight when I go to bed. I'm certain I'll wake with all body parts ready to go out and marathon train!

I do like to dream. But I'll never give up hope.

And then ... I'm going to take a few deep breaths while I transition into this cooler September "just running with no marathon training" weather and run whatever my foot allows me to. Right now, I must wrap my head around just being thankful to be running. The marathon in me isn't dead - it's just taking a small break. And the slower than molasses miles I AM allowed to run are miles I can use to my advantage. Let's bring September on! I'm ready for the transition!!

(and sorry this post is all over the map - I've started bits and pieces throughout the week and I just don't have time to pull it all together in one logical post. Very fitting for how my life is right now - ha!).

53 comments:

Velma said...

Whew busy!!! I know you will get back to marathoning - maybe you could pick a great new race for next year? Take the extra time to hang with the boys (when they let you).

marathonmaiden said...

i'm glad that you are able to still be running! keep up the hope -- although i will never doubt your ability to bounce back stronger than ever :)

september is such a great month for running. assuming the weather cools down.

Andrew Opala said...

Nice post certified coach. Thanks for help on my blog. If I were to collect things for a preliminary interview, what would you need from me?

I'll probably get a coach after my run in September.

Anne said...

Transitions are never easy...

I'm glad you can still run and I am convinced that whatever is going on with your heel will be figured out and you will be back out there stronger than ever.

Have a wonderful September...

The Green Girl said...

It was great to hear what's going on with you.

That's awesome that you helped out with the SkirtChaser. I had a great time at that race in Chicago.

I hope your knee is okay and your heel pain goes away quickly. ::hugs::

Brian said...

That's good news about the doctor/insurance!!!!!

Laura said...

Holy busy..awesome recap. Is that tape the same as Rock Tape?

Teamarcia said...

Seeing that pic makes me miss you girls even more! Glad the SC 5k went well in the heat and all your hard work paid off.
Hang in there with the heel. Everything happens for a reason whether we like it or not. I know you'll be back to your speedy self soon!

Jesse said...

Wow, just reading about your life with teenagers makes me tired!
Glad the insurance stuff is getting worked out though.

Johann said...

As I said somewhere earlier this year: life happens and we have to try and work our running into that somehow. Just keep running, doesn’t matter about the distance, as long as you are running. It is weird to read about everyone’s summer ending as here in South Africa spring is starting now.

Ewa said...

Do you ever sleep?
Dr/insurance issues can be totally maddening and then teens... maybe you can't sleep after all. :)
Good luck with your running plans.
Those mountains in the head picture are gorgeous.

Run Jess Run said...

I'm a few days from the back-to-school transition. I'm glad you're running!!!

DRog said...

Give me a break in December I know you will have one of those nice 60 or 70 degree Colorado days while I am stuck in MN below 10 with snow til April! Feelin you on the luch assembly line! haha...also the homework check in the backpack I have 1 child now I cant imagine how its gonna feel with 3:)

great job giving back on the 5K...why do the chics need a head start again?! Seems like good news happening with insurance and progress on the heel...no more frog jumps now...
have a great weekend
-Derek

C2Iowa said...

Nice post. Going back to school is always tough for everyone. YOur miles for the year are still way beyond mine. Keep at it.

Glad to hear that the insurance thing is squaring up.

When do you sleep? You are too busy to sleep at home. Sleeping at school?? ha ha

Christi said...

Welcome back to school! I know that transition is never easy but this year I don't have to worry about it. My son graduated in the spring so no transition for us.

Congrats on the insurance issue!

Running will come! Just do as I am doing and consider this all training for the day you are back to running!

ShutUpandRun said...

Pulling for you over here and glad you finally got to talk with the doc and hopefully this whole mess will get cleared so you can get that heel well. I know a wonderful marathon training season is in your future. Thanks again for all of your help withe the Skirt Chaser. It wasn't the smoothest at times, but we got through it!!!

Suzy said...

OK girl, I think that you should breath now and then on top of everything else you've got going on. I hope the insurance co doesn't give you any more headaches. I hope the running continues to improve with no heel pain. I hope for lots of things. Most of all, I hope you have a wonderful day.

Marlene said...

I love September!!

It's cool that you get to work at the same school as your boys. Good luck getting into the swing of things!

Awesome that you got to check out the Skirt Chaser; sounds like a great event!

Good news on some progress with insurance. What a headache!

Irene said...

I'm glad to know the insurance issue will be resolved! What a snotty receptionist, though. She would have never lasted at our office. ;) Just sayin'.

I also *get it* when you wrote about running and checking your Garmin for time/pace, and it's not what you're used to. I'm there, too, and as much as I tell my self it's healthy running, I'm still a little wistful over what I was running before all of the injury shenanigans.

Yep. Bring on the September transition!

Emz said...

You girls are the girls I'd love to meet. What a fun group. Love the photo.

Runners Fuel said...

You are very busy. Awesome that you still find time to run!

Whitney said...

That 5K sounds like so much fun - I would love to get a skirt from a run!

Erica said...

Totally hear you on the Marathon training is the "pillar!" Its a fabulous thing..

You look great in that pic! and that shirt is AWESOME!

Scott Keeps Running said...

Sounds like a fun 5k. :)

(PS Insurance companies are not my bff.)

Running and living said...

I hope you'll find a way to enjoy this running without training period. Can you call it pretraining? That has always worked for me:)

Abby said...

I'm right there with you in the transition limbo. Hope you're settling in well!

AM-GoalsfortheWeek said...

i'm so sorry you had to deal w/all that insurance bologna!! I'm currently seriously debating switching our insurance bc it keeps going up in price!! it's killin' me over here!!

lindsay said...

Dang Jill. Where do I start. You should assign lunch-making to the kids. I always had to make my own lunch in high school. Sooo hard ;)

The Skirt run sounds like a fun time and success! Whoa that winner is speedy, an in CO no less. You know, it's just harder to run there.

It's actually not that hard to "just run". I always thought it was hard and impossible, but now I can't seem to light a fire under my butt and do speedwork :) totally content "just" running. No hard breathing, no heart beating out of my chest, it's kinda nice!

Finally, some headway on insurance. Hope they quit being morons!! Wrap that heel up with all the KT tape you can find--hope it works!

Beth said...

Jill- I completely understand how you feel about training, I feel like a fish out of water right now without a plan for a large event to train for. I am so happy that your insurance is being worked out and that your heel is a bit better. I am SO jealous of you going back to school (work), I was a classroom teacher for 5 years before moving to informal education, this will be only the second September that I haven’t gone back to school since I was 4 (as either a student or teacher) and it still feels weird not to. Fingers crossed that your September fills up with pain free miles!

P.S- I am sad I missed the skirt chaser, I would have loved to meet you, Beth and Tara!

Tina @GottaRunNow said...

I don't know how you get everything done! And, yes, do spy on your kids. It's good for them! ; )

Running skirts instead of shirts is a fun idea. I don't have any skirts, but I might try one if I were given one.

ajh said...

There's so much I could reply to. I hate hate hate not training for races. I like races of all lengths. They are my crack and I am in withdrawl. Yes I just did a race and it was great but I am not so sure about races in my future. And FALL is the best time for racing and running! I am worried about losing my fitness I had built up. I don't want to let up. I love running! But I am so unsure of what to do for my heel. I think I have it figured out and then something happens and I so don't have it figured out. I will email you after my appt. but hang in there! And in this case misery doesn't love company! Get well!

Tara said...

Hey little lady, supposed to be 44 degrees tonight, so bundle up! How's that for September. Yay!

Keep me posted on your insurance, I'm crossing my fingers that you get it taken care of VERY soon and you can get into the doc to see about that heel and that (crazy taped up) knee!

I love that pic of us, except I'm lookin rather large there.

Julie said...

Hi Jill,
I just happen to love your "all over the map" posts! I feel like you are talking to me:)

I know what you mean about getting into a new routine and how life is going to change now that school is starting. Is is possible that my life is only going to get busier!?! Oh crap! You sound better than me...I am just a tad bit stressed! College boy is moved out but some of his junk still sits in my living room! WTH!

Good news for you and I am thrilled:) Hopefully that darn heel of yours will get better and you will be back to your crazy high mile running months! I am sending you lots of positive and happy well wishes:) Love and hugs! Take care Jill!

Molly said...

Laughed out loud at the beer photo!

So glad that the insurance mess is working out for you!! I've got to look into that KT tape. I think it might help my poor hammy out.

have a great holiday weekend!

Keeley said...

Ewwww, 3 layers of merino under a windbreaker to run? Gah! My heart goes out to you.
Good luck with the school thing! I hope it continues and that you enjoy it. Good luck also to the 19 year old. Going to college is an exciting time.
Your description of the skirt chaser makes me want to go out and buy that skirt I was drooling over in Fleet Feet. =P
Oh my!! I had no idea you had cancer. YAY on being cancer free and boo to the hideous insurance company.

Amanda - RunToTheFinish said...

i had a goal for 2009 last year and got hurt, it bummed me out not to hit the mileage but really i got a whole new appreciation for running and listening to my body...which um I'm a little better at, but not great :)

can't imagine actually having to feel a shift in seasons because of a change in schedule

Adam said...

WOW!!! Reading post made me tired. I think I'm going to go take a nap.

(VERY cool that a girl won that race!)

Adam said...

BTW - your comment on Andrew's post about you being certified coach. Shoot me an email (reply to this comment) I have a question for you.. :)

misszippy said...

Lots going on there! So glad you have at least made a bit of progress on the insurance issue. Now bring on the doc visit and some steps towards healing!

Everything will work its way out. You are right, you're NOT done with marathons!

Christina said...

All I want to say is you do not look like you are a mom of a college kid and 2 teen boys.
Didn't know you had cancer. Yay on being cancer-free!

Jamie said...

glad you were finally able to talk to your doctor and your closer to being insured! try and enjoy the running you can do in these cooler months. you'll be back marathoning i'm sure!

elaine said...

I'm all over the map on how to respond. I enjoyed catching up...I am struggling trying to find fitness. My "runs" are in the mid 11s, so 9:30s sound great. Can't wait to hear what the doctor says.

T.C. said...

Starting school at 7:10??? That should be illegal! We have to report at 7:25 which is early enough, but the kids don't start until 8. I can't imagine what your mornings are like!

LMC said...

So glad to hear that there is some good news for you on the insurance front! I just know that there is another marathon in your future, heck many more. Would it help to run without a watch? I know that is hard (i rarely do that), but if you don't know the time or the pace, then you can't compare it to past events. Hang in there, oh and get some sleep (how do you get so much done in a day?)!!

TX Runner Mom said...

Jeeze and I think life is busy with a kindergartener and one in daycare, lol! Good to read that the insurance thing is working out.

Black Knight said...

I am glad of the news about doctor/insurance. Here the health system is different, the cures are free (not the medicines, but the family doctor and the hospital, moreover we pay a ticket for the tests and the specialistic visits). However there are some categories that get a free insurance to integrate the national health system (I have it).
I have your same feeling when I'm on a program, my body feels fit and clean and the excuses are nonexistent.

Staci Dombroski said...

Glad to hear that it is going to work out with the insurance! If my husband gets his job offer in Denver, I will have to seek your advice on places to live :) Have a great week!

shellyrm aka jogging stroller mama said...

You have been busy! Helping out at the race sounded great, tiring but great.

So glad to hear that the insurance issues are getting worked out and that you are running BUT taking it easy. You know you are your own worse critic. Don't put so much pressure on yourself. No you didn't write about it really but I can tell it is there! Take care of you!! *hugs*

Katie A. said...

You are a strong woman - please don't ever let that fade away from your thoughts ;)

I'm so glad you had a blast with the skirt chaser - wish I could have joined in! And so glad the insurance thing finally has light at the end of the tunnel!
Hugs to you!

Gillie said...

Almost 1200 miles this while being injured? I feel like such a slacker.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like working the 5K was a blast! Nice pic of you and your friends. You've got me beat with your mileage too chicklet.. I hope you get over your heel injury soon, and I'm glad to hear you've been running. You know.. if there every IS a warrant out for your arrest, we do have a plan remember? hahaha...Take care.. RC

DRog said...

Thought of you today...packing lunches and ...homework! ahhhhhhhhhhh!!! but also thought of you as I did a 6 miler last night, now I'm not obessing with a time for TCM (lie) was thinking of you and KC and Charlie (from my Wed morn swim group) all did a BQ run. my state of mind right now=
i can do it
i cant do it
i can do it
i cant do it
i can do it
i cant do it

I really need to stop thinking about what I can do about it, cause I cant, I just have to run that day and give it my shot and be strong

Glenn Jones said...

Jill - it's great to hear that you are back out and on your feet again! And it's great to hear that your insurance issue has been resolved. I'm excited! Sorry it's taken so long to get to this post. I'm only like what, six days behind?

And, fwiw, right now I'd be happy to see my paces in the mid 9's. Heck I'd be happy to just be in the right mindset to run!