Want to Know a Truth…

We spend January 1st walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched.  Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives…not looking for flaws, but for potential. Ellen Goodman

Here’s my truth:   My long time mindset of harder is better has served to make me feel discouraged more times than it’s made me feel good about myself and the work I do.  Now in this long recovery cycle, I realize it may be totally off base.

Funny thing is that my nutritionist recently told me, “You know you can get healthy just from walking every day.  You don’t have to work so hard at this.”   My foot doctor told me, “You know you don’t have to run six days a week to get healthy.  You can benefit from cross training and/or taking long walks.”  My running club told me, “You can use walking to strengthen and improve your running.”  My heart rate coach told me time spent building my endurance would have huge payoffs in the long run.  But, the short run might involve a lot of walking.”  My husband told me, “You don’t have to prove anything to anyone.”  But my ego told me, “You can push through this.  You don’t have to go back to being a beginner and walking.  You can run through these bumps in the road.

Wanna know a truth… I’ve come to finally realize that – Just because I take breaks to walk doesn’t mean I’m not a runner.

Jeff Galloway says, “Never underestimate the power of a good walk—and not just as a mid-run break. Going for a “pure” walk, (no running at all) allows your body to make small adaptations that strengthen your feet, knees and hips. Long, brisk walks can help boost your endurance. And walking as a means of cross-training gives your joints and running muscles a well-deserved break, which can help reduce or eliminate the aches and pains caused by running.”  Jeff is an Olympic runner who has taught many people how to successfully learn to run.  His running clubs are found all over the world and I had the pleasure of working with one in New York City this year.  Bill, a marathoner, ran with my group one weekend in Central Park.  He was running with me and talking about how he had burned out as a runner.  He talked about how hard he was training and how it took a toll on his body.  He told me that, “You can never run too slow when training, but you definitely can run too fast.”  He recommended that I run as slow as possible on my training runs and it would benefit me greatly over time.  He explained that during his first marathon he overtrained and had nothing left at the end.  The next year, running with the Galloway club to train, he finished strong and passed many runners on the course who had flown by him in the earlier stages of the race.

This time I think I actually understand what many have been trying to tell me.  My improvement may actually depend on slowing it down.  Galloway believes that walking can help strengthen your muscles and increase your endurance.  Further, he believes that it re-conditions soft tissue (muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia, connective tissue), preparing them for the more rigorous demands of running.  This sounds like just what the doctor ordered and what I need to start again.   Friday, I decided it was time to start walking a little to get moving again.  I’ve had three (3) weeks of total rest and am now ready to walk lightly to get back out there.  I walked two miles on Friday and Saturday and it felt great to be outside in the crisp fall air.  I took my dog with me to ensure that I kept it at a walk, as he’s definitely not a running dog.  I will continue to take shorter walks and hope to increase my endurance and mental mindset for running.

This week, I got a Facebook message from a childhood friend.  She decided to start the Couch to 5K plan with the long term plan of joining us on some runs this year.  Her joy and excitement in the discovery of running made me realize what I was truly missing.  There is joy to be found in running not just work.  It is not just about increasing pace, or distance.  It’s about reclaiming health and feeling great about what you’ve accomplished.  Wanna know a truth…I haven’t felt that in a very long time!  Running is not my job, it’s my joy and I’m setting off to find that again.  Thanks Deb for reminding me what it’s truly about.  Can’t wait to run with you and Helen soon, even if we end up running to the nearest Irish pub and staying for hours.

What’s your current truth?  Leave me a message below and let’s get started on moving forward together.

Worth checking out:


Opening quote taken from my running friend Tony Garcia’s book – Wanna Know a Truth:A Simple Man’s Search for the Truths in His Life.  I’ve enjoyed Tony’s journey and writing.  His book is definitely worth checking out.

Functional Movement Specialist – Ever wonder why you keep getting injured? Tired of hearing, “Maybe your body is just not meant to run.” Contact Jessica Leggio for a consultation and get on track to running pain free. Mention my name – Laura Hess Kump, or this blog Reclaiming My Health for a free consultation –  Run Pain Free

Galloway Training – Official website can be found at – Jeff Galloway

Lists of Galloway groups in different states can be found on the main website.  Here is the link to the New York City chapter, a very active and supportive group – New York City Galloway Group  This page has dates for the training cycle we just completed, but information on joining for the next cycle can be found here.  We begin again in May, however members meet unofficially throughout the winter months.

 

 

We Can Rebuild Her…

Laura Kump, Principal

A runner broken down.

We can rebuild her.  We have the technology.  We can make her better than she was.  Better, stronger, faster.

I am a child of the 70s who grew up on corny television shows and slogans.  Truly, I can connect any situation to a jingle, slogan, opening song or quote.  It’s a slightly troubling habit I’ll admit, but one that helps me formulate leads when I write quite nicely.  Who can name the show this quote was taken from?

I am, as you know, injured and most likely missing the marathon I’ve trained for.  I haven’t pushed the defer button yet, because you know I’m still praying for a miracle.  If I can get this foot in a sneaker, I just may give it a go and walk/run the course.  If not, it’s over – likely it is over – but hey a girl can dream.

I’m once again planning to rebuild, learn from my mistakes and move forward toward NYC Marathon 2018.  Either way, if I make it this year or not, I’ll be there in 2018 because it’s not the experience I had in mind.  I spent my morning planning, that’s just what educators do, plan for success.  I’ve got my planning tools lined up, including my nutritionist, functional movement trainer, doctor’s orders (OK, I may not follow these exactly), books and nothing but time today to plan.  After spending some time working on planning for my job, I’ve now shifted to planning to rebuild me.

First order of business was to spend time on the phone with my nutritionist, chatting about ways to increase my intake of those pesky vegetables I love to hate and heal my broken bones.  I am going back to having a morning veggie drink in my trusty Vitamix starting Monday.  This will increase my intake of vegetables to ensure I am getting enough in my day.  I had on my to be read pile the book, The Grain Brain Whole Life Plan by Dr. David Perlmutter, a world renowned neurologist.  His work around the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease and other brain related diseases has become very personal to him following the death of his father.  He has dedicated his life to the effort to help others stay healthy through diet and lifestyle changes and I purchased his most recent book to continue my fight to reclaim my health and offset this disease.  Today, I finally opened the book and began reading.  The first quote really grabs you by the throat –

In the next eighteen minutes, four Americans will die from the food they eat.  That’s one person ever four and a half minutes.

This is the opening statement I heard recently on a TED talk given by Jamie Oliver.  He too has been leading a crusade against the use of processed foods in schools, linking it to higher than average obesity rates in children, and long term to chronic disease.   Reading this again reminded me of why I began this journey and helped to reel me in from my week of pity eating.  Lot’s of bad choices were made this week for sure.  Dr. Perlmutter states that, “You can choose your health destiny.”  This gives great hope and sense of purpose to those like me who by virtue of family history, have a higher risk for Alzheimer’s disease.  What goes into my mouth and body, along with other lifestyle choices, can greatly impact my physical well being.  I need to keep myself focused on that and move forward to the next chapter of my journey.

This weekend, I hope to put a shoe on my foot, a real shoe.  I’m tired of this broken toe version, though I did find I could run in it when needed this week at work.  I admit at that realization to thinking of buying a match for the other foot and running the marathon in them, but I’m thinking my feet would not appreciate that at all.  I hope to do some light rolling and stretching work and possibly take a nice slow walk.   That is my very short term exercise goal.  My nutritional goal is to plan my menu for the week, a habit I’ve shared in earlier posts, the only way I stay on track.  Tomorrow, I will cook at least three (3) meals that I will rotate for lunch and dinner all week.  I will do my food shopping for the week and plan for successful eating that curbs those junky pretzels I ate this week in place of food.

Finally, I hope to chat with my functional movement coach at some point this weekend to plan my long term recovery sessions.  I must allow some healing time for the stress fracture before getting back to Central Park, but there are always things we can do to rebuild this broken runner.  You can definitely say this woman is down, but not out.  I’m still on the road, just recalculating the road map.

I thank each and every one of you who took time to reach out to me following last week’s blog.  Your well wishes, jokes and love really were the best medicine.  Thank you for your continued support of my blog and mission.  I leave you with an exchange I had with a student yesterday that had me hysterically laughing – the best medicine of all.

Student: “What the heck did you do to your foot now.

Me: “This is the same injury I had when I saw you Monday.  You know what happened to me.”

Student: “Well, you just keep injuring that foot, don’t you.”

Me: “Guess so.”

Student: “Well, if you keep this up you know that foot may just fall off already.”

Me:  Laughing inside.  “Hope not!”

Here are some resources I’m spending time with this weekend:

Jamie Oliver’s TED talk

The Grain Brain Whole Life Plan
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Functional Movement Specialist 

Jessica Leggio, Run Pain Free

Free consultations are available (includes workout) when you mention my blog or name Laura Hess Kump.  Online option available if you can’t make the trip.  Worth the time – life changing stuff.

Always love connecting with readers of this blog for feedback and conversation.  Feel free to leave a comment below, or contact me directly.

Coincidence or Message

24 days left until the start of the 2017 New York City Marathon, my goal race for the year and my bucket list race for life.  I’ve shared the training highs, aha moments and struggles.  Anyone who has trained for a marathon knows that #thestruggleisreal, especially when doing so as a mere mortal.  I am a mother, wife, sister, friend, Principal and the list goes on an on.  I am not a professional runner, nor was I blessed with a body that can run like a gazelle, gracefully prancing through the woods.  Nope, I was blessed with a body that can run like a turtle, sometimes running through peanut butter, but this body can run indeed and for that I am thankful. Seriously, anyone who has run 26.2 miles, or any distance, knows the distance is the same no matter how fast or slow you run.

For me, it’s never really been about winning the race.  It’s always been more about doing it and finishing it.  For me it’s always been about the journey, the learning and the personal growth that comes along with both.  As an educator, I am working with my staff on teaching growth mindset principles to students.  Every day, we seek to cultivate and motivate our students to use their grit, determination and tenacity to power through struggles.  We know, and the research shows, that these traits will carry our students far in life.  We also know that we are always role models for our students and as such, must always practice what we preach.  How could I ever then, in good conscience, expect my students to struggle through to overcome their challenges if I quit and give up when faced with my own?

As I’ve hit this last obstacle, I’ve envisioned myself in what we loving call the Learning Pit at my school.  I’m down in that darn pit once again, but I am not going to stay there for long.  I am working hard and working my way out, everyday a little closer to my goals.  I do have moments where I realize that staying down would be far easier for me, but I also know the sheer joy of success when I reach the other side.  This week, I’ve had my moments.  A severely claustrophobic person heading into an MRI is not a pretty sight people.  In fact, you know you’re exceptionally challenged when the technician says to you upon entering – “Oh, I remember you.”  Yes, the struggle is real!  I admit to pushing the panic button once in the stand up MRI, clutching it the whole time and wanting to push it over and over again.  I admit this week to staying in bed for one day and skipping my scheduled workout.  It was the day after the MRI and I just “needed a moment” to regroup.  I admit to texting my coach Jessica and telling her I think we may need to break up.  But, as always happens on this crazy journey the signs to keep going kept coming at me a mile a minute.  These signs led me to once again question, “Are these signs a coincidence?, A sign? or God telling me – get up girl you got this and I got you.”

This week my local paper published a short article on my journey written by a man who interviewed me a few weeks ago.  Funny that it showed up in my life on Monday – Monday, Monday, you all know the day.

“Every other day, every other day
Every other day of the week is fine, yeah
But whenever Monday comes, but whenever Monday comes
You can find me cryin´ all of the time”

My running Instagram friend’s book finally arrived. I also got the audible version – something I’ve never done.  Listening to her beautiful voice as I walk, run or lay around has been so motivational this week.  Thank you Mirna Valerio for sharing your story with us all.  You are incredible!

As I was watching the news this morning, I saw an interview with a veteran who had lost both legs during his tour of duty.  He is now on a journey to run 31 marathons in 31 days on prosthetic legs!  I mean come on now, that is just totally amazing.  I listened to him say how he just accepted his loss pretty quickly and moved on to turn it into something good.  Well, this young man touched my heart and fostered some motivation to reengage with my climb out of this darn learning pit.

Finally, as always, I have to thank my coach.  Many coaches when receiving a break up text which included – “We’ll begin again in January and rebuild.” – would have responded OK, see you then, be well.  But mine, nope not her.  She was not letting me off the hook, rather she decided to throw a rope into the pitt and implore me to take hold of it.  She gave me the Moonstruck speech – you know the one – “Snap out of it” followed by a slap.  She reminded me that to just choose to heal, without strengthening or working to cure the dysfunction would just leave me back on the other side of this darn learning pit.

Back to the beginning of this journey is definitely not what I have in mind either.  I’ve put too much work into this struggle to just go home.  So, I am taking the weekend to regroup, alter my plans and get my butt outside to RUN.  My long run is Sunday and I’m shooting for – AS MANY AS I CAN, AS SLOW AS I MUST AND WITHOUT ANY TIME, HEART RATE OR PACE GOALS PLANNED.  WOOHOO

I feel my hand gripping that rope, I see my feet climbing the other side of the pit’s wall. Thanks to the signs sent my way this week, the message has been received loud and clear.  Onward!

Special thanks to my dear friend and coach Jessica Leggio for never giving up on me.  This is what good teachers do, they teach, push and love us.

Feeling like giving up?  Need some messages yourself?  Check out these links for some inspiration and keep climbing!

A Beautiful Work In Progress You will laugh with her, you will cry and most importantly you will leave motivated. Highly recommend the audible version through Amazon.

31 Marathons in 31 Days
Amazing story of overcoming obstacles

Last, but not least, meet my beautiful coach Jessica Leggio. Call her to set up a consultation and you will leave motivated to overcome your challenge. Mention my blog, or name – Laura Hess Kump – and get a free in person consultation!
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Social Connections

What’s a runner to do when they are feeling down and out? Reach out and connect to other runners. The running community is made up of people from all walks of life.  We come in all different cultures, sizes, shapes, genders, religions and colors.  In this world of divisiveness, the running community is one of strong solidarity. When I was told last week I needed to get a MRI to rule out a femoral stress fracture I nearly lost it. I have worked so long and hard to run the New York City Marathon on November 5th. There was no way I could wrap my head around the thought of yet another injury delaying this goal. I decided then and there that no matter what I AM finishing this marathon.

Last Saturday, I put a post on my NYCM training page, comprised of hundreds of runners from all over the world, asking – “Are there any other injured souls out there interested in possibly walking the course and stopping for a beer in every borough?”  It was meant as a joke and a way to turn a negative situation into something positive.  I never anticipated the response to this post.  As I went through the day, I was totally distracted by the hundreds of responses that started pouring in immediately. Nancy Nowack was one of the first to respond and she truly has been a lightening rod in keeping this movement going.  And, as it turns out, we share the same running coach.  Coincidence we connected?  I think not!

What started as a simple joke post, ended up being a lifeline for many who thought they were down and out.  One runner responded from the Netherlands that this is his 39th NYC Marathon run and he planned to walk the entire course because he is currently unable to run.  Another, a runner said she plans to walk the course on crutches, something she has done at several other marathons.  My friend Helen, tore her meniscus and thought she was out of the marathon for a second year.  She now plans to walk the course.  Nancy decided to organize a separate Facebook group for anyone injured looking to still do the course that day.  It already has over 100 runners. Some of the comments I read this morning made my heart lift – “This group gave me renewed hope.”, “I can’t express what this group has done for my head, my anxiety has lessened.”  They even want to start a gratitude thread for Nancy!  YAY – way to lift each other up.

As for me, I still hope to run this race.  My coach Jessica is supporting my functional strength work and nutrition.   My MRI is scheduled for Thursday and the doctor promised me he’d read it and get back to me STAT with my results.  I know that even if it is a stress fracture, I’m pushing through that day to the finish line.  After that I’ll rest and recover.  I’ve come too far to give up and one more long run won’t kill me.  Most of my training is completed and I’m confident I can finish.  I never planned to win the darn race anyway, so who cares if it takes me a little bit longer to get it done.  Now, I also have the additional benefit of knowing there are so many other people in similar situations to mine who will be out there on the course that day.  What this experience has reminded me of, is that whenever you feel down and out reach out and make a human connection to others.  Don’t waste time on self pity, get yourself out there and find others who are in the same boat.  Together we can lift each other up and get this job done.  Together we are stronger than we are alone.

Are you injured, thinking you are down and out?  This post may be your lifeline to get back in the game.  Here’s how –

  1. Get an evaluation by a Functional Movement Specialist – Contact Jessica Leggio at    IMG_3210

Mention my blog and receive a free consultation visit to assess what could be preventing you from running.  This work is life changing and my only regret is that I didn’t find Jessica sooner.

2. Connect to our group of injured runners on Facebook at –

https://www.facebook.com/groups/162769204280794/

You’ll find many others walking similar paths and hopefully we will see you at the starting and finish line on 11/5/2017.

Drop me a line to get connected.  We are in this together!