Saturday, May 18, 2013
"The crooked roads shall become straight, the rough ways smooth" (Luke 3:5).
In this blog I'm combining the 4th and 5th week of marathon training (woo hoo week 5!) because week 4 was a crazy/ busy week for me at work and I didn't have time to write.
Along with the physical aspect of training is the spiritual. I'm on a journey and I can't have one without the other. When God gave me this God-sized dream of running a marathon, I knew that it wouldn't just be me running the race. He would be right along beside me, every step of the way. So while I am getting stronger on the outside, I am also changing on the inside. I am shedding the old and becoming new. So in these blogs I will talk about the spiritual breakthroughs I've had as well as the milestones and barriers I break through physically.
I love the Global Positioning Systems (GPS) in the new cars. A voice comes on and tells me how far I have to go and when to turn. However, sometimes I get off course and the voice says: "Recalculating route." The GPS is telling me I have gone off course and it is now recalculating the route based on my wrong turn. Sometimes we can make wrong turns in our spiritual lives. There is an amazing thing about God. He can make our crooked places straight. He has an ability to make whatever blunder you make turn out right. It may mean there might be some consequences to those decisions, but He will always allow your actions to work together for good for those called according to His purposes if we repent and seek Him fully to make things right. These lessons can even contribute to greater wisdom in our lives if we learn from our mistakes.
(Above from "Today God Is First (TGIF) devotional message, Copyright by Os Hillman, Marketplace Leaders.")
So my relationship with God is hot and then cold. Meaning that most times I am reading the bible, feeling God's presence in my life, and following that straight path. But sometimes, I veer off. I stop living in the Word. I get a little selfish. I want to have some fun, and I become more of this world, and living more in temptation than I care to admit. But I am human. Still, in bible study this week something pretty noteworthy happened. One of our questions was to put on our own words Jacob's promise to God. Now these are my own words and are not Jacob's (if you want to read what Jacob promised refer to Genesis 28:18-21)
I wrote: "If you will promise never to leave me, I will never leave you. And if I should lose my way, please make the path back home clear."
Now this is nothing profound. Until the following day, I refer to the next day of the bible study, and it asks us to read Malachi 3:6-12, which reads:
"Return to me and I will return to you." (Verse 7)
Now, call me crazy, but this to me felt like God's affirmation to me, his returning of the promise I gave him the prior day. I was sitting on the train en route to work and I got such a case of the "God is with me" moments, those moments that affirm our faith. Since we can't see God, there is no way of knowing if he's truly with us sometimes, but it's these moments where our faith grows, and we know we are on the right path.
I was also brought to this scripture during this same time, not through my study, but a podcast I was listening to through Redeemed Girls Ministry:
"Return to me, for I have redeemed you." - Isaiah 44:22
Ok God, I am listening!
See God takes up residence within us, "Emmanuel" means "God with you" and he is with us, and I'm blessed to have felt His presence this week. And we saw a double rainbow this week during a family walk, reminding me of another promise, made by God to Noah.
Last week, in Week 4, I missed two of my short runs. It was a really busy week at work, and it was near impossible. However, the group run was great, and Caitlin and I went early again so that we could double our mileage. Here are some pictures I took of Knock Knolls, the beautiful place we are running:
This week, Week 5, I got all of my runs and cross-training in. I am so happy with myself, it wasn't easy to get up at 5:30 to run in the mornings, but that way I can spend time with my family after work. I have to say though, sometimes even the short runs feel hard. It makes me worry that I won't be able to do this. I know though with training, faith and prayer that I will push through. We are on a run 4/ walk 1 interval right now, and I like it. I run for more time if I feel strong, otherwise I stay on the intervals. They actually make me quicker, and I get more recovery time. And those minutes go by quickly!
We ran a different route on our short runs this week, and we ran two towns over from where I live, it was such a sense of accomplishment!
I am feeling very happy and just honored to be able to run for such a great cause, and to make a difference.
I had a wonderful Mother's Day, my husband planted me an herb and veggie garden and I got to spend time with my lovely daughters.
The schedule for next week is:
Mon: 40 min run
Tues: 30 min walk
Wed: 40 min run
Thurs: 30 min walk
Fri: 40 min run
Sat: 55 min long run
I think one of my short runs this week I will double the time to run at least 8 miles so I'm prepared for the Women's Half at the end of June.
Here's some photo inspiration that's been sent to me this week by family and friends.
Have an amazing week!
Tuesday, May 07, 2013
This week went great, I usually don't run two days in a row to avoid injury but the training plan had me running on Friday and Saturday, and I followed my plan and felt good about it. I have been feeling a pain in my right hip, so I've started incorporating stretches before running to extend my hips and encourage my running gait to be correct, I may not be extending my leg all the way back.
My 6 yr old daughter came on my run Monday with me on her bike. it was really rewarding to see her ahead of me on her bike,I felt like a healthy mom and I was so proud of her for riding 3 miles on her bike, the farthest distance she's ever gone! It was also nice because I'm aware of how much time I spend away from the girls while at work and now training for the marathon. it was a win win.
Then Tuesday I got my walk in walking to and from the train to my work. Wednesday I ran with my friend Caitlin, who is also running the marathon for Team World Vision. She signed up for the marathon after registration sold out. I posted on my fb page that TWV had extra entries and she signed up. I feel like this is such a blessing. She lives blocks away from me, and she is one of the few people who are the same pace as me. My good friend Blaize is as well, but she lives in CA. It is so rare to find someone like this, and she is there to go on my training runs with me. I am thrilled about this.
Thursday I taught walk class, so got in my walk that way.
Friday morning Caitlin and I got up early for our run as I had plans to see Iron Man 3 that night. Then Saturday was our group run and I went there early to get more miles in, and Caitlin offered to go early too! We went 5.77 miles total, I wanted to go 5 or 6 so I am right on track. toward the end of that run, Caitlin took her earphones out of her I phone and we danced while running to love shack. it was do much fun! I know this is going to get much harder, but I have to say, right now with the team support the runs go by quickly and I feel great.
I am really liking the walk/run intervals. I am at a run 3 min, walk 1, and my pace has actually improved! I'm at about an 11 min mile vs 12 and I have more recovery time between runs.
This week's schedule looks like:
Mon: 35 min run
Tues: 30 min walk
Wed: 35 min run
Thurs: 30 min walk
Fri:: 35 min run
Sat: 45 min run (I'm going to go for 6-7 miles)
Monday, April 29, 2013
To start off this week of training, I packed my running gear Monday so that I could meet up with my amazing friend Jenn (KITHKINCAID) to honor those who lost their lives in the Boston marathon tragedy.
Martin Richard, the 8 yr old boy killed in the Boston bombing
Lots of running stores around the country were having group fun runs to stand in solidarity, this one was through Ram Racing. I had the misfortune of getting a cab driver who didn't know where Lincoln Park Zoo was, and once he did he dropped me off at the opposite end of the zoo, so I was late and had to run around the zoo to meet up with Jenn. I called her and we met up ( she was sweet enough to wait for me!). We missed the pack, but on the way back we saw a sea of runners in blue and yellow, it was inspiring. Jenn toward the end of our run said "Well here we are, 2 people who have each lost over 100 lbs, and we are running." It reminded me of how far we both have come. Jenn ran the Chicago marathon last year, and I'm running it this year. It made me thankful and grateful for this life I've been given, for my friendship with Jenn, for both of our new lives.
Jenn and me after our run
Me and Jenn the first time we met, a few yrs ago
I had a really busy week, so didn't run again until the group run on Saturday. I did teach walk class on Thursday.
Saturday we met at Knock Knolls, a forest preserve in the suburbs. I hadn't run there before, and it was beautiful! A gorgeous day in Chicago, it would near 70 later in the day. My friend Caitlin couldn't make it due to an event at the school she teaches at, and the woman I encouraged last week wasn't there (I'm hoping she's there next week), but I found a new friend that ran at my pace and the time went by so quickly! We ran for 35 minutes as we are building up 5 min. each time. What I loved most was the smell of fresh cut grass as we ran, and being out in nature. Growing up an overweight child since the 3rd grade, I avoided being outside. I preferred to be inside, watching TV with some Cheetos and a pillow. I didn't like to sweat, to walk, to live, basically. So now, whenever I am in nature it sometimes hits me how much I missed during those years. And that makes me sad, but also, it's all so new to me. The smell of that grass made me tear up, it was just so crisp, so fresh, so alive! And I felt alive, too. I was thankful for the sun, for the beauty that surrounded me, for these new people I was getting to know. It was amazing, a life changing run. I know they aren't all like that, so when they are, I cherish them.
Here is a picture of the group after our run.
Here is a picture of some of the group after the marathon last year at a reunion run. Can you tell how positive and fun these people are?? They are amazing.
After the run we went to breakfast and I got to know some of the team better. It was great. I came back home and took the girls for a walk out in nature, I don't want them to be like I was when I was younger.
Sunday was a rest day.
Since the Chicago Women's Half marathon is at the end of June, I'm in a bit of a pickle because my training schedule doesn't have me running 13 miles until the end of July. So on the group runs I'm going to have to either get there early to run more, or stay later. For example this week we run for 40 min., and we build up to a 5k on June 8. But I need to be running at least 10 miles by that time, if not more. So I need to double my mileage.
Nutrition wise I've eliminated dairy, wheat, gluten, yeast and processed foods from my diet. **EDIT: I CAN ALSO NOT HAVE RICE AND CORN** This is for my skin condition, I have psoriasis and its gotten pretty bad. The downside is I'm not eating a lot of calories and I'm afraid my body will start losing muscle mass. I'm working on making sure I get enough protein in, but without carbs it's a challenge. For example I love toast and peanut butter plus a banana before a run. I've discovered Udi's bread, and did that this past Saturday, and it was good. Not as filling, but good. I'm supposed to get around 2,000 calories in while training, maybe not now, but when my mileage gets up there, and I'm worried I won't get those calories in.
I've also been listening solely to Christian music while running. It's inspiring me, I used to think without my rap, high paced music I wouldn't be able to do it, but I've been actually running faster with the Christian music. Score! I want to devote this time to Christ.
The schedule for this week is below:
Mon: 30 min run
Tues: 30 min walk
Wed: 30 min run
Thurs: 30 min walk
Fri: 30 min run
Sat: 40 min run (I'm going to extend so I run 5-6 miles)
The run walk intervals for the runs are: run 3/ walk 1, but for the shorter runs during the week I'm just going to run them straight out as I'm used to that distance. If anyone knows of a good app for the smart phone for intervals please let me know, thanks!
Ending with some inspiring images:
Blaize (INSPIREBYNATURE) sent this one to me, I love it!
Saturday, April 20, 2013
My good friend Jenn (KITHKINCAID) did an amazing thing when she trained for the 2012 Chicago Marathon, she wrote a weekly blog that summarized her training runs, nutrition, everything. If you are also training to run a marathon, I HIGHLY recommend reading her blogs (which I intend to re-read throughout my training). The link to her first weekly blog is below:
I decided to also do a weekly blog for the next 26 weeks, however mine will not be so detailed, I am sure, but will serve as a way to keep myself accountable, and to also help anyone out along the way. I will post them on Saturdays, the days that my team meets to do our "long runs".
Today was the first team run, and we ran in honor of the victims and families of the Boston Marathon tragedy. We had special bibs to wear to show our solidarity.
It was a cold morning, only 32 degrees and ice on the windshield of my car, and frost on the ground. But the sun was out! And that's good, yesterday it was snowing, hailing and raining in Chicago. We went 30 min. this time (each week we will increase our mileage, and train throughout the week on our own), and my good friend Caitlin is running with me, and this is the first time she has ran since her surgery in January, so I took it easy with her, "easy" meaning 2 min. of running and 1 min. of walking intervals. This only slowed my pace down by 1 min. overall, and I am going to see how I like run/walking for the marathon, just as it may be easier on my body. I am going into this with no predetermination of how things "should" go, my #1 goal is simply to FINISH.
One woman on my team had a very difficult time running, she wants to lose 30 lb., and she feels very out of shape. At one point she stopped and said "I suck~!" out loud. I stopped running and put my hand on her shoulder and emphasized that she did NOT, in fact, suck. I motioned for Caitlin to go ahead as I wanted to encourage this woman as I clearly remember how it felt to be the last one in a pack of runners, and someone was kind enough to take me aside at that time, and I wanted to do the same. I told her how when I first started running I could only run 30 seconds at a time, and that once you continue to run, it gets easier. I do hope I encouraged her, and that I see her next week.
I am blessed to have a group of people to run with, and that we are all working toward the same cause, to bring water to those in need through Team World Vision. Everyone in the group is so nice, helpful, and willing to share their knowledge (most of the runners in this group run the Chicago Marathon every year).
Our team name is 121:Run. We are named this for the scripture in the bible, Hebrews 12:1.
This verse says:
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.
(New Living Translation)
Boy, does this verse apply to my life right now, and also the upcoming marathon. Let us run "with endurance". Let us "strip off every weight that slows us down, especially sin."
I am excited for the road ahead for me.
A picture of Team Run:121!
Thursday, April 18, 2013
This is my favorite race. This race and I have a history (was once the very last person to cross the finish line, etc., etc.). To read more about that... www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
After successfully running this race the past two years, and hitting a PR last year, this year I almost didn't run it. After running my first half marathon in January, I took some time off. Too much time off. So when I started running again, 2 weeks before this race, and couldn't run 2 miles without being sore, I was concerned. Plus I was going on a business trip early the next morning, and I felt compelled to just sit this one out.
I didn't. Couldn't. This was my race. So I decided I would do my best and really just enjoy the day. The weather was great, mid-50s, so I joined the other 33,000 runners to kick off the racing season.
I had such a great time! I felt healthy, and knew I was doing something good for my body, and also my confidence as a runner. I could do this. And you know what? I finished less than a minute past my PR time, which I didn't think was possible given my non-existent training for this race. It reminds me how far I've come, and how fit I am now. I am so proud of myself for running and pushing forward.
I celebrated after the race with a customary beer, and cheered those who weren't there, such as my dad, my sister and my friend Jenn - all who have ran it in the past with me.
2013 (pic on top) and previous yrs. below:
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