Friday, May 31, 2013
Well, after the promises from last week, about returning to God and He will return to me, you would think I had a stellar week, right? A week full of certainty in my faith. It was like I had been given the all knowing “nod” from God that I was on the right track! Everything should have been great. Until, it wasn’t.
One thing I am learning in my journey is to surrender. To let things go, to let God do what He will do – he is the author and perfector of our fate, and I want to give him the controls. The problem is, I am a control freak.
I realize that these blogs are turning more into my spiritual journey than my physical one. My training went well last week – except that I only did one short run in addition to the group run, due to being all encompassingly busy at work. Maybe that is the stem of my “terrible” week. The thing is, I know I am in trouble when I a.) Don’t make time for my runs, and b.) Don’t read my bible daily. Taking time to be in the Word really focuses my day, and when I neglect that, other things fall to the wayside, too. So for me, it is all connected. The one short run I did get in was mid-week, I had worked another late night, and came home to my two beautiful daughters, begging me to spend time with them. What was a working mother with a backpack-size of guilt to do? I spent time reading with them after we ate dinner as a family, and then I felt that other tug, the desire to get my run in. I looked at their faces, now 8 PM and not a glimmer of sleepiness in them, and the daylight outside on this gorgeous spring day.
So I decided to do what I do best (multi-task), and told them to get out of their PJs, put on their gym shoes and I let them ride their bikes and catch fireflies as I ran up and down the sidewalk of our very short block. Now I tell you, that is love, that run was more boring that running on the dreadmill, or around the track at the gym over and over. But I did it and it made me happy to be able to watch them in our front yard as I ran, and to let them take advantage of the balmy spring day. It made me feel like a.)– a good mom, and b.) a runner in training who was doing what she needed to do, at any lengths.
So what does this have to do with running from God? Well, just like when our parents told us what we should do, when you get closer to God, his helper, that pesky Holy Spirit gets inside of you and tells you what you should be doing vs. what you are doing. There are certain behaviours that God may not like, perhaps some addictions, that I like just fine, and I want to have both. There are certain things that we turn to instead of God to fulfill our needs, and I want my proverbial cake, and I want to eat it, too. But the bible is very clear about double mindedness, that we should have an undivided heart, and love God fully with our own hearts.
Sin is anything that keeps you from God. When we are in this place, we won’t open up the bible, we won’t pray, because we feel so guilty, we feel we aren’t worthy, and so we avoid God (although He’s always watching). We create this distance that becomes a chasm if we aren’t careful.
This week ended in a blow up between me and my husband because I wanted MY way in a situation, in an argument, and I ended up hurting him. I forgot all I had learned about words and the weight they carry. About praying first, about listening more than speaking. And I could have ruined one of the most important relationships I have. I think this blow up was designed by God to bring me back to reality, and to show me the things that are important, and the things that are not.
I am also reminded of how when you pick a fight, and want to be “right”, to remember that with every “winner”, there is a “loser”. I don't recall who said this, but I heard it recently.
It’s not easy to juggle working full time, being a mother, a wife, and also being a good daughter, sister and friend. It’s something I’m working on – we are all works in progress though. And I am thankful to God for his faithfulness to me, and for not giving up on me, no matter how many times I turned up my nose at Him.
I’ll get it right someday, God. Not perfect, not in my own time, but yours, I will learn to follow you and to trust you, not my own plans.
So I am learning this week to let go.
I'm also learning that no matter how far or fast you run, God is always there, waiting to peek out at you from behind the clouds.
Photo taken from the train ride home after a late day at work
Caitlin and I on a long run.
The schedule for this week is:
Mon: 40 min run
Tues: 30 min walk
Wed: 40 min run
Thurs: 30 min walk
Fri: 40 min run
Sat: 60 min run
I am up to run/ walk intervals of 5 min/1 min.
Bible verses for the week:
The unfailing love of the Lord never ends!
By his mercies we have been kept from complete destruction.
Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each day.
I have swept away your offenses like a cloud,
Your sins like the morning mist.
Return to me, for I have redeemed you.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, when I think about your unfailing love, I am amazed that you continue to love me even when I sin and turn my back on your or just become apathetic. I am amazed that in your mercy you continue to welcome me back. I am amazed at your faithfulness, that you never give up on me. That you would lavish all this on human beings – on me—is beyong my comprehension…thank you.
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!
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