Sunday, July 15, 2012

You Wanna do A What?

That's what my body (and my schedule) have been screaming at me ever since I decided to put October 14, 2012 on my calendar. It's a full marathon in Wichita, Kansas. I think I want to make it my first. BUT - (my "but" always gets in my way!) -- it's only about 12 weeks away. I have only run 13.1 miles as my longest runs ever - all of those in half marathons. Not feeling prepared here...

But I have to do two things - decide not to do the full marathon this fall... or suck it up and run! I struggle because it's hot... or I can't run outside since it's hot - which means putting the miles on the treadmill... did I mention I have a love\hate relationship with the treadmill? I love it because it means I can make my goals whether or not I get to go out to run... but I hate running on in as it's boring and provides no escape like outdoor running does!

But - I must remember that despite lack of convenience, overbooked schedules, too much work and stress --  I have everything I need to succeed...if I want to. It's all about making that choice. I have a computer with the Internet so I can complete my work assignments (for which I am thankful to be overloaded with!), I have a treadmill so I can make my running goals, I have everything I need really when I think about it.

It's no different than living the Christian faith. 2 Peter 1:3 says that we have everything we need to live a godly life in Him. It's just like my situation - that does not mean it's the easiest thing to do - but that it is doable. It is up to me to decide to get on the treadmill and make my goals - and in the same way it is up to me to figure out how to continue to follow Him even in the storm or whatever life may throw at me. I have everything I need - but I am still the key to making it work effectively to my benefit. A marathon will not happen easily even with training - which I will do! Living godly in Christ will not happen easy either, but it will happen when I purpose in my heart to do it.

Purpose in your heart today to reach your goals - both spiritually and naturally. It's the only way they will be achieved.. we do have everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him - but participation is required!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Everything I Need

I really prefer to run outside even though I have a treadmill. It just feels a lot more profitable to run outside - same miles but a totally different feel. It also gets me out of the house a little bit which is very necessary for me. But some days the aide doesn't show up which means that I can't run outside and if I am going to run it'll have to be on the dreadmill!

Not long ago I got really frustrated with myself. I was doing a 5K at the OKC zoo. It was for Limbs for Life. I did terrible. I got third place in my age group but I did not perform well at all. It took me forever and I felt like I was dragging. I blamed it on lack of training and not keeping my miles up.I think really there were other factors - but that's what I blamed it on anyway. Well, I made some life changing decisions during that run as I began to ask myself some probing questions. I asked what's your problem?  And why aren't you training properly? I also asked myself if I really wanted to run and many other questions about life situations. And I found an answer.

As I was running and doing some deep soul searching I realized that I have everything I need to succeed. I have a treadmill so there's no excuse to not run - even though it's not the preferred training method. I have a computer so there's no reason to not make a good living writing online. I just needed to suck it up and get it all done.I realized that I really do have everything I need to succeed financially as well as in running.

2 Peter 1:3 tells us that we have everything we need  in Him - for life and godliness. Now just like my situation that does not mean it's all going to fall together in my lap and work itself out. But I have all the things I need in the natural to succeed at running and living - and I have everything I need in the spiritual realm to succeed at living a godly life hidden in Him. But you know what? It's up to me to work it - I must take action and there's really no excuse! Do you have everything you need today to do what you need to get done? Once I quite whining and took a good look around - an honest look - I found that I had everything I needed. It didn't look like I wanted it to; and it certainly wasn't happening the way I had always planned. But I could suck it up and get myself on the right track to success.

How about you? Do you have what you need to get everything done today? How bad do you want to succeed? Chances are you have everything needed - except the elbow grease - which only you can provide!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

I Think I'm Ready!

I have been running for three years now and actually next week will be the third anniversary of my very first 5K - runners you know the one when running gets in your blood? Yeah, that one! Well, this spring I did three half marathons in 72 days and I think I am finally ready to go for the full marathon. My goal is next April's OKC Memorial Marathon. I've done four half marathons now and will probably do a couple more this fall if I can find them in my area. Mentally I have already begun training.

This means I really have to change up my diet and training schedule. I pretty well live in that mode anyway but tackling a marathon seems way out there for me and so I have to make a few adjustments. I hope to keep up this blog and share my training triumphs and woes. One thing I have noticed already is that it is difficult to work on everything all at once. When I started adding miles to prepare for half marathons, my speed suffered. It's a whole different mentality altogether. Of course some of that I noticed since I broke my knee cap last year. But I am getting close to my original speeds on 5Ks. (But remember it's all still in old lady speeds anyway - so it's not really all that fast! lol)

So here we go - Yesterday I did 4.2 miles of speed work on the treadmill. Today I will only do a couple of miles and strength training if all goes as planned. It is almost exactly one mile from my front door to the gym. That makes it perfect to make an easy run up there - work out for a half hour - then jog it back home.

So here we go - by the way - here's my latest pic from my last race. I did a 5K Saturday and got 3rd place in my age group! And yes there were more than 3 people in my age group! lol!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Am I Crazy or What?

So - I am in the middle of training for this year's half marathon. I was planning on doing another one this fall. I have been doing 2 races a month. Actually, last week I did my 3rd 10K and set a new PR. (Don't get too excited, I still came in 4th in my age group and still took forever!) I had another 5K planned for 2 weeks down the road. Then, a friend found an inaugural race this coming weekend. It's a 5K and a half marathon. We signed up for the 5k; and I was happy!

Then she sends me a text and asks if I want to upgrade to the half. Well, you know I just couldn't leave that thought alone. But I have only done 8 miles twice since I broke my knee cap last August. I'm trying to slowly build up and still have several weeks until the scheduled half...but we just couldn't leave it alone.. so finally she had someone flip a coin and we won a half marathon! So now we have upgraded our status to the half come Sunday...What?

I feel so ill prepared... but I oddly so excited I can't stand it. I may have to crawl across the finish line after dark to embrace my finisher's medal.. but I'm gonna do it! We have agreed to go slow and just do the distance. It will really be a great warm-up and practice run....walk...lol!

My struggle is really mental. I keep telling myself I am just running two 6.5 mile races back to back. But I am not sure I am buying it yet! lol! It just pushes the envelope enough for it to be very exciting like a new adventure. On one hand I cannot wait until Sunday - on the other I'll hold out for Monday.

Here is my motivational thought that I saw posted on Facebook this week: There will be a day when I can no longer run. Today is not that day! I just love that. It's one of those quotes that just goes inside you and supercharges you, you know? Kinda like I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. It's one of those things that you can grab hold of and use. There are a lot of scriptures like that - ones which we can use for our daily motivation. Mine for today is in Isaiah 40:28. It says Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth...does not become weary or tired.  I think I will run with Him for awhile! It's so good to know that He will never get tired of me and I will never get on His nerves...even when I start praying for strength to run a half marathon I am undertrained for! lol! 

Sunday, March 11, 2012

It's So Mental!

I just finished running my 25th race. That makes me a silver racer...lol. It just worked out to be my third 10K. Overall I have done the 3 10K's, one 5-mile run, one half marathon and 20 5K's. I think it's finally becoming second nature for me. The lifestyle of a runner is gaining on me and I have more races already scheduled. Right now I am trying to do two each month. That's as long as I can manage it.

This 10K had a very different element about it. You see about 2 weeks ago I started having some pain in my left foot. After some research I am pretty certain it is metatarsalgia. It's common to runners who are adding too many miles too fast. Yup, that's pretty much what I did. So in order to reach my half-marathon goal I have to scale back my training a little while at the same time increasing it. Sounds crazy doesn't it? Oh well - it's doable. I will spread my long runs out a little more and add shorter ones more frequently. The weird thing about this injury is that it really does not start to hurt until mile 2.5. It's almost like my foot says - "Here comes the two-and-a-half point - let her have it!"

I rested a couple of days and took some anti-inflammatory meds. But I still entered yesterday's race with quite a lot of anticipation. My 4.4 mile run on Wednesday had been so painful I don't even want to talk about it. The first turn around point was the 3K marker. I figured that was almost one-third and if the pain had started by then I could walk back. I had purchased a cushion to put under the ball of my foot but didn't get it until the day before the race so I really didn't trust it to make a difference. But I was going good at 3K so I kept going.

It wasn't too long until I saw the 5K marker and since I was half way I knew that there would be absolutely no turn around, but I was still very apprehensive about my time. However, when I got to the 7K marker I realized it had only been about 48 minutes and I had less than 2 miles to go. I started to push it a little although my foot hurt some. The pad under the ball of my foot allowed me so change my form a little and continue with very little pain. I am still slow as Moses or Christmas - but I did cut 3 minutes off my PR! That's with an injury - so I was okay with it.

It's funny how much mental work goes into racing. I always thought of the physical work but there is so much of it that has to be beat in the mind before the physical running can be pounded out. Since I have done a half-marathon any distance under that is doable to me now. I just think about how far I have run and it keeps me moving to the finish line. It's funny now that I am (slowly) getting used to longer distances how I view the 5K. It's like - it's only 3 miles! It's all about talking my mind into the run.

In life it is much the same way. What we can beat mentally - we can beat physically. This is why it is so important what we keep our minds on. When we stay focused on the problem- the problem remains in front of us. But if we can focus on the solution it will be reached eventually. Sometimes when we are facing difficult situations, the way our mind travels will dictate how we navigate through the struggle. I am finding that if I can keep positive thoughts or inspirational thoughts in front of me I can handle situations much easier and quicker. I draw my inspiration from God's word. I look at the accounts of those who have kept the faith through adverse circumstances and I figure if they could - I can too. That's how I keep running the race of life! Isaiah 26:3 says that God will keep those in perfect peace - whose minds are stayed on Him. It's all about keeping Him as our focus to help us run the race of life.

Keep running!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Progress is Progress!

Okay - I know I am old and slow - and coming off a semi-major injury...but when I did the 5 miler in under an hour I was very happy with that. I actually had just a little over 11 minute miles. It felt like my work had paid off. I was still way behind the pack - but for me it was a good run! And by the way - the outside temperature was 19 degrees F.... just to finish this cold booger was quite a feat!

The really cool thing is when I crawled back on the treadmill yesterday I realized my base time is faster. When I started running on the treadmill I stayed at 4 mph on slow runs. I had been working on it all this time and shot for some 5 mph and 6mph  speeds. Yesterday I did almost my whole 2 miles at 4.5 mph. I know that it not much - but sometimes we need to celebrate the small progresses we make.

Today - take some time to celebrate some type of progress you have made. Maybe you have stayed on an eating plan for a day or two - celebrate your accomplishment! Some may have added distance to your run - it's time to celebrate! Maybe for some you were able to keep your cool in a harrowing situation - celebrate your accomplishment!

In the Christian world we are not allowed to celebrate these small things. We are taught that it is prideful to take joy in what we accomplish. Now if you go overboard and rent out a billboard to let the whole world know that you accomplished some feat - that is probably too much! But we must take pride in what we do - even in the small things. Give yourself a pat on the back today for something you have been able to accomplish. I promise - it will help your overall attitude and ability to cope with the rest of the day!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Staying on Track

It sounds funny to say it, but the most difficult part of training is staying on track. If you relax for one day, the next day it is even easier to relax. It takes staying with the training program one day at a time. As I am preparing for the OKC Memorial Half Marathon I am having to really concentrate on staying focused. And the funny part is - it's something I actually want to do.  But I know that if I do not stay on track every single day (including rest days) I will still complete the half marathon - but not as easily as if I stay with my training program daily.

 If it is difficult to be consistent with something that I actually want to do - think about how much more difficult it is to do things that have to be done - but that are not chosen. To get to any goal - it will take doing what each day requires. What are you struggling with today? Is it difficult because you are looking at the whole picture? I have to look at a whole 13.1 mile run to know how close I am to that goal - but I do not run that distance every day. (Honestly, I have not run that distance since I ran the OKC half last year --thanks broken knee cap!) Even though I do not have to run that distance every single day - I must run some  distance most days to achieve the goal.

 What are you dreading today? Think about the final outcome - and then just do the small piece that you need to complete today to work toward that goal. This is no different when we think about our own personal belief system. Most of us do not even try to pretend that we are perfect - or that we have completed our faith race...but we are still running it!

Concentrate on staying with the faith program today.  You will not run the whole race today - just run the part that is before you today..and run this part well.

 Do what you need to do today to stay in faith. Plain and simple. Read some from the Bible, spend some time in prayer; I would say to worship but that is a life style - it's a life laid out before Him in total surrender to His will and His way. Do what you can toward complete abandonment to Him today - relax...but keep moving toward Christ - our goal.

Friday, January 27, 2012

I Just Ran Half a Half Marathon!

Well, I just finished running 6.6 miles. That's the longest distance I have completed since I busted my knee back in August. I must say it was not easy! I had done 5 miles last week, and that was pushing it. I guess my run today made me realize how out of shape I am. My body is not just talking to me right now - it's screaming that I have to get myself back in shape by eating right. I know I am eating out of pure emotions - but I gotta figure out how to stop doing that...it's not easy either!


I sort through a lot of my thoughts while I am running. It really seems like it makes it go a lot faster and I get a lot of goals set for the coming days and weeks. (usually) In between I do have crazy thoughts about things like not spitting into the wind and fears that I won't make it back to the bathroom in time! But I get a lot of my emotions and thoughts all lined up and controllable.

 6.6 miles - not too bad for an old lady I guess. It's a little better than half of a half marathon. I tricked my mind into doing it to my body. I run a 2.2 mile loop here close to my apartment. I set a goal that my maximum time for each look can only be 30 minutes. That's pretty slow - but I don't think I have ever been that slow although a couple times it's been close!!

When I set my running goals, I think of it as chunks of 2.2 miles. Today I wanted to cross 6 miles so I thought I'd run it 3 times. It seems a lot easier to think of running the "loop" three times, rather than thinking of running 6.6 miles. In 3 weeks, I'll run the loop 4 times. (I will try not to let my body know that this will be 8.8 miles! lol! I realize that setting goals is just that easy.

 I set one goal - 6 miles. Then decide what it takes to achieve it - 3 loops. Then I break the loops up into my head and do them one at a time until I get to 3. Easy as pie. (I will remember to tell my knee that after it stops hurting - and I'll remind my back about it in the morning too! lol!)

 What are your goals? I would hate to think about living life with no goals. Even the Word has goals - Paul says that he was pressing toward the goal for the prize of the upward call in Christ. (Philippians 3:14) The Law aimed us toward the goal of the New Testament in Christ; and He points us toward the goal of being in the Father. We have to have goals to achieve any level of success.

So what are your goals? Where do you want to be in 5 years? What kind of Christian do you want to be (now and) in five years? Start now in your growth by setting some realistic goals. You can do anything a "loop" at a time. But you gotta start from where you are and go to where you haven't been. It's okay to push yourself a little bit - who else is going to do it? (answer: no one) Get up and get moving - read your Bible, spend a few minutes in worship, go visit someone who is sick, or shut-in. Feed someone who is hungry or pray for someone who is hurting. 1 John 2:6 says the one who says he abides in Him, ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked. As believers - that's our goal - to walk like Him!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Just Ran Bernice, Louisiana!

When I first started running, my son was in a nursing home in Bernice. I would get up early in the morning and go for a run so I could get back and get a shower before they started the patient showers. (yes, I literally stayed there with him!) So tonight, I ran it in my mind...but there's more to the story.

 My own life is filled with much stress - just like everyone else! Part of my struggles means that I am limited to running on a treadmill and not outside. Did I mention yet that I hate  the treadmill? And running in the evening is even worse because I can't see out the window so I stare at the living room wall! This just makes it more of a struggle to get on the thing! lol!

 Quite honestly, I get depressed and just want to quit! Imagine that! So I had stayed off for nearly a week... even though I already signed up for the half marathon for April. So I had to make a choice - am I going to be a runner, or not? If I want to be a runner, then I will have to make use of the treadmill for training...

Then I had this crazy thought. I decided that while I was running I would think about all my different races and the places I have run. You know what? It worked! So I picked one to focus on last night. I thought about Bernice, Louisiana. I ran the routes over in my mind - it was really a pretty little town! I pictured all the trees, the old barns and railroad station...I thought about all the places I ran in preparation for that first 5k! It was a great place to run!

 The point is - to get where we want to we may have to suck it up and run! One of my favorite blogs is called, "Shut Up and Run!" I decided to do just that! I can whine about my circumstances - or I can suck it up - and run! It may mean that I have to do it in a way that is not as enjoyable as others - or in a way that is not preferred - but I can do this!

 What's your biggest obstacle to being the runner you want to be? Or perhaps your obstacles and hindrances are in other areas of your life. It does not matter really what the goals are - it is a matter of choosing whether or not you really want to accomplish them. We all have the option of sitting and complaining - or getting up getting going. It's about which path you want to take. It really goes for our faith too... do we really want to walk it out? Or do we want to sit around and whine about how difficult life is? life is difficult... period. faith is a choice... who do you want to be?  Suck it up - and run toward it then!!

 This evening -- I'm running New Orleans!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Gotta Set Some Goals To Get Anywhere

I know.. none of us like to really talk about goal setting. But this morning while I was beating out a couple of miles on the dreadmill I realized if I want to do the half marathon (that I have already signed up for) I'm going to have to set some realistic goals. It's never an easy task no matter what - but coming off a relatively major injury sure does seem to make it more difficult.

 The funny thing is that I know I can run 13.1 miles - because I have done it~! But I also know that I cannot do that today! I hate starting all over! I am up to about 10 miles a week again since the injury that sidelined me for about 10 weeks this season. (frustrating --sigh) And you know what? I really did not want to get on that treadmill this morning! It's difficult because I really like to run outside. However, I do not have the privilege of doing so. That means that if I really want to do the half marathon in April I do not have the luxury of a choice! So I have to ask myself How bad do I want it?

That's exactly the type of questions I was asking myself while putting an hour in on the tread this morning. But I have to start where I am. You really cannot start from where you are not! lol! And all I can do is the best with what I have to do with right now...and keep pushing. So..my goal is to put 30 minutes in on the treadmill 5 days a week, do toning exercises to build my core for 30 minutes 5 days a week, and then one day a week put an hour in on the treadmill. That should help me get through the next 3 or 4 weeks. Then I will have to bump it up a notch. But for now - these are my goals.

No matter where you are in life's journey and what your circumstances are - you gotta set some goals to get where you want to go. I know I have goals set in various other areas of my life as well. But as I discipline myself in one area - it seems the others follow. Funny isn't it? Well, one of those goals is also to keep up with my blogs a little better. So today is the start...

We must set goals - and as a Christian our ultimate goal is to be like Chris. 1 John 2:6 says that if we say the one who says he aides in Him ought also to walk in the same manner He walked. I cannot run a half marathon today...I may not look just like Christ in my walk today either. But as I start the journey - I will get where I am going. We have to press on toward the goal - fight it through. No one said it would be easy! (if they did...they lied!) But we must start from right where we are today - and proceed! Take a step toward your goals today. Take a step toward looking more like the Christ we love today...it'll be worth it when we cross the finish line!