Sunday, July 27, 2008

Half-Way There, and Living on a Prayer

I couldn't help but think about the Bon Jovi song "Living on a Prayer" tonight as I was running. I knew that this particular run would put me half-way to my mileage 2008 goal, and I definitely need prayers to make it! I ran by a friend in the neighborhood. She asked me if I was training tonight, and I said "Yes, Pray for me!"

I also realized on my run tonight that I was surpassing 13 miles--or running more than a half marathon! I'm glad I didn't put this together before I set out! I might have been worried. As it is, I just did what the little paper with a number in a box told me to do. If I had to double that number tomorrow---I don't think I could do it.

This my dear friend is the beauty of the marathon process. When I ran 7 miles last time, it was ALL I could do. I ran 14 tonight, and it was ALL I could do. Runs will become longer, limits will be pushed, and new milestones will be met. That being said, I finally feel like I AM half way there! Frankly, this process brings LOTS of prayers.

It's not pretty--I'm slow and I'm frustrated, but I'm trusting my training schedule. On a practical note, I took my first post-run ice bath of this training period. I discovered that wrapping my upper body in a towel made the entire process MUCH more "pleasant." These baths are torture, but worth every bit of the pain.

Why do I like this so much? Frankly, it's a mystery...but I'm working on figuring it out. I think it has something to do with finding my TRUE limit, which is MUCH MORE than I thought I could take. I want to live my life that way...pushing myself, taking risks, and stepping out "Living on a Prayer."

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Walk? Run? and Getting My Head Straight

Just when I think this whole "marathon" thing is out of my reach, I go out and have a great run that gives me hope. I love running with my husband, because he pushes me beyond my own expectations (he says I push him). One thing that I did do tonight, however, was turn off my iPod and spend a lot of time visualizing race day, the water stops, my pace bracelet, and THE FINISH LINE. In my mind, I calculate and re-calculate realistic finish times, and try to run hard. It is amazing what getting a brain in the right place does for a body.

One thing that helped me tonight, is instead of running for 10 minutes and walking for 1-2 minutes, we ran for 5 minutes and walked for 1. Believe it or not, this strategy cut 6 minutes off of my overall time for 4 miles. Now I'm confused. I know that on race day I WILL NOT do this. I will run from water station to water station (these lie every 1-2 miles)and walk through them. I have some thinking to do. I think part of the success 5/1 plan tonight was that it kept me cool. I'm not sure.

Tomorrow is a regular 7 mile run (the one I should have done on Wed but didn't). It's funny how as training progresses, the run that started off as "long" in the beginning becomes "regular."

Training for a marathon is education for life. You find a plan, stick to it, but stay flexible enough to make changes along the way.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Humidity=Profit for the Gym

I've refrained from joining the gym, because I am really keen on the idea of making the sidewalk my personal treadmill.

But tonight, I realized why I forked over the "big bucks" last year to run on the spinning mat. This is an annual July occurrence.

IT. IS. HOT. IN. OKLAHOMA. Not funny hot. I can't keep pace hot. My scalp is sweating hot. Freak show hot. Slow motion, nausea hot. Funny thing is, I actually LIKE running in heat, but I'm realizing that it's preventing me from maximizing my training capabilities. Well...that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

I'm not happy. I like my neighborhood. I like the smell of "tide" in the air as I run past the June Cleaver house. I like the distraction of bugs. The occasional barking dog is the adrenaline rush I need. My kids love to ride their bikes with me. I like the old people raking their lawn in the evening. I saw a lady cutting the weeds by her flower bed with scissors. That's much more entertaining than CMT, TNT, TLC, NBC, or even MTV. You see?

I'm dreaming of fall. I'm going to fall in love with fall.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Freedom from Bondage

When I started this blog, it was more to share my thoughts while running than to give advice or tid-bits about my running life and schedule. The obvious reason is that I sort of stink at running. While I'm sure the practical posts will continue, I continue to be amazed at the way the mind responds when the body is stressed. My biggest personal epiphanies over the last couple of years have been while I was running. It's often just God and I ... hashing it out and talking.

I recently read (and partially listened to) Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe. I don't recommend listening to this book on vacation unless you have time to kill so that you can pull over as needed and cry. Luckily, I was in no hurry. Legend has it that Abraham Lincoln met Mrs. Stowe and coyly said, "so you're the little woman who wrote the book that started this great war!" This incredible complement was well placed, for her heart was to display in no uncertain terms the bondage and atrocity of slavery. I was moved and broken on a new level, grasping in new and poignant ways the complete misery and dehumanizing effects of slavery.

It occurred to me, however, that I am a slave to sin. Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. If I needed to be redeemed-- I must have been a captive.

It was the dream of every slave to be redeemed-- to have their freedom purchased. Redemption means freedom from bondage. The epiphany here is that BONDAGE IS NOT A CHOICE. We don't choose to be slaves to sin, and we can't "choose" to be a "good person." We must be redeemed. The price has already been paid, we simply must accept freedom.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Biology 101

If anyone is signed up for Biology 101 this fall, let me know. We can coordinate schedules and if you follow me on one of my runs, I can hack up a gnat for your bug collection.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Running on the Beach

There's nothing like running on the beach. For anyone who lives on the coast, I feel very jealous. I can't believe how much easier it is to run in cool weather! It has been a treat, although it is very difficult to get in miles while on vacation!

On the other hand, I ran along the boardwalk in Santa Cruz, and had my first huge fall! It was quite a bloody ordeal, but luckily there was a "baywatch" hunk there to bandage me up. I ran past a sea lion and her baby, smelled fish, and listened to the ocean! This ranked up there with one of my favorite runs in my life. I sort of liked running and dripping blood...feeling all "tough." Good times.