Category Archives: Running

That just happened …

Screen Shot 2014-04-28 at 3.25.03 PMIt was a beautiful morning in Downtown Nashville, TN. The buildings were glistening as the sun rose over the music city, and my best friend Aubrey and I stood anxiously together each wearing shorts, a tank, and a set of goosebumps. (Little sissy Jess, our marathon sherpa, wasn’t too far away.) We tried to remain calm with nerves and energy drinks coursing through our veins…waiting for the 7am horn to sound, marking the start of our first ever FULL MARATHON.

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Before the race

The full marathon that I always wanted to do, but never knew how…or if it was really possible for me.

The full marathon that I trained for for SEVEN months. (started from ZILCH)

The full marathon that I used to be afraid to run because of my recurrent miscarriages.

I said, “If we ever have a baby biologically, I’ll run my marathon (and hopefully as an added bonus, lose the baby weight.)”

WELL, RUN A FULL MARATHON I DID…this past Saturday, April 26th 2014.

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It was such an emotional experience! Despite the 45 minute delay at the start line thanks to 30,000 people running and the wave start system, we took off with a steady pace.

I had mentally prepped myself for the hills in the first half, because the elevation chart looked FIERCE. Incorrectly judging the elevation on the the second half of the course to be milder than the first half, I expected more flats…but flats did not come. It was VERY hilly and got pretty warm.

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Starting around mile 14, I got into the zone. I just ran. Around mile 18, I didn’t listen to my music b/c my headphone were being funky. I didn’t think much. I just ran! My legs hurt, but my lungs kept up beautifully and I really enjoyed the gorgeous sights and sounds of the city.

(not going to lie, though…the bands along the way were disappointingly ehh sounding…)

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Sadly, around mile 23 I let my 4:45 pacer break away; he was needing to finish the race at 10 minute mile pace and I just couldn’t hack it on the hills (MoUnTaInS). He said that in 15 years of pacing races, only 2 people had ever successfully started and finished with him the whole way! I was hoping to be #3 but it wasn’t going to happen.

Kevin hopped in with me (illegal, yes we know) off and on throughout the race and that helped a lot! He brought me watermelon, bananas, and smiles.

He helped me power up the last big hill, and took me almost to the finish line. I am so grateful for that guy who supported me every single step of the way, literally. He was full of back rubs, babysitting, and encouragement when I needed it the most. I COULD NOT HAVE RUN IT WITHOUT HIM!

When you marathon, your body is so depleted and deprived that you have no self control as you cross the finish. THERE WAS NO WAY I could hold back my tears!

This race that I had always wanted to do…and had been so scared to do…was finally completed. It had taken more sweat, sacrifice and devotion than I ever imagined it would…and yet there I was crossing that glorious (electronic) finish line with my arms lifted high!

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As a nice guy set that heavy cowboy boot metal around my neck, I just WEPT people.

I was dazed and confused mostly…but I remember walking (likely waddling) slower than I ever have in my life as I collected my chocolate milk and power bar and headed to our family meeting spot. I just wanted to lay down and cry like a baby.

Cry because my body hurt….and it was so flipping hard!

Cry because I was proud of myself.
Cry because I was in shock.Cry because I missed my babies.

Cry because I was so grateful to have the strength and opportunity to run.

Yeah…cry cuz I’m a girl and I’m emo.

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My finishing time was 4:49:05, which with a porta potty break (and line to wait in!) + hills + heat, I’m proud of.

Thank you all for your words of encouragement and wisdom along the way…you know who you are! Thanks for sending me good music, and thanks for helping me raise $250 dollars for Compassion International’s clean water fund. We provided clean water for 3 kids for their entire lives! That alone makes all the sweat and tears worth it.

And just like having a baby…it’s a huge rush and despite the horrible pain, I just want to do it again. HAHA.

I know, I’m crazy.

It was an honor to run with you Jess and Aubs! You kept me going! Can’t wait til next time…in like 10 years ;o)

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PS. Puckett’s is RIDICULOUSLY AWESOME. I would drive 8 hours just to go eat there again.

PS2. I’m still in pain. But ibuprofen and I have become good friends the last couple days 🙂

bite sized chunks

“SO MUCH TO DO, SO LITTLE TIME!”

You know those huge goals you’d love to reach someday? Maybe they include:

Fitness & health goals…

Businesses open…

Higher Education degrees….

Books written….

Marathons run…

A life of discipleship lived….

Places seen…

A strong marriage built…

Financial goals…

etc, etc.

If you’ve read this blog for any length of time, you know that I love setting goals and going for them. But my proclivity is to think about the end goals, and then want to accomplish all of them RIGHT NOW, TODAY by the end of the day!

Hah! Not possible, of course! But I want to anyway, and that leads to feeling overwhelmed and frustrated. Are you good at breaking your goals down into bite sized chunks?

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The Marathon (12 days away!) was broken down for me by a specific training schedule. I have written my daily running goals on the calendar, and boom! Attainable, bite sized chunks…easy as pie! (Because I will have run 500 miles over the course of my 7 month training, I’m working to raise $500 for Compassion’s clean water fund…if you feel compelled to give $5 or throw in $26.20……or $79 to give a child clean drinking water for his or her whole life, here’s the link to check it out).

For other things, breaking down goals hasn’t been as easy. (Especially something as unpredictable as writing a book.)

Picture a funnel with a BIG jar underneath. This funnel is what you pour your energy and efforts into so that you can eventually fill your jar! (Jar full=Goal accomplished!) Funnels frustrate me…in cooking and in life, because patience isn’t my #1 virtue. Funnels don’t magically filter through stuff quickly when you’re in a hurry! They require patience, attention, and time. If you dump too much into the funnel at once, it overflows and makes a mess! (been there, done that.)

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Today, I’m intentionally saying to myself :

“Deep breaths. One step at a time….bite sized chunks.”

I will not rush this life away! I will intentionally celebrate my smaller goals as they’re reached, and eventually accomplish the biggies. Specifically: Getting published.

I sometimes feel discouraged when people ask, “How is your book coming?” Because I want to be able to tell them I have a publishing contract! BUT it’s okay that the time has not yet come. I’m wearing more than one hat right now, and I want to enjoy every aspect of my journey through life, not just the day I reach my goal of being published. (Although that day will be magically magical!)

If you’re wondering about my book update…I’m currently refining my query…finishing and tightening my proposal (YAY!!!) and finishing the last 10% of the (typed) first draft of the book. It’s SOSOOO close I can almost taste it. The day I send out my first few query letters, will be a day that I celebrate. And I will undoubtedly share that celebration with you!

But for today, bite sized chunks. (That phrase makes me think of cookies, which are my favorite dessert ever. You can call me Mrs. Cookie Monster if you want.)

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Which of your goals is most important? How have you broken it down for yourself?

 

Marathon Tuesday…Mini-Update and Runspiration

Well, we’re coming down to it folks.

Nashville Rock ‘N Roll is 18 days away and I’m so anxious! Anxious GOOD and unfortunately, anxious-ridiculously-nervous too.

Three Saturdays ago, I ran 20 miles! My longest run ever by 4 miles. I psyched myself up mentally the whole week prior, choked down some nasty GU’s (why can’t I get used to these?!) and rocked it out. I have never been more proud of myself! (well, maybe when I birthed Annabelle :)).

Then we went to Disney for vacation, where I did not run as much as I was supposed to. :(Thanks to a 20 hour drive each way, a mild case of food poisoning, demanding children and the magic of Disney…the trip wasn’t very conducive to marathon training. But I walked a heck of a lot more than usual! I did run, just no where near as much as I should have. Which probably contributed to my second 20 mile demise…(worth it)

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This past Saturday, my second 20 miler was up to bat. I ran with a friend for the first 6 miles, but I went out a little too strong and ran a hillier course than I was accustomed to. Needless to say, it didn’t feel great. I had to walk a LOT starting at mile 18, and barely squeaked out the 19th mile. At that point I called it a day, and got to my car feeling discouraged and scared that this was my last REALLY long run before the real McCoy. HOWEVER, I did run 19 miles and surely that counts for something!

This mini update is all to say: It’s psych up time!!

Since my “tapering” plan (slowing down to conserve energy for race day) has officially started, I can rejoice in that the worst and hardest of the training is over! Either I have put enough miles and hills and sweat and blood in, or I haven’t. And since I have stayed pretty true to my plan, I have to believe that I’ve done enough!

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I finally get to enjoy the fruits of the last 6 months, cut back on the weekly mileage and save up some serious energy for April 26th! I can’t believe the end is in sight. Seven months ago, my goal seemed so insurmountable. So huge. But bite by bite (I like food analogies), I’ve taken the training plan down…now there’s only a little bit more to go!

You can do almost anything you put your mind to, people! For real. Go lace up those tennis shoes, because there’s no better time to start than now.

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Get a good playlist rocking and take some time to tune out this noisy world we live in! Even if you have to walk. Here are some great training plans to get you started:

Couch to 5K Explanation and Plan

Couch to Half Marathon Training Plan

My Marathon Training Plan (Hal Higdon Novice)

3…2…1…GO!

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Marathon Monday: If it were easy, everyone would do it

As I walked out to the van (yes, I’m one of those moms) on Saturday night after church cramming another granola bar down, I whined to Kevin, “I’m achy and starving all the time and my legs don’t want to MOOOVE!!! Why did I sign up for the full again?!”

“Babe, you just ran 16 miles. You’re going to feel it.”

“Yeah, I guess. But it sucks. I just want to lay on a beach and eat ice cream.”

“You and me both babe. If it were easy, everyone would do it! Remember?

He is so right. I think I was hoping that since training has been going so shockingly well to this point, I wouldn’t feel much of a physical sacrifice.

But that’s simply UNREALISTIC! I have decided that I will ENJOY stretching my limits, physically and emotionally, even when that stretching brings side effects like fatigue and perpetual starvation. Screen Shot 2014-03-10 at 3.46.21 PM

I’m so grateful for the experience thus far, and I don’t want to crawl into a cave (aka. bed) and take more ibuprofen when the tough, teachable moments present themselves.

The last 2 weekends I have broken personal distance records, and as slow and monotonous (15 mi on the treadmill last weekend) and anticlimactic as those runs were, I’m really proud of myself for finishing them! “No pain no gain.” Darn it, that annoying football slogan is true…at least in this case. No pain no gain is also true in the case of waking up before the sun, like I wrote about on Tuesday. 

Sacrifice is often necessary to live the life you truly want to live. Gotta love the real life applications from a physical trial like marathon training.

Quick shout out to my facebook encouragers…THANK YOU! Your words and likes (as dumb as that is) mean so much to me! I am so thankful to be able to share the training journey and what I’m learning along the way. I love that you celebrate with me. It gives me the courage to lace up my shoes for the next run.

Quick shout out to Kev…you’re the best babysitter and cheerleader (sorry) and hubby ever! C bear and baby AB are so lucky to have a daddy who loves to hang with them.

Quick shout out to Karmin, Katy Perry, Lecrae, Michael Jackson, and musical theater song writers everywhere...You rock. And I rock out when I listen to you…You especially help me when I pass the 12 mile mark and my legs feel like they’ve been injected w/lead.

And of course, God, thanks for giving me lungs that can breathe and legs that can run. Thank you for my level headed husband, for GU and Nike run. Thanks for this opportunity to raise money for clean water in Africa. (Would you visit my Compassion team page and consider donating $26.20 toward a well where people desperately need it?! My goal is $500 and I’m already 12% there!)

Shoot this is turning into a grammy speech. 🙂 I think it’s because I feel amazing. It’s my rest day, it’s gorgeously perfect outside, and I’m less hungry and achy.

Here’s to another week of marathon 2014 training! (only 23 down…7 to go!)

Screen Shot 2014-03-10 at 4.26.52 PM(me celebrating with a classic car selfie after my longest run EVER! Don’t worry, I wasn’t driving…maybe ;))