Saturday, December 5, 2009

Question Of The Day ?

Ready here goes... Is a half marathon going to be harder than giving birth to a 9 pound baby naturally? I've done that and I am starting to wonder if this will be more difficult. My training is paying off I can feel my body getting stronger however at mile 10 while my heart is pounding and my lungs are aching and my legs are hurting and I must propel my body forward in strides that keep me going at a pace of running will it actually be more work than birth? Tell me what you think, of coarse if you haven't given birth I am not sure your opinion counts ....I will try to stay open minded

Friday, December 4, 2009

BRRR It's Cold Outside

Haven't written in awhile. It was funny as soon as I decided to write ablog I seemed to go blank quickly there after with words to write.Oh well, that is just a part of my journey. I was sick for one long week and wasn't running. Back on track now. Had a couple of runs while in LA visiting for Thanksgiving. That was sureeal to run around areas where I grew up.. Now a grown woman on a mission for this marathon. Just a reminder that you never know where you will be in the future.
Jim and I headed out early this morning and it was cooold. Running quickly is much easier it is actually necessary just to get your body warmed up as fast as you can. My time seems to be improving but I fiqure come mile 10 I make no prediction or assumption of how my body will perform.
Plan on running in the morning and on Sunday I am going for another 7 miler. My mind doesn't seem to have as much negative things to say to me now it has become more about challengiing myself, running faster and farther than I really want to because it is hard and that is never fun.
While in LA someone asked me why?
Why , what I said. Why do you want to run a marathon? Someone else there who had run marathons said I totally understand. I am not really doing this for any other reason than to prove to myself that I can and to get through the finish line.
I guess sometimes in life you reach a certain place and you need to know that you can set a goal, train for it, moved towards it and have victory over it! I am not a particularily driven person but I like to think I can do what I put my mind to with the help of my God.
Of coarse now that the goal has been set there are more reasons to achieve it, I can't let me kids down and they are watching as I struggle to catch my breath on the way in the door after a run, they see me laving whn I don't feel like it that day. They are proud of me and I want them to be. I want them to take a lesson from my exsample of perserverance.
No work tomorrow won't hav eto run so early, good it won't be so cooold. Till then ...

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Words Have Power

I ran 6 miles on Saturday and I knew that pushing myself would feel great. I was away for a couple of days in LA and saw people I have known for my whole life for a funeral. I hesitated to let these people in on my journey. Although I love them very much they are on the fringe of my life and who I am. I went ahead and mentioned this half marathon I was set to run in January and one women in particular in true form , commented that my pace was not running, "That is walking!" I was immediately sorry that I had shared this new journey and wished I could just walk away from the conversation. I said something like, "Well although it may be slow I am not walking my feet are moving in a run." Another commented on the course for the Carlsbad marathon and how she had been on it and it was very "hilly". I told her no we have seen the course and spoken with people who say it is a perfect half marathon for just the reason that there are no hills. Not backing down she insisted that it was a hard and hilly course.

These words rolled around in my head from Wednesday until Saturday as I started out on my run, I was beginning to get ticked that I was so affected by these words but knowing they were affecting me because of my own insecurities. I am still struggling with the idea that I am a runner and when someone challenged that I am not, it upset me. (maybe because I am ) I pondered the truth that words have power but that perhaps I had the power what I did with them. Words can encourage, inspire, insult, infuriate , isolate and so much more. I wanted to own my reaction to those words that kept swirling around in my head and use them for my good whether that was what they were intended for or not.

So I ran with purpose and intent. I knew that improving my time was not going to happen immediately. Training your body for something is a process and I was OK with the process. I did have a time goal in mind just to keep me on track. I walked for a couple of jaunts and I ran with heart and soul. I remembered running this same path with Jim back at the beginning of the summer. I was running it in the opposite direction as the first time we ran it together. As I ran by the turn that I recalled feeling horrible at the beginning of my run last time and knowing it was almost the end of it this time, I felt good, strong, confident and not so tired. There had been improvement and the Lord wanted me to know it. I t always comforts me that in everything the Lord is at work on my behalf. I chose this route, I thought just so I could meet Jim at the church where he was working and he could drive me home. God knew it was for confirmation about the journey and that my training was paying off.

Many times when I am running I think to myself just one foot in front of the other each step counts and the stride will improve. I am so blessed that I have challenged myself physically with this run. But it brings me even more joy that as I run God challenges me spiritually. I love to grow and change and even more I love to see the fruit of that in my life.

I am a runner. I am also a child of God and I live in the truth and I know that words do have power, but God has given me the power over what I do with them!

PS Sunday morning I ran a short 2 miles but my time was shorter than usual, words can inspire!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

I Got Nothing

Today I ran 6.72 miles!! The longest I have gone yet. I can not lie I walked the hills that were on the path. It took me forever and my hips were hurting towards the end.
I kept running waiting for some great revelation and I got nothing. I thought about many things but I just kept running.
Yesterday I got news of the death of a loved friend that I have known all of my life. When I set out to run I definitely thought I would run because he couldn't. I would run out the sadness and overwhelming sick feeling I have in my tummy every time I think of his parents and their tremendous loss.
I thought out my girls and the gift their life is to me but nothing more. My husband and how quickly life can be snatched from us. But really nothing else.

I did have a tiny little pebble in the bottom of my left shoe but never took the time to remove it. I ran the whole way, It would roll around and then get stepped on, at times I forgot it was even there until it moved itself back under my foot. A tiny little pebble.

The pebble didn't really bother me that much. It was just along for the run. I felt a bit the same. Like my body was carrying me along for the run.

I am blessed to spend the rest of the day with my family and will try to celebrate the life of Jeffrey Mesnik in my memories.

Monday, October 19, 2009

White Noise Comfort or Distraction ?

I set out this am for my run and chose to run the "HaHana Loop". I have certain routes mapped out by distance and this one is about 4 miles. A few inclines and some areas where there is no sidewalk. After all, I do live in Lakeside. As I started to run I was first happy for the cool air, praise God the heat is no longer in the morning. I love running in the coolness because I heat up immediately.

About a 1/2 mile into the run I start thinking... when will I feel like a runner. I always start out feeling so tired, legs heavy and heart beating fast, I am panting from out of the gate. Perhaps I will need to interview more "runners" to see if this is typical. But I just can't seem to identify myself as a runner. I am guessing this has more to do with my insecurity than reality. I think every time when I am done; my brain told my legs, my heart and my lungs to get us here so, who else is the runner?

As I continue along I realize there is some comfort in the white noise of the cars whizzing by me. It is pretty quiet in the morning but many are traveling to start their day and the cars going by are loud. They are a reminder of energy I guess, the motors revving and the gears shifting. It is a picture of sorts of what is happening inside my body. Of coarse I know their tanks are full of gas and at times mine seems to be running low and the performance of my vehicle is less than efficient.

The sound of a bird brings me joy representing a different type of comfort. Acknowledgement of life, all it's sweetness and beauty. The noise of the asphalt, dirt or other debris under my feet as it crunches under my weight provides an audible pronunciation of my presence.

Then there is the white noise that seems to distract me from focusing on the goal. The beating of my heart and my breathing. I try so hard to allow that noise to remind me of life and that I am well and alive and able to run. (Praise God) Yet I am distracted by its consistency not really quieting or slowing I am reminded of the struggle it takes to propel me forward each step of the way.

Many run with headphones, the music providing them with inspiration and energy. I guess in part it is their white noise. For now I want to hear what is being said and the silence in my head provides a perfect stage for such a performance. The silence does in a sense cut out everything else but my thoughts, they are loud and I cannot escape their noise. I think of a baby being lulled to sleep by a ceiling fan, cutting out the noise of everything else around them. I desire to be tuned into the noise in my head even the unhealthy thoughts because I want to be free of them. If I choose to just shut them off then I am sure to be faced with them in my future silence.

After the incline, I found myself working at keeping my feet from getting ahead of me on the way down the hill. I had to consciously pay attention as to not stumble on the dirt path. As much concentration as it was taking it seemed quicker and easier to just roll down the hill in a ball. But I am sure that would prove to be unsafe. After all of that held back energy was able to be let go, I ran with a sureness and strength and for awhile I felt like a runner. My feet hit the ground harder and my legs seemed heavier and that was when I knew, I was going fast but it wasn't a running stride but more of a sprint. (not bad to do for training purposes though)

Life is a journey and the paths vary often. Our reaction and response to the path is a picture. Maybe a picture of where we are, how we feel, where we are headed or how we are getting there. None the less a picture. I choose to look at this journey as a path the Lord has placed me on and get out of it what He wills.

I leave you with this my little angel girls ;

Walk with assurance, purpose and grace
Know that the Lord has brought you to that place

Allow the tears and laughter their purpose greater
All bringing Glory to your Divine Creator.

He will walk with you every step of the way
He can carry any load and knows just what to say

Choose wisely each step in life you will take
and for sure always do it for only Christ's sake

Sometimes at the end of a run with the goal in sight I tire and feel weary and want to walk the last bit. Other times I am energetic and encouraged I've arrived and it's over. Either way the goal is met and I pray that I learn what the journey had to teach me.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Sights on Santana

I set out this morning with the goal of Santana High School. I thought that would be about 5-6 miles and I was right it was just at 5 miles. I ran 6 miles a couple of days ago at Lake Murray. Saturday is a good day for a longer run because Jim is at home with the girls.
I set out and about a mile into it started my thinking, it gets me in trouble, would I be able to make it the whole way, I was feeling less than sure. I seem to have a lot of what I will call encounters once the thoughts start and then I know to pay attention there is much to gleam

1st Encounter - I saw Michell and Diane Cook and exchanged smiles and ran off with a sense that someone knew what I was out doing in the world, not for bragging rights or anything but just that sense of accomplishment being shared with others. Thanks

2nd Encounter - I turned down into the Lakeside Water Park for some scenic time on my run and was feeling a bit tired at about mile 2 which is typical and always passes but encouragement at that point always helps. Just as I was going to reach for the phone to call Jim and seek that encouragement the man up ahead on the path caught my eye. He had silver hair and a full silver beard, two beautiful dogs with him and just struck me as someone who was fit and full of joy. I almost said something like bless the Lord this morning to him but he spoke first , "you are looking good young lady, keep it up, " I kept running past and called out my appreciation for his encouragement. Not sooner than I needed it or after I had thought about it but right on time... Thanks

3rd Encounter - Up to this point my encounters have been with people but slowly I felt the thoughts and words coming to me, I began looking at the surroundings as pictures of what was being spoken and I got excited. It was familiar and comfortable and I knew to listen closely because the voice I heard was Holy. I made a left turn and kept running no longer so focused on the running but more the thoughts I ran right at the end of a dead end, a bit exasperated at first I heard, "Is is not the dead end that counts but your attitude in dealing with it" Ah ha ! I will choose to see it as extra credit on my run and turn back with a positive outlook. Thanks

I was now turning the corner out of the river walk and onto Riverford up towards Mast and I started to notice things along my path. Who had traveled here before me? What were they doing? I noticed litter and how it seemed to have a theme of sorts. Cigarette butts, empty boxes, mini liqueur bottles. As I kept running I realized that I had seen the same little bottle a few times over the last 1/2 mile or so, I wondered had it been the same person? Thoughts about the paths we take in life came to me and how we make choices to walk a certain way whether consciously or unconsciously. I had walked a different path than this in life, one that was far less healthy and proactive. I had been lost and desperate searching for a way out before. As I turned down Los Ranchitos I knew that I was coming upon an old familiar landmark in my life. Only the landmark was gone, torn down and the property was desolate except for a few trees and a large pile of rock and rubble. As the word desolate hit my mind, I began crying tears streaming down my face. I realized then and there that I could never go back to who I was then and that I no longer fit in that place. Just as in the physical those buildings that I had spent time in, laughed in, cried in, sinned in, worked in, made connections with friends in, grown in were gone so was that person. Not really revelation to me I know that I am a new creation but sometimes it just hits you and at that moment I was overwhelmed. I could no longer relate somehow to who I was but one thing about it.... I was desperate then, weak and in a position of needing strength greater than me and hear I was running by identifying that I was still that person desperate, weak and needing strength. The only difference was that now I chose to consciously walk each step knowing from whom I could find it. I cried and cried and it freed me to run fast toward the finish line. I thought it interesting that I made my call for Jim to pick me up before I hit the finish line because there was no doubt in my mind where I would finish! My goal was set and the price set before me and I know what lies ahead. VICTORY Thanks

These encounters each of them are with the living God whether through thoughts , a smile, or an exchange of conversation I meet with Him on my path and this is valuable.

I made the finish line today and was filled with the reality of my life, my husband, my kids, my God and my health and that is good for today!! Thanks

Why blogging?

I turn 40 in January. I didn't set out for this goal to be my "Fit and 40" but so be it it is! My husband and I have signed up to run a half marathon in January. Money has been paid and there is no turning back now. There is a part of me that feels confident that I can accomplish this; after all I did give birth 2 times with no drugs. One was 14 hours long and the other was 9 stinking pounds!! After those experiences I was sure that I could do just about anything but there are those natural hormones running through your body clouding your mind with ideas that you are unstoppable.

I started running at the beginning of the summer and logged my every mile. I was shocked by the ability to keep moving forward despite my mind telling me that throwing up or passing out was in my near future. Then it got really HOT and I took a break for awhile. I am back at it and feeling a bit of pressure that my performance must improve in order to finish strong in January. Everyone tells me it is OK if I walk some but inside I really want to run the whole way or at least only walk for very brief spurts of time.

Why am I blogging this journey? Well in a nut shell I felt the Lord telling me to, He impressed upon me that on my path as I run the thoughts I have are valuable, to me, to my daughters and to those who would choose to take the journey with me and see what He would say. It became clear to me right out of the gate that my thoughts towards myself while I began running were filled with lies and negativity. I ran with my love (Jim) beside me and he would point out as I murmured about my lack or my slow speed or how much I was dragging, that my words were not true. I was challenged that these thoughts would keep me, slow, feeling inadequate and would not be helpful at all towards the finish line.

I began to see that the Lord wanted to replace these ideas about myself with new ones as I grew strength and ran farther, I would be transformed in my mind. So every time I would set out to run He would speak, I would feel filled with the wisdom of the Lord and with knowledge that was not my own and I would fear that I would never remember what He was saying. I love to write and as a wife, a mom , an employee, a business owner , a friend and a volunteer I seem to find little time to dedicate to this passion.

One thing led to another and I decided as silly as it seemed in my mind to start blogging about my journey to the finish line. I pray that you will find encouragement through my struggles and my triumph. That we can relate as humans beings trying to live our lives in a way that counts. I know that my running a half marathon does not end world hunger or bring people to a saving knowledge of Christ BUT maybe just maybe it will fill someone with a sense of awe because of His glory and that is a worthwhile effort.