Running routines of late, and COSTUMES (What’s Your Input?)

It’s been a month since I’ve started Dopey training and I’ve got to tell you, I’m playing the mental game right now. I’ve started incorporating a lot of cross-training into my routine (TurboFire in my living room is kicking my butt!), though I have yet to really start putting in the mileage. Thinking of how far I’ve got to go is frightening and intimidating.

Many days it’s easy to say, “I’ll get to that run tomorrow”, but why waste a day that I could have bettered myself? Hence, the mental game. I want to be as prepared as I can be physically, but the element of the unknown is always there, and that’s what makes racing fun!

I love pre-race anticipation, especially for something as big as a marathon. On race morning I think “What’s going to happen out there during those 26.2 miles?” The Dopey Challenge just adds to that anticipation. Now I’m thinking “What’s going to happen during those four days of racing?” FOUR DAYS OF RACING. Man, that gets me excited.

In the past I have run with a small group most mornings, though that hasn’t been my routine as of late. While I love running with my friends, it’s important for me to get used to pounding the pavement alone. Again, it’s a mental thing. I need to be able to hold my own pace and not depend on my friends to get me to the finish line. Though solo-runs have been a bit boring, they are also sobering and provide ample prayer time, which is the most important part of getting to that starting line.

As my mileage continues to build, I will continue to post. Ups, downs, good, bad or ugly, you’re all part of this journey and I thank you for that! While I’m on the topic of your involvement in this blog, I’d love to get your input! Have you ever raced in a costume? I have never donned a costume during a race, but I think at least a few of the Dopey runs need to include a simple running costume (tutu, themed tank top, polka dot shorts, etc. Not going for the full-on, Party City special.) If you’re a costume veteran, did you love it or did it get on your nerves? Give me some Disney character ideas! I’m looking for inspiration.

Until next time,

M

Loving the Grind

There have been many days that I struggled to get out the door and go. But there has never been one day where I regretted going.

Is that not the rhyme and rhythm for so many of us? As the Dopey Challenge approaches (264 days to be exact) I am afraid. I am not prepared, but I hope that in the next 264 days God will equip my body to run those 48.6 miles. I hope to mark this event as the first of many ultras (even though I suppose this really isn’t an ultra since they are individual back to back races).

Over the last 4 weeks I have been down in the runner dumps. Those questions and negative thoughts that sometimes circulate, “Is this even good for me? Am I damaging my body? I don’t even like doing this.” They began to take my mind captive. This morning I was on the race website gathering info, and after a bit of planning and a good cup of coffee began to feel myself finally snapping out of it.

“If God be for us, who can be against us?” Romans 8:31

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.” 1 Corinthians 9:24-27

It’s important to remain consistent even when in a runner’s funk. I keep reminding myself of this. Despite the doubts and fears, I’m continuing to press on. I heard some great advice the other day; we need to not make the prize our main focus, we need to learn to love the process. Learn to love the training, the dedication, the day in and day out grind. Love it. The prize is just a momentary bonus, and as Corinthians says, the prize will not last. We have the prize of eternity in Christ, which is far more valuable than a medal.

I am learning to love the process. It’s hard, but with Christ all things are possible.

264 days. I can’t wait to see what God is going to do during this training time.

-Mel

Battling Addiction, Plant Based Diet Day 3 Recap

Today is the end of my third full day on a plant based diet. I think I could get used to this! My energy levels are still very high, as is my mental alertness. However, this diet definitely requires some mental discipline because (at least for me) it involves battling addiction.

Addiction to unhealthy foods, that is. I mentioned in yesterday’s post that my husband and my’s regular diet up to this point contained a lot of meat, dairy and oil. We are now eating veggies, fruits, whole grains and legumes and cut out added oils (even virgin olive oil). They don’t call it a “vegan challenge” for nothing. Having eaten meat, dairy and oil for most of my life and suddenly giving it up is a big transition. But, my husband and I decided to go into this together to lose weight and better our health and it’s working!

Luckily we both find each other pretty humorous and were able to laugh about it today. He really wanted some meat for dinner.

This was his, “I really want a steak but I’m trying to be thrilled with this vegetable soup” face…

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This was probably the day that I realized that we are truly addicted to meat. Ethics aside, I know there are varying views on whether or not grass fed meats are healthy for us, but for me being addicted to anything is not good. So we’re battling it.

The good news is that we both are fully aware of this and are glad to be creating new, healthy eating habits. And we’ve both lost weight already! That’s a plus.

Until next time,

Stay classy, eat grassy. 🙂

“Vegan Challenge” Day 2 Recap

veggies

Today is the end of our second full day following a completely plant based diet. In case you missed the challenge that I’ve decided to take on, you can read about it here. I wanted to do a quick recap each day of how I’m feeling, mostly for myself, but also for anyone who’s interested in the effects of a plant based diet.

So far I am very full of energy! I also have felt very “light,” if that makes sense. I didn’t realize how much my regular foods were making me feel weighted down and sluggish. Yesterday both my husband and I were so excited to just be starting the diet, we hardly cared what the food we were eating tasted like. Today he mentioned that he was craving steak for dinner so I opted for a mushroom dish that we both loved (mushrooms are a great meat replacement!) This diet is completely different from what we normally eat, but this is a challenge that we decided to take to better our health. Our regular diet consists of lots of meat, dairy and oil. As you can imagine, neither of us have felt great. This diet is challenging us to eat more fruits, veggies and whole grains and teaching us to make them delicious!

While we’re only two days deep, we can feel the difference! It’s very obvious that we are feeding our bodies foods that they have been craving. It’s currently my bed time and while I would normally be exhausted, I have energy left to burn. That’s something I haven’t had in quite a while.

It’s much too early to start monitoring different aches and pains I deal with from running, but I’m sure I will have updates on those soon. In the mean time, stay tuned for more vegan recipes and some recent race recaps! 

Be blessed! 🙂

 

You’re Going What?

Vegan.

There I said it. Yes, starting today my husband and I decided to take a 30 day “vegan challenge.” Or maybe we should just call it a 30 day plant based diet. Anyhow, going vegan is always something I wanted to try, but there is one book in particular that made me take the plunge. Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease by Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn; a wonderful book that showcases Dr. Esselstyn’s research that has proven a plant based diet can literally reverse heart disease. He also provides evidence of the many diseases that can be prevented by eating a plant based diet, including diabetes and cancer. On this diet you eat from four food groups:

1. Vegetables

2. Fruits

3. Grains

4. Legumes

My husband is doing it specifically to lose weight, as am I, but I also wanted to do this as an experiment. Every day I’m keeping a journal of how I feel. I will be monitoring different aches and pains and seeing how the diet affects them, as well as my energy levels and overall mood.

To sum it up, my husband and I decided to take on this challenge for health reasons. We both need to lose weight and I personally need to learn how to eat more plant based foods. This is a wonderful way for me to get creative with my foods and learn how to make plants yummy. Every day during this 30 day challenge I will include a short report on how I felt that day. I hope this encourages people to get creative with food and learn new ways to eat more fruits and veggies!