Conquering the Impossible (i.e. Training on Vacation)

I never thought it was possible, but I did it. I trained while on vacation at the beach. I only got in 3 runs during the week, as opposed to my normal 4, but I was just glad to have … Continue reading

I’m feeling Dopey

Whew, that was a stressful 30 minutes!

Today I registered for Disney’s “Dopey Challenge”, a race I have been looking forward to for months! Half of the challenge is getting registered as it sells out pretty much within the hour. Users all over America were sitting on their computers at noon waiting for the event to open. The website crashed and froze multiple times from what I would assume was user overload.

I sweated it out for 30 minutes but finally got myself registered. So here’s the plan:

Thursday: 5k

Friday: 10k

Saturday: Half Marathon

Sunday: Full Marathon

Monday: Cruise to Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay, and run a 5k there.

You’re probably thinking, “What the heck? Why?” For the t-shirts, obviously. 

Though in all seriousness, this is my way of easing into ultras. No, none of these races are true ultras, but the thought of running them all back to back both scares and challenges me, so I’m doing it. I want to go farther than 26.2, so in a way I consider this my kickoff.

At the beginning of the year I chose a theme word for my life: joy. During this training, I am going to try to incorporate this word into every run. I aim to be a joyful runner; I want to learn to love not the finish line, but the run itself. (This was pretty much the theme of my last blog post)

I invite you to come along this journey with me. I have never been good about logging my training on this blog, but my hope now is to do that. I would love for you to follow along with the ups and downs that these next 8 months will bring.

As always, stay strong,

Mel

Running Fears

Saturday mornings I wake up at 4:30am and prepare for my long run that I usually do with a couple friends. This morning I woke and was flooded with anxiety and doubt.

I began noticing every tiny ache or pain and thinking of how I could use it as an excuse to cut my run short. I had every intention of only running 4 miles today, blaming a pain in my ankle. It was 4:30 in the morning, I was tired, I ate pizza yesterday which is COMPLETELY out of my healthy eating plan, and last week I really struggled with the route that I would again be running today because it is full of steep hills. I was allowing myself to be beaten down by the enemy.

I got around, hydrated, ate a small pre-run meal and put on my running clothes. I grabbed my socks and shoes and started to lace them up and thought “just suck it up and do it. You have no real excuse. You’re not injured, you’re intimidated.” So I got in the car to drive to the starting point of my route and began to pray. I asked for the strength, the endurance, and the confidence to be able to complete this run.

“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31

Christ gives us strength, He knows what it means to endure. A run is nothing compared to the pain He endured while on earth. But He promised to give us strength, and in that moment I decided to rely on Him to get me through this.

I think many will agree that the biggest challenge in running is the mental aspect of it. We often have the physical strength to actually run, but mentally we are weak. It takes an incredible amount of mental discipline to run a marathon; to tell yourself that you’ll be OK, to just keep going even though it hurts. This is why running brings me closer to God. I don’t have the discipline, the focus, the confidence or the mental strength to run on my own. But every time I call on Him, God provides.

After a moment of quiet prayer in the car I was at peace and I was ready. I pulled up to our starting point, said hello to my friends and we were on our way. As I said, this route is tough for me because it is full of steep hills, and I typically don’t run hills very often. Every other Saturday I have fallen behind my group and had to stop and walk to try and get the cramps out of my side after hauling up those hills.

Today was different. My body felt strong, even comfortable, the entire time. Even the largest hill that I dread the entire way didn’t slow me a bit. I ran up it without even being winded. “Wow!” I thought, “Are we running slower than last week?” No, our pace was actually 20 seconds faster than last week’s. And this time I didn’t get left behind.

So why was I struggling with so much fear? Because today my fullest potential was going to be unlocked, and the devil didn’t want to see that happen. My friend Hannah shared this last night and it couldn’t be more perfect:

“Keep your head up. Don’t look back. The pain is momentary. The finish is worth it. We run because our God is good.”

A Brutally Honest Post

Sometimes you just need to get something off your chest. Beware of grammatical errors. I’m just typing my thoughts as quickly as I can.

It’s been a while since I’ve posted. I’d normally tell you that life got really busy and I simply haven’t had time to write, but in all honesty I fell off the bandwagon. I completed 30 days of a completely plant based diet with no oils or processed foods and felt great, but I also seriously struggled with my addiction to processed foods and sugar during that time. Since finishing the 30 days I really have had no desire for red meat at all, and have eaten small amounts of chicken and fish, but where I’ve really messed up is with all the junk food. I felt like I had deprived my body of it and suddenly went on a binge. It’s not fun writing that, but it’s true…and I believe honesty is the best policy.

A few weeks ago my sister called and told me that she felt like she was really being convicted for not eating healthy. Obviously, I was feeling the same way. We vowed to create a family support group and put God at the center of it. I struggle with an unhealthy addiction to food, and I’m asking my Savior to help me with it. Some people might not understand that, but if I give every other area of my life to God, but am hiding my binge-eating behavior from Him, what good am I doing myself?

 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.” 1 Corinthians 6:19

When we fall down, we can’t stay there. Staying down is the reason I’ve gained weight and gotten myself into a pit that I haven’t been able to climb out of. So here I am, standing back up and taking baby steps forward. This is a long process. It’s not an easy process. But it’s worth it. It’s worth it because I want to honor God in all that I do. It’s worth it because I want to run my next marathon under 5.5 hours. It’s worth it because I have a family who needs me to be at my best.

So what changes am I making? I’ve hired a trainer who is holding me accountable to my exercise routines. I signed up for a half marathon that I’ll be running in November and will be training REALLY hard for. I’ve realized that there is a big connection, at least for me, with organization in the home and a healthy diet. If my house is out of order (I am horrible at organizing) my life starts to fall out of order. This effects my diet, which in turn effects my mood, my energy, my self-discipline, and my relationship with Christ. I don’t know if anyone can follow that, but I’ve seen it happen time and time again in my life. SO. I am on a “purge,” so to speak. Every day I’ve been going through closets, dresser drawers, cabinets and getting rid of things I haven’t used in the last year. Even if it’s something I like, but haven’t used in the past year…it gets donated. There are people who would enjoy using the things I have simply have sitting at the top of a closet shelf collecting dust, so it’s time to get rid of stuff. It feels great! Getting rid of excess things helps me simplify my life. I try to ask myself, if I were to live aboard a small sailboat (a dream I’ve always had) what would I take with me? And those are the things I keep.

And with that, I’ll end this very scatterbrained post.

Until next time, stay classy.