Sunday, August 28, 2011

Week 5: SHM: Miles to GO

"I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth." Psalm 34: 1 (NKJ)

It's Week 5! One month of training is complete and now eight more weeks of increasing mileage, building stamina, and improving endurance. When I get tired, I tend to look down instead of looking up. I tend to look at the miles ahead instead of looking at the distance I've covered. I tend to look to the end instead of looking at the present. This week is a reminder to praise God not just petition him with my requests. It's a reminder to say thank you for keeping me and thank you for protecting me. It's a reminder to not get so focused on the distance that I forget to take notice of the process. While I was running on Saturday, I looked up and it was the most beautiful picture of the trees and a clear path of light with an opening. It was so peaceful and pretty right before I reached the busy highway. Sometimes, you have to stop in the middle of it all to give praise and say thanks. God, it's not about the distance I have to go, it's about the praise in my heart as I run my way through.

Mile Verse for the week: I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth. Psalm 34: 1 (NKJ)

Gratitude Journal
I am grateful for long runs.
I am grateful I can listen to Joel Osteen podcasts while running.
I am grateful I never lost my hope.
I am grateful I never lost my joy.
I am grateful I never lost faith.
I am grateful I never lost my praise.

I'll be running and praising!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Is it all worth it?

As I'm preparing for my long run in the morning, I'm thinking about how much time and energy is invested into training. I plan my life around my running. It's Friday night and my biggest concern is turning in early and making sure I'm prepared for Saturday morning. Sacrifice comes to mind. As I nurse tight muscles and nagging aches, I wonder is all of this worth it? It's almost time for bed and I need to get a head start on laundry, prepare my heat wrap and I still have to ice my feet and have some prayer and quiet time. For a moment, I stop and think is this all worth it? My answer is unequivocally, YES!  Yes, it is worth the sore muscles, the stiffness and achiness, the loss of sleep, the fatigue, the occasional dehydration, the never ending preparing and packing and everything thing else that goes along with running and training. I've learned that every run will not be a good run, every race will not be my best race and every morning after the long run will not always be a joyous day. But that's ok. Good, bad or indifferent, I know that I am committed and in love with running. Running is about my self discovery. I can push myself to new levels, higher limits and get past my pain. Running helps me discover my strength, my endurance and my courage. Running is my therapy, my spritual journey and my love. So, when I'm tired and I just want to sleep in, I think about the experience of running and I know and know that I know that it is all worth it. 

God made the ultimate sacrifice when he sent his Son to die for our sins. Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice when he died on the cross. When I think about my Saviour's sacrifice, my heart is overwhelmed. Nothing I do, give up or sacrifice can ever compare. I realize that sometimes you have to lose some things and make sacrifices. And yes, the reward is greater than the sacrifices you make.

Gratitude Journal
I am grateful for RPM.
I am grateful for dying to self.
I am grateful that Jesus died upon the cross.
I am grateful for Girlfriends Praying. 

I have one more run this week, so let me remind you "Jesus said, If uou can believe, anything is possible to him who believes. " Mark 9:23
     Yes, Lord, I do Believe!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Week 4 SHM: Finding My Strong

Jesus said to him, "If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes." Mark 9:23 (NKJ)

I was reading a blog on Saturday and she talked about finding her strong when things look seemingly impossible. After I finished reading the blog post, Mark 9:23 came to mind: all things are possible to him who believes.
Finding My Strong

Saturday ended a high mileage week for me. I ran nearly 25 miles (highest mileage since April). This was a tough training week. I completed a hilly run, long hill repeats, an easy run and a 10+ mile long run with nearly four of those miles being track work. Any double-digit run is tough, but especially mixed with track repeats. I remember thinking I'm only on my second set of repeats. I have one more left to go. Does anyone else want to quit? I remember thinking I want to stop, but I have to hit my splits. Instead of stopping, I started talking to myself. Pick up your feet. Quick turnover. Get the legs moving. Quick turnover equals faster pace. Remember, I told you guys a while back, I drag my feet when I'm tired and it slows me down. More foot contact time equals a slower pace, especially for someone who has short legs like me. I completed the track workout and I ran the four miles back to the Clubhouse. At times I wanted to walk and I wanted to stop, but I just kept on going. I'm Finding My Strong. I'm Finding My Strong in a combination of ways. Sometimes, I find it when I'm running alone on the track. There are other times I find it when I power up a hill and just keep on moving. There are other times I find it when I'm been pushed by other runners or simply pushing myself. However it happens, it's the way God intended. It all starts in what I Believe. If I Believe I can, then all things are possible. Finding my strong is not giving up because I'm tired or because I don't feel good or I'm uncomfortable. Finding my strong is not giving up on running because my feet hurt or my shins or sore. Finding my strong is about digging in deep and saying I can do this. Finding my strong is saying I Believe I can do this. I will overcome fear and doubt and I will Believe because "all things are possible to him who believes." That doesn't mean I won't have doubts or that I won't have bad runs. It just means that I won't let the doubts and the bad runs overcome me. God never intended for anything to take us out. On Saturday afternoon between naps, it really clicked to me what Finding My Strong is all about.

Finding my strong is about believing anything is possible.
Finding my strong is about running with endurance the race God has set before me.
Finding my strong is about depending on God's grace to give me strength in my weakness.
Finding my strong is about knowing that all things are possible through Christ who gives me strength.
Finding my strong is about my attitude, my belief, my determination and my faith to keep on running.

Finding my strong is not an option. It is my destiny and my purpose.

My gratitude journal is simple today. I am just thankful…..

Monday, August 15, 2011

Week 3 SHM: Endurance

"And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. "
Hebrews 12:1

Week 3 is all about Endurance. I have this feeling that I haven't had in a while. I had forgotten about this feeling; the one after the long run when my muscles hurt and I'm tired. Last week was tough training. It was my highest mileage week since May and Saturday I ran my longest long run since May. Endurance. That's what I'm training towards. I'm working towards better endurance. Each day I put on my running shoes is a new day to test my endurance. How will I stand up on my next run? 

Week 3 is more miles, more hill repeats and more track work. It's more time in training and more time on my feet. It's only Week 3, but I need to declare Hebrews 12:1. I need to believe that I can endure another test, another training, another race.

Gratitude Journal
I am grateful for Sunday dinner.
I am grateful for family.
I am grateful for the month of August.
I am grateful I can step, walk and run foward.
I am grateful I have grace to endure.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Week 2: Confidence

Week 1 is in the books and on to Week 2 of Training. A quick recap of last week:
1) Got in some good miles.
2) Pushed myself a more on every run.
3) Battled with dehydration a couple of days(I swear I saw stars for a quick second on Wednesday morning).
4) Need to purposefully hydrate.
5) Learned a little more about confidence.

Things happen when you develop confidence in God and your ability. I started this week with a victor’s attitude and not one of doubt and defeat. On Friday morning, I realized my left foot wasn’t hurting and my shins were not sore. I don’t exactly know what I did last week. I just know I’m doing a lot of things differently. I’m more disciplined with my foam rolling and stretching and I’m more dedicated to strengthening and stretching

The problems with my feet and lower legs have been an issue since I started this half-marathon journey (Remember, the physical therapist who told me I just wasn’t made to run distance). Well, quite the contrary. God made me to run distance. He allowed my struggles and my obstacles to strengthen me. What I perceived as a problem, he’s developing into one of my strengths. I remember the week before my race in April when someone spoke words into my spirit. She said, once you let go of the fear, you’ll start to run without restrictions. When you start to run freely and get rid of the anxiety, the strongholds will break away and you’ll begin to run your best. He’ll restore to you what was taken. Lord, I’ve finally let go of the anxiety and I Believe You. The weight is finally lifting and my running is turning around. I realize I have the power and the strength to run distance. I realize it’s not about me but something greater.

Last week I declared without a doubt, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13).” I Believe that. This week, I am going to have the attitude of Paul.

“Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12: 8 -9a (NIV)

God’s grace is sufficient through the storms, the struggle and the strain. Instead of taking this cup from me, he gave me grace, strength and power to overcome the enemy. It is in my weakness that I am made strong. I’m running in what I Believe and I’m embracing my weaknesses as a part of the process to get to my purpose.

Gratitude Journal
I am grateful for revelations and confirmations.
I am grateful for friendship.
I am grateful for the start of a cooler season.
I am grateful for discipline.
I am grateful for sleep.