Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Weeks 8 and 9 SHM: It Started with 12.25

Weeks 8 and 9 SHM: It Started with 12.25

I'm a little behind on my blogging right now. I haven't been particularly busy, but I have been lacking in rest. I started a post for Week 8 but never finished it. Here's the recap:

Week 8 
I survived Week 7's Pain in my Butt. I took a few days off from running and focused on foam rolling, stretching, massage, yoga and ART therapy. My mid-week run was an easy four miles and Saturday I had my longest and probably best run of the training season. I completed a 12.25 mile long run followed by a nice, cold ice bath. Saturday's long run felt really good. I let myself relax and just enjoy the run. As I started to blog about the week, I thought about my 12.25 mile long run and Romans 12:2 came to mind:

"Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will."

At that moment, I realized it's time for a renewing of my mind. I've been neglecting my spiritual fitness and my body, heart and mind are suffering. The physical warning sign came in the form of my tight and strained muscles. The mental warning sign came from of my sluggishness and irritability. My training routine has been off for the past couple of weeks and I have been feeling out of my element. I know it's time to take a rest and renew mentally, spiritually and physically. It's time for me to refocus and renew my mind.

Week 9 is the point in my training when it gets hard. This is the time when mileage is high and race anxiety starts to set in. Miles eight and nine are also the point in the race when I'm tired and I want to quit ~ be transformed by the renewing of your mind. However, I'm deciding to renew my mind and not let the enemy get a victory. I'm better prepared for battle this time around. I'm stronger, better and more confident. So, what's a little pain in my butt or some mental fatigue? I can handle it. I can handle it as long as I continue to focus on the source of my strength. I can handle it as long as I focus on renewing my mind. Every run is different, but God's promises remain the same. Entering week 9, is a great time to meditate on James 5:6:

"The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much."

This week my renewing of my mind begins on my knees with some time in prayer. When you are open to God, the impossible is possible.

Gratitude Journal
I am grateful for friendships.
I am grateful for new perspectives.
I am grateful I know when to rest.
I am grateful for cool weather.
I am grateful for the seeds planted in faith.
I am grateful for the rain to make the seeds grow.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Week 7 SHM: A Pain in MY Butt

Seriously, my training came to a halt on Thursday when I woke up with a pain in my butt. Six weeks into training and I have a flare up in my hip muscles. The piriformis muscle runs deeply behind the glute muscles. It helps to rotate the hip. My hip flexors were a little tight and overworked in part due to tight hamstrings which tighten up the low back muscles. The tightness and strain of the hip flexors helped to cause the pain in my butt.

Now what? Little to no running, yoga, massage, ibuprofen, stretching, tennis ball and heat, heat and more heat. I plan to attempt and easy run on Monday and some evening yoga and hopefully I can get in for a quick chiropractic appointment. I'm praying for a good running week! I need my RunningTherapy to keep me sane!
Week 7 Mile Verse:
"Be still, and know that I am God!" Psalm 46: 10 (NLT)

I'm reminded of the comforting of this scripture. Sometimes, you just have to stop, be still and remember God is in control and he already knows the outcome. Instead of running ahead, running too fast or running too much, I am reminded to be still and just stay in the mile that I am in. There's no need to worry about the miles ahead, I need to focus and run in my present mile. God is working on me in this mile. From my last two half marathons, I learned that miles 7-8 have been the hardest both mentally and physically. I break down. Mentally, I'm thinking I still have 5-6 miles to go; physically, I'm feeling the heaviness in my legs and the burning in my lungs. Meditating on Psalm 46 says to me, Be Still and run in this mile and Know that God will give me the strength to run the next mile.

Gratitude Journal
I am grateful for a warm Epsom salt bath.
I am grateful for rest.
I am grateful for hope.
I am grateful for running friends.
I am grateful for the friends who call/text just to check on me.
I am grateful for this heat wrap I'm sitting on J.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Week 6: SHM – I AM a Fighter

 "No Weapon formed against me shall prosper…. "

I am more than just a Survivor. I am a Fighter. When I finished my 10 miles on Saturday, that thought came to my mind. With the exception of Monday, I had a good training week. Three good runs including my long run. I even had the drive to complete a recovery run on Sunday. Imagine that! I actually ran five days last week! Look how far I've come in one year. It's been an up and down physical, mental and spiritual journey, but I made up my mind that I will not be defeated. I made up in my mind that I'm not just a survivor. I am a fighter. God's Word says "no weapon formed against me shall prosper". Going into Week 6 of training, I'm hiding this Word in my heart and standing on God's promise.
This morning I was listening to Joel Osteen and he said "there are some situations that you just can't pray away." I had a moment of God speaking to me. The things we face in life may not be fair or pleasant, but it's necessary for our growth and refinement. God doesn't cause bad things, but he does allow things to help us grow and reach our destiny. We just need to understand it's a process. It's a process that can not be rushed or hurried along. Each day, experience, challenge, or irritation is a test of our faith, our endurance, and our perseverance. When I run, I get new revelations. I remember how much I wanted to increase my mileage, how much I wanted to not suffer with the nagging pain in my ankles, how much I wanted to get rid of the tight calf muscles, and how much I wanted to be rid of the foot pain. I remember thinking maybe I should stop running for a while. Maybe, I should just give this up and not try to run half-marathons. But, something in me just wouldn't quit. I learned how to work around my issues, how to strengthen my legs, how to train the best way for my body. I stayed in faith and started to believe in my abilities more than my circumstances. And, slowly, I'm coming around. I see a different runner. I see a stronger runner. I see a determined runner.

My Running Revelations:
  1. Every run is not going to be a good run and it's ok because I know I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.
  2. God didn't take the physical limitations from me, but he gave me grace to run another day.
  3. I am running with endurance the race God has set before me. Confirmation from Pastor Joel: "Sometimes you can't pray away your situations, you have to learn to endure (long-suffering is another way he explained it).
  4. All things are possible, if I believe. When I believe in myself, I have confidence to keep running.
  5. Praising and being thankful takes the focus off how hard this feels and puts it on the one who gives me the grace and the strength to run this race.
  6. No weapon formed against me shall prosper. I am not just a Survivor. I am a Fighter.
"A Fighter is a person who does not easily admit defeat in spite of difficulties or opposition"

Gratitude Journal
I am grateful that the Lord is revealing to me my strong.