Wednesday, April 30, 2008

hooray for options

I've become a wuss! In the past two days, I have become terribly uneager to run outside. And it hasn't even been that cold out...windy and rainy, yes, but temps are still in the 50's. I should be able to handle that and even enjoy that (not the windy and rainy part...)!

But I've caved. I joined a gym. Not only so that I wouldn't have to run in the "cold" but also so I could develop more strength training as well. I found a place that wasn't too far from my house and was ridiculously affordable. The most fun part is that I can bring a visitor with me any time I want. So essentially, a friend can have a free membership...crazy! Another perk is that I can go to any Planet Fitness anywhere, including a brand spanking new one where I know a few ladies from my church are going to be going. So fun!

I am not replacing my street running for treadmill running but I love that I have the option to still work out even when it is completely disgusting outside. Hooray for options!

Monday, April 28, 2008

praying with pastors

Today in Staff Chapel we talked about journeys. The kind of journey that the US Soldiers took when they marched into Germany to get rid of the Russians. The kind of journey that the Israelites took when they walked through the Red Sea (apparently, some one did a dissertation on what he supposed the journey would have looked like and how long it must have taken, roughly 48hrs, apparently).

We then divided up into groups of three or four to talk about our own personal journeys. This is always the part that I hate. I am trying to work on talking about myself to the pastors at my church, even though I feel like a lowly admin most days. But today, the senior pastor, Bryan, was in my group. I always feel just a little bit more shy when he is around, simply because he is the senior pastor. He is a very nice man and cares deeply about other people...but come on, he's the man in charge here!

Anyway, we got around the circle and I was the last to share. I talked about how I want to finish strong with my 8th grade girls, do well in my role as we prepare for mission trips, find some good friends who are in the same place in life as me (ie, not married and pregnant), then I mentioned that I wanted to also pursue running a marathon. Now when I said this, Bryan perked up and was excited that I was hoping to run a marathon. He is a runner and has run New York a couple of years ago and he is planning to run Chicago in the fall with his daughter.

We then had to pray for one another and he chose to pray for me. I just felt particularly blessed that the senior pastor of the church was praying for me personally and that we had a connection through running. Cool stuff.

So about my training...I did get up early on Saturday and get 4 miles in. My roommate did a great job as well by coming with me! I took yesterday off as it was a very full day with dramas and church and meetings, I spent over 11 hours away from home. It felt especially draining yesterday...

Today was cold and rainy. I did not want to run. Then I thought about Wayne's sister who ran Nashville last Saturday in the rain. And when I got home, I put on my gear and went for a 2 miler.

One final thing: Well done, Tricia!!!!!

Friday, April 25, 2008

wind, hills and the drop

There were soooo many excuses I was giving myself on the way home from work tonight about how much I didn't want to run! Which was the complete opposite of the way I felt on the way to work this morning.

Here's why: This morning there was no wind, it was sunny, and nearly 70 deg. This evening there was a good breeze, cloudy, and a 15 deg drop in temperature. All of that combined with my hill route and I had a laundry list of reasons why I did not want to go out today.

Even with all the excuses running (no pun intended, haha) through my head, as soon as I got home I changed my clothes and hit the pavement. And I have to say, it felt really good. I haven't done my hill route in a very long time. There are two hills that I go up...they aren't that long or steep but take some effort to get up. I love getting to the top of the hills because as they say, what goes up must come down! After both climbs there are some nice downs for breathing recovery.

I only went two miles tonight but I'm planning on getting up early tomorrow and getting four miles in before my day starts and gets away from me.

For the record, this week I've put in a total of 11 miles (not including tomorrow, when that number will bump up to 15). I've been encouraged to see my miles increasing each week. I am getting stronger and am able to run longer each time I'm out. It makes me feel like my goal might actually be attained!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

a years worth of nerves

I've been doing some hunting online about normal people who've run marathons and their stories. They've been pretty easy to find since the Boston Marathon took place just a few days ago. ran a story about the "back of the packers" that were coming to the finish line at hours 5 and 6. The ailments of the people they interviewed ranged from sore feet, strained muscles, and dehydration to a fractured femur and a pulled muscle at mile 8.

Now, I know that if I train properly that I will most likely NOT have a fractured femur. And honestly, if I pull a muscle at mile 8 with 18.2 to go...I might not finish. But these stories of people just like me have made me nervous. Can I really run a marathon? Can I physically push my body that far? I'm not sure...we've got a year to see if I can! Right now I feel like I'm looking at a years worth of nervousness about doing it...but that just because I'm at the VERY beginning of my training. In the coming months I hope to feel stronger about my ability to complete longer distances working my way up to the marathon a year from this coming Saturday.

A family member of a friend is running the very race I'd like to do next year on Saturday and I'm hoping to get the insiders scoop on the course, this year's weather, the bands, everything! That way, I'll hopefully have less things to be nervous about since they'll be known...albeit 3rd hand. :)

Monday, April 21, 2008

allow me to muse

I've been thinking about spring a lot lately. Which should not be surprising as that is the season we are in right now! I love spring. I love that it brings tulips and daffodils. I love that it brings sunshiny days. I love that there are buds on the trees. I see all sorts of colors; purples, reds, pinks, yellows and greens. I love that after spring comes summer!!

Another reason I love spring so much is because it reminds me of how much God loves us. In the winter when every thing is brown and dead it's easy to lose sight of the hope we have in Christ (at least it is for me...), I hate winter. But when spring comes and everything is new again, my hope in the glory of Jesus is refreshed and renewed! We are alive in Him! Just like the new buds on the trees and the flowers sprouting out of the ground, we are being made new each year...and each day!

One of my favorite verses is Lamentations 3:22-23, "...for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness." Though it seems like all winter things are never going to look up again, it's cold and dark and dreary...along comes spring and reminds us that God does not fail us. Not ever. His compassions and mercies are new every morning and his faithfulness to us is great!

These are just some of the thoughts that have rambled through my head as I've been going on my runs the past couple of days. Thanks for reading my musings. Oh yeah...since this is about my running, I did 3.5 miles today. :)

Saturday, April 19, 2008

30.59 on the dot!

Race Day! I don't know if I could have had a better day for my first race back! No clouds, 60 deg, slight wind. Not bad at all...

I got up around 6:30 and ate breakfast (toast and pb) then made my way up to Ipswich for the 9am start. Prior to the start I saw three things that need to be noted: 1) a gorilla on a fourwheeler. 2) Dan, the HS ministry assistant and his wife were there to support their friends who were running. 3) Crazy running tights lady! There is one woman who I've seen at multiple races on the North Shore with these really brightly patterned running tights. She didn't fail me today, I spotted her right away!

There were a few inclines at the beginning, I started off a friend noted, there is a hill in Ipswich called Heartbreak Hill which we ran up today. It is nothing compared to what the marathoners encounter but it was slightly challenging.

Towards the end I started remembering the course from last year and picked up my pace. I ran the first mile at 10.23, mile two at 20.15 and i arrived at the finish line right at my goal time. 30.59. Oh yeah, and the gorilla? He was at the finish line to give each runner a hi-five. Nice!

I had two goals for today. 1) to finish without walking: done! 2) to finish in under 31 min: done! I feel good about getting the first race back under my belt....but I'm tired now, that's what happens when you get up at 6am on a Saturday. Time for a nap...

Friday, April 18, 2008

time (off) well spent

I took yesterday off from training. My great friend, Erin, was in town and I couldn't pass up the chance to spend some quality time with her. After getting married a year ago, she moved to North Carolina. But some changes have taken place and God has called her and Wayne to NYC. In other words, only a short train, bus, or car ride away!

Erin and I took advantage of a beautiful evening and went for a walk around Lake Quannapowitt, which is where I usually's a perfect 4mi loop. We then went to a favorite Thai place for dinner, yum.

Today I'll take off as well...probably will go for a walk so that I'm doing something!

Tomorrow, bright and early, is race day! I can't wait! The only thing that stinks is I have to get up at 6am! On a Saturday! It's kind of cruel, but I gotta do. I'm just hoping for a sunny, warmish morning...pray for no rain. I don't think I could get out of bed that early if I heard rain and wind outside my window. We'll see what the day brings.....

Thursday, April 17, 2008

chasing gorillas

Saturday will be my first 5K since last summer. It's called "Chase the Gorilla Down Argilla" up in Ipswich, MA. I ran this one last year and it was a blast! This year though...I'll admit, I'm a little nervous. My goal is not to PR, it's simply to finish. And to hopefully not walk at all. Last year, a group of 10 or so friends came out and did the race as well...this year, I'm on my own.

In all honesty, I'm kind of glad to be alone for my first race back. No one to judge me but myself...of course, I am probably my own worst critic so I'm not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing. :)

Part of the reason I enjoy running so much is that it's something you do on your own. If you screw up, there's no one there to say "we lost because of you." If you screw up in running all you can do is train better and work harder and hopefully do better next time.

Let's hope I've worked hard enough these past few weeks to achieve my goal, if not I'll just hopefully do better next time!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

dreams colliding

Whoops, I forgot to mention which marathon I'm planning to run. Duh... :) It has always been my dream to go to Nashville. When I was younger, the main reason I wanted to go was because I wanted to be a country singer or to meet all my favorite country singers. Now I want to go to run for a very long time...

It's time to see two dreams colliding. I'm going to plan to run the Music City Marathon in Nashville Tennessee in April of '09. Yee-haw!!

a goal made

I've decided to run a marathon.

I didn't decide this a minute ago, this morning or even last week. This is a goal that I've been pondering and wondering if I can make it mine for about 6 or 7 months. I guess it's time to make it a reality. I'm tired of thinking about it...I'm tired of saying, "some day...." It's time.

Now, I'm not good at holding myself accountable. So this blog (and anyone who may deign to read it) will be my accountability. Here I'll share all of my training ups and downs...I can assure you, there will be many!

Here's a little background: A few years ago I made a goal to get in better shape and figured what better way to do this than to start running! I started by running a mile...and realized just how out of shape I was! I could hardly do it! It brought me back to gym class in middle school when I would be the very last one to finish, usually wheezing and red in the face.

Slowly but surely, I worked my way up and did my first 5K in September of '06. In case you don't convert Kilometers to Miles in your head, that's 3.1 miles. :) I came in near the back of the pack but the goal was to finish, and that I did.

Over the next year, I continued to run 5K's and even threw in a 10K on January 1st, 2007. What a day that was! It was about 35 deg. Freezing rain, 20mph wind, on the ocean. It was called a Hangover Classic, which should have given me a hint about the beverage they were handing out at the halfway point...I, mistakenly, was hoping for water. It was beer. Now, when you are running for 6mi, trust me, the last thing you want sloshing around in your stomach is alcohol! Well, obviously, I survived that run as well. I continued getting PR's (personal record) and enjoyed the atmosphere that comes with doing races, lots of people and energy!

My greatest running achievement so far was on May 27, 2007. I ran a Half Marathon in Boston. It was an amazing race, the course took us thru many different parts of Boston, Cambridge, Back Bay, all along the Charles. It was also great weather, about 65 degrees and partly sunny. I finished in 2hrs, 10min which was my goal! At the finish line were some great friends, some who ran it as well and one who just came out to see me finish! I felt such a great sense of
accomplishment! It was beyond a doubt the hardest thing I've ever done. Below you can see pics of me just after I'd finished....and then after I'd recovered a bit. ;)

So why do I want to go thru all this again? Because it is an amazing thing that God created me to love to run and have the ability to do so. I want my running to be honoring to Him. I'm going to do this because I know that He has given me the strength and endurance that this will take.

I want to invite you along to take this journey with me. To encourage, support and pray with me as I attempt to tackle the ultimate challenge in running: 26.2 miles.