Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The only Book that revolutionized my life

I had no choice but to love the Bible. My grandmothers taught me everything they knew through word and song. My mother quoted proverbs in such a way that I thought she came up with that beautiful poetry. My father magnificently expounded the historical background of his Sunday sermons. I had no choice but to love the Book they lived. When I had my choice I would read other things, practice playing my guitar and write on my diaries. Still, those Words of Life were living inside of me like seeds being watered. I can now see that my family as well as my Sunday School teachers contributed to the foundation knowledge I have. Everyone watered and cared for the seed of the Word. You see, I had no choice but to love the Seed that grows deep. Even in my hopelessness, I could reach in and find true nurture. Jesus was not joking when He said that He, the Word, is real food and real drink. It has been part of my upbringing to see the Bible as an adventurous journey. I always want to love the only Book that has revolutionized my life. So friends, I can’t have a religious relationship with it. It needs to be spiritual, life giving, surprising and super exciting. I find in my Bible the comfort for sleepless nights. The foundation when I don’t understand the many ‘whys.’ I find an endless source of wisdom and believe it or not, entertainment. I am currently enjoying the many adventures of people who have as many issues as I do. They are funny, they are hard headed, they are human. It is through the amazing Bible that I get to know the heart of a God who chose to love us and rescue us from our many shortcomings. I have no choice but to love the only Book that can precisely lead me to an abundant life on earth and an eternal life with the God I gladly worship. I don’t know everything about the Bible. My heart is not to be a walking encyclopedia, but to know enough to live the life Jesus died to give me and my heirs. I have no choice but to keep my nose in the Bible. If I keep my nose there, I will learn so many great things. I have no choice but to love the Bible and my prayer and heart is to pass this love to my children. I hope they love the Bible way more than I do. 

 * On a personal note, I have been blessed to serve as the Tuesday Night Coordinator for Merry Ministries. Merry Ministries is an Interdenominational Bible Study that meets weekly to learn the Bible in a clear, accurate and practical manner. If you are a local woman, please join us this Fall. If you are far away but want to grow in your love and understanding of the Word of God, listen or watch the messages in our archives.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Chicago Marathon Training Week 3

I have learned an amazing lesson about balancing running with life these past few weeks. I have been working at a kids summer camp. Working and getting my training in is challenging but thank God it has been possible. I have said many times that my family is my priority and running just has to fit after my family is cared for. Here are their happy faces during pajama day at camp:
Family before running. Always.
Last week we had the honor of a visit from our dear friends from North Carolina. They fit in a run with us in their schedule and we were super excited about that. The humidity was no joke but they are pros and rocked that run. I even added some extra miles to the run (ops!) but it's all good.
Friends make life richer!
Another challenge we have is how to fit our Saturday morning runs while having someone to care for the kids. I've been praying and God has blessed us with some paid help. Last week we couldn't fit the fee in our budget so I stayed with the kids while my husband ran. I can't remember when was the last time I stayed at home on a Saturday morning. I made everyone breakfast and enjoyed getting ahead with house work. When Zeke got back he brought our running group shirts for the year. They made a mistake but it's all good: 
It's supposed to be one word :)
Because I couldn't fit my long run Saturday morning, I ran Sunday night. I felt great for the first 11 miles. The last one almost made me give up on running all together. One more experience under my belt. The humidity got to me at the very end. I learned that I really need to stick morning runs. I pray that this week God will help me fit it in a morning run. I also learned that I need to have extra nutrition just in case. I'm a fan of pretzels at the end of my long runs so I'm gonna have to start practicing with it now rather than later. I also learned to get a good check of my body and mind during long runs. My mind was strong til the very end: the negative thoughts came when I was at home stretching.
I believe that big decisions should not be made after a bad run. I am thankful for the experience I gained and I am thankful for one more long run in my pocket. I will be crossing the finish line of the Chicago Marathon in 82 days. Let the build up continue! I appreciate your prayers and encouragement friends. Training is not always easy, as a matter of fact, it's the most challenging thing about running marathon. I can do it through Christ who gives me strength.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Chicago Marathon Training Week 2

Training for any marathon is never easy or convenient. Each week has its set of challenges but looking back I will be able to say that it was worth it. The marathon is the dream I chase and at the end of the day I earn more than a medal: I also earn rich experiences along the way. I will stand in the start line of the Chicago Marathon in 89 days and Houston is 187 days away.
Cheering myself works.
Today I want to tell you about how I get through the "inconvenience of training." There's a price tag attached to most things worth having in life. I spent countless hours studying to get my degrees. We changed our whole lives in preparation to have our precious children. Training for a marathon is the same way, it requires changing one's lifestyle but it's so worth it.

Because I chose a Fall marathon I have been training in the heat of the summer. I had to adapt and train smart. I hydrate religiously. Running in the heat is not convenient, so I try to get out there before the sun is in full strength and I also try to stay hydrated all day, every day.  My mindset is a key element: if I'm negative about the heat, the run will be even worse. I try to be positive and look forward to each run.

Training in the summer is inconvenient because my family's schedule changes. Right now I am working at a summer camp so I adapted to that. The solution was to make sure my training runs are a priority in my schedule. I physically write them down to be sure they happen. I also try to get done with my runs first thing in the morning so there's no excuse not to train.

I'm also a believer in practicing 'my minimum" when it comes to fitness. If it all fails, I know the amount of workouts I need to get in order to be ready for the marathon. Training for a marathon is never easy or convenient. I hope to be able to succeed as I prepare diligently for the marathon. Each run is a learning opportunity and I hope to keep learning to succeed.

QUESTION: How do you overcome your top inconvenience of training for an event?

Friday, July 11, 2014

7 things in July

Here are a few things I am enjoying this month:

1 • The Jeffersons - I am always trying to get a good laugh and this show does it every time. I love the writing, the characters and the acting is also really good.

2 • Food Journal - I know that journaling my food works so I decided to be more faithful about it and enjoy the results.

3 • Injinji Socks - so far I am not having any problems with blisters this season. I invested in 2 pairs and if it works as I think they will, I will be hunting them in marathon expos.
 4 • Vegetable Protein smoothie - I prefer chewing than drinking my food but this has been a lifesaver when I have no time for breakfast. I add a banana and a couple of strawberries to it and we're good to go!

5 • Blink by Malcomn Gladwell - this has been my first book of the summer. I am really enjoying the new ideas I am learning here. Reading is so much fun!

6 • America’s Test Kitchen - I finally found out what time I can catch my favorite cooking show on TV. I used to subscribe to their magazine and I have one of their cookbooks. I love their approach to cooking!

7 • Brasil - I am loving all things Brasil! My beloved country is the host to this year's World Cup if you haven't heard. I am looking forward to going back and visiting my family and friends. I am proud of my dear country.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Chicago Marathon Training Podcast Week 1

Today I want to share my first of many Podcasts about marathon training. I hope you enjoy it!
So glad we made it through our hot run!

In this Podcast you will hear:
• my "heat" epiphany;
• how I prepared off season to train for my Fall marathon (Chicago);
• my plan for training out of town;
• how to be Consistent about your fitness;
If you can't see the player, listen to the Podcast here
 QUESTION: How did you learn how to be consistent in  your fitness journey?