Monday, November 25, 2013

Marathon Success: Week 23

We're 55 days away from the Houston Marathon! I'm so excited to be nearing the end of training. I'm at what some call "the build up phase" of the marathon training. During this phase we keep adding miles to my long runs until we reach the maximum amount, then we go down to the "tapper phase" which happens right before the big marathon day. My husband and I are slowly but surely planning what we're going to do after we cross the finish line. Other than taking tons of pictures, I know I am dragging myself to The Chocolate Bar for an after lunch treat. Now if I can only decide what I want for lunch... I might celebrate Brazilian style, we'll see! 
On the training front we had a challenging but victorious week. Sometimes it seems that it takes more effort to complete my short runs than my long runs. My second short run of the week was challenging mentally but I got through it. It seems that just getting out there is not enough: I have to keep telling myself to finish my run. 
Yesterday there was a 25K (15-miler) downtown which was part of the Warm Up Series so I ran with a few peers the day before. It was very cold, even for Houston. It was raining 95% of the time and the wind was blowing strong. Right around mile 6 all my fingers were frozen. I started praying a little harder and decided that Jesus and I (I run with Jesus you know) needed to turn back and take a different route. Running with my back against that cold wind was simply marvelous. I also figured out that when I needed a break I can cross my arms and put my hands under my armpits which made my Garmin give me extra laps but at least my fingers got a bit warmer. Yes, I had gloves on - it was that cold. I also gave and received a lot of encouragement out there. There was even a guy out with some cow bells. More cow bell any time I run please!
Freezing ran and cold but we did it! 15 miles!
I was blessed to sign up for the last race in the Warm Up Series which is a 30K (18 miles). I've been praying that God would provide the money since July and He did. I am a witness that God answers prayers in ways I can't imagine. I started praying for provision 20 weeks ago and God answered my prayers. I am very thankful and humbled by His goodness and care for me. God also blessed me with new running shoes. I have 414 miles in my old running shoes which means it was time for new ones. I learned that it takes 4 weeks to break them in so I'll be good when marathon day arrives. I decided to buy the same pair I had before because I really like the fit. Breaking in new shoes felt like taking an old friend for a ride. 
My Marathon Vision Board
One of my dear friends made a Vision Board for my Marathon. I look at it every day and I am thankful to God for friends who love me and believe in me. I believe in vision. I have used vision boards for a few years and I have blogged about it in the past (let me know if you want me to do it again). I believe you have to see yourself accomplishing your goal before you actually do it. You have to see yourself there before you go there. I have been seeing myself running for 4 years and a half. My vision board is a material reminder of what will happen in 7.7 weeks. When my mind and my soul believe that I can cross that finish line, my whole body aligns to that vision. 
Dear friend, you might not cross your finish line now but please, do not give up on your dream. I've been rehearsing my dream of running a marathon in my mind for over 4 years and it will happen with the help and grace of God. Write your vision. Put it somewhere you can see it and feed your soul with possibilities. There is nothing impossible for the God who gave you your very dream. 
My encouragement for you today is not to give up but to see yourself as the winner that you are. 
Have a happy Thanksgiving week! 

Previously in this Series:
Week 22
Week 21
Weeks 14-20
Weeks 1-10
Marathon Training Basics Interview with Angie Spencer

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