Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Marathon Training Week 16

It is hard to believe that the marathon season is almost over. We are at week 16 of 18. I started the week with a dip in the ice pool and some cross training. 

I ended up taking several days off during the holiday. It was just what I needed. Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. It is a time to thank God for all of our blessings. 

I've done a variety of things during Thanksgiving but this year, I went for the minimum amount of workouts (3). 

My long run happened on a Sunday. It was 46 and raining when a friend and I went running. I can't think of more difficult conditions to start (or continue) a run. I'm glad we got it done. 

The run was also a great way to re-enter my life after being away with family. Next week is our last week of training. I'm praying that God will give me the strength and endurance to finish this training season strong. My prayer is also that I can encourage someone who needs it most. 

This Virtual Marathon will be my 7th. I never thought I'd run a virtual marathon. I haven't made any plans for the future except to commit to showing up, training and keep running distance. Well, thanks for reading and for joining me in this journey!

Other posts in this series:
• Marathon Training 2020 Weeks 1-8
• Marathon Training Week 9
• Marathon Training weeks 9-11
• Marathon Training Week 12
• Marathon Training Week 13
Week 14
Week 15

Monday, November 30, 2020

MWLISS: Slowly, Patiently, Hopefully

Sometimes, change comes slowly. These two photos of me were taken exactly 10 years apart. 

The natural question is, how? I will answer this one-word question with one-word answers. 

Slowly - I had two kids 15 months apart between 2009 and 2010 when I took the photo on the left. I lost a lot of weight then I had another sweet baby in 2012. I gained and lost weight again. After that, I gained some weight back. I am now getting close to finishing my weight loss journey. It has been slow for sure. I was told that if I chose to lose weight slowly chances are, I won't gain it back. Slow is the way to go. 

Patiently - A lot of things happened in 10 years. We lost loved ones. We moved several times. We changed jobs. We dealt with stressful situations. Through my ups and downs, patience was my friend. I was told that if I look from a lifetime lens, women's weight goes up and down. I know mine certainly has done that. I had to be patient during seasons where I wanted to lose weight but it just wasn't working for me. Embracing patience shows wisdom and faith.

Hopefully - I remember writing in my journal that one day, I was going to be a runner. I was walking at that time. I remember dreaming about running marathons. I remember saying that one day, I was going to make healthier food choices. It took a lot of hope to get here. Hope is positive expectation. It has nothing to do with current circumstances. Hope doesn't care what the now looks like because it is fully focused on energizing you for what's to come. Hope is so good for you and it is completely free. 

I don't have a product or service to sell you as I show you this "before and during" picture. I take full responsibility for my decisions these past 10 years. My decisions were enhanced by going at it slowly, patiently, and hopefully. 

WW start weight: 175 lbs
First Goal: 150 lbs
Second Goal: 146 lbs
Third Goal: 136 lbs Current Weight: 147 lbs
 WW Virtual Workshops
 My weight loss (so far) Podcast

Sunday, November 29, 2020

Sunday Seven

Today is my husband’s birthday. Here’s what I want him to know:
1. “We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you,” Col. 1:3‬ ‭(ESV‬‬)

2. “... walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;” Col. ‭1:10‬ ‭(ESV‬‬)

3. “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” Col.‬ ‭3:16‬ ‭(ESV‬‬)

4. “Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.” Col.‬ ‭2:6-7‬

5. “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” ‭‭Col.‬ ‭3:2‬

6. “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.” Col. 3:23-24‬ ‭

 7. “Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.” Col.‬ ‭4:2‬ ‭(ESV‬‬)
You’re everything to me. I love you. Happy birthday my love. 

Saturday, November 28, 2020

33 Days to Dream


Let's pretend that 2020 didn't happen. Next, let's take the things we can control into consideration. 

When we do that, we realize that we have God-given abilities. I would love to talk about your ability to dream. 

I'm not speaking about the dreaming you do at night but the dreams you have for yourself. 

Every human being has the ability to dream of a better situation. While it is unrealistic to simply "dream our problems away" we can all focus on the things we can control when it comes to becoming the person God created us to be. 

Here is a thing you probably don't know about me. When I'm in deep trouble, after I'm done praying, running, and talking to my husband about it, I dream. 

A few months ago, I was experiencing what I call deep trouble. I was interpersonal conflict-related if you are wondering how deep of trouble I was in. The summer was hot and the day was not ending soon enough. 

The thing about being an adult is, no matter how many problems you have, you still have to do all that God called you to do. That day, I was called to drive happy kids to swim lessons. I was also called to wait for them so we all could head home together for dinner. 

I decided to sit in the car and enjoy the AC. My trouble was all I could think about. I had prayed about it. I read my Bible that day. I also went on a run that morning. I had done everything humanly possible to cope with that situation but still, no relief. 

I decided to pick up a pen and I started to dream. In my notebook, I wrote down a structural way to fix that interpersonal conflict. I added details. I even wrote about feelings I wanted to experience as a result of that new structural concept. I felt better at the end. That feeling lasted for a little while. 

Dreaming didn't fix the root cause of my problem but it injected much-needed hope in my soul. Before writing down that dream, I didn't clearly see a hopeful solution to my situation. 

The act of writing allowed me to physically do something about a situation. I wasn't stuck afterall. Writing helped me change my perspective and move towards a solution. 

Realisticallty, dreaming will not fix anything outside of your area of control. Realistically, dreaming will fix only what you can control, which is your attitude. 

You have to allow yourself to go from hopeless to hopeful. Dreaming will help you with that. 

Let's take the things you can control into consideration again. What can you dream about? Take some time in the next 33 days to write down your dreams. Small steps will get you where you need to be. 

Regardless of external circumstances, God has blessed you with the ability to dream. So dream big.

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Marathon Training Week 15

Peak week! Thank God we reached the top of our training. During peak week, we ran our longest run ever: 20 miles. I worked my way purposefully here. I built my running base and I kept it between 8-12 miles. I diligently went to the gym and worked on core and strength. It was never easy and convenient but thank God it has been worth it. My maintenance has been on point too. I've been going to the chiropractor when I need. I've been icing my muscles and using different foam rollers a couple of times a week. It's a lot of work but that's what I signed up to do. 

I volunteered to be the person who puts out water and Gatorade on the course. I run with a hydration pack but I know it is important to have extra hydration and electrolytes during such a long run. Our runners are so generous and their donations helped me get everything we needed. I went to the store the day before and loaded up on supplies.

Supplies: electrolytes, water, ice and more

The morning of the run, I woke up extra early to eat my usual peanut butter and banana toast with coffee and to put the water out on the course. I used one of my coolers in addition to the ones the runners donated. After I was finished,  I went to meet with my friends so I could actually run. That's when I realized I needed to use the bathroom again. I had a few minutes to spare so I found a gas station and then headed to the start to take this picture. 

These runners are amazing individuals!

I decided to be conservative with my running. I was in it for the mileage. I was praying that I could start and finish well while being an encouragement in some way. I've been running intervals this season. I started by not doing intervals at all. Then I realized that I needed to have a plan for the marathon. I started by running one mile and walking one minute. After a while, I saw some friends running 4 minutes and walking one minute so I decided to give it a try. I've been enjoying these intervals. They are helping me keep a great pace throughout my runs. After the season is over, I might decide to do something different. 

Running with a group is wonderful. I truly enjoyed each mile with my friends. During our 20-miler, we talked, laughed and we reminded each other that we are doing this, no matter what. At the end of the run, I thanked God for the blessing of being able to run. I'm truly grateful. 

The course was good and tough. Friendship made it easier. The thing about running in our hometown is that it is wonderfully hilly. I learned to embrace the hills. Life is like that too. You can embrace the hills. Looking at it and stopping doesn't help at all. When we embrace the hills we can conquer them. 

Not an ad. Just something I found in the store.

Drinking chocolate milk after the run has been so good. Post-run is the only time I drink chocolate milk. I've learned that recovery starts as soon as I cool down. 

When I got home, I was managing breakfast for the kids and myself. I remembered I had açaí in the freezer. Açaí is my favorite thing to eat ever. I decided to make a bowl and it was just what I needed. 

A few days later, I went to what I call the "cold pool." It feels like an ice plunge and it has helped me recover from hard workouts. Getting to the cold pool is never easy. I don't know anyone who enjoys diving in ice cold water and statying there 15 minutes. I know it is part of the plan to run a strong race so I do it.

Today I'm grateful for what's been and I have faith for what's to come.

I appreciate you praying for me and my friends as we run our virtual race in a few weeks. We started by planning to go to Dallas which was canceled. We set our eyes on College Station and that got canceled too. We decided not to waste our training and do the virtual race at home.

Other posts in this series:
• Marathon Training 2020 Weeks 1-8
• Marathon Training Week 9
• Marathon Training weeks 9-11
• Marathon Training Week 12
• Marathon Training Week 13