Monthly Archives: July 2014

Goodbye

Cause if you never leave home, never let go
Youโ€™ll never make it to the great unknown till you
Keep your eyes open, my friend
So tell me youโ€™re strong, tell me you see
I need to hear it, can you promise me to
Keep your eyes open, my friend

-“Keep your Eyes Open”, NEEDTOBREATHE

At the age of 42, I have said a lot of goodbyes. I’ve said goodbye to people and things. I’ve said goodbye to free time. I’ve said goodbye to my sanity. I’m getting ready to say goodbye to a friend, a friend that I have only known for a little over two years. Over the course of that time, we have run three 50K’s and one 50 mile race, not to mention countless hours a week training for these races. I mean HOURS. All the time would add up to DAYS. I’ll miss her. I will see her again.

Here is how we kept it together on the trail!!

1. We texted if we were running late. It was usually me, because one of her pet peeves is being late. OOPS!

2. We did not wear headphones.

3. We kept a pace that we were both comfortable with, with the occasional “pick up”. ๐Ÿ™‚ She has a very consistent, even pace.

4. I TRIED not to be a conversation hog. This was tough for me. I always have something to say.

5. We took turns choosing the route. I will admit that I was kind of a ‘route hog’. I seemed to have very specific things in my head, which usually meant the hilliest routes we could do in the time allotted.

6. We did not invite someone else along, unless we asked each other first. The only exception to this rule was if we invited Stacie or Teresa. They were always welcome.

7. We suggested new running routes to each other.

8. I did not call her to suggest something “better”, like sleeping in. We motivated one another.

9. We signed up for races together. For me, these were LIFE CHANGING, LIFE CHALLENGING races. My heart was constantly on my sleeve. She had a ‘poker face’.

10. We allowed one another to make our own fashion statements. There must have been times when she laughed inside at all the Lululemon clothing I owned. She was more of a traditional trail running gal. ๐Ÿ™‚

11. Hugs were necessary, especially after emotional races and hard times in life.

 

 

 

 

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A Time to Compete and A Time to Complete

The toughest race isn’t a distance. This leaves no room for bragging that your event is the most difficult, or comparisons about who is the toughest runner on your team or in your club. True toughness comes from overcoming personal limits. It’s fighting against the internal dialogue in your head that stems from your body wanting to slow you down. It’s overcoming the feedback signals from your muscles that say they’re flooding with acid, or that your fuel stores are running dangerously low. How each runner experiences these sensations of fatigue is completely individual. No one else knows exactly what you’re feeling and at what point you might give in to the pain.

Steve Magness in his article from RUNNING TIMES, “True Grit”

There are times that I’m out on the trail, almost finished or coming to a junction at the road. I hear someone at my heels. I enjoy picking up my pace to run as fast as I can without falling or being caught, making it so that they cannot pass unless they speed up. I’m successful half the time. ๐Ÿ™‚ It is the competitor in me. It is the moment that I’m out there thinking, am I going to win or is he?

A time to compete: Stump Jump 2014, 50K. I plan to sign up in a few weeks. My goal is to compete in this race. For me, that means placing in the top 5 females for my age group 40-44. I researched all of the top 5 #’s for my age group for the last five years. It is a steep goal, but just within the realm of attainable. I have three key components to my training this time around, train by mileage, run hill repeats on the trail and run with persons who are faster than me and see how long I can hang on. The training alone sounds exciting.

I really like the 50K distance. I think I will forever have Matt Adams’ words in my mind, “the race does not begin until mile 19.” I also remember from running SJ in the past that mile 18/19 is a drop bag area. My mind is getting in the game, three months to train.

A time to complete:ย Zion Ultras 2015, 100K. I plan to sign up, after SJ. My goal is to completeย this race. This year, there were 16 ladies and 53 men who ran this race. I plan to enjoy every minute of being in the minority of this race. This race is 2 x 50K, so 62 miles. Wow! Two back to back 50K’s. I prefer to look at it as one 50 mile race and then a 12-miler. ๐Ÿ™‚

New elements to this race. They start at an elevation of approximately 3500′ and the peak elevation is approximately 5700′. The total elevation gain/loss will not be tough. What will be challenging will be the altitude. We live at an elevation of 643′, here in Franklin, TN.

The pictures of Zion look incredible. I am sure that I will be both in awe at many moments AND incredibly tired of seeing those mountains at moments. The scenery will be a positive element. Another positive element is that I can have a pacer at mile 46. ๐Ÿ™‚ SO, cool to me. I can totally make it to mile 46. How great to have a companion for the last 16 miles. ๐Ÿ™‚ Imagining this challenge now with humility.

Words to train by:

I have set the LORD always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Psalm 16:8

It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect. He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he enables me to stand on the heights. . . you broaden the path beneath me, so that my ankles do not turn. Psalm 18:33-34, 36

I will put myself in situations that challenge my weaknesses and take me out of my comfort zone.

If you do not put yourself into positions where you are under pressure and require of yourself to choose to deal with what arises, you will never have the opportunity to know your own greatness. -Bobby McGee, Magical Running p. 189

Once you know you have the choice of either exhaustion or challenge, the answer becomes clear, meet the challenge. -Bobby McGee, Magical Running p. 186

There is no such thing as a life without commitment. You are already living a host of commitments, whether or not you are aware of it. -Dr. Tamara Moore, “Welcome to Commitment, Enjoy Your Stay.”

 

Ambition is not apathy, pessimism, inactivity.

“Gratitude is a deep and abiding conviction that God’s in control. Don’t thank Him for evil, abuse, cancer, injury, death, poverty, etc. Thank Him for being in control.” (Ephesians 5:20, ‘always giving thanks to God, the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.’)-Lloyd Shadrach, pastor Fellowship Bible Church

The ‘lately’s’:

Instagram-This is fun. I love to see my life and other people’s lives in pictures.

Trail-I’ve been running the same route for a couple weeks now. I have been challenging my usual, comfortable pace by catching my breath on the downhills, running a bit harder on the downhills, and walking the first half of the major hills/running the second half of the major hills.

Gym-I am experimenting with changing up my strength routine. I read an article by Steve Magness, author of The Science of Running (a book that I just bought). He makes an interesting argument about strength training. He suggests runners do enough endurance training on the road, track and trail. So, why go to the gym and do more ‘endurance’ training with high reps/low weights? My new experiment is to continue my basic routine, lower my reps to 4-6 and increase my weight. So far? I love it. Also, I’m working on doing pull-ups. ๐Ÿ™‚

Track-I’m back on the track, every Tuesday. It provides me with a very measurable task each week. I am in competition out there only with myself.

AMBITION

desire, longing, craving, striving, spirit, enthusiasm

I think we all have dreams. Once you begin the journey, you will experience so much. Dreams get refined. It is the process of pursuing what you think you want that you find your passion. The risks you take, now, in pursuit, will eventually be the norm of your life.

Pursuing your dreams does not mean neglecting your responsibilities. I believe that in the process of going after your dreams, that your responsibilities will help to keep you grounded, keep you dependent on a strength greater than yours (for me? Jesus). ย  Your responsibilities become less consuming, less exhausting.

Pursuing dreams is not a solitary endeavor.

It’s a matter of will, that continual leap of faith you make when your spirit is bruised.-Max Lucado Peace that Defies Pain.

In pursuit, you have to use discernment, trust what someone sees in you, and do not listen to everyone. Here is a great quote from my FB account to my friend Kathy. . . “Um. . . Did we decide to run 100-miler in 2015?” It’s a dream. It’s an ambition. It will require planning. It will require training. It will require investment.

Am I planning on a 100-miler in 2015? I’m not completely sure. The good news is that I do not have to decide now. I have time to do some research on training plans and races. I have time to think about the logistics and read the stories of persons who have run 100 miles.

One of the most encouraging statements came from my husband of 16 years, Byron. I texted him my thoughts. At first, he questioned my ambition, in a necessary way, in a wise way. Then, he had 2 words, “you will.” WOW! That is all that I needed to hear. He was not worried about my sanity. He was not worried about my choice of races. He knows my passion. He is helping me to live out my dreams. He is one of the biggest champions that I have! Whether I race 100 miles next year or not, he will be my champion. Use discernment: trust what someone sees in you, and do not listen to everyone!

Back to the start. . . it is truly out of a heart of gratitude that I run. I could not race the distance I do without the strength that comes from Jesus. Prayer is crucial to the steps I take each day, running, being a mom, being a friend, being a wife. I have believed in Jesus for as long as I remember. BUT, it was not until the quote from Lloyd that I understood what it meant to ‘give thanks in all things’ (because He is in control). There is such a difference in prayer, when we ask for things, knowing that He is in control, regardless of His answer.

Pursue your dreams