Monday, March 28, 2011

Thursday, March 24, 2011

So Much for That!

I had every intention of hitting the training heavier this week, or at least with more consistency.  However, mother nature decided to get nasty with me and has hit me with a nasty case of allergies.

I feel completely drained, sore throat, headache, and pretty much yucky all over.  Not conducive to working out by any stretch of the imagination.  And truthfully, having nothing on the schedule till October makes my motivation a bit underwhelming. 

If there is ever a time to run in Houston, this is it.  Perfect temps, low humidity, (usually), and longer sunny days.  Yet, the double edged sword has revealed itself in the form of pollen.  Lots of it.

I am flirting with the idea of a race on July 1st, a possible 50 miler at midnight.  This breaks two newly established rules for me:

1.  No racing after May 1
2.  No midnight races.

Rules are made to be broken, right?

I've been struggling a bit this week with my continued "retreat high" that I hoped to hold onto a bit longer.  I believe this is why the Saints are saints, and I am yet to be one.  Is my faith so little, so weak, that in the slightest physical discomfort or tiniest inconveniences I become frustrated, irritated, and not so pleasant to be around?  Is this how I show Him that I love Him?  That I am so blessed that He loves me?  I think not. 

Today, I found myself yearning to spend time with Him and in His word.  Of course, the scriptures I read were exactly what I needed to hear today.  Funny how that works, eh?

I am focusing my heart on Him.  My eyes on His.  Maybe I'll even make a bit of progress along the way.

Tomorrow being the Feast of the Annunciation is perfectly planned.  Because of her Fiat, we have a Savior.  Lord, let me allow you to do your will in my life.  Break that willful spirit that gets in my way so much of the time.  Help me to relinquish the grip I tend to hold tightly to those things that belong to you anyway.  I am such a poor example of faith at times.  Overcome me, Lord.  Overcome me.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Better Week

In spite of my back continuing to protest, my running was a bit more frequent last week.  I had intended to run on Sunday, but duties from the home-front, and my back pain won out and I spent the day cooking, cleaning, and grocery shopping.

This is week four of the back pain.  We thought perhaps our box spring was not helping the situation so we picked a new one up.  We should have done this when we bought our mattress in May, but we were trying to be frugal and really didn't think we "needed" a new one.  I mean, a box spring is a box spring, is a box spring, right?

Wrong.  I've noticed that I've been rolling downhill into the center of the bed for a few months now.  My sleepless nights were becoming more frequent again, and my back pain was not relenting.

Since Saturday, I have slept better than I have in quite some time.  In fact, our youngest came into bed with us last night and I never knew.  I can certainly confirm that 7 hours of quality sleep versus 2 or 3 hours of intermittent sleep really does make a difference during the waking hours of the day.

This week of training will become more like normal.  I intend to incorporate some new things that will give opportunity for strengthening and endurance and still keep increasing the mileage.  I'd like to be back to my base of 40 - 50 miles/week very soon.

Last weekend, I spent away on retreat.  I thought it would be good to get away and spend some quiet time reflecting on where I am right now.  Little did I know that the Holy Spirit had great things planned for me and the weekend was more than I have ever experienced before.  Being the first week of Lent, I felt a bit guilty coming off of the retreat feeling like it was already Easter.

The rest of the week I spent processing what exactly happened and how it would impact my journey.  There were several things that came up this week that were highly unusual and I became suspect that much of what I was experiencing might have been a deeper challenge of my new found peace.  Aside from a few small bumps along the way, I felt the presence of God with me in a new way and my peace not only stayed with me, but it also seemed to grow.

The real contest for me now, one week post retreat, is to continue to feel the peace of Christ.  To see with the eyes that He revealed to me while on retreat.  To hear with His ears; to love with His heart.  As I found myself becoming irritated while waiting 15 mins in line at the grocery store yesterday, the old anxiety and loss of compassion tried to eek away.  Thankfully, I was able to call on Him to show me again how to look upon the situation and find the meaning in it all.

For it is not in the big things that I typically fall, it is in the small things.  And once I begin to let those tiny moments of holiness slip away, the big things become more difficult to face and my obedience to His will grows weaker.

As I read this morning,
" Only the cross of Jesus Christ and His victory over sin can free us from the tyranny of malice, hatred, revenge, and resentment and give us the courage to overcome evil with good" 

And while I realize that treating others as Christ would have us do is to show His love for them, in the end, its result is a change in my heart that blesses me in ways that are unimaginable. 

These are the eyes which look upon me and my sin.  How is it that I can look at others with anything less than this gaze?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

End of Recovery

It's been over 5 weeks since Rocky and the time for recovery has come to a close.  I was mentally ready to run right after Rocky, but gave my legs two weeks to rest.  When I started back, I realized that I had an issue with my knee and then my foot.  Two weeks after that, my back began to act up and hasn't relented thus far.

It doesn't seem to hurt while running, but as soon as I stop, the pain returns.  I'm fairly certain that tight hamstrings are the culprit.  I've been stretching more than ever, but still, the tightness remains.

It is hard to be motivated to run when I have nothing on the race schedule.  I will be registering for a marathon and another 100 miler, but nothing between now and October.  I will need to find a race or two to inspire my training.

A few differences for training this time around.  I won't worry so much about the mileage ( I say this now, hold me to it closer to the fall!) but I will be focusing on hills, (treadmill running, ack), strengthening of my upper body, and cross-training.  I need to find a better balance so that my body, especially my legs, don't feel as trashed after the next 100.  I don't want to take another 5 weeks off, if I can help it. 

Tonight's run was painful for the first 3 -3.5 miles.  My legs were not happy about running.  At mile 4 or so, they loosened up and I felt that familiar pace that my body thrives on.  I love when all the parts start working together and the run seems effortless.  It's been awhile since I have felt that and I was very happy tonight was the night it returned. 

Looking forward to getting back to the training with a new perspective.  I really wasn't sure I'd ever want to do another 100.  I thought it would just be a box to check and then I could go back to "normal" running, whatever that is.  Alas, my heart was won over by the challenge and I am looking forward to embracing the next one.  My goals won't necessarily be for time, but rather, to feel better during the run and recover more quickly so that I can tack a few more races on this fall.

All of this will take careful planning and execution of my training plan.  Consistency will be crucial.  Morning workouts will be more commonplace if I am to get in the strengthening and cross-training.  We made the decision to re-join the Y this month.  This should prove to be helpful in many ways.

Rich's Music Still Speaks to our Hearts

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Two a Days

Bet you thought I was talking about workouts!  Nope... blog posts!  Two today!  Bill was right.  The blogging helped. 

It got me out there tonight.  I slogged through a 60 minute run.  The legs were feeling quite dead for the first half of the run, then they started loosening up.  Humidity has returned as the day grows longer.  I enjoyed getting home from my run before nightfall.

Let's see what tomorrow brings.

For Bill

Seems folks have been missing my blogging.  So this one is for Bill.

I've been a lump for exactly 16 days.  Well, I did run one day last week, but then didn't get out again the rest of the week.

My guilt is mounting, yet my motivation is lacking.  I need to find a race to run, but nothing is doable till the fall.  I've been craving chocolate, eating Limon chips, and drinking lots of coffee.

And I've been organizing. 

I hope to get back to it soon.  I rejoined the Y to try some different training things.  Basically, I'm a lump.  But, I've already mentioned that. 

It's not that I'm not busy, I'm just not getting much done. 

Now, feel free to kick me in the pants!