Posts Tagged With: running

30 Before 30: Run in a 5K

Hola! I’m back again, ready to tell you more about my “journey to running a 5k.”

Quick recap from yesterday, in the words of my best friend from high school: “Every time I get on Facebook and see the posts that you’ve just been out running, all I can think is…Heather?! Running?!”

Yep. Heather is running.

As the 5k approached, I tried to get others on board as well. At one point we were going to have quite a large group, but busy schedules dwindled it down to me, the husband, and our friend who planned on bringing his toddler along in the jogging stroller.

In my training, I hit the 3.1 mile mark about a week and half before the race, and ran it 3 or 4 times in preparation. It took me every bit of 30 minutes to do it, and each time I felt like it was my absolute limit….like I literally could not take one more step. That’s all I needed though…3.1 miles.

Then the weather reports started rolling in. “Cold front”…”Winter temperatures”…”Rain, drizzle”…”Highs in the 50’s”…”Gusty winds”…Yep, only in Texas could it be 90 on Thursday and in the 50’s on Saturday. My response? New running clothes…tights & a long sleeved shirt! 😉

And the final surprise before the big day? My parents came in to cheer me on…which really, really meant a lot to me. I took a mile & a half warm-up run the night before, went to bed early, and started drinking water as soon as I woke up. Ready or not, it was time to run!

The race was out at Clark Gardens, the very same place that Chris and I were engaged and one of my favorite places in MW. There were a lot of people there…more than I had really been expecting. We had time to look around a bit and show Dad the place…while I tried to stretch a bit here and there. (Note to self: I really need to learn a little something about stretching.) Posed for a few pre-race pictures, laughed while Dad gave me the Nascar version of how to cut off / spin out other racers, said my prayers, and then there I was….waiting at the start line behind a pack of runners.

I’m not gonna lie, I was literally tearing up those first couple of hundred yards. Sounds silly, I know…but wow. “I’m really doing this!” is all I could think. I dried it up as we entered what felt like a cattle chute though; branches hanging low waiting to whack me in the head, stroller mama’s about to run over my toes…it was serious business! The air was crisp and cool, but the winds weren’t bad and there was no rain despite the dark clouds overhead. In fact, as I got going the temperature felt just right…and eventually the “cattle chute” widened out and everyone could spread out a little. From there it was just…running. The sound of other runners breathing, of the gravel beneath my shoes…the feel of the cool air, of my muscles warming up…the beat of my heart and the air filling deep into my lungs and my prayers for a steady pace.

I hadn’t hit the timer button on my phone as I had intended, so I had no clue how I was doing on time or how much farther I had to go (the signs were all weird because there was a half-marathon going on at the same time). Looking back, I could have kicked in it sooner, but since I didn’t know exactly where the finish line was I didn’t want to overdo it. Once I knew where I was though…it was on. 😉 I ended crossing the line in 27:10, just about 3 full minutes faster than I’d ever run it before. (Mom and Dad almost missed it and they were standing right there…they just weren’t expecting me for a few more minutes!)

I felt awesome afterwards…full of energy and accomplishment. It was so great to hug my parents afterwards, and we were all a bit shocked to look at the race results and realize I had come in 34th out of about 190 runners. Who woulda thunk it?! 😉  Once Chris made it in and we watched the awards ceremony (I was 6th in my age category…just out of the prizes. Darn the luck!) and then went out for brunch. (It wasn’t as fancy as it sounds…we went to Fuzzy’s.) Once Mom and Dad headed home I took a shower and then settled in for a much deserved nap.

<Oh what the heck. I settle in for naps whether they are deserved or not.>

So after all that, after all these words and thoughts and me acting like this was such a big deal…I’ll just say that for me, it was. I’m thankful to my family and friends for their support and encouragement, and to my running partner, my Lord, for answering my prayers.

And in case I didn’t mention it…I think I’ll be doing it again.

KEEP CALM & RUN FOR THE LORD!

Still not convinced? Here’s the proof…just scroll quickly. I tried doing a little photoshop to solve a pesky little problem in these pics, but I’m not that good. And I’m too proud that I ran to not post the pictures because of it.

So…who wants to run with me next time?

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Categories: Daily Drama | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments

5K: The Back Story

This 5K thing has been brewing for a while now. I can’t pinpoint exactly when it started…but 5K’s are kind of all the rage right now, so I’ve definitely been hearing about them a lot in the last year or so. Last spring I got the bug a bit, and even conned convinced Chris & our good friend L to walk with me in a small local race. You’ll probably want to refresh your memory on that story here (Where’s my medal?) as it provides a good little background lesson to today’s post.

Fast forward from walking that 5k in May to the start of July. Aerobics and Zumba were just not happening anymore, but as my pant size was needing a little loosening, the budget was tightening up thanks to our “Financial Peace University.” As I considered my need to exercise and our need to save money, I began to see running as the most sensible solution.

The problem? I hate running. I am notoriously slow. Oh yeah, and it’s been going on 10 years since I’ve done any serious running.

What to do, what to do?

I’ve been learning and growing a lot in my relationship with Christ, so I started to connect the dots in a way I hadn’t every quite done before. It went something like this…

*God loves me.

*He desires for me to be disciplined in His ways.

*Taking care of my body and health is a discipline.

*If I am within His will, God will give me the desires of my heart.

*I desire to become a runner, in spite of myself.

*If I become a runner, it will be to God’s glory.

Hum…so perhaps, if I want to become a more disciplined person in caring for myself…while being mindful of our budget…and I want to give God the glory for what He does in my life…then wouldn’t it make sense for me to ask God to help me? To pray that He would help me commit, to follow through, to be healthy in His name?

Monumental thinking, I know.

So that’s what I’ve been doing for the past 3 months. Praying, asking for prayer, and following the “Couch to 5k” training app. I’ve run on hot days, I’ve run in the rain, I’ve run around my neighborhood and on the track and on my parent’s treadmill. I ran with Chris a time or two, and even Huxley a few times…but mostly, step by step, I’ve run with the Lord.

In the beginning it wasn’t overly hard…you start out running then walking at one minute intervals. It built from there, but the first time I really had to call on God and say “Okay, if you are really in this with me then here we go…I’m gonna need you here” was when it wanted me to run for 10 uninterrupted minutes. It felt impossible to me, but He is made strong in my weakness…and I did it. I called on his strength again when I reached 18 minutes of uninterrupted running, and from that point on my runs turned into almost non-stop prayer sessions.

I didn’t run everyday, and there were times I would redo a week or two of the program because I didn’t feel ready for the next bump up. Once I found a 5k to do and had an ultimate goal in mind, my resolve was strengthened even more. I remember talking with my family about it and making the comment that I was going to “try and run most of it.” In response, my Dad said “If you are going to do it, then do it. Run the whole thing.” My Dad has always pushed me, and hearing his voice telling me to do it all the way also became a big source of motivation for me.

These past few weeks have been nothing short of a miracle in my life. As silly as it may sound to some, running 3.1 miles is so far outside of me that it is obviously the Lord at work in my life. And you know, it’s been a while since I’ve needed to rely on the Lord so fully and in such a way that I can say it is only by His grace and help that I am taking each step.

I prayed that He would turn me into a runner…and He did. He answered my prayer.

God answered my prayer.

It’s not the first time He’s done so, but it’s the first time in a quite a while that I have been able to so clearly say that God did this in my life. I could go on and on about why I think this is; God has revealed a lot to me lately about how hard it is for people who have much to fully trust in and rely on Him. But the point is, He cares about me and is at work in every area of my life.

Thank you Lord!

More tomorrow on the big day itself…today I just wanted to share a bit of a testimony about how God has been changing me in a way that only He can. God is good, all the time!

KEEP CALM & ASK GOD TO START A CHANGE IN YOU!

Categories: Daily Drama | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

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