Sunday, January 29, 2012

Band-aids and other important info items for the Chicago Marathon

I went to a meeting yesterday to get all fired up and excited about running the Chicago Marathon. Instead, I learned some crazy things. I've also been reading some blogs that have made me wonder why I have signed up to torture myself in this manner.

First of all, I will need band-aids. They had us raise our hands if we knew what the band-aids were for and I proudly raised mine believing that if I fell and scraped my knee, it would be nice to have a band-aid handy. And then they told a story about a guy that ran a marathon and as he crossed the finish line, he had blood stains on the front of his shirt right in the boobage region. Really?  I would like to avoid bleeding from my nipples, so I guess that putting band-aids on will be beneficial, but I must say that I have serious doubts about their adhesive powers. I ran yesterday for 4.18 miles. I ran for 45 minutes and cooled down for 5. I was sweating like I was in a sauna. I had sweat coming off my nose, for goodness sake! My earbuds won't even stay in my ears as I run that long because they get all slimy with sweat. How in the world will a band-aid stay on my body for hours let alone 45 minutes?

Another tip I have learned from reading a blog is that you should have energy chews to eat on the journey.... and where, pray tell, will I store those? In my bra, according to Keight Dukes, who writes a hysterical blog here. So, now my question is, once again, how in the world will the band-aids stay on if I'm also using that same general area as a storage facility? At this point, you may be wondering, if I heard anything else about the race other than the band-aid part, and I've gotta say nothing else made the impression upon me like that piece of information.

All of this to say, even if I'm bleeding from the nipple region, I'm really humbled to think that I could be a part of an effort that will help two towns in Zambia have clean water so that the girls won't have to walk as far and so they will now be able to go to school instead. I'm blown away by being part of such an effort. And if that's not enough to get people on board, the fact that Lou Malnati's is sponsoring the after-feast is!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Anticipation Update

So, when you normally have a general feeling of anticipation, does something extraordinary happen?  Because that's not what happened to me. To be honest, I was a little nervous about this feeling of anticipation because I remember one of the last times I woke up with an explained feeling like that and it was the day I woke up my nieces and said, "Are you ready for an adventure?" and I then proceeded to break my I honestly was gearing myself up for something bad to happen. Not a very calming place to be, I must say. But nothing happened. In fact, what did happen today is what was supposed to happen. I ate only what I was supposed to eat and didn't sneak any junk. I drank the water I was supposed to drink and didn't have any soda. (on a side note, I've been reading about how bad diet soda is to your body and how it causes an increase in belly fat because it causes your body to release insulin when it's not needed.)  I worked out the way I was supposed to and didn't give myself an excuse to slow down, even when my side was hurting badly while I ran. I had a pretty good attitude and only vented a tiny bit to a co-worker. So all in all, a very good day.  As I think about it, isn't that the way we should greet every day? Every day we're given is a gift from God...not one of them is promised. Knowing that He has given us this day as a gift and knowing that He only wants us to have life and have it to the full (John 10:10), I should be greeting every day with that feeling of anticipation.


It's 6 AM on a Monday and it's pouring down rain. The predictions are for it to continue raining most of the morning and then it will get really windy and freeze. Normally with conditions like these, I'd roll over in bed, throw the covers over my head, try to convince myself that I am sick first of all, and then move to being too sick to go to work.To top it all off, my boss comes back from a week of vacation and one of the main things I was to accomplish while she was gone was put on hold by the big boss, and so we'll be dealing with that today. On top of all that, it's Monday, did I mention that already? Instead of a normal gloom and doom feeling of dread I have this sense of anticipation and excitement that I just can't shake. I'm not quite sure why I'd want to shake it, to be honest. I kinda like the feeling. But it does make me pause and wonder why. The outward circumstances do not lend themselves to encouraging this feeling at all. And yet here it is. What will today hold?  Stay tuned!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Where will you be on October 7, 2012?

No, this is not a trick question or another opportunity to talk about the upcoming apocalypse.  I actually, Lord willing, know exactly where I'll be on October 7, 2012 because that is the date of the Chicago Marathon. That's read that correctly.... the word was marathon. No, the word half or quarter or eighth wasn't before it... the plan is to run the whole thing. I hadn't planned on this. My New Year's Resolution was to work up to running a 1/2 marathon by the end of the year. However,at church yesterday, the pastor asked for volunteers to join Team WorldVision. Our church is going to partner with World Vision to bring clean water to the people in Zambia. (Zambia is in Africa, by the way...). And we are going to raise money for this effort by running the Chicago Marathon. The thought (well the positive one I chose to listen to) said, "you can do this." So, here I am researching training plans, learning all about what to eat, not to eat, what shoes to have, what shoes not to have, etc, and so on. And I've started. my run today was easier than it has been all year and I wonder if it's the mental understanding that 3.5 miles should be easy-shpeasy for someone who is planning to run 26.2. So, that's where I'll be. Would you like to join me?

Friday, January 13, 2012

WebMD & other ramblings

Why do I do it? I know what the results will be. Ultimately I will be in stage four of some inoperable cancer... every time...whether it's a pain in my head (brain cancer), my neck (thyroid cancer), or my lower right side (bladder cancer).  At least, that was the latest diagnosis when I went to WebMD to determine why I was having pain in my lower right side. You'd think they may come back with something similar to appendicitis, but surprisingly, that wasn't one of the options. I put in all of my symptoms and it came back that I could either be experiencing 1. Premature labor 2. PMS or 3. Bladder Cancer. As I decided I had a choice of what I was experiencing, I chose PMS and Nate decisively concurred that was probably what I was suffering from....which makes me wonder how he's become such the medical expert?!  

I have also turned into my worst nightmare...You know the people that take their animals once they've died (or at least I HOPE they wait until they've died) and get them stuffed? Well, yesterday was Lucy's 1st birthday. And yes, I made a cake. And yes, I bought one of those #1 candles... and yes, I bought her a gift..... and yes, we sang. And in true "child's birthday fashion" she gobbled the cake without saying thank you and the toy we got her is already broken.  So, I do believe we're really only one step away from taxidermy.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

January 5K - Lansing for Haiti Run

The Lansing for Haiti run was held at Great Lakes Christian College in Lansing. Never heard of it?  Neither had we! It has all of 5 buildings with one of those being a gym and three being dorms (one men, one women, and one family). Their academic building houses the library, the cafeteria, all the classrooms (from what we could tell) and all of the business offices for the College as well. Nate googled it and found out it has 260 students and offers 10 majors.

Before we went to the race, we had lunch at our favorite chicken wings place ever: Wings Over Lansing. How we learned about this place is that there is a Wings Over Ithaca that Nate loved and he looked it up one time to see if there were any in the nearby area and Lansing has it. So, we can't go to Lansing without visiting!  Let's just say, I learned that chicken wings aren't the best food choices before you run a race... I kept getting a stitch in my side during the race.

The other thing that made this race difficult was the weather. I had looked at the weather the night before and they said it would be a high of 47 and partly cloudy. That sounded like divine running weather to me!  Well, evidently at some point during the night...the weather forecast changed, and of course, I didn't check it in the morning. The high was 40 but with the wind it was freezing! And of course, I had dressed for 47 and partly cloudy....hadn't planned on any wind.

Although it was a tough race, I ran a little over an 11 minute mile, which is good for basically only getting back into training this past week. I had to walk a few times, so I have no idea what I would have run if I hadn't needed to take walking breaks to relieve the pain in my side.

Good things about the race? One race is completed, now I only have 11 more to go. And, there were few enough people running that Nate could pick me out and take my picture as I crossed the finish line!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Perpetual Training - Week One

As I round out the first week of my year of perpetual training I have been pleased with my running progress thus far. Day One was more walking than running. Day Two was a little bit of walking than running; and Day Three was one minute of walking warmup and than the rest running with me increasing the speed throughout. I am sore today, so it's good that I have a day of rest before the Lansing for Haiti race tomorrow. My little distance widget keeps edging up, which I'm pleased with as well.

On other fronts, I've become somewhat addicted to Pintrest. Have you been bitten by that bug yet? It was quite helpful yesterday as I was SO hungry... so I kept looking up motivational sayings and pinning them to my Motivation board. It helped because when I told Nate how tired and hungry I was he asked me what I wanted to do and I said, "Go to the gym."  That was a MAJOR win for me! I so often act on emotion rather than resolve.

In other news, I've been struggling a lot with pain from TMJ. In fact, that's why I was so hungry yesterday because I couldn't eat all of my lunch. I was afraid to open my mouth very wide or chew very baby carrots stayed in their ziploc! I'm not sure what I did to cause it to be such a pain (literally and figuratively) right now, but I do have an appointment on Tuesday to be fitted for a bite splint.

So that's week one of 2012...Not too bad of a start, if I do say so myself!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


My resolution of perpetual training is going better. On Monday, I hardly could run at all...walked most of it and didn't even get in a 5K. However, it's amazing how quickly your body can adjust to either situation: training/not shape/not in shape. Yesterday went so much better. I ran over a 5K and walked for a total of 5 minutes throughout the entire run. So, I'm looking forward to more improvement tomorrow. Today will be a strength training day, so I won't be logging miles.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Site Maintenance

You may notice that I've added a mileage tracker widget to this blog. Do you see it right there?  On the right?  Today I begin fulfilling my first resolution to run a race every month with my first day of training. Yeah, you're right....there has been a slight delay in getting started, but better late than never!  I read my friend Diana's latest post and that's where I saw her workout tracker and thought it would be great incentive to add it to my blog, so be watching as that number should consistently be moving up, up, up! 

Sunday, January 1, 2012


There's been a LOT of talk in many different circles about the end of the world recently. What am I talking about? There CONTINUES to be a lot of talk about the end of the world. People have been proclaiming and predicting the earth's demise since, well... suffice it to say that as far back as historians can remember, there's been talk of it. I've read articles that people believed World War I was the beginning of the end...then we had World War II and people were convinced that it was definitely the end of the world. We actually have a book on our bookshelf that claims the world was going to end in 1994. There have been groups that have been camped out on mountains or in compounds convinced that the end is coming on a specific day. I forget the group, but there was some group that believed the Lord would return in May of 2011. I remember that they even had a billboard up in our area telling people to watch out because the world was going to end. When it didn't happen, the leader said that it would happen in October. I don't think many people paid attention to what he said after it didn't happen in October, because I never heard an update after that.  It is now 2012 and we're dealing with the fact that the Mayan calendar ends and therefore the world will end on 12/21/2012.  People that know I'm a Christian have asked me what I think of all this. They probably expect me to hold to some position one way or another and honestly, I don't. And, I have no problem admitting that. I hold to a very simple belief: No one is guaranteed tomorrow. For that matter, we aren't even guaranteed the rest of today, or even our next breath. Each day and each breath are gifts from God that shouldn't be squandered. And yet, as I type that, I am convicted over all the moments and days that I have taken for granted and spent without much thought or purpose. When people ask me about what I believe I share Matthew 24:36: "But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only" and 1 Thessalonians 5:2 "For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night." I tell them that it is not for me to know the day and hour, that no one knows. I tell them that what I am to do is be prepared for it to happen at anytime. In Acts 1, Luke tells us "Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”
 7 He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
 9 After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.
 10 They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. 11 “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.” The lesson I learn from this last verse is that I shouldn't spend this life, this gift from God, sitting around waiting for His return. However, in Matthew 25:1-10 Jesus tells a parable of how I should live:  1 “At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2 Five of them were foolish and five were wise. 3 The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. 4 The wise ones, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. 5 The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep.
   6 “At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’
   7 “Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. 8 The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’
   9 “‘No,’ they replied, ‘there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’
   10 “But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet.

I should live expecting His return at any time and yet not waste the life He has given to me. 

If you notice, and maybe this is where you and I may differ, I equate the end of the world with the return of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  This belief gives me hope for the future - what that future will specifically entail, I have no idea and I have no problem with that. I look forward to what He has in store. My prayer is that you share this hope.

Sorry....I didn't mean to get "preachy" but I believe in this so strongly and I've had too many conversations about this to think that it isn't on everyone's minds this new year.