Monday, September 17, 2012

What's on your Playlist?

Last week I was coming home from a meeting and heard this great song called "Well Done" by Moriah Peters.  Music has always been a big part of my life from pre-teen years to adulthood- music has been an ongoing love. 

Do you have a theme song?  You know, the one that is played as you enter a room- a song that identifies your current stage of life. 
  • High School-  "Unbelieveable" by EMF with my best friend, Lisa or "Love Shack" by B-52s which I performed in a lip sync contest.
  • College-  I loved Styx's song "Come Sail Away"- it was played many nights while hanging out with my soccer boyfriend and his teammates. 
  • Post college (pre-Glenn)- "Counting Blue Cars" by Dishwalla or anything by a local band, Everything.
  • Dating Glenn-  While dating Glenn, my ears were opened to lots of music.  Glenn has good taste in music BUT if he played anything by The Grateful Dead, I would fall asleep.
  • Marrying Glenn-  Our wedding song was "Into the Mystic" by Van Morrison.
  • Married with kids-  Now that we have entered this stage of life, we still love music and our kids do as well.  My IPod has country songs by Taylor Swift & Rodney Adkins, christian songs by Hillsong United, Chris Tomlin & Brandon Heath, and dance songs by Black Eyed Peas & Katie Perry.  I also really like The Avett Brothers!
Recently there are 4 songs that have spoken to me about my walk with Christ and current stage of  life.
1)  "Stolen" by Brandon Heath.  This song is about a prodigal coming home to the Father and how the Father continued to chase after this prodigal until his heart was stolen.  I love to pick up the pace on my run when listening to it.

"Stolen" by Brandon Heath
2)  "I Refuse" by Josh Wilson.  This song is about living out your God-given purpose and not turning a blind eye to the hurt and loss around you.  My favorite lyric is "I don't want to live like I don't care- I don't want to say another empty prayer- I refuse to sit around and wait for someone else to do what God has called me to do myself- oh, I could choose not to move but I refuse".  AWESOME!

"I Refuse" by Josh Wilson 

3)  "Learning to be the Light" by Newworldson.  This summer I got a chance to meet with a small group of ladies to study "Nehemiah" by Kelly Minter.  The first time I heard this song I thought of these ladies because we all desire to know God and share Him with those around us.  We are learning to be the Light!

"Learning to be the Light" by Newworldson

4)  "Well Done" by Moriah Peters.  Great song- awesome lyrics- definitely want this song playing as I enter a room.  One of my favorite parts of the song says "Well done, well done, I'm gonna chase You, Lord, I'm gonna show the world Your love, woah, I'll run, I'll run, I'm gonna run this race to hear You say well done". 

"Well Done" by Moriah Peters

For me, I want to do things in my life that honor God.  I am not sure if running a marathon qualifies as a God-honoring thing.  I am sure some would agrue No but I have to trust that God has given me the legs to run, the time to run, and the words to write as I train for my race.  My hope and prayer is that the words I share on this blog will encourage you and
  • allow your "heart to be stolen" by God,
  • find "what God has called YOU to do",
  • "learn to follow His Light" and
  •  continue "running your race so YOU can hear Him say Well done".
So what's your theme song?  What do you want people to hear when you enter a room?  How does music inspire you?


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Check this out!

My friend Terry made me this cool word spindle by taking all my blogs and loading them in a software program called "Word Cloud".  Basically she took all my the blog posts and the software created a word picture based on the posts' themes.  THANK YOU, TERRY!

So looking at my themes, I find that I write the most about:  running, God, marathon, Glenn, training, time and race. 

Since this is a running blog about my journey of training for the New York City marathon, I am not surprised to see the themes of running, marathon and training dominate the word picture.

I am glad that God is also a dominating factor but I need to be honest-  as I have spent time training for this race, I have found that my "quiet time" with God has taken a back seat at times.  Though God comes along with me on my runs, I need to be aware of the importance of daily quiet time with Him.  I have made one adjustment to my schedule this week- I am making my boys' lunches at night so that I have some extra time in the morning.  Just spending a few extra minutes with God helps to set the tone for my day and align myself with His agenda. 

I am surprised but glad that Glenn's name is as large as it is.  He is my training partner for this race and this life- might sound corny but it's true.

The last theme I'd like to comment on is TIME.  Time is such a crucial element when training for a marathon- the training programs are structured to get you to your race time goal.  Time is also something I wish I had more of at different times in my day...  more time with God, more time with my boys, more time without my boys, more time to run, more time to sleep, more time with Glenn... and on and on.  But none of us can add time to our day by wishing we had more- instead we need to be content with the place we are, the people around us, and the life stage we are in. 

I love the way Paul says it in Philippians 4:11-12 (He is in prison when he writes this letter)- "Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have.  I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little."  My hope and prayer is to learn to be content with whatever I have and to make time to do what is important.

If a friend did a word spindle of your life right now, what words would be "big and bold"?  What words do you want to stand out in your word picture?



Friday, September 7, 2012

Longest run yet!

Yesterday Glenn and I went out for our longest training run.  We both had to do around 17 miles and fortunately we could run together.  Glenn is on vacation this week so we got the kids to school and headed to the trail.  After dropping Desi off at doggie daycare, we parked at the trailhead off Gun Highway to run the Upper Tampa Bay trail (Citrus Park trail).

At the start:  Gearing up with gels, water, sports drink, IPods and headphones, we started our run around 8:30 am. 

Photo: Here we go!
Before the run (I didn't take an after)
Mile 1:  Glenn has been starting out real slow when he runs so we plodded along (it felt so slow) but actually wasn't bad- around 10:40 minute mile.

Mile 2-6:  After the first mile we maintained a average mile pace of 10:30 and worked our way to the end of the trail which was about 6 miles.  I wasn't sure what we would talk about for 3 hours of running so the night before I kept telling him that I would wait to tell him stuff on our run.  Then when we got to the run, I forgot a lot of my conversation starters and was uncharacteristically quiet.  Glenn, who is not a big conversationalist, had to carry the conversation.  We recalled that when we were training for our first marathon we ran the majority of our runs with my friend, Leah.  She is a great runner and the two of us would talk away while Glenn settled in behind us, listening to our conversation.  Now Glenn and I plodded along together, trying to think of things that we could talk about- I don't think the conversation was memorable enough to blog about.

Mile 6:  At this point, we had to turn around and run back 6 miles to the start of the trail.  We "gelled" up and refilled our water bottles.  Time to start the hot run back...

Mile 7.5:  I stopped to use the bathroom.  We found a map that marked the trail miles so we decided on a route to complete all 18 miles.  Then we headed back to the trail...

Mile 7.5 to Mile 10:  I got a little ahead of Glenn at this point.  I picked up the pace, just a little- averaging around 10:20.  At this point I started to use my IPod and jammed out to some music- Black Eyed Peas, The Avett Brothers, Hillsong- my run playlist is a mix between dance music and Christian praise songs. 

Mile 10:  A older man on a bike stopped me to give me a tract about Jesus- I took it from him, thanking him and letting him know that I know Jesus.  This was followed up by a "hey baby" from another man who was biking by.  Weird!!

Mile 10-11:  At this point I was trying to maintain my pace but the heat was getting to me.  It was around 10:00 am, hot & humid.  My water in my Nathan was getting low so I was looking forward to filling up at the next water station. 

Mile 11-12:  Then it started RAINING- POURING to be exact.  It felt so good- I was so hot at this point.  The rain was like a treat from heaven.  I kept on going- not thinking about the fact that I was wearing my IPhone which probably shouldn't get wet. 

Mile 12:  I made it to the water station WHICH WAS EMPTY- NOOOOO.  The rain was still coming down and Glenn had caught up.  We decided to head to the car to unload our IPods and get some water which we had in a cooler.  At this point we decided to run 4 more miles, making it an even 16 miles.  After hydrating, we headed back out to run out 2 miles then back 2 miles. 

Mile 12-14:  Glenn took off at a good pace and I found myself behind him.  My legs were sore- definitely hard to stop then start again.  Quickly I found my legs and pushed through the next 2 miles. 

Miles 14-16:  At the turn around Glenn was feeling some soreness in his legs- I was feeling good so I picked up the pace for the last 2 miles, around 10 minute miles.  We both finished the run- glad to be done but also glad that we completed it.

After the run:  After we sucked down some more water and sports drink, we made our way back home.  First we stopped at 7-Eleven- Glenn insisted we stopped for the biggest Powerade drink we could find.  I went inside- definitely looking a little more presentable that Glenn (he sweats a lot)- and bought him a Double Big Gulp (I didn't even know they made Double Big Gulps).  I got a chocolate milk which was awesome. 

At home:  We had about 1 1/2 hours before the boys came home from school so we both rested our sore bodies and I ate 2 hot dogs (organic- they were sooooo good).  Later that night, we went to Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza for wings, pizza and beer- YUMMY!  After burning around 1500 calories, we could afford a good dinner. 

Next week:  I have a 18 miler to complete which I will do solo after dropping the boys at school.  Glenn will also have a long run to complete on his own.

In the future:  On November 4th, we will get to run New York City together and I am sure we will have lots to talk about! 

Glenn, I am so glad you decided to take on this challenge with me!  You Rock!


Saturday, September 1, 2012

9 weeks & counting...

9 weeks from now, I will be off and running 26.2 miles for the third time in 13 years.  I ran my first marathon in 1999 in Washington, D.C. and my second marathon in 2000 in Baltimore, MD.  With my 40th birthday right now the corner, I have decided to run another marathon.  With a 1 out of 9 chance of being picked by lottery to run the NYC marathon, luck was on my side- receiving the invitation & hefty credit card charge last April.  As luck would have it, my husband, Glenn, was also selected by lottery to run the marathon.  Not sure if he would call it luck- he likes to remind me that this was all my idea which in turn I remind him nicely that I will not let him sign up to run another marathon.  On November 5, I am sure we will both be happy that we chose to run the NYC marathon.

Another race is being run and the winners will also cross the finish line during the first week of November.  This race takes a lot more resolve, discipline, determination and passion than my own marathon race.  This race is the 2012 Presidential Race which Mitt Romney & Paul Ryan have chosen to compete against President Obama & Vice-President Biden.  The winners of this race will have a huge impact on the direction of our country and future for our children.

Glenn and I had the privilege to attend the Republican National Convention on Thursday night- the final night of the Convention.  Since we live in Tampa, we were able to acquire tickets from my husband's job which I was thrilled to accept.  We got a first hand look at the security & police force that protect the event attendees, the political celebrities that attended the event (we saw former Mayor Guiana in a black SUV) and witnessed first hand, hopefully, history in the making.  I had watched the previous nights on television so I was already familiar with the tone and message that the Republican Party was relaying about Governor Mitt Romney.  Though our seats were not close or even front and center, we were able to see a potential President speak live which might never happen again in my lifetime.  From seeing Clint Eastwood interview the "President" to listening to Marco Rubio's inspiring speech to hearing Mitt Romney lay out his plan for the United States, I was proud to be an American- thankful for the country I was blessed to be born in.  The night ended with tons of police on horseback forming a barrier between attendees and protesters- protesters that were peaceful & respectful.  I will never forget my night as a political fan at the RNC in Tampa.

Ready to go into RNC

Romney & Ryan- picture courtesy from the nosebleed seats

This morning I was scheduled to run a 12 mile training run.  Not too thrilled with this "challenge" since I did not get much sleep, ate chicken fingers & fries, and drank little water while at the convention so I would not have to use the bathroom.  I decided to not let these challenges stand in my way and started out at 8 am for my 12 mile run.  After a hot & humid start, I took Desi my dog home at mile 4 and headed back out for another 8.  I was very encouraged at my run pace for the next 8- logging in a 8:40 for mile 10 and 8:08 for mile 11.  Overall I ran an average mile pace of 9:51. 

This upcoming week's miles increase again with a 17 mile training run on Thursday.  Glenn is on a stay-acation so we will be able to run together- YEAH! 

I continue to remain encourage with my dedication and determination to get my runs in and stay on track to run an injury-free marathon.  My hope is that I will not lose my focus as the weekly mileage increases for the month of September.  I will definitely be leaning on the verse- Philippians's 4:13 "I can do all things in Jesus who gives me strength".  Happy running!

Courtesy of Saucony Strong Project