Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Every single day is to be celebrated, life is a journey, not a destination.Yet  Monday morning is greeted with yearning for Friday afternoon. However, Saturday and Sunday are only 2/7 of our life, and we overlook 5/7 of life's daily joys! Jesus tells us to do everything as if we are doing it for Him, every day. We are sons and daughters of the King of Kings. Find the magic in every single day, Jesus loves you, that alone is enough to be joy-filled.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Holy Week

Lord Jesus Christ,
take me along that holy way
you once took to your death,
Take my mind, my memory,
above all my reluctant heart,
and let me see what once you did
for love of me and all the world.

We adore You O Lord Jesus Christ, and bless You.
Because by Your holy Cross You have redeemed the world.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

No truer words. I have no idea what the future holds for me and running, but I know for sure that God holds my future in His perfect plans.

Meanwhile, in honor of our new Pope Francis, I have been contemplating my favorite prayer.

 Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury,pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Happy Feet

8 weeks (and 28 days after the return date) later, I decided the Brooks Ravenna's were just not the shoe for me, they just didn't feel right. So back to the running shoe store for me. After trying on various shoes of similar support, I decided on the Saucony Guide 6.

When reading reviews on the Guide 6, the biggest complaint I saw (really the only complnt) regarded the obnoxious color selection. Not sure what it says about me, but I am THRILLED with my new neon pink shoes.
Cautiously optimistic....

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Time Marches On....

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: ...A time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance. Ecclesiastes 3

So much has happened since my last blog. I suppose I felt compelled to draw inward for the past several months. Scripture tells us that there will be times that we will laugh, cry, reach out, draw in, embrace, let go, break down, build up.

Last August I experienced the bittersweet joy only a parent can understand of bringing my oldest two children to college. Within a few weeks life settled back to our 'new' normal with just four of us at home. I love to visit my college kids, and love their trips home. Setting the table for all six of us is such a simple pleasure, and an immeasurable blessing. Mostly, I love seeing my college kids happy, thriving, and emerging as smart and competent adults. It is an equal joy to see my third born 17 year old daughter flourish and mature as the "new" oldest, and son number four, at 10 years of age, continues to keep me young. And, I even see the bright future that awaits my husband and I as our children grow. It really is all good!

On the running front, by August I was extremely frustrated with persistent IT band pain in my right knee. Then, along came pain my my left knee. I finally went to a well known orthopedic/sports medicine group. I was terrified waiting for the x-ray results. Praise the Lord, my knees were given a clean bill of health. However, that didn't change the fact that I had runner's knee combined with IT band issues. So off the physical therapy I went!

During three months of PT to address muscle imbalances in my quads, glutes and hips  I was benched from running. Thanks to my stationary bike, I was able to maintain a decent amount of cardio fitness. Daily strength and core exercises, stretching, icing and doses of patience have finally led to a resolution. I had no idea runner's knee and ITBS can take up to a year to heal! It has been a two steps forward, one step back process, at times I wondered if I would ever run again. One thing I knew, I would never give up.

I am now a devout cross trainer incorporating my bike, strength and core training plus yoga stretching. My foam roller is my best friend, but I really love "The Stick" for digging deep in my quads and calves, working those nasty knots and tightness out.

I've also changed shoes, after it was determined the Brooks Adrenalines I've run in for over a year are now too supportive for my gait. I'm trying to adjust to Brooks Ravennas, but I'm not convinced they are the right shoe. Anyone reading this: no matter how sure you are that your shoes are correct for your gait, if you start having pain, consider having your gait re-analyzed. Over the last year I have gone from being a moderate pronator, to mild on one side, and stable on the other side. I honestly didn't know something like pronation can change.

I am very gradually increasing my distance, running 3 days a week and spin/cycling 2 days, with continued dedication to my core and strength work. If the Lord is willing, I should be back to marathon training in mid-June, with plans of running a half marathon in August, and a full marathon in October, quite possibly with Team in Training (that's another story!). Though I have a lot of miles to add back to get to my previous level of training, thanks to the strength/core and cross training I have done faithfully for over 5 months, I feel like a stronger runner now than I did at the peak of my marathon training.

God has surely shown me that every step I take really does come from Him. His will be done.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

A "Lifetime Runner" or "Once in a Lifetime Runner?"

But those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.  Isaiah 40:31

This seems to be the decision most distance runners eventually face. There are a few hardy bodies out there that for whatever reason can run marathon after marathon without flinching. The majority of us "mortals," though, aren't that lucky.

Now that I have dealt with this nagging IT band pain on the side of my knee, including three trips to the sports chiropractor, I find myself at the point of having to make a decision. Do I push on and train for my second full marathon  I am planning to run in September, or drop to the half marathon? The pain is not severe, and in fact doesn't flare up until about mile 4 or 5 of a run. But it's there.

Since I DO NOT want this to be my last marathon, and I want to be a "lifetime runner," the decision was obvious. Half marathon it is. And the fact that I am mentally relieved should tell me something. The physical and mental commitment required to train for a full marathon SHOULD NOT be undertaken when feelings of fatigue and burnout are present. My first full marathon was a wonderful experience, and I want my second one to be even better!

So, a few more days rest, a trip to the chiro (still not sure if this is helping, probably blog material for later), then a greatly reduced training schedule for the half marathon sounds wonderful right now.

My overall game plan is to address the root of my IT band woes: weak quads, hip and glute muscles, and a basic neglect of strength training. I have begun some fairly easy/non knee-stressing leg, glute and hip work. Once I am pain free, Jillian Michaels will kick my butt further into shape (love her DVDs), and I plan to do P90X beginning in October.

I want to transition to a 3 day per week running schedule with two low impact cardio days (elliptical or bike/spin), plus 5 to 6 days per week of P90X. I am hoping this will make me a better trained runner in the global sense. I know several marathoners who use this approach, and they seem to have far fewer injuries.

A learning process for sure!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Does the Chiropractor Really Help??

But test everything; hold fast what is good.  1 Thessalonians 5:21

This Sunday will be exactly 4 weeks since my marathon, and marks the end of my 'official' recovery period. I feel great, though my legs really are just now feeling normal again when I run. My current quandary is the benefit of seeing my sports chiropractor for a slight nagging right sided IT band issue I have developed. Not painful per se, just nagging.

How do I know if the treatments actually help, or if the tried and true principals of RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) did the trick? I always wonder that after seeing him for treatments, how do I know if it did any good? Or would it have healed on its own?

I am faithfully using my foam roller twice a day, icing after runs, and using my stick, plus 3 days a week of yoga. And the roller and stick hurt, so I know they are digging in and getting to the knots and tightness! I think at this point I am going to see if this works. Since it hasn't gotten worse, and in fact I think it is getting better, there is reason to be optimistic.

Oh, and for anyone interested, I have officially lost one toenail, plus two half way down. 

Tomorrow is a 10 mile run, at sunrise before the temperatures climb into the triple digit range, a range that is wreaking havoc in beautiful Colorado. Running in the heat is bad enough, but the smoke from the horrible fires that are ravaging our state can't be good either. I've retreated to my treadmill a few times over the last couple of weeks, praying the Lord will deliver us from these fires by sending rain and the cool weather we normally enjoy in this wonderful state.