Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The days are flying by!

I have not posted in a couple of weeks.  Life has been so completely busy,  I haven't felt I've had much time to breathe, let alone do anything else!  Therefore, I am going to summarize the last two weeks in lump, instead of highlighting each day.   The good news is, is that I have been able to get my runs in!  I bumped up my time from 20 to 25 minutes.   My shins have been doing good, but I have been running in my neighborhood, and all the hills seem to have caused some issues for my left Achilles.  Two weeks ago,  I got in the full six days!  5 running and 1 cross training!  This last week I got in 5 days, 4 running and 1 cross training.   As far as weight loss goes, I haven't lost any.  It is like my body is holding onto the weight for dear life!  I have noticed this last week, that I am showing signs of my metabolism starting to pick up. YAY!  I think it has been in a coma the  last 8 years.  I have really had to learn to totally let go of the weight loss thing.  It's really hard, because I want to lose weight, but it is not coming off.  I bumped my time up to 30 minutes a day yesterday, and I am hoping now that I am running longer periods of time, I will begin to lose weight.  However,  I also know that I need to not focus on that aspect, and totally put all of my focus on the training aspect. 

As far as my praying goes.  It is so helpful, and good for me to pray when I run.  There have been so many times when I wanted to stop, and because I am praying I am able to deny myself what I want, and continue on for something bigger than myself.  I am very creaturly at times....I don't like to be hungry, hot, uncomfortable, or in pain if I don't have to be.   When I run, I experience many of the don't likes, but because I am using my running as a prayer,  I am able to die to myself and use my discomfort as a prayer.  It is truly very powerful.  

Summer is flying by for my family. June was gone in a blink.  I still can't believe it is the end of the month.  We have had things going on 4 to 5 nights a week, plus my daycare numbers are up right now, which is a complete blessing, but my days are very very busy.  I am struggling with fatigue, but hoping I am able to push through.  July is not looking like it will let up at all.  We will be gone over the fourth, and then will be hosting family later in the month. We also seem to have things on the calendar for most evenings. I have not even had time to begin preparing for anything.  I am trying to begin planning our 2nd annual castle BBQ.   We are already into mid august for planning things, so I hope i can swing it all!

Monday June 27th

Tonight I upped my time to 30 minutes of running!   I did not get out in the morning for a run, I was just too tired.  I could not get out of bed.   I have found running is easier for me in the mornings.  by 5pm I am usually so tired that trying to run is nearly impossible.  However,  I knew I had to get out today.  So I pushed through the exhaustion, and went to the track.  I decided to run a couple days a week on the track still, just because the hills seem to  put  pressure on my Achilles, and I know I don't want an injured Achilles.  I get to the track and start my warm up lap.   I set a goal to run 2 and 1/2 miles.  I've been doing a little over two miles at 25 minutes, so I figured this was a good goal.  I've been doing a lot of my training at about a 12 min.  mile pace.  I told you before....definitely not breaking any speed records.   So I start my run.  I was two laps in, and I was huffing and puffing, and sweating like crazy!  I think I looked like the dude in the Airplane movies, in the ending scenes where he is flying the plane.Buckets of sweat.  It was awful.  My legs hurt, and they were so heavy.  I had no idea how I was going to make it 30 minutes.  At this point, even though I am so winded I start praying out loud.  I don't know why, but it helps me so much to pray out loud.  As I am running, praying, and counting laps, I am beginning to give myself a pep talk.  " Okay you have 4 more laps,  you can do this!  Don't stop, slow down if you need to, but don't stop!"   As the laps kept going by, I am finding strength in my prayers.   I still hurt  EVERWHERE,  I'm still hot and miserable, but I now begin to know I will finish this.  I reach my 2.5 mile goal, and notice I still have time left to run to reach my 30 minutes. So I push on.   I ended up running about  2.75 miles plus another 200meters....so almost a full 3 miles in 30 minutes!   I went from running a 12 min mile pace to probably close to a 10 and a half minute mile pace.   I took almost a minute and a half off my mile pace......crazy.  Now I know I can't do this every run, and I didn't even set out to do this today.   I just prayed really hard, and didn't even realize I was running faster,  I just thought I was having a really bad day.   It just goes to show,  "I can do all things in Christ who strengthens me" 

I get home after my run and have to rescue the two turtles my kids found from the sandbox.  I told them that we wanted to set them free, so they could lay eggs and we could see the babies in the fall.  The older ones were okay with it, but Sarah (2yrs)  had a meltdown over the turtles leaving.  I then showered and made supper, and got kids to bed around 930pm.  I realized then that I forgot to stretch, and my muscles were really tight and sore.  At this point I'm just wasted, so I go fall into bed.  I hope that I'm not in to much pain tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Redemptive Running

Monday June 6Th

I decided to up my time to 25 minutes of running straight.  My experience in my 5k on Saturday gave me the confidence I needed to  know that I could push through the pain, and not get injured. I am still running on the track this week.  So I arrive, and I start my prayers.  I have had so many things on my heart to pray for lately, that I am never quite sure what to pray for.  So I asked that the prayers I said today be lifted up for whoever, or wherever they were most needed today.  There is something so freeing about praying that way.  It was a good day for redemptive running.  What I mean by that is that I am able to offer up the pain and burning I feel as a prayer for someone/something.  I have so much pain in my legs today, and they are just heavy.  The whole 25 minutes was torture.  I have not always been able to understand that by offering my suffering up as a prayer I could truly help others.  There was a time in my life,  not that long ago actually, that I often told God, "Haven't I had enough?"  I have often felt my experiences as a child, should somehow exempt me from to much more suffering!  I had embraced those trials, and learned from them.  I have forgiven those who hurt me so deeply as a child, so I thought  I should be done.... right?  I have also had moments of shaking my fist at God.  " Why on earth, would you allow me to feel things so deeply!"  I have truly felt the pain of the people around me.  Often times when someone is hurting or scared, or lonely,  my heart is breaking right along with theirs.  There was a time when I had hardened my heart, and became angry, because I couldn't handle seeing/feeling the hurt and pain of those around me.  However, by doing that I stopped feeling the love and joy as well.  I am learning to embrace my gift of compassion/empathy.  For many years I often joked it was a curse.  I am realizing however, that instead of being overcome by that pain and sadness, which is often easy to do,  I can embrace it, and give it up in prayer.  As I have learned to do this, the freedom I am beginning to find is amazing!  I have begun to experience so much joy.  God is also teaching me that by being vulnerable with others, and showing my brokenness, and sharing how the Grace/mercy and love of God has saved me from so much,  I am somehow able to point them in the direction of the truth.  Jesus Christ.  It is so humbling to me.  I have always been such a proud person, never really wanting anyone to know my suffering/brokenness.  I felt that somehow that made me a weak person.  I was so wrong.  I am strong, only because I have Jesus on my side. I remember my husband and brother-in-law (coach Pat)  talking about offering up their suffering during their running as a prayer.  I remember thinking "I have had enough suffering, I don't need to go run to feel pain....You are both NUTS!  Once again I was wrong.  Redemptive running (as they call it)  is helping me to find true peace in my life.   God is soooooooo Good!

Tuesday June 7th.

I did not get out to run today. My older three kids are at Camp Castle (Grandma Kathy's and Papa Joe's) house for ten days.  So last night Steve, Sarah and I went with a couple of friends canoeing down otter tail river. I was so nervous at first.  I had never been canoeing, and I had my busy two year old with me.  We all had life vest on, but I did not want to tip.  I can say this, I think every married couple should go canoeing together.  Steve was the steering guy, and I found myself often questioning his ability.  The canoe would turn one way, and I'd be stating emphatically we were going the wrong way!  Steve would calmly tell me he got it, and not to worry.  I know if Sarah wouldn't have been with, I would have been fine, but when the kids are around it is like my danger meter goes into overdrive.  I can suddenly see every possible thing that could go wrong, and somehow hurt the kids.  It's funny really, because before I had kids I was the one constantly scaring Steve.  I had a very adventurous spirit.  I still do, but only when the kids are not around.  Anyway, as we learned how to navigate the river(which was flowing very slow by the way)  I began to relax and truly enjoy the beauty around me.  It was so peaceful and relaxing.  We canoed for about an hour and a half, and then went and grabbed a bite at Zorbas.  Zorbas is an awesome restaurant on otter tail Lake.  We sat out on the deck.  The gorgeous lake right there.  We had good food and great conversation!  Sarah was a little trooper.   By time we got home and I layed down it was midnight.  I knew I would not get up to run this morning, but it was worth it.  I had so much fun last night!

Wed. June 8th,

Thursday June 9th

Today was another good day of running.  I felt good, my shins felt good.  I prayed a lot for my dad today.  His surgery to remove the tumor and his salivary gland is next Thursday. I'm trying hard not to be nervous.  I do worry for him though.  He already has so many health problems anyway,  that I don't want to see any more added issues.  I am taking comfort that my dad has started going to church again for the first time in many years.  I also have had good phone conversations with him, and actually prayed with him on the phone.  He wouldn't have always been open to that.  He is also calling and asking me a lot more faith questions, which I find very comforting.  So I know my prayers are working.  Of course I have prayed that he doesn't have cancer, but a lot of my prayers have been focused on his spiritual life, and that he would find God in all of this, and I think he is.  I find that encouraging.  So I ask any of you out there reading this to keep my dad in your prayers as well.  His name is Lee, and It would mean a great deal to me if you would cover him and my family in prayers at this time.   Thank you!

Friday June 10th

Today I prayed for my big brother Rob as I ran.  It is his Birthday today.  As I ran and prayed I remembered the times in my life that Rob has been there for me.  He comes across as this gruff crabby redneck, but he has a very tender heart.  I remembered the infamous story of the time I fell out of the car when I was four.  We had a really old junker, and it had this problem of the door flying open when you hit bumps.  Well we went over a bump and the door opened.  I went to grab the door, and out I went!  I busted up my knee pretty good, had to go get stitches.  All I could think of was catching the car.  I was afraid they were not going to know I fell out, and leave me.  So I got up and started running after the car.  Meanwhile in the car,  my brother was rocking back and forth crying my Tina, my Tina.  There have been so many times that Rob has teased me, beat on me, and fought with me, as we were growing up.  However, there are many more times that he looked out for me, cared for me, and loved me.  I remember when I left for college, I could not go with out a lesson in self-defense..... Rob Corbin style!  So today I give thanks for a great big brother.   I love you Robby!!!!

Saturday June 11th

I had every intention of running today.  I got four days in, and wanted to get 5 days in.  I did not get out to run, but I am counting today as a cross training day!  Steve and I, with the help of some great friends, redid the kids sandbox/play area.  We had a whole dump truck load of sand delivered, and I tell you shoveling sand is hard work!  We got done with that, and spent the entire day working outside.  The kids are still at Camp Castle, so we just had Sarah, and she worked right along side of us.  I weeded while Steve mowed.  We have and acre and  a half, and there is always plenty of work to do.  I hauled branches and weed up and down the steep hill that is part of our yard.  I also hauled about 500lbs of landscaping rock, and replenished the areas around the house.  I worked from 9 am  until 7pm without a break.  Every muscle in my body is sore, and I got good cardio in, because when you are carrying branches and stuff down the big hill, and then a 35 lb. two year old up the hill you get quite the work out in.  So this week I have gotten 4 days of running, and 1 cross training day in.   That is the best I've done in two weeks!  We will see what tomorrow brings!

Sunday June 12th.

I get my kids back today!!!   I have to admit the first couple days I enjoyed the break, but  by day four I was really missing my kids!  It has been ten days, and after church we will be meeting Steve's parents half way.  I am very excited to see them.  So I got my kids and by time we get home it is 5pm.....the house needs to be cleaned, kids unpacked, and grocery's gotten.  Steve had to spray the yard, so he could not help.  So I get to work, get the house done, menus planned grocery list made, went grocery shopping and got home at 9pm.  I had every intention of running when I got home, however Steve had built a bonfire and wanted to haul a bunch of HUGE tree branches we had trimmed down the big hill to the burn pile.  So after the grocery's are put away and Sarah put to bed, the three oldest and I head out to haul branches.  For 45 min. I was hauling branches, and 5 gallon pals of water down to the burn pile.  So needless  to say I did not go for a run.  I finally got to go to bed at 1030, and I was completely shot.   So 5 days over all!  I will try to get back up to six next week.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Equipment Malfunction couldn't keep me down

Saturday June 3rd

Today is my 5k.....YAY!  Steve, Sarah and I got back into Fergus Falls around Midnight.  I was so tired from our short trip, and little sleep.  As I layed  my very weary head on my pillow,  I prayed to God that I did not oversleep.  I got up at 7am, and started getting ready for the race at 830am.  I was really excited, I was meeting a couple of friends, who also joined the LIFE Runners this year.  I have been recently asked to be the Minnesota Chapter Champion for the LIFE runners.  I recruited Jill and her husband, and we were all doing our first race together.  My older three kids are at Grandma's, so I just had Sarah, and I figured instead of finding a babysitter,  I would just see if I could borrow a jogging stroller, and have her run with me.  Some friends of friends were kind enough to let me borrow their stroller.  They just said that there is a slight wobble in one of the tires.  When I got the stroller this am, I ran a couple circles in the parking lot, and didn't notice a wobble, so I thought GREAT!  I put Sarah in it, and headed over to the starting area.  If you have ever been involved in a race, you know the atmosphere is electric!  It is so exciting to be part of!  Since this one was in Fergus, Steve and I ran into several people we know.  We were visiting, and then Steve ran off to warm up and start his run.  After the Half-marathoners started, they started lining up the 5kers.  I was sooooo excited, and Jill was right there next to me, just as excited!  We gather for a quick prayer and then it was time.   On your mark, get set, GO!  I start running, and had to immediately stop.  The tire on the stroller was wobbling so bad that it had scared the daylights out of Sarah, and she was screaming.  For a brief moment Jill looked at me, like should I stop?  and I said go, I'm fine.  At this point people are whizzing by me, as I am walking and stopping and walking and stopping trying to figure out if I could fix this stroller, and trying to get my poor baby to quit screaming.  Now I am in dead last, and every time I try to pick up any speed the wheel starts wobbling and Sarah starts crying.  I look behind me and see the following bike gal, almost falling off her bike because I am going so slow and starting and stopping.  I felt terrible.  She said she had to stay behind the last person.   I was in tears at this point.  Sarah is crying,  I'm panicked and disappointed.  I thought well maybe, I'll have to drop out of the race.  I shook that thought off, and decided that I did not care if I  had to carry Sarah the whole way, I was going to do this 5k. As I am trying to not cry, I start praying, and asking God for a way for me to finish this race,  I hoped I would see some friends on the sidelines, that I could entrust Sarah too, but that never happened.  As I was walking, I realized that the stroller wobbled less, if I lifted up on it.  So it was like pushing a wheel barrel. I lifted the back two tires off the ground, and pushed it mainly on the front wheel.  I also noticed I could walk a lot faster.  I still could not run, but I picked up my walking pace.   I was soooo happy when I passed the first group of walkers, and I was no longer last.  I felt very guilty because here I was in my LIFE runners jersey, and I was walking.  Not to mention that I would be the last one of the group to cross the finish line.  I'm supposed to be the leader!  As I wrestled to get my emotions under control, I walked as fast as I could go.  I was passing a significant amount of people.  I always got some interesting looks, because here I am pushing this jogging stroller like a wheelbarrow and going as fast as I can.  They must have thought that I had lost my marbles.  I just kept pushing.  Sarah calmed down after the first 3/4 of a mile, and did pretty well after that.  The only time she would get upset is if I tried going to fast and the wheel would go crazy again.  I noticed at about 20 minutes in, my shins started in on their normal burning and intense pain.  I didn't care, I was so focused on balancing the stroller, keeping Sarah calm and walking as fast as I could that I just pushed through it.   At about 25 minutes in I noticed they were no longer hurting.  I hit a wall, and pushed passed it.  I felt good.  By the time I got to mile 3  my emotions were calmer, and I had a good rhythm going.  I was steadily passing people.  As I approached the finish line, I so badly just wanted to run.  I saw Jill then off to the side about 200 yards from the finish line.  She took Sarah from me, and I sprinted across the finish line.  My hubby and Coach Pat were joking after the fact at how a lot of people were probably really judging me.  Pat giggled and said I  bet people were thinking "what a sandbagger!"  Steve on the other hand likened my moment of passing off Sarah, to the moment when Forrest Gump was running and broke free of his braces!  I'm glad they could make me laugh.   I was truly very, very disappointed that I did not get to run, but I was proud of myself for not quitting, even when it seemed like it would be impossible to finish!  In many ways this was good for me. I was in dead last....which is like my worst nightmare, and I didn't give up.  In Fact I passed over 200 people, and finished only 7 minutes behind some of the runners in my group.  It is good for me to realize that I can be proud of just finishing.   I had terrible luck,  and yet I overcame the adversity put in front of me.  I did it with prayer.   Running this race was like life.....cling to Jesus, and you can overcome all odds.

I do plan on running another 5k next month, and no I will not be borrowing a stroller.  I will be getting a babysitter.  Overall,  It was a great day, and I got a very good full body workout in!

Sunday June 5th

I woke up this am and felt like I had been hit by a truck.  My legs were not hurting, but my neck and back were so stiff that I could hardly move!  I got up took some Motrin, and got ready for Church.  I was planning to go for a run after Steve got done mowing.  However,  some very sweet friends of ours called and offered to watch Sarah for us so we could go out on a date.  It had been a while since we had gotten out, so we took them up on it.  So I did not get my run in today.

Unexpected God moment

Monday May 30th

So I stuck with 20 minutes again this week.  I am just not feeling confident in my shins.  I am still struggling with a lot of pain.  It was memorial day today, so I didn't get up in the morning.  I did get out for my run today during nap time.  It was a good day.  After my run yesterday, I thought for sure I was going to be in for a rough one.  However,  I actually felt pretty good.  My legs were no where near as heavy as yesterday, and overall I felt pretty good.  My prayers as of late have all been prayed for my dad.  He has really been on my mind.  He has a Dr appointment tomorrow, and they are going to biopsy a lump that has gotten increasingly bigger over the last two months.  My dad has several other health problems, and the thought of him having cancer on top of it is worrisome to say the least.  So as I was running today, I prayed especially for my dad to find his way to God in all of this.  My dad has had a hard life, and I am proud of him.  Not all people could live through the things my dad has and still have a good heart.  He does.  I just so badly want him to know that he is loved in a way most of us can not even fully comprehend.  My prayer is that he truly feels Gods love in all of this.  He has started going to church again,  which is  a great step for him.  So as I ran and prayed, I began to feel some peace.  I am really savoring my prayer/running time.  It is so good for a perspective check for me.

Tuesday May 31st.

Windy was not even an accurate description of the weather today.  HOLY COW!  It was crazy.  I didn't make it up in the morning, but I met my friend Jill at the track in the afternoon.  As we were doing our warm-up lap,  we joked about standing in place as we were attempting to run in the wind.  I told Jill that as hard as it was going to be, I was doing this run for my dad.  So off we went.  As I was rounding the track to face the wind on my  first lap, I looked up and saw a bird flying,  and it looked as if it was flying in place.  The wind was so strong!  So I put my head down and started praying.  I went barrelling into the wind.  I'm sure it looked like I was hardly moving as well, but I pushed hard.  My prayers were really focused today, which is good.  I think it helped knowing Jill was united in prayer with me for my dad.  You would think that running into the wind would have dampered my focus, but it made it stronger.  I had a mission, I would push through the wind and do my best to keep my normal pace.  I actually felt good running into the wind.  I felt strong, like nothing could stop me.  I made up my mind, and I would beat the Wind.  It probably sounds silly, but I love it when I am able to focus like that.  It does not come easily for me.  I am a very distracted person.  I usually can not complete a full thought with out being interrupted in my daily life.  With Children around me 24/7 I have learned to cope with constant interruptions.  Nothing ever goes as planned.  So when I am able to  focus and one thing and just get it done.  It is exciting for me.  I always feel like I've accomplished something great!  Today was a good day, and I felt peaceful after my run.

Wednesday June 1

I didn't make it out of bed this am.  I am having a tough time getting up this week!  I also did not make it to the track this evening.  We had an event at church tonight.  So I decided today would be my day off.

Thursday June 2.

I knew I had to get up in the morning today, because we were leaving right after work today to head back to Sioux Falls.   My dad's brother (Uncle Chuck) was coming for a visit on Friday.  The last time I saw my uncle was when I was a fifth Grader!  It was important to my dad that I be there, so I took Friday off work and planned to head back to Montrose.    I however, must not have set my alarm, because I woke up at 715am.  It was also my kids last day of school today.  So I spent the day packing and getting us ready to go.  My oldest three are staying with Grandma for a week,  so I had Needless to say I did not get any exercise in today.

Friday June 3rd

We got in to Sioux Falls last night around 1130pm.  Then Steve and I stayed up visiting with his parents until130am visiting.  Sarah then was up from 330 am to -530 am, and then back up at 730 for the day.  I was tired!  I knew I absolutely had to run today, and we were leaving for my parents farm by noon.  I told Steve to sleep in, because we had to head back to Fergus Falls late tonight, because he was running the half-marathon, and I was running the 5k in Fergus falls in the morning.  My parents live about 35 minutes from Sioux Falls.....so we had a busy day with a LOT of driving. Steve's mom said she would watch the kids so I could go for my run.  It took me like an hour to actually get out of the house.  So I walked to the Edison Junior High track as my warm-up.  When I got to the track I noticed there was another person running,  my initial thought was oh no, some one will see how slow I am.  She was about 200m ahead of me when I started running.  I decided not to worry about how slow I was, and just do my run.  I started my prayers and away I went.  About half way into my run, I noticed this gal had stopped running and was walking.  As I caught up to her she said Hi, and I said Hi back.  She then started running with me.  She told me how nice it was to see someone running without headphones in.  I told her that I like to pray when I run, so I usually don't have any music going.....its my quiet time.  She then asked me....so you are a believer huh?  I shared I was.  At this point she just started opening up to me about her struggles with her son, who has a drinking problem.  I listened and prayed for her as she spoke.  I have plenty of experience with alcoholism in my life.  My dad is an alcoholic, and my brother-in-law is as well.   I've seen years of drinking take it's toll on both of them, and I have seen both of them begin to recover.  My dad has recovered and relapsed many times in his life.  So I thought maybe God would want me to share some of my insights into the disease and living with it.  However, as I listened and prayed for her, God placed on my heart to  instead share the Story of my youngest daughter Sarah.  About nine months ago  Sarah had a severe Febrile Seizure.  It lasted for an hour and a half.  It took the ambulance about ten minutes to get to our house, and by this time her lips were turning blue.  I have never been so scared in my life!  We got her to the hospital, and the doctors worked crazy to get the seizing to stop, and they look as worried as you do, you know it is bad.  I knew immediately that we had to get the anointing of this sick done for Sarah.  Steve called are priest and he came and did the anointing.  As he finished the prayer,  her eyes opened for the first time since the whole episode started.  Even after that miracle, I shared with how I struggled with trusting.  I was neurotic,  taking her to the doctor all the time.  She was having terrible night terrors,  I was awake for two to three hours a night with her screaming.  I would never leave her.  I was so afraid she would have another seizure.  Then the Friday before thanksgiving....she did.  I took her to the Dr that morning, cause she had a low grade temp, he said it was viral, we came home and layed her down for nap.  Midway through her nap, I heard this terrible noise, from her and went running into her room and she was seizing.  I put her in the car and took off for the Dr's office.  Shortly after that, we had our house blessed, and I got to a point where I was so tired and was really a shell of me, because I wasn't sleeping, and all I did was worry.  I sat in a chair one afternoon, and sobbed.  I was talking with Jesus, and for the first time since this happened, I gave Sarah over to him.  I told him I knew I could not protect her, and that I had to trust him to take care of her.  I shared with her the prayer I say every night when I lay Sarah down.  "Mother Mary,  please hold my baby in your arms, while I can not."  Sarah has no longer had night terrors, and has not had another seizure since, despite several fevers.  When I got done telling her my story, she had tears in her eyes, and told me that was just what she needed to hear, and how she struggles with not trying to control everything in her sons life.   By this time we were don running and had walked a cool down lap.   I asked her if I could pray with her before we left.  We prayed, hugged, and went our separate ways.  I am just in awe,  you never know who God brings in and out of your life at the times you may need it the most.  I by sharing my struggles, was able to help someone else.  I was also solidified in my faith, by having that sharing.  It reminded me of all the blessings daily, that we take for granted, and how we should never stop being grateful.  God is Good.