Chicago Marathon Training: Week 1

Monday: 5 Miles

I kicked off official marathon training with 5 easy paced miles in 70 degree weather & 100% humidity. I’d be lying if I said I don’t question how I’m going to be able to train for Chicago in this Arkansas heat. I’m going to try and remain positive and hope my body will adjust. After all, it is only DAY 1!

Tuesday: 30-45 min Cross Training

I normally lack quite a bit of motivation on cross training days. I would much rather be running instead of biking or swimming, but I figured since this is week one I couldn’t start slacking this early in my training cycle!

Road bike: 10 miles (16.3 mph)

Wednesday: 7 Miles

Easy run with 8 x 30 sec pick-ups; started pick-ups after mile 3

Even though this is slower than I would like it to be, I am super proud of negative splitting in this humidity. It’s becoming clear I am going to have to take training one day at a time! I think I can, I think I can.

Watching the sunrise always reminds me of God’s goodness

Friday: 4 miles

Woke up late, per my usual, and I definitely wasn’t feeling this one. Glad I got it done, but the 75 degrees and 100% humidity (again) had me feeling so annoyed.

Saturday: 10 miles

I had the grand idea to run through my new neighborhood that I will be moving into in August and the hills were out. of. this. world. I regretted this decision in mile 1. After mile 5-6 I just quit looking at my watch because I was literally running at a snail’s pace and it wasn’t getting any better the longer I ran. Even though it was not my best run, I am thankful for: lower humidity, cloudy skies, and good health.

 

Weekly Mileage:  26 miles

Now that marathon training is in full swing, I discussed with my coach what realistic goals would be for my finish time at Chicago. As most of you runners know, its best to have several attainable goals in case “Goal A” doesn’t go as planned. We know that the Chicago course is a great one, but we obviously have no way of knowing what the weather is going to be like. With that being said… Here are my A,B, & C goals for Chicago 2017:

Goal A: sub 3:50:00 

Goal B: sub 4:00:00

Goal C: sub 4:04:35 (current PR)

Here’s to another great week of training… Next week things get a bit more challenging, but I’m ready! 

Break My Heart for What Breaks Yours

Go! Mile- Little Rock, AR

Saturday morning I attended the Go! Mile race here in Little Rock. Its a local race sponsored by the local running store, Go! Running. The race starts and finishes at the Clinton Presidential Library. To be honest, I was completely dreading this one. The race is broken into different heats based on age, gender, and elite status. I signed up to run in the Female 39 and under heat, which was definitely the best decision. I toyed with the idea of running in the elite heat. The required pace for women was a sub 6:30 mile and that was my goal, but the idea of running with all the elite runners really intimidated me. Maybe next year.

My friend, Lori, and I have a routine for race days. We normally meet and ride together and then warm up together. For this particular race, my coach had me do a 2 mile warmup with the last 90 seconds up tempo.

As we were warming up we decided to run across the Clinton Presidential bridge. As we were running down the bridge we came up on something. I asked Lori “What is THAT?” We got closer and it dawned on me. THAT was a homeless man sleeping on the bridge. We continued running for another 50-100 meters and I had to stop. I completely lost it. It took me a couple minutes to get it together and we continued running.  I instantly knew the Lord was telling me to go back and pray for that man.  To be fully transparent, my initial reaction was not what it should have been. I had this race, I was nervous, there were people running and biking across the bridge, it’s not always comfortable to pray aloud for someone that you don’t  even know,  and the list of excuses goes on. We had to cross back over the very same bridge to get back to where we were going. I expressed to Lori what the Lord was prompting me to do and as we approached the homeless man for the second time, we stopped.  I realized the man was in a deep sleep, so much so, he was snoring. For safety reasons, I decided it was best to not wake the man. Perhaps this might have startled him and made him feel more uncomfortable than he already felt.

It took me a few moments to collect myself to be able to speak words, let alone pray words out loud. Lori and I linked arms and began to pray. I remember my specific words being “Lord, we know that it is not our job to judge this man nor is it our role to question how he got himself into this position.”

Ever since this encounter, God has continuously reminded me of the phrase “break my heart for what breaks yours.” I think too often, we (myself included) become numb to the lost and hurting people that are around us every day. We drive by people on the street corners and we are quick to question their intentions or their REAL situation. We pass up people every single day because we are too busy on our cellphones, iPads, and computers to even notice the need around us. My prayer is that I don’t become so selfish and complacent that I am blinded to the real world around me. Often times, I find it easier to travel to foreign countries to spread the gospel and tell others about Christ than it is to do right here at home. Why? I think for me, I am too distracted here with worldly things. I am too comfortable. I am too self-absorbed. When I’m in a foreign country with no cell phone service, no wi-fi, no social media, I am much more open to letting the Lord use me in the lives of other people.

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.” –– Matthew 28:19

My hope and prayer is that I will start living this scripture out right here at home in my everyday life. I don’t want to miss the next opportunity that the Lord has for me because I am too busy, too self-centered, and too distracted.

Lord, break my heart for what breaks yours

It’s Not that Complicated

Do you ever find yourself stuck in a stagnant position, unable to make a decision about something because you over-complicated and overthought the situation at hand? Yeah, me neither. (Kidding, I do this all the time)

Let me give you a couple of  examples of things that I have made entirely more complicated than they had to be.

Dating: Does he like me? Is he interested? Will he text me? Should I text him?  Maybe he’s just shy? Maybe I’m too good for him? (don’t judge me for that one) Maybe he’s nervous? Maybe I’m too nervous? No. Maybe he just isn’t that interested. When someone likes you, no matter how shy or nervous, they will make you a priority. It’s not that complicated!

This blog: I have wanted to start writing a blog for a very long time and am just now finally typing my very first blog post. Why? Well, I couldn’t come up with the right blog title, the right theme, the best font, and I definitely couldn’t decide on the best image to put on the front page. The “About Me” section stayed blank for several months. I just couldn’t think of the right thing to say. I’m sure you’re thinking…. its the About Me section, it shouldn’t be that complicated.  You’re right. It shouldn’t be, but it was.

This evening, I decided I was going to drive to Starbucks so I could sit outside and attempt to have some alone time with the Lord. I say attempt because I often desire to spend  time with the Lord, but what actually happens is I find myself on my phone, on Facebook, on Instagram, on Snapchat, researching running related things,  and the list goes on. Surely I’m not the only one that this happens to, right? Last week, I started a new bible study at church so tonight I wanted to read the first chapter and dive into the scripture and questions that go along with it. After I got done reading, I had so much on my mind, but I was just staring at blank pages in my journal not knowing where to even start. I’ve never been one that can just sit still and write for hours in a journal. As I began praying, I was so distracted. There were people outside socializing. There were kids skateboarding. There were loud trucks driving by. Helllloooo??? Don’t these people know I’m trying to have my quiet time with God.

As I sat there with my blank journal pages, my Christian music, and my Starbucks coffee, I felt something telling me to get up and go run. I can’t go run. It’s 9 pm. I don’t have my good running shoes on, I don’t have the right shorts and shirt, I don’t have my watch. If I don’t have my watch and I can’t record my run, will my run even count? This felt crazy, but I proceeded. I put my things in my car and off I went. Running aimlessly. I had no clue how fast or how far I was going.

As soon as I quit over-analyzing the situation, the Lord spoke very clearly to me. Amy, spending time with me is not this complicated.

I often make spending time with God more of a chore than a desire. I make it an ordeal that it shouldn’t be.