2.26.2018

Running Streak Day 2251 & Marriage

2,251 days.

6 years, 1 month, 27 days.

That is how long I have been running at least one mile a day. Some days those miles are pitifully slow and I can say that about myself. And I am saying it without criticism.

Years ago if I ran a slow, slow mile I would have felt like a failure. I graded myself and felt myself good and worthy if I ran a mile in x pace. And then if I ran x miles a week I was a good runner. And breaking 100 miles a month made me a better runner.

Then life threw a wrench in my path and gave me a good dose of humility and reality.

I am not just a number.

Ladies, we hear that so much. I am not just a number. You are not just a number. Yes, you are more. I am more. We are more.

But there is still a number I track. My running streak. Only because that number is a true pat on the back as that number represents running just a mile, running 26.2 miles, running a 7 minute mile, running a 12 minute mile, running inside, running outside, running in heat, running in rain, running in Hawaii, Texas, California, Chicago. That number reminds me of my faith and that God truly does have my back.

In those 2,251 days I have changed. I have turned from dark, crazy paths of potentially self destructive behavior, low self esteem, a touch of self hate, to loving myself, forgiving myself, and more importantly, accepting myself. I am not perfect. I am flawed. But I am perfectly flawed when I don't let my flaws bring me down. Make me dislike or even hate myself. Make me want to hide and cry as I try to measure up to others and their expectations. Expectations I will never meet.

Ladies, why do we do this to ourselves?

The funny thing is when I came to my computer today to type this post I was going to say, hey, it is day 2,251 of my running streak and for the past few days I have run only a pitifully slow  mile as I was battling a cold. I was going to talk about how we all do get sick at times and to be merciful on our bodies when we are under the weather. To realize that through kind, loving care we can become fully recharged and able to function better. Resisting this process will under hinder recovery and negatively impact your sports performance.

Somehow those 2,251 days became a reflection of life and that makes sense as running daily is my lifestyle choice. Even on sick days I can manage an easy mile. That is really cool.

But those days are also a reflection of more than just running but mindset. A mindset that can be applied to so many areas in our lives. Even relationships.

Ugh. Relationships.

They can have nasty twists and turns. Marriage can be incredibly tough and you may find yourself wondering why your marriage isn't as happy as their marriage. Look, they are looking lovingly into each other's eyes, holding hands, being kind, smiling. They are smiling. Something must be wrong with you and your spouse. You aren't smiling.

But you see, those non smiling days are just like the ugh running days. The pitifully slow days. The torturous miles you never thought you could complete and then, you did. Those ugh days of marriage are part of the essential thread of your marriage. If I pulled out every bad day in my running streak and tossed them out because they sucked and didn't meet my expectations I wouldn't have a streak.

But just because they didn't meet my expectations, those miles weren't worthless. I needed those miles, those days, to keep my streak alive and running. Maybe we need to embrace our yucky relationship days in the same fashion.

What do you think?

2.22.2018

The Battle Within

Today's post is dedicated in loving memory of my father, who died on March 31, 2010 due to leukemia. This month I lost another great friend, mentor, second dad to cancer so I am a bit emotionally shaken up. 

I hope by honoring and remembering my dad today I can further my healing and perhaps hand out virtual hugs to those missing their loved ones today. Cancer is vicious and I know I am not alone in missing a loved one who has lost the battle. I am also not alone in praying for many fighting that battle still today. 

The battle within.

We all have internal struggles and the intensity or manifestation of them can vary from day to day, week to week, or year to year. The end of last year depression and anxiety were vicious and I am happy to say, I have been so much better this year! I am getting back into my workout routine and running with more zest in my step; however, the past week or two have been harder. This is part of the ebb and flow of workouts.

It could also be a side effect of my morning routine which is getting quite full with daily bible reading, time dedicated to The Love Dare challenge I am doing, and just having a busy day and getting to bed way too late to be up and moving by 3:00 am. But I refuse to get discouraged.

There is a lesson in here somewhere and just the other day I had to reflect on the business in life and how stress can make you irritable. Stress of losing a loved one is hard to totally remove but the stress of not sleeping enough can be mitigated. But it is a delicate balancing act with the stress of not working out enough which I know negatively impacts my mood.

Life is a dance. 

Sometimes you lead, sometimes you follow. Or if you are like me, you feel you are never leading but frantically hanging on to just see where your next move is but that in itself is a lie. I am a mom. I am leading whether I see it or not. Whether I like it or not. How I live my life shows an example, leads my daughter, in how she should live her life. And her seeing me not giving in on the non-negotiables - faith, love, kindness, God - is a way I am quite happy to lead her. And I thank God for the gift of my faith that will hold me up and carry me on when I feel I am falling apart and nothing I do makes a difference.

The peace within.

And through those battles I learn to better find and hang on to my inner peace. I am not perfect. I fall down. Case in point - an emotionally tough work day, limited exercise, and raging migraine added to the feelings of grief and missing my dad resulted in this momma being on a short fuse and raising her voice out of frustration when she just wanted a hug of support, to feel someone cared, to feel she was not alone. My soul ached and I felt bad for losing my cool but then it hit me today, I am clinging to my ideals of how things should be too much and if I just let go and let be I will be much more at peace.

May the peace be with you too.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for Jesus' example of submitting to God's will. 

Daily Bible Verse: Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done. ~ Luke 22:42

2.14.2018

Going Silent for Lent


Today is Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. Lent is a time to honor the sacrifice of Christ, to reflect on the passion of the cross, and to prepare our minds, hearts, and spirits to truly celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. It lasts 40 days, not including Sundays. It is a period of fasting and hopefully prayer. It is more of a solemn time and this Lent I am giving up social media.

Why?

Because it truly does tug at my limited time and can lead to the increase of more sinful feelings of jealousy, envy, or pride at times. Those likes and the pull of comparison can tug on everyone in various degrees. Some days I can be more resilient but other days, not so much.

I stay connected primarily due to family and my wonderful Catholic connections but I do want to wean myself of this and to spend the next 40+ days in prayer. Prayer for my family. Prayer for my friends. Prayer for myself.

This is a tough season for me. Not because of Lent but February is my "hard month". My Dad's birthday is February 22 and March 31 marks the 8th anniversary of his death after a heartbreaking battle with cancer. Leukemia to be exact. On top of that, a wonderful man that I truly loved as a second dad and mentor just died this February 10 after battling brain cancer. Fortunately February 10 is also my daughter's birthday - she turned 10! - so I can see joy in the suffering. It seems there is a lot God has for me to focus and reflect on this Lent.

But I do have a slight concern. Traditionally I post in remembrance of my Dad on February 22 and March 31. I have prayed and prayed on this and how it impacts my Lenten fast. I did get a sense that a post on those two days would be acceptable, if, and only if, I could resist all temptation to read other posts, notifications, or get distracted and engage. I am not too sure I can do that. Seriously, do you think you could log onto facebook, drop a post, and not scroll? Yeah, me neither.

I want to honor my Dad and remember him so perhaps I can just do so with this blog post, which was written and scheduled prior to the beginning of Lent.

My Dad was an amazing man. My hero. A really cool and fun dude!

The last 2 photos are from the last times I saw him.
I wish I had some magical and inspirational words to say that can erase the suffering of grief but all I can say is I am thankful my Dad, and my friend, are no longer suffering the pains of cancer on Earth. The cancer robbed them of so much of their zeal for life. The essence of who they were still remained but you could see the toll of the devastating illness on them. That is something I would wish on no one. 

Great men seem to be few and far between. Perhaps it is because I have been hurt by so many, lied to by too many, scarred by some, belittled and insulted by others, or just used for their own personal desires or gain. At times it makes me wonder if good men still exist today. Men who will stand up to honor and protect women. Open the door for them. Build them up with encouraging words of support and accept them for who they are. Are not threatened by women and what women can offer to the world.

And then I realize, two such men existed in my life and count myself abundantly blessed. Two men who never said a hurtful, unkind word to me and seemed to genuinely accept me for who I am and encourage me to grow how I was supposed to grow. Thank you God for placing these men in my life.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for my daughter and her shining bright light during this time of sorrow.

Daily Bible Verse: For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. ~ Romans 8:18

2.05.2018

January 2018 Training Report

I am pretty happy to say I worked out a total of 26 hours in January. I know, at first glance that does not seem much but that is close to an hour a day so I am happy when I consider where I am coming from --- a very rough fourth quarter in 2017. I also logged 85 miles and 7 new workouts!

If I keep at this pace throughout the remainder of 2018, I will log 1,020 miles and 84 new workouts. My 2018 goal is to break 10,000 streak miles which means I need to log 1,170 miles in 2018 and that means....run more! And I am not afraid of that as I am getting my running mojo back. I can do this!

My other 2018 goal was to log 70 new workouts and I am completely on par for achieving that. Yay me!

Seriously, this is worth celebrating big time as I was in the toughest and longest rut in my running life but thanks be to God, I am finally feeling like me....even if the past couple of days I have felt unmotivated and overwhelmed but even that is my typical me this time of year as work is overwhelming and crazy. Seriously, directing a race is hard. Be kind to race directors. It is tiring answering the same question a zillion times of day and you would not believe the gripes and complaints I hear about everything and race day isn't even here yet. Hopefully this torrential downpour of rain that I have experienced three times in the past 24 hours will be something of the past come Saturday.

And a blatant, begging ask...if you are on Maui please contact me regarding volunteering at the race. I need at least 15 more course marshals. It will be really, really fun.

On a happier note, January (or very early February as all my days are a blur right now) brought some really exciting news. I can now offer you, yes you!, 20% off of your SOS Rehydrate purchases when you use my coupon code EGFITNESS. Yes, this is an affiliate link as I am an SOS Ambassador and LOVE their hydration -- mango and coconut are quite delicious.

You can also get 10% off of your Bondi Band purchases and they have more than headbands. They have Bondi Wear now too! Awesome outfits to feel amazing in your workouts. Guys, this is a great gift for the active gals in your life. Just use EGFITNESS (yes, same coupon code, different company, different ambassadorship).

But back to January and goals. I am also doing better at getting up and working out dark and early again. It takes some real determination and let me tell you, it is hard to get that determination at 4 am in the morning. If you have any tips, please let me know. I would love them! The lure of coffee and bible time helps but it is still hard to pull myself out of the warm bed when it is so dark....let alone thundering like crazy. I flopped this morning convincing my lazy self that running on the treadmill in thunder and lightning was indeed not a good idea. Ummmmm.....once I got to work I realized how much better I would have felt emotionally if I just did it. I will remind myself of that come tomorrow morning when my alarm starts chiming at 3:30 am. Wish me luck!

How did your January go?

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for the 85 miles I logged this month.

Daily Bible Verse: 
Psalm 127 --->
Unless the Lord builds the house,
    those who build it labor in vain.
Unless the Lord watches over the city,
    the watchman stays awake in vain.
It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest,
eating the bread of anxious toil;
    for he gives to his beloved sleep.
Lo, sons are a heritage from the Lord,
    the fruit of the womb a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior
    are the sons of one’s youth.
Happy is the man who has
    his quiver full of them!
He shall not be put to shame
    when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.