Thursday, September 6, 2012

6 month anniversary... Running strong!!

AHHHHH, Yesterday was one of those sappy, emotional, reflective days for me and I am TOTALLY embracing it!! 6 months, its been 6 months since I took on this challenge from the Lord, I had no idea what would happen, but WOW it has been such a great experience so far!! I had a 4.75 mile run.  I was not in the mood to wake up in the morning and ended up running a little after 10 A.M.  I was in a funk, so I knew that I HAD to listen to some music while running if I wanted to enjoy it at all.  In honor of 6 months of consistent running, I listened to the album Hillsong Live: A Beautiful Exchange.  I took some time to stretch, fiddled with my armband for my very old school mp3 player (I need an ipod shuffle) and started my Garmin. I began to relax and said hello to a couple of neighbors who I see on a daily basis while running.  I focused more on the music than the run for a bit to get in a better place mentally.  The song: Forever Reign started and as I listened to the song, it immediately overwhelmed me.  This song just really describes my journey with the Lord and running: "I'm running to Your arms, I'm running to Your arms, the riches of Your love will always be enough nothing compares to Your embrace, light of the world forever reign."  Have a listen:

I ran thankful, my heart was just so thankful for God's presence in my life and for how He loves me.  I remember when I started running, the first thing I did was tell everyone, share my story, that way I would be accountable.  That way if I did decide to give up, there would be a support system. This really was the best idea I had, because there were in fact times where I was down and out and had amazing friends who helped me emotionally, helped with shoe selections, gave me running tips, picked me up early for runs, etc... While I ran I thought about all who have been encouraging along the way, from close friends, to fellow runners I've randomly met along the way. Thank you!!
6 months ago, I called up my parents and asked them to look into an shoe box I kept with all my track/cross country medals, in there I had saved a newspaper clipping of the results of the 5k I ran in high school, my mother read it out to me and I typed it into my computer.  First goal... run a 5k in 26 mins.  I've ran 3 5k's:  Sope Creek 5k Fun Run (April 38) 30: 20
Hilton Head 5k  (July 4)  27:25
Back on my Feet Meaningful Miles (Aug 25) 26:44
1st Goal: 26 min. 5k accomplished!! 
This definitely changed the thought in my mind that I could never get back to where I used to be, cause in fact, I am exactly where I used to be time wise in high school and the reality is I'm only gonna get better!! :) Of course I'm not the little skinny girl I was in high school but who cares, I'll take it!!
Gracie's First 1k Race
After I finished the race
My second goal was to run a 10k in September. (6 miles for 6 month anniversary) :)  It so happened to fit perfectly with the training plan that I am following.  I was even able to find a local race very near to where I live.  I ran the Y to Y Labor Day 10k on Sept 3. The great thing about this race is that there was a free 1k for the kids, which I absolutely loved!! Since this was my first 10k since high school and I had no time record of what I ran, I decided I would do a practice run and time myself to see where I was. The race started off at  the NE Cobb YMCA and then ended at the McCleskey YMCA.  I had my awesome husband drop me off and there I went. The course description said it was "mostly flat and fast"  and well, I think now that I've ran a couple of races here in Atlanta, it is safe to say that there will ALWAYS be hills!! There were 2 hills on that course that were NOT FUN and a couple of smaller ones as well, but I got it done!! My time for the practice run was 1:04, which was a 10:25 pace.  So I decided I would shoot for 60 minutes or less.  I had a lot of doubt since the course was pretty challenging.  The day of the race, the weather was nice, I was feeling pretty good.  I decided I was going to just enjoy the race and have a good time. I really didn't feel like I could make my goal while running but I kept on pressing on!! There were times in the race where I wanted to start walking especially after the hills, but I didn't, I stayed strong. I told myself positive things, I even at one point had a Yo Gabba Gabba song about Robots in my head which made me smile. Ahh my girls, my beautiful girls and my amazing husband would be at the finish line!! I'm pretty sure I looked like a crazy women at the end of the race, I tried my hardest to have a kick and I felt myself running fast but I'm not too sure my form looked all that great!! :)  I saw the time and ran my heart out!! Whoo hooo!! :) My time was 58:44 and  I placed first in the women's 20-29 age division!!!
2nd Goal: 60 min. or less 10k  accomplished!
We stayed to watch Gracie and Hope run the kids 1k race, it was so cute watching them run!! The awards were given out right after the kids race.
I really didn't think I would place!! So that was an awesome surprise!! :)
When I ran my first 5k in April I placed 1st as well, God is so good!! It's almost like He's telling me I'm on the right track. I was super tired after the race, I had a reward bacon burger for lunch and then slept.  I really can say that I ran hard this time, I felt stronger mentally, I really feel like the revelation from God about the hills I run made me feel very strong while I ran. It  made me feel like I COULD do it, whenever there was a negative thought or an excuse that came up in my head to slow down, I
One very HAPPY mommy
SHOT IT DOWN IMMEDIATELY!! I really am proud of myself.  These past 6 months have really been an amazing journey.  Can you all believe I am about to run a Half Marathon next MONTH!! I am on Week 8 of a 12 week plan and about to start doing longer runs on Saturdays.  I am already looking at Marathon plans.  I am excited to experience what the next 6 months has in store for me. Just because we are older doesn't mean that the dream is dead.  It just means it will take a little more dedication and perseverance.  If anything, I have learned that because I am older I am stronger than I was before and really do feel like I will be a better runner than I was ever in high school. The circumstances in life have made me emotionally and mentally stronger. Thanks to everyone who reads my blogs, we are on this journey together, I pray that whatever path you are on , whatever dream or goal you have in your heart that this may be a testimony to you that IT IS POSSIBLE to ACHIEVE!!

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