Monday, July 15, 2013

1/2 Marathon Training...

Happy Monday!  Time to catch up my blog on how my training is going.  Week 2 turned out to be tough for me, but, I'm learning that what you put into your body to fuel your training matters!  The biggest noticeable change in starting week 3 this morning is that the water intake, (I'm now drinking 70-80 ounces a day), along with a 20 oz. bottle of good ole' Gatorade has helped considerably.  I've read to drink the Gatorade during the run, but I just can't drink anything and make it to the end of my run without needing to find a bathroom!  So, I drink it as soon as I finish.  I figure at least I'm getting my Electrolytes and carbs then, and refueling for the rest of my day. 

Gifts from my husband for completing week 2!

The next thing I've noticed is my confidence is building.  From the time I was a little girl, with terrible Asthma, doctors had always told my parents I didn't need to over do with P.E. class, I carried an inhaler with me at all times, and my Mother's fear of me having an Asthma attack away from her sort of became my fear as well.  So, for years, on into adulthood, I held myself back.  Told myself I couldn't do that.  I can only imagine what kind of runner I would be now, if I had not let my own fear and mental weakness keep me down.  Okay...enough of that.  At 46 years old, my confidence is building and I am realizing I am capable of running a 1/2 marathon, I am realizing just how tough I am mentally.  So, I'm coping much better at week 3.

I also had something amazing happen to me last week!  While sitting in a Doctor's office in Atlanta waiting for my husband to be seen, we met an 87 year old runner!  While he only runs 3 miles a day now and ran the Peachtree Road Race 2013, (Wow) he has run many a marathon, and didn't even do that until he was in his 50's!  He gave me lots of good advice, like to forget about my speed while I'm training for the 1/2, it'll only mess with you more mentally, and then you risk injuries which will set you back.  He told me to remember not everybody can run a 1/2 marathon, and that gradually increasing my distance by 10% a week will get me there, if I'm using a good training program and to run for myself, not to compare myself to others.  I had to just look up at God that morning and say, "I know that was you".  "Thank you". 

Back to today's training run...a little rattled because I woke up with huge blisters on the back of my feet from new running shoes that I had only walked in.  How in the world was I going to run with those painful blisters?  Well, I put 4 band-aids on the back of each foot, put my old faithful running shoes back on, (definately got too many miles and need replacing), and I went with it!  Talk about developing my coping skills!  I gotta tell ya, 10 minutes into this training run, and I didn't even notice the blisters anymore! Ha!  I even conquered a hill that I had only previously been able to walk up...and even walking up that hill wasn't easy!  So really, those blisters were a Godsend in a way...I had much rather learn how to deal with all the "things" that can go wrong while I'm training, NOT the day of the 1/2 marathon! 

I'm going to leave you with something from my current read, "The Runner's Devotional".  And I quote, "In Ephesians 6: 10-18, Paul tells Christians to put on the belt of truth, the body of armor of righteousness, feet fitted with readiness, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, praying in the Spirit constantly.  We have learned that NOTHING is impossible with GOD.  On some days I can't put on the armor-that's when I ask GOD to put it on for me.  God's love and peace have gotten me through so much in running...and in life." 

You won't EVER run on empty with God.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Training With Purpose

I have decided that once a week, I am going to start blogging about my half marathon training.  Say what???  HALF MARATHON???  Yes, and before my family and friends think I am totally out of my mind...have bitten off more than I can chew...or maybe totally decided to do something based on emotion...(well, THAT, maybe...)  let me share with you why.  My personality for one, tends to push me into bigger goals than normal.  So I set myself a goal.  A BIG one. 

My motivation?  My inspiration?  A 66 year old man who battled for 14 months with Pancreatic Cancer.  That man was my Daddy.  He was diagnosed in April of 2012, after several months of doctor visits and tests that didn't find the cancer.  That's how Pancreatic Cancer works.  There will be signs, like the ones my Daddy had...weight loss, pain in the abdomen that radiates to the back, & fatigue.  He was diagnosed as a diabetic.   Research has shown that the recent onset of diabetes in people over 50 or a sudden change in blood sugar control in those who are already diabetic may be a symptom of pancreatic cancer.  Surely enough, a trip to the emergency room one evening, and a sister, who being a nurse, saw the red flags and requested they test our Daddy for Pancreatic Cancer.
I had to find my own personal way of dealing with my Daddy's diagnosis.  I had never heard of Pancreatic Cancer, so I began to do my research.  I didn't like the statistics, so I won't tell you from statistics, I'll tell you from my Daddy's story, this cancer wreaks havoc on the human body.  I decided that if my 66 year old Daddy's body could take the most aggressive chemotherapy treatment available to him, that I could push my body to raise money for research and early diagnosis.  I trained for 9 weeks to become a runner.  I trained with a running buddy who has become a close friend.  We drove 80 miles round trip two evenings a week to train with a running club.  I was NOT a runner.  Running was just not a sport I could do, I have asthma, (Yea, that was my excuse) but I did it.  WE did it.  And we did it in 100 degree temps on alot of those evenings! 

My Daddy battled cancer for 14 months, he and my Mother left for MD Anderson in Houston, Texas on May 9th,  Mother's Day weekend.  Although chemotherapy and radiation treatments were no longer working for him, he was offered an opportunity to participate in clinical trials.  Clinical trials are studies in which people volunteer to take part in new drugs and procedures.  Doctors use clinical trials to develop new treatments for the cancer.  So while the chances were that the trials may or may not help him, he would surely be helping the clinical trials team in their search for the next big treatment drug for Pancreatic Cancer. 

Pancreatic Cancer took the life of my Daddy, W.T. Bates, on June 22, 2013 at 1:58 a.m.  God designed exactly the way he wanted it to be, we were blessed to be with my Daddy in Texas for the last two weeks of his life.  It was two weeks that in the midst of the heartache and heartbreak, my family, my Mother, my brother, and my sister got to spend precious time with this courageous man. 
"I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness ..." (2 Thes 4:7, 8)

So...that BIG goal?  It's not that big when I look at what my Daddy did for the last 14 months.  I'm not totally out of my mind, I haven't bitten off more than I can chew, and yes, I totally decided to do a half marathon based on emotion.  That emotion is LOVE.  One of the last conversations I had with my Daddy was about my running and raising money for Pancreatic Cancer.  He told me how proud he was of me for the work I was doing, and that he wanted me to continue to do so to help others.  I am week 1 into my training of 12 weeks.  I got this.  God is good.  It won't be easy, but every step I run now has a purpose.