Monday, October 24, 2011

Re-Evaluation Time

I have taken the past few days to think:
 - Think about exercising & running & foods to eat
 - Think about if I really want to do this/have what it takes
 - Think about what it will take to complete a full marathon
 - Think about my relationship with God
 - Think about how my past has impacted my today (this was a big one!)

The list goes on and on.  Actually last week my thoughts overwhelmed every aspect of my life.  I didn't complete my homework assignments because I was overwhelmed.  I was off for most of the week, but when I did go back to work, I didn't want to because I felt like I couldn't function.  I'm not a crier, but I actually wanted to cry everyday (although nothing came out).  Just overwhelmed.

But tonight I went to church and I think that the message sort of calmed me down and confirmed the direction that I need to go.  Between work, school, exercising, life - the overwhelmingness that I was experiencing is as a result of trying to meet the needs of everyone else and trying to live up to everyone's expectation of me.  Do you know how hard that is?  Tonight Pastor Steve Jamison from Seattle, Washington said a few things that left me evaluating me.  He asked a question - "What has to move in your life in order for God to take His place?"  I had to be honest with myself, although I love God and am committed to Christ, I have not made Him a priority for a long time.  I've made school a priority.  I've made work a priority.  I've made working out a priority.  I've made my family and friends a priority.  I have not made God the A number 1 priority in everything that I do.  The bible says to trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all of your ways acknowledge Him and He shall make your pathways straight (or direct your paths - based on the translation that your reading).

How do I make God my A number 1 priority in the mist of all of my other commitments?  He wants me to be faithful to my commitments, but I have to put them in the correct order.  I can wake up in time for work or to exercise, and can stay up until 2 and 3 o'clock in the morning to complete homework; but, I can't wake up to read my Bible - that's not making Him a priority.  If you say that you love me, spending quality uninterrupted time with me is a necessity in order for me to believe that you love me.  It's the same way with God.  Making Him a priority means that I spend uninterrupted time with Him on a consistent basis.

Regarding this marathon journey, am I going to accomplish the task and run a full marathon....yes.  Am I going to come up with a consistent exercise schedule that will not play a part in overwhelming me...yes.  I'm not going to quit on me.  That's what I'd be doing if I don't complete the task.  Besides, this a God given goal because there is ABSOLUTELY no way that I would have come up with this on my own.  Now, I've off to finish homework that I have not done yet so that I don't fail my class.  Will you pray with me please?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Marathon Goal Postponement????

Earlier this year I signed up for the Walt Disney Marathon, taking place in Walt Disney World on Sunday, January 8, 2012.  It is a 26.2 mile run that I'm told is primarily flat and easy (I don't know about you, but nothing about running is easy!!).  Runners have a maximum of 7 1/2 hours to complete the entire race.  If you don't maintain a 17 mile per minute pace, you will be loaded onto a bus and not given the opportunity to complete the race.

To date, I have completed multiple 5k's, a 10k and now a Half.  The next step is a full marathon, but after this weekend's race, I've seriously evaluated the overall timeline of my goal.  Am I being realistic in in trying to complete FULL MARATHON in January?  January is only two and a half months away...again, am I being realistic??  I've enjoyed this training process.  The relationships developed and support received has been priceless.  I know that I would not be at this place had not various people walked (or run) along side of me

The Options
1.  I can train really hard and purpose to run the race regardless of my training time.

2.  I can postpone my participation in the race until 2013.  That way my time is improved and I'm way better prepared.

3.  I can set a goal to determine my participation in the race - by December 19th, if I can run 13.1 miles in 3 hours and 15 minutes, then I'll participate in Disney, if I don't make that time, then I postpone my participation in the race.

I'm pretty torn.  I feel like #3 is the best option....but at the same time, I don't want it to seem like I am quitting or backing off of the overall goal.  The challenge with training is that I'm so tired from work and school (doing both full time is overwhelming) that I don't want to train.  I don't want to get up early and it's too late to go out at night by the time I finish homework.  Like right now as I type this, I just finished homework and it is 3:11am.

If I take option #2, I can complete a 5k each month and participate in a 10k quarterly and do the Baltimore Running Festival Half again to evaluate my overall time.  That puts me in a better place of being prepared for any distance race and my time would half to improve with completing so many races.

If I take option #1, I can purpose to get 4 to 5 hours of sleep each night.  Doing that will allow me to participate in bootcamp & a 5 mile run in the am and then an evening run before homework.  That seems like a lot - but if it were easy, everyone would be doing it right??

Ok, I'm going to bed and will make an official decision tomorrow morning.  Stay Tuned!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Bed Rest

I have a bad habit of over committing myself and my time. Saturday after the race I had two events to go to (of which I only made one) and then yesterday I worked all day, went to counseling, walked a little, did homework and then bed. See what I mean?

So today I put myself on bed rest. I stayed in the bed all day except when I got up to eat (which I need to do again) and to use the bathroom. This is something that I never do unless I am terribly sick or injured, but I think it was necessary. It's quiet and a little lonely but if someone were here I probably wouldn't talk to them anyway.

My body totally doesn't hurt as much anymore. My feet are still tender, but I guess that's to be a little expected. Tomorrow is a new day filled with activities and adventures.....but today is filled quiet and rest....and I like it.

Half Marathon...DONE!!!

...shhhhhh.... I have a secret to share.  I really didn't think that this race was a possibility....shhhh...that is only between you and I.

Pre-Race Excitement
Joking, but ABSOLUTELY serious.  I was nervous about this race.  I was one person of 11,000.  Do you know how many people that is?  Yesterday started for me at an early 3:45am.  I had to get up, get ready and get to Baltimore at a good time.  There are a couple of things that I wanted to accomplish:
 - I wanted to find a good parking spot close to the finish line so that I wouldn't have to go far to get back to the car after everything was over
 - I wanted to figure out where the start line was
 - I wanted to be up front for the singing of the National Anthem
 - I wanted to get safety pins to attach my bib to my shirt since I didn't pick up any at the Health Expo

I joined wave #5 and waited for the alarm to sound.  Because I was so far back, I couldn't hear anything, but the crowd started moving and I moved with them.  Some people started jogging but I figured, "We are nearly a quarter of a mile away from the starting line, why not wait until then to run" - which is what I did.  I started off with a light jog and then into a full press run.  I decided that I would not look back at all throughout the course of the race.  I only want to focus on what's ahead of me and not behind me.  That sort of worked up until everything was silent behind me and I started wondering if I was the last person.  I wasn't, but the 11,000 really spread out.  Around mile two, I thought that I was making a HUGE mistake.  The course was really hard.  There were so many hills at sharp inclines/declines and cross winds that nearly knocked me over.  It was crazy.  At about mile 8 and I half, I was done.  I wanted to get in someone's car and have them drive me to the finish line.  My body was in pain - my back hurt, my right lung hurt (I know, who can really feel their lung...ME) and my feet were getting sore.  I wanted to cheat to be honest with you.  Instead of going around this huge lake, I wanted to join the people who had already traveled around it.

It was good that I went around the lake because there was a paramedic station.  I ended up stopping there because my hands and arms swelled up so much that I couldn't move them, my back was super stiff and my lung hurt.  The doctor checked my lungs and said everything sounded clear (but had me take a puff of my inhaler), gave me three ibuprofen, and had me put icyhot on my back.  After that stop, I was back on  the course.  At about mile 10, I wanted to stop and just cry.  I paused, but couldn't completely stop, I couldn't.  When I was on the last stretch, mile 12, I had to fight back the tears.  In the distance, I could see the finish line and thought to myself, "Rochelle, your not a quitter anymore" and it did something to me.  I had my phone and someone sent a text that said, "The race is not given to the swift nor to the strong, but to the one who endures until the end".  They didn't know that I was walking at a snails pace when they sent that message.  They didn't know that I felt like I could not take one more step and that inside I was feeling like a complete failure because I well surpassed my goal time.  It was exactly what I needed to hear.  I had endured to the end.  I wasn't fast and my body was weak, but I endured!

I get to Camden Yard and can see the finish line.  People start cheering and I'm fighting the tears really hard now.  The photographer said, "If your going to cry, cry now.  When you get to that finish line, you run as hard as you can with the biggest smile on your face because you are almost done" and that is what I did.  I wiped my face, picked up my pace and smiled.  The cheering felt like being in an amphitheater filled with a cheering crowd and I was the star of the show.  My time?  A jaw dropping 4 hours and 48 minutes.  Am I disappointed..yes and no.  Yes because it's not the time that I wanted.  No because I didn't not quit, I did not faint.  I DID IT!!

If I could do something different, I would
 - get more than 2 hours of sleep before a big race
 - eat something so my stomach isn't completely empty
 - stretch everyday the week of the race to help my muscles
 - train harder & cross train more frequently
 - stop believing the lie that I can't do this, because clearly I can

When the official photo's are available, I will post some, but I am super proud of yesterday's accomplishment.  Now I have to recover and get to training for Disney in January.

Saturday, October 15, 2011


With less than 12 hours left before my half marathon begins and ends, I'm filled with thoughts. So much so that I feel like I could either throw up or cry uncontrollably. Why?

Because I have been an awesome quitter over the course of my life and I haven't completely quit this goal. I have made goal after goal and very rarely seen them to completion. This marathon journey goal has not been what I thought it would be. I haven't done everything that I wanted to do. I haven't been as consistent as I feel I should have been in my training. But at the end of the day.... I didn't throw in the towel. I should have been in the bed hours ago, buy I had school work to do.

The next time you hear from me, I will be a half marathon completer. Regardless of the time and even if I'm the last person to cross the finish line, I will be one step away from completing this MARATHON JOURNEY!!!