Thursday, April 1, 2010

No Fooling!!

I've been training to run in the Prairie du Chien Half-Marathon. There. I said it!!

I am nervous, scared, psyched, determined, bewildered, and completely overwhelmed. I'm 5 weeks into a 10-week training program for beginners. This has been on my bucket list for a long time, and as I approach my 40th birthday I just feel like it's now or never.

Now that I've written it down in my blog, it's official. The only people who knew about it (before now) are my husband, children, brother-in-law, friend Astrid (whose own entrance into a halfer inspired me) and pastor. Once I told my pastor, I knew there was no turning back.

Pastor Mark said, "It'll be fun!" This is coming from a guy who says going on a mission trip in one of the most dangerous parts of the world is "fun". A guy who is about to deploy to the Middle East for his second tour of duty. Not sure if our definitions of "fun" line up exactly!

But I have to admit, I love running. Ever since my high school track days, I've enjoyed a jog. I've lived on my treadmill for 4 to 5 mornings a week for ten years now. I've never been much of a competitor, but training for this race (which is technically a "run", but in my mind has become a "race") has brought out some competitive vibes in me. I was kind of hoping to lose weight, too, but five weeks in, I can tell you that ain't been happening.

The runs, however, have been something I look forward to...and dread. I didn't know I could feel those two feelings at the same time (anticipation and dread), but there's no way else I can describe it. Once a week I emerge from the NordicTrack and get to go OUTSIDE and run. Those outdoor runs are both exhilarating and terrifying. The fresh air, the rising sun, the sound of rushing spring water...all amazing. God is there and He's with me and thank God He is, because then come the terrifying parts: the dogs, the red-winged blackbirds (who used to swoop down on me like a Hitchcock movie back in high school training days), and the hills. Killer hill is the last one on my way back home, and it's broad and steep...and like I said before...killer.

But in those moments of feeling like "I'm dying here", I am alive. I have lots of good prayer time and Scripture memorization and singing/praise time in my head. I have a goal, something to look forward to...and it is the most alive I've felt in a long time.

It's timed out perfectly that I've been training through Lent. Every time I feel like complaining about the pain and hunger my body is going through, I just think about how it's a teeny-tiny fraction of what my Lord and Savior went through for me. (And He didn't get a t-shirt at the end!) And I feel very blessed to have my husband's strong support in this, and the ability to free up and leave the house. It's kind of selfish of me to do this, but I also want to be able to show my kids that you're never too old to set goals and work hard toward them.

Speaking of kids, they've seen more of my training and stretching than in years past. It is not reserved for the basement anymore, as sometimes I have to get kids ready for school while I'm finishing up a workout. Wynne likes to grab a resistance tube and join me.

My wish list currently includes:
-some sort of music player thingie (dare I say "I pod" or "MP3 player")
-new duct tape to re-position the book holder on the treadmill
-a new right patella
-a spi-belt to hold my cell phone
-a watch (even though I hate wearing one, it would be nice to keep myself on pace)
-new running shoes (although I hate to jinx myself; my New Balance are working out well but just getting worn out a little)

Whoa, baby! That's kind of how I feel right over my head.

One month from today it's go-time. ONE MONTH. Breathe in; breathe out.

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize. 1 Corinthians 9:24-27


Blogger Astrid said...

Good luck Amy! I know how you feel! I'm extremely nervous- but then again I was never in love with jogging. I like it fine. I think it's great exercise....BUT once this halfer is done...I won't be busting my you-know-what! LOL!!!

(I need new shoes and a place for my cell phone too)

April 1, 2010 at 11:06 AM  

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