Thursday, April 22, 2010

Training on So Many Levels

So I'm training for a half-marathon coming up next weekend. Two weeks ago my knees start aching, as in ALL. THE. TIME. It's not the usual dull ache that goes away after a few hours; it's a nagging pain on the inner side of both knees. I've been doing leg and hip strengthening exercises to counter knee pain, but the miles are starting to catch up to me.

I've been running on the treadmill, 4-5 days a week, for a decade. I'm no speedster, but I have had pretty good endurance and been blessed to have no injuries. Till two weeks ago. It's week 7 of my 10-week training schedule, and I'm hurting. What do you do?

Ice, ice, baby! As the song goes. Read the Runners World reports/research online. Take ibuprofen and extra Vitamin C. Pray. Push through Week 8, log another 20+ miles for the week. Shop for new shoes that have some arch support for my horrendously flat feet. Pray some more. Try not to cry when you can barely walk. Hey, I know the deal--"Listen to your body!"....but I've got $50 on the line here. That's how much I spent to register for this race, and I am not wasting that money!! After all, we are on a single income here, raising 5 kids on a teacher's salary and $50 is hard to come by. I feel selfish having spent it in the first place.

Speaking of money, look at $140:

Aren't they something? Asics Kayano 16s...the gel in the heel, the off-center lacing...all the latest research. My feet are thanking me, and I am thanking my brother-in-law for the employee discount. I never, EVER dreamed I would pay over $100 for a pair of shoes, but these shoes are worth every penny in how much better my legs, knees, and feet feel right now! (And I know it seems like I'm idolizing my shoes, but I thought - hey, we take a picture of our first car and other major purchases, right? Well, THIS is a major purchase for me! So I'm going to remember how pretty and clean they were when I first bought 'em.)

This is not to say that the pain has gone away. Oh no, no, no, no, no. After being on my feet all day last Friday, I still have a long ways to go. The slanted hills I've been running on are probably the biggest culprit. I rested for 4 days, prayed some more, and went into Scripture. (God is saying, "You bonehead Amy, why does it have to take a week of physical pain to get you into My Word further than you've been in a while??" Okay, He probably doesn't use the word 'bonehead', but I'm going for a feeling here.)

Do not have any gods before me. 2nd commandment, Exodus 20:3

Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I say, Rejoice! Be gentle and kind to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but pray about everything, always giving thanks. And the peace of God that passes all understanding will keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Phil 4:4-7

Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things. Colossians 3:3

Wow, was I making this training a god? Was I giving it too much of my time, energy, and focus? Perhaps. I can say, that Philippians 4 hit me over the head. "Be gentle and kind to all. The Lord is near." I've been living "the Lord is near" part out a lot, I think, for about half a year at least. I feel like a stranger in this land (cue the Kutless song) and like so many people aren't living their lives for Christ. But then I am convicted--and God says, "Who do you think YOU are?" I'm no perfect follower of Him, either! "Be gentle and kind to all"...Yikes, there I fall. Take that knee pain and let it be a reminder to you, Amy. How kind and gentle are you to your kids? To your husband? To the people who irritate you? But especially with the kids. I'm in the middle of three books right now, one of them being "Love and Logic for Early Childhood", and there it is in black and white: yelling and threatening your kids will send the message to them that you aren't capable of caring for them and that they aren't capable of acting responsibly.

It's common sense, right? Well, take it from someone who's been classified as "book smart"...I don't always have or use common sense. It doesn't come naturally for me. I need reassurance and lots of good examples. And practice. So I read, talk with others, observe, and try to practice this Love and Logic stuff on my own kids. Take the young one, she's the most impressionable and I haven't messed her up as much as the others yet. After three days of sympathy, trigger words "Uh-oh! I'm having an Energy Drain!" and applying's working!!! Last night as the twins were on the verge of another meltdown, Wynne said, "Energy Drain!!" Just put a cap on my head that says "PARENT IN TRAINING". It only took me 11 years to ask for help!

Can I blame my husband for a little of this, please? I've lamented my lack of parenting skills (esp. when it comes to child behavior and helping around the house) with him, and he says, "You don't need to read it out of a book. We don't need a parenting class!" And I've always agreed with him. Did my parents read these books and take classes on how to raise 9 kids? Of course not!

But then it dawns on I've been on this Lenten journey, this physical training schedule...this reading...this praying....this is who I am. This is how I learn best and function best. My husband is blessed with common sense and is innately a good judge of character. He also is more naturally inclined to stay calm and be direct with the kids. Me, on the other hand--I need to study and practice. I need this structure. And I especially need to lean on the Lord. He has given me the tools and put people and ideas in my path to be used. The one constant is that I must put Him first.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6

As I sit here typing this and icing my knees, I realize that no matter what happens over the next 10 days, God will work it out. He is first and He is last, and all the stuff I'm doing is really of no significance if I don't point to Him in it.

Be gentle and kind to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but pray about everything, always giving thanks. And the peace of God that passes all understanding will keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

Do not waste time arguing over godless ideas and old wives’ tales. Instead, train yourself to be godly. Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come. --1 Timothy 4:7-8


Blogger Astrid said...

Take it easy on yourself, Amy! You're an awesome mom!!!

Oh...I'm pretty sure knee surgery is a lot more than $140 so consider those shoes a bargain! LOL! Your shoes are way fancier than mine! And oh've been jogging 20 miles per week? Hmmm...I certainly haven't! Yikes! (I'll admit I'm nervous about the upcoming Doom's Day...errr...half marathon! LOL!)

April 22, 2010 at 7:42 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

Thanks Astrid, I'm seriously not fishing for compliments. I have a lot of work to do - you don't see me in my Incredible Hulk moments.

The kid who sold me the shoes at MC Sports is an avid runner, and I had done my research on them. I never dreamt I would be getting them, but once I tried them on, I just couldn't take anything else. Yeah, my program has had me on anywhere from 15 to 22 miles, building weekly. I'm in the taper now, thank goodness!

April 22, 2010 at 2:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hello... hapi blogging... have a nice day! just visiting here....

April 23, 2010 at 3:00 PM  

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