Weekly Recap #3

Monday: 3.1 (27:30) + GS workout. The threat of storms kept me close to the house and doing odd loops at the end to add on time. I was hurting something fierce though. Just happened to run 5k distance. It’s odd how bad I’ve been feeling. Hmm.

Tuesday: Off

Wednesday: 2.1 mi (18:02) Relaxed. Easy. Everything felt good. Just started to get warmed up, but since my foot felt good and I felt food, I decided to call it quits as a precaution.

Thursday: 30 min. “hill” workout on an elliptical + GS workout. Yep. You read that right. I faced my fear and got on the same elliptical that wounded me back in March. Never was a person more cautious than I was using that machine. It was a good workout, but I’d rather be outside.

Friday: 31 min. with Carl at the Corning Preserve. Probably went just shy of 3 miles, but that’s pushing it a bit for my sprinter/jumper of a dog. Still building his endurance. Took two walking breaks since it was pretty warm. Pulled a giant tick off of the pup. Gross. My fault for having us run in the grass next to the path. I felt great since I didn’t run right after eating a big meal. 🙂

Saturday: Off

Sunday: Off

Total: Let’s say 10-ish for the week.

Watching the Olympics gets me so pumped to workout and we haven’t even gotten to the track and field/marathon events (my favorite, duh). Friday night a few of us got together for an Opening Ceremonies party. We all had to bring a different dish from a different country, which we randomly picked out of a hat. I drew Brazil and an entree so I brought Brazilian Chicken and Rice minus the olives because who likes olives? It was yummy.

Keep an eye out for my tentative racing plan coming out this week. Also, I’ve been thinking about becoming a falconer since me and the hubs saw a birds of prey show the other day. Not really. But, I thought this guy was pretty cool.

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Weekly Recap #2

July 16-July 22

Monday: 3.8 mi (31:41) in Clifton Park after sunset. Still pretty sticky. Felt like the Michelin Man today. Didn’t help I was wearing a white top. Choked on a bug. Got attacked by beetles. Legs felt a little blah. Too much good food over the weekend.

I don’t claim any rights to this photo.

Tuesday: Okay, so I was going to run and then I decided to take Carl to the Normanskill. We walked around in there for bit and he enjoyed getting wet and blowing bubbles in the water. In case you forgot, it was also a million degrees out and I think I got too hot ’cause later, making dinner, the room started spinning and I was like “whoa, honey, you may have to finish dinner.” It was all good though ’cause after eating some peanut butter and a carrot I started feeling better. But, I wasn’t about to get all hot again and risk heat stroke/puking up my dinner (the real reason) so I didn’t run. The hubs and I got Klondike bars instead and watched a movie.

BTW, this is Carl. Cool as a cucumber on the other side of the pillow.

Wednesday: 4.1 mi (34ish) in Clifton Park, again. Immediately followed by about 30min of ultimate frisbee, the only bit of speed work I can handle at the moment. I felt like the sludge I’ve been eating lately. PROPER FUEL IS IMPORTANT. Need to go grocery shopping. *Later at night* foot just a smidge sore.

Thursday: Off (precaution)

Friday: Off (Ryan and I planned to run at the Corning Preserve. Then, I immediately fell asleep on couch and he didn’t try and wake me.)

Saturday: 4.25 mi (36:08) in CP. We were up there a lot this week. Mom unexpectedly made a big dinner and I ate it all and then ran afterward. I’m never doing that again, but I’ve said that in the past. Oh, and I got a surprise in the mail today! 3rd place in my age group earned me a medal! Thank you, Evelyn, for kindly mailing my prize.

Who’s pumped for the Olympics??? I am.

Total: 12.15

Ultimate Frisbee made my foot flair up just enough that I don’t want to push it and run more/week than I’m running. I’m considering doing some cross-training this week. It’ll be helpful to see how the foot responds to that and it could be a good way to gain fitness, but I strongly dislike gyms and my bike is barely functional.

Psalm 46

A look inside…

On Wednesday, I snuck my run in before youth group, finishing it up at the church. Running in CP is good for my foot because I can easily avoid hills and the asphalt/side of the road there is noticeably softer and more comfortable than the concrete sidewalks of the city. I can’t avoid people though when I feel bad; there’s always people running in CP. There’s this guy who I’ve often seen running around there. You can tell he knows the difference between tempo and marathon pace (not sure I know). Good arm carriage. Relaxed, but powerful stride. Usually, when I see him, I get inspired to run. I saw him on Tuesday during my run and I wasn’t inspired…

He had the “I’m tired because I just finished a killer workout, but I could still kick your butt” look about him and since he was moving away from a track I assumed he had just finished a killer workout. I, on the other hand, was shuffling along and breathing way too hard for an easy run. Form? What is form? In that moment, I wished I was like him because he obviously was in shape, fast, injury free, able to run in extreme temperatures without ill effects, beloved by all, and bored with his car at home in the parking garage beneath his mansion so he’s going out to buy a new one. With cash. Man, that escalated quickly.

One of the easiest traps for me to fall into is comparing myself to others which leads to some crazy assumptions. When it comes to running, I usually don’t compare myself to guys because the stakes aren’t the same. But that day, I was feeling vulnerable. And then, I came to my senses. Maybe Mr. Cool Running-Sunglasses-That-I-Have-Always-Wanted is all those things. And maybe he isn’t. It doesn’t matter to my training. It doesn’t matter to my self worth.

It’s not just in running that I become susceptible to this woeful way of thinking. Time and time again I catch myself thinking Wow, she has great hair. My hair is never going to look like that or she’s so patient and never snaps at her husband. She probably makes a gourmet meal every night and LOVES cleaning the toilet, too. Maybe I’m alone in thinking like this, but probably not, eh?

That’s when I have to stop and say, “whoa there, Molly.” And Philippians 4:8 comes into play:

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. (ESV)

Running gives me time to think. To my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, pray for me that this verse (and others) will pop into my head whenever I begin to wrongfully compare myself to others.

Weekly Recap #1

July 9-July 15

Monday: 5.5 mi (45:19) in Clifton Park. Set out to run for at least 40 min. at a comfortable pace. Felt good and stretched the loop a little longer. Running through the Shenendehowa campus got me thinking about my CP Track Club days when I ran for the pure joy of it. Trying to get that back! Also got me thinking about how the Shen coaches tried to get me to transfer there. How different a direction my life could have gone!

Tuesday: 2.1 mi (22:44) in Rensselaer with Ryan and the pup. It was hot. We took a walking break halfway. I love running with my little family.

Wednesday: Off.

Thursday: Basketball with Ryan. I know not running, but I told myself I’d run when the sun started to go down. Then we made a very tasty meal of cheeseburgers, corn on the cob, and sweet potato fries. I didn’t feel like running with all that in my belly.

Friday: 3.22 mi (28:15) at 10 a.m. HOT! Knew I was going to be miserable so just wanted to run for at least 20 min. Almost melted away to nothing.

Saturday: Off

Sunday: Off

Total: 10.82

Foot holding up great. I’ve been trying to just listen to my body and be patient. Every week it’s improving. I want it to stay that way. The planting and jumping on Thursday bothered it a little, but nothing alarming. I’ll leave you with a picture of Thursday’s sunset ’cause sunsets are pretty.

Sunset from Ridge Road

“Not to us, O LORD, not to us, but to your name give glory”

I’ve gone and done it. I’ve started a blog. Let me explain it from the beginning…

A year ago, I was in the midst of summer training. After a five year hiatus from competitive running (4 years at Syracuse University gettin’ learned and 1 year adjusting to married life/overcoming a mysterious illness), I decided in May 2011 to try out for the cross-country team at the school where I would be seeking my masters degree. I didn’t even know if it was possible, but I had to try. At the time, I was an assistant for the girls’ track team at my old high school. I loved watching our tiny team improve throughout the season, but I wasn’t satisfied with recording splits I knew I could still run. I realized that I missed it. All of it. I missed the long runs, the hill workouts, and the mile repeats.

So, I prayed. I told God what I wanted to do and asked that He would make it clear whether it was something I ought to do. With a crazy dream and an encouraging husband, I started making my “old” body start moving again. I am so thankful for a coach who was kind and welcoming to me, a stranger he only knew through e-mail. I received a summer training plan, access to the team’s on-line training log, and got to work at the beginning of June. I only had three months to get in 40 miles a week shape. 40/wk may not seem like that much to some, but it was a lot for me when I was starting out at ZERO.

All summer long, I ran and I recorded everything on-line for strangers (soon-t0-be teammates/coaches) to see. It kept me accountable. If I didn’t run the week it was in the 90s with 1,000% humidity, they would know and I didn’t want to let them down. It paid off. I made the team and the rest is history. Apparently, I was the only one who thought 1) I wasn’t fast enough and 2) that the NCAA had some rule that would prevent me from being eligible (that came later).  Despite my doubts about my abilities, God made it clear that this was something I ought to do!

I had a great cross season not because I was blowing people out of the water with my times, but because I was accomplishing goals I hadn’t thought possible just months before. On November 6, I toed the line for the NCAA Northeast Regional inBoston. I remember thinking, with my wonderful husband and Mom in support behind me, what a blessing. I prayed the opening line of Psalm 115:1 (see title) as I always did prior to races. Praying that what I accomplished in the race that day would not bring glory to myself, but to God. I ended up having a bad race. Physically, I felt turrible. Just turrible. My legs were like lead from the gun. There was no pop. No magic feeling of invincibility. It was just the grueling act of putting one foot in front of the other for 6 kilometers. When I finished the race, I couldn’t say “Wow, Molly! Look what you’ve done!”  But, I was still able to say “Wow, God! Look what you’ve done!” He brought me all the way to a finish line I never expected to reach.

I still have one year left of grad school, but no more eligibility to participate in college sports. I don’t know where God is leading me now, but I’m excited to find out and for you to join me in this adventure. I will be logging my workouts every week and feeding you bits of inspiration in other posts. Bear with me in the beginning weeks as I work to get back in shape. On July 4th I hopped in a 5k and clocked one of my slowest 5ks ever, BUT I still had fun and enjoyed being surrounded by all different types of runners. For now, my only goal is to break 20 in the 5k again. Simple enough, right? Gulp.

Feel free to comment. I’d love to hear from you!