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The House of God, Forever

God is my shepherd
I won’t be wanting
I won’t be wanting
He makes me rest
In fields of green
With quite streams
Even though I walk
Through the valley
Of death and dying
I will not fear
‘Cause you are with me
You are with me

Your shepherd staff
Comforts me
You are my feast
In the presence of enemy
Surely goodness
Follow me
Follow me
In the house of God, forever

God is my shepherd
I won’t be wanting
I won’t be wanting
He makes me rest
In fields of green
Like quiet streams
Even while I’m walking
Through the valley
Of death and dying
I will not fear
‘Cause you are with me
You’re always with me

Your shepherd staff
Comforts me
You are my feast
In the presence of enemy
Surely goodness
Follow me
Follow me
In the house of God, forever
In the house of God, forever
In the house of God, forever

Where have I been?

It’s a good thing I didn’t commit to a post a day, because I can’t even handle a post a week! I hate feeling like I’m not doing my best and for the past month, I’m not sure if I’ve been at my best in any aspect of life from school/work to relationships with people to this blog. This past Monday, I was feeling extra overwhelmed and frustrated with myself. Instead of taking the day to tackle the long list of things I needed/could get done, I threw Carl in the truck (not literally) and drove up to CP for a run in the woods. I didn’t even know where we were going I just knew that if I drove north, I’d find a place. After driving around in circles, I decided to go to the Vischer Ferry Preserve and run east. We’ve always parked and walked west toward the power plant so I had no idea how far it went in the other direction.

BTW…Holding a leash and trying to run is the worst, but Carl and I worked out a system. I loop the leash around my waist, securing it with the plastic bag he never needs, and he runs at my side without pulling (unless he sees a rabbit). As a result, my arms are able to swing freely, I have a metronome/body guard at my side, AND I’m abiding by the leash law.

The Preserve is beautiful and I’ve missed out on most of it my entire life. I can’t believe it! The trail runs along the old Erie Canal so it’s straight and you will have to do an out-and-back or point-to-point run/walk, but that also means less chance of getting disoriented for any of you who get lost easily. At times, I felt like we were the only ones for miles around. I was determined to see the end of the trail so we kept going until the main entrance at Riverview and VanVranken Road. From there, you have two more options, but I decided we’d better turn back. Our total run time: 45 minutes! Yes! We were going slow and didn’t cover many miles, but it was satisfying to be running again for that length of time without any pain.

Funny thing…The run felt great, but the high faded and I was left still feeling empty. The drive home, I cried. Later that night after a staff meeting, I cried. I was hurting for reasons I couldn’t even articulate. But you know, I didn’t pray about it. I didn’t feel like it. I was feeling so crummy about myself and wanted to wait until I felt less crummy about myself to approach God as if I could actually do something. For two days I kept this charade up. Finally, I succumbed to the astronomical weight I was shouldering. I said “Lord, where have I been?” There is nothing like pouring your heart out to God, knowing He hears you and cares for you. Knowing not because some guy in a pulpit says so, but knowing with every fiber of your being that you are CHANGED because of that love.

Then, I opened to Matthew and read about Jesus healing people over and over again. Their faith made them well. Not their good deeds. Not their ability to keep the law. Faith.

“And behold, a woman who had suffered from a discharge of blood for twelve years came up behind him and touched the fringe of his garment, for she said to herself, ‘If I only touch his garment, I will be made well.’ Jesus turned, seeing her he said, ‘Take heart, daughter, your faith has made you well.’ And instantly the woman was made well.” – Matthew 9:20-22

How encouraging those words are to me, and I hope to you as well, because it reminds me that I don’t have to be squeaky clean for God to love me. He wants me in my brokenness. For that I am thankful. Thankful for what Jesus did on the cross. How He died in my place and rose again three days later that I might know God personally and experience His love. What a wonderful, awe inspiring thing. I’m thankful for the God who allows me to run, has given me a passion for it in my heart, but does not let it come between me and Him.

Weekly Recap #8

I’m sorry that my weekly posts became bi-weekly, but I will go back to posting at least once a week. The start of the school year is always tumultuous for me. It takes a couple of weeks to get my brain back in thinking shape. I also started my new job and it’s wonderful. I’m learning a ton, but part of that learning process is realizing that there is so much to learn. I don’t know what I’m doing most of the time and I feel like a burden to those training me, but they are kind and patient. I’ll be in training for awhile so I can only hope that at the end of it I will feel much better than I feel now. Until then, I’m going to keep scribbling notes in my little notebook and try not to mess up too badly!

How’s my running going? Not too shabby. I’ve laced up my shoes a couple of times and gone out with the hubs. Running together is great (I pretend he’s having as much fun as me) and so far, September has been beautiful and perfect for running. It’s cross-country season after all! I haven’t worried about pace or length of runs. It’s been great. Just running to run and enjoy each other’s company. My foot has been feeling better, too. No need to call the doctor. I don’t think. We found a flat, gravel trail about 10 minutes from our place so we’ve gone there a couple of times and it’s been good for our feet. Any ideas for soft trails in the Albany area? I want to avoid concrete sidewalks and other hard surfaces as much as possible. I should mention that we aren’t fans of the Pine Bush, even though many runners go there, so suggestions other than there are welcome. Although, if you can make a good argument in defense of it, I’ll consider it. We’ve experienced firsthand the high tick population there. I know ticks are everywhere, but I think what makes that place “globally unique,” so called by the website, also makes it the perfect tick environment. Be warned.

One of the best things about my new job is that I get to hear people talk about their running all day. It’s also one of the hardest. Being injured and coming back from it challenges all runners of any level. Coming back from injury is a lot like being a new runner and there are many mistakes that can be made. Check back later in the week for my list of common mistakes runners make that I’ve observed/been guilty of over the years.

 

Weekly Recap #7

Two weeks ago, I was feeling sorry for myself something awful and indulging in Oreo flurries wasn’t helping. No running. No biking. I was in the midst of waiting for my foot to get better. Again. Have I gone to the doctor? Uh…funny thing about that. I’ve taken on another last name, but I haven’t left my roots behind. In my family, we’re always trying to convince someone to go to the doctor while simultaneously refusing to go ourselves.

I have to tell a story because it sums us up. Calling you out, Mom! One day, I was kicking around the yard while Mom trimmed the front bushes with an electric hedge trimmer…She says, “Ouch.” No exclamation. Shuts off the trimmer and walks in the house. I stopped doing whatever it was I was doing and watched her go in the house, unconcerned, but I had that feeling I better go investigate. I follow the sound of running water to the kitchen. She could have been washing dishes. She was that calm. Approaching her from behind I asked, “Mom? Are you okayYYyyeeech! What happened?!” Peering around her, I saw that the sink was full of blood. Whatever she was using to stop the blood wasn’t stopping it. She asked if I could go get her a towel. I scampered back and forth trying not to get too worked up, but somebody had to be concerned since Mom wasn’t. I had to CONVINCE her to go to the urgent care and I insisted on driving (I had my permit at the time). Turns out she almost cut the tip of her finger off, but a few stitches kept it intact. She probably has a different story to tell you, but trust me, getting my mom to doctor is the hardest thing in the world. She could be missing a fingertip if it wasn’t for me. Love you, Mom! 🙂

Getting me to the doctor is pretty tough, too. Ask the hubs. He’s been telling me for awhile now to get my foot checked out again, but I keep thinking that it’ll be okay in a week. Just another week… This is it though. Really. Next Monday, if my foot is still bothering me, I’ll call the doctor. Internet, keep me accountable! I did run for 15 min. twice this week and my foot really wasn’t sore. Just a twinge or two during. Little victory? Maybe I don’t have to go to the doctor? 😉

In the last two weeks, God gently convicted me about my attitude for which I am thankful (conviction isn’t always gentle!). Satisfaction in Him is sweet. Sweet. So sweet. Running doesn’t compare. Not coincidentally, as the Lord drew me closer to Him, I was filled with peace about a lot of different things that were weighing on my mind. In the last two weeks, he also gave me a job! It’s running related so even though my own running isn’t happening, I get to help others and be a part of the running community! Exciting. Exciting.

Tentative Race Plan

Southern Saratoga YMCA 5k 

I think this was my first 5k race. I was young (elementary school age), eager, and charged off the line only to die later. My family cheered for me from our front yard around the 2 mile mark and I could tell they could tell I was fading. Hopefully, I’ve learned a little since then and I won’t go out too fast. It helps that I’m VERY familiar with the route since I grew up in a house along it.

Fast facts: August 14 (Tuesday) at 6:30 PM. Day of race registration available until 30 min. prior to start. $25. FLAT

Helpers Fund 5k

This race is part of the Adirondack Marathon Distance Festival. I remember it as a small, intimate race, but it could have grown in the last 5 years. At the time, I had what was probably an undiagnosed stress fracture, but I never had to get it checked out because I got real sick about a month after this race and couldn’t run for a long time. Oh, the memories…

Fast facts: September 22 (Saturday) at 9:30 AM. Day of race registration available 7-8:30 AM. $15 by Sept. 18, $21 starting Sept. 19. The awards were wooden carved bears holding a bottle of maple syrup.

12th Annual Great Pumpkin Challenge 5k

I’ve never run this, but I want to race in Saratoga this fall. Unfortunately, it isn’t the same course I grew up racing, but I think it would still be nice to be racing at the Spa in fall. I’m considering this race instead, but I wish it wasn’t a Sunday. I’ll decide when the time comes.

Fast facts: October 20 at 9:30 AM. No day of race registration. $22 before 10/1; $25 before 10/20.

The Foundation for Ellis Medicine’s Cardiac Classic 5k

This is the race. This is the race I’m looking to run well. I ran it last year and really enjoyed the course. My family decided that everyone would run it this year. I hope they’re still looking forward to it…

Fun facts: November 22 (Thanksgiving Day!) at 9:00 AM. No day of race registration. It does have a gradual hill about midway, but it races like a fast, flat course.

Well, there you have it. My tentativerace plan based on my tentative training plan. I have no idea whether the plan in my head is really going to work out. I’m giving my foot another month to heal before I really start training. Should I call the doctor? Probably. I keep telling myself that he’s just going to tell me what I already know. To rest it. Don’t run. Don’t do anything that makes it hurt. He barely looked at me during my last appointment. I was in the office for almost 1.5 hours and I saw the doctor for maybe 2 minutes. I’m not eager to go back there and the thing is…it doesn’t hurt that bad. Are those good excuses? 😉

I’m antsy to be pain free again. It’s really throwing a kink in my ability to pretend to be a gymnast. But, huzzah! Track and Field starts TODAY!! Don’t know anything about track? Check out The Non-Track Fan’s Guide to the Olympics for some pointers.

Reflecting on this today: “…for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.” ~I Timothy 4:8

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.