Monday, February 23, 2015

How Goes the Running?


Running is like the best kind of solitude for me. I work things out on the road. Its funny, because I really believe God put this in my path quite intentionally. There have been several times in my life when I felt like the Holy Spirit just kind of placed something in front of me and said, "Hey, here you go. I think you might like this." And it would be just what I needed, but wasn't actually seeking. Has that ever happened to you?

So its no accident that I identify myself with something really positive right now, like being a runner. Even though I'm pretty new at it. It stretches me, it gives me confidence, it strengthens me - mentally, physically, spiritually. It brings me closer to God in a different way. Even though I feel so strong and alive, I know that God is the One behind it all, the real source of my strength and life. I have no idea why He thinks running should be my thing right now. I know I love it, I'm slightly obsessed, and its wrapping me up as a better person (I think and hope), but really .... running, Lord? Never would have thought. So glad He did.

So I have officially begun my half-marathon training plan for the Calgary Scotiabank race at the end of May. I haven't taken any time off running since the race last month, but I did ease up the week after for a bit of a recovery. My first long run after the race was only 6 miles - but I've been steadily increasing again. This weekend, I ran 9 miles followed by a 1.5 mile cool-down walk. Oh, you guys, it was so gross. The weather here on Saturday took a turn. It was really windy and snowy and felt like -18C with the windchill. Y'all, I really love cold weather running, but I do not dig the wind. I had to push myself to get out there, but what motivated me most was knowing that I didn't want to do my long run on Sunday. I live for Sunday ... especially Sundays during Lent ... my coffee after Mass, a little reading, hanging out with the kids, maybe a little sewing ... Sundays are our glory day. So yeah, I decided to brave the gross weather Saturday for the sake of Sunday. Hey, you pretty much never regret a run.

Every long run is a practice for race-day. I'm experimenting with pre-race meals, hydration and fuel during the race. These are hot topics in the running culture. What to do, what to do??? The GU chomps seem to work well but I don't really have anything to compare it to, yet. I tried a gel once and eeeewwwwwww, yuk, I really could barely lick it without gagging. But I'm thinking I should try it again since the gels are pretty ideal in terms of fuel and you won't choke on them like the chomps. I'll have to keep experimenting. On Saturday I fuelled with a cheese-toast and coffee a couple hours before the run, then a few pretzels about half an hour before I left. I also took some pretzels with me because I get the munchies during the long run. All that seemed to work ok but I think I can improve. Next weekend I'm going to approach it more objectively by fuelling with calories based on body weight and miles to run. We'll see. Any tips?

All for now! 


  1. I really am so happy for you!!!
    You *almost* make me want to run. Actually, you DO make me, but I am just so scared of hurting myself again : / Once I look into those books you recommended, though, you and the books may do me in. When the weather is nicer ;-)

  2. oh, Chia seeds. Have you tried them?

    1. Actually, no! But we have them in the house! My daughter bought a bag so they are in our pantry, she tried them once ... what should I do with them? Fuel?

    2. they are supposedly fabulous running fuel ~ just google chia seeds and running.
      I prefer to pop some in my mouth (whole) and then drink water, rather than putting them in something and letting them gel, then eating/drinking it. Not sure how that'd work mid-marathon..... And when you come across the pudding recipe, and think, Oh, this will be fabulous for my family - just know that it doesn't really taste like pudding. ;-)

  3. What about a banana or apple with or without 2 teaspoons of peanut or almond butter?Maybe an hour before, or just fruit thirty minutes? As for meals, avoiding anything super heavy on the meat is a good idea. If you are craving animal protein, fish is the lightest, then chicken would be next. Don't forget about hard boiled eggs: you could do them pretty close to your running time. An egg (any way) with spinach or similar and some avocado toast would be a good meal when you need something that won't weigh you down on a day you are trading. Apples are great anytime. You can't go wrong with apples. Raspberries are quite light as well. Fruit salad! Okay, I will stop now. ����


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