Self-Care

Last summer I did participate in the Couch to 5K program except that our coach also offered a 5K to 10K program.  The race we’ve traditionally run at the end of the program offers a 5K or a 10K option, so it was an easy addition to the program.  I registered for the 10K program.

I ran more miles last summer than ever before, but I made a huge mistake.  The school year before had been stressful and difficult, so I really felt like I just needed to rest and relax.  So, I decided to relax and have fun with my running.  Instead of listening to a metronome to keep my pace on track, I toyed with listening to music.  I tried different genres and different tempos, but never found a tempo to keep my pace where it should be.  I know a lot of people listen to music or podcasts while running.  It just doesn’t work for me.

I naturally want to run slow and with a long stride, so that’s what happened.  My stride got longer and I got slower which makes for more work on the body.  By the time I realized this, it was so late in the program that I decided to not try to correct it at that time.

I did complete the program and ran my first 10K!  It was a great feeling of accomplishment.  Cinderella participated in the Couch to 5K program for the first time and did a great job as well. By this time, I was the heaviest I had been for a few years.

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I’ve learned that relaxation can come in the form of self-care.  That has been my focus in 2019, which is why I’ve shared with you some of the new things I’ve been doing this year–like journaling and Bright Line Eating.  Little things like this add up quickly and can give us the energy we need to do other things well.

If you’re feeling tired, exhausted, discouraged, or burned out, I encourage you to find some things that you can do regularly to take care of yourself.  Think of it as maintenance just like you would maintain your car to keep it running smoothly and efficiently.  Filling it up with gas, keeping the oil changed, keeping the tires aired up, giving it a wash and wax every now and then are all important in keeping your car running smoothly so it will perform the way you want it to.  We must do the same for ourselves, not just physically, but mentally and emotionally as well.

Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.  Matthew 11:28

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My 10-Year Journal

Journaling or keeping a diary is not something I’ve ever kept up with for very long.  As a kid I had the typical diary with the lock and key–you know, the kind that anyone can open.  That lock always made it seem so exciting and mysterious.  However, I never kept up with it for very long.

I have always enjoyed writing, however, as long as I had someone to write to.  In seventh grade, we had a teacher that sent off and got pen pals for the entire class.  I did get a pen pal, maybe two, but again that didn’t last long either.

My favorite and most faithful pen pal was my grandmother that lived 600 miles away.  Remember, this was before any form of electronic communications.  Snail mail was the way to go, and getting a personal letter in the mail was exciting.  This was also the time of being billed by the minute for long-distance phone calls, so talking on the phone to someone outside of your city was really special–and expensive.

I am once again trying journaling.  Some of the books that I’ve enjoyed reading are made up of people’s journals.  I found a 10-year journal on Amazon that I am really enjoying.  Once I get a few years under my belt, I’m wondering if I’ll enjoy going back over the previous years’ entries.

img_20190403_1341545269144366937936730.jpgEven though this journal claims to be a 10-year, it’s technically an 11-year journal because it goes from 2019 to 2029!  It has a very nice leather cover and comes in a variety of colors.  It also has very thick pages that are of high-quality paper.  There is no worry of your ink bleeding through with this journal.

The people that created this journal have thought of everything.  First there is a table of contents and then an introduction that explains the various pages of the journal.  There are some lined pages for notes, and then a planning page for each year.  Then you’ll find a 12-year calendar.

For each month of each year there’s a monthly summary page to record something short and sweet that you want to keep track of.  It could be your weight, your blood pressure, the weather or outdoor temperature.  It’s up to you.

Next come the daily entry pages.  There’s plenty of room to make your entry for the day, along with a place to put the page number if you have a long entry for that day and need to continue it on to the back of the journal.  Almost like reading the newspaper and finding the article continued to another page.

In the back you’ll find an Address & Phone book page for just that.  Then you’ll find an Event Tracker page for each year where you can record medical events, automobile repairs, or anything else you’d like to record.

Last, but not least, is a Monthly Memo page where you can record birthdays anniversaries, and other celebrations.  Once recorded, everything is in one spot.  No more missed birthdays!

This is the first pre-printed journal that I have enjoyed.  After trying a few others that I did not, I spent a lot of time looking and viewing the inner pages before purchasing this one.  I am enjoying stopping to think about the day’s events and recording the ones that I think are noteworthy and that I’ll want to be reminded of in the years ahead.  So, if you’ve tried one in the past but decided that journaling just isn’t for you; I encourage you to do some contemplating and further looking.

These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.  Deuteronomy 6:6-9

Do you journal?  Why or why not?  Tell me about your journal.

Another Four Miles on the Fourth

July’s race for 2018 was the CRMC 4-Mile run which was on Independence Day.  This is the same four-mile run we did last year, with the same course.  The money from the race goes to support a local hospital.

This year, we had more friends join us for this race.  Cinderella decided that she wanted to run this race this year as well, so she also joined us.  Why she wanted to run this race so badly, I have no idea.  I tried to remind her that race time was at 7:30 am, that it was a 40 minute drive, so we would be getting up very early.  She insisted that she still wanted to run this race.

A friend and I went together for packet pick up the day before the race.  This was her first time to run this race, so after packet pick up we went and drove the course.  At least we knew what the course was this time!

I was immediately reminded of the steep hill at the beginning of the race and the hill at the end of the race as well.

Race day morning was ugly.  All the excitement of the race had worn off, and getting up and out of bed at an unreasonable time no longer seemed fun to Cinderella.  However, she did get up and get out the door.

We were plenty early, which worked out well since my oldest daughter still had to register.  There was a playground nearby that kept Cinderella and Sofia the First occupied.

Start time was finally here, and we were off.  The sun was bearing down and felt very hot so I was trying to run wherever there was shade.  After about the first half mile Cinderella decided she couldn’t run any further.  We did some walking and I tried to encourage her to do some more running, but to no avail.  Then I tried running ahead quite a distance, but that didn’t work either.

Finally, I decided to suck it up and walk with her.  She was extremely cranky, and being around her was not pleasant.  I reminded her that I was five times her age.  At one point she asked me to let her win.  I told her not to worry, that I would let her go ahead of me across the finish line.

At the three-mile mark was a water sprinkler that felt really nice.  Shortly after that was a group of cheerleaders.  For some reason, Cinderella decided that was her cue to run; and run, she did.  She took off like a bullet and there was no reason for me to even try to keep up!  She crossed the finish line before I did, and it wasn’t because I let her win.  She was so excited to get second place in her age group!

Afterwards, we went to the same local diner as last year and had breakfast.  Seeing men in uniform was yet another reminder of the great country we live in and the sacrifices individuals and their families make every day so we can enjoy our freedoms.  Thank you to all that have served.

Proclaim Liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof, Leviticus 25:10

Watkins Mill 6K

Saturday, June 16, was the Watkins Mill Get Outdoors 6K.  Proceeds for this race benefit the Watkins Mill Association.  As I mentioned last year, this race is near and dear to my heart.  I grew up just a few miles from the park (before it was a park), and our family spent lots of time there especially once the lake and trail were built.

The race is held on an asphalt trail that encircles the lake.  As all runners know, the first mile is the hardest, and this one is especially hard as you run across the dam in full sunlight–no shade whatsoever.  However, once across the dam, the rest of the race is shaded.

A friend and I prepared for the race by going to the lake a few times and running the actual race route.  Our last time to go around the lake was especially tortuous, as I had a few horseflies that decided I was a horse.  For about two miles, they were literally swarming around me and biting me.  In self-defense, I ended up using a towel to swat at them.  They finally left me alone at the end of the route.

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On race day it was much warmer than last year at a bright, sunny 78 degrees.  I remember about two-thirds through the race thinking, “my feet feel like soup.”  We all know the story of the Tortoise and the Hare and the saying that “slow and steady wins the race.”  In this case, maybe it should be, “slow and steady finishes the race.”  The last few races I’ve participated in, someone has been taken away in an ambulance.  This race was no exception.  The only thing I can think of to do in those situations is to pray.

Finish the race, we did.  I don’t think that any records were broken, but the important thing is the good time together with family and friends.

Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.  James 4:14

 

A Sentence a Day for May 2018

As always, May was another busy month.  Once it warmed up, soccer came to an end.  Then there were graduations and Mother’s Day.  Finally, Memorial Day is often looked at as the official start of summer.

  1.  Tuesday:  It is starting to feel like summer:  80 degrees and humid.
  2. Wednesday:  We had our first tornado drill of the season tonight.
  3. Thursday:  I sweated more today than I have in a long time, and it felt really, really good.
  4. Friday:  We had about a week of spring, and now summer is here.
  5. Saturday:  Cinderella’s last soccer game was today.
  6. Sunday:  I got to spend lots of time with Liam today.
  7. Monday:  We heard a loud crash this morning and later found that it was all of my medals crashing to the floor.
  8. Tuesday:
  9. Wednesday:
  10. Thursday:  I finally broke down and turned the a/c on tonight since DH had a fire outside and I couldn’t open the windows.
  11. Friday:  I am thankful that Cinderella got to meet some new friends today.
  12. Saturday:  It was exciting for a young man to get a “robin hood” in archery this morning.
  13. Sunday, Mother’s day:  It would’ve been nice to stay home and rest, but it was a good day anyway.
  14. Monday:  Cinderella got to go to an art class this evening.
  15. Tuesday:
  16. Wednesday:  I had a good run tonight, but I think I need bigger shoes.
  17. Thursday:  This evening was the last day of our C25K program.
  18. Friday:  The Brandon Russell Flash Dash is tomorrow, and it’s supposed to be a wet one!
  19. Saturday:  We went to my nephew’s graduation party tonight–it just doesn’t seem possible.
  20. Sunday:  Cinderella got to see a high school graduation today.
  21. Monday:  The first day of ITBS for Cinderella.
  22. Tuesday:  It was fun to get together with the C25K group one last time.
  23. Wednesday:  I made it four miles tonight, but it nearly killed me.
  24. Thursday:  I am feeling pretty zapped today.
  25. Friday:  We spent the evening with the princess who keeps getting ornerier and ornerier.
  26. Saturday:  I just want one day where people do things for me instead of the other way around.
  27. Sunday:  It was a hot and miserable run at the mill today.
  28. Monday:  I ended up babysitting the grandkids this afternoon.
  29. Tuesday:
  30. Wednesday:  We had a hilly, but interesting, route with the Rock & Run group.
  31. Thursday:  It was nice not to have to go to vision therapy today, but that meant doing it on our own at home.

 

 

Brandon Russell’s Flash Dash 5K

Saturday, May 19, was the second annual Brandon Russell’s Flash Dash 5k. This race is named after and in honor of a young man who collapsed and died after crossing the finish line of a half marathon in 2017. Proceeds from this race went to benefit the Brandon Russell Memorial Foundation and Children’s Mercy Heart Center.

Packet pick up and one of the race sponsors was a local restaurant and recreation center venue. I had not visited it before, but it looked to be a fun and interesting place. It certainly was jumping on a warm, sunny Friday evening.

After packet pick up, we drove the race route. I was glad we did since it had a lot of turns and basically zig-zagged through town. The one thing this part of town is known for is being flat, and it was proving to be a flat course with only slight declines and inclines.

Saturday morning, I woke up to the sound of rain. At least it was warm enough that we wouldn’t freeze to death if we got wet. I got ready and went to the race expecting it to rain all through the race. At least by this time it had become a very light rain.

As we waited for the race to begin, people were trying to stay as dry as possible by taking refuge under trees and tents. I found a tree to huddle under and was immediately reminded of an article I read the night before (complete with videos) on why it wasn’t a good idea to stand under a tree during a thunderstorm. I kept telling myself that it wasn’t actually a thunderstorm–everything would be fine.

And it was.

God showed us all favor by bringing the rain to an end right at race time. It still remained cloudy, which was really nice since it was warm and very humid. Sunshine would’ve meant a steam bath.

There was the young mom with the double stroller.  I don’t know who these moms are, but they’re at every race.  I pointed her out to my friends and said, “You just wait, she’s going to pass us.”

If you remember, my April race was cancelled. So, I had not actually run a race since March.  In fact, I had been running short distances and only had a few recent times that I had run three miles.  I was expecting this one to hurt.

And it did.

The mom with the double stroller passed me, but we all finished!

Afterwards there was a kids run that was really cute because the kids all got a yellow cape to wear.  All runners, including the kids, also got a free breakfast from Chris Cakes.  Yumm!  Most importantly, it was a good time with friends.

for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.  Matthew 5:45b

Mother’s Day and Beyond

Mother’s Day was nice.  It is one day that I refuse to do any cooking and the one day that I refuse to go out at lunch time because the restaurants are always packed.  Friday and Saturday before Mother’s Day were both very busy, so I was hoping to stay home and do nothing.  However, that did not work out.  I ended up going to a movie with my two daughters, stopping to eat before the movie.  It was a nice day.

I’m now on the last week of my spring Couch to 5K program.  We met on Tuesdays and Thursdays and were expected to run one day a week on our own.  I’ve continued to meet with my Wednesday night running group.  I didn’t know how I’d like running three days in a row, but I have noticed a positive difference.  I’m working on a plan to continue after this week.

This coming Saturday is my first race since March.  If you recall, my April race was canceled.  Even though I’ve been running, I feel out of practice!

On the interstate today, we were passed by a racecar nearly 100 years old!  It was a 1927 Bugatti 35b.  How do I know this?  It was printed on the side of the car!  The man driving it was definitely a lot braver than I am.  Cinderella thought that it looked like, “The Chitty Chitty Bang Bang car.”  I was driving, so I wasn’t able to take a photo, but check out these images on Google.

Let your father and your mother be glad, And let her rejoice who gave birth to you.  Proverbs 23:25