Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The War Is Already Won

When my dad and I were in the ER waiting room last night I was very hungry.  We got the call that they were taking my mom there just before we sat down to supper and it was now an hour after that, so about 7:00.  After a while of sitting there thinking about how hungry I was, I remembered that there were vending machines behind me.  The thought of getting something from them, though, was gross.  It actually turned my stomach.  A couple years ago I would've known that it wasn't a good choice but I would've tried to make the best of it somehow.  Whole-grain Sunchips maybe?  A granola bar? 

Well last night I didn't get anything.  Neither the food nor the drink machine tempted me.  It wasn't that I fought a battle and won; the battle, no the war, has already been won!  Woo!  I didn't even have to fight.  I just stood (or sat) in the victory that was already mine.  How peaceful!

I still owe y'all the rest of the race report.  I've been so swamped lately with my mom's injury and hospitalization and taking care of Brianne, my dad, and all the household stuff for them.  Since I'm on here anyway, I might as well do it now. 

We started running the race and got into a decent pace.  People were passing us, but that was okay.  I WAS RUNNING THE RACE!!!  A little bit after the 1-mile mark I saw the first person I recognized since starting.  He was holding up his phone to take a picture of me and I hollered, "I'm doing it!"  I was almost giddy!  Soon after that I saw my daughter who took a few pictures and encouraged me to keep going.  That made me happy too!  Then we didn't see anyone we knew until the very end. 

We continued on the course, which we knew very well from all our practice runs.  As we neared the end I started hearing music and seeing people I recognized.  Melisa and I had worked some on having a strong finish, but it's very difficult to push at the end when you're so tired.  Seeing people I knew, though, and hearing them cheer for me, FOR ME!!, energized me!  Two friends who had already finished came back and ran across the finish line with us.  That was fun!  I picked up my pace and practically sprinted to the finish!  I posted a few days before the race some tips for spectators.  One of them mentioned being specific in your cheering.  "Yep, it is nice to hear “ohgoodjob” but lemme tell you it is so much more fun to hear “OH HERE SHE COMES, JEN JEN JEN, OVER HERE! WAHOO!!!! KEEP RUNNING, OH MY GOSH YOU ARE DOING IT! WAHOOOOOOOO!!! JEN KEEP RUNNING!!! I LOVE YOU!” No lie. Go all out. Your 30 seconds of screaming will carry me an entire mile. I will float on your cheers, puff my chest out and let your cheers be my fuel." 

I found out how true that is!  Seeing and hearing my friends cheering FOR ME gave me energy I never knew I had!  Thank you to everyone who was part of that!

Here are some more pictures:

Before leaving for the race.  I'm so nervous I'm already sweating!

Close up of the shirt I wrote on.  Thank you, Kendall!  I wrote on the purple one too and took it along to change into afterward because I knew I'd be sweaty, but there was such a strong breeze I didn't have to.

 I'm running so fast you can't even see me!

Here we come!

There we go!

My dad and me after the race.

Gotta get to work now.  Thank you to everyone who has prayed for and encouraged me.  Keep it up!  I'm still running!  This was only the first of many(?) more races to come!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Jesus and I did it!

39:10!!!  That was my official time, and a personal best.  There are so many things I want to write that this will be either a very long post or a few shorter ones. 

1 - food prep and Mom
2 - sleep
3 - flustered
4 - race itself
5 - hospital
6 - baby shower
7 - hospital

Friday night Brianne and I went to my brother's house to help prep food for the baby shower we were having the next day for him and his girlfriend.  My mom arrived later but fell in the street and we had to call 911.  Her hip is broken.  I rode in the ambulance with her and stayed at the hospital for a few hours.  I didn't get to sleep until 12:30 and I had planned to pack that night and be in bed by 9 to get a full night's sleep before the race.  I don't understand why God allowed her to break her hip the night before my race and the baby shower, but He did and I have to deal with it. 

Woke up at 5:00 and overpacked:  a second pair of running pants, shirt, socks, and shoes JUST IN CASE!  A banana even though they probably have them at the end of the race, but JUST IN CASE!  Extra batteries for my camera JUST IN CASE!  (and I did need them)  Half a gallon of water but they had bottled water there.  Gatorade to alternate with water.  Baby wipes for my face (didn't use them).  A washcloth to carry with me during the race to wipe the sweat before it runs into my eyes (definitely used that).  A hand towel for afterward (didn't use it).  Water to pour onto myself was on my list, but I didn't take it because the weather was cooler and VERY windy so I didn't take that.  Comb, which I did use. 

I was nervous the day before and the morning of the race.  I was also flustered because I'm not a fan of crowds.  I don't avoid them at all costs, but as we lined up at the start line, people were packed fairly close together and were moving around but most of all, I COULDN'T FIND MELISA!!!  My running partner!  We had planned to run this race together and here I was at the start line and couldn't find her.  I had already seen her that morning

but couldn't find her right before the race.  AAAARRRRGGGGHHHH!!!!  I finally left the start line go get her.  Whew! 

And we're off!

This is going to have to be part 1.  I have to leave to go the hospital where my mom is having surgery.  I'll continue the race post later.  Stay tuned!

Friday, October 7, 2011

The Day I've Been Waiting For Is Here!

Tomorrow is my big day!  My debut race!  What I’ve been training for officially for about eight months! 

Melisa and I did our last training run yesterday and it was the worst run I’ve ever had.  (Not because of anything Melisa did, though!)  On the last leg of the race we always kick it up a notch to finish strong.  It’s tough but we concentrate and give it all we’ve got.  We don’t slow down; we actually speed up.  Yesterday was different.  The fatigue (and it wasn’t even physical fatigue) set in way before that last leg.  I was almost crying it was so hard. 

I can’t explain what was so hard about it.  Maybe it was physical fatigue, just not the normal type.  We’ve been training every day for the last 2 weeks without a real break.  I had 2 days of meaning to do the full distance but running only part of the way and walking the rest so those weren’t really days off. 

Maybe it was emotional fatigue.  When I got in the car to go home I was still breathing heavily and I started to cry.  I would’ve sobbed but it’s very difficult to cry when you can hardly breathe.  I couldn’t get a deep enough breath to cry the way I wanted to.  That’s a weird feeling, let me tell ya! 

I’m doing this for God’s glory, to show what He has done and can do with us when we let Him.  After yesterday’s run I knew I was victorious because I didn’t quit but I certainly didn’t feel glorious.  First Corinthians 10:31 came to mind.  “Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God [not the glory of Michele].”  Maybe God was reminding me that this is about Him getting the glory, not me.  Victorious doesn’t always mean glorious. 

My friend Mary found a picture of me before I started losing weight.  I don’t know exactly when it was taken, but I’d guess about three years ago.    This is what God has done and can do with us when we let Him. 


 Here's a more recent one:

It would mean so much if you could cheer Jesus and me on tomorrow morning at 7 at Vinoy Park.  Here's a link to a map if you don't know where the park is. 

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Tips for Spectators

This is a blog I follow, Prior Fat Girl.  If you're planning on coming to my race, please read this.  I never thought much about these things, but Jen's words are so true.  I especially like #3!  The only difference is #5 where she says to just make noise.  That would be distracting to me.  Please don't bring a cowbell and especially don't bring those extremely irritating airhorns!  Other than that, cheer on!


Tips for spectators, from a PriorFatGirl’s point-of-view.

by Jen, a priorfatgirl on October 4, 2011

I thrive on spectators at a race. I know I’m running the race but spectators can change the feel of the entire race. No matter if it is a marathon, half-marathon, 10 mile, 10k or 5k, spectators are treasured. Just your presence is appreciated but here are some additional thoughts from my point of view on spectators:
  1. Your presence is very appreciated: It means a lot. As much as I say “Oh, no worries, don’t worry about it,” it really does mean a lot when you take the time out of your morning to come and cheer for me. No matter how many races I may do, each one, especially each of the long runs are hard. They never get easier, I just get crazier. I won’t ever be mad at someone for not coming but will be overwhelmingly appreciative of those who actually do come.
  2. Scream, cheer, shout, yell and make noise! I think some people are embarrassed to be loud but as a runner, the louder you scream the better. When I run, I am fighting through all the noise in my head so whatever you can do to distract me is appreciated. I need YOU as a spectator to be louder than the noise in my head.
  3. Scream when you see a runner you know: Running is hard. When you see me coming, be LOUD. Yep, it is nice to hear “ohgoodjob” but lemme tell you it is so much more fun to hear “OH HERE SHE COMES, JEN JEN JEN, OVER HERE! WAHOO!!!! KEEP RUNNING, OH MY GOSH YOU ARE DOING IT! WAHOOOOOOOO!!! JEN KEEP RUNNING!!! I LOVE YOU!” No lie. Go all out. Your 30 seconds of screaming will carry me an entire mile. I will float on your cheers, puff my chest out and let your cheers be my fuel.
  4. Cheer for others: Again, running is hard. You don’t have to know me to cheer for me. Cheer for me and let me know how proud you are. Tell me to keep going and remind me I’m running. Tell me I can do it, I will do it, I AM doing it. Cheering for me when don’t know me is like an extra amp. Don’t just stand there staring. First, you look silly just standing there. Second, your cheers are my fuel. I suck it in and turn it into amped up power. It is an adrenaline rush hearing cheers and even more exciting when people I don’t know are cheering for me.
  5. If you just aren’t a cheerer, just make noise! You know those loud annoying cow-bells? DO IT! Cowbells, thunder sticks, hand clappers and stadium horns are very inexpensive but they can annoy some people so pay attention to those around you. If you see people who seem to be disturbed, tell them you are cheering for the runners and to get a life… or maybe just walk 20 feet away from them :)
  6. Bring signs: Use humor. Or be serious. Reading simple signs distracts me and gives me something to do while I’m struggling to fight through all the noise in my head. I may think about a sign for 5-10 minutes so trust me, your sign helps! Here are some sign quotes I love:
    • “Your feet hurt because you are kicking so much butt!”
    • “Your legs will forgive you…eventually.”
    • “Don’t stop — people are watching.
    • “Today, you’re my hero.”
    • “Pain is temporary, pride is forever.”
    • “Remember the reasons you are running.”
    • “If it was easy, everyone would do it.”
    • “One foot in front of the other. That’s all.”
    • “You are no longer training, you are RUNNING THE RACE!”
  7. Be okay if I am distant after the race: I am probably in pain. I am probably ready to collapse. I am thinking about what I just accomplished. I am emotional and coming down from an intense adrenaline rush. I’m covered in an inch of sweat which is layered with the dirt from the wind I just busted through. All I want is a hot shower. And food. And a nap.
  8. I will never be able to thank you with words: There are no words I can, as a runner, say to you, as a spectator, to thank you for coming to cheer me on. Running is hard. It is emotional. It is fighting through all the voices in my head to achieve a goal I set for myself. Having you there means the world to me and there are no words I can use to thank you appropriately. In place of the absence of the perfect thank you, please know your support helped me achieve my goal.
Being a spectator can be such a simple act. It may not feel like a big deal but spectators help more than we as runners can ever describe. We don’t run for your cheers, we run to achieve goals we’ve set for ourselves but your cheers, your support, your presence helps us to achieve our goals.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Getting Excited for My Race!

Before she moved out of state, a friend gave me two moisture-wicking T-shirts as a gift so I could wear them for my race.  I decided to write Bible verses and other things that inspire me on them.  They're finally finished! 

I'll wear the top one (it's really teal blue) for the race and then probably change into the purple one afterward when I'm sweaty. 

While I was working on the first one, I had it laid out on the ironing board so I could have a smooth, hard surface to write on.  Even though the shirt was an XL, it still looked very wide and I got a little discouraged.  

Then I decided to go get one of my old 3X shirts for comparison. Oh! Quite a difference!

BIG difference! 

Okay.  The teal one isn't so bad compared to my old one!

My race is this Saturday.  THIS SATURDAY!  I hope you all can make it to cheer Jesus and me on. 

Sunrise Run

He's the reason I'm doing this at all.  Sure, I could've lost 80 pounds and started walking and running in my own strength.  People do it.  But why would I have wanted to if Jesus hadn't shown me that I was sinning and changed my heart so that now I WANT to please Him in this area?