Friday, August 6, 2010

Remembering Mel

I just attended a memorial service for a dear friend, Mel Titchener. I've known Mel for about 24 years, since my daughter was 5 years old. Mel and his wife Norma have been a wonderful influence in my life over the years. I am SO glad to have known Mel and will miss him SO much, but I know he is with the Lord now and I would never ask him to come back.

During his memorial service, the pastor mentioned something that really stuck with me. When Mel was told that he had a terminal disease, he didn't change the way he lived. He didn't have to because he was already living as the Lord would want him to. He didn't have to go make amends with anyone, apologizing for things he'd said or done, give more to his family or community or do more for God. He was already doing all that so he just kept on doing what God called him to do. What an inspiration!

We all need to be like that, living our lives to the fullest doing what we are called to do. I don't want to have to scramble at the end of my life, trying to make up for things I didn't do or trying to fix things I DID do that were wrong. I want to just keep on doing what I'm doing, knowing that the best is yet to come.

I love 1 Timothy 1:12: "I thank him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful, appointing me to his service,".

That's what I want from my life, for the Lord to judge me faithful.

Another great scripture is 1 Timothy 6:12: "Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses."

I know Mel did this and his confession WAS good. Thank you, Mel for being such a great example for me to follow.

The following was on the program for his memorial:

Don't grieve for me, for now I'm free.
I'm following the path God laid for me.
I took His hand when I heard Him call,
I turned to Him and left it all

Sunday, July 25, 2010

My Bad!

I can't believe I've been such a slacker and haven't posted to my blog for 4.5 months! I very rarely get down (depressed, or whatever), but I really felt myself slipping toward that a lot of times since my last marathon. I really wanted a better time and was tired of being almost the last person to finish a race. See, poor me, poor me! :( Good grief, talk about being self absorbed, where is my mind?

I've run races since then with good results, I'm just not sure what is going on in my mind, but I have determined to get over it and knock it off. :)

On May 16, I ran the Inaugural Tualatin River 10 miler, put on by a good Twitter, Facebook, DailyMile friend, Christine (Solorunner). I did very well on that one, 11:06 pace.

On May 31, I did the Up the Lazy River Master's Run 10k and did even better, 10:49 pace; there's a very nice (NOT) hill in that one.

June 5, the following Saturday, I ran another hilly race, the Santiam Hospital 8k. My time wasn't as good, 11:01 pace, but still in the ballpark. I had no idea there were so many hills. I'm not sure I want to run this one again. Chicken, I know.

June 21, I ran the inaugural Salem Summer Solstice 6.21k, held at 6:21pm (see a theme here?). I did really well, 10:33 pace, but of course, I wanted better. Some hills in that one too. I'm beginning to think I'd better work on hills! :)

June 25, the following Saturday, I ran the WVRR Summer Solstice 10k, with a pace of 11:00. It was HOT that day, the race is held in the evening, which made it worse. Still, I PR'd for that particular race.

See, there's no reason for me to be down on myself. However, I DID make a big mistake and run the next race when I probably shouldn't have. THAT ended me having to take 3 weeks off running with a strained Achilles tendon in my left foot. I might as well do something to that one since I just recovered from PF in my right foot. It was the Stayton Old Time Runs 10k on July 4th. I didn't do so well on that one because I had to walk a lot of it, 11:56 pace. :(

Now, you'd think THAT would have depressed me, but for some reason, it didn't, go figure!

I am now on the eve of starting back running. Tomorrow's the day, the doctor has said I can run 3 miles Mon & Wed & then 5 on Saturday! If all goes well, I will sign up for Homer's Classic 8k on August 7. I've always wanted to run it so I'm hoping I can this year.

I've come to realize that so much of running is mental and I can really sabotage myself by the wrong thinking. When I have the right attitude, everything goes well.

I have been too self absorbed and need to focus on others, not myself. When I do that, I feel SO much better and know I am doing what God wants me to do. I know He has guided me in this healthier, active lifestyle for a reason. My body is a temple of the Holy Spirit and I need to treat it as such. God has been SO good to me to help me in my journey. I need to quit focusing on the fact that I am one of the last people to finish, and just realize that I DID finish, and that's what matters. I need to think on this verse from Hebrews 12:1

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,"

and verse 2 goes on to see what we need to keep our focus on:

"looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God."

When I do that, I am a winner in God's eyes and that is all that really matters.

Now, I know I'm a crazy person, so you shouldn't be too surprised to learn that I have decided to run the following 2 adventure marathons in 2012: The Great Wall Marathon in May, 2012; and the Solar Eclipse Marathon in November, 2012. Why don't you join me? It will be a once in a lifetime adventure. :)

Gee, I don't write for 4.5 months, and then I write a book. Sorry about that. I pray you have a great day!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Salt Lake City Marathon

This was my 4th marathon in 11 months; just a little too much, I think. :) I was hoping for a much better time, but it was not to be.

I arrived in Salt Lake City on Thursday night and spent Friday afternoon walking to the mall and shopping with my granddaughter. We probably walked at least 2 miles. I'm not sure this was a good thing the day before my marathon, but...

Saturday morning, I got up at 4:30 (SO hard to do) and at 5:30 my daughter in law took me to the Arena trax station to ride to the start line. I arrived about 6:10 AM which gave me plenty of time to use the porta potties, etc. The weather was too warm, already 53 at 6 am, clear and sunny.

I was putting my gear bag in the truck when I noticed a dailymile friend, Drew (aka Utah C). The odds of us running into each other were huge considering the thousands of people at the start line. It was nice to meet him and his wife. He was shooting for a 4:30 marathon and ran it in 4:33. Congratulations, Drew!

We went to the starting line just before 7. It wasn't organized at all, everyone just lined up wherever they could. We ended up about halfway in the crowd, too close to the start for me. The crowd was so dense it took 3 minutes to cross the starting line. The first part of the course is downhill so I ran for 7 minutes before walking my 1 min. It was hard to negotiate through all the people. The half marathoners started with us so that made for a crowd of well over 6000 people.

I did pretty well for the first 9 miles, but I started feeling the altitude and knew I was in trouble. I realized that when I ran here last month, I had run where there were stop lights so I was getting breaks fairly often. Not so during the marathon, of course.

Thankfully, neither my ankle nor my hip bothered me, but my toes and the soles of my forefoot started hurting pretty bad. The two toes from the end of my left foot always hurt really bad when I run long, not sure why. It's probably a nerve issue, because they stop hurting as soon as I quit running.

At mile 11 or so, I pretty much had to stop my running and just speed walked. I reached the halfway point at 2 hrs 40 minutes, but knew I wouldn't PR this race. I was SO disappointed and for the first time in a marathon, I wanted to quit. However, I knew that I wouldn't; I just don't give up easily. LOL

The course was a good one, with plenty of spectators. I was amazed at how much support from the community there is for this marathon. People were out sitting on the sidewalks cheering us on. Some even had snacks & drinks. At about mile 20 or so there was even a group that was handing out shots of booze. :) I passed on that. I figured I needed all my faculties to finish the race.

The only drawback to this race is from about mile 24.5 or so we start up State street, which is an uphill climb for about a mile, the last part being a stiffer climb. The last part of the race is slightly downhill, but I was SO tired from the State Street climb that I just walked it. I tried to run a few times, but my right calf went into a horrible cramp. I've never had that happen in a run, never.

When I approached the finish line, my daughter in law, Val and granddaughter, Alexis were there to cheer me on. They hopped the barrier and Val grabbed my hand hand and helped me run across the finish line. She kept telling everyone my age and the fact that this was my 4th marathon. It was great, everyone was clapping and cheering me on. What a wonderful encouragement! I've only had family at one other marathon so this was great.

I'm not sure if I'll do this marathon again, simply because of the elevation, but since my son and his family live here, you never know. I am really burned out right now and am not scheduled for another marathon until January. I definitely need a break from such intense training.

It took me 2:40 to finish the first half and 3:10 to finish the second half. My official time was 5:50:17; 13 out of 17 in AG, 1050 out of 1112 total finishers.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Cascade Half Marathon

I ran (well, actually race-walked) my first half marathon last Sunday, January 17, the Cascade Half Marathon in Turner, Oregon. I have been suffering from Plantar Fasciitis in my right foot and probably shouldn't have run this race, but I'd already signed up and I tend to be a bit stubborn. (OK, a LOT stubborn!) My foot seemed to be getting better so I thought I'd at least try to run it and walk if I had to.

I got there early and changed my start time to 8:00 AM instead of 9:00 AM because there was no way I could complete this in less than 2.5 hours. During the California International Marathon, I had reached the half mark in 2:37 so it would have been doable to finish in under 2.5 hours under normal circumstances.

It was raining slightly at the start, but not too bad, no wind to speak of. We started and I suddenly realized that I hadn't changed my Garmin to "running" instead of "biking" so I lost some time changing it. Then I accidentally hit the "lap" button so I could only see the pace for the current lap and could not see my total miles or time. Since I never use that function, I had no idea how to change it back. Oh well! :)

I managed to keep running for about a mile, then I realized that I would never make the full 13.1 miles running. I wasn't too upset, since I pretty much figured that would happen. My first mile was at 12:45 pace, which was pretty good, but the next ones weren't so great. In the middle, I actually slowed to almost 17:00 min pace! The wind DID pick up quite a bit here, so I'll use that as an excuse. haha!

Once the 9:00 people started to pass me, I found myself picking up my pace quite a bit unconsciously. I went from almost 17:00 pace to 14 & then 13. It's amazing what a bit of competition does. :) My last .1 mile was at 11:04 pace. I was just trying to get it done.

It's really sad when you get passed by a 69 yr old runner carrying her cane. I kid you not! I DID manage to pass her about 550 meters from the finish line, but she had slowed to a fast walk and was using her cane. Talk about humiliating! hahaha! I'm SO impressed by her, what an inspiration! I hope I am still running at that age, 13 yrs from now.

I finished in 3:15:58; 14:36 pace, really not too bad for walking.

I'm still sore from this race, but after my PT visit this morning, my foot is a lot better. No, I didn't tell her I did this race, she would have killed me for sure. I'm not telling her I'm running the MLK 5k this Saturday either, but by then I'll probably be done seeing her so it won't matter.

This race is a great one and is almost complete flat, seriously. I would like to run it again, but not next year since I'm signed up for the WDW Goofy Challenge on January 8 & 9. No way can I run a half a week later.