Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Magic Shoes

I don't know what's happened.  The purpose of my little blog was to record a little life and maybe some life lessons along the way. Lately, though, there's been so much life that I haven't had time to record it.  Know what I'm sayin?? That's what I thought.  I know you're feelin' my pain. 

Speaking of pain....let me tell you about my latest bright idea and addition to my to-do list: Running. 

I've always thought I would enjoy running. My boys run at school and enjoy it. They can run a 5K without batting an eye, really. I have the visions of the happy mother and her boys bonding as they go for a lovely run along the coast on a beautiful, crisp morning.  They do mention me going walking with them on occasion.  Granted, it's while they're walking the dogs and they probably want me to go so they can put me in charge of the poop patrol.  I had been thinking a while about giving it a whirl (the running....not the poop patrol) because they want to run and I won't let them go far just the two of them yet.  (Yes, they are taller than me and yes, they are smart boys. But, I don't fully trust the judgment of a 12 yr old boy just yet and frankly, I'm too leary of the whole stranger danger thing. So, it's not happenin'.)  

 Running has been something that just keeps coming back up to me as, "you should do this."  I guess it's partly because true runners make it look so appealing.
I've always thought, "There has to be something about it that gets people out of the bed early on a beautiful Saturday morning to pull these hills in Southern California." What are they smoking? I mean.....they appear to enjoy it. They can't all be like, "Oh, I'm doing this for my heart!"  "Yes....but what about your legs and everything else??" They certainly make it seem therapeutic.  Well.....after a little over a week of training to run I've determined.........they are definitely high on something! I mean....there's gotta be something more than "heart health". Judging by the way I feel pulling the slightest of inclines, I'm inclined to agree with Weezer in Steel Magnolias, "The sooner my body gives out, the better off I'll be....can't get enough grease into my diet." Not exactly the therapeutic feel I was going for. 

Let me explain what I mean when I say I've been training for a little over a week. See, when I decided to give running a try, I didn't google any running programs. I didn't download the couch to 5k plan (which I attempted before but only got through week 2 or 3). Those would have been logical things to do. No....what do I do? I sign up to run a marathon. Yes, you read that right. The Asics LA Marathon March 2014. All 26.2 miles of it.  Makes perfect sense, right? One day I'm thinking of taking up running and googling shin splint remedies, the next, I sign up to run 26.2 miles in under 8 hours. Sounds about right to me.  In my defense, I made a B in my logic class in college. 
I know what you're thinking. "Wh-wh-whaaa H-h-how did you......"
To answer those questions, please see my previous statement of defense. 

No, in all seriousness, I recently had one of those urges hit me to take up running and one Saturday I spent some time looking up shin splint remedies and I thought maybe I could make it work....."One day" I would give it a try. 
The next day at church, we had a guest speaker instead of our regular pastors. He was from World Vision and preached a very motivating and convicting message on running our race. Come to find out, he was signing people up after church for the LA Marathon, all money raised to go to support clean water systems in Africa, specifically the Congo. Little bells went off as Water For Life  has been a mission on my heart for quite some time.  I heard a phrase at a mom's meeting that I couldn't get out of my head: "I can't imagine holding my child and helplessly watching him die from something as simple as diarrhea. Not being able to give him the water he needs to rehydrate. Especially since  it was the water that made him sick in the first place."  I just think how I hover over mine with bottled water and Gatorade when they're sick.  I simply can't imagine it and I haven't been able to say, "Oh how sad!" and then go on about my business as I typically do.  I had even shared with my husband that desire to get involved and being the generous soul that he is, he has been thinking about it and tossing around ways for us to support that particular mission. 
As you may have guessed, I heard that little voice again saying, "You should do this." The surprising thing is, this time I didn't reply with a "I'll think about it" or "I'd love to but these shin splints just won't allow me to", as my boys have often heard me say. After we were dismissed we stood up and I looked at my husband with I'm sure a strange expression that coveyed the strange notion and he knowingly said, "You're going to go sign up aren't you?" 

So, long story short....I'm in "pre-training" mode right now. I have to train for marathon training. Which basically means I have to spend 6 or 8 weeks learning to run and building up some stamina to even attempt marathon training.  My first week consisted of two days of walking for 30 minutes and 3 days of running for 20 minutes (just to be's alternating running 2 mins and walking 1 min....if I ran for 20 minutes solid....well, lets just say it ain't happenin' at this point).  At the end of every week, we meet and run as a team and that's also the most vigorous work out day as extra time is added on that day to push us. Fortunately Sunday is a day of rest. Praise The Lord!!! 
Because, my poor husband who thought he was going to have to work this past Saturday and was happy to have a change of plans and be home with the fam had to hang out with this monstrosity: 

He's worked so many weekends lately, I'd hate for him to have to deal with that ALL weekend long. He already has to deal with the Icy-hot smell at bedtime almost every night anyway. 

Now, I should explain the get up in this pic: 
The shoes automatically brought the line from Forrest Gump to mind, "My mama said they was magic shoes." See, if you intend to run any mileage at all, you have to have the right shoes. I went to an awesome little running store near the beach and they checked my gait and my foot shape and told me what kind of shoe to get. So, I tried on that type of shoe in every brand. The Mizunos were the winner! Not quite magic shoes but they are pretty sweet!! The only problem with the shoes was the color options. But, I was going for comfort and health, not necessarily you may have guessed by looking at the lovely socks I'm sporting.   

A little word on the socks.....Don't be hatin'!! Let me tell you my friends, they are not only stylish but practical, too. Well, that's not entirely true. They are outrageously expensive, kind of difficult to get on and off, and....draw lots of odd looks from passers by. Just so you know, if you see me out in them, I'm not trying to make a fashion statement or draw attention to myself people. You think I want you to see me sweating bullets and puffing along all red-faced?  I'm simply trying to keep my legs from feeling like they are about to fall off during training.  
They are compression socks and let me tell you, they are a God-send. After my first two days of running and one walking....I could hardly walk that Wednesday morning my shins and tops of my ankles hurt so bad. I was thinking of going and buying ace wraps when, on day 3, I had to go to the running store again and happened upon these puppies. They are not a cure all but I am in nowhere near the pain I was before I started wearing them. It was immediate relief.  Can you tell I'm thrilled with the socks? I'm thrilled with the socks. It makes me think of another scene from Forrest Gump when Lt. Dan walks up on his prosthetic legs:
Forrest: "You got legs." (Looking @ Jenny) "New legs."
Lt Dan: "Yep. Titanium alloy. Just like the use on the space shuttle."
Forrest: (amazed) "Magic legs". 

Well, they may not be magic legs but I CAN honestly identify with Jude's sentiments when she put on her compression sleeve that she got at the Dodgers game: "This is the best thing I've ever put on my arm!" 
Because....these are truly the best things I've ever put on my legs. I wear them during my runs and during my "recovery period". Which, basically means I wear them most of the time! 
I know....enough about the socks. If you want to know more, feel free to message me. 

Oh! I went on my first mother-son run this week. However, Peter effortlessly running way ahead of me while I'm huffing and puffing and sweating bullets was not quite the bonding experience I'd imagined. But, it's early yet. One of these days I'm going to smoke him! (Though, I guess that's not the bonding experience I should be dreaming up either! Lol) All kidding aside, I will definitely enjoy running with my crew one of these days. It was great. 

Running is great for that matter. I mean....not while I'm actually running. But, I've done all I can do to prevent as much pain and injury as possible. I've got my magic shoes and magic legs; I'm drinking water and liking it (a miracle all it's own); I'm doing strengthening exercises for my shins; I'm warming up properly; I'm sticking to the training plan; I'm stretching and cooling down as recommended; and...... I'm leaving the rest up to God. 
And ya know? When I'm finished with each run and can breathe again, I see what makes the runners come back for more. Those endorphins kick in and I experience that "runner's high". Not only do my calves and shins not hurt, I can barely feel them. My thighs are a different story. (I may need a full body compression stocking.  Don't laugh, they make them!) But, it's still a great feeling.  AND.... each time I have shaved a few seconds off of my average pace. I needed to be under 14 minutes per mile to theoretically finish the marathon in time.  I started a little over a week ago at 14:50/mile and now I'm at 13:06
If that weren't enough, the little reassurances the Lord has given me this last week that He's in this with me have been so timely and specific that they're undeniable. And as you've heard me say when quoting Beth Moore before, "Ain't no high like the Most High!" 
Hope y'all get to experience a little of Him in whatever you're doing this week! Run friends, run!! 

If any of you would like to get involved, there is a link here to donate. I have a fund raising goal of $1,310. I believe that's $50 per mile as, on average, the cost of clean water systems is typically $50/person.  That's clean water for life.  It may not sound like a big impact, but just imagine the impact that's felt by those individuals and communities who receive it. However, if you'd rather wait until I'm further along in training to make sure I don't hurt myself....I understand!! I will repost the link periodically up until Marathon day!:)
Team World Vision Personal Page


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