Tag Archives: running

Running through the Battlefield

I ran today.

And boy did it feel good, despite the 90 degree weather outside.

I had always wanted to trail run since I’ve always enjoyed being around nature, and today, I grabbed a chance to do it, albeit the timing wasn’t probably the best.

I live probably one and a half mile away from Battlefield of Manassas National Park, and there are beautiful trails all around the park. I decided to take the 1.3 mile trail to the stone bridge and back. I knew I was in for a rough one with the heat being up and the humidity slightly making the 90 degree weather feel more like 95.

Did I care? No. I was going to do it anyways.

I packed my android with some fun funky music – Green Day, Black Eyed Peas, Shania Twain, and, my favorite, Safri Duo, (I am in dire need of updating my library, but what is this mom going to do? LOL) turned on my “Map my Run”, and started jogging through the grassy hills.

Once I hit the woods, it was fantastic. My energy was at an all time high, and the trees cooled the air around me. I was able to keep up a good pace for probably a half a mile to three quarters of a mile, and then I had to slow down to a native of the lands – a doe staring at me jogging towards her. I was so sure she would dart off as soon as I made eye contact with her, but she didn’t trot off until I was at ten feet away from her. There was no fear in her eyes, but she was still wary of us humans. I was able to keep going until I took a left onto a new path toward the bridge. I had to slow down to a quick walk to check my heart rate, and I was able to get back into running down the path for quite a while. It was until I hit a patch of the trail where there was no tree coverage and the heat began wear me out. I decided then to turn around.

I did try to run back, and it was hard doing that when my body was beginning to reach the point of exhaustion. Yes, I wanted to throw up. I walked until that feeling went away for the most part, and then I would start run again. One thing I noticed is that I ran better when I just looked ahead three feet in front of me, instead of looking way out. “It’s just like the lamp onto my feet. I only need to see what’s right in front of me. There will be strength to make it through those three feet. ” It is the same way with everyday life. God knows we get easily overwhelmed with the vastness of our lives, and we can handle taking one step at a time, even when we feel like we are running in high heat. It was an encouraging life lesson as I ran. To encourage me even more, I ran into another deer, and this one stayed there until I just about passed her, and even then she just lightly trotted away as if she knew I wouldn’t hurt her. God’s nature is beautiful!

I couldn’t run the whole way, but I did the best I could, and I will continue to do better. Next time I will pick a much cooler time to run! Hopefully I will have an opportunity to do so… Being a mom with two kids doesn’t give me too many chances to do that. Perhaps weekends when the hubby is home. ūüôā

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I Did it!

This may sound a little mundane, but I’m actually excited about this…¬†

I can bend over and touch my toes comfortably now!

Now, you have to understand my history to know why I’m so excited about this.¬†

I’ll take you back to when I was around 10 years old or so, and I was so excited about a¬†Synchronized¬†Swimming camp my mom had signed me up for. A friend of the family was a coach and told my mom about it and thought I could give it a try, despite being the only deaf person there. So I did.¬†

I LOVED IT. Until some woman ruined it for me. 

The sport requires a lot of flexibility, and, sadly, I didn’t inherit that gift. I loved to dance, but I had bad feet (can’t point my toes right), couldn’t do splits, and COULD NOT touch my toes!¬†

As I tried to stretch and practice some of the flexible moves some of the other girls were doing just fine, a coach came over to help me and gave me this look of hopelessness for my case. “You are one tight girl!”¬†

I was crushed. My dreams of dancing in the water were thrown down the drain. 

I did finish the camp with a performance with my friend/coach that summer, and I had so much fun despite the cloud lingering over my head of my own inability to be flexible.

I never went back. 

I went on through the rest of my youth being the inactive, forever labeling myself the non-athlete. “I’m not meant to be an athlete.” I would tell myself.¬†

But, my heart warred with my head for a LONG time. 

I tried running in college, and then my knees began to hurt. A lot. I gave up again. 

“I’m just not meant to be an athlete!” I would almost literally yell at myself, hoping for once, my heart would finally accept it.¬†

Oh no… It refused to let it go.¬†

I still dreamed of dancing while I listened to music. I’d dream of running a long distance. To do something THAT incredible, was something I felt I could dream of, but never achieve. Watching Biggest Loser kind of gave me some inspiration, but I never went after it. But at the age of 28, after the birth of my son, I realized my body was suffering badly from the lack of activity.¬†

The scale screamed at me… I was at my heaviest. I knew then I had to do something. My head reasoned with my heart, ‘I may not be an athlete, but I got to start somewhere.” After six months of working out with Jillian Michaels, running on the treadmill, walking, and various exercises, my body began to change. I lost the weight I had gained and got down to a healthy weight, and I then noticed something… I was a little more flexible than I used to be. I still couldn’t touch my toes, but I was closer to my feet than I used to be.¬†

I’m 33 now, and I’ve had quite a lot of ups and downs in the years of figuring out this “not so young” body with a completely different metabolism than I used to have. I don’t have it down to an art, but I’m almost there, but I have to say I am becoming an athlete and found a love of running. With the help of my doctor I was able to find a way to strengthen my runner’s knees. I developed tendinitis in my ankles, and now I’m working on that.¬†

Being a Beachbody coach has helped me a lot this year, as I’ve been drinking shakeology and using some of their exercises¬†DVDs, and last night, I happened to be doing a new favorite – “Hip Hop Abs” and I discovered my new found¬†flexibility. (Yes, this white chick loves to dance hip hop!). ¬†I was doing cool down and was stretching towards my toes and found myself able to wrap my hands around my feet easily. It felt so good!!! ¬†I felt like going back 23 years back to that very woman and say, “IN YOUR FACE!”. ¬†It’s probably a good thing God doesn’t allow us to travel back into time. The past belongs back there, and now I can face the future knowing that¬†

I CAN CHANGE THIS BODY!

As for my feet, I don’t know if I can ever change the way they are, but I’m pretty happy with the fact that I’ve gotten some flexibility in my life.¬†

As for dancing… I’ll dance like no one is watching. ūüėȬ†


Chomping on the Bit

In high school, I’d be semi active, but I was never one to be considered an athlete. My eye-hand coordination was practically nothing since I am blind in one eye, so I knew sports involving balls were going to be my thing. I didn’t push myself in anything else because I always saw someone who was better than me – Especially when it was my brother. He was the athlete in the family. He swam really well in high school. i did try it, but I gave up too easily, mostly because I could never get myself to go faster and didn’t see any point in trying. I was the quiet mouse who sat in her room listening to music and doodling away in her sketch book. That was my talent, but as I’ve gotten older things have changed for me.

I had it easy in my younger years. My metabolism was fantastic and I was already skinny, thanks to my genes. I didn’t think I would come to face the fact that it changes once you get older.

The freshman 15 pound gain was very true my first year in college, but I was able to maintain my weight fairly well with all the walking I did, but once I got married, that was when things changed dramatically for me. Midwestern food was definitely something my body wasn’t used to, and my mother-in-law was a fantastic cook. I was too polite to turn down food she prepared for me. Then having children made me pack on more pounds. What really made me wake up was the day I weighed myself and found myself staring at the scale showing a number I never thought I’d be – 162 lbs. It was upsetting, and it made me realize I needed to change the way I did things. I bought Jillian Michael’s “30 Day Shred” and intensively started working on that every day… It slowly came off. I changed the way I ate. It helped that I was the chef in my home and made my own meals.¬† But now, two years later, I found an exercise that is like a drug for me – RUNNING.

I never thought I could do it, being the fact that I was never athletic. I tried cross country in college, but gave up when my knees started hurting. Looking back, it was an excuse. I know whats wrong with them as I have found that I have Runner’s knees and have to keep them evenly strengthened to keep them from hurting. I’m still learning on how to do that for myself.

Why did I get into running?  To be honest, it was something I had always wanted to do.

If you were to go inside my head… this is what it would look like:

If¬† you knew me, you would nod your head and say to yourself, “of course.”¬† I’ve been a horse lover from a very young age, and the imagery of the noble horse running was always one that I loved. I would run around the school yard in my elementary age, imagining I was riding the Black as the young boy in the above picture. During long trips, I’d stare out the window imagining that a beautiful horse was running along side and I’d be riding it.

Its been a long time since then, and horses are still in my dreams. I still like to imagine running like one. One day, I got on the treadmill at the gym and started running. It took me a while to get myself in shape for it, but when I found myself running better and better every time, it was like my dream of running like a horse was getting closer.

Realistically speaking, I’ll never be able to run as fast as a horse, but to feel the air on my face as I run is close enough to it!

I’ve not been able to run since last Thursday and with having a sprained ankle, it has made me restless. It doesn’t help when I see shows on TV where people are exercising or hearing music I usually run to. This injury feels like a bit in my mouth and its not giving me my head.¬† If you know anything about horses and riding them, you would know what I mean.

And that bit is going to have to be there until Friday…. If it heals by then. Yet, I know I’m going to have to try to have some self- control when I get back into running next week, since I know that if I just dash right back into it, the chances of me hurting myself again is pretty high. I do want to be able to complete my 5K this spring… So I better do it right in my training and listen to my doctor to let this injury heal like it should.

Until then… I’ll dream of my horses and running with them.