Wednesday, June 27, 2012

June 27th, 2012 – 5.09 Mile Run

The continued prayer is, “Lord keep me focused. Keep my mind stayed on You. Help me to bring You praise. I know You believe in me. Please help me in my unbelief. Amen.”

This was a cleansing of sorts. My previous 5-mile run, on Saturday was great because I ran with a friend, but it might have been a little overzealous. I still wasn’t quite recovered from the run before that one, which included some hill work and speed intervals and it left me suffering with some sciatic issues.

I believe the sciatic issues were passed by then but because I had been compensating for the pain in my hip, my lower back was KILLING me! So Saturday’s run was a little too much too soon. I knew it at the time, but I had committed to the run and I really really *really* wanted to do it.

The next 2 days were spent paying for my heedlessness. After much resting, stretching, heat padding and mourning the three-year anniversary of the death of The King of Pop (God rest his brilliant soul), I felt like I was ready to take another stab at it.

I started this run out with prayer and supplication. I really needed to find the joy again and I needed GOD’s help with that.

When I first started running, joy was everywhere. Just being out in the open air, being in awe of GOD’s Creation and how fearfully and wonderfully made we all are was enough to bring me joy. Discovering how far I could push my body without destroying myself was joyous.

But now I know I can go the distance and I’ve discovered the pace I’m happiest with. I know the *exact* point at which my training’s gone from beneficial to detrimental. Indeed, that line keeps moving, but I still know when it’s coming. Perhaps when my children are a little older, I can see the line between safety and over training, and blow right passed it but for now, I must keep the over training to a minimum.

When I over train, the kids eat junk food, their laundry doesn’t get done, the kitchen’s a mess and the kids may brush, but I’m positive, they don’t floss. Life always takes a bit of a nose dive when Mom’s on her back.

So this run had to be different. So I took to my journal and my prayer list which covers everything from running, to work, to kids, to church, to sex to just about whatever needs to be purged from my mind, so I can move on. And in desperation, I asked GOD to help me find the joy and the love again.

Cuz there is love out there: Real, honest, physical, all-encompassing love. Love that finds Jesus, presents dead loved ones (The first time I ran 10 miles, I swear, I saw my grandmother, who had been gone for 30 years. I was so exhausted and she told me, “Keep going. It’s not your time yet.”), and sends blood racing to my naughty bits and leaves me amorous and insatiable.

That’s what I find on a run. When I’m desperate to find it, it meets me out there. Out on the run.

I had to push to find it, but as always, it was there and I was glad to find it again.

I'll Be There

Friday, June 22, 2012

June 21st, 2012 – Two 1 Mile Sprints

The continued prayer is, “Lord keep me focused. Keep my mind stayed on You. Help me to bring You praise. I know You believe in me. Please help me in my unbelief. Amen.”

This was a weight training workout with some treadmill sprint intervals worked in. I have been nursing some sciatic issues, so I went easy on the distance and decided it was high time for me to start doing some upper body work.

My goal for my arms is somewhere between First Lady, Michelle Obama

... And Olympic hopeful, 100m hurdler, Kellie Wells.

That’s a pretty tall order.

My core goals are somewhere around Serena Williams.

Another tall order.

Granted, I have a few things stacked against me. These ladies have more resources than me and their everyday schedules have big spaces allocated for health and fitness. And they either have older children or no children. But they all started with one step and probably some pretty good genes.

My genes are alright. And I have one thing they don’t have…. Them as role models. So here we go!

Following is the workout:

I started with 30 sit-ups on the tilted bench. I will add weights later but for now, I just used my own body weight.

Then I did 10 push-ups on the flat bench.

Then I did 20 reps on with the lateral pull-down with 65 lbs of weight.

Then I did 20 squatted curls with 10 lb dumbbells.

Finally, I ended the circuit with a 1-mile sprint on the treadmill.

After the mile, I started all over again. All the while, feeding my kids, fielding questions and shouting orders to finish up bath time, get dressed for bed, lay out the next day’s clothes and load their swim gear into the car for tomorrow’s swim lessons.

I did the circuit 3 times. By the end of the second sprint, the sciatic pain was back in full force. Chris was home by then too, so I skipped the third mile and played catch with the 8 lb medicine ball. Those really *are* fun: Catch – Squat – Shift Right – Shift Left – Up – Toss. Once you get those going, it's hard to call it exercise. Especially with your best guy is playing with you!

I can’t say weight training is my favorite thing to do but I’m always glad I did it.

And one day, someone is gonna say “My fitness goal is somewhere around Sabrina Hayes. That’s a tall order.”

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

June 19th, 2012 – 3.86 Mile Run

The continued prayer is, “Lord keep me focused. Keep my mind stayed on You. Help me to bring You praise. I know You believe in me. Please help me in my unbelief. Amen.”

This was a rather heavy-hearted run. Every time I hear of a lady runner who is taken on a routine run, it breaks my heart and I feel like it affects everyone who calls herself a runner.

Sarah Hart, 31, lost her life last week when she was out for a run with her sister. She started to feel a little ill and told her sister to go on and she turned back to go to her car. On the way, she was robbed and killed. You can read the whole story HERE.

Please pray for every runner that you know and even the ones you don’t.

I ran this run alone, even after hearing such news. We can’t let these acts of evil rob us of the joy we can find in this world. Sarah did everything right, it seems. Someone knew where she was going. She wasn’t running alone. She was just at the wrong place at the wrong time. She leaves a husband, three children and the unborn child inside her.

My prayers go out to her entire family. Especially her husband, children and her sister, who was spared, praise GOD!

Monday, June 4, 2012

June 3rd, 2012 – BGR & 19th Annual Love Run

The continued prayer is, “Lord keep me focused. Keep my mind stayed on You. Help me to bring You praise. I know You believe in me. Please help me in my unbelief. Amen.”

Sunday was the 19th Annual Love Run in Westlake Village! This is a favorite race that I have run many times. And I have the race T’s to prove it.

This one was extra special because I got to meet some new friends.

For the last year or so, I have been part of a cyber-community of runners called “Black Girls RUN!” I read about them in Runner’s World Magazine. When I searched for a group, the closest chapter I found was in Los Angeles.

They run several times a week but they are mostly in Los Angeles County, so I have never done a run with them. It’s just too far away, but it’s nice to read of their accomplishments and see their fun pix and we are always encouraging to each other, no matter where we live.

A few weeks ago, I posted a request for anyone who might live closer to my area and asked if they’d be interested in getting together.

I read somewhere that you should “Ask and you shall receive”. And lo and behold, that’s exactly what happened!!! I met a lovely lady and we met up in Westlake Village and had a very pleasant 5-mile run.

The next day, I met another BGR Runner at the Love Run. She was doing the 10k.

Many months earlier, I had promised a friend that I would coach her to her first Finish Line, so that’s what we did.

I was in a bit of a quandary over this. I hadn’t heard from my friend (Lorenza is her name) about the race in months so I wasn’t sure that she was going to do it. So when I registered for it, the original plan was to go for a PR in the 5k.

When she texted me a few days before the race asking me if I was still going to run it, I told her I was and that I was glad that she had decided to take the plunge. I immediately told her that I would stay with her and pace her to the Finish.

However, I’m not sure that that was necessary….

It has been my experience that proper Runners’ Etiquette dictates that when you are running a race with a less-able runner, you go ahead and run your race. Then after you cross the finish line, you turn around and go back for them, unless of course, you are their coach or they’ve paid your registration fee for you, correct?

Here is the very brief story of my first Half: Training, nerves, anticipation, extreme exhaustion, blah, blah blah….

But a very dear friend of mine was running the race that day too and he is a far better runner than me.

Of course we started at the same time and place and he was off like a shot! I started out feeling good at the steady pace I had trained myself for and I kept it going at a pretty decent clip. But at the 10-mile mark, I hit The Wall like never before. I trudged through it and when I saw the 12-mile marker, I was delighted but still so tired and defeated.

When there was about a half mile to go and all hope had fled, I saw my friend walking toward me.

And at that moment, with all due respect to his wife and family, he was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen!

I just looked at him and asked, “How long have you been waiting?!” He simply said, “Don’t worry about that. Let’s go!” And he ran the last half mile with me and pushed me to kick it to the Finish!

That was absolutely the greatest act of kindness that had ever been shown to me by another athlete. I will never forget it and I will always be grateful to him for it.

It’s one thing to go back for a friend who is 5 or 10 minutes behind you, but he could have run the race TWICE in the time it took me to run it!! He certainly could have already been home and on to the next task by the time I was stumbling across the Finish Line. But he stayed and pushed me through the single most physically demanding thing I’d ever done (yes, including child birth. That was a breeze!).

So yes, my 5k PR will have to wait another day. Yes, if I’m being honest, I have to confess myself a little disappointed about that (and next time I probably will run my race then double back). But I will never pass up an opportunity to encourage another runner along The Way if I can….. Because it meant so much when someone did it for me.