Fitness, lately

It has been awhile since I’ve posted. Especially about fitness! I have lots of new and exciting things happening in my life in regards to fitness, currently:

1. I started boxing! I don’t know how many times I’ve gone now, maybe 10, but I do know I haven’t missed a Monday class, have added a sporadic other day class a few times and don’t plan on stopping anytime soon! It’s such a rush and makes me feel strong and powerful. Plus, I needed a change-up in my workout.

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2. I ran a half marathon in Atlanta. This is the farthest away I’ve ever run. I loved it. That makes 5 states. Only 45 more to go.

photo1My friend caught me RIGHT after crossing the line. I wasn’t ready for this wonderful photo…

3. A friend from the gym has convinced me to do a triathlon. I signed up tonight. Oh brother, I am not a swimmer. One time in college I did what was called “Swim Across Indiana” with a team of 5 others. We had to all swim the distance of Indiana (total as a team). In the pool. I got a terrible ear infection and called it quits. It was terrible. But this guy, he’s convincing. He took away all my excuses. So here I am, signed up for a July triathlon. Aye.

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4. I signed up for an online personal training study course so I can finally be certified! About diggity-dang time! Now I just need to actually getting to studying!

5. Running the first Nike Women’s Half in DC at the end of the month!

6. My heart and prayers go out to all those involved with the Boston Marathon bombings today. Much prayer and love. May God do mighty works through this tragedy.

 

Looking for a May fitness challenges! Any ideas? Pushups? Plank? Speed?

 

Keeping your mouth shut.

I wrote a post that I was very passionate about a few months ago about speaking up.

But yesterday I had a conversation with someone I care deeply about regarding keeping your mouth shut.

Sometimes, it’s better to bite your tongue. We discussed how there are times when you should tell someone how you feel, especially when you are working on your relationship and communicating. But, there are also times when it’s better to not say things to someone in order to protect them. I think things need to be spoken but I believe once spoken there is a difference between harping on them and giving the chance for the words to take root in someone and make a change.

This guy and I are working on communicating better… We have very different styles of communication. He’s on the team of “speaking-whatever-I-feel-when-I-feel-it.” I, on the other hand am  on have always been fond of the idea of not always saying what I feel… I believe in the power of words and how important it is to say what you feel. Words can change someone – they can hurt and they can heal.

I think it is important to consider what you are saying and why you need to say it. Is it actually edifying and beneficial for the other individual, or does it just make you feel better or more powerful?

silence vs speaking up

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Over the past couple years I have had a reoccurring dilema: do I speak my mind when someone wrongs me and [as best as possible] tell them the truth and the way their words or actions affected me, OR do I keep my mouth shut for the most part, giving them unconditional love?

As a people pleaser and a girl trying her best to live like Jesus, I have a habit of looking out for the best of others. I rarely speak my mind if I know if will offend or hurt someone. There are so many times where I would love to spew a bunch of “word stones” at people and hurt them, like they did me. It’d feel so cathartic. It’d help me to get things off my chest. It’d get the truth out there. After all, they should be told so they can learn from their mistakes, right?

But, unfortunately, it’d also hurt that person. And likely make me feel like a moron.

So how do I tell someone how they hurt me while also showing them love and grace?

For so long I just kept my mouth shut. And that caused me an incredible amount of pain – both physically and mentally. So, while I was sparing the heart of another, I was hurting my own. 

I don’t like hurting people. In fact, I really try to avoid it at all costs. I am, however, learning to stick up for myself. Maybe that means that person won’t like me, will be offended by what I say, will feel some pain. But here is how I decide what to say – can I walk away from the conversation with a clean conscious, that what I said was not out of malice or anger, but out of love and truth, hoensty and openness? Do I leave feeling good about my words? Sure, I often feel sad at the end of such a conversation. I am sad that I had to hurt the person and they may never come to realize the truth in what I said. I am sad that I am causing any offense to a friend. My pride is screaming as it realizes that person likely has some negative feelings towards me. But I am free. What is most important is to remember to act out of love. If what you are wanting to say is what you wanted to say the minute that person caused you any offense, you likely shouldn’t have said it. 

Take some time.

Be okay with how you feel.

Consider the other person’s feelings AND your own feelings.

Pray about it. Ask for help and clarity, direction and guidance.

Don’t speak out of hatred.

Don’t walk away feeling like a victor. Walk away knowing you spoke out of truth and honesty, and that it might take a long time, but hopefully that person will understand that one day.

Be an adult. [This is one of the most frustrating things to me – I often try to just be honest and talk about things, but so many “adults” haven’t learned that this can be healthy and good – it often is viewed as only a slam. Pride too often rules in such confrontational situations.]

But, all things considered – sometimes silence really is the best answer to a foolish response, a painful remark, an offended heart. It doesn’t feel good to stay silent, but sometimes that is what we are called to do. Write about it. Don’t talk about it with another person. Pray about it. Don’t lash out at the accuser.

[This post was originally posted on my other blog, Worthy Heart]

In the Word Wednesday: Your Body as a Temple

I’m currently studying 1 Corinthians and this week my focus is on chapters 2-3. I like to read each chapter from a few different versions and also look up some commentaries. Yesterday, while reading chapter 3 I was really struck by The Message version of veses 3:16-17:

You realize, don’t you, that you are the temple of God, and God himself is present in you? No one will get by with vandalizing God’s temple, you can be sure of that. God’s temple is sacred—and you, remember, are the temple.

Trust me, I hear and remind myself all the time that my body is not my own – it is the temple in which God dwells, and therefore should be treated with the utmost care and respect.

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The problem is, really a temple means nothing to me. I mean, I get that it is sacred – or was sacred – but I don’t worship in a temple and have never been brought up doing so, so I never gained respect for any physical temple. Likewise, I live in a society which promotes pleasure, especially pleasure through acts that tend to destroy my body temple. The foods we consume, the way we overwork our bodies – through physical exercise and a tendency to dismiss rest, sleep, and solitude – as well as drugs and alcohol abounding. We are about pleasing our bodies… and destroying them.

I’m just as guilty, and I am not saying these things are bad in and of themselves. We just don’t know how to discipline ourselves, to take things in moderation so as not to cause harm.

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In my battle vs my body and vs food and also vs self image, I am often reminded of these verses and the fact that as a Christian, I am a dwelling place for God, and therefore need to take care of myself. But mostly, I am reminded that my heart is the sole dwelling place for God living in me, and I should really take care to protect my heart.

This is all a learning process for me – watching what I eat and how much I work out – not to look good for the approval of man, but to honor God as a steward of this body he has given me.

Related scripture:

1 Corinthians 6:12

“All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be dominated by anything.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

Galatians 5:21

Envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

1 Chronicles 17:1-5

Now when David lived in his house, David said to Nathan the prophet, “Behold, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of the covenant of the Lord is under a tent.” And Nathan said to David, “Do all that is in your heart, for God is with you.” But that same night the word of the Lord came to Nathan, “Go and tell my servant David, ‘Thus says the Lord: It is not you who will build me a house to dwell in. For I have not lived in a house since the day I brought up Israel to this day, but I have gone from tent to tent and from dwelling to dwelling. …

Marathon training: another race, another metaphor

The other day I briefly mentioned using other races (5k, 10k, 1/2s, etc.) to train for the big day (26.2!).

Today, I did just that! It was quite a gloomy, foggy morning… and it was hard getting up. This race is Ohio’s oldest marathon/half marathon but it is small and it is local. It’s nothing spectacular or grandiose. The packet pickup yesterday had no booths other than the booth to pickup your bib and shirt. The cookies at the end were homemade (and I may or may not have taken 6 or so…) and most of the runners are local.

So what makes this race unspectacular also makes it exciting and great! It’s just harder to wake up for that kind of race than say, the Chicago.

But I did. I drove through the fog and then waited in line for a bathroom which I never ended up using.

At the sound of the gun and the start of the race, I got a little emotional. I remembered my love for running. I know that sounds weird – that I remembered – but that’s how it felt. It was almost as if I had forgotten the joy that can be found in pounding the pavement with hundreds of others all striving towards the same goal.

Just like in life, there are times when people pass you and you may get discouraged. Why is she able to run faster (why is she getting to take that vacation, have that experience, do that thing, etc.)? Why does he look so relaxed running up this hill (why does he get that promotion, move up in the company so quickly, etc.). My biggest battle in keeping the joy in a race is, hands down, not letting the people pass me discourage me. I am reminding myself the entire race to do my personal best – not the best of that girl passing me.

This race was a perfect reminder of my love/dislike relationship with running. I always am thankful for a good run, but I think with how often (almost always) I run by myself, I forget the community that surrounds races like these.

Again – another metaphor for the race of life. Community is so, so very important. Just like when running alone, I get discouraged much quicker in life when I’m alone. It’s easier to give up. It’s easier to stop trying. But when you’re running life together with others, they pull you up. They keep you moving. It really is beautiful.

my girl, Jess and I after our 1st marathon - this girl knows all about life and running as metaphors!

Life is one whole metaphor. My best friend Jess and I discuss the “life is a metaphor” theory all the time. They are everywhere. Jesus in the new testament used parables to teach his disciples and others lessons about life. Metaphors are like parables. Dictionary.com defines the two as such:

Metaphor: 1.a figure of speech in which a term or phrase is applied to something to which it is not literally applicable in order to suggest a resemblance; or 2. something used, or regarded as being used, to represent something else; emblem; symbol.

Parable: 1. a short allegorical story designed to illustrate or teach sometruth, religious principle, or moral lesson; or 2. a statement or comment that conveys a meaning indirectly by the use of comparison, analogy, or the like.

Running is a metaphor for life. Don’t let yourself miss out on the lessons that are waiting to be learned as you run! They are invaluable and give running a deeper meaning than lookin’ dang good!

Anyway. Use smaller races to train for the big day and remember why you run.

Why do you run?

And, just as a side note – I beat my PR by about 6 minutes today!

previous PR - November 2011

New PR - March 2012

Marathon Training: Rest days

This morning I woke up and made one dang delicious breakfast of cinnamon french toast with strawberries:

Cinnamon French Toast for One

  • 2 pieces of bread (I used Aunt Millie’s 35 cal)
  • 1 egg white
  • splash almond milk
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • cooking spray

Heat skillet to medium heat and cook on both sides until brown. Top with strawberries and your choice of syrup (I used low-calorie cinnamon – mmm!).

Following this breakfast I read up on some scripture, drank some coffee with a mud mask on my face, and then did some fantastic spring cleaning! It feels so nice to have everything so clean!

Tomorrow is my first race since the tough mudder and my first half marathon since the Indianapolis one I did in October where I PR’d. It’s just a local race put on by the Ohio River Road Runners Club (ORRRC). It’ll be an interesting one since it’s local and probably pretty small.

So, two things:

1. Use other races to train for your marathon. When you use races to train you are training in the atmosphere that is most-like the atmosphere you will be in on race day. When you are training regularly there’s nothing like actually getting in a race, surrounded by people, aid stations handy and being timed. It’s great practice for the real deal – plus it’s fun!

2. Rest. I am so bad at resting – I tend to feel guilty if I skip more than one day a week. I know this is a bad way to look at things. It really is. It is so important, however. I did TRX again two days ago for the first time in probably a month and my whole body was sore. I needed some time off to let my muscles rest before trying to push out a great run on Sunday. Taking the time off gives your body the chance to repair and also prepare.

Read up on the importance of rest for runners and athletes, here:

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Rest up, friends!

Motivation

The past few runs I have done (12 miles, 14 miles, 12 miles) have been rough. Within the first few miles of a run, I can usually tell how I will feel throughout the run. Had this been a year ago, I would have just cut my run short, but I’m learning to push through the pain and the discomfort and just run. The runs haven’t been as long as I would have liked, but they are long enough…

I spent a few minutes on pinterest today finding some running motivation. Hope these help you stay motivated as well!

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http://shes-fine.tumblr.com/page/11

What keeps you motivated to run/exercise?

Challenge!

Remember January first where we all challenge ourselves to some ridiculous new years resolutions?!

To be honest, I don’t remember mine off the top of my head. But then again, I’m not remembering much lately (information overload!)!

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Also, remember the time on Sunday I bought a new swimsuit?! I sure do. Then I realized spring is just about here which means summer is on it’s merry little way!

Yikes.

Anyway. I decided to try challenging myself to some new things. I work well with small challenges. It is much easier to count small successes than huge failures; I tend to see bigger failures when my goals are too unrealistic…Really these have nothing to do with pool/beach season. But you could do some fitness/health challenge if you want.

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This weeks challenge: no artificial sweeteners.

Today I put real suga in my coffee.

Who am I?

But seriously, I like these small, simple challenges.

Keeps life exciting, ya know?

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age shmage

Please just allow me a quick rant, and then I’ll move on. Okay? Thank you.

 

Two days in a row older men and women have commented on my age and it’s affect on my ability to work out hard. Now, this is true – the younger you are the easier it is to work out. I’m sure of it.

 

BUT, just because I am young is no reason I work out hard. It’s all about what you can do, right? You can be old and while not able to run as far, lift as much, do as many reps – whatever – as I can, you do what is the maximum effort for yourself.

I have one spin instructor who stresses that, and for that I am so thankful. Do what is 90% of your own max effort – not what the person is doing next to you.

 

I work my tail off. I work out hard and I sweat a lot. I push myself and try to do the best I can.

Stop telling me the reason is only because I am young. Seriously. Today in my spin class there was a substitute teacher who kept praising me for doing so well, yada yada. Then she and a man in the class began discussing the reason I was doing so well was because I was 20 years younger than them. Uh, no. The reason I was sweating and huffing and puffing was because I was kicking my own tail. I’ve seen people my age in there who don’t work as hard. It’s not age, it’s effort.

Don’t compare your workout to someone else’s. Please. Do your best. Push yourself because you can’t push the person next to you. 

That’s all I’ll say.

 

But, since we are speaking of age, happy 27th birthday to one of my big bro’s, Daniel!

Treadmill Marathon Training

It’s no secret I don’t like the TM. I don’t mind doing interval training on the TM but to spend hours just running one speed on the dang thing has absolutely no appeal. I know a number of marathon runners who feel opposite of me – they rather run on the TM than run outside while training. Silly people.

Today, however, I just felt I had no choice but to do my long run on the ole ‘mill. I needed to do a lot and was really, really dreading it. I stayed in bed longer than planned just to avoid going.

Finally, I talked myself into it and went. I did think at one point, “I’m doing this either way, so I may as well have a good attitude about it.” Story of my life sometimes! So, I packed my bag with an extra shirt, an extra towel, headphones, and some almond/raisin mix plus some gatorade.

Here goes nothing.

On an unrelated (soon to be related) note, do you ever watch Late Night With Jimmy Fallon? Well, you should if you don’t. He’s probably one of my favorite people. Ever. Forever, ever. He does a bit about once a week appropriately titled, “Pros and Cons.”

Here’s area a couple of examples:

It wasn’t all that bad. While spending the 2.5 hours doing 18 miles, I came up with the pros and cons of TM training.

Pro: It’s easier to drink more fluids while on the TM.

Con: You have to go to the bathroom more often.

Pro: Bathrooms are definately more readily available when running on the TM.

Con: The bathroom starts to become an appealing excuse to get off the TM.

Pro: You can change your shirt mid-run.

Con: Because you’re inside, you need another shirt because you sweat so much.

Pro: You sweat a lot more, so you’re clearing your body of toxins.

Con: Again, because you’re inside, you need another shirt because you sweat so much.

Pro: You can watch movies you’ve never seen like “I Love You Beth Cooper.”

Con: You’re almost forced to watch movies you’ve never wanted to see like “I Love You Beth Cooper.”

Pro: You’re a lot more safe than when running on the road. My mom would be happy.

Con: You’re on a dang treadmill! Looking at the same scenes for hours and hours… and hours…

Pro: You can easily track how many miles you’ve gone (unlike with my Nike+ where I won’t look at it until I’m finished).

Con: You can easily see how little you’ve run; when it has been only 2 miles but feels like 10.

Pro: Everyone can see you on the TM for hours, and surely be impressed.

Con: Everyone can see you on the TM for hours, and surely think you’re ridiculous (and did I mention sweaty?).

Pro: You can see the same David Beckham H&M commercial multiple times.

Con:

Pro: Your body keeps a pretty consistent temperature (unlike outside where there are periods where I am really hot, then cold).

Con: Your body keeps a pretty consistent sweaty/warm temperature!