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looking back.

April 22, 2011

I work. I have fun. I cook. I run. (nice rhyme, huh?) I hang out with my family & friends and I try to be involved in my community – city & church. Just a few of the many things that I do on a daily/weekly basis. And in all the things that I do, I want to be an encouragement to others – whether it’s encouraging someone in their relationship with God, or inspire someone with their running goals (thanks, Laura G for your kind words!). I believe the world could use a little bit more encouragement; there’s just too much negativity that we dole out to each other every day.

I’ve been blessed to have amazing people around me, inspiring me in so many aspects of my life. Like having parents who instilled strong values in me and pointed me to Christ, friends who accept & love me despite my faults, a husband who encourages me in everything that I attempt to do, and even strangers whose actions and words have made me pause and think about my own life. Lately? It’s the students that I work with, giving me more of a reason to do the best I can in my job so I can be a help and resource to them.

(sorry to get so “deep” here, but it’s just what’s been on my heart. and it’s Good Friday, which makes me think about so much more . . .)

(and you know, I can be long-winded and go off on a tangent, hehe.)

Anyways, I was perusing my other blog and I saw an old post that I wrote in August 22, 2010. I had been tracking my progress with my attempts of running without stopping and it’s just neat to look back and see what I’d done. For those of you reading this, I hope this gives you a little bit of an inspiration in your running goals, among other things!

titled: a little bit of progress! (original post found here)

Disclaimer: if I can do this, anyone can!

Many of you (the few readers that I have) will not care about this, but that’s okay. And for those of who you hate running, I’m sorry for this boring post. But, I care and I’m thankful for the progress!

Progress, you ask? Well, I began this summer with all good intentions of becoming a runner. Not just someone who jogs, not just someone who runs slowly, but a runner. But let’s face it – I’m not the fastest person on the block. I was always afraid that I couldn’t run faster. That my body couldn’t handle it. However, almost two months ago, a friend of mine encouraged me to just try it. To be a little bit faster. To push myself harder.

Of course I got scared, thinking I couldn’t any be faster than my 12 1/2-minute per mile average (run for 5 min, walk for 1 min). I mean, me? Be faster than that? I had already accepted the fact that I would never be Paula Radcliffe, only the fastest woman alive!

Over the course of the last month and a half, waking up in the wee early hours of the morning (so I wouldn’t have to run outside in the blistering Texas heat after work), I’ve pushed myself. Bit by bit, one foot after the other. I started the summer just trying to run for 8 minutes straight. Then, 10 minutes without stopping and from there, I added a goal. And then another. And then another. Trust me, I’m not tooting my horn. I don’t even think I have a horn to toot! But it’s just neat to see that I have tried, and my attempts are slowly, but surely, paying off. Honestly, some days were difficult (and every so often, the difficulty is still there), as I felt my lungs would just quit on me and my legs would turn into jello in the middle of running a lap. But some days, well . . . some days were glorious. I began to feel and see that I could run just a wee bit faster. And, no more shin splints!

Like any type-A personalities out there, I’ve tracked my times and my distance. Doing this has encouraged me as I saw my progress (despite some setbacks here and there), and I hope for you self-proclaimed slow runners like me, that this encourages you. (These runs have been mixed in with strength-training – kettlebells – during the weekdays. Keep in mind, when I did my half-marathons, I used a slow but stead run/walk system to complete the entire course. I think it was 9 years ago that I was able to run 3 miles without stopping??)

indoor track at the rec center – 8 laps = 1 mile
outdoor track at the park – 4 laps = 1 mile

July 8: indoor track run, 8 laps/1 mile in 10 min & 55 sec
July 10: indoor track run, 8 laps/1 mile in 11 min & 4 sec
July 13: indoor track run, 6 laps (boo) in 7 min & 50 sec
July 17: outdoor track run, 4 laps/1 mile in 9 & 1/2 min(yay!)
July 19: indoor track run, 10 laps/1.25 miles in 13 min & 11 sec
July 22: outdoor track run, 4 laps/1 mile in 9 min & 53 sec
July 31: outdoor track run, 4 laps/1 mile in 9 min & 19 sec (my fastest one yet!)
August 6: indoor track run, 9 laps in 11 min & 12 sec
August 15: outdoor track run, 4 laps/1 mile in 9 min & 29 sec
August 17: outdoor track run, 5 laps/1.25 miles in 11 min & 37 sec
August 19: outdoor track run, 6 laps/1.5 miles in 13 min & 53 sec (my furthest distance yet!)
August 21: outdoor track run, 6 laps/1.5 miles in 13 min & 46 sec (even better!)

All this to say . . . give yourself a goal. It doesn’t need to be huge. It can be a small goal, as long as you are working towards reaching it. I’m a goal-setter but I knew that if I attempted to run 3 miles without stopping at the beginning of the summer, I would have been MISERABLE and in pain. Instead, I started out small and then just added a bit of time and distance each time I ran. And you know what? It’s worked! So, if you feel discouraged, that you don’t think you can push yourself any further, any faster, any harder, don’t be down on yourself. Lace up your sneakers and get out that door. Add an extra minute each time you run. Add an extra 1/2 mile to your previous distance. Just don’t give up and don’t be discouraged. Just challenge yourself and see what you can accomplish.

Heck, if a “slow-poke” like me can do this, so can you!

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