Friday Running Randomz

OK so a couple of “running randomz” since it’s 80* in March (which in itself is random enough!)…

Last weekend I almost stepped on a dead raccoon on the side of the road during my 18-miler. Massive running FAIL. But it got me to thinking about all those barefoot running people (sorry but I think you guys are CRAZY). What on Earth would make someone want to run in their bare feet?!? I mean there are DEAD RACCOONS out there just waiting to be stepped on. Barefoot? Gross.

Which leads me into this: the lady at the running store I mentioned in my previous blog tried to sell me socks with toes. Who wears socks with toes? What happened to the standard sock-fare? When did we decide to become neanderthals when running? Shoes were invented for a reason! And I can’t help but wonder if all this toey-barefootedness has positively impacted the quantity of customers at the nail salon trying to get pedicures for the massive callus’s on their crazy shoeless feet. (Note to self: open nail salon!)

I haven’t talked much (OK really not at all) about my marathon training, so here’s a snippet into how I manage to do it with 3 kids. I train: A) in the mornings while they are sleeping, B) during naps on my treadmill, C) at the gym in the evenings when we don’t have soccer, dance, swim,…, D) I sneak out as soon as my husband gets home from work, or E) when my mom is crazy enough to offer up an hour of her sweet freedom. I’ve only done option D once, while A and B are most popular around here. On the weekends my husband is cool about me dipping out for a few hours while they’re napping to get in a long run and since the weather’s gotten warmer I’ve been trying to get up a little early so I can do the distance run and get home to enjoy brunch and my weekend in it’s entirety with the family.

Finding time to run is hard enough with a young family that demands a lot of your time, energy and effort. Finding time to prepare for a marathon is almost impossible. There were times I doubted I could do it and came thisclose to switching to the half. Then I started hitting 17, 18 mile runs and thought, “maybe this IS something I really can do!” But it does take an all-in effort. I’m really lucky my husband is cool about my weekend training. (I think) He sees that I do everything I can to train around the kids sleep schedules so the impact it has on him babysitting so I can be out prancing the streets for a silly marathon is minimized as much as humanly possible. And I’m lucky to have my mom just across town who will randomly offer to take them so I can get off the dreadmill and enjoy the sweet freedom road running provides. If it weren’t for them I’d be dead in the water.

The past two weeks I’ve run 40+ total miles each. This week I backed off due to the hip & knee pain (mentioned in previous blog) but now that I’ve got my new sneaks I’ll probably get in 35 this week. Oh and my new shoes are the Brooks “Ghost”.

Old sneaks on left, new sneaks on right, Elmo slipper in the background. Sounds about right 🙂

So anyway, that’s a small snapshot into my running and marathon life. Maybe I’ll try to make “running randomz” a more regular blog occurrence because (since I’m training alone) there are all these things I think about and would like to ask / share.

Do you run shoeless? Or even wear socks with toes? I’d love to hear your thoughts either way! Perhaps you can sway me into giving it a go…

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A Change Would Do You Good

If you know me, you know I am very much a creature of habit.  I deeply enjoy many, many things but each and every time I enjoy them I do so the exact same way.  It’s just an idiosyncrasy of mine.  One of many 🙂

My “professional job” which I went to college for is deeply rooted in the idea of change.  Teaching others to accept new methods, technology, ideas.  Coming from a control freak like me, that’s kind of laughable.  But in a business setting I actually find accepting and being a catalyst for change quite refreshing.  In real life, however, sudden and abrupt change causes the Lindsay row boat to capsize. Many, many years ago I once cried because I went to Eat ‘n Park specifically for clam chowder on a Friday and they were sold out.  My plan was thwarted and I couldn’t control it. Tears ensued.  I really was that extreme.

Having kids certainly has forced me to give up control in many ways.  I can’t follow the exact same routine anymore when I leave the house to go anywhere because each and every time is like an exercise in herding cats.  Getting in the car and Emily having on 2 matching shoes with clothes properly on is triumph enough.  All routine and rules have flown out the door when it comes to the kids.

But with me I find that the small things I can control I still very much do.  I realized today I’ve been running for eleven years, and for about eight of them I’ve been wearing the exact same style running shoe.  Don’t get me wrong – my shoe is fantastic and was even coincidentally voted this past winter by Runners World as the top  all-around running shoe.  I ran through 3 pregnancies in that model of shoe.  I ran from Pittsburgh to Southern California and back (not literally) with those shoes.  I ran a half marathon in that shoe.  And I had full-on intended to run a full marathon this May in them as well.

Then something happened.  As my distances crept up, pain started to come with it.  Sore hips.  Aching knees.  My body began to feel twice it’s age.  I’d been cross-training.  I’d slowly increased my  mileage.  People started to tell me that perhaps I simply wasn’t made to go such far distances.  If you don’t know me by now you must realize that telling me I’m not made to do something only makes me even more determined to accomplish it, hence my sticking with sports against all odds when I was a severe asthmatic as a kid.  Nobody puts Lindsay in a corner.

So today I went to a local running specialty store.  I took my trusty shoes with me.  I explained my dilemma to the associate.  And you know what she told me – the problem wasn’t my shoes per se, it was ME.  “Me?!!?”  I was stunned.  She reminded me that aches and pains are going to come with high mileage runs.  She implored me to continue cross-training.  And to pay attention to the wear on my shoes – mine were worn out and needed replacing even though they were only 3 months old!  Then she studied my gait and recommended a different shoe.  She said my old, trusty shoe model would be fine if it’s what I wanted but that I didn’t need the support that shoe offers so why not see if one of the other styles would be more comfortable to take me 26.2.

A different shoe.  A different shoe?  Was she nuts?!?  But of course I love shoes and had to try on a few for the fun of it.  And I decided.  Reluctantly.  Surprisingly.  It was time for a change.

I know in life things just aren’t predictable.  You can’t control the choices those around you make and you can’t change most of the things that come at you from day to day.  But you can control your choices.  Your actions and reactions.  And by doing so you are blazing your path, walking to your own beat, and being your own person.  Change is OK.  I know I can’t control everything and it’s absolutely insane for me to think or pretend that I can.  Like somehow a certain shoe is going to guarantee I can make it the entire marathon?  No.  Training, preparation, diet, etc., is what will ensure I make it on race day.  Only I determine my success or failure.

Will I go to Heaven someday?  God willing, I pray.  I so badly want to.  Is it a guarantee?  No.  Much like a marathon the preparation today determines my final outcome at the end of this race.  I know I will have good miles and bad ones.  Hard ones and easy ones.  But each step is taken out of love for my Savior. I am truly grateful for the opportunity to take each step regardless of it’s difficulty.  And that, friends, feels really good, even in the hardest of miles.

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:34.  Get yourself through this day, this moment, this mile, this step with pride, strength, integrity and love.  Slow and steady wins the race.  Don’t be afraid to take a chance, change your pace, put your trust in Jesus and change your life.  What awaits beyond the finish line is far better than any trophy.

Run by faith,

Lindsay

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