I had a good week of training and a wonderful weekend (that included a little mini-vacation) and I’m excited to be linking up with HoHo Runs and MissSippiPiddlin again this week for the Weekly Wrap. Just a fair warning, I’ve got lots to share this week, so go ahead and grab a cup of coffee (or tea, hot chocolate, etc.) and get comfy.
I started the week off with an easy run on Monday and then Tuesday morning I hit the treadmill for a 10 mile brisk pace run. My schedule called for a 2 mile warm up and then 8 miles at 7:00 – 7:10 pace. I ended up averaging 7:03 for the “brisk” portion, which I was very pleased with. The brisk pace run is something that my coach uses periodically in training to help improve the athlete’s ability to stay relaxed and smooth at a quick pace.
I successfully kept myself distracted throughout that workout by watching a few episodes of Gilmore Girls. I absolutely loved that show when I was in high school and college. My mom and I watched it together every week. I’ve heard rumors that the show is returning for another season (on Netflix only), so I just started watching from the beginning to familiarize myself with the show again. Plus, workouts are much better with friends!
I’ve apparently done something to make my face very angry with me. The past few weeks, I have had several rashes and/or breakouts take over the entire surface area otherwise known as my face. The jury is still out as to whether or not it is some sort of allergy or not, but for now I have just discontinued the use of all products on my face. This doesn’t really seem like a big deal (and probably shouldn’t have been), but I figure since I am oversharing my life on the internet, I might as well not leave anything out.
Perhaps this is stating the obvious, but I want to just point out that it is so very easy to “leave out” unhappy, bad or even just mediocre things on social media. I want to try my best not to do that because that isn’t real. And if we are being real, the whole face situation had me bummed out, which I know sounds really silly and really petty. But regardless, I was feeling bummed so I had to acknowledge those feelings and try to get to the root of the issue.
I got a steroid shot Tuesday, which meant that I was awake pretty much the entire night. There have been several people on my heart and I did lots of praying and reflecting that night (or well technically Wednesday morning). Oddly enough, the First 5 devotion Tuesday morning talked about getting quiet and listening to God. I had plenty of time to work on that while I was awake all night.
I know that outward appearances do not matter. I know that. Yet, it is so darn easy to fall into the trap of thinking that they do. The world focuses on what people look like on the outside. While there’s nothing explicitly “wrong” with wanting to look pretty, we just need to make sure it’s in balance. I definitely felt convicted that I needed to restore my balance. God focuses on what people look like on the inside. He would rather see us work on becoming drop-dead gorgeous on the inside … you know, the kinds of girls who talk to Him on a regular basis and study His word.
As I sit here now, finishing up my post, I stumbled right across this amazing article that a friend recently shared. The author writes, “God has called me to fitness, … but He hasn’t called me to put the focus on my body or on my accomplishments. The biggest disservice that I could do would be to inspire women to look at the outside appearance and believe that THAT is the most important thing, or that they have to live up to a certain expectation to be acceptable in the world’s eyes … It’s not about extreme fitness, or accomplishing great things with your body. It’s about being extremely sold out to the calling God has placed on your life and being healthy enough to GO and DO what He asks.” Um, Can I get an AMEN?! I love it when God reveals things to me that I need to hear (even in something as simple as an article shared via social media).
Moving on … Thursday morning I hit the track for a speed workout! I haven’t been to the track in a really long time. I had 10 X 600 meter repeats on the schedule with a goal pace of 5:50 to 6:00 (so 2:10 to 2:15 per repeat). It was dark and early, but I got it in and thankfully Daniel went over to the track with me so that I wouldn’t be by myself. You might have seen this on Instagram, but here’s how it went down … 2:13, 2:15, 2:14, 2:14, 2:12, 2:11, 2:11, 2:12, 2:12, 2:11.
We loaded the car up, dropped Brooksy off at the doggie ranch and headed north after work Thursday evening. We spent the weekend in Gaylesville, AL (population < 150), which is just outside of Fort Payne (and also just outside of Lickskillet (yes, really … you can’t make these things up)). One of the doctors that Daniel works with was nice enough to let us stay in their cabin for the weekend. We are so thankful to the McGees. Their place was absolutely beautiful (check it out on VRBO)!
Friday morning we went rappelling and rock climbing with True Adventure Sports in the Little River Canyon. Going in, I was a tad skeptical about this whole “adventure.” Case in point.
But you guys … it was absolutely incredible! Part of the mission statement of TAS is to operate their business as a ministry, to bless others and to help others experience God’s creation through a new light. Our guides, Tyler and Jonathan, were great. Daniel and I were both genuinely encouraged by their boldness to step out and share their faith with everyone that goes on trips with them. They prayed with us before and after the trip and it was really powerful. They have a wonderful ministry and it was a great reminder to not be afraid to talk to people about “real” things and things that are important to you.
In my previous post, I kind of jokingly referred to this adventure as being an “exercise in trust,” but the more I thought about that, the more that I realized there was something there and I want to expound upon it a little bit. Trust is defined pretty simply as the act of placing confidence is someone or something else. It is a fundamental action, but without it, fear can take over.
I’m sure most all of us have heard the verse from Proverbs 3:5 that says “trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” Unfortunately we also probably have all gone through different things and different experiences that have “taught” us that we can only depend on ourselves, not others. In order to live the life that God has called us to live, we have to unlearn that lesson and learn to rest in God’s understanding. We may know that God is all-understanding and that he possesses infinite wisdom, but sometimes it can still be difficult to trust Him completely. Every day we must make a conscious effort to set aside our own plans and expectations and to surrender to His plan for us.
What better way to work on trust than to face your fear head on?
Rappelling was definitely my favorite. Apparently rock climbing is not in my skill set (not that I thought it would be), but I’m glad that I tried it. Daniel was a lot better than me at the climbing. He went first and made it look so easy … but, no. Not so much. I definitely need to work on that whole upper body strength thing.
After all the fears were faced and the trust was restored, we headed the local grocery store, the Unlimited Grocery Outlet, to get some groceries for the weekend. This in itself was quite an experience. The place was crazy cheap, but the selection left quite a bit to be desired. I don’t believe that they carried any of the brands of any food that I typically buy. While that was a bit of a mental challenge for me at first, we came away with some good options and minimal stress.
We got back to the cabin around 3 pm that afternoon and we were itching to scope out our route options and go for a run. Because … running. We found some awesome trails and got in 6 miles. We had to wear our hunter orange because the area where we were staying (and running) was several thousand acres of wildlife management area and there were lots of hunters out.
We cooked a delicious dinner (ribeye, conecuh sausage, chicken, grilled veggies and sweet potato fries).
Saturday morning we headed over to Huntsville to watch Daniel’s sister, Leigh-Ann, run the Rocket City Marathon. It was her first full and she did great! We had some navigational difficulties getting around the course, so we didn’t catch her until mile 19. We found a place to park around mile 20.5 and we took off running backwards along the course to find her. It was rather warm (especially for pants and long sleeves … poor planning on my part). We found her right at mile 19 and ran the mile and a half with her back to the car.
From what I could tell and from what she told us, this was a really cool course. The runners got to run by the rockets at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center and through the Huntsville Botanical Gardens. The race finished in an indoor arena, where there was live music and lots of food. I loved the finish area. It was perfect for spectating.
She finished in 4:19:20 and was still smiling at the end!
Several of Daniel’s family members were there to support Leigh-Ann. Her aunt and uncle even came all the way down from Louisville, KY and surprised her!
We headed back to the cabin after lunch and got back in time to go for a run. We ventured out in the opposite direction this time and were able to get 6 miles in again. You can’t really tell, but the shirt I was running in was a shirt I got in NYC for the marathon and it says “Run NYC Run Anywhere.” I thought that was pretty fitting because it kind of felt like we were running in the middle of nowhere.
Leigh-Ann and her husband, Will, came over and stayed with us for the evening after the race. We haven’t gotten to see them much recently, so it was really nice to hang out and spend some quality time together. We made dinner (pretty much more of the same … ribeye, pork, chicken, sweet potatoes and veggies) and hung out by the fire. We had s’mores for dessert and fell asleep watching Elf (which is obviously the best. movie. ever). It was a perfect evening!
We woke up to a beautiful sunrise Sunday morning. We had some coffee, watched the sun come up and mapped out our route for the day.
I had a 14 mile long run on the schedule with the middle 6 miles up-tempo (6:40 to 6:50 pace). I didn’t want to do that on dirt, gravel or trails, so we found a route that would take us over to the Little River Canyon scenic highway, where we could *attempt* the tempo portion. Just a heads up, anytime you are running in canyon, expect hills. Lots and lots of hills.
Anytime you are running on a scenic highway, expect beautiful scenery. Lots and lots of beautiful scenery. The route, while not optimal for tempoing, was absolutely beautiful. The tempo portion was shortened to 4 miles and went like this: 6:54, 7:03, 7:40, 7:14. I am pretty sure that the effort I was having to put in to get those times was closer to the 6:40 to 6:50 range though (that is what I am telling myself at least). We climbed close to 1,000 ft., which might not sound like a lot, but I was definitely feeling it.
We came back to the cabin, scrambled some eggs and relaxed for a while before it was time to pack up and head back south. I made the most of the long (ish) drive home and got the majority of this post typed up, using the new and improved WordPress app. Daniel was driving, listening to ESPN radio and
smoking a cigar eating cow tales. Does anyone else out there eat these things? He loves them.
We had a wonderful weekend, but of course it is always nice to be home. We missed our little buddy. He lived it up at the doggie ranch. We know this because we are the overprotective puppy parents who keep tabs on our fur baby via Dog Ranch Resort’s Facebook page while we are away. Don’t judge. Look how much fun he had …
Alright guys. I think we are officially caught up. I hope you all have a wonderful week! I’ll talk to you soon!