Tuesday, October 21, 2008

rejoice. we conquer.

A friend brought it to my attention the other day that I never wrote a post-race entry, so here it is. Because there are a lot of people I need to thank...

We finished the race, which was really all we could ask for on a ninety-degree day in Chicago, especially since I forgot my bib number at home when we left for the race. Thanks, Mom and Dad, for racing downtown and navigating the mobs of runners to find me by the starting line. You saved the day (as always).

The first half of the race went really well. 14 miles. Solid. 10-minute mile pace. Jon and I counted all of our friends and family spotted on the sidelines. Over 30! Thanks so much to everyone who came out. It was so much easier to run when we heard and saw you on the sidelines.

Then, about mile 16, things went a bit awry. It got hot, and whereas the first third of the race course wound through the northside neighborhoods (where streets are shaded by buildings and even a few trees), the west and south sides were brutal. No thanks to the marathon for running out of bananas at the refueling stations. I really think there is something unfair about allowing all the good runners to eat them up just before the rest of us get there.

But I have to be honest, it was Team World Vision--the runners and fans--that got us through. As he "ran" through the industrial district on the southwest side (miles 18 and 19), seeing fans in Team World Vision tshirts, cheering for us as loud as they could kept us going. We also ran into a friend of mine (also running for TWV), which was really an immeasurable lift. So thanks to Team World Vision for bringing people together, giving them something to connect through.

And finally, thanks to all of you. For following along, for making donations, for coming out to the race, for prayer.

What an awesome experience. I think everyone should try it (once).

Monday, September 8, 2008

in sickness and in health.

So, a training update:

Things have been a bit rocky for Jon and me these past few weeks mainly due to persistent health issues. 

A few weeks ago, I visited my doctor and, after a few tests, he determined that I had a developed a stomach ulcer over the course of the summer. At the time, the only real symptom was some pretty bad stomach pain (which was especially bad with the consumption of alcohol, caffeine, or avocados...go figure...). So they gave me some medication, and I made an effort to de-stress my life a bit. Running has been decent, but it's been very difficult to figure out what I can and cannot eat before/during my runs, meaning that I can't eat anything before I run (which is making the 12+ milers pretty tough).

3 weeks ago, Jon started experiencing sharp pain in his foot. My diagnosis: tendinitis (probably due to his dedication to training....unlike, well, me....). So he took a week off to rest and (hopefully) recover. The next week, he ran a mile, pain-free, but the following day, the pain was back. And it hasn't really left since. That was two weeks ago.

Anyways, things are pretty frustrating right now. With the race only 5 weeks away, we wanted to be feeling strong, finishing our runs with ease (or at least, minimal walking). But right now, that's just not the case. 

So anyways, please, if you think of it, pray for good health and for mental strength to persevere. We appreciate your support so much and need it very much right now.

Friday, August 29, 2008

when you get a little bored at work...

...have a team world vision photo shoot.


kyle (temp slash model).

boss lauren.


if this doesn't make you want to join team world vision, i don't know what will.

Monday, August 18, 2008

two fists in the air.

You can expect a similar pose at the finish line. I don't care.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

the first of our obligations.

So I've been reading Les Miserables pretty much all summer (only 380 pages left!), and I think that it's probably the best book I've ever read. Ever. 

This afternoon, I decided to enjoy the beautiful weather sitting on the porch reading (meaning NOT running...also meaning I will be up at 6 a.m. tomorrow morning to do the 15 miles I was supposed to do today...). But I came across this passage as I read, and it felt appropriate:

"Let us not weary of repeating it, to think first of all the outcast and sorrowful multitudes, to solace them to give them air, to enlighten them, to love them, to enlarge their horizon magnificently, to lavish upon them eudcation in all its forms, to offer them the example of labour, never the example of idleness, to diminish the weight of the individual burden by intensifying the idea of the universal object, to limit poverty without limiting wealth, to create vast fields of public and popular activity, to have, like Briareus, a hundred hands to stretch out on all sides to the exhausted and the feeble, to employ the collective power in the great duty of opening workshops for all arms, schools for all aptitudes and laboratories for all intelligences, to increase wages, to diminish suffering, to balance the ought and the have, that is to say, to proportion enjoyment to effort and gratification to need, in one word, to evolve from the social structure, for the benefit of those who suffer and those who are ignorant, more light and more comfort; this is, let sympathetic souls forget it not, the first of fraternal obligations."

Thursday, August 14, 2008

it takes so long.

Last Sunday, Jon and I ran 13 miles. 13 miles...Half of a marathon.

You can read that in two ways: (1) 13 miles is pretty good since, at the beginning of the summer, we could run about 3! or (2) 13 miles is only HALF of what we're training to run.

But that's all beside the point because last weekend it wasn't the distance of the run that made an impression on me, but the amount of time that it took. It was really a great run...the weather was absolutely perfect, my legs felt great, I had caffeinated Jelly Beans to keep me going...Jon and I ran at a 10-minute-mile pace, which is pretty good I think. Still, in total, the run took about 2:15 hours. That's a long time to just run.

And it got me thinking because we're only half way through training and the runs are only going to get longer....But it got me thinking about what I'm doing in that time besides just running. Writing? Thinking? Observing? Praying?

For the past three days, I've been a little bit sick (no big deal really...sore throat, some stomach aches, headache here and there, general fatigue). But I think the sickness is my body's way of telling me slow down. With a 40-hour work week (and additional evening work events), studying for the GRE, frequent weekend trips up to Michigan, and starting to fill out applications for law school and spring internships (not to mention marathon training), I have forgotten to rest, to breathe, to take a minute to slow down and look at life instead of rushing through it.

So I'm thankful for running in kind of a peculiar way. For forcing me to take 2 hours to write, to think, to observe, and to pray. For making me finally slow down.

Monday, August 4, 2008

hello, wall.

I guess it's to be expected 8 weeks into the training season (1 week from halfway)...

Jon and I ran our second 10-miler this weekend. The longest distance I've run in training (I missed the 12-miler due to a bone bruise in my foot a few weeks ago). The first 10-miler went pretty well. The weather was beautiful, I remembered to drink water, my pace was consistent, the sermon I listened to on my pod was inspiring...yes, the first one was good.

Not so the case with the second.

I'm not sure exactly why. Time out because of an injury...lack of sleep...serious dehydration...96 degree weather. Maybe all those things. Maybe none. Maybe it was just an emotional wall. Either way, this weekend's long run was probably the worst-feeling run of my entire life.

And for the first time really in this whole training season, I felt very discouraged. The thought of more miles after those ten (probably 4 of which were essentially walked) was terrifyingly daunting. A marathon...impossible.

I have this quote (see picture) tacked to the bulletin board on my desk above my training schedule, and it struck me as particularly relevant today as I logged Sunday's disappointing pace. It's important for me to remember that this whole training thing may not be comfortable or enjoyable all the time. It's not always going to feel good. The weather won't always be sunny. My body won't always be healthy. My heart and mind won't always be inspired.

But oh, what a feast.