Apr 22, 2012

Voice of Defeat

I have a Nike+ gadget that is supposed to help track my runs.  It is quite handy.  I have a little sensor on my shoe and the receiver is in my iPod.  I pick my music, tell the ipod what my running goal is (10 miles, 1 hour, 5k...) and then push start and oila, I'm off.
The ipod plays music and then when I reach certain points along the run a little voice chimes in and says something like "1 mile" or "halfway point".  It can also tell me at any point during the run what my current distance, time and pace is.  Like I said, quite handy.
IF, it works correctly.  I fired the gadget up on Saturday before my big 10 mile run and was planning to just run out 5 miles and then when I reached the half-way point, turn around and come back.  However, about 25 minutes into my run it hadn't chimed in yet to give me some encouraging words about how far I had gone.  When I pushed the button to get some feedback it said "time 25 minutes 10 seconds, distance .85 miles, current pace 0 minute mile."  I almost cried right then and there.
When I'm running around in a big forrest, I have no idea how far I have gone and how much further I need to go in order to reach my goal distance.  My broken device was no longer helping me keep track of my pace and distance, it was working against me.  Every time it said something to me like "1 hour 5 minutes, 2 miles completed, current pace 18 minutes" I felt so discouraged, frustrated, and I wanted to quit.
I finally convinced myself that I was running at my normal pace and if I ran for about 2 hours I would run my 10 miles.  It was going to be fine, I was doing good, I just needed to keep running.
But then the voice when pop up again and defeat me with its lies.
Sound familiar?
I decided my ipod voice was Satan.  I knew the truth, that I was doing what was right and I was running a good "race" but then that voice would try to steal my joy and take away the momentum I had.  Whenever it spoke, I started to worry about how far I had gone and how much further I needed to go.  I allowed this voice of lies to defeat me, instead of listening to what I knew to be true.
     "I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that    are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them....but I want you to be wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil. The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet."
Romans 16:17-20
I'm crushing the darn Nike+ chip and relying on a GPS from now on.

4730

That is my bib number for the Mannheim Half-Marathon.  Am I crazy?  I'm not a runner.  I shouldn't have a bib number for a half-marathon!
Last year our family went down to the finish line of the Mannheim Half and cheered as our friends finished their race.  There was a light show, live bands, fest tents and a whole bunch of excitement.  Matt and I looked at each other and I said "I want to do this next year!"  
I started my 12 week training plan mid-January with a few extra weeks to spare but something happened and I stopped, then we took a few trips, Matt left, I got sick, Matt's mom came to visit and the countdown clock for the race reached 31 days.  At this point I barely logged 10 miles a week and I was in no condition to run the race.
I asked Matt to be completely honest and tell me if he thought I could train enough in 30 days to run the half.  He said "yes".  I said "really?" and he said "definitely".  So with the encouragement of my dear husband I signed up and went for a run.
My "training schedule" is a mess.  I don't have enough time to follow a 6 or 8 week plan so I'm just doing my best to log the miles with a few long runs and some 4-5 mile runs each week.  
Yesterday I threw my gear on and loaded up my support team (Eli) with gatorade, a granola bar, some water and my cell phone and we left the house at 4:55pm.  Around 5:45pm we had to place an emergency call to the route planner (Matt) to give me some directions, and at 6:00pm the rain started.  We were soaking wet and just barely over halfway to our goal of 10 miles.  Thankfully the rain stopped to give a little reprieve, and we arrived back home at 6:52pm.  Eli rode and I ran 10.4 miles at just under an 11 minute mile pace.  I call it running but it is probably technically more of a jog!  Who cares?  I ran my 10 miles and I felt really great doing it.  I'm sure I could have done another mile without crying.
So here I am three weeks out from the race, I got my first 10 mile run under my belt and ran a total of 27 miles this week!  Woo hoo.  For the first time since last year when I first said I wanted to run this half-marathon, I actually believe that I can and I will.  It won't necessarily be very quick but I'm going to start and finish strong!

Apr 11, 2012

Gästehaus geschlossen

Earlier today I made my last run to the Frankfurt airport to drop off a guest. Matt's mom headed home after a whirlwind two weeks of travel and fun. This morning, just before she left the house, she filled out the guestbook, I closed it and put it on the shelf where it will stay until the movers transport it to our new place in Washington and our first guest arrives.
We are so thankful to have had the opportunity to host family and friends during our stay here in Germany. Since the boys and I were not able to return to the West Coast over the past three years, it was so wonderful to have familiar faces come see us. Not only did we get to see family but we also were able to explore new places with almost everyone who visited, and that was particularly special as well.
Closing the guestbook is the first step in closing this chapter in our lives. We have three more months here in Germany and time is going to fly by as we prepare for our departure (and squeeze in five more trips!) It's time to get stuff out of this house that we don't want or need anymore and make room for all the German treasures I need to bring back to the States!
Thank you to all of you who made it out here to visit. I'm so glad you took advantage of the opportunity to travel to Europe while we were here and although Washington isn't nearly as glamourous as a European vacation...we'll have an extra room in our new house and look forward to welcoming guests to the Pac NW.

Apr 9, 2012

Truth

Sometimes it feels great to learn the truth about a particular situation, sometimes it doesn't change a thing, and other times it hurts. That's the funny thing about truth. We think we want it, but then the revelation can make us wish we were still in the dark.
In the past few weeks the truth about a lot of different things has been revealed to me. I have seen truth in elements of my personality, my role as a mom and as a wife, and the true character of some people around me. Some of these truths have hurt, others quite refreshing.
A few weeks ago I gave a friend of mine an old dress for her to use for fabric. The print of the dress was cute but the style was off. I held onto it hoping that it would somehow fix itself in my closet. But after two years, I gave up.
Since my friend sews and has a few little girls, I figured she could do something fun with the dress. Last week she handed me back the dress, repurposed into a skirt. At first I thought she was just showing me what she did with it, but then I realized she was actually giving it to me! She took the cast-off that I gave to her and turned it into to something new and adorable. I was so moved at her kindness. She purposefully created that skirt just for me, out of that fabric, and it was sewn with love. I've known her for awhile, but this gift provided me a clearer picture of who she is and how she thinks. It reveals the truth about who she is inside.
The truths that have been revealed about myself this week are much like that dress. Some parts of me may be cute, but my style is off! If I just give this dress over to Christ, he has promised to repurpose me and return me new and improved and worth far more. And as I see the ugly truth revealed in those around me I can be hurt or frustrated by it or consider them a work in progress as well.