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Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Running Realizations

I totally stole that title off another blog I follow. This topic resonates with me so deeply as I spend anywhere from 7-10 hours running every week, at least 1/2 of that with my son or other women.

Running allows you to clear your head, for me much in the same way that throwing pottery does. If I am running with my girlfriends then we solve all the problems in the world of mommyhood, marriage, cooking, grocery shopping and clothes within 5-6 miles. If I am running with my oldest son then I leave knowing the latest dance move inspired by a touchdown celebration...or which one of his teachers give him the most grace or I learn how God spoke to him in a recent sermon or devotion. I also learn that much like me ---he is a goal setter .....and as an adoptive mom anytime I can find a trait that I share with my kiddos I RELISH IT!!!

If I run on the treadmill I am normally doing a split run and pushing myself to go faster...therefore my only thoughts are "30 more seconds, 1 more incline, breathe Kinzie breathe, stay on the treadmill, are my shoes tied, are the kids awake yet?". Sometimes though I do watch some really neat shows like PBS A Chef's Life and get inspired to cook a new meal  or pair together different ingredients. Sometimes when watching Fixer Upper I get a home project idea or paint color.....but in all honesty when I am on the treadmill and the time is in front of me...like STARING AT ME I am always in warp mode...just trying to finish with a better time!!

Here are some realizations from my last 2ish years of running:

1. Setting goals should be a part of our life. That 10 miles seemed daunting the first time I set out to do it but like so many other things in life once it was over I was thrilled. I won't lie and say that all 10 miles were enjoyable but setting a goal and accomplishing it no matter what creates GRIT....we all need a little more grit and self control in our lives eh?

2. Our Creator is super artistic. I have never in my life witnessed so many shooting stars, breath taking sunrises and smells of nature as I have when running. I love when God whispers "look up" while I am running and I see a shooting star...It doesn't leave me the rest of the run. I can't wait for my oldest son to have that first and experience it with him. I love when I am finishing up a long run and I watch the whole earth GET REALLY DARK right before the sun comes up. I ALWAYS think of the quote "it always gets the darkest right before the dawn" when I am witnesssing a sun rise. It reminds me that this earth, that people are going to get really dark before THE SON comes back and wakes us all up!
And the smells, although not all good, are so refreshing...we are so used to indoor, controlled smells. Have you ever truly run through sprinklers in the dark and smelled that hot hose water?...Have you ever run, not driven, through a cow pasture and smelled all that "goodness"? Have you ever run through flowers that are just blooming? Have you ever run through a indurstrial park as 7 workers cut grass there simultaneously and are overtaken by the cut grass smell?

3. I am stronger than I think. This one hit me hard on my marathon on Saturday. I thought for sure that my outdoor time would be much slower than my treadmill time but that was not the case. Even when I just knew that I was running super slow and that my feet were about to fall off I would finish another mile, look down and see that my time was under 9 minutes...which is awesome for mile 1-5 but even more so for miles 23-26!!! Most runners though train this way...start off slow and really pick it up at the end..which is what I wanted to do..training works...our bodies push when our minds can't fathom it!

4. Prayer is important. Were it not for the fact that I knew I could ask God to endure me during the many miles I have covered I would be lost. If it weren't for the fact that I could quote his word to myself as I run up a steep hill I would loose steam many times. That verse in Hebrews 21 where he tells us to lay aside every obstacle and sin which so easily entangles us and run with endurance the race that is set before us is one of my mantras. I know he wasn't necessarily speaking of a physical race but it sure does work for those and our lives!

5. Socks, bras and underwear matter. Yup, when you run a lot you tend to be a little more specific with your undergarments. That is all I have to say about that.

6. I function/thrive/live for routine. I think I can hear Adam "amening" this. I love working out first thing in the morning. I love having an idea of how many miles I want to run before I start. I love eating my meals and going to bed at the same time every day. Heck, I love the same food for most meals.....I realized this a long time ago but becoming a mom threw me for a loop there for a while. I quickly found out that a routine is so good for kiddos and MOMMAS!!!

7. Although I can run and speak I don't often do well at running and thinking. Therefore sometimes I share to much on runs or I become super opinionated on a topic that I have no prior knowledge of. My girlfriends tend to have the same problem and we like the quote "you can either run or think, not both". This lends itself to some very funny conversations, some very funny apology text messages that go like this " you were probably right this morning about the fact that roasting beets is a better way to cook them then pickling".....hehe. 

8. I am not a big scaredy cat as previously thought. Growing up I was scared of the dark...I slept with my parents or brother a lot. I slept on their floor if they wouldn't let me in their bed. I slept with my roommates in college if I was having a hard time going to sleep. I tend to become very emotional when the sun goes down and very worried over every little sound. NOT NOW BABY. I won't run by myself in the dark on purpose but I am the first one to bolt ahead of our group and run one block ahead just to circle back if my pace is quicker than theirs. When my son and I run I will drop him at our home to rest while I circle the neighborhood by myself and come back to grab him. I think it has to do with the fact that there are so many people out running from 4-5 every morning and they are all friendly...all saying "good morning" or "keep it up". We all wave and we all get each other. I also think my headlamp gives me a ridiculous amount of false security :). 

9. The running community are MY PEOPLE. I get them, they get me. When I am driving and pass a runner I always point them out to my kiddos and say " you go girl/boy....FINISH STRONG". When I go to a sport store and see others trying on running shoes we always engage in a talk about upcoming races/ mileage/ tips/ blisters/ socks or bras or underwear (once again so important) as if we had been besties for 10 years. Runners get each other, we get that you probably won't want to stay up late due to your early run. We get that your running time consists of a 1-2 mile warm up and that after that you should have negative splits. We get the lingo...we get the idea that we need to go out 2 miles then loop back to stay close to water and potties. We know that sometimes you may not answer on a run because your jam just came on your phone and you are listening to that for the next 3 minutes instead of talking on the run. We get that people who run in the streets aren't crazy..just trying to avoid all of the possible bumps and obstacles of the dreaded sidewalks (my only fall has been on a sidewalk). We also get that everyone else thinks we are crazy and that we are ruining our knees and that running seems boring.....we just think differently than you :). 

10. I am in my friends words "dogmatic" about running..and about life. I want to run 5 miles, not 4.8 or 5.2. I want to add it up without decimals at the end of every month. I will stop and walk half a block if that means I don't have to deal with a decimal. I will keep running circles around my running partner once they finish if that means I don't have to deal with a decimal. I have a system of how I recycle running shoes. You are supposed to get new ones every 300 miles...well fo rme that is every 3 months...thats too expensive. I allow myself to get new ones after every marathon or every 2 1/2 marathons...that is STRONG MOTIVATION. Then my old ones become my weight lifting or every day shoes. 
I like that my friend calls me "dogmatic"...others (no names) have called it OCD, crazy or perfectionism :). 

That .01 irks me 

Stretching it out with my kiddos before a race.

Part of my routine is including lots of probiotics into my diet! Good gut health is so important for long runs!

This is my 1st  breakfast almost every morning, 2nd breakfast changes a little. But first breakfast is almost always eggs, bacon fat and some veggie--mushrooms, peppers, tomatoes, spinach.

3 on the money!

Monday night dinner :)

Thursday night dinner...what can I say, I love this meal!

6 on the money....I am pretty sure I circled my girlfriend twice to hit it!

Double the headlamps equals double the security..plus you can see we were done running and the sun had just come up...a beautiful morning!

My last 1/2 marathon...why are decimals part of 1/2 and full marathons..who knows...time for new shoes though!!! Actually I am overdue!

More headlamp shots!!! We ain't scared!! 

8 miles exactly...but the first 2 were warm ups which messes with your time but is so important to finishing strong!!

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