Monday, May 31, 2010


Monday, May 31, 2010
2.1 miles

After my last post, I started a "training goal" on my training calendar website: The training goal is to run 50 miles in thirty days. I felt like setting goal would be a good way to keep myself on track.

So far, I have run into the same difficulties that I had before: heat, motivation, energy. But now, I have a goal hanging over my head: run 50 miles. My training calendar on Map My Run politely reminds me when I run less one week than I did the last. It should be motivating, but it is not.

This post is pretty dismal. I hope I can post something more positive soon.

Friday, May 28, 2010


Friday, May 28, 2010
2.94 miles

I ran after work today, and I've never been so tired.

It is only the end of May and it is so hot! I've never been one to stop so frequently during a light run, but I just can't seemed to move my legs when it is so hot.

I tried to mix up my route here and there in order to keep going, but nothing seemed to help. As I ran past the high school, I remembered that there was a drinking fountain next to the tennis court.

"Thank God!" I thought as I picked up my pace to the fountain. I stopped at the fountain and pushed the button. Broken. Nothing came out. I could have wilted and blown away. I had about a half mile until I got home, and no energy at all.

Thankfully, what I did have was motivation. I forced myself to keep going by counting streets again. Just as my legs felt completely dead, I arrived home.

I am planning on carrying water with me from now on, so hopefully I can figure out this running in the desert business.

I'm hoping that my life will start to fold out like this: I defeat each obstacle one at a time and continue working on finishing the race.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

time for change

Wednesday, May 26, 2010
0.79 miles

Today I ran less than a mile after a week of almost no running. It is kind of demoralizing because it is more difficult to motivate myself than ever. I have tried to commit to running in the morning, because as anyone who lives in Tucson knows, starting in about a month it will be impossible to exercise outside after 9AM, but I'm just never feeling good enough to get out of bed each day. Eventually I get out of bed because I have a job that I must report to nine-to-five each day, but I haven't yet found the motivation to get out of bed to exercise.

I used to have a marathon schedule that said how much to run each day for 16 weeks. That would probably be helpful to have right about now, but I lent it to a co-worker two years ago, then moved two states away, so I do not think I will be getting that handy schedule back anytime soon...

I suppose since we are on the topic of that marathon schedule, and I am ranting about motivation, I could dive into the story behind the marathon that almost happened two years ago. I had decided that my senior year of college, I would run a marathon. I bought a marathon schedule, went to the wellness center at my school to read up on nutrition, bought a heart rate monitor and a Camelback, and began my journey. I felt really good, I ran faithfully each day before class or after work, and I was on track to finish the race at about 4 hours and 45 minutes. About midway through the 16 weeks, though, I started to burn out. I still did my runs and actually made decent times, but I didn't have any energy to do anything else, including homework and my job. Eventually the nutritionist at the wellness center informed me that it had to do with the fact that I was eating less than 2,000 calories per day when I needed to eat 3,000 calories daily to have the energy to train for a marathon. While I tried to make healthy additions to my diet, my training was going downhill fast, and on the day of the marathon I did not run the race.

Food has always been a bit of a vice for me. I would not say that I have an eating disorder or that I am afraid of food, but I guess in a way, I am afraid of weight gain. I somehow found myself in a place where I just did not have to eat a lot to be full, so I did not concern myself with eating three, healthy meals daily. Instead, I ate chips and salsa for one meal, cottage cheese for another, and a can of soda each day and fought off any hunger pangs in between. If I had time to cook a real meal, I made wild rice and seared chicken without seasoning and tried to eat it over the course of a week. So I guess when you look at that diet, on top of a 40 mile-a-week average, it makes a lot of sense that I could not finish my marathon training.

For most of my life, running has been this do-able activity to help me overcome anything else that was going on in my life. But when I trained for my marathon, I was not able to use running to get over my struggle with food. I ended up letting my food issues overtake my desire and determination to run a marathon. Similarly, I am struggling to find motivation to run because I am depressed, and running is supposed to help me overcome my depression. I am hoping and praying that this time will be different, and that I will find some way to conquer the barriers that are making my life so unlivable.

I will close now, but I definitely think it is important for me to note that while I am nervous and scared to talk openly and publicly about depression and how it affects my life, I am terrified to talk about food, and this is the first time that I have ever admitted (even to myself to a degree) that I have issues with food and that it has been an obstacle in my life.

I thought that was particularly noteworthy, and I hope that in recognizing and acknowledging a problem, I will come closer to overcoming it.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

mile 1

Thursday, May 20, 2010
3 miles

Today is the first day of my "marathon" to freedom.

I felt exhausted and sweaty and slow, but I finished...

I'm going to be honest, I stopped twice in the last mile. I was discouraged and I didn't have the mental stamina to keep going.

Since I've been a runner for a long time, I have developed a few ways of dealing with stamina problems. One thing I've tried when running is taking a bad habit of the "run-walker" and flipping it: Sometimes a runner will start walking and say "I'll start running again when I get to that..." and "that" keeps moving more and more forward. When I get tired, I say "I'm going to start walking when I get to that... and I keep moving "that" forward because I can keep going.

This time, even though I tried to play this game in my head, I ended up stopping for a couple of moments. The first stop I cannot really explain... I just stopped.

The second one happened due to my poor memory: I was counting the streets until I got to the street where I live, and I forgot one. When I approached it and realized that I was one street ahead of myself in my head, it was so demoralizing that I just stopped.

I guess finishing my routes without stopping motivates me in a lot of ways. It builds my physical stamina, but it also strengthens my confidence in myself. It is kind of cliche, but it's like that saying "where there's a will, there's a way"; I just feel like when I can make myself believe I can keep going even when my body wants to stop, then I can make myself continue in my job, my friendships, and life, when quitting seems easier.

My next run will be the same route, and I hope that my body- and my mind- can find a will to make it from start to finish without stopping.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

the beginning

I've never written a blog, but recently I have been compelled to do so. God may be trying to tell me something, and I am working hard to listen.

I'm trying so hard to listen because I feel as though I got out of the habit of doing so. I used to feel this intense connection to Jesus; I was so sure of His will for me and trusted Him so fully that however painful life got, I was always comforted by his immediate presence.

Sometime in the last year or two, I strayed from that path, and I am truly disconnected. It feels as though scar tissue formed between us, and I simply cannot feel His presence the way I used to.

Some might say that this is just part of growing up. I do not know whether those people are right or wrong. I guess that's why I'm writing this blog; there is no definitive answer, just me trying to work it all out.

I knew I wanted to name my first blog after something related to running, because running has been a huge part of my life since I was little. I ran track in high school, I've run 5k races in the six years since graduating from high school, and even trained to run a marathon during my last semester of college. I did not actually run the race, but that is a story for another day.

I have not been very active in the last year or so, and I know this is not good. Running, for me, is only a small percentage about physical fitness. Running has always been a mental game for me. How far can I go? How fast? What will I see while I run? What terrain is easy, medium, hard? What will I think about? What thoughts make me feel good? What thoughts make me feel tired?

So, starting now, I'm going to run. Pheidippides was the Athenian who ran 26.2 miles to announce victory (Nike) over Persia in the Battle of Marathon. Like Pheidippides, I have a goal in mind: to announce my victory over the paralyzing weight that will kill me if I don't do something about it.

I don't know if Pheidippides had any help along the way, but I know that I will need some. That is why this blog will not be solely about me, but about my relationships: God and friends and family that will (hopefully) cheer me on along the way.

So, there it all is. This is my journey, and I'm daring to do something that I never thought I would: lay it all out on the internet for the world to see... I hope along this journey I can find my salvation and a path to continue on as my life continues to change.

One final thought. Many people probably know that when Pheidippides announced the victory of the Greeks over the Persians, he collapsed and died from exhaustion. I'm planning to deviate from that part of the story. Just so we're clear... ;)