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Races – Thanksgiving

He was pretty focused here!

On Thanksgiving 5 of the members of my family and I did a 8 mile/2 mile turkey trot.  3 of us did the 8 miler.  2 of us did the 2 miler.  My pace for the 8 miler was a 8:36 m/m pace.  I was very happy with it.  Going from high altitude to low altitude in Medford, Oregon makes a huge difference.  I was really struggling at the end trying to give it everything I had!  Thanks be to God I finished strong!

Here comes in uncle Scott pumping along at a 7 something pace…

Bekah was pretty much airborne at this point, flying towards the finish line

Here I am coming around the corner to the finish line…  I had to pass that guy.

My fitness journey to Hope and Health in Christ

Just wanted to share….

Where has my journey to fitness taken me? It’s taken me to so many places. I can’t even begin to describe the lessons I have learned. Through the 17 years of my life, I’ve climbed mountains, ran, biked, swam, and learned to appreciate God’s creation so much more. I realize how much the beauty that man tries to create will never match God’s beauty. I’ve run through many small towns, and made so many memories together with my running buddies, Bekah, Dan, and Beth. It’s been fun. It’s been challenging.

There have been so many times I wanted to sit down and give up. There have been so many times when I was gasping for air, and I just didn’t want to go any further. There have been so many times when I’ve wanted to just cry and not stop. There have been times when the sun is beating down so hard, I feel like I could just melt into the sidewalk and not have to go through any more misery.

I’ve run many distances. I used to want to do it to boast about how “fast” I was or how “far” I’d run. Not any more. I still have a goal to improve but not to boast, not to “wow” everybody. Exercise has humbled me, especially when my 19 year old brother is about ½ a mile ahead of me and I’m going the fastest I can. It’s been a wonderful experience in growing closer to both my brother and sisters.

It’s a discipline that’s also taught me how important physical and spiritual exercise are and how much I suffer without them, especially spiritual exercise. I’ve overcome the desire to idolize my body and not take care of it. I’ve become more thankful for God’s wonderful gifts

I am so thankful that God has seen fit to give my a body that has taken me 1000s of miles on my legs and 1000s of miles on my bike. I’ve learned the balance

A lot of fitness today centers around yourself, around the Greek idea of the “gumnasium” where naked men and women flaunted their bodies to each other. We’re no longer sensitive to the principles of modesty and not stumbling each other. Running professionals say to “love” yourself and to “pamper” yourself.

I take the opposite view on this. Instead of loving yourself, which eventually makes people more depressed because they find no fulfillment in themselves.

Weight is not an issue and shouldn’t be an issue. Christian’s issues should be coupled with desires to glorify God and enjoy Him forever, and to tell you the truth, weight will follow. If we strive to eat what God intended for us to eat, in moderation, thankfulness, and a happy heart for what God has given us, I believe that God would bless us in helping us to be healthy and happy in Him.

For most of my child life I wasn’t worried at all about weight. I just kind of ate. I was never overweight, never thin, just average. I’ve always had a more muscular frame so I’ve always weighed more than what I should “weigh” on the boxy charts they give everyone like 5’0 – 100 pounds and add 5 pounds for every inch after that for women. I was 4’10” and 100 pounds at 12, but I still didn’t ever look fat.

Around 14, I became more convinced of exercising regularly. Our family got a stationary bicycle on December 2007. I rode it everyday consistently for 20 minutes. I don’t really remember how much I weighed then. I was 5’2” and something “pounds.” I don’t know, and I didn’t really care. My guess was I was around 115-117? I could be wrong.

I don’t remember exactly how and I’m sure I don’t really mind that I don’t remember. But I got or rather fell into the ditch of calorie counting. I started to scrutinize every calorie. I figure I was probably eating about 2000 a day at that time. That’s when I lost weight and hit my lowest weight at around 103, 104? That’s when I finally realized that I needed to stop caring and be more thankful to God and glorify Him with my body instead of trying to glorify my body to glorify myself.

I think the reason this kind of hit me was that I had lost my period for about 6 months and was getting concerned. So I started eating more and leaving calories behind. In July of 2008 I was now about 108-110 pounds. I was going up but still wasn’t there yet. I was always hungry and just ate and ate.

I remember it almost like it was yesterday. My parents sat me down in my brother’s room in our basement. I knew something was the matter. I was thinking, “What did I do?” They confronted me gently about searching for calorie counts online, saying how I wanted to lose weight on forums online, etc.. At this point I was closer to 113-114 pounds. They encouraged me to maybe try to gain some more pounds to see if my period would return. I listened and boy did I listen. In about 5 weeks I was now at around 119 pounds, happier, healthier, and just had finished my first 25K at a 10:26 pace.

I continued to focus on glorifying God, reading my bible, focusing on His Word, meditating, and adding in exercise on the side. Exercise became less of a “must-do” and more of a fun thing, and it still is! I added in various races and PR’d in my 5Ks with my best PR at 23:38. I’m still hoping to shave that down to 21 at a 5k in about a month. I’m probably too hopeful, but I’m hoping.

My status now. I have my period back. I feel better. I don’t really calorie count anymore. I’m 5’3”. Yes I grew another inch. And I’m 127-130 pounds. Yeah, I’m not “normal” for my weight, but I don’t care, because it’s normal for me, and I’m learning to use my body to the utmost to give the utmost praise to my Lord, Savior, and King who has truly given me salvation from all my sins and bore the weight of my iniquities on the cross. I desire to place all my thoughts on Him and take all thoughts of self off me and love Him with all my heart. My fitness desire is to stay and remain healthy for my whole life so that I may always love and glorify my Savior and King!

My Brother’s First Marathon

It was just over 2 years ago when we first started running…. Since then we have both motivated each other to run when it hurts most.  He has motivated me to surmount mountains and hills in running and in other circumstances.  He is such a blessing and such a treasure to me.  I love him so much, and it made me so happy yesterday to see him pull through the pain and the challenge and finish his very first marathon.  He’s only 19 and has gone from running 3 miles 2 years ago to 26.2 miles in 3:36:34 seconds.

It was a beautiful course, and we tried to be the most supportive cheerleaders on the course.  We stopped at mile 6, mile 10, mile 17, and mile 24.  We tried to stop at mile 15, but that didn’t work out, so we went on to mile 17.  He was still doing well at mile 17, right behind the 3:30 pacer.

He told us that mile 20 or 21 was when it started to get hard.  (I was so impressed.  I couldn’t have sustained less than a 9:00 minute pace for 26 miles, but he did through Christ who strengthens us.) We went down to mile 24, and my 15 year old sister and I ran for a little while and met him at the last mile.  I saw him come around the last corner, and I knew this last mile would take all that he had.  We followed him down the course till the finish line and dropped off.  He went into the gate, and then sat down over on the grass, stretching out his sore muscles.  That was the sorest I’ve ever seen him.  He got a massage, took an ice bath when we got home, and is still pretty sore today.  But hey, he ran 26.2 miles.  He definitely should be sore… 🙂  I’m so happy for him! It was great to see him surmount this mountain and come down!

The finish – He’s flyin’… We were just the cheerleaders, and no, we didn’t run all 26.2 miles with him, only 1…

Receiving the age group award for First place

After his massage

He’s a happier runner now…

Stretchin’ those hip muscles out

Recounting his marathon struggles!

The End: I hope to do this marathon next year…

Hiking and Biking

Hiking and biking go very well together, I find.  I have a really hard time jumping off of a bike and going running but jumping off a bike and hiking is not too hard.  Yesterday, the sis and I went on a 30 mile bike ride through some beautiful countryside.  We got rained on, shined on, and very sunburnt.  I am now grieving that I forgot to put sunscreen on as I got some very painful sunburn on my face and arms.  Next time, that will definitely be one of the first things, not the last things I think of.

Hiking in a Beautiful Canyon

The weary hikers… We’re almost there… “Didn’t I hear that 20 minutes ago?”

Practicing some Action and “Adventure” shots

Meditating on the virtues of the Colorado landscape

My cute sis, Anna

Getting ready to attempt a daring leap (To infinity and beyond)

“I look like a mess, don’t I.”  I was tired after a day of biking and hiking..

I also got very sunburnt yesterday…

Beautiful trees and bushes surrounding the canyon

Psalm 1

The steady leader

Wading in a creek on a hot day, in the warm water, makes a

hike doubly fun…

“The sun was bright.”  And I couldn’t see!

A bright cheery smile

Beautiful Craggy mountains or ledges

We were stranded

All in all it was a wonderful day as a great prelude to my 17th birthday today!

I’m back… Miles in the sun

Well, yeah, I know.  You’ve heard this before.  But as of late, I haven’t had much time to post except for sticking an occasional deep thought into listeningandobservingoutloud.blogspot.com :D.  But, I thought I’d get back to giving y’all some info on my fitness life.  Interested?  I think I’ll have a great recap for you… 🙂

Well, my half marathon happened almost 2 weeks ago, Saturday on July 12th.  I wasn’t sure that I was ready.  I was a little scared.  For various reasons, I hadn’t signed up before the online registration deadline, so my only option was to sign up the morning of the race.  The race being in Frisco, CO we had a long 2 hour drive ahead of us before actually getting to the race.

Of course my pre-race jitters started fresh the night before.  I was so nervous and fluttery inside, almost literally twisting my stomach into knots and desperately trying to untie it again.  “Like my figure of speech? :P”  I went to bed around 11, not knowing if I could drag my weary body out of bed the next morning.  My dear sister charged up my ipod for me.

Race morning I was up bright and early around 4:15 or 4:30 as we had a departure time of 5:30.  I determinedly stuffed 6 cds onto my ipod in about 45 minutes, which I consider an amazing feat (just kidding) We were out the door at around 5:35, and I desperately tried to calm my raging stomach.  I prefueled for the race with a small piece of toast slathered with peanut butter and nutella.  It was good, except I was burping it up during the race.  Blech…

Well, Daniel and I talked for a little while up to the race, and I tried to doze.  IT didn’t work very well.  For about 30 minutes I read my bible and did my memorization, which helped me set the right focus for the day.

We arrived in the beautiful little old town of Frisco at around 7:30 after checking and double checking our directions.  We immediately found where the race sign-in was as we watched tall, lanky, short, stocky, tiny, broad-shouldered, and many other different kinds of runners come in and out of the building in pants, shorts, running skirts, etc…

Daniel and I parked by our friend’s car.  They had brought a group of about 14 up to run the half.  Daniel and I tacked on to make 16 or 17.  Daniel got in line to sign me up, and I made my way to the ladies room, which, surprisingly for a race, wasn’t very full.  I jogged back to the building, pasted my number onto the front of my shirt, went to the car to deposit some belongings, and then jogged back.  While doing something with my shirt, I dumbly ripped my tag that they rip off at the end of the race.  So I was on the edge of my seat, figuratively, the entire race, making sure it didn’t fall off.

All of our group of runners piled into a large van and drove up to the start.  I jogged around, stretched, and tied and retied my shoelaces about 15 times (or it seemed like 15) before the race started promptly at 8:30.

For the race there were actually 2 races.  There was a 10k and a half.  The 10kers and half-marathoners ran together for the first 6 miles or so of the race.   Then the 10kers split off to the finish.  A friend and I found a place right in the front, and although we didn’t sprint off from the finish like the front runners, we didn’t have to run over people.  Although a few people tried to run over us.

Sadly, I had to leave Rachel behind, and forge ahead on my own.  While I did, boys from our group whizzed past me at my slow shuffle.  It seemed like a shuffle compared to their pace.  I never saw my brother.  I think he snuck past.

I estimate I was going about a 11-12 minute/mile pace.  I didn’t have any ambitious goal for this race, definitely no time goal.  I just wanted to go in this race for fun.  I wasn’t looking for a huge PR, just a great time out in God’s creation.  Not that I don’t have a great time at every race.  This time was just a time to soak it all in.

Well, I clipped along and Miles 1-3 seemed to take forever.  Usually it’s the first 1-5 miles that take a long time.  It’s probably because I was focused on looking a the mile markers.  The Lord really gave me a good attitude on this race, and I was happy with how it went.   Miles 4-7 went along fairly well too until the hills came.  This course was mostly downhill in elevation, and the hills, when there were any, were short.

I made it a secret goal to run up all the hills without stopping, no matter how slow my running was.  At about mile 9 I saw the first front runner coming back, flying down the course (not as fast as Ryan Hall of course).  Runners followed him close behind, and my bro came along at about a 7:30-7:50 pace.  He was trying hard and I could tell! I gave him a high five and yelled his name.  I would like to think I’m his biggest fan.  🙂

At mile 10, there was a turn around.  The one thing that was really strange to me about this race was that they had no food at the stops along the way.  Thankfully they had about 3-4 water stops, but no gels or anything like that.  Oh well… 🙂  I stopped at every single water stop and dumped a cup on my head… I drank some too.

The race weather was perfect for running.  It was cloudy with a light sprinkle.  At mile 9 I took off my ipod and ran without it for the last 4.1 miles.  When we turned around at 10 miles, I really started to feel my legs giving out.  I knew I had to keep somewhat of a smile on my face though.  I met some of our group coming back and hooted and hollered for them on the inside.  I struggled up and down the hills until, out of breath, I got to the level part.  I breathed a sigh of relief.  I thought, “It’s all downhill from here.” haha

Well, the last water stop appeared at about mile 13.  I whooped at the sight of the 13 mile sign.  I got a cup of water, waited, stretched.  I know.  I shouldn’t have stretched but I was a hurtin’ puppy.  Then I got back on the road and coaxed my legs back into action.  “Please Lord,” I pleaded, “please help me finish and finish strong.”

I pounded down the path, waiting for the finish line.  At .1 of a mile it never came.  It just kept going.  That dampened my spirits just a bit.  Well, I plodded on and when I saw the finish line, boy, was I excited.  I felt like I completely engaged and flew or (tried to fly) down the finish course.  I passed 2 people and came in at a blazing fast 2:12:47.  (You weren’t expecting that were you :D).

All in all I was very very very happy with the race.  I learned so much.  I struggled through some character struggles, but God won through me in the end.  And the race food was good :).  I also won a pair of shoes from the raffle drawing! Thank you Lord!

Praise the LORD for His name is above all names!

Be back with a century recap in a few weeks! 🙂  Look forward to it.

Life has been Crazy

Well, life, as always, has been pretty crazy.  Sometimes it’s been crazy enough to the point where I don’t even get all my school done in one day.  Right now for school I’m working on Physics, a college chemistry course, a greek course, piano, and copious amounts of time consuming writing.   I find my days not only filled with those but gardening, laundry, animal “stuff”, cleaning, and keeping the house in general order.

Fitting a workout in here and there is challenging, but I’m learning how to make it work.  My most important workout, my time with God, is hard to prioritize, but, when I do prioritize it, I feel so much better, and it keeps my attitude on the right track, kind of like physical exercise.  Right now, I’m trying to fit in training for both a half marathon and a century ride.  I admit that sometimes I get a little lazy, but the majority of the times it’s because I would rather spend time building relationships with my dear family, then out on the road.  I do also admit that I have built some pretty good friendships by working out together with my best friends but sometimes just sitting and playing a board game together is more effective then running together.

Last week was a full week of workouts and eats.  I ran twice, runs of 5 and 10 miles.  I also biked a couple hours and did  some core training.  It’s been getting hotter around here, so I have to be more disciplined to get out onto the road in the early morning, late at night, or just brave the heat.  Yesterday was a hot sweaty 30 mile ride, that ended pretty well.  Today, I’m hoping to fit in a 2-2.5 mile run through our shady countryside, with very little traffic zooming alongside, hopefully.

My appetite has soared with the increase in training.  I’m learning how to balance good healthy eats with some treats once in a while, and also doing everything in moderation.  I’m a person who has always been a very un-selfcontrolled person, so that’s something I really have to work on and fight against.  Eats have included everything from brownies, muffins, bread, to grapes, big, delicious salads, and big glasses of milk!  (mmm… carbs 🙂  I would rather eat all carbs then vegetables and fruits sometimes, so I have to pull my hand out of the cookie jar and go for the grapes or the carrot sticks instead.  In the end, I find a much better benefit and reward to doing it.

Sorry for the lack of pictures… I haven’t had time to take many pictures, because my summer is so full.. . . I am also in the midst of preparing for a big project.  Ssshhh… Can’t tell.  It’s a big secret. 🙂

Adios for now!  And I’ll check in next week with an update on training and some pictures.  Might even have a half-marathon recap.

It’s Definitely Summer!

The days are definitely getting hotter here.  The thing that’s unusual is that it’s only May 28th, and yesterday it reached a high of nearly 90 degrees.  I wonder what it’s going to be like later in the year O_O.

What does one do while the days are getting hotter?  First of all, I workout early or late.  The other day, Wednesday, I finally got in my first intense workout of the week, which wasn’t very intense.  I did 5.0 miles at a fairly easy pace with a thunderstorm rolling to cool me and the sister off.  It was wonderful!

Today is another hot day and we spent yesterday gardening, doing laundry, etc… Sadly, I was going to get a core workout in, but my laziness overcame my perseverance.

In the midst of the century training our last long ride was 50 miles which was a beautiful scenic ride along the Cherry Creek Trail.  We got lots of good pics.

After Long Ride Fuel- Yummy doughnuts

The sister – my partner on all my bike rides

Yep, it’s me, the FITNESS FREAK! 🙂The sis again!

The other partner of all of our long bike rides – He looks tired, doesn’t he?