I just kept on runnin’…

When you think about how many factors have to line up in order for a person to run, it’s pretty amazing that any of us do it, let alone enjoy it. I’ve been reading Born to Run about the Tarahumara tribe that’s dubbed “super-human runners”. They don’t run in fancy $100 shoes, or eat fancy energy gels or run in fancy races with rock bands lining the finish line. They run basically to run. A Forrest Gump philosophy, if you will. The way the book is written makes you want to go run an ultra. Like, tomorrow.

I’ve been working on shortening my strides, which has done wonders for everything physically. I’m not exerting as much energy from step to step, my pace is actually better (or maybe that’s just because I’ve been running regularly for a couple weeks). I don’t feel as out of breath, and from the way it stands now, it doesn’t feel like I need new shoes even though the ones I have now (New Balance Minimus) are almost a year old.

So, today. I set out for an initial mile with Missy just around the neighborhood. Then I came home, ate breakfast with Aaron before he went to work, did a little housework while breakfast settled, and then I went back out. I thought, Oh, maybe I’ll do three more, down McCombs and back. I went down McCombs, and just kept on going. The picture above is a park about 2.1 miles from my house with a mile-long paved trail. I ran around that trail and back home, putting in a total of 5 miles after breakfast.

Now, 5 miles isn’t necessarily something to boast about when I have run 26.2 at one go before. But it’s the overall effect, how it made me feel. When I run just to run, it’s like I’m detoxing without having to drink nasty spinach drinks, or eat lemons for a week (or whatever it is that people do to “detox”). I feel all the crap, physical and emotional, just go away.

So what caused this amazing hour of my life? Maybe it was the inspiration that is Born to Run. Maybe it was the perfectly balanced breakfast of eggs, avocado slices, and toast all washed down with a Lo-Carb Monster. Maybe it was that I haven’t been eating nearly as much junk lately. Maybe it was that I just decided to relax and run for the joy of running. Maybe it was that I listened to exclusively worship music. Maybe it was the perfectly clear blue skies and sunshine on my face.

Who knows. But it felt great.

Maybe I should add “Run ultra (50k+) before I turn 30” to my bucket list…

Twenty thirteen, a glimpse.

We’re only three full days into the new year, but I have a feeling it’s gonna be a good one. I’ve been thinking about what my resolutions are, what they should be, and I have resolved to not over-commit. I tend to do this, a lot. With work, friends, family, races… and most of the pressure is self-inflicted. I’m gonna stop that.

This year, I want to strive for simplification and balance of my life. I want to really be “all in” with my relationships, marriage, school, and work. I don’t want to commit in my mind to do all these different things for/with people and then be unnecessarily disappointed in myself for not checking off every single thing.

I want to stay healthy. Over the past couple months, I’ve been somewhat successfully balancing calories in and calories out. I’ll do a few races, I’ll run some miles, I’ll burn some calories. But I also will not starve myself with popular diets or kill myself with crazy workouts. 

Christmas break was great, and there is a need for some “detox”, but this year I feel it’s more spiritual detox I need than physical. Aaron and I went with pastors (and friends!) from our church to the World Missions Summit in Fort Worth after a busy but nice week visiting family and friends in Illinois. Our call/decision to serve in the Middle East somewhere was confirmed, and we had a great opportunity to meet with some Live/Dead team members over dinner one day and sporadically throughout the weekend. 

Many many things were spoken to my heart over the weekend through worship, speakers and times of prayer. I haven’t even digested it all yet, let alone put it into succinct (well, kinda) words on this blog. We are excited about our future steps that will be coming to pass in just a few years, whether that’s going directly into the field or parking it in the US for a bit longer to raise kids/get my PhD/work. I can tell you for sure that the future will not involve reenlistment into the US Army. That, my friends, is a miracle I’m not going to be praying for. 😉

But prayer is something I will delve into more this year. There are so many things in life that cannot be discerned just by looking at the surface, and I really want to do the will of the Lord. Like, really.  I want to daily fulfill my purpose on earth, and that requires way more prayer than a 10-second period of saying “grace” at every meal!

This post is a bit retrogressive… so let’s continue, shall we? Before embarking on our crazy week in Illinois with the Summit to follow, I finished out the semester strong with a 4.0. A lofty goal of mine is to keep a 4.0 through grad school, because I know I can do it. This time around in college I don’t have to work crazy hours or take 5+ classes at a time (thank GOD!), so there’s no reason for me not to get all A’s!

Here’s to a happy, healthy, challenging 2013!