What If I…

My heart swelled with Mama pride and my heart bursted with love as I watched Julia run her first ever Cross Country Race. She had never run before on a team like this and this was WAY out of her comfort zone.   She wasn’t a “natural”… no, she worked for every step. My heart pounded for her and my eyes glistened with tears each time we could catch a glimpse of her on the course and we cheered her on with all we had.  She asked before the race, “Mom/Dad, what if I come in last?”  Our answer, “We are so proud of you for even being out here and if you finish and you come in last, we will still be proud of you.  We love you so much!”

She finished.  She didn’t come in last.  She rocked the time and continued to improve throughout the season.

We do that sometimes with God, too.  We ask, “What if I…” would He still love me?

What if I fail a test in school?

What if I mess up my marriage?

What if I am addicted to _______?

What if I have sex before marriage?

What if I don’t read my Bible?

What if I swear, cheat, lie…?

What if I screw up financially?

What if I don’t want to go to church?

What if I am mean to others?

… will God still love me?  The answer is

YES!

God says, “I have loved you with an everlasting love.” Jer 31:3.  He sees us running our race and looks upon us with Daddy pride, His heart bursting with LOVE.  When we stumble, when we fall, when we screw things up, when we come in last – His love doesn’t change.   Now that’s a Daddy we can trust in!

Those who trust in the Lord will renew their strength; they will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not faint.  Isa. 40:31

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If It’s Good Enough For Olympic Athletes…

… it’s good enough for ME!  One thing I never got around to sharing throughout this running journey is in addition to the fabulous, supportive running mates I had/have, the fabulous products I was/am using.  There are two Olympic athletes (Nick Symmonds, and Bernard Lagat) that use these same products and if they’re good enough for them… they’re good enough for ME! 🙂

ACCESS BARSI can sum them up with one word… YUM! But seriously, in addition to
their yumminess they serve a purpose – *clinically proven to increase fat-loss during
exercise *improves muscle tone *reduces muscle fatigue and soreness.  Eat one of these 15 minutes before you exercise (run, Zumba, swim, walk, CrossFit…) for maximum results.  Access “turns fat into fuel.”  They come in three delicious flavors and I love all of them!! If you’re going to work out, may as well make it as effective as possible, eh?

Next up: SUSTAIN!  This drink competes with Gatorade and Powerade with 1/3 less sugar and still taste GREAT!  Rehydrate after a workout and replace those electrolytes that you lost!  Sustain “rehydrates your cells”, “maximizes muscle performance”, “converts carbs into energy”, and “minimizes muscle tissue breakdown.”  They come in drink packets that you can conveniently add to water bottles.  I always end my workout with some Sustain.  I’ll also drink some Sustain if I have an afternoon slump and need a pick-me-up.  They’re GREAT!  

Finally, I can’t end a post about my favorite workout products without talking about REPLENEXI mentioned some of the pain I have been having here and here and it didn’t occur to me that Replenex may actually help my tight calves and shin pain.  Kevin has been taking Replenex for his knees, but sure enough it DID HELP!  Replenex is for joint discomfort and healthy cartilage. In addition to Glucosamine and Chondroitin that many joint supplements have, it has MSM (methylsulfonylmethane) to build connective tissue and keep joints strong. It comes in pill form, or delicious pink lemonade drink packets.

Interested in these amazing products?  Shoot me an email (kgrub94[at]gmail[dot]com) and I’d will be happy to tell you how you can get them for yourself!

The Happiest 5K on the Planet

We did it!!  Hurray! We chose well for the first 5K of my adult life and for my little “before I turn 40 goal :)”.  The ColorRun is, in fact, the happiest 5K on the planet!  Even waiting in slow/stalled traffic on the exit ramp into downtown Columbus, there was camaraderie with other ColorRun runners.  It was an atmosphere of FUN, light-hearted, good times!!  There were guys with colored underwear on the outside of their white tights, tutus.. many tutus, bandanas, crazy sunglasses and more.

We lined up and they sent 1000 runners every 5 minutes.  We started around 9:40 (I think).  And their off!!  I did run into the calf pain/cramps the first leg and stopped to stretch on a curb for a sec.  Other than that we walked (well, I walked, my buddies all waited :)) one or two more times.  And for a couple of the colors there was a bit of a bottle neck so that was a little break too.  There were many, many walkers… so my slow jogging pace still didn’t put me at the end (even though it wasn’t timed and wasn’t a “race” I still didn’t want to be last people!!).  We are all happy with the fact that we ran most of the 5K.  Hurray!!

I thought the colors were going to be every KM, but they were staggered.  First we hit BLUE and the fun ColorRun volunteers used water bottle looking contraptions to shower us with a blue, powdery dust.  Next was yellow and boy did I enjoy running with blue and yellow dust through the streets of Columbus ( GO BLUE! ).

There was a long stretch of running without any color stops for the last mile or so.  I’ll be honest, that was not my favorite part.  Colors – fun.  Running – not-so-much.  I did have moments throughout this training that I did enjoy the runs, but those were the exception.  Ha ha.

What a relief when the FINISH LINE was in sight. Then, there’s the finish line PARTY (see video below). Dancing, cheering, and a color explosion.  We were all given color packets to throw into the air for this celebration and actually got more colorful in those 10 minutes than the entire ColorRun.  It was awesome!!  Such a GREAT time with a friend, the hubs and my girls!!

So, I’ve been asked… “Will you keep running?  Are you going to do another 5K?”  That’s a whole ‘nutha blog post ya’ll.  I’ll answer that soon :).

Running Injured

Several years ago I dealt with a heel spur/plantar fasciitis. They pretty much go hand in hand. It pretty much affected every part of my daily life. I’ve been so thankful that throughout all this running, that hasn’t flared up again… until about two weeks ago. And it came back with a bang :(. There were times when we were running that I just had to stop and walk, and even walking wasn’t pleasant. Then, the next couple of days were so painful too. Another time I just sucked it up and ran with the pain. Obviously, it wasn’t my best run… I gave myself a three day rest and really worked on stretching my feet, calves etc. to get some relief and sure enough I’m doing ok. Tuesday night was probably the longest run we’ve done thus far (by accident…. we misunderstood/misjudged the distance of the Findlay Reservoir, ha ha) and my foot felt great! With one week until the Color Run, I’m adamant about stretching, taking my Replenex, and even ibuprofen or naproxen.

That’s how it is in life. Sometimes you get injured. Most of us try to “run injured” when really what we need is to take time out and rest. Get some healing. Do some stretches or exercises to get back in the race. God gives us an Rx when life has us running injured: rest in Him, trust Him, spend time with Him.

“Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matt. 11:28

“Lord my God, I cried to You for help, and You healed me.” Psalm 30:2

“The Lord will always lead you, satisfy you in a parched land, and strengthen your bones. You will be like a watered garden and like a spring whose waters never run dry.” Isaiah 58:11

“May our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us eternal encouragement and good hope by grace, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good work and word.” 2 Thes. 2:16-17

Are you “running injured?”. Come to Jesus for rest, help, healing and strength.

Repeat Until Complete

Have you ever been camping and had to go to the bathroom at night?  Or, have you ever had to walk around your house at night during a power outage?  (I’m sure my friends in Findlay can relate to this now.) Hopefully you had a flashlight – and if you did, you know that the flashlight will illuminate your path, but just those few steps right in front of you. That’s exactly what God does when you trust in Him and His Word.  He’s not going to shine a spotlight on the big picture, but He lights up just enough for those steps right in front of you.  God wants us to trust Him with the big picture and focus on those steps right in front of us.  Just like when the Israelites were in the wilderness, He gave them just enough manna for that day.  He tells us not to worry about tomorrow (Matt. 6:34) and just focus on today – the path right in front of you that He’s graciously lit up for each of us when we trust Him.

The end.  But actually, this is my running post for the week… so not the end.  See, I was reminded of these verses when running last night.  We are doing three mile workouts now, and working on running more and more of the three miles each time so we’re ready for the ColorRun on the 21st.  It was hot and grueling, muscles (calves/shins/feet) aching and three miles is a long distance (for me).  What I did yesterday to get through was look up briefly for the next landmark (telephone pole, sign, parking lot, tree) but then just focused on those few steps in front of me.  I stayed focused on one foot in front of the other ’til I hit that landmark.  Then I looked up to another landmark and focused on the path right in front of me again.  Repeat until complete.

Life can be uncertain at times – but we don’t have to worry about the big picture.  God’s got that.  Walk in His light on the path in front of you, trust Him for this moment and “tomorrow will worry about itself”.  Repeat until complete.

Just Do It, Even If You Suck

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Four weeks from today I hope to be blogging that we have completed the Color Run and it was incredibly fun! But, I have to be honest…I’m getting a little nervous. And doubtful. Yes, we’ve completed week 6 and there’s only two more weeks of the C25K, and four weeks to the Color Run. That sounds like no problem, right? Well, at this point of C25K it has us running 20-22 minutes (or 2-2 1/4 miles) but I am no where near running a 10 minute mile. I was ecstatic to run a mile without stopping last week, but technically I’m supposed to be able to run two miles at this point… And in 20ish minutes!! Truth is, I kinda suck at running. I really do! So what now? Quit? That really isn’t an option because a) were too close to this goal to quit now and b) my running buddies would never me quit now. So, I guess I’ll just do it, even if I suck. Thankfully the Color Run isn’t timed :).

Strengthening/Stretching Your Muscles

I  never thought in a million years that I would be able to run a mile without stopping.  But, my running mates and I did just that yesterday, and then ran another 3 minutes.  Wow. When we started week one, I ran like a little, ‘ol, Granny with gastrointestinal issues.  My feet barely got up off the ground. It was like I was doing the Granny Shuffle. Throughout this training, though, I’ve found that it’s actually better on my whole body (shins/calves especially) if I open up my stride a little bit.  That did more than lengthen my stride, it forced me to use muscles that have been dormant in this body of mine.  Some muscles got strengthened and stretched and now I can run farther and faster.  Sure, it took some getting used to, I felt some discomfort along the way – but the prize of reaching that next milestone (finishing the mile) is so rewarding.

There’s a lot of similarities to strengthening our physical muscles and strengthening our faith muscles.  Our faith is as active and alive as we let it be.  The more we use it, the stronger it is.  The more it is stretched, the greater and stronger it becomes. We can leave our faith in its infancy, trust Jesus for salvation for example, and never let it grow and mature OR we can continue to stretch and strengthen our faith muscles and see God do amazing things in, through and around us.  Sure, there’s some discomfort along the way, but the reward of seeing God move in ways we never thought possible is SO worth it.

Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible,                                               but not with God; all things are possible with God.” Matt. 10:27

“If you have faith the size of a mustard seed,” the Lord said, “you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you. Luke 17:6

Just like the rainbow God gave us right before we ran yesterday, God keeps His promises and He promises to bless our faith.  “I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth.” Gen 9:13