what I learned from my first half marathon

img_0890On Saturday I ran my first ever Half Marathon in Indianapolis. No, I’ve never really run any considerable distance before more than 2 miles and yes, it was difficult. But the reason why I ran made it easier to do being that I’m not a seasoned runner. This whole experience was challenging and I learned a lot along the way that I wanted to share with you all. These are in no particular order and I’m sure as soon as I hit “publish” there will be more things that pop in my head so this list might be ever-growing and changing.

What I learned from my first half-marathon (and maybe my only half-marathon):

  1. img_0061stretching is almost as important as the running itself – I dealt with quite a few weeks of injury during my training. I’d venture to say that almost 50% of my training time I was under some sort of pain. I learned near the end of my training that stretching really is so important. On the days where I took time to stretch for an extended period of time, my joint pain lessened. When I added a foam roller to the mix to get the muscles that I couldn’t quite stretch on my own, it helped even more.
  2. it’s easier to run long distances with people cheering you on – before the run I heard people say to start slow because the adrenaline and people will make you start too fast. Boy was this the truth. I did start too fast but even in the times where my body needed me to walk, having those around me that were strangers but took time to cheer me on meant so much. And it’s motivating when you see people passing you to keep on moving too.
  3. essential oils, epsom salts and ice are our friends – my body was SO mad at me on Saturday night after the race. Specifically my knees. Ice was and is my best friend now. So are the essential oils that I used (PanAway and Dorado Azul) both topically and in my epsom salt bath. For the epsom salt bath I used 2 cups of an epsom salt/baking soda combination with 6 drops of essential oils and I soaked for 30 minutes. It did wonders to soothe and loosen my muscles and joints.
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  4. don’t decide the fate of your next run on the day of your run – as soon as I crossed the finish line I said “never again.” Now that it’s over and my body is feeling better, I’m learning to never say never. God could call me to run again and raise money for clean water or sex trafficking or something else. I might want to run a half through Disney World. Time will tell. Right now I’m feeling like I’ll stick to 5K’s but never say never.
  5. split the run into small milestones to avoid “the wall” – when I started the half-marathon, I new that my parents and kids would be cheering me on at mile 5. I looked forward to that. I kept counting down the miles until I knew I could get a high five from them. After mile 5, I set other milestones for myself to keep myself going.
  6. img_0299listen to your body, to a point – the mental game with running is so hard. There were times during my training that I just wasn’t feeling it. My body wasn’t hurting, but my mind told me to walk. I had to will myself many times to keep going. There were other times where I simply had to listen to my body though and walk or skip a training day in order to prevent further injury. And you know what, it was okay! Skipping a training day (or sometimes a whole week) was what I needed to do in order to allow my body to heal so that I had a better chance to do 13.1 miles when I had to. You need to listen to your body but sometimes you just have to tell your mind to shut up.

If you’ve run a half- or full-marathon – what other things have you learned? Leave a comment and let us know!

running with purpose

Three years ago I went to Kenya with my church. After a long drive on a Kenyan “road” (literally made of boulders, I don’t know how we didn’t blow a tire), we came up to the village we were set to visit. We visited this village because our church had raised money for a well for the village – we came to celebrate and build relationship (the well was completed over a year later). One of the most eye opening and life altering moments was seeing the watering hole at Isinon.

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This is the water that the people would drink. This is the water that their livestock would drink. This is the water that ran dry when there was no rain. Can you even imagine? This is the reality for so many people around the world. Many people have to walk miles just to get “clean” water and then they have to carry huge jugs back to their villages.

71722_10202239138484689_141922016_nFast forward to two months ago. I knew that our church had ran the Monumental Marathon to raise money for World Vision in the past. All of the sudden, a video comes up on the screen of normal people just like me who didn’t feel like they could run a half (or full) marathon but were stirred by the stories and faces of those who didn’t have clean water. It talked about the difference we can make by doing something like running a race. I looked at my husband and said, “should we go to the info meeting?” and we both said we probably should but drug our feet and never went. A few days later a friend texted and I mentioned us thinking about running the half and the rest is history.

This is so easy. $50 provides clean water for a person for LIFE. Can you even imagine? What a gift and one that is truthfully not a sacrifice for many of us here in the United States. Why am I not just donating the money myself since I don’t like running? Because that’s not what God has called me to do. He’s called me to do something that is beyond myself. That stretches me beyond what I can do on my own. It’s been tough so far – we’re halfway through the training and it’s been a mental and physical battle. But I know that I’ve been called to this. I’ve been called to do something challenging in order to change a life – hopefully many lives. Plus, by doing it this way I’m allowing so many more people to participate in the process of changing a life.

So here’s where you come in. I’m not even going to make you take up running. If you support Team World Vision with a donation, 100% of that donation goes to World Vision. I’ve already spent more than I’ve raised of my own personal money in buying things I needed for the run. I trust that God is going to do abundantly more than I can imagine through me running this race. I trust that many, many lives will be changed – both in Africa and here in the US as I hopefully inspire others to do things out of their comfort zones. You can donate whatever you feel led to donate here at Team WV. If you want, you can even donate to my husband‘s race. Again, we don’t get any of that money – we are spending money in order to be able to do this because we believe in it. I’d love your partnership and prayer as we run 13.1 in November. Remember, just $50 changes a life. How many lives will you impact?

real life P90X3 results

P90X3 real results

Nothing like taking a 4 month break from blogging, huh? I have to be real with you all…I intended to write this post to show you that P90X3 doesn’t really work like they say. I wanted to give you a real snapshot of how P90X3 can work for a real person, with real results. I’m still doing that, but I was pleasantly surprised when I did the fit test this morning. While I didn’t see the results I wanted on the scale, the other results far outweighed that disappointment.

Let me preface the results by saying what I did and what I ate. I eat 90% paleo on a regular basis. In the middle of P90X3 (during Block 2) I did a Whole30 and lost 7 pounds. The rest of the time I didn’t lose any weight (in fact, I didn’t even lose 7 pounds by the time the program was over). I struggle to know if that’s because my body was creating too much cortisol during the intense workouts or if the muscle mass was a factor. I still don’t know. I believe I missed 6 days of the whole program, plus the last week because we’re leaving on vacation tomorrow. So really I believe I did about a P76X3. I did not do a full 90 days but did the best I could. Here are my results:

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As you can see, while I didn’t lose a ton of weight, all of my other things improved. I can’t believe I lost 2.5 inches on my waist and hips…that’s amazing to me. I was blown away when I did the fit test because I couldn’t really tell with my body that I had improved much.

I can hardly believe I’m putting these awful pictures of myself out there for the world to see, but I think it’s worth seeing. The most difference I see is in my midsection for sure and the definition in my arms. Those are two of the main things that I wanted to see while doing this program. {click the pic for a larger version, if you dare!}

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So would I do it again or recommend it to others? Yes! With a good diet plan I think my results would have been even better. Obviously I have become stronger, my endurance has improved and my flexibility has doubled. I will be continuing with the P90X3 Lean program when I return from vacation to see if that program will lean me down more instead of bulking up my shoulders. I’m eager to see what results I will get from that. If you want to lose weight, this is not the program for you. Studies have shown that to lose weight it’s more about food than exercise. If you want to gain strength and endurance while not getting bored in the process, P90X3 is the program for you.

{p.s. I didn’t post any links to P90X3 because it’s a network marketing company and I am not a beachbody coach nor do I have someone personally that I’ve worked with as a Beachbody coach. If you have someone that you know who is a Beachbody coach, please purchase the program from them so you can get the support you need! If you don’t know of anyone, here is one of my online friends who is an active Beachbody coach}

10 helpful wellness links

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This past week I listened to quite a few sessions at the Wellness Family Summit and gleaned a wealth of information through those sessions. I thought you all might enjoy some of the new resources I’ve come across so here they are!

Mommypotamus // recipes for food, beauty and home products

Saving Dinner // recipes, helpful food information, encouragement

TheDr.com // founder of The Gluten Summit, a wealth of info about gluten and what it does to the body

Chris Kresser // one of the top 25 natural health sites, Chris is a functional and integrative medicine leader.

Civilized Caveman Cooking // yummy paleo recipes

KombuchaKamp // all you wanted to know about kombucha

The Alternative Daily // natural health news and tips

Kitchen Stewardship // being a steward of our family’s nutrition, budget and the environment

Kwik Learning // memory & speed reading training

Steve Wright // the specific carbohydrate diet and healing leaky gut

There is so much great information out there to help lead you in your wellness journey – I hope you find some that will encourage and uplift you as you try to become healthier. If you have another favorite, leave it in the comments for us!

holy yoga

October 2014 Cover ImageAt the Influence Conference I had the coolest experience. On Friday they had Holy Yoga at 6am so Susan & I drug ourselves out of bed to see what it was all about. I have tried yoga many times and loved it – I used to do Steve Ross‘ Inhale classes on Oxygen until they took him off. I was so sad that day. Since then I’ve done yoga here and there & have taken a class at our YMCA.

At Holy Yoga, I was so impressed by the way that it works. I had no idea until I participated in it. You do yoga and all of the normal stretches and poses, but the instructor reads and prays Scripture over you as you do it. It’s the coolest thing. To be stretching and thanking God for the body He’s given you, while being prayed over with Scripture – it truly was an amazing experience. It was my first and only experience with Holy Yoga but I love how they took something that has been looked at as pagan and anti-Christian and made it into something godly and beautiful. Not to mention that my core was SORE the next day.

Our highly skilled and certified Holy Yoga instructors provide a world-class yoga experience that is 100% focused on connecting to Christ. Our Holy Yoga classes include prayer, Scripture and primarily contemporary Christian music.

Screen Shot 2014-10-14 at 11.28.29 AMSo check out Holy Yoga – they have online classes, DVD’s and apparel that you can buy. I can’t wait to get my first DVD and start doing it at home.