Fall break was pretty exciting. Now it is over. So now I can blog about it. I meant to post this blog last week but time ran away faster then I run on the trails, ha.
Fall break was the best ever this year because I got an entire week off, what a blessing! I spent the first couple days catching up on life and trying to relax, it was rather nice.
I spent the later part of the speedy fall break traveling north to our sister institution of Andrews University. I arrived Thursday afternoon and spent the rest of the day with the amazing Emily Knott, who took me on a lovely running tour of the flat farm and wood lands that makes up a good portion of Andrews University! I had a first time running experience when we ran through the long pungent barns that housed the many, many, head of dairy cows! The mother cows mostly ignored us and chewed their cud as we whizzed by. The baby calves were much more fun to socialize with, so we did for a short bit before continuing on to Emily's apartment where we made delicious vegetable soup and bread, yum!
The rest of the weekend was spent with my dear friend Tina. We went apple picking at a nearby apple orchard where I had my first apple picking experience. After struggling to reach the highest, best looking apples I realized that it was not meant to be my life calling, seeing as how I am lacking long limbs that are needed to pluck the fruit from its high branches. Climbing trees was fun anyways! I got to catch up with other friends and ran into lots of other people along the way too! The weather changed quite a bit during the 3 days I was there, I am glad it wasn't too "cold."
I went through 3 audio books on the drive up and down which made the time go by much faster. All in all it was a nice break but it is good to be back in warm Tennessee! Now it is less then 7 weeks till graduation!!
I know that running an ultra race is a potentially hazardous activity. I should not enter and run unless I am medically able and properly trained. I agree to abide by any decision of race officials relative to my ability to safely complete the run. I assume all risks associated with running this event including, but not limited to, falls, traffic and conditions of the road, contact with other participants, injuries or illness from animals or plants, the effects of weather and all risks associated with event participation. Having read this waiver and knowing these facts and in consideration of you accepting my entry, I, for myself and anyone entitled to act on my behalf, waive and release the Georgia Ultrarunning and Trail Running Society (GUTS), the Road Runners Club of America (RRCA), The Georgia State Park System, FD Roosevelt State Park, and the State of Georgia, and any and all committees, officers, employees, and sponsors related to the the race, all city, county and state governments, all race officials and agents, all sponsors, their representatives and successors from all claims or liabilities of any kind arising out of my participation in this event even though that liability may arise out of negligence or carelessness on the part of persons named in this waiver. I understand that all entries are final with no refunds. The official race director reserves the right in any event of emergency or local or national disaster to cancel the race or to change the day and or time to a later day and that in the event of cancellation or change there is no refund of entry fees. The right to reject any entry or to issue special invitation is reserved.
I took time to read this race waiver very carefully.
I am now officially entered to "participate" in the Pine Mountain 40 mile trail run(walk/crawl)! I am still wondering if I actually pressed the submit payment button. I did. I have been going back and forth endlessly about whether or not I should or can complete this, my first ultra marathon! The Boston Marathon is full, so i figured this would be my next best option. It is only 40 miles right? Right. It will be 40 miles of running in my element; fresh air, sunshine, and trees. It will be 40 miles being connected with God, for the wilderness is when I sense his presence on the closest level. What an amazing adventure it will be. 40 miles.
As one may expect the next few weeks leading up to December 5 will be a fury of training and preparing for this race the best I know how to prepare. Hopefully it will involve having lots of fun too! If anyone would like to give me any tips for success or better yet join me, even for short segments of my training journey, it would be much appreciated!
My goals and ambitions took quite the hit today, perhaps it is just a clear sign. I went online this morning to get more information about a marathon coming up in December which would give me the chance to re qualify to run the Boston Marathon coming up this April. I was shocked, well not so shocked, to see that the race registration for that race was full, rats I thought!
After a good bike ride this afternoon Andrew, Michael and I were standing around and the topic of marathoning came up. Michael then mentioned something about the Boston Marathon registration already being filled to capacity. "No Way" I thought and said out loud, there is no way such an elite race could fill up the same day that it opened!
But alas, after checking up on the rumor, I found it to be true. Boston is closed. Filled to capacity a mere 8 hours after opening. Sad indeed but now I suppose my path is all clear to really pursue my ultra marathon and perhaps half ironman quest. Boston will have to wait another year, maybe next year I will be quicker to enter.
(posing with some freshly made injera while helping out in the kitchen!)
I had a little piece of home tonight. Today was rather dull and I found myself feeling very sleepy for most of the afternoon thus resulting in very little productive work getting accomplished. I had supper in the cafeteria with Becca and then decided to help pass out information about SEYC. Since I was still feeling really tired I figured I should just go home but before I did I remembered that I was supposed to drop something off at a friends house, so I did. When I got there I was presented with a gift of leftover injera and shiro powder!!!!! It made my day!
I haven't had Ethiopian food since March so it has been long overdue. I hurried home to make a small batch of shiro and have a snack of my most favorite food! As I ate the delicious morsels, my heart was happily reminded of my year as a student missionary to the most wonderful place on earth! The only things missing were 40 beautiful children running around the house getting ready for lunch, the warm Ethiopian breeze, and Tigist and Alvarash pulling me inside the dark smokey kitchen shack to drink some buna (coffee,shhh) with them after another filling lunch of injera!
It is so wonderful to have opportunities to be brought back down memory lane. Even though I wish I could be in Ethiopia eating injera, having a few bites here in America will suffice until the day God calls me back for a visit!
Wow-wee! I love nature..I love running in nature even more! Today was glorious...the most fun I have had in a super long time! Cookies are good! God is even better! More race details and photos to come!
Here is the first round of photographic memories of the day! Highlights include but are not limited to:
-a predawn breakfast from the communal bowl of cooked oats and barley (thanks martina!)
-getting my right calf marked with the #12!
-running 12 miles!
-the awesome trio of youngsters banging on their drums in the middle of the woods!
-walking through the aid stations
-stopping for a few seconds to look the stunning views from the overlook!!
-the runner in blue--his name was shawn--he was quite the character.
-the amazing support crew that followed us all around the woods: Aunt Lynn, Martina, Emily, and Elisa. They were the best support crew, hands down!
-starting and finishing around the lake, the colors were beautiful!
-cramming into the car to track and watch the amazing John Howe run the rest of his marathon after finishing with our measly 12 miles!
-having John and Andrew catch up to me during the last 5 miles or so. Running with them was super fun!
-listening to John dialogue about his childhood. Something about peppermint candy and a unicycle.
-the pirates at the last aid station
-the delicious vegan chilli and cookies at the finish line
-swimming in the mountain lake
-mingling with the crowd, trail runners are a unique bunch.
-BEING BLESSED WITH THE ABILITY TO SIMPLY RUN!! THANK YOU JESUS!
While I was out for a trail run this afternoon I had the unique pleasure of rolling my ankle. It was the coolest feeling actually, because all of a sudden the top of my foot was on the ground when I felt a pop, pop, pop, and then I just kept going! The first thought in my head was how lucky I was that I didn't crash and and proceed to collect a new battle scar. After I regained my balance down the steep hill from the ridge I began to ponder the amazingness of a human ankle. How can it be that someone can run down a steep slope, twist an ankle and be seemingly OK? God sure knew what he was doing when he put so many little bones, ligaments, and tendons in our feet and ankles!! How many? Look below!
The human foot combines mechanical complexity and structural strength. The ankle serves as foundation, shock absorber, and propulsion engine. The foot can sustain enormous pressure (several tons over the course of a one-mile run) and provides flexibility and resiliency.
The foot and ankle contain: 26 bones (One-quarter of the bones in the human body are in the feet.); 33 joints; more than 100 muscles, tendons (fibrous tissues that connect muscles to bones), and ligaments (fibrous tissues that connect bones to other bones); and a network of blood vessels, nerves, skin, and soft tissue.
These components work together to provide the body with support, balance, and mobility. A structural flaw or malfunction in any one part can result in the development of problems elsewhere in the body.
The Joint: The ankle joint is medically known as the talocrural joint. Three bones make up this joint; the tibia, fibula, and talus. The weight of the body is transmitted from the tibia to the talus which distributes the weight anteriorly and posteriorly within the foot.
The Ligaments: The ligaments of the ankle joint are grouped into two categories, the lateral collateral ligaments and the medial collateral ligaments. Although the ligaments of the ankle are strong fibrous bands, they are often susceptible to injury due to the excessive movement of the subtalar joint during activity. The lateral collateral ligaments include the anterior talofibular ligament, calcaneofibular ligament, talocalcaneal ligament, posterior talocalcaneal ligament and the posterior talofibular ligament. The anterior talofibular ligament passes from the tip of the lateral malleolus to the talus anteriorly. It limits plantar flexion of the joint. The calcaneofibular ligament passes from the lateral malleolus to the calcaneus with the talocalcaneal ligament running at its base. They resist adduction. The posterior talofibular ligament passes from the tip of the lateral malleolus to the talus posteriorly. The posterior talocalcaneal extends this band to the calcaneus. Both limit dorsiflexion.
The medial collateral ligaments, or deltoid ligament, include the tibionavicular ligament, calcaneotibial ligament, anterior talotibial ligament, and the posterior talotibial ligament. The tibionavicular ligament runs anteriorly form the medial malleolus to the navicular bone. The calcaneotibial ligament runs from the tip of the medial malleolus to the edge of the calcaneus. Both prevent abduction. The anterior and posterior talotibial ligaments run anteriorly and posteriorly between the medial malleolus and the talus. They limit plantar flexion and dorsiflexion respectively.
Last Year Overall time: 1:45:04 Swim=18:08 T1=1:49 Bike=57:18(18.8 avg mph) T2=.50 Run= 27:02(6:46 pace)
Improvement was my goal. Meeting goals is good! It was nice to see all the work and training pay off! I owe much of my success to my friends who were willing to go out and run, bike, and swim with me! I am not always the most motivated person so having someone to make me work hard and seek out hills to bike up instead of flat roads was very helpful and also more bearable :-)! I feel blessed to have the ability to swim, bike, and run. To God be the glory!
I have a confession to make. What I am about to write may come as a surprise to some. Sometimes (a lot of times) I find myself getting frustrated when it seems as sometimes all some people associate me with is the fact that I am a good runner. Should it annoy me that some people don't seek to know me as whom I am as a person instead of what I do? At the same time some (and I) may wonder why I would be frustrated with being known for something that is good and positive. A lot of times with this mindset, I feel like I am fleeing from the gifts and abilities that God has blessed me with. I simply love to run and I sometimes I like to race and compete but when I do it seems like it gives people another reason to glorify me and not the one who should really be given the credit. If I am using the gifts God has blessed me with then it shouldn't feel like a burden to be classified as "the girl who runs." Right?
While talking with a good friend earlier about my "frustrations" she helped me to look at my situation from a whole new perspective. My biggest goals and ambitions in life is to go out in the mission field and serve God through my actions and the abilities that he gives me whether that be teaching, preaching, or just lending a helping hand. Yet I know that there is work to be done here right here, right now while I wait for God to lead me where he wants. So while I am waiting, why not turn the situations of when people are admiring me for what I can do and reverse it for a chance to glorify God?
Instead of collecting trophies and peoples admiration and just letting them sit on a shelf to collect dust, could it be so, that I have a perfect opportunity to collect trophies in the form of souls for Christ simply by using the talents and abilities he has blessed me with? Instead of running from the gifts God has given me, I need to start doing a better job of giving God the complete glory for my success and ability because without God's leading I could just be a lump of bones and skin. He didn't have to give me the ability to run but he did so I owe it to him to cash in on the frequent opportunities I have via encounters with people and take the time to glorify God and tell people just how great and amazing he is. Because he is and I am so thankful!
PS(I am thankful and appriciative for all the kinds words and I won't stop being your friend if you decide you want to compliment me on the talents God has given me :-)