Running :: Two Babies & A Few Croissants Later

This morning, yes, as in about an hour and a half ago, I went for a run. As many of you know, I have been a runner for some time now, but since getting pregnant with Branch, running has been put on the back burner. A few months after he passed away, I started running again. I was slower than I had been, and my body and bones were soft & fragile from pregnancy followed by surgery.  I did it, though, and it was empowering to some degree, as running often is.  As soon as I was getting more comfortable as a post-baby runner…..I found out I was pregnant with River.  I told myself, for about a millisecond, that I would run for months and months during this second pregnancy, but then I realized that was dumb and not at all what I wanted to do. So I hiked and walked and took a lot of naps and ate croissants, because naps and croissants are both delicious, and hikes and walks are much more fun when pregnant than running is.

I say all of this to help you understand exactly where I was at physically when I decided to download a “zero to 5k” app and go out for my first walk/run interval this morning. First off, this app is super cool. It’s called Fitness 22 5K Runner, and a couple of my friends have used it before so I knew what to expect. It has various “badges” you unlock by completing different runs, and the very first one is called the Lionheart Badge. Umm, hello.

Back to my morning run.  I drove the 5 minutes it takes to get to the coast (#humblebrag), loaded River into the stroller (#bob), started the app (#5krunner), did the warm-up and first walk/run interval (#ivegotthis), and then almost died (#seriouslyithoughtiwasgoingtopassout). PEOPLE. Running is hard!!!!!!!!!!

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SOMEHOW I managed to scrape my motivation off the sidewalk and make it through the entire thing. And of course, when I was finished, I felt amazing and so proud of myself. This does not, however, change the fact that RUNNING IS HARD!!!!!!!!!!!!!

At least, it’s hard for me. River had a great time and giggled the faster I went.

Until the next one,

~Kristin

Isaiah 40:31  “But those who hope 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 grow faint.”

Running Again

I have decided to start running again.

I was a runner for many years. And now I am one again.

I am not a fast runner, though my speed did increase over the years.

I am not a skinny runner, though my body has seen various shapes and weights in my running tenure.

I am not someone who was “born to run” and just loves every second of being out there.

Running is hard work. It’s hard for my mind, for my lungs, for my heart, for my legs.  Sometimes running feels like soul work more than anything else. It’s all on the table when my feet hit the ground, you know what I mean? I am reminded of my reality, of God’s goodness, of all I am carrying in my inmost being, every time I lace up my sneakers.

I wonder if that’s why I took a break for a little while. It was too much to face. Too much to carry. Too much to run with.

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On Saturday morning I went for a run.

I had new shoes, an awesome pair of running tights, and an ocean view.

I ran half a mile, stopped for a minute to catch my breath, and then ran another half mile.

One mile.

During the 2nd half mile my mind was flooded with thoughts of how different running feels. In some ways it is harder to run, but mostly, I was reminded of all my body, my legs, my lungs, and my heart have walked through in recent months.

These are the legs that take me to work, to Whole Foods, to Croutons for soup and salad, every week.  These are the thighs that held extra weight, weight that is still there, to support a growing baby boy. This is the body that is physically holding my grief, my joy, my fear. These are the lungs that laugh and cry, often in the same breath, as I did at church this morning. This is the heart that lays my sorrows and my dreams at God’s feet.

This body has done a lot for me. And now, it is helping me run.

One mile down.

 

~Kristin

 

The Lionheart Half Marathon … and Weight Watchers

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Glenn has been kind enough to join me on some of my runs. Believe it or not, it has been COLD here in San Diego!

It has been over two months since I had a baby. Wow.

In early January I decided I had given myself enough time to grief-eat and sit around in my sweats all day. Spending my days watching trash television like Hart of Dixie and The Biggest Loser was pretty fun, if I do say so myself, but it was time for a change.  I still do a little grief-lounging, or “hibernating” as I now call it, but I have also started actively pursuing my physical goals. Weight Watchers has really worked for me in the past, so I joined up again. I was super hungry for a solid two weeks, and am now getting back into the swing of things.

Along with the good ‘ole WW, I am dipping my big toe into the ocean of running once more. When I got pregnant I was actually in pretty decent running shape, and was convinced I would be one of “those” pregnant ladies who just ran their way in and out of the delivery room.

Ummm, yea, that didn’t happen. If anyone is wondering, the early months of pregnancy are brutal, and the ONLY thing I could manage was lying on the couch, whining, and eating McDonald’s. Once I started to feel better I did maintain my walking and hiking, but running has not been part of my life since April 2013. That was quite a long time ago in running years.

Here is what running looks like for me today:  My legs hurt. My chest throbs. I can barely breathe. A mix of sweat and salt pour down my face. I feel like I am going to fall over dead any minute. I look down at my Garmin and notice that I have just hit the half-mile marker. Ouch.

Needless to say, this is already a challenging growth experience.

Growth. Ugh. Sometimes I wish I were done growing. I mean, ultimately I am so grateful to be able to be better than before, to move forward, to, yes, GROW… it’s just hard work.  It always has been, and it always will be. I am so grateful that God is gentle as I walk the path of growth in so many areas. It hurts, even when I know the end result is worth the pain.

Back to the running. It is hard — yes. But I am doing it. And, even more excitingly, YOU can do it with me! Glenn and I have unofficially dubbed this year’s La Jolla Half Marathon the LIONHEART HALF & 5K. We are running it in honor of Branch, and yes we will be making team shirts. We figured this was a good way to do something productive, get back into running shape, and honor our little boy’s life. He was so strong during his time on earth, we can be strong and run this race for him.

If you are interested in running either the Half Marathon or the 5k, and being part of Team Lionheart, here is what you need to know:

Date: Sunday, April 27th
Location: La Jolla, CA —   Torrey Pines is part of the course! Beautiful and challenging!
Distance: 13.1 OR 3.1 miles
Registration website: http://www.lajollahalfmarathon.com

If you live in San Diego, please sign up and run with us! Don’t delay! This race sells out every single year, so if you think you want to do it, sign up now!! Team Lionheart currently has about 6 people running the half marathon and 4 doing the 5k. If you are interested, we will be putting together group runs every weekend to get us prepped!

If you do NOT live in San Diego but still want to be part of Team Lionheart, we are going to be making shirts sometime in the next month or so and I will post about how to purchase one here on the blog.

And finally, I will end this post with my one month weight loss photo and stats. I have decided it will be an added level of accountability to post about my weight loss here on the blog. Sorry if that’s not your cup ‘o tea. It should only be once a month, so I’m sure you will be able to handle it.

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In four weeks I have lost 6.8 pounds. I am starting to see a small difference, and if you look closely you can see some change in the photo. Hoping to lose even more this month!

~Kristin

The Five Experiment :: Week One Results

I did it! I ran five miles, five days last week. Glenn joined me for my Thursday morning run, which was a nice change and I loved having a buddy.

I wound up running five days in a row, which wasn’t my intention, but it worked out. Monday was actually the most difficult – I stopped halfway through and had to sit down for about 10 minutes in the shade. I am realizing that running at noon on the hottest day of the week is not going to get me my *best* results. It is a challenge, however, so I guess that’s good.

Here are my stats from last week. Each run was 5 miles.
Monday – 11 minute pace
Tuesday – 10:21 minute pace
Wednesday – 10:16 pace
Thursday – 10:00 minute pace
Friday – 10:18 minute pace

This week I am going to try to do two of my runs at an under 10 minute pace.

If any of you decided to join me or do a challenge of your own, I would love to hear about it!

Happy Tuesday,

Kristin

Back on Track: The Running Game

Are you ready for more running posts? Swift-moving feet are about to take over my life again, so buckle up.

Earlier this week I went out and tried to run the fastest mile I could. You may recall, my fastest mile to date is 7:47 and it earned me fancy socks. It had been a while since said fastest mile, so I decided to go down to the boardwalk and see if I could push myself to run super fast.

Oh my word running fast is hard.

Oh my word running fast on a boardwalk is much harder than on a treadmill.

I did it in 8:15.

Not quite as good as 7:47 but not too far off, so I think I can get there again within the next month or so.

Today is my day off, and tomorrow I attempt 6 miles {my first run over 4 miles since leaving the lovely Keri}.Here are the rest of this week’s running stats:

Monday: 2 miles with Piper, followed by an additional 2 miles of power walking. Walk & Talk & Run. Super fun.
Tuesday: 1 mile at 8:15. Ouch.
Wednesday: Skipped it. {It’s my first week back, give me a break!:)}
Thursday: 4 miles at 9:42 with GMoney.

My goal for next week is to follow the schedule I have set for myself precisely. Anybody in the LA area care to join me?? {Please say yes.}

And because I have no running pictures to share with you, but we all know pictures make blogs way more fun, here are a blurry Glenn and I on Wednesday night when we decided to skip our run and go to Costco to share a slice of pizza and a hot dog. I am so glad to be back in the land of Costco.

Happy Friday, and happy running to my fellow swift-footed friends.

Love,

Kristin

Half Marathon Training : Update Number Three

The half marathon is exactly one month away. 4 weeks. 31 days. And instead of fear, dread, terror, and hysteria – I’m actually feeling rather excited!

Here are this week’s stats, as best as I can remember them.

Saturday: 8 mile run, 10:25 pace
Sunday: 3 mile easy run, 10:30 pace
Monday: 3 mile run, 9:59 pace. I was supposed to do push ups, too, but I didn’t. Woops-y-daisy.
Tuesday: (4) x 1/2 mile sprints at 8:57 pace.
Wednesday: 3 mile run, 9:25 pace. 50 push ups.
Thursday: 3 mile run at 11:40 pace, then another 3 mile run at 9:26 pace. The first one was more fun, if you were wondering.

Today is my day off and I could not be more excited about having a day to rest my little leggies and eat ice cream! Tomorrow is the big 10 miler. I’m kind of nervous but the weather has been so lovely lately {SEVENTY DEGREES, people! I am officially in Heaven!} I think I’ll be a-ok.

My running adventures next week will {hopefully} include a trip to the athletic shoe shop for new sneaks. I will be sure to bring my camera along so you can share in the excitement!

Happy Friday, my lovelies!

~Kristin

So This is What It’s Come to

Glenn is out of town. I’m having fun and keeping myself distracted with really awesome stuff.  Awesome stuff like Shark Week, running, and The Bachelorette.

Let’s start with Shark Week. One of my favorite weeks ever because, come on, it’s just so fun to watch sharks chomp seals in half, and I can’t turn away when they do the dramatic re-enactments of people losing limbs!

So far no one I know in Little Rock seems as obsessed with Shark Week as I am, so I didn’t have a reason to make these awesome cupcakes. Next year.

Next up is running. Kill me now. It’s 105 degrees every single day and the “heat index” makes it 115. What the hades is a “heat index” and WHYYYYY does it need to make it feel TEN degrees hotter?? Here’s what’s funny:  I honestly used to think running in anything over 80 degrees was horrible and way too hot. HONESTLY. So for my friends who are still living it up in Southern California, let me describe what running in 105 degrees with one million percent humidity is like.

Picture yourself in a sauna. A really hot sauna. Like you’re in there and they just sprayed the eucalyptus oil but you don’t even care because you can’t breathe it’s so hot. You are covered in sweat, contemplating pulling an Elaine and walking around the sauna in your birthday suit. Then someone tells you to start sprinting.

THAT is what running in 105 degrees is like. Who wants to join me???!!!

Lastly, and I’m sorry it has come to this but I just have to be vulnerable in this safe space called the internet … the last 48 hours have been filled with excessive amounts of The Bachelorette.

SPOILER ALERT! Don’t read this if you haven’t watched it and want to because I’m totally going to give it all away.

Here is what needs to be said about The Bachelorette season finale:

WHYYYYYYY??????????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!?????

Here is what needs to be said to Ben:

Find Jesus and then call Kristin’s Dating Service.  I have a couple of lovely ladies that would be a great addition to your amazeballs Sonoma life. Also, you’re better than JP. In all ways.

Here is what needs to be said to everyone on Reality TV, and especially everyone on The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, or Bachelor Pad {what has my life come to}:

STOP GETTING VENEERS. They look awful. They look fake. They are too white. They are too straight. And you lick your teeth every 5 seconds which is really creeping me out. I would *almost* rather see someone with a set of British teeth than see another set of veneers. ICK!

How was your weekend??

~Kristin

Half Marathon Training … Again

This fall I will be running my tenth half marathon. Half, yes, not full. I ran one full marathon… that was enough for me. I may be convinced, however, to run the New York Marathon thanks to a certain Arkansas business consultant’s review of it… we shall see.

The most recent half marathon I ran, and the one I’ll be running again in October: The Nike Women’s in San Francisco.

When I started running it was nothing short of horrifying. I believed, with all of my being, that I was not cut out to be a runner. My body was not designed for such things. I would never be able to do it.

Any time I tried to run a mile…ONE mile… about  one third of the way in I would feel like I was going to throw up.  This would lead me to lying down/passing out, panting, in random people’s front lawns. It was not pretty.

After the 2010 Carlsbad Half Marathon.

Then something changed. I don’t know what it was, but for some reason I decided to keep trying. Glenn had been running a lot and I envied this cool athleticism he now had.  One day, he invited me to join him on a three mile hilly loop around his parent’s house. I warned him that I may only make it a mile {or less…} and he said that was fine.  Somehow, by the grace of God, I ran all three hilly miles.

I will never forget that feeling of accomplishment.

The 2010 La Jolla Half Marathon. One of the most challenging and beautiful courses I have ever ran.

Once I figured out that I could run three miles, I felt like I could do anything.  I would push us to run farther and farther, until eventually I suggested “What if we train to run a half marathon? Do you think we could do it?”

We followed what is still my favorite training schedule: Hal Higdon’s Half Marathon Training Plan. This is the program I am doing for this, my tenth half marathon, as well.

This time around, though, I am acting like it’s my first time training. I have set lofty goals for myself, but I am convinced I can do it. I’m training faster than I ever have, and am also {trying} to train in this OPPRESSIVE heat. It may kill me, but somehow I am determined to make it happen.

I’m nervous and a little afraid of failing {story of my life}. Even as I type this, my little heart is going pitter patter with anticipation! I know I am capable, though, and I know that this is a battle that is worth fighting. At least I hope it is.

Anyone else training for the first time, or training for a bigger goal than ever before? We can do it! Right?

~Kristin

Success

Thoughts of purpose, success, and how to define my life goals have been filling my mind lately. It could be because many of my waking hours have been spent listening to Oprah and thinking about the legacy I want to leave. It could also be due to the challenging words I heard during a recent Sunday church service: “Serve God where you are now, and let Him control where you go next.” I am realizing that I have, in some ways, buried my purpose since coming to Little Rock. I haven’t allowed myself to shine, I haven’t allowed myself to succeed, I haven’t allowed myself to serve others through my gifts because I don’t really want to be here.

I will likely share more of this with all of you in the coming weeks as I continue to process. For now let’s talk success.

According to Webster’s success is: degree or measure of succeeding or favorable or desired outcome.

Favorable or desired outcome. Is it just me, or does it seem like the favorable or desired outcome is impossible? Like success is impossible? Like failure is imminent? I think a part of me feels this every day, in one aspect of my life or another.

As I slowly learn and grow, as I push and drag myself to be the healthiest {emotionally, spiritually, physically, relationally} the more I realize I avoid goals. I shy away from telling people what success would be for me. Why? Because I have a deeply rooted fear, founded in lies I choose to believe, that I won’t get my goals. What if I don’t do it? What if I fail?

My heart is at war with my head. One side says Stop! It’s not worth the risk! You’ll never be able to do it! Why try when it’s impossible? While the other speaks truth: You can do all things {ALL THINGS!} through Christ who gives you strength. You are capable of so much more than you could even imagine! Success is only possible when there’s a risk of failure. You’re worth it!

Argh, the work that goes into being healthy.

What was the last time you allowed yourself to set a ridiculous goal, a goal you thought was close to impossible, a goal you very well may have failed at? Did you make it? Did you get close? Closer than you’ve ever gotten before?

That is success.

Sure, I wanted to have lost 20 pounds by today instead of 12… but 12 is a heck of a lot closer to my goal than 0 is.  Yea, I would have liked to have completely stopped waking up in the night with minor {or major… take your pick} anxiety. But waking up once or twice a month, and knowing what to do when anxiety comes, is significantly better than what used to happen 2 years ago. {Which was, in case you were wondering, regular illness and slight hysteria.}

And now for a happy story:

Last week I had a moment of undeniable success. I blew success out of the water.  I did something I honestly, HONESTLY, never thought was possible.

Glenn had challenged me to beat my “mile” record of 8 minutes. I know people run entire races at a faster pace than that, but these short little legs were pushing it to get 8 minutes. Glenn told me that if I could run a 7:50 mile, he would buy me two new pairs of the world’s greatest running socks. The Nike Elite Cushion Stability Running Socks. These socks are $14.

FOURTEEN DOLLARS A PAIR. For SOCKS!

Understandably, I have only one pair. I wash that one pair multiple times a week so that I can wear them on all my serious runs. Two new pairs sounded miiiiighty fine. But a 7:50 mile? That is fast. Really fast. And the last time I ran an 8 minute mile was over a year ago.  I was sure I couldn’t do it, at least no time soon.

For some reason, last Tuesday, I decided to try it. I was sick of living in fear of failure. I wanted to succeed. To prove to myself, and Glenn, that I could push myself harder than ever before.

I ran a mile in 7:47.

I ROCK! Aaah, the sweet taste of success. Aaaah, the sweet smell of new socks. It was a good day.

There is so much more I have to say about this subject, but for today:

May you acknowledge the successes you have already achieved, and challenge yourself to become who you are *truly* capable of being.

Love to you all,

~Kristin