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Steps

April 28, 2011

Have I mentioned that I’m not a runner? I’m not and I never have been. I was always the slow kid running the mile in gym class. I have never attempted to be a runner. I can walk a 5K. I can stay on the elliptical machine for an hour or more. I can bike. I am not a runner.

Except, I’m trying to be a runner.

Inspired by so many fantastic online friends and real life friends (like Ginny who ran the Boston Marathon in four hours last week), I decided to attempt the Couch To 5K program. There’s an app you can download for your smartphone and there’s a “Get Running” podcast you can download as well.

I started three weeks ago and I’m in the middle of week 2, so you can see how it’s going.

I’m honestly not a runner. I’m also carrying too many extra pounds and wondered if it would even be okay for me to attempt running. I’ve mentioned before that I’m stuck at this horrible weight plateau that nothing seems to be able to defeat, and after being advised by several friends (and even my doctor at my last visit), I decided that running might just be the thing to knock me off that plateau. I’ve dabbled in it some before this, but nothing structured like this program and nothing that I had to commit to.

Week one was hard. I know there are some of you who wonder what’s wrong with me that I can’t run 9 minutes (spread out over 20 minutes), but for the love of Pete, it was tough. It was also hard on my ego–I thought I was in pretty good shape. I mean, I get my heart rate well into target on the elliptical machine and I work out several times a week. But running on real surfaces, actually having to propel my body forward? Hard. So hard.

Plus, I have shin splints. Which are painful and I can’t seem to figure out how to not get them or how to make them any better when I do get them (which is every time I run or walk at more than a leisurely pace).

I struggled through week one. I got to day three (there are three workouts each week for nine weeks) and I worried. I asked a friend who knows about such things what she thought I should do. Do I move on to week two or do week one again. She suggested doing week one again and getting my body conditioned to the new things I was expecting it to do .

So I did week one again. The first two days were easier the second time through.

On Good Friday morning, I took Sam to the vet. Things do not go well when I take Sam to the vet, because he has a lot of issues. In trying to get him to move from point A to point B (and not hurt his hips, which are getting worse every day), I pulled my lower back. I spent Good Friday and Holy Saturday in bed, trying to recover for Easter. I did not work out Friday or Saturday and I was frustrated because I missed my endorphins and I was getting behind on C25K.

Easter arrived and I was feeling well enough to make it through the day’s activities–church, Easter egg hunt, dinner with Jason’s family. It rained all day. On the way home from dinner, I said, “I really need to get a work out in.” The Y was closed. The rain was falling. “I think I’m going to run in the rain.” Everyone thought I was being silly, I know. But I really wanted to get the third workout in and just work out in general.

As I stuck my iPhone in an inner pocket of the rain jacket I put on (so I could hear the dings and prompts of the C25K app) and laced up my old sneakers (they were going to get soaked) I realized that I’ve turned a corner in my life. I had several perfectly acceptable excuses for not doing this–it’s a holiday, I’m still babying my back, it’s raining, the Y is closed…but I want to work out so much I’m going to run in my hilly neighborhood in the rain.

I set my phone to Week 1 Day 3 of C25K and headed out the door. During my first run interval, I hit a puddle that was impossible to avoid–so I splashed through it. Up hills, down hills, through rushing water in some places I ran and walked. I gave up on the hood and I got completely soaked from my toes to the top of my head. I prayed that the jacket was a water proof as it should be and that my phone was fine (it was and I made it!).

This week, I moved on to week 2. The first day was really hard. But this morning, I ran week 2 day 2 and I did it with hardly any struggling. I’ll do week 2 day 3 on Friday and maybe next week, I’ll even move on to week 3–OR I’ll do week 2 again if Friday doesn’t go well!

So, all this to say two things:

1. It’s fun to have something physically challenging me. I mean “fun” in the “sometimes it’s totally not fun at all and I’m afraid I might die” sense.

2. In November I’m going to run (not walk, like I usually do) the Turkey Trot 5K. (I have plenty of time, even for my slow training schedule, to get ready for this.)

So, that’s just kind of an update on how things are going with me and my quest for health!

For The Better

April 18, 2011

Figure Skating Queen Yu-Na KIMphoto © 2010 { QUEEN YUNA } | more info (via: Wylio)I had lunch with a friend the other day. During the course of our time together, she told me about some things that were happening for her professionally and some things that were happening between her and her co-workers. She’s finding that her co-workers are rather rude, are saying some harsh things to her and are not glad about any of her successes. “Jealousy,” I told her. “They’re jealous.”

It was obviously true. She’s hardworking and she knows that to be the best, she has to be the best.

In her profession, success is made through clients and sales. Her co-workers, I think, are missing the point. My friend is setting the bar high–they should be trying to reach it or set it higher. They should let my friend, their co-worker, enrich their experience in the profession. Instead, they are grumbling and turning on her.

I, for one, want to have people in my life who enrich it and cause me to be better and work harder.  I want to cultivate friendships with people who know about different kinds of things and have different skills and talents and encourage me.

I made the move to this new site this weekend. I probably wouldn’t have bothered to learn so much about what that would take and probably wouldn’t have cared except for my friend, Nibby, who pulled me along and encouraged me that my web presence could be different.  Keeping friends in my life who challenge me to go farther and help me do that is vital to me. My life is so much better because of them!

In my youth group, I always have one student (at least) who demands more of me. T’hey aren’t taking a lesson thrown together on Sunday afternoon, they aren’t just playing any stupid game and they aren’t going to ingest theology and ideas that I can’t present well.  Currently, this student is a high school girl. She loves me and she trusts me to lead her–and she demands that I do it well. “Why did you choose this lesson?” she’ll honestly ask. “What do you have planned for Sunday night,” she’ll text on Tuesday. “So…is this all we’re going to do?” she wonder if we’re sitting around the youth room on a Sunday night shooting the breeze. She (and the students with high standards before her) cause me to be a better youth minister.

I participate in planning teams, discussion groups and boards that demand me to be prepared and bring something to the table. If I show up without anything to offer the group or if I am not doing some thinking and planning  and question asking, I’m letting them down. A good example of this is my participation in the #RunRevRun site. Being part of that team demands that I am pulling my weight on the team, reading the instructions and emails that come my way, writing solid posts to contribute and doing my share of advertising and telling people about the site. If I don’t, I’m not fulfilling my responsibility as part of the team. This causes me to be a better writer and get a little bit better at promotion and advertising (I’m still working on that, but friends who are good at it are encouraging me!).

As an extension of that, being part of a community that encourages me to be healthy and get stronger and faster and in better shape has positive outcomes in many areas! I started training with the Couch To 5K Program last week because so many #runrevrun participants were using it and because my friend, Millie at See Millie Tri decided to give it a shot. Do I believe I’ll actually run a 5K one day? Because of these people, I believe it might happen (but let’s not get excited–I’m re-doing week 1 next week just to make sure I’m ready to do this)!

I don’t really feel like I have a lot of competition in my youth ministry job–and that’s probably because I meet, pray and pal around with many of the other youth ministers and leaders in town on a regular basis. Yet, even if it’s not competition, that group encourages me to do my best and challenges me with interesting discussions and ideas.

All this to say: Don’t be afraid of a little competition or to be friends with people who know more or who know about different things. They will make your life so much better and they will cause you to be the best you can be!

Who encourages you to work harder and do more?

Moving In!

April 15, 2011

Becky’s Blog is moving/has moved to WordPress!

I’m very excited and very grateful to my friend, Nibby, for all of his work and his willingness to teach me all kinds of things. I’m really excited about the new site.


Basically, things might be shaky for a day or two while the domain changes over!


The site will still be beckydurham.net and you’ll arrive there automatically if you type that/keep that link.


The RSS feed will change, so if you’ve subscribed or are using it in a widget, you’ll need to update from the new site.


I’ve had some fun making the banner that you see at the top of the page  (not bad for my first attempt, eh?), adding my little floating head as the favicon (most of you should see that up on the tab for this page), taking some pictures, writing my “about” page, learning some new widgets and plugins, and re-organizing my categories (formerly tags). I’ve learned all about wordpress in the past couple of months as we’ve moved the church site and I’ve become an admin/author on #RunRevRun.  There are still some things I need to figure out and fix, but we thought we were ready to take it live!


Here we go! Thanks for reading!

#RunRevRun

April 5, 2011

So…this happened:

http://runrevrun.net/

http://runrevrun.net/authors/

Oh, believe me, I was/am probably as surprised as you are. God does unexpected things when I’m not really paying attention. I’m excited about what this site can do and that I get to be a part of it. I’m also a tiny bit terrified that I’ll be the worst health and fitness blogger in the history of forever blogging.

My first original post (the second one is scheduled to post tomorrow):

http://runrevrun.net/2011/new-beginnings/

Two pieces from this blog about relevant topics used to help populate the site with content:

http://runrevrun.net/2011/02/run-run-run/

http://runrevrun.net/2010/04/five-ingredients/

It’s a new site and we’re still working on building it and our author list. My co-authors span a wide range of locations, professions, denominations and types of fitness interest and they are all very talented and some of their articles are already up and some of their articles are coming soon!

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