Running Rick

Most of you have already seen my posts on Facebook relating to my running efforts. Since I just completed my first 8 weeks of running on the Couch to 5K (C25K) program, I thought I’d put something together about why I’m running, what the C25K program was like, and where I hope to go from here.

I’m not exactly sure why I decided to start running. I’ve been struggling with my weight and felt I needed to exercise, but I kept finding reasons to not do anything about it. I looked around one day and realized that many of the fittest people I saw around me were runners. I might have to give this a try.

I knew I was too far out of shape to just start running. Luckily, there are a number of these C25K programs for my phone. The one I found even lets you do the first week for free. With my phone, an armband, and some music, I set out! The first few runs weren’t too bad… but they also had me walking as much as I was running. This program emphasized that I warmup, cool-down, and stretch at the end. The stretching has been very cool. I’m starting to see flexibility in my legs that may not have ever been there before. Running every other day together with warming up before running also made this a sustainable program. There were many mornings when I would start out (after the day off) feeling a bit stiff. Every time after those first five minutes of walking, I was awake and ready to run.

As I progressed through the program, each new step seemed huge at the time. OMG…. it’s making me run for 5 whole minutes straight! And then the following week it was 8… and then 20… and finally 35. Starting out slow and working up to those bigger times made all the difference to me. Each increase was its own victory. Completing a program like this was an even bigger one.

I’ve lost just over 10 lbs. Running, besides burning calories directly, has made me more conscious of what I’m eating on how much of it I’m eating. It’s also gotten me to switch out much (but definitely not all) of my coffee for water. I’m also surprised by the conversations that have been started by this. Friends, family, and co-workers have all been seeing my updates on Facebook and quite a few have chatted with me about running. I even discovered a co-worker that lives in my neighborhood through this!

Going forward, I know that I can keep fitting longer and longer runs into my morning routine unless I push the alarm back to earlier and earlier. With it set at 5:30 already, I’m not really up for that. I think that means that I’ll have to cap my run duration at around 25-30 min and start working on running faster.

I do plan to run a 5K. I still haven’t found one that I want to sign up for. The Liz Hurley run in October is a likely candidate though.

My Big Girl’s First Day in Big Church

Today was Phoebe’s first day to be a part of Big Church at Trinity. Big Enough for Big Church is how our children’s ministry describes the transition from the nursery to being a part of the worship service on Sunday mornings. Before today, Phoebe had only been to Big Church for special occasions such as when her choir began the worship service or for Sophie’s dedication.

To start this process, we had breakfast on Saturday with several of the other families who would be making this same transition today. This was a chance to explain to the kids some of the new concepts they were about to see, including things that have been a part of my life as long as a can remember… things like pews and pulpits and hymnals. I don’t know that I would have thought to explain these things. Amy, our children’s minister, had the children ask us a few questions about church as part of this. One that stuck with me (and I think Phoebe too) is what our favorite part of Big Church is. For both Jessica and me, this answer was the music. During their tour of the sanctuary, the kids all got to go check out the choir loft and see a choir robe. They quickly looked past that and on the bapistry… clearly with thoughts in their heads of how they could go swimming in there.

This morning, Jessica and I were in Sophie’s nursery class for the early service. Since we didn’t want Phoebe’s first experience in Big Church to be without us, she stuck around as our helper. Towards the end of this time, we pulled out construction paper and crayons. The younger girls just scribbled, but I asked Phoebe to draw what she was going to do in Big Church today. The picture below is what she drew without any other prompting! Our little big-girl apparently shares a love of music with her parents!

From August 2011

After Sunday School, I went off to get ready to sing with the choir. Jessica and Phoebe met me in the hallway before we went in so I could let Phoebe see me in my robe. She was so sweet and so excited at the same time. After the choir came in and I looked into the congregation, I saw my sweet little girl waving at her Daddy! I had to sneak a wave back in myself. Hopefully the teenage boys in front of her didn’t think I was waving at them. According to Jessica, Phoebe had a smile plastered on her face entire time the choir was singing.

A little while later, she headed off for Children’s Church and I watched her head out the door, something I’ll see many more times over the next few years.

It was a wonderful first experience for both Phoebe, Jessica, and me. We feel so blessed that we’re a part of this church and that they’re helping us raise our children up in the ways of Christ.