I am scheduled to run the Dallas full marathon in December. I know I’m not ready. My training cycle has been plagued with fatigue.
And dietary changes to rewire my body to burn fat for fuel versus sugar✔️
Needless to say: I am at a crossroads and the real issue is – how bad do I want it?
When I was young… I used to run along country roads lined with wheat stalks and corn. My mother would always asked me, “Why?”
Out of 7 kids I was the only one who ran.
Running was and is my life’s metaphor.
You want to finish?
You wanna succeed?
But what if I fail?
We all do!
Anything worth having requires stamina.
Running makes you wanna quit – so do haters.
Running pushes your limits – so does purpose.
Running makes you tired – so does doing the extra stuff (no one wants to do) to learn your craft .
Running hurts – so does mistakes.
You can find your way back!
Running makes makes me stronger.
Running makes me happy.
Running keeps me mindful I need God.
This 👏🏾Is 👏🏽Why👏🏽 I👏🏽 Run👏🏽
I will get my coveted 3:53:59.
But it won’t come from wishing. It won’t come from being unrealistic. I must train. And train hard. Soooooooo what this training cycle stunk!! Life is a marathon – not a sprint. Adapt. Pick up the pieces. Try again!
Proverbs 16:9 King James Version
“A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the Lord directeth his steps.”
Delays are not denials. Use this season to find your way back. That alternate route you’re on is teaching you so much more. Just don’t quit.
When the chips are down…. and all seems lost…. I am no different than anyone else: I’ve second-guessed! Is this hopeless??
A CAT scan convinced my allergist I might need surgery. What followed next was an ENT doctor… who assured me, I did not need surgery – but said my inability to breathe without prescriptions might be a lifelong problem during allergy season. Unfortunately, that “so called” allergy season extended to 12 months… and my life was simply becoming miserable.
Like many, I did what others do when a health crisis emerges: I googled.
I decided I wanted to take a holistic approach. Allergy shots every other day broke me out in hives. Prednisone (a steroid tablet) offered much needed relief, but long term use is not encouraged. Cortisone shots offered much needed relief, but again not a long term option. In fact, after 5 trips to the emergency room – the shots stopped working. The nasal steroids stopped working and I developed an upper respiratory infection that made breathing through my mouth and my nose impossible. At that point, I broke down and prayed. I was scared. Not breathing means not living.
That season…. as difficult as it was – became my tipping point. The breakthrough I had been praying for. Funny, once looking back, I realize the pain wasn’t the journey… but the paradigm shift of my daily routine. No more cold cereal. No more cheese. No more milk. (Inflammatory foods for me that I just simply could not kick) New thinking. New capacity. New opportunity. Yes… I was looking for my second act – what am I going to do with my life??? I never knew – it would come in the form of IT WORKS GLOBAL.
But a 28 year old teacher convinced me to take the chance… and shoved packets of greens in my hand. Her words, “don’t knock it till you try it”. My goal was just to increase my water and vegetable consumption by %100. What I got instead was my answered prayer!!! In 2 weeks, I stopped taking allergy shots. By week 4 – I was off all prescriptions. In the 5 months I have been drinking greens – I have not had 1 bout of allergies. I can breathe through both sides of my nose and no ear infections. I haven’t had a round of antibiotics – which had become a monthly ritual.
So the million dollar question: Is greens on the go berry the cure? I am not a doctor. I am just simply a testimony…. and mine is: I AM ALLERGY FREE.
I drink berry greens – 2 times a day – Breakfast and lunch to detox and alkalize. 11 servings of fruits and vegetables (ALL GMO FREE) with 38 superfoods gave me my life back. I no longer take medications… and now I sell them.
My friends and former colleagues all chuckle, “You sell what”??? I laugh back, “Greens. Why not?” 😊
My 28 year old upline – just retired from teaching: selling greens. We are the solution to an emerging health crisis. A trillion dollar industry. Somebody is going to be the solution – why not me?
God is really funny. He knocked out 2 birds with one heckava stoney health crisis.
I now have my health and my purpose… and that my friends, is true wealth.
First… they give other runners an idea if they should participate next year.
Second… it’s self reflective and places a microscope on one’s own training plans: are they working? How can it be improved. Are you on target for your goals?
And finally… recaps are a wonderful way to put in print every memory from a special moment. Time has a way of warping truth or making you forget all together. So let’s start with the funny.
Race literature called for a 7:30am start time. I never read it. I took Andrea’s word. But I omitted one little fact. Olatunji time is ALWAYS 5 to 30 minutes AFTER a set time. (Gables time, good God, aint much better). So in true, late people fashion – we arrive at the starting line for the Texas Big Star Half at 7:25am. All the road closures (we failed to read about) stunted our arrival time as well.
But we speed walked to the starting line… kinda shocked no one on the loud speaker was asking anyone to line up (little did we know they had already LEFT). The crowd was sparse (or so we thought), so we made porta potty stops, washed hands, took selfie’s jamming to the music booming from the sound system…. and I even yaked it up with an old military buddy…. chatting with his son at the front of the starting line (waiting for the 5k to start). Silly me… never occurred to me – we were in the 5k starting wave. As time continued to pass… we start wondering… where are the half marathoners? Andrea even joked, “there are so few, we might actually place”. It was funny, until a volunteer asked if we were ready to start the 5k. “No way”, chimed Andrea. “We’re running the half”! Opps… too bad it started 10 mins ago.
I took off violating every rule of preparation! I crossed the starting line, with my Garmin still trying to catch a GPS signal. My iPod set to a blank playlist, my hair blowing in mouth – instead of twisted into a ponytail… and my pace way too fast with no warm up. I could feel my heart rate elevate… as my Garmin was dying. Did I really not charge this thing? I gotta do better! Now I am setting my pace according to heart rate.
The race route: don’t let Frisco fool you. It has a rollercoaster landscape. The first hill was okay. I run hill repeats on Fisher road 3 to 4x’s a month. But Preston Road, where I typically only drive my car… ugggh – now I see why I prefer my car. God it’s clearly a mile-long, slow grinding hill. Thankfully, I finished it… Only to approach the bridge construction crews have been building forever. Guess what? Its a hill. A BIG FAT NEVER ENDING LONG HILL. Oh wait! Here comes a flat stretch… Too bad it’s only 800 yards. A nice landing strip to launch you off on ANOTHER HILL. I was planning to push for a 1:59 finish. Instead, I finished 2:02. Not my worst, but not my best either. Lesson here… train on more hills, quit rescheduling my tempo runs, train consistently and crack down on nutrition. If I plan to PR NYC in November… I need to be on time and train myself as hard as I train others. Lesson learned.
Now here are some lessons I hope the organizers of this race take heed to.
1. Thank God the weather was overcast, windy and cooler than a typical Saturday in April. It is unconscionable to hold a race with water stations 3 to 4 miles apart from each other. If it would have been hot, this would have been a disaster. Not enough water stations. Not necessarily for me – but for the percentage of untrained or unproperly trained runners. Who’s great money saving idea was this???
2. Please use your announcer at starting line to remind people of start time constantly and for which race. We figured it out from a volunteer. We’re lucky we heard him! Yeah, I know I was late… But I was at the starting line when the starting blast went off and had no idea it was the half marathoners. I thought it was the 5k’ers.
3. Not one single porta potty along the race route. NOT ONE!!
(UPDATE: I have been corrected. Folks tell me there were a few. My tardy crew just never saw them)
Thank God I had no GI issues. One of my friends did – and they held it while running 13.1 miles. 🙊🙉🙈 Choices were: quit and hope someone would backpack you to the finish line. Squat in public in front of passing traffic cause I didn’the see a tree or a bush anywhere… or get to the finish line praying nothing seeps out. 😣
4. I didn’t bring a gu.. because I have been so spoiled by every other race. Around mile 8… free one’s are typically passed out like sunshine. Not this one. If you wanna sprint in – caffeine and carbs are your responsibility.
5. Alot of turns to make up the 13.1 miles instead of straight-a-ways. If you like loops, this is the race for you. I prefer not seeing the same street over and over.
6. Most races typically have the finisher photo at the finish line. Not here… it was inside Toyota stadium. I found out AFTER I left. No signage anywhere. But I was late, maybe I missed it. Frisco, I’m glad our city is hosting our own race. Hopefully next year… it will be better. Regardless, I’ll be back and hopefully finishing stronger! It was awesome seeing our city making an effort to keep its citizens fit! And that, my friend, makes up for any shortcoming!