Undisguised Blessing

I feel so blessed to have this opportunity.  To feel strong and to get stronger every time I run.  My body and mind are starting to merge and are open to the change that is happening.  David challenged us with this run that to some might seem crazy.  But it is giving us all the chance to push ourselves in ways we never dreamed possible.  About a month before getting Dave’s challenge, my friend Danielle and I were talking and she shared with me her love of running.  It was the one thing in her life that made her feel free.  While in high school she was an avid runner, but then Danielle contracted bacterial meningitis.  She was living in Belgium at the time and after near death, multiple surgeries, and years of recovery, she was able to stand and walk again but not run.  Years have passed and Danielle, still not able to run, shared the fact that there is a part of her that wishes she had gotten sick in America.  Had she been here, her legs would have been amputated, allowing her to run with prosthetics.  It broke my heart to hear those words.  Then and there I decided to run.  I have to run as long as I can.  I have to run for Danielle and all the people who wish they could.


Training Calendar

So, I tried to post a shared calendar from my google account so we could all track each other’s training schedule, diet, goals, etc…

Thought it may be another way to hold ourselves and each other accountable for getting in tip top shape.  I believe I have failed as the link i thought I was uploading onto the blog is nowhere to be found.  I think you all may be getting an email about a shared calendar from google, which I already put some entries onto for this week but it was pretty cumbersome. 

Any suggestions?  Anyone know of a user friendly shared calendar that we can put on the side of the blog as a link?  I don’t wanna weigh anyone down with keeping up with a calendar that they don’t have time to keep up with, so maybe it’s not a great idea.

Joe – Building from the Foundation Up!

Carrie, I wouldn’t be too quick to dismiss the pain, tingling and, numbness your experiencing. Dave’s absolutely right about running through the pain, but he’s also right about starting slowly and building up strength and stamina. My experience with running has been a constant balance between pushing your pre-conceived notions of what your capable of and listening to your body. A few years ago, I was running on a regular basis and thought I was in pretty good shape. I let a friend talk me in to going on an 18 mile run in Montreat and injured my lower back. It’s never been serious (so it was easy to ignore) but always been kind of nagging. I can’t count the times I told myself that I just needed to fight through the pain.

This race we’re on board for finally motivated me enough to listen to my body and REST. That doesn’t mean I’m not active. I’m hiking a lot and try to do some quick Yoga/stretching everyday. I’m also changing my diet to reduce or eliminate meat, dairy, sugar, and wheat and am planning to do a juice fast at some point soon to try and get rid of some toxins but most importantly to allow my body to devote enough time and energy to heal.

I’m hoping it will work for me and I’ll finally say goodbye to my back pain, but I think the point I’d like to make is that different things work for everyone.  If jumping straight into running is too much stress on your body, try sprinkling in some other types of cross-training every other workout whether it be something you’re an expert in, like Yoga, or something else like light weight training, an exercise video, swimming, or a bike ride.  That way you build up a baseline of stamina and strength for all your muscles (not just the ones you use running) without putting so much stress on your joints and whatever is causing the numbness.  Obviously stretching before and after makes a big difference too and you know what they say, “it’s a marathon, not a sprint.”

Monday Monday

I must say that Dave’s suggestions have been most helpful.  After about a lap, the pain starts and I keep repeating his words in my head…the first miles are always the hardest and running is 70% mental.  Not sure what I am doing wrong.  It is always my right leg that starts hurting, either my shin or calf or both, and then my right foot goes numb usually by lap two.  Weird.  The only thing I can attribute it to is my gait.  It seems as though the arch of my right foot collapses inward just enough to pull on the calf.  The good news is that once I stop running and head home, the pain quickly dissipates.  I definitely need to go get fitted for some better shoes and maybe they can give me some suggestions.  We all live with some sort of pain and the challenge is to keep going.  I have confidence that this will get easier.  Love to everyone on their journey and keep on keepin on!!!

Easy does it!

David here with just a few words to express my excitement about our upcoming adventure as well as to offer a word of encouragement. It takes a certain amount of audacity to sign up for a 126 mile relay right off the bat… wow! I am so grateful and honored to have a group of siblings who is not only up for this but with whom I love to be around. With that said… all of us can complete this endeavor as long as we bear in mind a few simple ideas 1) train properly by building a fitness/ mileage base slowly and methodically (don’t be tempted to go out too hard too fast) 2) invest in a proper pair of running shoes (you may want to go to a good local running shop & get fitted with a good pair of shoes & then try to find it on an online merchants website at a deep discount) 3) BE PATIENT WITH YOURSELF… this will take a lot of time… the first miles are always the toughest. 4) Last but not least… running is 70% mental. Just get yourself out the door and simply start running… the miles will come and get easier and easier, the first step of the first mile is just as important as the last step of mile 126. Much Love.

Joe – initial reflections

First off, big thanks to Dave for the great suggestion to give us all an excuse to unite the Abels and to Carrie for providing this venue to share our experiences.  I kind of feel like Doogie Howser…typing my thoughts and emotions out, laced with metaphoric undertones hinting at the connection between my own life and some of Life’s deeper answers.  This winding road we’ll all be on, both individual and shared, will impact us in different and complex ways (note – this is an example of the aformentioned metaphor). 

In reality though, I’m just looking forward to getting together.  There is certainly something special and unique about the bond between siblings and although I am certainly not the first to say it, but there is something especially unique about us Abels.  It’s always wonderful to think about how different we all are, each with are own gifts and abilities.  Kind of like at the end of The Breakfast Club, when Judd Nelson’s character is walking away and Anthony Micheal Hall’s character is reading the 5 stereotypes from the essay he wrote for detention.  The point in the movie, as in our family, is that when you put them all together, there’s nothing they can’t accomplish.

Okay, so maybe that’s not the point of the movie, but that doesn’t mean I can’t apply it loosely to our siblings and this race.  Besides, who among us has not dreamed of walking away triumphantly to the Simple Minds classic “Don’t you forget about me,” one fist pumping in the air?

Looking forward to keeping in touch and documenting my training process.  Love you guys – joe

Rainy Tuesday

 Most people avoid rain, trying to stay dry indoors, but rain is wonderful.  I started my run as usual and a few minutes in, the rain started.  Believe it or not, there were a few other brave souls on the track enjoying the weather:)  I can tell that my endurance is improving.  Usually I have to stop pretty frequently, but yesterday I lasted much longer and am getting closer to my goal of running an entire lap without stopping!  Hard to imagine running more than a few miles at this point, but know I will get there eventually.