Project: Share & Discover – Feb 2011

Greetings from Minnesota. It was a chilly -7 this morning, and I sincerely hope it was the last really cold night of this winter. March starts tomorrow, which means spring can’t be that far away, right?

On this last day of February, I’m finally posting my own summary for my February 2011 Project: Share & Discover.

The challenge was simply “take time to breathe.” I wanted participants to spend five minutes (or more) just breathing, thinking, and being. Then, blog about the experience.

I haven’t gotten any takers yet, but I figure that may be a combo of how busy everyone is and the lack of wanting to be first. (So I will be first!)  I’ll post a March challenge soon, but still feel free to complete the February challenge. If you’re having a day when you can’t think of anything to blog about, you can take five minutes to breathe. Then just go back to my February post and leave a comment with your link.

February 2011 Project: Share & Discover

At the beginning of my five minutes, I started by looking at the clock so I’d know when I started. The time isn’t the real point of the exercise, but I couldn’t help it. Then, I closed my eyes and immediately proceeded to think about how sore my knees felt. My knees almost never get sore after running, but apparently my 13 mile long run this weekend was a serious workout.

Then, I got my head back in the game. I’m not supposed to be thinking about aches and pains, I’m supposed to be thinking about “serious” stuff. 😉 So I started thinking about my family, and I started stretching various areas which felt like they needed it

As my mind continued to wrap around thoughts of my family and how lucky I am to have them, I gave my thanks to God. This reminded me that I really need to make a more intentional effort to pray, to thank God, and to share my thoughts with Him.

I can’t name or even remember all the other bits and pieces that were floating around in my brain, but I do remember thinking about my doubts on this marathon business. If 13 miles felt long this weekend, how in the world do I cover 26.2? Can I really do this?

I think my mind has gotten comfortable with the idea of marathon training. It’s my heart that has these moments of intense confidence and then moments of doubt where the sheer magnitude of the distance overwhelms me. Who am I to attempt a marathon?

Amid thoughts of running, I also had thoughts about the farm. The challenges it presents, the rewards it brings, and the lifestyle it means for me are all things I think about a lot. Occasionally I do muse about what it would be like to not structure our entire life around the cows. Would I have more free time, less long hours, and more of a social life? Would my life be as fulfilling? Likely no, because I do love the farm.

By contrast, what would it be like to not hear the moo of little calves waiting for their milk? What if I didn’t experience the satisfaction of working side by side with my husband to complete a big project, care for a sick cow, or deliver a new calf? What goals and dreams are at stake for us and combined with our identify as farmers?

Lots of big questions…

I think some of these thoughts are just expanding even as I type in this post, so I’m going to wrap up by saying I hope you make some time in your own busy life to just breathe. Share your thoughts or keep them personal, but take the time soon!

About Lisa

Hi, I'm Lisa. Dairy farmer's wife and Minnesotan to the core, I write about rural farm life, running down country roads, and the food, faith, and family that bind everything together. Follow along on my journey.
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3 Responses to Project: Share & Discover – Feb 2011

  1. Heidi Nicole says:

    I’ve had similar thoughts about farming – but in reverse. I grew up on a farm and it definitely had its ups and downs…but it made me who I am. We rent now but if we ever start looking for houses I’m going to have a really hard time settling down somewhere inside of city limits! I told Chris that I wouldn’t buy a house unless it is somewhere that we can raise a goat…just in case I have an urge!

    Farming isn’t always fun all the time, but it is important and I think it really puts the value of life and learning in perspective. I can’t imagine raising kids in town…they need their nature/outside time!

  2. Brit says:

    Unrelated to this post, but here is an interesting article about fueling during long runs: http://www.runnersworld.com/article/1,7124,s6-242-301–12826-0,00.html

    From your description of how you felt during your long run, it sounds like you are bonking due to depleting your glycogen stores in your muscles. There are two (or maybe more) schools of thought on that:

    1) You can fuel your body so that you have glucose in your blood when your muscle glycogen stores are depleted. (i.e. Eat GU or other simple carbs.)

    2) You can train your body to convert fat into the fuel it needs. This is what FMLB was talking about and what the article she referenced mentioned.

    My take on all this:

    It makes sense for FMLB to train her body to convert fat into fuel because she has been running for a long time and will continue to do long runs on a regular basis.

    I do not necessarily think it makes sense for the Average Joe aspiring to run a marathon to train their body in this manner. It is fairly easy for AJ to down a few GUs during a training run and considering that AJ only does 8-10 “long” runs over 10 miles during a training cycle anyway, I wonder just how much AJ would be able to train his body to convert fat into fuel anyway.

    I really encourage you to fuel during your long runs. I can literally feel a difference in my body’s performance after I fuel (especially if I waited too long to fuel in the first place). Just my $0.02.

    • Lisa says:

      Brit – I appreciate your well thought out feedback! I definitely understand both schools of thought – training your body to burn fat and just burning your glycogen stores/carbs. I also don’t plan to quit fueling during long runs, but keep doing what I’m doing unless I’m having trouble. I got a little freaked out when I read the other day on some marathon site that most females need apprx. 200 calories per hour. I’m not taking in anywhere near that, so that’s what sprung my question.

      I guess I also just wonder how tired is “normal.” I would say I felt at least okay during the entire run, and I was able to go on with my normal day, farm chores, etc after the run. So I think I’m doing fine, but if eating more on the run would make me feel better and not screw me up for the actual marathon I’m okay with that! I do some runs on less fuel and some on more, but I suppose it’s pretty hard to know for sure when or if you’re really burnig any fat instead of just sugar.

      Anyhow – thank you again for the feedback! I’m sure I’ll have more questions as my runs get longer and longer…

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