Race Against Cancer: 24k Steps Closer to a Healing Heart & a Marathon Dream @ 40.

I left my last lesson for the classes of 12 year old pupils with this encouragement;

“What is your goal in life? Think beyond PSLE. One of my goal is to complete a Marathon with my husband. It does not matter how long I take to achieve my Marathon goal. I tried 2 years ago to join a half marathon but was unsuccessful due to a health issue. This year, I am going to try again. Even if it takes me another few years down the road, I will try until I train for it.”

That was a live example of my Growth Mindset lesson I wished to leave with them in their endeavours ahead. P6 is not just about their PSLE. It is about embracing and overcoming, growing in our character and the pursuit of being the best that we can be.

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Training the Heart through Physical and Spiritual Training

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As I trained more actively this year for my race, I am amazed by how God has built me up physically, mentally and spiritually through my training times with Him.

Flashback to the first Race against Cancer in 2016, where I penned how I was running for the living and a remembrance of my late father. This year, this event coincided with the recent departure of my uncle. It drove me to literally CAST all my cares and grief to the Lord’s embrace. I was downcast for a period and struggled with some issues of counter transference of grief from my dad as well. It was a De Javu experience since both of them were identical twins.

The Lord always searches and weighs the heart of His beloved.

Isaiah 40:11

He tends his flock like a shepherd:
    He gathers the lambs in his arms
and carries them close to his heart;
    he gently leads those that have young.

God brought different people to help me grapple this buried issue. He gently led me out of it but firmly exhorted me to CAST MY PAST to Him. I had to actively deny my self and take up the Cross and surrender to Him. I made a decision to cease indulging in mourning and started training myself physically and mentally through my runs. As I did that, He resurfaced deeper things of my memory road that jailed me down and gave me courage to stare at it face to face. His living words pierced and awoken that past, forced it to flee in His mighty presence of the Holy Spirit as I released each painful memory unto the Lord. I also confessed my sins and repent of the ungodly notions I had about God. Healing took place as Jesus cleansed and comforted my inmost heart.

My One Word Scripture verse took on a literal meaning.

Isaiah 41:10

So do not fear, for I am with you;
    do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
    I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

I marvel at how

He has strengthened my physique as I ran more regularly and it in turn, strengthened my physical and spiritual heart.

You may say how has God been the one strengthening you? Isn’t it natural that you will get stronger with training? Yes and No. Two years ago I tried, but my health deteriorated instead. That time, God made me learn how to be content with depending on His strength in my helpless state. Therefore, I learn not to take my health and fitness for granted.

Training the Mind and Body @40

My Hatch Month

This year’s birthday was a constant reminder because family and friends made it a priority to meet up with me to celebrate the big 4-0 milestone this period. : ) My hubby even threw me a surprise party which shocked me to tears. Having a party for myself was not on my mind. It came as a shock as I had no idea until the whole room boomed ‘Happy Birthday’ with my own kids magically appearing with flowers from my friends! Am always grateful for a romantic yet down to earth hubby! Thank you all for your precious presence and gifts!

People asked how does it feel to be 40? It feels like every other year. However, I do find that my body needs to be treated with more care and respect. I had suffered a pulled back muscle in March and was home bound for 2 weeks due to my careless exercising. Now I take the time to do my exercises s.l.o.w.l.y. With many pauses and slow motion.

With the recent healing journey, I literally ran to the Lord in prayer. How? By training my mind to meditate on scriptures, worshipping with praise songs and praying for people the Lord brings to mind during the hour or so runs.

Halfway to my Half-Marathon

I find reading good books help motivate and empower me with the correct mindset and proper techniques to go about training for my half marathon.

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I borrowed

  1. This Mum Runs by Jo Pavey (NLB 796.424092) : 

“Jo Pavey the runner and author has represented Great Britian at 5 Olympic Games since Sydney 2000. In 2014, at the age of forty and just months after having a baby, she won gold in the European Championships over 10km and bronze in the Commonwealth Games over 5km….” This book is packed with runner’s high and low punches that you feel like a part of her journey. Pavey’s mothering and running professionalism inspires me to know that it is possible to dream and make running part of your lifestyle commitment especially when your husband is your coach and manager. The injuries and fierce tenacity runs through her blood. However, it is best read with many breaks as it can get quite heavy with her meticulous details of events.

2. See Mom Run by Megan Seaross (NLB 796.42082)

This is a mum friendly guide to getting fit and with her practical coaching of  ‘creeping’, ‘crawling’ and ‘climbing’ programs. She also gives specific strength training moves for the program.

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3. The Runner’s Brain by Dr. Jeff Brown with Liz Neporent (NLB 796.42)

This is an interesting perspective from a pschological point of reference. He covers Brain strategies like Association and Disassociation where you train the brain how to respond during a long trying run for better performance. Briefly, it simply means using thoughts that are related to your run like ‘I can do this, I can finish the race’ mantra and a combination of random unrelated thoughts like ‘ what colour am i going to paint my bathroom wall? Paint paint paint’. Running through his reasoning from training and racing to challenges, he ends with how to make this a part of your thought habits.

4. Hal Higdon’s Half Marathon Training (NLB 796.4252)

I love Hal’s simple and witty way of guiding us in our wholesome training regime. A lot like Jeff Galloway, they offer do-able, practical approach in increasing endurance and performance. Most importantly, they encourage anyone and everyone, to be inspired and invited to join the club! I am now trying to gain a balance on how to tweak my training routines using his and Jeff galloway’s methods.

 

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5. Half-Marathon: A complete guide for women by Jeff & Barbara Galloway (NLB 796.4252) You can get my review from my post Here.

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This Race Against Cancer had been a great motivator where I managed to clock my miles from 6km to 7km, to 10km in progressive weeks with in-between short exercises or 2.4km runs. Running alone gave me much comfort to enjoy the coastal beauty except for the ra-ra pacers (who were doing a great job just not to my comfort). That forced me to move faster so that I could enjoy the quietness I needed.  I was going strong at 10km and was thrilled to break my last 10km record for my NUTC Income Run (1h 23mins to 1hr 18mins) and slowed down in my 11th km. But thank God for this uncle and I presume her daughter pair who went at a constant pace, their pacing helped pull me through the last 2km and I sped up at the last 200m to break my personal record of under 2hrs (1hr 58mins). The last RAC 2016 I recalled it was slightly over 2hrs and I forgot to record. So I share here for my own records to track progress. It is not fantastic but it is an accomplishment for me @40. It is halfway to my Half-Marathon! ; p

40 is a year of liberation from the past and a new birth to abundant living in Christ for me. The old has been released and the new has come. How about You?

1Peter 5:10

10 But [a]may the God of all grace, who called [b]us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, [c]perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.

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