the “good” in Good Friday…

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it was the day He was nailed on a tree, do we say Happy Good Friday on a Good Friday?? 

i remember my childhood in the Philippines, which is predominantly a Catholic country, all radio and tv stations go off the air at 3 p.m. on Good Friday, the hour when Jesus Christ breathed His last breath,, no tv programs, all you see are grey static screens, to be back on the air on Easter Sunday.. no boisterous laughter allowed, and we were not to take a shower even, not until the resurrection Sunday. those were what we believed we should be observing during Holy Week. There were no commercial establishments open, you’ll be lucky to find one open on a Good Friday. our eldest brother, who had serious drinking problem, was into flagellation as his act of penance… it did not save him though.. he died of cirrhosis of the liver many years later.

some things changed as i grew up, in my teens, it was vacation time during Holy Week.. we traveled out of the metropolis to go on a 3 or 4 day stay at the beach, or a few times, we would travel abroad, usually leave on Wednesday afternoons and back Sunday mornings. still, we observed Good Friday, wherever we may be, at the beach or at the hotel, at 12 noon on Good Fridays, my mom will be praying silently in one corner…

it was not until i accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior did i understand the real meaning of Good Friday. not taking a shower, or shutting off any entertainments or no amount of hurting myself and shedding my own blood or any acts of penance will ever cleanse me from my own sin.. His crucifixion was the only thing that did that, He was the only ransom paid for my sins. it is not about what i have given up, but what HE DID for me…  then, it is up to me to accept the offer of redemption and live my life according to what is right and pleasing to Him.

without Good Fridays, there will be no renewals, without Good Fridays, there will be no second chances, without Good Fridays, there will be no resurrection, and we will never know that we have a LIVING GOD.. not a dead God…

that’s the good in Good Fridays,, it is the HOPE for those who have been lost, a gift from God to us to set us free from bondage of sin…  have you accepted this precious gift?  if not, maybe this is a good day to do so.. 

Happy Good Friday! :)

M.

looking for signs…

done with my 14th week of 16-week train plan. 19 days to go ’til race day! i followed a 16-week training plan i got from Runkeeper, but wondering why there’s one more extra week actually… but i’ll just stick to the schedule.. 

19 days

Saturdays are LSD days.. last Saturday, i almost was not able to do my last long run before taper time, if not for my habit of looking for signs to help me decide on a lot of trivial things..

i had chores to do on that day that I was considering running my LSD on Sunday. But to make it easier for me, I asked for a sign. Walking on my way home from lunching with friends, it was about 3 p.m., I told myself, if a lady runner ever crosses my path, then I will do it today.

in the past, I honestly rarely see lady runners in our area, so I was already looking forward to taking my nap when I get home or watch my recorded tv programs, when halfway through my walk, there she appears ‘round the corner in a bright pink shirt, a lady runner who I wished (at first) would never show up..

but, I’m glad she did. i had a great 18 km run, started at 4:07 p.m. and finished 2 hours and 3 minutes later. whew!! i was alone again, naturally.. had stitches @ 14kms but I recovered. i was able to tackle the uphill Queensborough Bridge and towards the Canada Way (in Burnaby) that has an elevation of 128 meters, good for my leg workout. done!

saturday run

i have often asked God for signs before i step into something i am unsure of, but, i need the Holy Spirit’s guide to lead me to where God will be pleased. let me warn you though that not all signs may be God’s will for you. then how do you know if the sign is from God?  if what you asked for is in accordance with His words, and it’s when circumstances facing you will make the decision easy to accomplish. i believe God always sends something that will make me think again, and re assess the situation.. however, despite these “system checks”, I still failed many times but my failures were the very experiences that helped me grow in faith and rely more on Him.  

do you ever ask for signs from God?  do it fervently, and with a trusting heart… remember that God will never fail you, He is always up to something good… :)

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;   I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.” ~Psalm 32:8

M.

second chances….

it’s my 13th week of 16-week train plan for a half marathon.. 33 days to go…

last Saturday, i was happy to do long run with my run buddy, Blynn. we were supposed to finish 16kms per my run training schedule for my 12th week. before we met up, it was raining but it did not dampen our spirits, which was good because as we hit the road… the sun just came peeping from the clouds..

our starting point was already from the elevated area, so it was definite that we will be treading this “up-hell” route on our way back.. it was not a good idea, for me, i.e. because by 13th / 14th km mark, i was so exhausted, almost hitting the wall kind of thing, but i wouldn’t call it that, it’s so embarrassing, i felt i wanted to walk through the last 2 kilometers, feeling sore here and there… all in the mind i know. since Blynn was almost a kilometer ahead of me, i decided to just freeze my Runkeeper and complete my run at 13.61 kms. short of a measly 2.4 kms to complete the run… not good! i think i am low on carbs intake, trying to lose weight but this is what happens, my body is confused as i am ha ha..

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so, today, seeing the sun was so up, i can even wear lighter gear (capri running pants) and no rain gears, i decided to run 10 kms instead of just 6.5 per my 13th week run sched. i had a very disappointing run last Saturday that i thought i needed to go back to that route, but this time, my starting point was the opposite, from lower elevation, then up the Queensborough Bridge (the ‘up-hell’) then back to my homebase.. i think it’s better to start with the difficult part then end with the easy part, than doing it the other way around.

i am happy with my finish. it upped my confidence level once again, since i only have a month to go to really see how i will fare this time. this is going to be my third half marathon only, it’s nothing compared with my peers who ran countless full marathons and still going great,, but still, i am excited and can’t wait for the results.

life is all about second chances,,, if at first we don’t succeed, we have to try again. if we fail the first time, try doing better the second time,  it is always worse giving up without even trying, don’t you think so?

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i give up easily sometimes, i am not perfect,  i hurt others, or others may hurt me,  but you know what, my faith gives me second chances and pushes me to just keep going on and to always remember that God is with me all the way and all the time as i run in my race of life, He never gives up on me when others may do. Thank You Dear God, and i give You back all the Glory and Praises…

“…that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” ~ Philippians 1:6

M.

running and life pains…

i’m on week 12 of 16 week training for half marathon happening in May.

40 days to go…

when i started with my train plan last January, there was already a tinge of pain on my left heel. so week after week i did what i had to, rest, ice, massage, loosen up my heel, bought orthotic pads, “golf-balling”, stretching, even tried learning chi running!  from a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being sorest, mine is about 3 or 4. but it only happens at the beginning of my runs, then it just goes away about 5 to 10 minutes after.

also, for short runs,  i take a one-minute stop for water breaks since halfway through my route,  i pass by my house. then i observed that if i hit the road again, there’s the pain once more, for a few minutes, then gone…. until i finish my scheduled distance happily.

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you know runners have the tendency to continue running not really minding some aches and pains,, my husband would call it “crazy”, i call it “crazy passion” he he.. so, i know i can overcome this pain, and i see it as minor only, hoping it won’t get worse, fingers crossed. anyway, the event is happening soon, then after that, i can already either retire from running or just take it easy. so, no big deal actually.

this morning, before going out for my run, i was in pain,, heartbroken, i.e….but i decided to just gear up, with my eyes swollen (from crying), run my blues away.

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do you run away from hurts and pains?   i do.   but not without convincing myself that everything will be better. besides, i always remember that pain is just temporary, i mean, i know a lot may be physically in constant pain, but still, it’s gonna go away…. it will..

“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” ~Psalm 147:3

M.

are you alone?

i’m on week 11 of 16 weeks training plan for half marathon in May…. yaiks,,, 48 days to go..

so far, it’s been good. but due to rains the past few days, i am not able to follow my run sched, feeling a little bit behind, but it’s okay, i gave my foot a needed rest…

back home in Manila, the Team MSP Runners group (Marikina Sports Park) of which i am a member in absentia, is enjoying their weekly LSD’s (Long slow distance runs) it’s the onset of summertime, less rain and more sunshine… i didn’t have the chance to join them in road runs while i was vacationing there, but sure did enjoy the camaraderie and fun running alongside my group at the oval. i super miss them…

msp runners
photos courtesy of Ms. Teresa Delos Reyes and Francis Sumaylo of MSP Runners Club

over here, i run alone… i enjoy it sometimes, with my run music and running at my own pace. however, i am sure i will be more encouraged if i run with a friend or a group. i wanted to join a run clinic but their schedule just didn’t fit into mine.. my one and only run buddy here is training for a full marathon and has a different program.. as for my dear husband, he is so not into running, call it my fate..

as a runner, do you prefer running alone or with a run group/buddy?

in life, how do you handle being alone? do you still experience peace and joy in solitude? or do you allow the emotion we normally face when alone, get the better of you?

it’s a choice, either you choose to take the path to joyfulness because that is where God wants us to be, or turn the other way and succumb to dejection… in times of aloneness, remember you are never totally alone,, God is with you all the time so there is no reason to feel abandoned, even if all else has turned their backs on you…. He will always be there…. be blessed! :)

Psalm 23:4 “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”

M.

Come, Lord Jesus…

Christ come quickly, there’s danger at the door.
Poverty a plenty, hearts gone wild with war.
There’s hunger in the city and famine on the plain.

Come, Lord Jesus, the light is dying,
the night keeps crying: come, Lord Jesus

this was one of my favorite mass songs we sang in grade school, “Come, Lord Jesus”.    last Sunday in church, when we had our congregational prayer time, this song popped into my head, like asking the Lord to please come quickly,, we need YOU so badly.

you’ve heard the news lately, what’s been happening in this world.. Ukraine-Russia crisis, the horrible senseless killings in China, and even in my small hometown, sad tales are also being aired in our Philippine Cable News Channel,, just as the song goes, danger’s at the door, poverty a-plenty, hunger is everywhere, people hating each other, brother killing brother…

i myself do battle with wars within me, often asking the Lord, “How about me, Lord?” as if He has forgotten about me and this is what causes dissension amongst families, communities, and nations, everybody deserves something, everyone’s opinion matters…

we cannot question God why He permits such acts of hatred, because in the first place, He created a perfect world, Genesis 1:31 -”God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good.” a garden of Eden for us to enjoy and to take care of … but what has become of His beautiful creation?

because of self-worth, we defy His instructions to care for the world, Jeremiah 2:7 – “I brought you into a fertile land to eat its fruit and rich produce. But you came and defiled my land and made my inheritance detestable.”

refuse to love our neighbor, John 13:34 – “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.”

we need to keep on praying for our hurting world… God knows all and sees all… Job 34:21 – “For His eyes are upon the ways of a man, And He sees all his steps.”   

prayer warrior

will you be a prayer warrior? i encourage you to pray, in the morning before getting up from bed, at noon, in the evening, before you close your eyes to sleep…  1 Thessalonians 5:17 – “Pray without ceasing.”  i am praying for you….

M.

healing my heel…

it’s week 7 of 16 week training for half marathon. 72 days to go.

race goal

last boxing day (December 26th), i bought two pairs running shoes from Adidas outlet store (everything was 50%). one was Kanadia tr 5 GTX for trail running and the other was Lite pacer women’s. i have been experiencing slight heel pains late last year, i suspect it was a worn out running shoes so it was about time i bought a new pair.

adidas

trail running shoes is bit heavier but it gives me comfort and stability. the second pair is sooo light, that i can’t wait to run with it. since January when i began my 16 week train plan, i only tried the Lite pacer once, and sad to say, it hurt the ball of my foot. so i have been running with the trail shoes.

luckily, i got myself a good pair of orthotic insoles (store bought), triple-zone protection they called it (for the forefoot, arch, and heel support)…. guess what happens? i never thought i can reach my race pace without feeling exhausted really! i was so thrilled!! but downside of it.. the heel pain kinda persisted.

mon wed run

i have read about P.F. (Plantar Fasciitis) and i think what i am having is not it, fingers crossed. like right now, i feel okay, as if nothing is going on. but of course i cannot be so sure that it won’t lead to that, or any other heel/foot injury. I HOPE NOT!!! i had better start preventive measures rather than aggravate it and that would be really sad news. you know me, i believe in our bodies’ capacity to self heal, as long as we do what we ought to do with it.

if you visit our small apartment, you will find golf balls under my worktable, they are my best ball-friends from my golfer friend, Phil, he he,, i use them after every run, or even as i type my blog,, for my foot massage, and it feels so good. it was also my therapy for my frozen shoulder. i place the ball under my left shoulder blades while lying on my firm bed and to knead, i rotate my arm and adjust where it gives me a good massage and it works really well! plus of course with icing and stretching for my foot and the heat pad for my now almost cured frozen shoulder :)…

so now, the question is, how much should i run with this pain or should i just continue with the icing and the stretching and golf balling?? i plan to run my long run this weekend, then i will decide from there. if it will be necessary for me to rest from running for a while, i will.

Also, i would keep in mind what my friend, Allyn told me this morning, ‘go for support shoe than light shoe’, that was a good advice. thank you my dear friend.

let you know what happens next. will my heel heal?

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” ~Philippians 4:13 (Thank You, Lord,,, )

M.