Mouth-Breathing is So Unattractive: Listening To Your Body & Fighting the Mental Battle

Mouth breathing is so unattractive, seriously the combination of Darth Vader and exasperated sighs about does a girl in.

Mike could tell right off the bat that I wasn’t myself as we grouped up before the start of Big Peach’s half marathon training run Saturday morning. Mike is my newest running friend, having recognized him from previous events he decided to join the pace group I was leading during this training season. He’s from Philly, having only been in Atlanta for 3 years, and grandfather of two; his drive and encouragement make the miles go faster, however this morning would be particularly tough. My body wasn’t 100% and my normal chipper self felt stuck inside my own head.

Fast-forward to Monday and the mental game started waging – my body still craving rest, but in that state of weakness and vulnerability the enemies lies against wellness were all too loud. Jon joined me for a walk that morning around the park that is now our front porch view and the food game began to start. “You aren’t well enough to run, but that means you can’t eat either” STOP. But my attempt at drowning it out doesn’t last long “you can’t run, you can’t eat, you won’t be able to race well in October so forget racing elite again, you ate unforgiving things yesterday you are just letting sit in your body” FAILURE.

No. The narrative HAS to change. No. I am not going to run when my body says no. Yes. I will trust that my body is going to work the way it was created and tell me what and when it needs to be nourished. No. This doesn’t ruin everything or anything. And it’s all so much easier said than done, but it’s something that is constantly being reinforced in this season.

Getting sick isn’t a norm for me (thankfully), but when it hits it’s just hard, plain and simple. Rest and I don’t have a super close relationship, and forcing myself to go down is like trying to tie up a calf at a rodeo, kicks a-firing, add in the mental health aspect and it’s a full on show.

So what did a series of days with no exercise look like? It looked like continuing to learn to listen to my body and not my head. It looked like choosing Jesus instead of giving way to the lies of the enemy. It meant enjoying a GF Mexican Sandwich w/ bowl of black beans and rice with a kick to help nourish my body last night (and completely and grossly drain my sinuses). I always come back to Run Fast. Cook Fast. Eat Slow. (check it out here) because these recipes are life giving and consider well-rounded health. It’s writing down all the feelings and voices you are hearing to help work through it instead of letting it compound inside.

BUT it also means utilizing the technology we have available to check in with yourself when you might not quite understand it. My Garmin Forerunner 35 (learn more here) has helped me track my heart rate and understand how my body is adapting to certain things since I’m under the weather.

It’s everything about continuing this journey.

If anything envelopes these thoughts above it’s that we are created so beautifully and intricately that even though our bodies can sometimes fail us, they are also INCREDIBLE machines that give us signals and cues to what and when our bodies need certain things, food, rest, exercise, and HELP. Don’t get wrapped up inside your own head and forget to listen to everything else that’s going on.

You are stronger than you think, more capable than you think, and completely enabled by your Creator!

 

Getting Ready for The Peachtree – from a competitive but not elite runner.

60,000 people will toe the line outside Lenox Mall. After the flyover, and underneath the massive flag that waves on as you bear down the streets of Buckhead, Midtown, and eventually to Piedmont Park on our countries Independence Day you’ll feel every emotion. But as many people have written before Atlanta is smokin’ hot this time of year. One formula doesn’t fit every single person, but there are some overall guidelines that anyone can apply to keep your body functioning at it’s best.

I am SO excited to be running for the 5th time, which I know isn’t many to avid and older runners, but this run is particularly special to me! So here are few things I’ve learned over the past 5 years that I hope you find super helpful:

  1. It’s not only water, it’s ELECTROLYTES.

Water is step #1, but when you are in the kind of heat and humidity that the Peachtree Road Race entails the combo of the following is crucial:

  • Sodium (Na+)
  • Chloride (Cl-)
  • Potassium (K+)
  • Magnesium (Mg++)
  • Calcium (Ca++)
  • Phosphate (HPO4–)
  • Bicarbonate (HCO3-)

Usually you can grab any sports drink and get your share, but if you don’t want all      the sugar check out Nuun tabs, Propel, or SmartWater

    2. Tech Shirts are worth it.

Every time I’ve bought my husband, Jon, a tech shirt it’s  immediately headed to the bottom of his shirt pile, since he’s not huge on cardio they just aren’t his go-to. And that is OK, but for this race you want as cool of a shirt as possible. So put in a few extra dollars and get something that is going to wick away moisture, breath and keep you as cool as you can be. If you are heading to the expo Big Peach has some great and patriotic options.

    3. It’s not just a 10K.

6.2 might be the goal, but remember by the time you get to the start, warm up, run/walk, and then move around Piedmont Park back to your destination you’ve racked up lots more miles and hours. Fuel. Trying to wait to eat or drink until afterwards could be costly. Eat something like a banana and have a full glass of water, at minimum, before heading out

   4. Give yourself grace, and truly experience it!

It’s hot, there are people everywhere, but it’s one of the most amazing experiences. Some people won’t run because they are trying to PR and don’t want to run at that time of year with that many people, and that is okay, but if you are there don’t miss the experience. There is so much beauty in the cheering, the community, the camaraderie among spectators and runners alike to get all 60,000 of us through to the finish line, and celebrate the fact we have the freedom to do every aspect of it! Nerves are normal, but don’t let anxiety ambush everything around you – have fun!

Happy Independence Day friends, hopefully I will see many of you along the way. We are headed to a cookout with friends after we get cleaned up so it should be a wonderful day. Catch ya on the flip side!

Jordan

The “D” Word… Discipline

Discipline.

It can be the ugliest of words, because you know the potential of beauty it holds, but the painful steps it takes to get there. People don’t necessarily like discipline, they like routine. And if you can adjust routine just a bit then change will happen. Those two words can often get confused or used to mean the same thing. My argument – routine is just part of discipline and yes changing some things about it can influence discipline in different (and important) areas of life, it isn’t everything.

It’s a complicated equation that adds up to discipline and that’s usually why in the busyness of today’s culture we miss developing it  – usually there is a quicker solution to  patch the problem. No longevity, no consistency, no chance to see the real beauty that it holds.  So let’s dig into the ugly and talk through some real life ways to trudge through to the beauty that discipline holds, specifically in the areas of fitness and nutrition.

Disclaimer: Discipline does not mean obsessive. I have fallen into this category in the past, and am still learning just as much as everyone else, and if you find yourself there – talk to someone! Message me, reach out to someone! 

Fitness:

  1. You aren’t the only one. Yes you, text that friend, research groups or gyms in your area, invite someone. In most of the community around me people are constantly looking for people and places to help them get started. But it takes that two or three google searches or texting those two or three friends to actually press START.
  2. Goal set – seriously get a pen and paper with this person or persons above and write it down, put it where you can see it. What you want to accomplish, but also how!
  3. Try things out – try one thing a week, put a calendar reminder on your phone on a certain time every week to try something out until it clicks !
  4. Then write it down some more. Log your workouts and your progress, and check in with your counterparts.
  5. Set a reasonable alarm, or actually work on making space. Maybe you don’t go from 8am wake up calls to 4am, but if you started by twice a week waking up at 6:30a or even 7a to do a quick walk or small body weight circuit then that is step, and ANY step is a great step

Nutrition:

  1. Make it colorful and nutritious: berries, and greens, and sweet potatoes, and avocado on everything! Mix in some almonds, and carrots, and throw in some protein whether thats beans – vegan style – or chicken / fish. If you breakfast is grabbing a bar, wake up 10 minutes earlier to scramble an egg, grab a piece of fruit, and pop that piece of bread in the toaster. I promise it’s worth it, you’ll enjoy your food more and it will leave you feeling fuller!
  2. Just because you have a coupon doesn’t mean you should use it. Just because Chick Fil a is giving a free large waffle fry with mobile order doesn’t mean you cash in – on occasion of course, not if you’ve had Chick Fil a 3 days in a row. Just say no.
  3. Don’t leave food out on the counter for extended periods of time. I know it’s totally our culture to have all the food everywhere, but that’s a sure fire way to not watch what you eat.
  4. If you know you have a particular food you struggle with don’t keep it in the house. One of my biggest struggles is peanut butter, I love the gooey goodness but I’ve set parameters around only buying it so often so if I run out before my next pick up then I am out of luck. No your limits and no that that treats are actually treats and should NOT be staples in our week (like cupcakes).
  5. COOK: you never truly know what all goes into your food if someone else makes it. The good, the bad, the ugly.. so get into a habit of cooking the majority of the time. Try recipes, invite people over to cook together, experiment with colors, flavors, and actually attempt those 300 Pinterest recipes you pinned 5 years ago.
  6. Or… go to Whole Foods – I mean, because it’s Whole Foods.
  7. Portion Control – while I, admittedly, read food labels too much, they do suggest serving sizes on the back for a reason. Don’t get obsessive but don’t hesitate to do a little look just to see if you are in line with them.

It’s a journey that lasts a lifetime so put in the work to develop those disciplines now. There is no convenient or quick fix. It takes time and effort, but we are all doing this thing called being human together, and even from behind screens we all have things in common and can relate to one another. Be bold, and leverage relationships!

Publix Half Marathon Recap

The Hills don’t lie. Knowing that a colder winter and more treadmill miles could make this race interesting helped me process when the burn started halfway through. The first two miles of this race are relatively easy, straight or just slightly rolling makes it a great way to get warm and let your legs loosen up, especially when the weather is fair. It wasn’t my best half marathon, but it was so amazing in so many other ways.

Typically after waking up on race day and brushing my teeth, the inhaler comes out, when you typically race in Georgia and Florida that humidity can do a number on weaker lungs. This morning though, for whatever reason it didn’t happen. After pulling up to park at the Georgia Aquarium Deck the realization hit me, and the medium sized panic button was pushed; not because I haven’t run without it before, but because the air was slightly stuffy and in 4.5 years of racing, the inhaler had never been forgotten for longer races.

After doing a mile or so warm up, with some shakeout intervals, going ahead into the corral made the most sense. Disney races change your views of corrals, you get in them early and you learn to adjust to warming up in confined spaces. Feeling right at home and simply hanging out until race time the nerves hit me. But why? This was a city that I had conquered more times than could be counted, and yet toeing the line of another half marathon completely caused the butterflies to invade.

The horn went off, my legs got in their groove, and away we went passing through downtown Atlanta and the surrounding neighborhoods. 7am start times are my favorite, because the sun hasn’t quite come up yet, which means you are in prime racing form by the time the sun peaks in all it’s beauty over the buildings and trees. And apart from running around my own city and enjoying everything it has to offer in the form of views, running with the sunrise is one of my favorite things. So combine the two and there is nothing better when the Lord is trying to grab your attention, and in this race He was.

The nerves were there, my legs weren’t quite all the way there and realizing that it might be better to just let myself go on this one helped shape my perspective for this run. “SEE PEOPLE”. See the push assist partners running down the street, see the officers standing in the chilly early morning making sure you stay safe, see the volunteers who have been setting up since 4am to keep you fueled, see the dad who brought his kids out to the course to cheer on every runner new, experienced, old, and young, and show them what it’s like to engage with a community. And see the community with which you are surrounding yourself with.

The hills made it challenging, but the engagement made it fun! Striking up conversations (until the last mile and a half, because breathing became really hard ya’ll), and cheering each other on to more had to become a standard. It’s one of the reasons this community is so pressing on my heart.

Crossing the finish line was just another line, with another time, but the memories on course is what really stuck. Thanks to the Atlanta Track Club and Publix for putting on another great event; and to the brands that keep me going – thank you for continuing to make products that keep people in the game and around the people and sport they love!

The Lord is good!

What fuels me:

Nuun Hydration, Honey Stinger, Balega Socks, Mizuno Wave Rider

The Hotlanta Half is on deck next, but if I can add another half marathon in there before that – I will be looking to travel for one! This week I will get in a 10-miler in the morning, I will ramp to 13 the week after and 15 the week after that before we head off to Thailand for 10 days.

Happy Weekend!

Jordan

February 2018

Jon and I were talking a few days ago in a moment I had just been overwhelmed by gratitude. The chance to get up every single day and do what I love: hit the pavement (or the treadmill) and go! SO many people in this world don’t have that luxury, either they physically or financially can’t or they live in an environment that doesn’t allow it. But not only does the opportunity to run continue to present itself, but the opportunity to partner with amazing people who help care for those that cannot.

The past couple weeks of training have been hard. Pushing my pace in general, but also for longer miles. Sprinting 5Ks and then doing that again the next weekend. But each time no matter how many hills I’ve battled it’s been an overwhelming and emotional moment crossing the finish line or even just finishing a run. And God allows me to continue…

February 10th – Hearts & Soles 5K

  • This was my second time at this event, and while Jon didn’t run this year it was a fun morning for us both. The rain held off and it was a comfortable low 50 degree, cloudy morning. The easiest thing about this race is that since having done it before, my expectations were already set. And after a long run the morning before, there were no time goals, just GO. The Atlanta Track Club really does a fantastic job with this event. It’s always very well supported, people show up and show out, and it’s run so smoothly.

February 17th – Atlanta Mission 5K

  • Also my second time at this race, although it has been a few years since the first go around. The best thing about this event is that it is SO much more than a 5K: it’s stories of hope, it’s coming together as a city to support people who don’t have what we have. It’s dancing, laughing, acting crazy, and listening to leaders who have huge, God-sized vision for this city, and its FUN. The course is one of the hardest 5K courses I’ve done, but every single step is worth it. Thanks Atlanta Mission for another incredible year.

February 24th & 25th – RunDisney Princess Weekend w/ Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals

  • This whole month is clearly about doing things for the second time. As I head to Orlando this week in partnership with Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals , in honor of my late grandfather, I want to say THANK YOU again for the generosity of people in my circle who helped give kids a chance at LIFE. You are heroes, and I’m so excited to not only race in honor of Pop, but in honor of you! And celebrate the chance to be here and breathing and living.

On Thursday, the treadmill was whirring beneath my feet as I watched the news on the screen. What would have normally been a run of the mill (literally) morning where they showed us the weather, the traffic, and whatever shooting and/or fire happened overnight in Atlanta, this morning was different: it was kids who would never see their teachers or friends again, friends and teachers that don’t get any more moments on this Earth. And while I’ve unfortunately seen these stories too many times now, this one struck me differently – I get another moment and I want to be bold in using it! So tearfully (which was challenging when I was clipping at faster pace) running changed. And it’s a beautiful journey, in the valleys and hills.

ENJOY IT!

Thanks to my Nike (Pegasus 34), Mizuno (Wave Rider 21), New Balance (Fresh Foam Zante), Nuun Hydration, and Larabar for keeping me going!