My first half marathon

Wow, what an experience. I read up so much on things to do while running over the last few months. Nothing you read will truly prepare you for this experience. It was awesome but at the same time for me personally very hard- I’ll tell you why, which I pray that you don’t have to experience that part.  This day starts out the night before really. You always prep for a race the day before. I kept telling myself throughout the day that I need to keep drinking the water.

That evening, we had a spaghetti appreciation dinner and it was about an hour from home. I didn’t get back to town until I pretty much wanted to go to sleep but needed to run to Target yet, as I still had to pick up my energy for the race. When I got home, I double checked to make sure everything was in order for the morning and went to bed. I’m not sure if it was nerves or excitement that kept waking me up but it made for a lesser night of sleep. If someone could please tell me how they sleep before a new or bigger race than you’ve done before, that would be great as I never sleep well before a new one.

I got up at 415 am to get my day started. The plan was to meet a friend and drive in together and as I was preparing to leave, she texted me that she had been sick all night. Okay, so now I run it alone. Well not really because I have over another 100 World Vision runner out there but really at this time, I’m thinking about 1 that I might be able to run with. So I think that because I don’t have to drive that little bit out of the way, I’m good to leave a little later. Regretted that later, as I really didn’t think about the parking…

My daughter came with to cheer me on with the other WV supporters- so awesome! We got there shortly after 630- wanted to be there shortly before. But at least we didn’t miss out on prayer. We took our running groups’ pictures and said prayer. Then off to the bathrooms. I wish I would have realized there would be porta potties just a bit down the road as the lines were long and this made it so when I got out, it was time to go and everyone already had taken place. I looked for the 1 person and couldn’t find her so I settled my self in back by “the last runner” pacer. I figured she had to be the 15 minute mile and I knew I would be good because I’m definitely faster than that. But I was scared to pace myself anywhere else.

The night before, I was told to enjoy it. Pause for a moment and take pictures throughout so I did that. So off we go. I found a nice rhythm.  Around mile 3, I started to see runners on their way back and this is where the amazing starts. Every WV runner out there is cheering every other WV runner on. I’m not kidding. you hear us screaming at each other the whole way. encouraging each other. It was so amazing. I felt like I could do anything and not just because I was being encourage because I wanted to encourage them.

I wanted to seek each one of them out and tell them how great they were doing. I kept running so well. Then there is that stretch between the 2 turn-arounds that it is just you out there running. Because, Siri didn’t like me screaming so much, my music was off. Which this was all okay. I got a lot of time to really think and talk with God. I got excited to see my cheer station at mile 8 and ran on through that to get some water right after. Mile 9 came up next where I took a selfie walking backwards so I could get the number and not stop. Yes, great talent. I took pictures of the river and other views.

Well then, after all the prep that I thought I did, my period decided that I was doing to much and it was going to be more prominent than it had been. It sucked. For 2 miles, that was all I could feel and I sat there questioning what should I do next. I continued on and finished the race. It was in those 2 miles though that I realized my strength. I was tired, messy, rained on, and mentally drained. I turned on my music and said, I’m doing this. I had this amazing crew at the finish line and the announcer was standing right there when I crossed. He heard them cheering me on and called me out by name. It was truly, truly amazing. I ran off to change (which in a porta potty sucks) but it was truly the experience this far.

 

Sending All My Love!
Now tell me your story-

God Speaks

I know I’ve talked about this before. I’ve been struggling a lot with finding time for my Bible lately. Running and strength training has taken up a lot of my spare time. I’ve been extra tired again too. Stressed, to say the least. But fear has been creeping up in a lot of different ways. God keeps talking to me about fear though. When starting the training for the marathon or maybe even during the pre-training, the song Fear, He is a Liar by Zach Williams kind of seemed to be my theme song. Every time that I would hear it, it would speak to me.

The most recent song that has taken over is The Breakup Song by Francesca Battistelli. Another big song on fear. Today, I decide I’m doing my Bible study no matter what and grabbed my Jesus Always  book by Sarah Young. And today’s date is all on fear. How God is with you through all things, has already gone before you, knows all and how you shouldn’t pick up fear as a hitchhiker on the way.

I have been living in fear lately. Fear that I won’t make it in my marathon training. Fear that my one daughter will do something that she can’t come back from. Fear that my oldest will not get it figured out with the future in-laws. And the list goes on.  Sometimes, it feels that if I try to let go and live in the moment that, that is the moment it all falls apart. But you know that is the evil one just working on you. He is telling you that if you don’t live in fear (with him) that all will break. But that is not the truth. God is with you through everything. Every last thing.

A friend of mine recently gave me encouragement for my runs that when focusing on the children in Africa isn’t working to focus on how Jesus gave his all for us on that cross. It is a whole nother level when it comes to imaging great power to get through.  I always end up saying, God this is you, this is your work, please help me to finish it for you.

Lord- you took up the cross, which I’m sure was scary- at least for most people it would be down right terrifying but you did this in our honor. Help me to take up my own crosses of fear that I’ve been facing and know you are beside me so there is nothing to fear. Be with anyone reading this right now struggling with their own fears to feel your love inside of them. Thank you for being so strong and mighty and going before us as you do. In your Name, Amen

Sending All My Love!
Now tell me your story-

8 miles

All week I’ve been pumping myself up for today’s run. I’ve been running 5 miles on Tuesdays now, I’ve been here before, last week I did 10. Then this morning came. I so did not want to wake up. Waited until last minute. I had this moment of I don’t want to run today. I’m tired. This is where I am so glad I do this with a group, no way I would have done it on my own today. Started running behind. It was foggy out. Started thinking about all the animal possibilities. Forgot about 1 possibility and thank God, I did not think about that one (black bears have been spotted all around cities lately). Get there just as we are going out. started off what felt slow but was a good pace for me. I found that out when I hear my watch going off. It felt like such a hard two miles of getting going though. The fog scared me a bit and then for some reason the geese were noisy.

But it was beautiful. God was sure in full artistry this morning. He had some rays coming through the trees and fog like I’ve never seen but it was truly amazing. Then I started to talk with him. I started thinking about all my troubles and how I keep getting sucked into this negativity that I ever so hate being in. How I just feel so distant lately no matter how hard I try to make my time for Him, how I’ve been faltering. I talked about the children in Africa and asked Him to help me to remember why I am doing this, as well as prayed for the people supporting me and several others in my life. My next 3 miles were amazing. I ran them so well and felt pretty great. Mile 6 was harder. The tiredness took over. I tried to stretch it out and then tried to do my energy treats and water. Sure I felt like I could run again but nothing like I was. The heaviness in the air took over. I was drenched and so very tired. I ran/ walked the last two miles but they felt so hard to do. I finished and I was not in the right headspace again. I stopped for a min to check in but I just couldn’t socialize like normal. The thing is, it does not bother me at all coming in last, it bothered me that I felt like I just get this run together. It felt like 10 miles was easier than 8. I know the humidity this morning really played into it all. But I just had a hard time getting over it this morning.

I love my running. I love inspiring others and I remind myself of this. I remind myself of how far I have come. I mean who thought this fat little girl would ever run 8, let alone 10 or 26.2 miles. Not me! But here I am doing it. I remind myself that I finished. I did it. It wasn’t beating my time from 2 weeks ago but I got out there and did it. 1/2 way through my run, I was told, “I am so thankful for you. You make me feel so good because you help me to remember it’s not about being the fastest”. I love that! This is someone who was afraid to run but I have inspired her with others to just go out there and do what you can do. I need to remember to thank her because really today she is what I needed. This is not easy but I love doing it. And I totally kicked butt the rest of today and will continue to have awesome days that may not feel it at 1st but will totally rock.

I do have to give credit to my teammates for the outdoor pics as I kept wishing I’d take my phone out for pics but was afraid to slow down too much. I love that World Vision has brought us together and love what they are doing for the children in need of clean water and so much more. Find my link and help support me in this journey.

Sending All My Love!
Now tell me your story-

Where did I go Wrong

I sit her and think this is probably what my parents thought 100 times over when I was growing up. And now today, I find myself asking this same question. When I was a kid, I dreamed that one day I would have a large family of my own. 5 kids to be exact. I would be the cool mom that would play with her kids. The one that her kids would feel comfortable coming to with all their needs. I dream of this large family and all the things we would do. We would go on adventures together and travel.

It’s true that when you start out with a large family, someone has to stay home to take care of them at least until they go to school full time. Then the realities of how expensive a large family sets in and parents need to have a 2 income home to survive unless 1 person can make the income of 2. So then work takes over slowly. You find less and less time for that dream you had and all the time spent on stressing over paying bills, doing well enough at work, and getting the kids to where they need to be. The play time becomes limited to time off and the expectations of the family unit raise.

Now, don’t get me wrong with that. I’ve always had an old-fashioned mentality on chores and children learning them, as well as discipline. But it seems that when it’s no longer a game to get everything cleaned up as quickly as possible and becomes the reality of responsibility, it is no longer the thing anyone wants to do. When the snack times go away and its a free for all, then overeating and sneaking of all kinds of foods happens. And then the fighting enters in the picture. Okay so I’m not saying that when they were younger there was no fighting but I’m saying it was different. Now who has time for that. They don’t, we don’t so it’s all about the rush, rush, rush. Things get forgotten, chores don’t get done, and people get frustrated.

We all have these ideals when it comes to our lives and then we face the challenges that throw us off course and don’t know what to do from there. It is easy when we expect them and can be proactive. It’s so much harder when it comes out of nowhere and hits us square in the face. Last night I got the text that read “I need a break so won’t be coming home for a few days and going to stay at a friends house” Here’s the thing- even though I didn’t have a cell phone, I did this to my parents as a kid. Smack right across the face, here comes reality. Sometimes I’m not sure which is worse, knowing what she is going through and the path she is leading but not being able to help because “she is different” or the fact that I did these exact things to my parents and now know how they felt and just how stupid I really was.

I turn to my Bible and ask for guidance as this will not shake my faith. If I could only help her to find God like I did and help her to see a better way much sooner than I did. Parenting is truly a blessing and I thank God every day for the children he has given me. I am truly blessed.

Sending All My Love!
Now tell me your story-

Running the Distance

I did everything wrong for yesterday’s run. Not on purpose but without thinking. There are a few things you should always do when venturing out on a long run.

  • Eat good carbs the night before
  • drink lots of water the day before (good practice for every day but day before especially important)
  • get a good night’s sleep

Sure there are many more things to be doing for running purposes but I believe strongly these are the most important. And all 3 messed me up yesterday. So my long group run is normally on a Saturday morning. I get up early and meet my group and run it out so I prepare on Friday for this run and it is all great. Well, this Saturday the rain came in and brought lightning with it. The only time we don’t run is for lightning…

So I planned to run that night with a few people from the group that are near by. Well, I also had volunteered for intersection control for our Marching Band Festival.  I got the corner that is pretty much the last one to be torn down to protect all the people making there way over to the results,as well as our band performing last. This, as well as my daughter needing to get her case out of a locked vehicle caused me to be behind so I didn’t go.

I drank plenty of water but I also sweated out probably just as much standing on that corner. 98 degrees with 50-60% humidity. It was hot! Some kids did pass out on route, safely in the vehicles or pulled to the side of the road and cared for before it got that bad. I didn’t really eat any carbs that day, just by happenstance not really on purpose. And by the time I got settled in bed, it was pretty late. I woke up exhausted, on the late side and didn’t really eat anything before heading out. All mistakes. I hit my 4th mile and the heat just took over. I texted my husband to come get me and didn’t finish my 6 miles.

There was a lot playing in my head at this point. I failed. What if I just can’t do this? The runs only get longer. I know I can run longer than this but this humidity is only going to get worse. I am going to have to figure this out. Run earlier. Go to bed earlier once Em is done with marching bad or maybe figure out some rides for her. Just do it. You can do this. Stop letting the devil in. You protected yourself from injury and sickness which would have made it worse. It is okay. You will tackle this week differently and you can do better. just pay better attention to what you are doing and you will kick butt next time.

So I sign off today, pay attention to your body and what you are preparing yourself to do for each run. Listen to the experts- They know there stuff. And have fun with it, don’t stress.

Sending All My Love!
Now tell me your story-

It’s not about me

That statement is so loaded for me on many levels. Over the last couple of weeks I’ve realized my running is not about me. At least the marathon training part. The base camp training, I thought it was. Many of runs had the I can’t mantra and what was I thinking starting this. I am an injured person could never run a day before 3 years ago and that start was awful. I’m the slowest in my group and I just don’t know that I can do 26.2 miles. I mean seriously what was I thinking.

Then my first 1/2 was upon me. I was terrified. I went to this meeting a couple days before the race. It was the kick off party for world vision and the speakers talked from their hearts about their why. I was so inspired.  I was going to do this race not for me but the kids- I’m passionate about kids. The 1/2 got downgraded to a 5k, which was a bummer since I was finally siked enough for it.  But it was perfect for my training so I let it go. I had a friend tell me I inspire them and they want to run next year with me.

The next day at yoga, I found out that I was part of the reason someone decided to push themselves farther and do the marathon. I realized that although I’m slow and I’m not skinny, that I’m inspiring others to go farther and do better. This is totally NOT about me.  Last night in Bible Study, there was a verse that we reviewed. And it was another reminder that my job here isn’t to think only about me and I want but how I can help the world. (Think David)

I’m going to sponsor a girl through World Vision to have that constant reminder that this is not about me at all.

I’m going to leave you with this Bible verse today as it has really spoken to me recently:

Jeremiah 6: 16 This is what the Lord say:

Stand by the roadways and look
Ask about the ancient paths:
Which is the way to what is good?
Then take it and find rest for yourselves.
But they protested, “We won’t!”

Sending All My Love!
Now tell me your story-

I don’t wanna

This was my attitude today. I sat on my staircase going back and forth making every excuse to not run.

I haven’t slept well in a couple of days
It’s a time of day where more people will see me
I can do later this evening- I should just work on the front yard
My legs are sore from working out yesterday

When I had turned my music back off and thought about how many times that I didn’t really run later or make it out there. I stood up and walked outside and just went. The hill is always first thing out of the house. I started out a bit rougher than I normally do. But I kept going. The wind was awful, which normally throws me offbeat. I can’t breathe running like that. But guess what I kept going.

I decided to run to the pond instead of the way I was going to go. When I got there, I ran it twice. My thought was, I knew that I was not going to run as far as I wanted to. So this got me that little bit further. And then I ran an extra block when I got back to my neighborhood. OH and the hill after the pond, it was hard and I had to walk more than I wanted at that time.

But I have to say, I made it where I wanted and what was awesome about it all. When I got home, I checked my miles and they were all even. I’ve never done that! I usually run my first my mile fast, mile 2-3 are usually a little slow and from there even slower. Sometimes I’ll speed it up here and there but I’m never even. Every mile was about the same. Amazing.

So my point is go out there conquer the miles and kick arse doing it. I didn’t run as fast as I would have liked but it was truly awesome what I did accomplish!

Sending All My Love!
Now tell me your story-

What was I thinking

I seriously think this almost every time I run. I mean if I struggle with this 2 miles, 6 miles or whatever I just did today, how the heck am I going to do the 13.1 in 3 weeks or the marathon. I mean really, 26.2 miles. My God, yup my God. And I say to myself, He is the one that placed it on my heart that day in Church and I know He will be the only one to pull me through.

So how do I keep going? Well it helps that I have to beat myself. I’m not in competition against anyone else (I just don’t want to be last). I’m in competition against myself so today my 2 mile run was better than my Saturday group run, which lets talk about that.

Okay, I really sucked on Saturday. I mean I probably know people who walk faster than I did those 2 miles. Every single person who ran with me was at least 1/8 of a mile a head of me. I just couldn’t run. I don’t know why exactly. I mean probably the fact that my headphones didn’t work right away- duh should have made sure everything connected before starting. So I started really slow, then allergies and the cold got to me while taking off. But here’s one thing that was really awesome about it. I’m going back next week. Sure I was upset that I was so bad but I survived being last and I know I can do better so I will keep going. It is great being part of a group for running. I am thinking about joining a 2nd group that goes out on Tuesdays and that will balance out my week.

Psalm 9:10, “Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you.”

Sending All My Love!
Now tell me your story-

If I was more like

Do you ever find yourself comparing yourself to another person? If I was more like Henry, I’d be popular. I wish I had the confidence of Olivia. Or I just wish I wasn’t so angry all the time and more like Ginger. Okay so I used some fun names to make a point but I said that this morning watching Olivia Newton John on stage in a video.

Immediately, I told myself that I don’t need to be like that because I am who I want to be. Now, that is hard because we don’t always see our values. The funny thing is at work, I get told this all the time. I have a co-worker who says that I am so good on the phone and she strives to be like me. It always throws me off as I don’t see myself as anything but me. You know?

I’ve always been a bit of a baby whisper and people I know will hand their babies to me knowing full well that I could probably put them to sleep. And when I did daycare, I had a baby who wouldn’t even go to grandma but the first time meeting me came to me without a tear.

My point is we all have our special gifts and we should embrace what we have instead of looking at someone and say I want that. We are special too. The person who tells me I’m great on the phone is the same person that I wish I could be more firey like. But that is what makes us a great team. We each have our strengths and if we were all the same, well then nothing would probably be accomplished.

Have a great day!!

Sending All My Love!
Now tell me your story-

A common way that we sin

1 Corinthians 8:12- You are sinning against Christ when you sin against other Christians by encouraging them to do something they believe is wrong.

This about this verse for just a minute. Meditate on it and tell me what comes to you. It is important that we all understand that each verse in the Bible speaks to us as different parts of our life in different ways. We do don’t all get the same interpretation as the next person. They will be similar but will mean something different.

God gives us each our own paths and what is His calling for one is not His calling for another. Again, some people may have a similar path- such as a calling to be a Pastor- but they don’t have the same road map at all. That is why we each have our favorites to listen to. One may draw me in more while the other is driving you.

So now to what this verse made me think of today. Stephen Hawkings passed away recently and wow all the judgment on that man for not being a believer. It is not our place to judge him and maybe this is a bad example as according to him, God had no leading in his life. But I still believe God was there. He was a miracle- he was not to live as long as he did and his brain- wow! Okay, so I wish he could have seen God in his life here and maybe he did before he left this earth but we do not know God’s judgement on him so we must not judge. Do not bully someone after they passed.

Okay so now on to what else came to mind while reading this verse for me. Social media really as a whole. News stories with a response section as well. I’ve seen how much these things light up with responses because people strongly don’t believe the same way as another person. Every single one of our presidents are great examples on this. Now I’m not saying we don’t have a right to discussion on the topic but we judge the person’s path while discussing what they are doing. We need to stand up to a change that will affect the greater mass in a negative way- yes. But all the name calling and bullying that goes on with it- is what NEEDS to stop.

Christians get a bad name for doing this. The ones who like to say someone is finally rotting in hell because they didn’t believe- what??? Or that another person is going to hell for living their lifestyle that is definitely not a calling for them. Or they call them names based on some biased opinion. Those who cast the first stones…. We need to stop doing this. Yes God has his set of rules and yes we need to follow them but when it comes to our paths and interrupting scripture, we each have our place and we shall not judge or tempt the other person into doing what God has called them to do. We can only follow our path and share Jesus’s great love with others. Can you imagine being able to walk His path and be as kind and loving as He was when on this earth? It would be so beautiful. Yes, we are sinners and would never be able to be as perfect as He was/is but we can strive every day to live our lives in a way that is pleasing to Him.

Sending All My Love!
Now tell me your story-