Monday, December 26

The Heart of the Competitor

The Christian school my son attends has an amazing football team. He played football this year and grew both as a young man and competitor. The team made it into the state playoffs and finished the season as district champs for the 3rd year in a row. I learned a lot about competing watching this team and the coaches. The coaching philosophy is not the norm. Its foundation is the Word of God. The philosophy is to teach players to play football or for that fact any sport from the aspect of worship. Not self worship but Christ centered worship. What I saw from shifting the focus off of self-exaltation to Christ exaltation was something that changed the way I looked at competing forever. You would think the temptation would be for the players to become complacent about wins or losses, I mean after all it's not whether you win or lose but how you play the game right? Not at all. Actually the standard was perfection, not that we can attain to it, but that is however Christ standard. They were driven by a greater cause, they became competitors in the truest sense of the word. Not being driven or lead by the score on the board or by personal success or even failure. These young men were competitors from the inside out. It was interesting to watch the ebb and flow of emotions and drive of some of the other teams they played based on the score board. A true competitor is not someone who competes for a number on a board or for a prize but rather they compete because that's what they are. Competitors. Warriors. Fighters. (Below are the nine core values used on the team)
1. Called to Love
2. Relationship Driven
3. Servant Leadership
4. Humility - Be the First to Give All
5. Live Lives of Sacrifice
6. Success is measured in how we “Close the Gap.”
7. Persevering with Eternal Perspective
8. Live with Passion
9. Love to Lose
I learned a lot about myself watching this team...I learned that although PR's are great and there's nothing wrong with striving for certain goals, pace, distance, etc...even if I achieve every goal, that's doesn't necessarily make me a competitor. It's also not the same as being competitive. Which I am not. I really find no joy in smoking someone on a race course. Don't get me wrong I love the exhilaration of crossing the finish line having accomplished my dreams, but being competitive and being a competitor at least in the sense I am speaking are different. It's in a sense a heart attitude. It's playing or running from the heart, for a cause that goes beyond ourselves, but is at the same time every bit of who we are. It's playing or running with an expression of worship.That's how I want to run with the heart of a true competitor!
As the New Year is approaching I look at my goals from the eyes of a competitor. Yes, I want that sub 2hr. half marathon, yes, I want the experience of crossing the finish line of my first marathon! I will make similar goals as last year with mileage totals and pace goals but this year will have at the heart of it;
  • Colossians 3:17—“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”

  • Colossians 3:23-24—“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”

  • Pressing on...
    (the nine values listed above all have bible verses with them if you are interested in the complete list let me know and I can e-mail it to you)

    Saturday, December 17

    If You Give a Mom a Marathon

    Below is a fun article I found while looking at the Wounded Warriors Half in Dallas. It appeared in Sports Day DFW and was written by Gabriella McCord. Too cute not to read.

    This may be my last post until after Christmas (we will see). So just in case, I want to wish you all a very blessed and merry Christmas.

           If You Give a Mom a Marathon

    If you give a mom a marathon, she's going write it down in her calendar and tape a training schedule to the refrigerator. She will probably get up ridiculously early to log miles, which means she'll be lurking on facebook while the rest of the world sleeps, all amped-up on coffee, looking to chat with anyone else who might be up at that hour: other runners.

    If you give a mom a marathon, she will bring home little packets of gu and stash them in her purse, her car, and her gym bag...she might leave one on the bathroom counter where one of her kids will regretfully think it's a shampoo sample.

    If you give a mom a marathon, she will meet other people training for the marathon and bond with them, which will make her feel happy. (Someone "understands" her!) And that will cause her want to bake cookies - the kind with frosting and sprinkles. Her kids will love that, especially since they won't have to share with her, since she's training for a marathon.

    If you give a mom a marathon, she will run - a lot - maybe more than she's ever run before. That will generate endorphins, extra energy and excitement, which will invariably cause her to hug her family more - even the dog - to the point of being told, "Please stop, you're hurting me".

    If you give a mom a marathon, and the weather is bad, or she misses a run for some other reason, she will exude the behavior of a rabid, caged animal. It is safest to complement her most recently-prepared meal, offer her chocolate, and back away slowly. She will, of course, resume her state of running-induced euphoria once the training has resumed and she begins receiving ample doses of the highly-addictive "runner's high".

    If you give a mom a marathon, she will reach for something bigger than herself. It will, at first, scare her, then fill her with excitement, courage, strength, and dignity. She will hang her heart on this dream through months of training, envisioning, as she folds laundry and scrubs toilets, the moment of her crossing the finish line, confident and proud. She will love that moment long after it has passed.

    If you give a mom a marathon, that feeling of love, that savory taste of accomplishment, satisfaction and validation - that love will launch her heart in a new direction. It will propel her and compel her, beckoning to her in the secrets of her soul. It will make her put a 26.2 sticker on her car.

    If you give a mom a marathon, it will make her fearless in the face of once-frightening situations. It will make her ready for anything life throws her. It will make her sign up for another

    Monday, December 12

    Week 2 Beach Ball Abs

    I have to confess I am not a fan of core training. Even as a young girl flat abs were not part of my figure. At my thinnest weight a two-pack was about as close as I could get. I have what you might call beach ball abs. No, no, I'm not being critical...I have accepted my round tummy and have become very good at sucking it in just as someone snaps a picture. When I was pregnant with my first child I gained around 26lbs. really not that much but it was ALL tummy. Complete strangers would stop me on the street and ask me if I was having twins-I kid you not! And yes, I have had the dreaded question "when is the baby due" and I was NOT pregnant!!!

    When we first moved to Texas I didn't like to drive over the high bridges. As I white- knuckled the steering wheel I would repeat over and over "I hate high-bridges" After a while I started to think this is not helping me, so instead I started saying "I love high bridges" It didn't change the way I feel about them but it seemed to make them less terrifying. So this is the way I'm going to approach Ab exercises;
    "I love core training, I love core training"

    The hardest part of core training will be timing. When do you do your core training? Before or after your run? Do you do it 2, 3 or 5 times a week? Do you have a list you follow or DVD?


    Friday, December 9

    Week 1 (Recap) Baby Steps

    It has been a great week of running! For the most part I accomplished my two goals; consistent running and quality running. Tuesday was a fail day because I let the weather drive my schedule. I put off my morning run waiting for it to "warm-up" uhhh, it never did. It was in the 30's most mornings this week. I decided to forgo doubles as it was too cold. Here's my week in a nut shell:
    Mon. 3 m. @ steady pace
    Tue. off-not planned fail :(
    Wens. 4 m. one word brrrrrr!
    Thurs. 4 m. brrrr again
    Fri. 4 m.
    Sat. Tomorrow the plan is 4 m @ steady pace.
    All my runs this week I tried to keep a good pace and good form. I also ran some of these runs with Shadow. He's a good running buddy. I had some VERY minor foot pain around Thurs. but on Fri's run my foot felt fine. It's a slow process back but I'm happy to be finishing a week of running without having to take off to rest my foot. Baby steps but progress none the less!

    Monday, December 5

    Week 1 Taking Flight

    Happy Monday everyone. Week 1 of my training program begins with great excitement about the possibilities ahead. Right now my primary focus needs to be toward re-build my weekly mileage. I plan to do that with, first, getting in consecutive days of running (something that has been very difficult the past 5 months). Re- building my mileage will come through extending my daily runs and doing double runs. I can tell my aerobic endurance (or VO2) has gone way down from where it was 5 months ago. I am thankful for cooler months ahead as it would be so tough to handle gasping for air in Texas heat y'all. Second I plan to work on quality of running during this re-building phase. Being alert to form as well as trying to keep at a reasonable pace.

    I am continuing to watch my calories and work on loosing this weight. I'm starting my week -4 lbs already! I know a lot of people who try to loose weight through running and don't. I have been one of those people and it can be so frustrating. I think in most cases its a issue of balancing enough calorie reduction while keeping fueled enough to have quality runs. Also I know of others who want to loose weight first then start running after the weight is off. I understand this thinking as it is HAWRD (that's Texas talk y'all) to carry those extra pounds around let alone run with them. But I think just the opposite-if you can handle running at a heavier weight, that will only work in your favor as your heart, lungs, and legs will become stronger through the increased work load. As the weight begins to drop, then that extra strength gained will benefit you in speed and endurance. I don't claim to know anything scientifically but it makes sense to me. I will share more specifics about my diet in future post.

    In the meantime I have a question about how you track your mileage. Before my fall I was using a Face Book app to track my mileage. This was convenient but I often thought it could be viewed as prideful. I tried Daily Mile and thought it was okay, maybe I just need to give it another try. I also thought about downloading an app on my cell. So my question is what app. do you use if any to track your miles? If you want to see some super tecky running charts then you need to check out Raina. Besides being in awe of her as a runner she uses super cool charts to track her running.

    I hope you have a great week of running - pressing-on


    Saturday, December 3

    Wind Beneath My Wings

    I found this quote recently "The captive bird that sits on its perch and sings, is wiser than the bird that flies against the wires of the cage, and tries to get out, only bruising its wings in its unavailing efforts." Since my fall in July I have felt somewhat like a captive I look back over the past few months I hope that I found contentment as I waited to be freed from the uncertainty of my future in running. There were days to be sure that I banged against the wires of the cage but hopefully in those months I managed to sing a little also.
    Here is the update and good news on the knee. After a really hard fall in July I had to take off about 4 weeks from running while my wound and knee recovered. When I returned to running I had some expected knee discomfort but what I didn't expect was this mystery pain in the ball of my foot. I assumed the two were related since it was the same leg. Over the next few weeks as I continued running the knee pain became less and the foot pain much worse. After a month or so and no relief from the pain I went into my regular doctor but didn't get much answers on my foot. I continued to try and run building up to 4 miles, but the foot pain was getting awful. So much so that I would limp while walking and the pain was chronic. I couldn't run more than 3 days without experiencing a lot of pain and needing to take Ibuprofen as well as a few days off. By now it had been almost 3 months since my fall and I was starting to feel a great deal of discouragement. My mom came for a visit in early October and as best as I tried to hide my discouragement she saw it. Her concern was not going to be brushed under the rug either. While she was here I took off from running and steadily the pain decreased confirming my fears that running was causing the pain. It was while she was here that I made an appointment with the sport doctor. Problem was I couldn't get in for a month. After she left I continued my quest to try to get back to a normal running schedule and continued to deal with the pain. In early November (after my last post) something changed...the pain just disappeared!!! I went out for a run and I had no pain, none, my foot felt normal! I almost started crying right there on the running trail. I was free...the cage door had been opened and I was soaring!!! The pain did return a little after that but not at the level it had been. Most of all I started to have days where there was no pain at all. It went from chronic pain everyday to off and was a gift straight from the Fathers hand!!! Also around this same time I had the idea to try a lower heel running shoe and after some research ordered the Saucony Triumphs-I LOVE these shoes!!! Since the lower heel promoted a more midfoot landing I noticed an immediate change in the pain level when it was there!! I truly give God the credit for the idea to try a lower profile shoe. "But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him"
    Finally my appointment arrived this week with the sports doc although, I wasn't sure how it would go since I had at this point been experiencing little to no pain most days. When the doc pulled up the x-ray of my foot I don't know why but I just burst forth in praise of Gods handy-work. Seeing this amazing creation I was in awe. The sport doc did a great exam of my knee and foot and basically diagnosed me with Metatarsalgia. For me this was great news. Something that can be managed with a little pad in my shoe if I need it.
    Today I sit here completely pain free. I ran a double yesterday for total of 5 mile. I ran 3 this morning and will probably do another double today:) I am so excited to be able to get back to some real training.
    Since not being able to run much over the past 5 months (wow it's been that long) I have put on a few pounds. This is not good as I already had a few to loose. I started Monday making some changes to my diet and have already dropped 3lbs this week!
    To God alone belongs the praise for the changes that have occurred. His mercies ARE new every morning. Might I be more faithful to sing from the cage. I will update my progress on my weight loss and many more things in the coming weeks. Thanks for stopping by!

    I have wind beneath my wings!!!

    Wednesday, November 2

    Keep Your Eyes on the Mountains!!!

    Taking a quick moment to update. As some of you might remember I tripped and fell pretty hard in July and ended up with an infected knee and chronic pain. I took off running about 1 month after the fall then started back off and on in August. Finally in September I went to see the doctor again (first time for the infection) as I was still experiencing pain in my knee but now also in my foot (same leg I fell on). I was told then that I had sprained my knee from the fall and that the foot pain was just me trying to overcompensate for the knee pain. Per doctors orders I took off a little more time and started running pretty consistently in September working up to 4 miles 5 days a week. This time my knee felt pretty good very little to no pain but the pain in my foot was getting more severe. I decided to keep running to see if it would just go away on it's own, but it got to such a level that I was starting to limp especially if I was not wearing a shoe. The location of the pain is very isolated around my middle toes and hurts worse when I flex my toes. I didn't have this pain before the fall and somewhat think the two are related. I took the past 3 weeks off and have nearly become pain free. I forgot what it was like to live without pain, feels like I've been able to take a deep breath for the first time in months. Unfortunately I walk/jogged today and the pain came right back...sigh. So today I scheduled an appointment with a sports doctor and will see him at the end of the month. I have not completely lost hope that I can run again and even looking forward to possibly running my first full marathon in 2012. I know God has a perfect plan in all this and I don't say that in anyway to trivialize how hard this issue has been to deal with. I have had days where hope has wavered and trying to figure out why God would not want me to do something I love so much has cause deep discouragement at times. I know that whatever His purpose in this is, it IS for my good, even if I can't see it. I know that my fall was not a surprise to Him in anyway but part of a certain course He has marked for me. I am no different than the next person who struggles when life feels out of control, but I am thankful that I have a God who is not only certain in His plans but also in His purposes. I pray I can glorify Him during this time. I'll keep you posted!

    "I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; From where shall my help come? My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to slip..."  I believe it :)

    Sunday, August 28

    Waving The White Flag

    I have been hesitating to write this post but I am going to be taking a break from blogging (not that I haven't already). In one sense it feels like defeat but yet I know that I will get back to blogging eventually. I love talking about running but lately running has been minimal at best since my fall in July. I finally went to the doctor because it just kept feeling like something was wrong. Like most "normal" people I googled my symptoms and was sure I had a serious injury. Thankfully the doc said it was only a sprain. I have been trying to get back to running this week but was cautioned by the doc to start back slowly. It has been wonderful to be back running but I have found with our new school schedule and my son in football it has been a challenge to fit it in. I'm hoping that the schedule will level out soon and I can get back to a routine that involves not just running but training! I have my eye on a half in March but don't want to say anything yet until I see how the next few weeks work out for the knee. So here I sit wishing I had time to write but instead waving the white flag on blogging for a while. I will of course pop in on your blogs and be cheering you on from my side of the computer. Until then friends keep pressing on!!!!

    Tuesday, July 26

    My Summer in Pictures (the good and bad version)

    The results of a bad fall during a run. The knee wound ended up
    infected and I've been unable to run for 2 weeks now.
    This is how Shadow feels about not getting to run
    This was the simitruck we hydroplaned into
    on our way to Virginia for vacation
    Thank God no one was hurt but the van was a total loss
    Getting ready to go sailing in Virginia

    On the America Rover
    Kind of describes my summer

    At the beach in North Carolina
                      My son was accepted to this school!!!
                It will be his first year in school
    Having fun crabbing in Chesapeake Va.

    We had a fun trip in spite of all the unplanned things that happened

    The girl's started riding lessons this summer

    This sign made me laugh
     It's been a summer of great testing but one that has been completely covered by His undeserved grace. You know about a year ago I asked God to help me to have better responses during trials, not after its over, when hind-sight is 20/20 as they say. But responding rightly in the middle of the storm. So here I stand in the midst of God answering this prayer and I will tell you it's been a fight...I am fighting because of who He is. I know God has a perfect plan and purpose in all He does and that it is my good and His glory that motivates every action. So I fight to prove...He is trustworthy, He is worth keeping the faith, and I fight to live this moment to all He has given me. In this I find joy, strength and peace. I look forward with eyes of faith to what He has in store.

    I hope to get back soon to blogging regularly and back to half marathon training!! I leave you with this poem:

    Before the winds that blow do cease,
    Teach me to dwell within Thy calm;
    Before the pain has passed in peace,
    Give me, my God to sing a psalm,
    Let me not lose the chance to prove,
    The fullness of enabling love,
    Oh love of God do this for me,
    Maintain a constant victory!

    Friday, May 27

    K-I-S-S -- Keep It Simple Summer

    We have all heard of the acronym KISS “keep it simple stupid.” Since I'm not a fan of the word stupid, I changed the last "s" to summer, and it fits great! I have been MIA from blog-land due to some major changes/responsibilities coming down the pike in our family. In all honesty most days I am struggling to keep ahead of it all. As a result many of the "normal" or regular things in my life right now are simplified down to the basics. One of those is running. I have put aside all “training plans” right now and have just purposed to simply get out and run. Whether it’s 4 miles or 8 miles, the goal is simply to run. I have a few races on my radar for the fall but I am not able to put any focus on those right now. Sadly the Rock-n-Roll Va. Beach half marathon is out for sure. Although we are still going on our vacation to visit my family in Virginia we will be going in July instead of September as originally planned. For someone who is a planner like myself it has not been easy to shift things around. The pressure to keep all the balls in the air right now has been overwhelming at times. I am trying to focus on the fact that the business of some additional responsibilities will pay for itself in a few months. I have been humbled, as I have had to trust Gods plan in all of this knowing He is working out so many fantastic things in the process. I can at times have difficulty seeing past the current circumstances I am in (especially when there are so many things happening) but in this case having simplified some other things in my life has allowed for clarity in the tasks. I’m trusting that in a couple of months the family will be thriving even more and things will be able to shift down a bit. Until then I cling to God’s sovereign purpose in our lives and trust He will give me the grace to manage it as He would have me.

    And let us not be weary in well doing, for in due season we shall reap if we faint not.
    -Galatians 6:9.

    Wednesday, May 11

    Wordless Wednesday

    SOooo busy right now that I thought I would just update with photos from Mother's day. I was overwhelmed with love and gifts from my precious husband and children. We had a wonderful day just being together. The highlight was a drive to Galveston to eat at a seafood restaurant. I am blessed beyond measure...

    WOW! love my new necklace!

    The Mother's day booty was over the top!

    At the beach! "Food to my soul"

    Yes! I am a unashamed goofball :)

    I will try to update this week with how my training is going and possibly some new race options I am looking at for this fall.

    Monday, May 2

    Melanoma Monday

    “Melanoma Monday” is the first Monday of May – and the kick-off of May Melanoma Skin Cancer Month. Also known as National Skin Self-Examination Day. People are encouraged to examine their skin for skin cancer.

    Having lost a dear family member to cancer this past year and recently finding out about three more friends with cancer (one given 4-6 months to live) I have been painfully aware of the affects of cancer. I recently posted about loving my "runners tan" on Facebook, but, I know that sun exposure can put me at risk for skin cancer.

    When my husband had cancer in 1996 and was going through treatments we met a young girl in her 20's being treated for melanoma. We had treatments on the same days and got to know her. She did not survive.

    As most people do in preparation for a vacation last year, I spent a month working on a tan through a tanning bed. I see damage to my skin today from that time that I know is irreversible .

    I am making a point this summer to be more careful about my sun exposure and to be more vigilant to apply sunscreen before running.

    I have a doctor friend who lives in California that started this Miles for Melanoma 5k about 4 years ago. If you live in the area it looks to be a fun run for a great cause.


    Do you have a particular sunscreen you like that stays on a sweaty runner? I would love to know!

    Tuesday, April 26

    The Easter Bunny Stole my Running Shoes

     We are back from our trip and we had a wonderful time. My only regret is that I didn't run as much as I would've liked. Family time and visits took priority I guess. Looks like week 2 for me will be a bust on the training and week 3 isn't looking much better right now. Tomorrow is a new day and I will be back at it hard!
    While in Oklahoma we sort of had a curve ball thrown at us, and it may end up working against my plan to run the 1/2 in September. I'm trying not to stress about it as I can't do anything until my husband and I can talk about it. We got back Mon. night and he left today on a business trip. Waiting to talk about it will allow me some time to process this information and pray about it. I know I can find another race but this one was special. We will see, nothing is final yet. The pictures are just a few of our family from Easter. Hope y'all have a blessed week of training. Pressing on with you!

    Saturday, April 23

    Be One With the Bunny

    Happy Easter y'all! If you are reading this post then my techno skills have improved! I set this post up before we left Texas to publish while we were out of town, so yippee for me if I actually made it happen. We are currently in Oklahoma for the Easter weekend, and I have hopefully gone for at least 1 run on my beloved running trails in town. I really miss those trails...many, many, miles of pouring out my heart before God. Hopefully I will not die on the multiple (real) hills this trail has. I am sure I will be enjoying the cooler weather though. It has been crazy humid here in the South!!! I am starting to realize I have a big adjustment coming this summer. Hopefully this is not going to affect my overall training goals! Every run this week I have returned home soaked, like I have just stepped out of a shower with my running clothes on. I tend to be a sweater anyway but this is dripping sweat. One morning I weighed myself before I went running, then again after my run and I had lost 3lbs!!! I know this is from sweating which tells me I have a right to be concerned about hydration this year especially. I read a blog post recently that suggest it is the post run intake of foods that best fuels your body for the next days run. The post suggested that this intake "should occur between 30 minutes and 4 hours after exercise is completed." Right now my post run intake is Chocolate milk or a protein drink. That's all I can stomach right now while trying to adjust to the heat. I know that I am talking about two different things here: hydration and fueling, but this post really got me thinking....if this is right; that proper fueling for the next days run occurs in the post run stage then would the same principal apply for fluids? How important is post run fluid intake and should this be consumed within a small window of time rather than spread this out throughout the day?  I love learning from eachother and this lady knows what she's talking about. She's got me thinking and I apparently have some homework to do. Love to hear what you all know about hydrating post run?
    My runs for this week so far are;
    Mon. 5 miles
    Tue. 4+weights
    Wens. 9LR
    Thurs. Off for travel
     On a side note:
    This is what they saw when they first came down
    The Easter bunny was good to the kids this year :o) Even though my son is a teenager I think he still appreciates his mom indulging him with a basket every year. I try not to make it too kiddish which can be a challenge but I think he would miss them if I stopped. It's just one silly way to express my love to them.

    Tried to be a little creative and not do ALL candy
    Finally it would be completely out of character for me not to mention my Savior the Lord Jesus Christ so near Resurrection Sunday. For me personally the resurrection of Jesus is the culmination of all things meaningful, faith and fact, in establishing my relationship with God. In Luke 24:46-48, the risen Jesus gave His disciples a greater understanding of the resurrection when He told them: "This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem" Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection are God's provision for the perfect and final sacrifice for man's sins. God requires no other payment for sins! With this provision, mankind is granted the opportunity for new life by the forgiveness of sin and escape from its bondage. It is ours for the mere acceptance of this gift!

    "Jesus said to her, I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?" John 11:25-26

    Happy Resurrection Sunday!
    He is Alive!!!
    He Has Risen!

    Sunday, April 17

    Week 2 of 21

    My mantra for this week was fight for it!

    Week 1 Re-Cap

    I had a pretty successful week 1 of running and training. I had to make one slight adjustment on the schedule due to muscle soreness. On Monday I did the scheduled 4 mile run plus strength training. Based on some research my plan was to lift heavy. I did only upper body using heavy dumbbells for 8-10 reps per set. I did 2 exercises per muscle group and by the end of the workout my muscles were fatigued. I woke up Tues. morning pretty sore so I knew I had pushed the strength work. I was scheduled to have a second strength w/o on Wens. but by Thurs. night I needed 3 ibuprofen just so I could sleep without waking up in pain. I think pumping my arms during hill training made it worse also. So one small adjustment on the schedule there. Tuesdays hill work felt somewhat out of control. First issue is it's really hard to find any hills around here, and especially long ones. I decided to try a new hill, not the same one I used in February. It was short but steep. So steep that I had to go down it in a sideways fashion. Going up the hill is where I'm not sure I benefited as I should. The hill was so steep I was on my toes the whole way up struggling not to lean forward (like a hand and foot climb up). Even though I tried driving with my legs, I was lugging up that hill. The whole time I was thinking to myself; this hill is too steep! I'm going to injure myself! Even with these thoughts going through my head I still did all 6 repeats, yep, cause I'm crazy fighting like that. What do y'all think? Too steep? From what I understand my hill strides should be quick paced, right? My second hill workout which was Thur. I went back to the less steep hill and worked on a faster pace up it. I used my Garmin to measure the hill and it is .10 of a mile. The grade is gradual not compromising my form at all. Is this too short of a hill?

    Here's what I fought for week 1:
    Mon. 4+strength
    Tue. 4+6 x hill
    Wens. 7.5 mi (on the schedule was the same as Mon. but changed this b/c of sore muscles)
    Thur. 4+6 x hills
    Fri. Rest
    Sat. 9 LR (building back up)

    I lost 2lbs this week! I wasn't perfect on my diet in the sense that I probably ate too little. I could tell a couple of my runs suffered from too low of calories...ugh! trying to balance this is so hard! I need to stop fretting...( oh great! the word fretting made me think of fritter as in corn fritter...mmmm) For now I'm sticking with the plan and will try to figure out ways to fuel my runs better.

    Helping to get the last of the lemon squares plated
    My favorite part of this whole plan! It has been good to get my mind back to the discipline of memorizing. During the week I was presented with an opportunity to help a family who is in need. The girls and I baked Lemon squares and Rice Krispy bars to sell at a fund raiser for this precious family that has had such tragedy in their lives recently. Before we started baking the kids and I read the story of this precious family. Sometimes trials are like rocks that we carry and other times they are like boulders, this family is definitely carrying a boulder right now. My heart just goes out to them.

    The road ahead; Week 2 of 21

    Week 2 will be a little different as we are going out of town for the Easter weekend. I will have to move some things around since I don't know what my schedule will be like while we are there. I might try to get my long run in the day before we leave...we'll see.
    I would really appreciate any advice, or thoughts toward my training that you are willing to take the time to share. I know the next 6 weeks will be hard as I push myself past limits that I have not pushed before. I'm excited to see what is possible. I leave you with this quote from Winston Churchill.

    "Success is not final, failure is not fatal: It's the courage to go on that counts"
    (and I would add not only the courage to go on, but the courage to fight for it!)

    Friday, April 15

    You've Come a Long Way Baby!

    "My boy" Ryan!
    "The Boston Marathon" Those three words in the running community conjure up thoughts of hopes longed for, dreams to fulfill, the unforgettable milestones and history. Yet, it's so much more than being swept up in the nostalgia. As anyone knows who has ever qualified or fought to get there, it's the journey to get there that defines you. It becomes apart of your legacy,  its the culmination of miles and miles of sweat, work and perseverance. That comes, with the very least, bragging rights.With the running of the Boston Marathon just days away my thoughts are on running friends who will be there making their own story. I can't wait to read them all!  
    "Bobbi" Gibb who ran unofficially in 1966 and clocked 3:27:17


    Below is an excerpt from a letter written to the BAA by Bobbi Gibb the first woman to run Boston. Her thoughts say it all.

    "as my pace dropped
    the last two miles seemed interminable
    I began to feel like a failure
    and this is where I learned
    the real meaning of fortitude,
    to keep on in the face of disappointment,
    to continue to do your best even when others are passing you. To see your hopes crushed and yet to continue. This is why I have as much respect for those who run and do not finish first as I have for the ones whose strength, endurance and training brings them first place"
    "I appreciate the people who quietly and privately go about their lives and running without the thought or possibility of winning marathons, but whose balance, courage, and perseverance is heroic, perhaps more so for being unnoticed and unacclaimed. People, ordinary people, are extraordinary, whether given credit or not. Is the mountain flower less beautiful because it blooms unnoticed? I think not"


    Disco was just going out of style, Jimmy Carter was president and a pair of famous New Englanders took first in the Boston Marathon. The year was 1979, and 25 years later we recap that memorable race. Runners in the men's division wait for the starting gun. The '79 race was the largest ever at the time, officially numbering 7,897 runners.
    Disco was just going out of style, Jimmy Carter was president and a pair of famous New Englanders took first in the Boston Marathon. The year was 1979.

    Sunday, April 10

    Week 1 Training Plan

    I have been working on a 3 fold plan with the goal being to loose 20 lbs. and run a sub 2 hr. 1/2 marathon. Part 1 of the plan I have titled "Mouth." It will be about what I'm eating, the nutrition part of my plan. Part 2, "Motion," will cover running, and strength training. Finally, part 3 "Mind" will be the things I am doing to keep my mind and heart engaged. The hardest part of putting this plan together is that my "reward half" the Rock 'n' Roll Va. Beach is 21 weeks away. That's like a lifetime y'all! Yet I know I will need every bit of this time due to the fact I have a husband, 3 children and priorities that shift in the ebb and flow of family life. Having this much time will give me the flexibility I need as a wife and mom without having to stress over a time crunch. My plan as of now is to post my schedule and the results weekly. I am doing this for both accountability as well as hopefully someone might be helped or motivated by my postings. So here it is:

    Part 1 Mouth:
    HELLOOOO --- I Moustache You a Question?
    I know that in order to succeed on any diet it must be simple. Second, as a runner it must fuel. This can be a tough act to balance but I think with this plan I will see good results. My eating plan for this week is 3 meals and 2 snacks. To eat protein, carbs, and a small amount of fat in every meal. Below is only a sample day but one I will stick very close to.
    Breakfast: Green Monster smoothie (pre-run meal) I'll discuss this decision and recipe in a later post.
    Snack: 1/2 C (fat free) Cottage Cheese w/ tomato 1/4 avocado chopped.
    Lunch: 1 whole and 2 egg whites chopped on 1 s whole grain bread. (a little mayo to hold it together) 1 C veggies.
    Snack: 1 T nut butter on celery sticks
    Dinner: 1 Protein (fish or chicken) 2 veggies (no starchy carbs)

    I realize this may not be enough calories for the day so I will adjust/add more as I listen to my body. In all honesty my biggest problem is, I don't eat, then I binge, so success for me will be to eat at the right times and the right foods. Also you might have noticed no desserts on this list-gasp! Pray for me...

    Part 2 Motion:
    The plan here is based on my goal for a sub 2hr half. I had mentioned in a previous post about a new fancy scale that I had bought that gives you both weight and body fat percent. Well people I'm in the 30% range. Ouch! Ugh! Sigh! What this means is I am at risk for all kinds of medical issues and being 40++ this is a serious concern. I know that I need to work on building back some of the muscle I have lost over time and the way to ensure that is I am reducing my mileage for two runs a week so I can give more energy to weight training. Here is my plan, I will actually repeat this schedule over the next 6 weeks.

    Mon. 4 mi. run + strength training

    Tue. 5 mi + 6x hill repeats

    Wed. 4 mi. run + strength training

    Thur. 5 mi + 6x hill repeats

    Fri.  Rest with lots of stretching

    Sat. Long run

    I know I am being rather broad with my list here, but I will get more specific in other post's. For now my plan is to concentrate on upper body and abs for strength work.
    Part 3 Mind:
     This part is really the back-bone of my workout plan, the key to my success. Having my mind girded for action. How do I plan to do this? I'm glad you asked :) First is to get in the Word of God first thing in the morning. I have a reading plan that I've been using that takes me through the entire bible in a year. One of the things I love about this plan is that I repeat books of the bible several times so I get to really chew on the Word. The other thing is, I plan to memorize another whole book of the bible. Many years ago I memorized the entire book of James, all 5 chapters, word for word,  it was life changing. I decided to take on this challenge again and I am looking at memorizing I Peter. As many of you know that have followed me for the past several years God has taken me through some deep trials over the past few years. I have also shared that my physical condition has a lot to do with how I handled didn't handle those trials. Since our move to Houston God has restored so's as if I have taken a deep breath for the first time in a very loooong time. I know that it is by His strength and grace daily poured out in my life that I will have any success at all. I must have my mind fully engaged in the battle ahead. "Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ" I Peter 1:13

    So there you have it, my three fold plan of attack; mind, motion and mouth. I would love to hear your thoughts, suggestions, and anything you have found that helps you keep pressing on.

    Friday, April 8

    Mama's Magic Running Shoes

    My friend Kate asked an excellent question on her last post about minimalist shoes and barefoot running. I went to reply to her post when I realized it would be embarrassingly looooong. So I decided to post about my recent experience with minimalist shoes here. 

    Right before my last half I NEEDED new shoes and since I had been looking into this whole minimalist thing I decided I would order an extra pair of shoes (a pair of minimalist) along with my normal Asics. I figured since running warehouse offers free shipping I would just send them back if I didn’t like them. After looking into my options I decided on the Saucony Kinvara, a minimalist shoe for the neutral runner. When my shoes arrived, the Asics I normally wear had a different lacing system and it was very uncomfortable. When I put on the Sauconys I immediately noticed how light they felt in comparison to my Asics. It felt like I was wearing nothing! How could a few ounces make such a difference? I couldn’t wait to try running in them. The first time I ran in them I was hooked! I had to make myself slow down! They changed the way my foot struck the ground and I was actually running faster. Yes! the shoes made me faster! I started calling them mama’s magic running shoes. BUT, I could feel every nook and cranny on the street. After about a week of running in them my legs were feeling a bit beat-up. I could tell they were not giving my feet or legs the cushioning I needed. I started to experience pain in areas I had not hurt in a long while. Problem was I was running out of time to find a new pair of regular running shoes and I LOVED THESES SHOES! Fast-forward…after trying numerous pairs of shoes to replace my Asics, I had no choice but to run in them for my last ½, but my legs felt pretty beat-up toward the end. Since the 1/2 I have been looking into finding a new daily trainer and have found the Brooks Ghost to be a good replacement for my Asics. The only problem is when I put on the Brooks shoes they feel like lead weights now. I also notice the tendency to heel strike in the Brooks. The Sauconys promote a more mid foot strike. So what’s my conclusion…I think for injury sake and training I am sticking with my Brooks. When I drop some weight I plan to give the Sauconys another try and see how my legs feel. I love the more natural stride the minimalist shoe promotes, and I truly believe this causes me to run faster. I’m hooked on the minimalist shoes but my legs tell a different story.

    Just an added note here; with my new found love for the minimalist shoe I also tried the Brooks Launch which offers a tad more cushioning. I never ran in them because they were so narrow and hurt just to put on. If these come in a wide I may give them another try later on down the road.

    I would love to know your thoughts…have you tried minimalist shoes? Do you recommend them?

    Thursday, March 24

    Stuck in the Last Corral? Can't figure out those Tangents?--No Problem!

    This is how I plan to deal with all those issues MOSHING!!!!!!!!! Who knows I may start a whole new trend on the running circuit!!!
    I can still call it a PR right????
    This will be my last post until the race re-cap. I know a few of you out there looking to PR this weekend, hoping you will all have a great weekend-press on!

    Wednesday, March 23

    Tangents??? HELP!!!

    It looks like Rock-n-Roll Dallas might just end up a sell out! The relay has sold out already and they are offering 100 spots for the 1/2 at the Expo. I think the cap for this race is 11,000. Wow! that is pretty close to the attendance of my last 1/2. Below is the course map(s) and a question. I know the best way to run a course is the straight line approach ie: tangents. This course has, I think I counted 15 right turns alone! and a few left turns. My question may be hard to answer in this type of format but I'm begging hoping some of you experienced with tangents will give it a try. So I can try and keep it simple I'm just going to ask my question using the first two turns in mile 1. Okay, on the first right turn do I want to stay in the middle of the road (Young st) aiming at running a straight line (across) the turn kind of ending up on the left side of Houston St.? And then the same would repeat for the left turn in that first mile. Move over to the middle while on Houston St. and aim at the right side of Elm St. as I complete the turn? Ugh! Have I got it wrong??? I have been working on my tangents in training but still not sure I have it right. Thanks for any help! I'm pretty much over the whole corral thing now and want to just enjoy this very lively race and running in beautiful Dallas!
    Close up of mile 1

    Monday, March 21

    2:40? Really?

    I'm a little perturbed, okay a lot perturbed! Got my final conformation in the mail for my 1/2 on Sunday and Rock-n-Roll Dallas put my estimated finish time at 2:40? Really? Not only that but they placed me in corral 12! I know I am not fast by any measure but come-on where do they get their numbers! I ran my last 1/2 at 2:27 and that was with at least 5 quick stops to get fluid or hug my family. It is really discouraging to my goal that they put me so far back in such a large race. I remember having to maneuver around tons of people as well as deal with those individuals who make abrupt stops right in front of you in my last race!!! I was really hoping to see a better time for this 1/2 but all I feel right now is frustrated that I am already going to be starting out at a deficit. I will have my work cut out for me! Today I am not happy about this race!

    Monday, March 14

    That's More Like It!!!

    After rest and large quantities of Vitamin C over the weekend I was anxious to get back on the road and have a go at it again. Today's run was totally FANTASTIC!!!! Thank you Tina and Kate for your sweet encouragement in my previous post. I had a great 7 mile run today with a time of 1:07. How's that for a rebound

    Saturday, March 12

    Cough, Moan, Repeat...

    Well, I am discouraged... It started Friday on what was to be a 12 mile training run. I left the house and drove to Terry Hershey Park which is a wonderful park that runs along the Buffalo Bayou. Since my last 1/2 in January I have been trying to work on my pace. I haven't done any specific speed work or made any specific goals to improve, I've simply been trying to pick up the pace when I run. I did a little hill work in February but it was only a few times. In my mind I think I need to give myself a little more base building time before starting any "real" speed work but I am also not wanting to get in the habit of slow running. Before I ran the 1/2 in January most of my training miles up to that point averaged in the high 10's (10:35-10:50) Since trying to pick up the pace I have been on average running 10:00-10:35 min. miles. I have run under 10 min. miles but only short distances (and it is very hard to hold). So Friday I head out hoping to average in the low 10's for 12 miles. The first 7 miles were going great and I was holding my pace even with a serious head wind and a slight cramp in my left thigh. Somewhere around mile 6-7 I had planned to stop take in 1 GU and 1 Accelerade (and give my left quad a stretch). I forgot how thin the Accelerade was and ended up squirting it down the back of my throat and proceeded to choke. I think I stood there coughing for 5 Min's. Once I could breath again I started back running and was clocking a solid 10 min. pace when at mile 8 I hit some kind of wall. I just had an immediate shutdown. I felt no energy and total fatigue. To add to it my left thigh and glut were really cramping (I forgot to stretch them from my choking episode). between mile 8-9 I had to take several walk breaks. I made it back to the parking lot and stopped before making it to even 10 miles. I just quit, totally defeated. It is hard for me to even type those words... Since then I have been feeling awful. I continued coughing the rest of the day and went to bed last night feeling just kind of puny. I don't know if I have some kind of respiratory thing coming on but I am feeling so much pressure to get out and run with my next half just 15 days away. I know the experts recommend not running especially with upper respiratory stuff, but I feel like I need to keep pushing my mileage. I am also struggling with feeling silly trying to run all these 1/2's while still being this slow. In my heart I would love to run a 1/2 in under 2hrs. I know that I need to do a lot more to ever see that kind of pace. I have really questioned my conservative approach and wonder if I really have what it takes to ever be that fast... I have decided not to run the Aquarium 1/2 in May and would probably not do this half in Dallas had I not already paid the money. Sorry to moan...I'm normally not this negative...just having an emotional time right now with my running...

    Wednesday, March 2

    Weight Loss Wednesday and boy I'm glad it's March

    February was an odd month for me. I don't really know why other than I took several days off at the beginning to rest after my 1/2 and the weather was really cold for Houston which lead to more days off. As a result my mileage this month was pretty low. I decided to start hill training in February and that went well. I didn't get in as many days as I would have liked but more importantly I sustained no injuries and I have seen a small increase in my speed. Loosing weight continues to be my biggest challenge. I purchased one of those fancy scales at Wal-mart that breaks down body fat percent, BMI, etc. The amount of body fat I have is crazy! Considering the total amount of weight I would like to loose this seems to be very lopsided. It really helped me to see how I need to amp up the strength training. I have been being so cautious since getting back into running, afraid I would injure myself if I didn't take it slow, but that's got to change. I do need to push myself much harder if I'm going to see any real results in weight loss and time. I found the article below you might find the tips interesting.

    Four Tips To Help With Weight Loss:

    Sprinkle cinnamon on a yogurt each day to burn fat. The spice is a powerful metabolism raiser; half a teaspoon a day is enough to burn an extra kilo a month.

    Sip green tea. It contains a compound that reacts with caffeine to boost both fat oxidisation and resting metabolic rate by 20 per cent.

    Putting tomatoes in your sandwiches will keep you feeling fuller for longer, and will make you less likely to gorge on mid afternoon snacks. The fruit suppresses the hunger hormone ghrelin, which is responsible for hunger pangs.

    Drinking a glass of carrot juice a day will help you lose four pounds over 12 weeks compared with non-juice drinkers. It's high in fibre and nutrients that help burn the blubber

    Photo credit: Getty Images

    Thursday, February 17


    Below are two pictures of the hill I've been training on this month. My Garmin tells me that it's a 120ft hill. I have been able to do 4-5 repeats, but it's slow going. I sometime think about turning around before I make it to the top. To my surprise I have not been sore or had any issues from adding this into my training. 
    Distant view (arrow points to top)
    My view from the bottom of the hill
    I have some questions I hope some of you more experienced at hill training can help answer.
    1. I know it may be difficult to tell from the photos but does this hill seem steep enough and long enough to classify as a long hill? I know of some other hills that seem steeper but they are short in comparison. It's really hard to find hills in Houston.
    2. I have been running 4 miles then doing the hill repeats. I count the repeats as part of my total mileage. When done it comes out to around 5 miles total. Am I suppose to count the hill miles also?
    3. I have played with the idea of doing hill repeats twice a week instead of just once since my body seems to be handling the training. What are your thoughts on that?
    Any other thoughts would be appreciated!

    Monday, February 7

    King of the Mountain

    Today begins the start of hill training! Yippee! can you hear my excitement. Be one with the goat-lol. My plan is to incorporate long hill repeats into my weekly runs once a week for 6 weeks. We will see how it goes of course. If you have a favorite hill workout I would love to hear about it. Also any advice on form, pace, etc...would be great. Have a happy week of running!

    Friday, February 4

    Recap in Pictures Chevron Houston 1/2

    Boy I really need to loose some weight!
    Uhhh, crying not make such pretty finish line picture
    All happiness at the end of a looooong journey