July 30, 2012

Motivation Monday: Moments…and what happens when running won’t be in my near future

I have to remember this.

I have to remember this.

I have to remember this.


Running is simply blah for me.

Motivation is not happening for me.

And training for this marathon simply just sucks.

I have no idea what happened last week, but I completely feel off the bandwagon of the Abs Challenge. <<
My 27 mileage week turned into a 14 mile week.
And my IT Band practically ripped away from my femur.

So, needless to say, this past weekend include 0 miles of running / biking /anything workout related.

I prepped for five weeks to ease myself into this training plan, but I’m afraid it’s still too much running for my body.
I’m afraid my IT band issue is going to severely flair up with 5 days of running and the addition of miles.

But I really want to run this marathon.

I’m struggling.

I’m almost burnt out on running. I’m almost burnt out on blogging.
And I just don’t know how to get back to those daily runs that make me enjoy life.

All I can think to do right now is ice, ice, ice, stretch, foam roll, ice, icy hot, and cut two of my running days a week for biking.

But… that little tiny pitter patter of running excitement is gone.

Have any of you ever struggled with this during training? Am I over training? Am I burnt out? Will I ever get it back?

I honestly think that my body is just simply tired from the last five years of running. Between pushing myself too much to not pushing myself at all—from ups and downs and highs and lows and crazy training cycles—to the stress of life and so much change—I think I’m just tired.

Which is probably why, if I make it through this marathon—which right now all time goals are out the window, I just want to finish—I’m going to take some time off.
And by time off, I mean severe time off.

A whole year.

I know. That sounds terrible. And frightening for me considering running helps me get through so much. But I don’t know how to get back to it the way I love it without stepping away for awhile.

I’m not going to go all sedentary and quite on you. I’ve still got my bike, which I really need to build a better relationship with, and the pool, and weight lifting—I’m going to hit this hardcore since my new dream is to become an Olympic Weightlifter.

But for now, I’m taking running one day, one step at a time. Like I said, I really want to conquer this marathon. If only to finish.
Forget the hardcore training, and the hills, and the tempo runs.
Maybe forget a sub-4 finish.

It’s about finding the moments that make me see how beautiful my life really is.

Passing the Baton: Seriously though…anyone ever really struggled with marathon training? What about IT band issues? How do you keep the pain at bay? How do you make it go away forever?!? Is that even possible?
Seek Peace. Choose Joy. Find Strong.

July 25, 2012

Wimpy Wednesday: Time to suck it up

My 6 miles of hills had a slight interruption this morning, and only resulted in about 1.5 miles.

That was after my alarm went off at 5 am, and I laid around for another 30 minutes.

Needless to say, I’ll be sucking it up this afternoon and hitting the treadmills at the gym so I can finish some hill work.
It’s supposed to be 103 by the time I’m out of class, so inside training it is.


This shall be short because I’m momentarily pausing from working on homework and some of my own writing.

I’m not sure what came over me yesterday, but this happened

That is indeed the start of my novel.

I’ve been letting my brain turn over ideas for weeks now, and yesterday, I just sat down and started typing.
Just one more thing I’ve got to suck it up too. I’ve started. Now I’ve got to finish.


Other than that, we’ve been doing the normal thing around here this week.
Drinking lots of coffee (my new favorite concoction: milk, coffee, caramel syrup, cocoa powder

Sleeping (he’s so weird)

Devouring books.
Anticipating the Olympics.
And prepping for Music Man to come home

Those are my famous Snickerdoodles. His other love.

Turns out he’s headed home tonight. His leaders were able to squeeze in his last evaluations this morning, and he’ll be catching a flight out late afternoon.
We’ve got a busy weekend ahead of us full of friends, family, sadness, and joy.
And hopefully some running.

Passing the baton: Anything on your plate this Wednesday? Or are you prepping for a busy weekend like me? Looking forward to the Olympics? Favorite sport/athlete? How’s your training going for whatever it is you’re training for?

July 23, 2012

Sometimes I don’t know how to move forward….

but I do.

As you could probably tell if you visited my blog today, I didn’t have any motivation  up for Monday.
Nor did I do a weekend update.

Don’t worry, I didn’t sit around in the dark the last three days and do nothing.
On the contrary, I was non-stop busy. Too busy for pictures, even.

I spent my weekend volunteering to help some dear friends in my life.

I directed my first 5k to help raise awareness and money for orphans.
I cooked vats of Japanese curry and served many to help my sweet sister raise money for her mission trip to Japan in less than a month.

I ran 12 miles this weekend.
I fell in to deep and much soul-needed conversation.
I met some *hopefully* new friends.

And just this evening, I got to deal with my first Army life crisis.

I received some sad news that there has been a death on Music Man’s side of the family, and it just so happens that he is training  in the field this week.

Which means no contact.

These are the times when it’s hard. When I get stressed because I don’t know who to call, or how to relay messages, or if I should burden him with the news right away for fear of him being pulled from the school. Or if it’s really better to wait.
I don’t know what the protocol is for this type of thing as I realize we don’t have a binder of emergency information or a phone tree.
I realize that it’s hard to be an army wife when you don’t have a support system like you do in an army community.

After  numerous phone calls, tears, and advice, I tried going through the Red Cross in hopes that they could reach him.

Praise the Lord that Music Man came out of the field tonight and responded to my voice mail before the message was sent, so after all of the time spent on the phone with the Red Cross and not enough information anyway, I was able to  cancel the message.


But it’s times like these when, after the initial moment of shock or sadness or fleeting anxiety, I breathe and I’m not sure how to step forward.
Usually, I go and run.
To clear my head.
To pray.
To just step away from the issue at hand.

But my legs are still heavy from this weekend, and I do indeed need this rest day.

But to rest seems impossible.

This is the first person close to Music Man that he has lost, whereas I have already had the pain of losing several people I love over the years.
My heart hurts for him.
My heart aches for my younger sister-in-law who just lost her father well before he should have gone. I want to hold her and tell her it will be alright. Even if it may not be.
My heart yearns to start living in the moment as it always does when death happens so shockingly.
Fleetingly, I even think about how we should start having kids because I want our families to experience the joy of a newborn before anything happens again.
Because I know that this won’t be the first death of a loved one in our life.
This won’t be the first family crisis we have to deal with all too soon.

My mind feels numb. As if I am stuck in peanut butter, unable to even breathe or think about tomorrow.

And then suddenly,  I think of our initial plans for this coming weekend: the celebration of 50 years of a beautiful marriage.
Of joy.
Of love.

And how even though there is sadness, there is a sliver of light flickering in the distance, calling us to keep moving.

And I realize that hurt comes, and it rears it’s ugly head at the most unthinkable and unimaginable times.
But joy comes in the morning.

For no matter how ugly, and how unfathomable the hurt seems to be, when we lift our feet and begin to move forward, Grace will be there to carry us.

July 19, 2012

Thought for a Thursday: Gratitude and How Math Makes it Even Better

Oh, isn’t that the truth.

The last week has been another week of could-have-been-loneliness considering Music Man is off on another two week Army stint.

But besides class keeping me busy in the afternoons, it’s the things in my life that I’m thankful for that has gotten me through each day.


Like my best friend, Math Nerd, who made an out-of-the-way pit stop to visit me on her way to hometown shenanigans.
She’s a teacher in TN, so her summers are usually full of summer school, church youth trips, and time with her family. Of which she is spending for the next couple of weeks.
It’s been seven months since we’ve seen each other, and that’s the hard part of being so far away from friends.

I don’t get to see them every week like I’d love too.

I mean, I did live with this gal while I was in college, so now it’s like I don’t know what going on in her life half the time.

But I’m thankful for a fun time together last week right after Music Man left.


Friends are what get you through the hard times in life.
And the ones that are there for you when you decide to inflict pain upon yourself

Math Nerd’s father passed away last December and thanks to Pinterest, and a tattooing friend, I’m pretty sure she now has the coolest tattoo ever.
Yup. Totally his handwriting.
He was my dad away-from-home while I was at college, so the last time we saw each other wasn’t the easiest circumstances, but this time, we just got to relax and be lame together.

Goober JJ has also been a little bit more loveable with Music Man gone.

So, this might have been a night when he heard loud noises outside and got scared so he had to come and curl up in the corner of my bedroom, but still.
He has been sleeping on my floor every night.
It’s like he knows I need another heartbeat in the room to sleep well.

I’m also thankful for the goofy moments I get to hold onto.
Sure, 9 pm hit last night and I couldn’t remember for the life of me if I’d fed JJ supper, sometimes my memory is like that, but I can hold onto some things pretty well.
Like how a couple of days before Music Man left we went wish-listing (aka what we would buy when we strike it rich) for a new bed and pretty much just took afternoon naps on some amazingly comfortable beds.

This is usually what take 1-49 look like when I take photos of the two of us.

As an army wife, I’ve learned a few things over the last couple of years from experiences and friends.
It’s so easy to sit around and mope. To feel sorry for myself. To be lame (which I still am half the time). To forget.

But everyday there are so many good things to remember. To hold on to. To try. To be thankful for.

And even if I wasn’t an army wife or used to the military way of things, even if you aren’t, I still think that thought holds true.

If we count our the things we are thankful for, no matter how simple, or goofy, or ridiculous they seem, they are all important and beautiful.

They seem to multiply into life blessings, and I find myself reveling in the fact that my life is full of goodness.

Who knew math could ever make my life better?

Passing the Baton: What sort of little, simple, goofy things are you thankful for this week?
Choose Joy.

July 18, 2012

Featured Fitblogger!

Today marks some exciting news in my blog world.

Enduring is the featured blog over at Fitblogger today!

I wanted to share my full post here. I think maybe I wrote too much for their site!

Anyway, make sure to check out Fitblogger (not just for me of course) but because it’s an awesome directory of fit bloggers, and there are so many talented and inspirational athletes out there!


When I think about running, I don’t think about negative splits, 7:30 minute miles, a closet full of fancy gadgets, 80 mileage weeks, sponsorship, or the perfect running body.

I choose my own joy  in running, and I think about finishing.

And in a nutshell, that’s my story and that’s what Enduring is all about.

I have had a passion for running since I was a kid, and my running story isn’t a fancy one.
I ran track in high school, and then when I got to college, I hit the 5k trainer on a treadmill one evening, and the rest is history.
I’m not a fast runner, and in fact, running is actually hard for me

But running simply keeps me sane, it helps me breathe, and it makes me who I am.
Enduring is a collection of my thoughts about life and running.
You won’t find a whole lot of tips and tricks because I’m not a certified anything, though I’m slowly integrating them (like how to hydrate in this crazy drought) and working on that whole certification thing.
And every once in a while I do talk about products I believe in.

But mostly, Enduring is a place where my my soles teach my soul.
Running is my metaphor, really.
If I can run 26.2, or train up and cross the finish line of a triathlon, or conquer my hardest hill workout ever, then I know that nothing in life is going to be impossible for me.
As I’ve spent the last five years building myself up to be a runner, I’ve discovered there are a lot of things to learn out on the road. More than just how to have the perfect form, or what shoes to wear for my feet, or what race is the best to run. I’ve learned that running takes more mental strength than physical strength; running isn’t something I always do for myself; and no matter what the circumstance, running heals.

My life is crazy, hectic, stressful, wonderful, blessed, and goofy, just like my running.
But I love it. Even if I’m enduring through some sort of hardship because that reminds me I’m still alive. And being alive is a joy.

I often talk about how running helps me just deal with being an army wife .

And my Mondays start like everyone else’s Mondays do, so I try to add in a little motivation . Because motivation is something that never lacks in running.
But one of my favorite days of the week to run is Thursday because those are the runs that lead me to gratitude .

Running helps me get that life is all about enduring.
Maybe someday I’ll have a Garmin watch, or I’ll cross the barrier of a 7:30 min/mile.
Maybe I’ll even run 100 marathons.
Or maybe I won’t ever do any of those things. But I do know one thing I will always do, no matter the amount of hills on my route.
I will always finish.

My hope is to inspire you in your journey of enduring and running and triathlon-ing and whatever else you're doing.
To help you throw off the things that hinder you, and encourage you to run with perseverance the race marked out for you.
Because really, life is a race. So why not discipline. 

July 17, 2012

Hello. My name is Big Booty Jooty: Tales and Tips for Running Safety

Or at least that’s what the car full of creeps called me one morning last week on my run.
I’m still not sure if I should feel offended or flattered, since having a big posterior is something we Runner’s should have.
Big as in full of muscle, big, of course.

Mostly, I think I just feel creepily violated.

Then today, I was out running at my favorite park (close to my home) and felt as if I was being followed in the woods the whole time.
I’m pretty sure it was just the herd of deer running around, but at 5:30 am, it’s still a creepy feeling.

This brings me to my Runner’s Safety List.
A few tips I’ve learned over the years to stay safe while running.

  • First and foremost, always run with your cell phone.

I don’t care if you don’t have pockets, or an arm band. Even if you have to carry it, TAKE IT WITH YOU. If you have kids and you run with kids, make sure you have your cell phone. Even if you’re running with a buddy, take your cell phone. And most importantly, if you’re by yourself, take it with you. I had a couple of runs during college where all of a sudden I had a major allergy attack, (hives, eyes swelling up, couldn’t breathe very well, and both times I didn’t have my cell phone with me so I had to run all the way back home before I could get ahold of my friends. Luckily, I wasn’t too far away at the time, but  I still learned my lesson. Plus, if you are being harassed by someone from afar, if you hold your cell phone up like you are taking a picture or video taping they might just back off.

I should really learn to listen to my own preaching because I don’t have an actual road ID, but I do still run with information. The Road ID comes in different forms (bracelet, slim bracelet, shoe tag, ankle id, shoe patch, dog tag, etc) and it carries your info and emergency information should anything happen to you while running. Now, I’m allergic to penicillin, and I have one of those red cross tags with my info on it, but I think it still has my maiden name so I really need to update. A Road ID could save your life though, and they are very affordable.

  • Run against  traffic.

This is really a standard “runner’s rule” but I’m usually amazed at how many runner’s don’t follow it. If you are a road runner, you want to run against traffic that way you can see cars coming at you instead of them sneaking up behind you. Face it. there are a lot of bad drivers out there and if they aren’t paying attention to you running, at least you’re paying attention to them and if you’re running at them, then you’re more likely able to run off the side of the road out of the way than if they come up behind you.

  • If you run in the dark morning or at night, try not to  run alone. Also wear reflective gear

I usually wait until the sun has come up a little bit before I head out in the morning (5:30ish) and yes, lately I’ve been running by myself. But, I’m working on finding some new running buddies. It’s great to be able to go out by yourself and run in solitude, and sometimes running by ourselves is the only option we have, but should you have a friend or spouse who likes to run, if you want to head out early in the morning or late at night, try to take them with you (especially the ladies). And if you’re out before/after the sun, wear reflective gear. I tend to run on the road, so my neon yellow shirts are my best friends. Plus, I commandeered my husband’s PT belt since it’s reflective.

  • If by chance you are yelled at (…my day last week), followed, etc, DO NOT acknowledge or talk to them.

Even if you want to flip them off or yell that you’ll remember their license plate number long after they forget the sight of your butt. Just ignore them. I’ve done this since the beginning. When I was in college, I used to run a lot around town, and let’s just say my college town was full of classy people. Ahem. Anyway, I would get honked at a lot, or acknowledged by the classy gentlemen, and I can’t tell you how many times I wanted to acknowledge them back with some smart aleck remark or a nice gesture. But, Wonder Woman taught me to never talk too or acknowledge strangers, and it’s one thing I’ve taken to heart. Dorothy over at Mile Posts has a really scary but good story about this type of situation and some tips she learned form that day<<.

  • If  you find yourself being followed, don’t run into your house.

Last week on my run as the car full of “gentlemen” howled at me, I ran up a driveway to get off the road and on the sidewalk and they yelled that that “wasn’t my driveway.” It could have been (it wasn’t), but I wasn’t going to let them know that. Just keep running down the block, or cut through some neighbor’s yards to get to the next block over, or if you’re close to one, duck into a gas station. I think this is one of those things I also picked up from working in a bank. They always told us that if we found ourselves being followed home from work, don’t go home. Go to a store, or a public place. Essentially, you don’t want to let the creep(s) know where you live. Plus, I have this ridiculously vivid imagination, and so if I picture myself being followed, I suddenly see myself leaping over bushes, hurdling fences, and getting s sudden burst of lightening speed so I’m able to duck around houses and outrun them. Hey. Adrenaline does crazy thing to your body in the moment.

  • Vary your route(s) a little bit.

RB and I used to run the same 4 mile look three days a week. Now that I’m by myself, I have about four different routes I like, and so I’ve been switching off every day or so. One route for my easy run; one route for my hills; one route for my long run, etc

  • And if you’re going on a long run, don’t go by yourself.

I’ve also switched up my training days so I can do my long run on Sundays and run it with the running club so I’m not by myself; however, if I do feel like a long, solitude-filled run, I might have Music Man either bike with me, or drive me to a spot, drop me off, then follow behind me in the car as I run back to town. Long runs, no matter how decent of shape you are in, can deplete you, and if you’re 8 miles from home and suddenly can run any further, you’re stuck. If you’re with other people, they can at least wait with you until a ride comes so you aren’t alone. (Because you know you took your cell phone with you so you can call someone!)

  • If you’re a music listener, don’t turn the jams up so loud you can’t hear outside you. Let the music be background to everything going on around you.

I haven’t been a music runner for a couple of years now, but I’m thinking about trying it again or maybe podcasts since the majority of this marathon training will be by myself. But, the idea it to still know what’s going on around me. if you turn your ear buds up so loud you can’t hear outside, you might not hear a car if it swerves on the road and comes up behind you, or if another runner or cyclist wants to pass you, or if someone has been following you. Music is fine to run too, just don’t keep it too loud.

  • Lastly, carry pepper spray with you.

Now, you don’t need a big, honking can of it, but one of those little keychain cans will work. There have been too many disappearances of runner’s (especially women runner’s) lately, and something like pepper spray could at least by you time or maybe even save your life. It’s just one of those protective precautions to always think about.


Passing the Baton: These are just some of the things I’ve learned/picked up on over the last couple of years running. But what do you guys think? Do you have any other safety suggestions while running? Any scary stories where you had to implement these things?

July 16, 2012

Weekend happenings: In which Harry Potter takes over, and I pretty much doing nothing else but run

Friday night I did what any Army Wife does when her husband leaves… hung out with a bunch of friends.
My friends just happen to be my 15 year old youth girls from church, BUT, they are great company nonetheless.

A couple of months ago when youth group was still in session for the school year, we started a Harry Potter marathon because it turns out they are all a bunch of HP nerds like me.
We only made it through the first 3 movies before they crashed (seriously, it was them and not me), so we continued the Potter-a-thonFriday.

I prepped like crazy

And my Mini Me brought lemon drops (Dumbledore’s favorite) and had even spent the day baking Hagrid’s Rock Cakes!

We had plenty of sweet treats for the night, but of course I had to end it perfectly with some homemade (nonalcoholic)  Butterbeer

Aka: glorified cream soda

And yes, I was full-on nerd and dressed for the occasion

Luna Lovegood is my second favorite female character after Hermione. Actually, they are probably a tie.

I also have to tell you that I was girly for the first time in who knows how long.

I don’t think I’ve painted my nails since high school… mainly because 1. I have the terrible habit of chewing my fingernails, and 2. running makes my toes look funny.
But, the girls convinced me and Aqua Fantasy is a pretty color.

This gal wasn’t sure she’d make it it all night, but luckily the girls crashed around 11:30. We only made it through The Half Blood Prince so I foresee one more Potter-a-thon in our future.

My Saturday involved the usual grocery shopping and lameness of my life. 
I coached my C25k group, finished a couple of novels for my class, and then I think I vegged out to Netflix. I’ve decided this free trial month is all our household is allowed to have.
It’s consuming my rest days.

I did, however, travel all over town for groceries trying to save money and get the best deals.
This budget is working: I got my groceries for the week for under $75 dollars.
And I even stocked up on some new training fuel.

Ok… so the twizzlers and jelly beans were left over from from Friday, but I like to eat a couple of licorice wands or a handful of jelly beans before my short runs. They give me a little boost of energy, and don’t mess with my system too much.
When I trained for my last half, I trained with Gu’s and Sport Beans. They beans weren’t too bad but  the Gu’s really killed me. I love the taste of them, but my digestive system doesn’t.
So, I want to try something a little more natural for my long runs considering I’ve got a a lot of them coming up.
Hence, the apple banana applesauce packets and the strawberry fruit strips.
I ate a banana before my long run yesterday, and then had a packet of the applesauce after mile 6 yesterday, and it gave me energy for the rest of my 9 mile run.
The box of four is slightly expensive, but it actually budgets out to less than the price of four packs of Gu.
And it’s all natural so I’m hoping it will be a little better on my system.  I also have a couple of healthy-fuel-cookie recipes that I want to try, but since I’m going to be logging a bunch of miles over the next few months, my fuel intake is going to be a priority. Out with the fake, in with the real.
And maybe a few jellybeans.


I was up and at ‘em early Sunday morning. Turns out my Running Buddy was in town this weekend so we decided to head out on a long run together.
We met at 5:30 to put in 6 miles before the running club met at 6:30, then we finished 3 miles with them.
It was supposed to be a nice long, slow run but… the two of us push each other so we ended up with a tempo run at about an 8:40 pace.

Afterwards, my hammie was a little sore so I improvised

No, that’s not my lumpy, cellulite butt.
I’s a bag of frozen spinach shoved down my compression shorts.

Genius and classy. I know.

I had about 40 minutes to get ready since I was singing at church and had to be there early, so I worked up a contraption that let me ice AND get ready at the same time.

After church, my afternoon was waaaaay open. A nice way to relax after a good run.

Turns out the Ironman Kona World Championships was being re-aired on NBC so I FINALLY got to watch it. 

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it before, but Chrissie Wellington is one of my favorite female athletes.

Not only is she 4 for 4 for the Kona Championships, but she has raced the Ironman distance 13 times and never been beaten.  Her autobiography, A Life Without Limits,<< was just released this Spring and I’m dying to read it. It’s on my Christmas Wish list, too.

One reason I love watching the triathlon event on TV is because the reporters don’t just feature the pro-triathletes, but the age groupers and their inspirational stories.

Like that of 77 year old Harriet Anderson who finished her 20th Kona<<and won her age group

Three years ago when she raced Kona she crashed her bike at mile 80, broke her clavicle, and still finished the race<<.

She is the racer I hope to become someday<<.
I seriously dream to be that 75 year old woman racing Kona.

I think that’s why I love endurance sports so much. I mean, yes, you have your pro athletes who are AMAZING and their bodies are so powerful, but then there are also those everyday, average Joe athletes who finish the same exact race.
The show featured a 26 year old teacher from my neck of the woods raising money for kids, a double amputee raising awareness for veterans, three men in their 70’s and 80’s, and a woman fighting cancer—all who finished the race.

I was tearing up all over the place.
After that my day was a blur. I sort of napped on and off on the couch til the greyhound woke up up.
We went out for a walk, I grilled some dinner, started a movie, but then headed to bed.

Pretty much more lameness.

That’s my life. Running. Reading. Writing. Netflix. (It has GOT to go.)

Can’t get much better than that.

Passing the Baton:  What was your weekend full of? Inspiration? Fun? Rest? Goofiness?  Are you a Harry Potter nut like me? Favorite book/character?  Any suggestions for more training fuel that won’t upset my system?
Seek Peace. Choose Joy.

Motivating Monday: Those little whispers

Today marks the beginning of my official marathon training plan.
No, I won’t be running.

Today is, actually, a rest day.

And I couldn’t be more thankful.

I’d be lying to you if I said I was super excited  to start this plan.
That I can’t wait for the race and wish it was tomorrow.

In all actuality, I’m terrified.

26.2 miles is forever.
It’s the distance between the town I grew up in and the town we drove to to get groceries.
I always fell asleep on that car ride, and now I have to RUN that distance?

Then there’s the fact that my long run this next weekend is 9 miles, and it’s my last single digit long run for, oh, 4 months.

I think I’m schedule to run slightly over a half marathon in a few weeks.
I’ve never run farther than 13.1 miles in life.
I run that distance as a race. Once in while.
Now I’m using it to train?

What. Was. I. Thinking.

Or at least that’s the kind of thoughts running through my head this morning.

I mean, I love running. I really do.
And I love that I’m coaching other women to run.
Heck, I’m plotting ways to get Music Man to start running with me when he gets home and to like it.

Yet, 26.2 miles frightens me.
16 weeks of training for that distance scares me.
The fact that I’ll be running probably around 500 miles in the next 16 weeks terrifies me.

But today, I’m starting.
I’m moving forward.

Because all those fears. All those phrases repeating themselves over and over and over in my mind.
Those are just lies.

Sure, I couldn’t go out tomorrow and run 26.2 miles.
But from everything I’ve read, and every marathoner I’ve talked too… I’m learning that if I follow the plan, I will finish.

And I’ve never not finished something I’ve started.

Today, I’m starting and I’m banishing those lies.

So check back with me in 4 months.
Or follow along on my journey.

Because even if I have to crawl across the finish line because my legs have given out on me, I will finish.
I have no doubt about that.

Passing the Baton: What whispers are you facing this week? Any fears you need to conquer?
Seek Peace. Choose Joy. Find Strong.

July 15, 2012

I seriously thought about blogging hardcore today….

and then I fell asleep.

I know.

I’ve been excited about my weekend update post all weekend.

Mainly because it involved this

Yes. That’s from my Harry Potter-A-Thon Friday night.

But… I suppose I’ll get to that tomorrow.
And the million and one instagrams I have to share with you.

I’m sort of wiped tonight.

I finished my final day of pre-marathon training with a 9 miler that wasn’t really the Long Slow Miles it was supposed to be.
More like a tempo run finished in 1:17

I blame it on the fact that my running buddy was in town the weekend so we got to head out on the road together.


Tomorrow starts OFFICIAL marathon training, and I’m starting off my favorite way.

A rest day.

It’s legit too.

I was thinking about pushing each week back a day so I could do my long runs on Saturdays, especially since that’s race day, but since RB is gone, I have no idea how I’m going to tackle 16+ miles alone, and the running club here in my town (LARC) has been meeting on Sunday mornings to run. I’m bound to be able to find someone to run with.
Plus, I find there’s just something about running long on a Sunday before church. Even though Sundays are rest days in my life… I feel like I earn them twice as much if I put in the miles in the morning.
And there have been many Sundays in my life when I’ve been out of town or unable to go to church, and my long runs sort of turned into my church on those days.
I guess it’s just something that’s stuck with me.

Alas. My hamstring is a little sore from today so I’m off to ice.
And my brain is sort of fried too from devouring books this weekend for my last summer class.
It’s starts tomorrow, and yes I read ahead.

You would too if you were discussing 12 books in 16 days.
Good thing it’s Young Adult Lit.

Cannot. Wait.

Enjoy your Sunday evening all!
Eat healthy but veg with your family.
It’s a good night to do it.
Choose Joy.

July 14, 2012

Fit Links Friday (via Saturday….)

Ok. Yesterday was kind of busy. It involved some serious cycling, celebrating JJ’s birthday<<, prepping a featured post for next week, a trip to the vet, house cleaning, and then a Harry Potter-A-Thon (more on that later.)
It wasn’t until I turned in late last night that I forgot to post some fit links for you! And, I’d actually be reading this week.
Without further adieu….


1. Admit it. You’ve been working your abs hardcore like me. Oh… you haven’t? Well, no need to worry on that front. Susan over at Strong Like Susan<< has you covered. I joined her 30 day ab challenge via Run to the Finish<<, and it is kicking my butt! But now that I’m hitting the halfway mark, I’m noticing a difference. That Spartan six pack hasn’t popped out yet, but I’m sitting up straighter, my belly has flattened a tid bit, and most importantly, my core feels stronger while I run. I’m positive that after the 30 days, I’m going to be incorporating her moves into my workout routine. If you’re looking for something  a little different than everyday crunches, and you want somebody to train you (for free!) definitely check out her YouTube channel<<. Not only does she have the 30 day ab challenge, but a whole bunch more videos to hit the other important parts of your body, and she’s full of tips and tricks!
Plus, she’ll seriously kick your butt with her workouts.

2. Last week I gave you some of my suggestions for how to hydrate<< but the place of all places about running things, Runner’s World, has a collection of videos about hydration and how to handle the heat we’ve been having. The first one is short but interesting, and has 3 important tips on how to beat the heat<<. There’s also one with some hydration tips, as well as one about hot weather running. Both feature Bart Yasso, and he knows his stuff.


3. Because I know my venture in the world of the marathon has cause you to jump out of your seat, hit the road training, and sign up for YOUR first marathon, here’s 10 tips for all us marathon beginners:

Since that might be a little small for all you mere mortals without perfect eyesight like me, the 10 tips for marathon beginners can also be found on the Runner’s World For Beginner’s Only blog<< 
It’s actually a really good post for any beginner runner, so keep those tips close at hand. (Or foot.) Har, Har, Har

4. Because I don’t own enough books already, Hungry Runner Girl has inspired me to build up my running book collection<<. She posted Friday about an awesome book list she found over at Runner’s World and it’s got me wanting to run to the bookstore<<. I’ve read two on the list, and most of the rest are actually on my ongoing Christmas list. I feel like Music Man and Wonder Woman think I have enough running books already because I give them this list every year and it never dwindles. Though… I did get four last year that weren’t on my list until right before Christmas. Perhaps that’s my problem….
Here’s a preview:


AND… should anyone want to get me this

I will not oppose you.
Email me and I’ll send you the shipping address

5. Last but never least, the Olympics are only 13 days away!  I have got to get started on my Opening Night Ceremony party planning. Aka… all the unhealthiest food Music Man and I can eat while sitting sedentary in front of the boob tube.
But really, this past week Fourth Place Medal (no idea what that is) ranked all 32 summer Olympic sports from easiest to hardest<<. Any guesses what the hardest is? Can I just say that I didn’t even know it was an Olympic sport? Yes I know it’s a sport… but I had no idea it was part of the games. And as a disclaimer, diving, gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics, synchronized swimming, trampoline, didn’t make the rankings because they are “judged activities.” Hmmm.
However, I definitely agree with number 2, but… after competing in a few shorter distances, I’d have ranked it #1.

Alright everyone, I’m off to finish a million and one other tasks today all while taking a chill pill prepping for a long run tomorrow.

Enjoy your Saturday everyone!
Happy Running!
Seek Peace.

July 13, 2012

Somebody’s turning 9 today….

And that somebody would be my fur kid

He’s pretty much got the life today, just lounging around, enjoying the AC.

And his new squeaky sock monkey.

He’s got a thing for them.

I even got a toothy grim out of him today.

And, I was going to go all Frosty Paws on him and let him enjoy some doggie ice cream, but the store was out this week.
I doubt he’ll know the difference if I pick some up this weekend.

Happy Birthday JJ.
You make me smile.
Choose Joy.

July 12, 2012

Thought for a Thursday: Gratitude and what I take for granted

Lately, I’ve been wondering about this rascal.

For a good minute last week, I thought I had poisoned him. But, the bag of food we had for him wasn’t part of the recall.
Then, last night I had the creepiest dream about him having a stroke, and being all off balance and wobbly. Probably because I saw a three legged dog yesterday.

And then this morning as I walked in the door from my morning run, my best friend proceeded to tell me she awoke to the sound of my dog barfing.

Eureka, I’ve discovered the cause of the secret spots.

So… we have a vet appointment tomorrow to see what’s up with the guy.

Yup. HIs barf was definitely part of my morning, as was the fact that I got to haul our our overloaded garbage.
My least favorite chore ever that Music Man somehow manages to weasel out of every time he leaves.

But as I was carrying the stinky bag full of barf infused napkins across the parking lot, I started thinking.
Even though I don’t normally handle this chore, I was thankful for the chance.

Because it reminded me of how someone in my life will take care of something I hate to do, just to help out or make me feel better.
And that even though JJ is a dog, he’s still a beating heart to care for and one prepping me for a whole lot more caring down the road.

It got me thinking about gratitude and my 25th year, and how I’m on this search to banish anxiety and find happiness.
But then I though, what if I don’t accomplish every single thing on my list?
Will I not be joyful? Will I be disappointed? Will I not have mastered the act of happiness?


Because no matter much I try to find happiness, I think happiness is already here.

It’s in the small things.

It’s in the daily things.

It’s in the fact that Music Man always takes out the garbage, or takes JJ outside before bed just so I don’t have too.

It’s in the fact that even though I had a horrible-beautiful run this morning, I was able to get up and move.

It’s in the fact that even though JJ might be sick and is a little mopey because Music Man is gone, he is able to feel and love.
And tomorrow is his birthday.

I’m not going to give up my quest and just forget about the 25th year, because those really are things I want to do for me. And in fact, I’m making progress on them and they truly are helping me to let go of my anxiety.

And I know some of you might read my blog and think, “she complains a lot” because I talk about missing my husband while he’s gone, or I talk about how hard running really is for me.

But this is a blog about my life.
A blog about enduring through my life.

And so that means I’m going to talk about the hard stuff I face, and yeah, I’m probably going to complain about it some, and then write about it all metaphorically because that’s what I do.

But it’s a little thing that makes me happy.

Sharing with you, even if I don’t know who you are.

Because my hope is that in sharing  my little things—especially in gratitude—is that  I’m able to help you find yours.


"Writing isn’t about making money, getting famous, getting dates, getting laid, or making friends. In the end, it’s about enriching the lives of those who will read your work, and enriching your own life, as well. It’s about getting up, getting well, and getting over. Getting happy, okay? Getting happy."
~Stephen King, On Writing

Thought for your Thursday: How are you getting happy today? This week? What’s something little in your life that if you thought about it right now would make you smile?
Seek Peace. Choose Joy

A ‘just deal’ Run

My morning started like this.

Actually, let me back up, because this morning actually started with last night.

This is what happened to my living room

And it spilled over onto my bed, and the dining room table, and pretty much anywhere else there was free room.

It’s often what happens the evening before Music Man Leaves.
He’s got a million things to put together and pack up.

I’m used to it by now.
However, the late nights and early mornings… that’s something I’ll never get used too.
This morning started with a bedtime of about 11:45 pm by the time everything was all said and done.

I was definitely tired, pimply faced, and full of dark circles.
Lovely. Glad I documented it.

Then, the alarm went off about 3:30 am since Music Man had to drive a bit  to catch his 6am flight.
He’s off to two weeks of Army leadership school, and even though we just did close to four weeks apart, and even though I’m used to all of this, I feel this will be the hardest separation this summer.
We probably won’t get to talk much, if at all this time.
That’s often the hardest part for me.

So, when my 5:30 am alarm went off, I turned it off and rolled back over really just wanting to stay in bed all day.
It’s how I feel when he leaves.

But, I’m stronger than that.

I only slept for about another hour and then dragged myself out of bed. Almost literally.
Then I pulled on the jog bra and sneakers,and headed out for a watchless run.

It’s my typical Just Deal run.

This is Music Man’s third training trip this summer, he had two last summer, and before that, he had multiple trips or weekends in the field when he was active duty, not to mention a deployment.
I’m used to it.
But running , among many other things, helps me through it.

I’m not typically a mopey person, but I can be. Oh boy, can I be.
But I don’t like to be. I’d rather be joyful, encouraging, positive, and hopeful.
Yet like the first few steps of a run, the first day of him gone is always the hardest.
I seriously, well, maybe if I had a tv in the bedroom, could stay in our bed all day. I could toss and turn, nap on and off, watch some dopey soap operas or talk shows, spend hours on Netflix, maybe read a book, but mainly just stay sedentary and throw a giant pity party for myself.

I could.
But I never do.

Instead, I get out of bed, and often times head out on some scheduled training run that I never finish.
My Just Deal runs are my best-worst runs ever.
I never hit the mileage I’m supposed to be training for that day.
I never wear a watch.
I just take my jelly legs and run.

After a night of being woken up early, falling in and out of sleep, and crazy dreams (like the one last night where JJ had a stroke and had weird yellow goop coming out of his eyes)  I know my morning run is going to be no good.
Today I was supposed to do 5 easy miles.

I ran 2.5.
It was terrible.
It was beautiful.

When I started I didn’t think I was going to be able to run. My legs hated me. My heart hurt.
But I kept pacing, and after about 3/4 a mile, my legs warmed up. I probably ran at my typical pace, but I don’t know because I didn’t time it.
Instead, I focused on the beauty of the park, and the fact that I ran by a deer 3 feet away from me that didn’t move at all.

And I prayed.
I prayed for safe travel. For encouragement. For strength. For time to grow independently. For Music Man to know how proud of him I am.
I offered up thanksgiving for the life we have and the life we’re being called too. Even if it means being apart.

But mostly, I prayed for endurance.
That we could make it through the next two weeks stronger—in God, in love, in ourselves, and in each other.

And after that horrible-wonderful 2.5 miles, I felt good.
Like I always do.
Because these runs, they take the things I’ve been handed at this one very moment—the things that are hindering me from moving forward—and they teach me not grow weary and lose heart.

They teach me to endure. To persevere.
To just deal.

Passing the Baton: Have you had any runs lately that have taught you something? Do you have something reoccurring in your life in which you find yourself running to deal with it? Have you ever run to get rid of pain before? Do you run for joy? What does a watchless run teach you?
Seek Peace. Choose Joy. Find Strong. Live Faith. Breath Hope.

July 9, 2012

Weekend recap: It’s all fun and games, kids until the FroYo happens. Then it’s serious.

Friday…I consider it my weekend now since
1. I do nothing all week and

2. This fall I won’t have classes on Friday’s so I’ll probably still be a bum.

Anyway, this past Friday was a special day for Music Man and I, and our friend, The Most Interesting Man in the World’s, Birthday.

So after a haircut,

and job interview, we headed off to good ‘ole St. Louis.

Our plan was to hit the City Museum<<, and then dinner, but I wanted to stop here first

Coffee and Wine? What could be better? I’ll never know because the boys wouldn’t let me stop.
Although, it’s probably a good thing we didn’t stop, because I don’t know if I could’ve handled this if I was full of caffeine and alcohol.

That’s just the outside.
The Museum totes this is the place “where the imagination runs wild.”

It’s housed in a 600,000 square foot building that was at one point empty and maybe scheduled to be demolished (I don’t know the full history.)
But I do know it’s the visionary of internationally acclaimed artist, Bob Cassilly—a classically trained sculptor and entrepreneur.
The City Museum is exactly what it is: a museum built entirely from stuff from the city. It’s a gigantic piece of industrial-instillation art that you can play in.

Yes. Play in. And on. And over. And under.

The outside, definitely a piece of art or maybe a scene from LOST, is a giant maze of wires and rebar that you can climb in and around it. We hit it last because we waited for the heat to die down some, but the boys sure had fun.
I enjoyed myself too, but for someone who is terrified of heights, and semi-terrified of small spaces, I managed.

I let them do the climbing outside though


Would you believe me if I told you the rebar arch was at least seven stories off the ground?

Someone obviously didn’t care.
I, on the other hand, would have been trapped for eternity and screaming like a baby.
So I took the pictures

The inside was just as neat.
One part is sea themed and as Music Man claims, you have to crawl up the “whale anus” to play
(That would be the coil section)

And another area is rainforest themed, where you get to crawl and climb in petrified wood and cages.

At one point, I even slid out of this

Don’t ask me how.

The boys really had way too much fun

And yes ladies, The Most Interesting Man in the World is single

Pause from sarcasm. I’m telling you. He would seriously be a catch.
Awesome guy.

After all, If you can’t be normal, join ‘em.


I did find some future home decorations, so the day was productive.

We slid down a 10-story slide. No. Big. Deal.

And Music Man survived the Ball Pit Of Death

After that we called it a day. We were hot, and sweaty, and tired of pushing little kids out of the way.
We hit of the gift shop, and I found some protection

Especially for all my

Despite the 90 million degree weather, the boys decided we had to eat outside on the rooftop of the Hilton

Too bad none of us were Cardinals fans.

I dealt with it though for some delicious pizza,

and the best part of all.
I finally got to jump on the FroYo wagon

And trust me, I ate all 9.05 ounces of this goodness

Then I ran it off

It was a great way to celebrate Friday, and a nice day vacation.
Looks like our summer is turning out to be full of those.

Passing the Baton: Any craziness to your weekend? Have you ever been to the City Museum, or somewhere like it? If so…where? We want to go! Are you a FroYo Freak like me? Favorite combination? (I threw in the blueberries to make it look healthy.)
Favorite place?
Seek Peace. Choose Joy.