Tuesday, October 21, 2014

My First Marathon

This past Sunday I ran my very first Marathon!  I ran the Denver Rock and Roll Marathon.  It was an overwhelming experience that did not start the moment I began the race but early on in my training.  I have wanted to run a marathon for a VERY long time.  I would say this race was much more spiritual for me than physical.  This race recap is unusual.  I do not know how many will read it, but if you do, know that it is more a reflection of what God taught me over the last few months.

I decided in mid July to finally take the plunge and sign up for the race.  You can read about that decision in my previous post.  I am a nurse, and I cared for a 50 year old cancer patient who died within weeks of his diagnosis.  He died in my care.  In some ways, I saw my own life and my priorities through his passing.  It broke my heart. I had been taking a break from running blogs, and my obsession with running.  Yes, you can get TOO much of a good thing.  However, running is not bad in and of itself.  But any good thing can become an idol in one's life.  I had been dealing with mine.  My heart had refocussed itself on my Heavenly Father.  I believed I had the go ahead to sign up for my first Marathon.

Within weeks of beginning my training, I suffered a left hamstring injury.  "Ok, God, was I not hearing from you?"  I was VERY DISCOURAGED.  AGAIN I had to give my goal back to God, saying, "Your will be done."  I was certain I would have to change and run the 1/2 marathon instead.  I was praying for a positive attitude in spite of circumstances.  Thank GOD for amazing, supportive friends, one of which is a chiropractor.  I have ALWAYS been skeptical of chiropractic; EVEN though I know a ton of chiropractors that I really respect.  It's just the thought of someone cracking my body that wigs me out COMPLETELY. After a few weeks of not running, I saw my friend Richard at the advice of my husband.  My left hip was completely out of alignment.  MADE TOTAL SENSE TO ME.  I have had issues with my left hip, hamstring, knee and foot since the birth of my son.  He adjusted me, checked me out and said as long as I did not have any pain running, I could resume training.  Ironically, the hamstring pain was only with stretching or strength training.  So I ditched the strength training with my legs and stuck to gentle stretching.  Kept it strong with core work, push-ups and planks.  Anyway, my left side is doing AMAZINGLY well!  Such a little fix for something I have been struggling with for 2 years!

Training resumed.  I alternated tempo and speed work each week.  Basically I scaled back my intensity, to avoid injury.  Ha, God was my coach this time around instead of the internet.  Laugh if you want, but it is true.  I really tried to listen to my body and to what felt right.   I tried to focus on running ONLY when running instead of obsessing with it ALL day and EVERY day.  I did use the Hal Higdon Marathon plan, but modified.  I ran 2 twenty milers and maxed out at 54 miles, 3 weeks before my race.  No pain, no injury!

The taper began.  I got a required flu shot for work durning that time (do not recommend that 2 weeks before a marathon).  I got sick for a few days leading to my last longish run of 8 miles a week before my race.  I felt well enough to run the 8 miler and so I did it.  I felt ok for the first 6.  The last few miles were challenging and I was so tired.  I was praying for strength and feeling so weak.  Something just told me to focus on God.  I was listening to Pandora and Colten Dixon's song, "More of You" came on.  The words totally shifted my focus.  I thought about my entire training and what all of it was really about.  I thought about my running goals and how I have had to give them up over and over again.  I thought about God and surrendering everything to Him.  The song said it so well:

I made my castle tall
I built up every wall
This is my kingdom and it needs to fall
I want you and no one else
Empty me of myself
Until the only thing that's left is

More of You
Less of me
Make me who I'm meant to be
You're all I want all I need
You're everything
Take it all I surrender
Be my king
God I choose
More of You and Less of me
I need more of you
More of you

[Verse 2]
This life I hold so close
Oh, God I let it go
I refuse to gain the world and lose my soul
So take it all I abandon everything I am
You can have it
The only thing I need is
More of You

Read more: Colton Dixon - More Of You Lyrics | MetroLyrics 

I started praying out loud, "God, YOU are AMAZING!  YOU are WORTHY of PRAISE!  There is NO ONE LIKE YOU!  I WORSHIP YOU and YOU ALONE!  Be GLORIFIED IN MY LIFE."  I cannot really explain it, but some kind of sensation went over my entire body, and I had a surge of strength that carried me through those last few miles.  I cried when I got home.  I felt His presence all day.  God was WITH ME!  I realized that my eyes on Jesus and NOT MYSELF would carry me through anything.

After that run I decided to run my marathon WITHOUT my gps watch, and to trust God to carry me through my race.  I have nothing against GPS watches.  But this race was going to be my first marathon, and I wanted to enjoy my time and focus on God.

RACE DAY!  I was nervous, and I'm pretty sure I OVER CARBO LOADED!  LOL.   My husband kept telling me to "take it easy".   Ha!  But,  in spite of that there were so many little things that God took care of for me the week before the race.  I knew that He would be with me.  The first 13 miles, I was feeling just OK.  This made me nervous.  I was really trying to not go out too fast.  I began obsessing about my pace, when I had to remind myself that this race was NOT about my pace but about trusting God to carry me through it.  I was worried about hitting the wall and not finishing.  But, I kept reminding myself that He was with me.  That He would give me the strength that I needed.  

I carried a water bottle with me.  I wanted to avoid the water stations for the first 13 miles when they were crowded with 1/2 and full marathoners.  Around mile 15, a man at one of aid stations ran up to me and asked to refill my water bottle!  Wow!  That was so amazing!  I must say, the race spectators and volunteers were simply amazing!  All through my training runs, I would sip on my water about every mile.  I was worried about how I would feel the last part of the race, when water stations were every 1.5 to 2 Miles.  God blessed me with that man!  THANK YOU whoever you are! 

Miles 18-22 were the hardest for me.  I think I needed salt!  I drank Gatorade at the water stations and would feel better.  I felt like I was slowing.  Again, I was worried that I would not finish.  But, I kept reminding myself that God was with me.  Mile 20 and this was the furthest I had ever ran!  "Take one mile at a time!"  "Just get to mile 22."  "Once you get to mile 23, it will practically be over."  When I hit mile 23, I started really praying and thinking about all that God had taught me over the months.  We are studying the life of Moses in my women's Bible study, and I was thinking about how insecure Moses was about His speaking and leading abilities, and how God used Him in spite of them.  Moses' faith increased as He focussed on God instead of his own strength and talent.  Here I was focussing on my ability to finish and I needed to focus on my God instead.  I started praying out loud as I did in the end of that 8 mile run just one week before:

"God, YOU are AMAZING!  YOU are WORTHY of PRAISE!  There is NO ONE LIKE YOU!  I WORSHIP YOU and YOU ALONE!  Be GLORIFIED IN MY LIFE."  Yes, I was saying this out loud.  No, I wasn't shouting, but I'm sure some people thought I was a little crazy.  I didn't care.  Strength came, and I GREATLY picked up my pace.  Mile 25, I was running faster than the entire race all the way to the finish line.


Thank you, GOD!  He did carry me through, just as He promised.  What is more important than this race is my faith in my Heavenly Father increased so much.  His ways are always the best.  Another song that I had on my running mix by "For King and Country", "Fix My Eyes",

The things of Earth are dimming
In the light of Your glory and grace
I'll set my sights upon Heaven
I'm fixing my eyes on you
I'm fixing my eyes on you
I'm fixing my eyes

Love like I'm not scared
Give when it's not fair
Live life for another
Take time for a brother
Fight for the weak ones
Speak out for freedom
Find faith in the battle
Stand tall but above it all
Fix my eyes on you
I fix my eyes on you
I fix my eyes on you

Running is such an amazing analogy on life.  The bible uses it often to compare how we are to live our lives with God.   Of course I want to be the best runner I can be!  But whatever the Lord asks of me in all aspects of my life, is most important! 

I have the "Verse of the day" app on my phone.  My husband (who was there for the entire race and knew all of what God was working in me) also has it and told me to check the app on my phone.  He read it after I started the marathon.  I read it when I was finished.

I was blown away!  

Isaiah 40:29-31 "He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."

Praise Him!  For HE is good!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Training and Goals

I am now in week 2 of my marathon training.  I feel really good, and most importantly, NO sore knees, feet, or hips!  I have been incorporating strength training into my workouts for about 3 months, and I really am starting to feel a difference.  This weeks training went something like this:

Sunday: 6 miles easy
Monday: 3 miles easy, 6 min core, walking lunges with 10lb weights (around 130), squats (50-60), 70 push-ups
Tuesday:  1 mile warm up, 4x 800m a little faster than 5K pace (around 7:05 pace) 1 mile cool down, 6 minutes of planks (broken up)
Wednesday: OFF
Thursday: 1 mile warm up and 6 miles at 8:23 pace (a little faster than MP) 6 min core, walking lunges with 10lb weights, squats with weights, 70 push-ups
Friday:  11miles easy at 9:38 pace
Saturday: 3 miles easy with last might at MP, 6 min core, 6 minutes of planks (broken up)

Total Miles:  35

I feel really good!  I am so glad that I am ACTUALLY following a real training plan.  Thank you, Hal Higdon!  I usually just take it week by week with a tempo run and speed run.  But this has been causing me left hip and knee pain.  I also think the strength training is making a HUGE difference.  I feel much lighter in my running form.  I am noticing my quads, glutes and core when I run instead of just my hamstrings and calves.   I can't believe I am saying this, but I really enjoy my little strength training sessions (well, I enjoy how I feel after them)!

My marathon goals:

A.  Finish!
B.  Finish under 4 hours
C.  Finish as a BQ

The C goal is highly unlikely unless everything comes together perfectly and I feel amazing.  I am not even going to attempt training at that pace.  My training pace is 8:30 placing me at at 3:45 marathon time I think. I plan to run 9 minute miles for the first 5 or so miles and then pick up the pace to race pace, and pray I can maintain and perhaps even have a bit of a kick at the end.

Whatever happens, I am thankful to be on my own little journey for my big race!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Going Out Too Fast

Col 1:10 "And we pray this in order than you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please Him in every way:  bearing fruit in every good work and growing the knowledge of God."

I want to know my Heavenly Father, and it is the desire of my heart to please Him.  My struggle will always be the desire to please myself, though.  I want to do things my own way and on my own time.  This is so natural for me, that I don't even realize that I do it.  What is amazing about following Christ, though, is that He gives us a new nature.  We are children of God, and when we "walk in His spirit", we can lay aside our ways and follow a new path.  This path leads to life.  How do I know this?  Because I have, at times in my life, laid it ALL on the line to follow His righteousness, sacrificing goals and ambitions for what seemed like nothing at all to find blessing and abundance down the road.  An example would by my sweet family.  Sometimes it's hard to follow righteousness.  But, God promises in 2 Peter that He has given us EVERYTHING we need for a life of Godliness through His divine power.

Running is OFTEN used in the Bible to represent the Christian life.  As I train for my marathon, I really want to reflect on the similarities of training for a race and training for Godliness.  I hope to share these reflections along the way.  The first that I thought of this week, is "Going out too fast in a race or a run."  We have all done that.  Gotten so caught up in the excitement of wanting a PR run or just the environment of the race that we don't listen to our bodies.  We don't use the knowledge we have to pace ourselves.  We get a little "puffed up" and think we are capable of so much more what our preparation has provided us.  At the end, we hit the wall, maybe even quit.  Certainly, we do not finish strong and maybe not at all.

“I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me – the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.” (Acts 20:24)

As I seek to grow in my relationship with Jesus, I often find myself going out too fast, going in my own strength, not thinking about the entire race, not thinking about what I will need to get me through to the end.  Oh, the days I have skipped reading His word, neglected prayer and then expected to walk in His holiness with my kids or to be patient when someone is unkind.  It's like going out for a run without eating or drinking before hand.  Sometimes I will get my emotional high at church, think how I am going to do things differently the coming week.  I go out too fast, only to hit the wall by Wednesday and barely make it to the weekend.  To finish and maintain this spiritual race, we need to listen for the Holy Spirit (like listening to our bodies when we run), we need to fuel during the run (prayer and His word), we need pace ourselves (apply the knowledge He has given us to our daily lives), AND we need not compare ourselves to the other runners around us (each relationship with Christ is unique).

May I continue to run THIS race, not give up, and complete the task the LORD Jesus has given me.

My marathon training has OFFICIALLY started today.  I know I mentioned that I was doing the "Run Less Run Faster" plan, but I tried it out this week, and I don't think my body can handle so many demanding workouts every week.  So, plan B is tried and true, Hal Higdon.  I am doing a combination plan.  I am using the Advanced 1 plan so I can continue to do my speed and tempo runs, but I am doing the Novice 2 for the long run portions.  I think I will have two twenty milers this training cycle.  I have every run scheduled!  So not like me. :)  Very excited though.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Run THIS Race: My First Marathon

I finally talked myself into running a marathon!  I have been going back and forth with this notion for the last few years, and I finally feel ready physically AND most importantly mentally.   I think it is funny that I am came to this decision as the last few months I have really tried to stop obsessing so much about running and races and running blogs.  I was eating, sleeping, living on running.  I felt distracted when I was with my kids and husband.  I felt really convicted about it, so I stopped reading running blogs or anything at all related to running.  I stayed off the internet and social media sites.  I even gave up TV for a week to just allow God to refocus my mind.  AND He did.   He is so good like that.  Running is a gift from Him, but nothing should be put before Him or my family.  It's amazing how easily we can lose sight of that.

So, how did I come to the conclusion to run a marathon?  Really, it was from a patient of mine.  A 53 year old male who I had the privilege to care for last month.  He was diagnosed with advanced paratid cancer with mets to the spine.  I took care of him and transferred him to rehab with the intention of hospice.  I remember asking him about his family, if he had grandchildren and he looked at me and said, "That is why I have to fight this, so I can see them some day."  He had 3 girls all under the age of 21.  Last Wednesday, when I got to work, I saw that he was back in the hospital and on my patient list.  It was not looking good.  The doctor had told him he had hours left, maybe days.  When I went into his room, he was alert, talking on his cell phone and asking questions about his care.  Within hours, he was non-responsive.  The family was brought in.  His daughters were by his side in tears.  He woke up for a few moments and responded to them.  "Daddy, can you hear us?"  "Daddy we love you so much."  He acknowledged them.  I started a morphine drip to ease his breathing.  Within a few more hours, he was gone.  I walked out of his room to officially tell the family of his passing, and everyone just broke down weeping.  We were all heartbroken.  I have never seen someone go that fast.  It made me think about how SHORT our time on this earth really is.  I got home that night, and cried.

Over the next few days, I thought more and more about my life.  I feel like I am always looking ahead and maybe missing out on the NOW.  I want to be 100% with my kids.  I want to 100% with my husband.  With running I want to be 100% but at the right time.  I just felt like marathon time is now or never.  I have wanted to do this for a long time.  My husband and I talked about it, and I am registered to run the Denver Rock and Roll Marathon.  I officially start training in 1 week.  I am using the Run Less Run Faster Boston Qualifying training plan.  Do I really expect to qualify for Boston my first marathon?  I don't know, but I am going to try and do my best.  THAT is what matters more than my race time.  I am using this training plan, because it seems more manageable with my family.

This race is so much more than 26.2 miles.  It is a mini reflection of running the race of life.  Every moment is a gift from our Heavenly Father, even the most challenging and difficult ones.  I am learning and striving to be present in each and every one of them.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Day Out with Grandma and Grandpa

Beautiful, lovely long run, 11 miles at 9:26 pace.

Grandma and Grandpa Homan are here for Easter!

Blueberry Pancakes + Grandpa = Happy

Day in Colorado Springs, Garden of the Gods

My Rock Climber!  She loves to climb, to my dismay at times!!!

Joey's First time back since he was 2 months old!  

So Photogenic!!!

We are growing out of the rocks!!

I love Colorado! This is my home!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Platte River 1/2 Marathon Recap

Sunday's race was not great, it wasn't horrible, but simply put, it did not meet my expectations.  Note to self:


Sunday I was up at 5:30.  I felt ok, but just not my normal.  I had a couple of pieces of toast with a little PB and a cup of decaf herbal tea.  Michael and I drove about 30 minutes to the race.  I drank half a monster drink on the way.  I warmed up with a 5 min jog, took a shot block and was ready to go.  I could tell I felt funny during my warm up jog.  I just felt tired.  My legs felt great, but the rest of me did not.  My first mile was pretty good and right where I wanted to be, 8:08 pace.  From their I started running around 8min pace miles and around mile 4 started to get into my sub 8min pace.  I still felt pretty well.  I usually feel really adjusted and in my groove by mile 5.  BUT by mile 6 I was not feeling like I was in my groove and I was started to slow a bit.  I drank all the water I had with me and by mile 9 I was running 8:30 min miles.  Everything and everyone was getting annoying.   I felt like I was in one of those movies where everything goes in slow motion, there is no sound, and everyones faces are screaming at you, but you just can't hear anything, because you are trying to process everything, and you can't process anything, and you just want to get away, but you can't!!!!  (Sorry for the longest run-on sentence of all time).  GAAAA...  Those wonderful racing fans were making me feel horribly claustrophobic. By mile 11 I started feeling dizzy and concerned that if I didn't find another water station soon, I would pass out.  Luckily there was one around the corner and I gulped down a cup of water.  I felt better within minutes.  Dang it, I was dehydrating!!  The last mile there is a pretty big hill.  I didn't stop on this hill, but was slow.  Somehow I managed somewhat of a kick the last .3 miles and my pace was somewhere in the 7:30s when I crossed the finish line.

Time: 1:46:53 8:09 pace.

When I crossed the finish line all I could think of was WATER!  I downed a bottled water down in 45 seconds, I think!!!  I am not totally disappointed with my time, considering how I was feeling.  It is still a huge PR for me considering my last half was at 2 hours.  Truth is, I just could not stomach large amounts of fluid the days after my stomach flu.  It made me nauseous.  So, I just wasn't properly hydrated.   I don't normally have such high water needs (unless it's hot out), so I wasn't even thinking I would need more than normal.  Lesson LEARNED.

SO, I went home and signed up for another 1/2 in the beginning of June.  This one is really close to my house, only $40, and lots of family festivities afterwards.  We'll see if I can enjoy this upcoming race a little bit more!

What do you do when you have a bad race?

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Tomorrow... The BIG Day!

Kids are in bed, Michael is finishing up at work.  I am alone.  A few rare moments to just wander off in my mind without the interruptions of, "MOM, MILK", "Mom, I'm hungry", "Mom, Joey stole my stuffed animal ", "MOM, I do it myself", "Mom... Mom... MOMMMMMM!!!!!!!!!"

 Ok I'm over exaggerating.....

A little.  :)

Seriously, tho, it is nice to have some time alone.

(BTW, I recently learned that linguistics are not my strength on a multiple intelligences test.  SOOOOOOO, please excuse my grammar or lack of it!)

Alright, tomorrow is my half.  I am curiously curious about this race.  I really just don't know what to expect of myself.  My training was going really well, and then Tuesday morning "Mr. Stomach Flu" dropped by and literally dropped me on my backside.  I hate this kind of sick!  Luckily I recovered within 24 hours, but the drop in my immunity allowed a minor cold to creep its way in as well!  Ummmm... who even invited ya'll???  I have been taking "Cold Snap" capsules 3 times a day, and I feel pretty well.  BUT I'm not gonna lie, I feel tired.

At the end of the day, it is JUST a race.  The main thing is to enjoy it.  I don't want to push myself to the point of hating it!  I will see how I feel and take it from there.  I usually do really well (in terms of running a smart race) when I run by feel and not by unrealistic goals.

So, off to bed I go now!

See ALL 5 of YOU,
who actually read my grammatical errors,
with an a race recaperoo!!

(BTW, I'm tired and... I don't know what my excuse is for this post.)

Nighty night!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Taper Time

My half-marathon is this coming Sunday, April 6th!  I am in taper mode, which I LOVE!  It is so nice to take things easy!  Last week I had a fairly good week of training.  My long run was 13 miles, I had 2 tempo runs, and maxed out my mileage at 40 miles, plus I worked about 25 hours at the hospital (on my feet), and chased around 2 little nuggets.  This taper week is much needed and very welcomed.

My goal pace for this 1/2 is 7:45.  I honestly don't know if I can do this or not.  I was able to run 6 miles a week ago outside around 7:40 pace overall.  I was coming off a pretty hard week of training as well, and my legs felt heavy.  The week before I ran 5 around 7:32 overall pace outside and I felt really good!   I am almost positive I will PR, since my last 1/2 was 3 years ago and right at 2:00.  I know I can run this on my worst day.  I did run a 15K last fall at 7:54 pace, so I am excited to see how things go.

I am SUPER excited for the warmer weather and the longer days!  The treadmill and I are in need of break!  I love running outside early in the morning when no one is up yet!  It just does something to set my day in the right direction.

And an update from the fam:

Relaxin at the Library

Joey enjoying his walk in Golden

Helping Dad clean at our gym???  :)

First time on the rock climbing wall!

Racing this coming weekend?
Morning runner?
Favorite Season?

Saturday, March 22, 2014

I guess I should update.

I am exhausted right now.  Getting over the week!  :)  It's been a long enough time since I have updated and I just don't feel that I can encapsulate that last month in a post.  I have decided that I am NOT a very good blogger, because I just don't have the motivation to keep it up.  But I am so happy when I look back on posts, so I am TRYING!  But, I know I will never be "blogger of the month".  ;)

Running has been going pretty well!  I had a PR tempo outside last Sunday 5 miles at 7:32 and I felt great!   Yesterday's long run was turned into a tempo run.  I did 3.5 miles warm up 5.5 miles around 8 min pace with last 3 under 8 min pace and 1 mile cool down (11 miles total)!  Should have been 13, but I had a cold on Wednesday and Thursday and needed to sleep in on Friday.  I just couldn't squeeze in the last 2 miles.  My 1/2 is April 6th.  I think I am aiming a little too high for a 7:45 pace.  I am guessing I will be more of an 8 min pace and if I can be just under that I will be happy.  But I will train for 7:45.  I am guaranteed a PR, because my last 1/2 was 2 hours exactly.  Unless I am sick, I will have no problem with a speedier outcome!

Hopefully I will have a much more exciting post this week.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014


Yippee... Going out on the FREEZING town tonight to see the Lego movie!  Yes, just me and the hubs (no kids), well I am a big kid and I can't wait to see this!  I have been hearing such great reviews.  My sister saw it, and embarrassed her friends by laughing so loud!  Maybe I will have a full movie recap this week!  We will meet up with a couple of friends after (one I am running my 1/2 with).  Can't wait!

Last night we had small group with our NOT so small group of 20 adults and about the same amount of kiddos!  We just started this group through our church about a month ago, and can I just say that I LOVE it!  Just a great, fun group of people who love the Lord and love to have fun!  We stayed out with the kiddos until 9:30!!  Late night for them!!!!  But they love playing with friends, old and new!  Our study is Andy Stanley's "Don't Waste Your Life" regarding time management, priorities, etc.  So awesome and convicting.  Redeem your time!  Basically trade in your time for valuable, priceless moments.  Be consistent!  All the little repetitive moments in life provide a cumulative effect that is priceless!  Of course, this is mostly regarding spending time with God, family, friends, but also reflects on the day to day as well, like running!  Be consistent!  Those little improvements over time make big changes!

Yesterday I had a tempo run outside that went fairly well!  It is nice getting some of my runs outdoors these days!  I started with 1 mile warm up and 5 at average 7:41 pace and then 2 cool down.  My left knee was feeling pretty tight this morning.  I was debating over an easy run or my scheduled speed workout.  I started out 2 miles about 9 min pace and felt pretty good, so I did 4x700m or .4 mile repeats at 6:44 pace with 200m recovery jog and then .3mile at 6:53 with a cool down.  Cardiovascular wise, I felt great, but I could feel a few twinges in my knee so I kept things conservative.  Stretched quite a bit today and also at 15min yoga for runners video.  Tomorrow is a rest day, so hopefully, I'll be back in ship shape by Thursday!

My little buddy turned "2" this past Friday!  Where does the time go!  I am so proud of him, and I really don't know where he gets his smarts, but the kid can recognize all his letters and out of order at that!  He can count to 5!  He amazes me!  Not sure if this is from big sister, or just pure intelligence.  Will have to see!  Happy Birthday Buddy!  Mommy loves you so very very much!

Have you seen the Lego movie yet?
Any birthdays this month?
What do you do for date night (if you have them)?

Thursday, February 20, 2014

What a Day

5am:  Drag myself out of bed (worked an incredibly busy 12 hour shift yesterday)
5:15:  Coffee and quiet time
6:00:  5.5 mile easy run
7:00:  Stretch, shower, breakfast with the fam.
9:00:  Drop Michael off at work
9:30:  Library with the kids
10:45:  Annabelle's dance class
11:40:  Pick up Michael
12:00:  drop car off for oil change
12:15:  Wendy's for lunch
1:00: Home... Time to clean... Time for Joey's nap.... I WANT a nap !
4:00:  Soups on!
5:15:  Bubble Bath for my babies
6:00:  Reading library books
7:00:  bed time (should be mine :))
7-10:  Cuddles with the hubs (most likely pass out from exhaustion!)

Happy Thursday!!!

Saturday, February 15, 2014


I am feeling much better, but decided to take today and maybe even tomorrow off from the normal routine.  I forget how important rest is for my body.  I guess I am thankful for this hiccup of a cold.  I slept in today, napped at noon, and now the house is quiet.  Joey is sleeping, and Michael and Annabelle are out.  I don't have many moments like this, and I must say they are wonderful.  I love to run, run, run and go, go, go.  But rest is so good!

I am just so hopeful for the future right now.  Michael and I have been praying and praying in regards to some business decisions.  Let's just say that his heart seems very much at rest as God has closed some doors, but made clear the path.  We are thankful for answers.  We had such a great Valentine's Day, me with my stuffy nose, all of us stuck at home, but unified in where we are as a family.  Contentment is a WONDERFUL thing!

How do you find time to rest and recover?

Friday, February 14, 2014

My Valentine(s)

I am celebrating this lovely day with my robe, blanket and lots of tea.  I am officially SICK.  I woke up Wednesday morning for work with a sore throat.  No biggie, because I usually fight off my ailments fast.  I worked about 13 hours,  and then collapsed when I got home.  Thursday I felt off and on better and so decided to try an easy 30 minute jog outside (our weather is AMAZING this week).  I got a really good night of sleep, and woke up early today attempting for another run.  I ran about 4 miles, and I just knew I was not back to normal.  Back home before the kiddos got up.

Annabelle and I made some Valentine Pancakes!

"Love Pox"

The hubs and I are pretty strict with the budget this month, so we will be spending the evening at home.  We were all going to get out today as a family, but I just felt terrible by mid morning.  So he took Annabelle out for ice-cream while Joey and I napped.  I am so thankful for our family.  God has really blessed me beyond my wildest dreams with my husband and children.

Michael and the kids made this for me while I was at work Wednesday!

Love on a Budget

This morning, during my run, I listened to a "Walk in The Word" Podcast.  I listen to them almost every day at the beginning of my run.  This week's series entitled "Drop The Rock" is about the Bible story of the woman caught in the act of adultery and then dragged out by Pharisees to be stoned.  The application for today - not judging others, love those who are difficult to love, look inside at our own sin/selfishness and let go of our "rocks" of accusation towards others.  How easy it is to compare our lives with others and judge.  I have done this, and I don't want to be like that.  After everything Christ has done for me, the grace He has given me, the blessings He has provided me, why would I ever cast a judgmental eye to anyone?  I think I know my own motives for judging.  The Bible says there is NO CONDEMNATION for those in Christ Jesus.  This is not because Christians have the best religion and therefore can do what we want, it is a reminder for us that we can walk freely in the Love of Jesus through the Holy Spirit without the anxiety of where we stand before God.  We have FAITH that Jesus paid the price for our sin on the cross.  One of the MAIN differences of Christianity among other faiths, is that we do NOT earn our salvation.  We cannot gain it.  In times of my life, I have lived to think I needed to earn it, that God is up there waiting for me to fail, and make a mess and then cast a stone at me.   If someone I knew made a mistake or sinned, I would cast that judgmental gaze, thinking about "What would God say if you stood before Him?" But, what did Jesus say to the Pharisees?  "He who is among you without sin, may cast the first stone."  A "works-based" salvation promotes pride, judgement, selfishness, anxiety and unhealthy fear of our Creator.  I am learning more and more about the love of Jesus Christ!  That there is NOTHING I can do to earn it from Him.  He transforms me and shows me how to love.  Am I perfect at it?  NO!  Am I growing in it?  YES!  Little by little, when I see His love manifest in my life, I cannot help but want it for those who would be considered "least deserving".  My desire is to grow in the love of Christ, so that I can "work out my salvation" in gratitude, a grateful heart.  I want to be "real" not "fake" in that way.

1 John 4:19  "We love because he first loved us."

Romans 8:15  "The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father."

What a great message on love!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Monday, February 10, 2014

The Kids are Napping.... AT THE SAME TIME!!!!!

I don't really know what to write about, but I feel like I SHOULD, because both my kids are napping at the SAME time.  This happens, LIKE, once a year!  I love reading running blogs at night after they are in bed, and I always wish I had more time to post more on my own blog.  By the end of the day, I want to flop on the couch with the hubs, and veg.  I have no running blog energy.  :)  So, I am making myself do it now, even though I feel fresh out of running topics.  Coffee sounds good right now.  Anyone drink coffee before, during, or after a run.  Ha!

Running last week was decent.  Here are my miles:

Monday (8 miles total -1 mile warm up, 4 at 7:33 pace and 3 at 8:00 pace.)
Tuedsday (6 miles easy)
Wednesday OFF (worked 14 hours and walked/stood for most of it)
Thursday (6 miles total - 1 mile warm up, 4 at 7:20 pace and 1 mile cool down)
Friday (10 miles total - 7 miles easy and 3 at 1/2 marathon pace 7:45)
Saturday (6 miles easy)

Total 36 miles

Today's run was not good!  I felt really tired and a little dizzy.  I ran my warm up and I probably should have ran more of it, because I just didn't feel right getting into my tempo speed.  I tried to get a good tempo run done, but only managed 4 at 7:36 pace.   The first 2 miles felt fine, and then I started to feel YUCK! I was hoping for 6, but only managed 4 at this pace.  I ran another 1.5 cool down and that even felt hard.  I wanted to run 8 today, but called it quits and headed home.  I don't understand why our bodies trick us like this.  I had a complete day of rest yesterday, and was hoping for a good run today.  Grrrrrr.... BUT

Well, I think I will do a nice relaxing yoga video, now and get that cup of coffee!

God is good!

Coffee drinker?  How much and what time?
What do you do when your workout doesn't go as planned?

Friday, February 7, 2014

Random Weekly Moments

Long run today was on the treadmill.  BORING!  But, it was nice to be able to get up early and get it out of the way before the kids got up.  I ran 10 miles.  First 5 were around a 9 min pace.  I was able to get about 3 miles running at 1/2 marathon goal around 7:45ish.  Then the last 2 were about 8:30.  Pretty decent run.  Tomorrow is an easy run, so that is nice!  No more hard runs this week!

Random moments from the week:

Super Bowl was a Super let down.  :(  At least we got to spend it with friends and had some good food.

Before the Big Game!

Enjoying Birthday Cake from the neighbors!

First attempt with Spaghetti.  :(  The boy has an EXTREMELY limited palet!

Chicken with Peanut Sauce!  Another miracle from Budget Bytes!  I LOVE her site!

Such a big girl!  She is also officially signed up for Preschool next year.  :( and :)

Poor Annabelle is sick today!  We had a play date for this morning, and we had to cancel.  She got some vaccines yesterday, but I don't think it is related.  Seems more like a stomach flu.  We will be home today.  

What is the longest you have run on the treadmill?
Do you have any picky eaters?
Favorite dinner recipe?

Friday, January 31, 2014

A Heart For God

Well, we had our Winter storm last night for which I fully prepared. Annabelle, Joey and I went to the store for supplies, aka -milk.  :). We then headed to the library to play and get some good reading material for our cabin days ahead.  

Snow shmo.  We got like 2-3 inches which is like nothing unless you live in Atlanta.  Sorry, couldn't help it.  My good friend was actually there during the fiasco for work and had to abandon her car.  I'm sure it wasn't so funny for her.  Anyway it is chilly out and Joey has a runny nose so I feel like we are kind of trapped in doors.

Running this week has been good!  My paces are not the best, but I am up with miles and I can feel it!  If I actually get to do my long run tomorrow I will be right at 40 miles for the week!

Sunday was a rest day
Monday was 7 mile tempo
Tuesday was 6 easy
Wednesday was 6.5 tempo
Thurs was 5 miles speed (5 1/2 mile repeats between 6:53-6:40 pace)
Today was 4.5 miles easy
Tomorrow hopefully 11 BUT it will most likely have to be done on the treadmill and I just cannot fathom that!!!!  Longest I have ever run has been 9 on a treadmill.

"My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever." Psalm 73:26. 

That verse was the cover in a young girl's Facebook page.  She was diagnosed 5 years ago with a fibrous heart tumor just months after her own father died in expectantly from a heart arrhythmia.  This girl, I never met her, was very very close to our former pastor's family and some other friends.  Almost 2 weeks ago I received an email from a friend for prayer regarding her family, as this sweet girl went home to be with The Lord. Although she had a heart tumor, her passing was very unexpected and she left so many loved ones behind.  Over 2000 people came to her funeral.  Over 150 people came to know Christ as their Savior!  Her story was amazing, and the night before she passed away she wrote in her journal that she did not want to have heart problems and would never have chosen it, but that God was "the boss" of her life.  Our pastor,like a Dad to her, shared his sermon (planned over 6 months ago with this girl's life verse in his sermon notes)!  I listened to the podcast this morning during run.  Once again I was reminded that my flesh and my heart will fail one day, but God is my strength forever.  I want to ALWAYS seek Him, and that is hard, because of the distractions of life.  But what is really important in life??  Knowing The love of Christ and sharing it with others.  My running heart is strong, my spiritual heart needs nourishment that only Christ can give!  His love conquers all.  This young girl knew that!  She left behind her heart for God that we get to see in the lives of all she knew.  Amazing that a girl with such a weak physical heart had a strong spiritual heart, and IT is still beating!  I feel it and I had never met her.

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us..."  Phil 12:1

My ultimate race is my life, and my glory is Christ.  Thank you sweet girl I never met for reminding me of it!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Long Run and Outside

I feel very VERY blessed to live where I do!  Colorado has the very best winters in my opinion.  They are very mild, rarely dipping below 30.  This week has been averaging 50s!   We are forecasted for some snow tomorrow, but then those Spring like temps will be right back melting away any kind of evidence of Winter.  I DO enjoy snow, but I hate being cooped up.  

My planned 11 mile run turned into 10. I was not running as fast as I wanted, and I needed to get home to the fam.  I have a small cold.  Not dizzy or feverish, but just enough of one to feel run down. Plus, Joey had me up at 5am!!!  My overall average pace was 8:30.  This isn't bad for a long run, but I was wanting to turn it into more of a tempo run.  I got one of those miles around an 8 minute pace, but most were right at a 8:30 pace. At least it is done!  I got home, walked to the park with Annabelle.  Then we all trekked to Boulder for the afternoon for another mile walk with the kids.  So technically I put in 12 miles.  :)  My last mile pace was 1 hour!  Nice!  ;)

That is a real tree trunk she is sitting on!

Anyone heard of vegetable tea?  I got a sampler from a friend.  At first it DID NOT sound good to me at all!!!  But I tried it, and really like it!  My favorite so far has been "Beet and Cabbage".

Today was a rest day.  Michael had to work, and Joey had me up until 2am!   I was pretty tired.  But, we went to the park for an hour or so and ran around, so  I felt refreshed!  I also did a 15 minute yoga video today specifically for runners. I feel great!  No soreness at all.

We are down to one vehicle right now, so we have been very limited in getting around when Michael is at work.  I feel cooped up so easily, and find that I get depressed from lack of a social circle. It is hard being home with your children so much, but I KNOW it is what is best for them.  I know that all the little decisions (having a plan for the day, getting outside, playing with them, reading to them) make for a better home life for us all. It is really easy though to think mothering is not that big of a deal, probably because it is not valued very much in our society.  But I know that God does value it.  I pray that I can remember that when it is hard.  I love my children so much, but I often struggle with guilt that I want and NEED time to myself as well.  Does anyone feel this way?  I wonder if it will EVER go away or if that is just what everyone meant when they said your life changes forever when they are born!!!  It does change for the better!  But change is hard, and good grief the change is constant with those precious babes!

Here's to a new week!

Anyone stay home with their kiddos?
What do you do for "me" time?
How cold is it where you live?

Friday, January 24, 2014

Running Update, Food Favorites

Running has been "so so" this week.  I don't like weeks when I don't see the improvement or better yet, unable to keep up with past workouts.  BUT, I was thinking today, whilst sauntering along on the dreadmill, how a runner (a really GOOD runner) needs humility to see improvement.  You cannot expect a speedy run EVERY run.  You must see easy runs as IMPORTANT runs.  You have to listen to your body, to know when to push it and when to back off.  While wanting a PR or to win a race is fine, sometimes it can consume the mind.  But as I was running today I was thinking how we are CREATED beings with limits.  Even the Olympic Sprinter Bolt, has limits.  God has NONE!  Amazing.  He is perfect, always has been and always will be.  I want to remember my CREATOR, because some day my bod is going to give out, but my heart (spiritual heart) I want strong in Him.

So, I do have a 1/2 marathon coming up first part of April.  Tomorrow I have a long run on the schedule.  My plan is 11 miles.  For me, I take a little of all the training plans and come up with my own.  One week I will focus on strong tempo runs or running a 5K or 10K all out, then next week I do 1/2 mile repeats and fartleks.  Right now I can run about 4-5 1/2 mile repeats at at 6:40 pace with a 200m recovery jog.  Sometimes my long runs are easy runs, and sometimes I turn them into tempo runs.  It really depends on the week and how I feel.  Another thing I have been doing are strides at the end of my easy runs.  I run almost all out for a couple of minutes to remind my body what it is like to run fast.  I mean, if you run a ton of easy miles, your body will get used to that.  The day before my 15k I ran 1 mile easy 2 miles 5k pace and .5 recovery jog.  My legs were fresh on race day, and 8 minute miles felt really easy to me.  Does anyone else see how the day after some speed work, you can run BETTER? (provided you did it right).

Here are some of my non-race PRs since the fall:

6mile (44:54)
5mile (36:44)
3mile (21:26)

Anyway, I would love to see my 1/2 marathon time below 1:45 which is an 8 minute pace.  Unless I have a horrible race day, I don't see why I would not get this time.  My last 15K was at 7:54 pace.   My ultimate goal is 1:39.  But that probably will only happen if the conditions of self, weather and day are perfect.


I finally tried the "No Knead Bread" Recipe that was posted in the New York Times last year.   I LOVE to make bread, and mostly we don't buy store bought.  I know this is not everyone's "thang" but I really enjoy baking.  Anyway, I have a cold right now, and I was not in my typical bread baking mood, so I thought about trying out of the No Knead recipe.  Results:  FANTASTIC!  The crumb, crust, texture was perfect!  My husband thought it was a little on the yeasty side (kind of reminded me of sour dough) but I really liked it!  Basically you mix all the ingredients just until you get a sticky wet dough and then cover and rest it for 20 some hours.  This is what you get:

VERY crusty!  I LOVED that!

Soft and chewy inside.

Nice rustic free form loaf.

Look at that crumb!!!

Another dinner delight that I have made 3 times in 3 weeks (yes, THAT good), is "Chicken Yakisoba" from "Budget Bytes".  Ummmmm DEISH!  PLUS, it is SUPER healthy and SUPER cheap.  Doesn't get much better than that.  You use Ramen noodles instead of Soba noodles (toss out the nasty seasoning packets loaded with MSG).  Check out all the YUMMY veggies:

Cabbage, carrots, broccoli, onion (seriously this dish is mostly veggies but it doesn't really taste that way)

All finished and ready for my tummy!  If you like ginger and spicy this meal is your friend.
Check out the link to the "Budget Bytes" recipe

Happy Friday!

Anyone have a favorite healthy food dish?
Do you bake?
Long run tomorrow?

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Go Broncos!

Woot woot!  Here we come Super Bowl. I have never been one to keep up with football!  But I have been following this season.  I actually watched the AFC championship game by myself today!  Michael had to work, so I recorded the game for him.  I was the only one who was not wearing a Broncos Jersey  at church today!  Denver is crazy crazy about football.  This was even more affirmed when I heard one of my neighbors screaming and cursing while watching the game!  Good grief, I was about to call 911!  I was sure there was some fight breaking out, until I heard him scream, "Moreno".  I will never understand THAT kind of passion for sports.

I have been thinking about getting into yoga to help with my running.  I don't really enjoy strength training, and I hear that yoga does wonders for strength and flexibility.  I intuitively agree with this. I have been focussing more on certain kinds of stretching, and my left knee (my problem knee) is feeling better.  Anyway, I hope to incorporate it into training.  

Today was a rest day.  I literally had no way of running without my kiddos fending for themselves. Some day I hope to own a treadmill.  Just as well, though. My kids are recovered now from nasty colds, and I have managed to fight it.  But this morning I woke up with an icky sinus headache.  Rest is good.  So I took advantage of the day and made some homemade pizza, stretched and watched the game.  Hoping for a good run tomorrow!

Does anyone practice yoga?
Watch the NFC or AFC games today?

Friday, January 17, 2014

Long Run: January Joy Outdoors

I am LOVING this weather!!!  The next few days will be in the 50s and full on sunshine!!  My kind of winter!  I don't mind snow as long as it is warm enough to play in it.  Today was light jacket weather, and most of our time was outside!  I decided to do my long run today instead of tomorrow, because Michael was home all day.  I slept in until 7am!  Yup, that is sleeping in for me.  In the Winter, I wake up at 5:20 and try to get to the gym by 6:20.  I run a lot of miles on the treadmill because it is too dark to run outside, and I don't want my workouts dominating the morning.  I do try to save my long run for outside though, to remind my legs how to run on the road.  This week and last week, I have done some pretty intense speed work, so I just kind of went with the flow today.  I ran 9 miles at an easy pace of 8:30.  I felt really good, and could have ran more, but I had a few things to do.

I took the kids out for bike rides and walks today.

Cutest neighbor cat.  He is the most friendly and social cat I have ever met!  We call him Joshua, because we make up stories about his life.  

Enjoy your weekend!  Hopefully nice weather will visit you!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

It's Been a While

Well, I have not been on here in like a million years!  Ok, more like 3 or 4 months I think.  The Holidays got a hold of me, and would not let go!  Now it is Winter and the sickie bugs are here and I want Spring MORE than ever!!!!!!

I will do a quick 3 month catch up in pics!

Cutest "Mickey and Minnie"

Thanksgiving with Friends this year!  My friend Johanna and I kicked off the Christmas season downtown for the "Christmas Carol" musical production!

Christmas is "Served"

Can't go wrong with Hot Cocoa!

Homemade Salted Caramels (Christmas Staple)

Grandpa and Joey at "Bass Pro"

Ho Ho HO

Colorado Christmas!  Super fun!  

This just did NOT work!

Special present from Grandma and Grandpa!

How to run and keep the kids occupied and embrace the weather!

Ready to sled with Mom!

Started her first Ballet and Tap class!

I'm kind of "In LOVE" with her dance clothes!

Free time!


I have managed to keep about 30-35 mpw.  I registered for a half in April!  Will post more about my training in future posts.

Merry "October, November and December"!!!