Thursday, October 16, 2014

Gaining Way More Than the Money Spent

I am often questioned on why I pay to run.  Why pay for the misery and for something you can just go and do whenever and where ever?  People have even offered to pin a number on me and buy me a shirt.  Haha... yah they are clueless.   It's much more than that.  I love this quote:

"In running, it doesn't matter whether you come in first, in the middle of the pack, or last. You can say, 'I have finished.' There is a lot of satisfaction in that."
-Fred Lebow, founder of the New York City Marathon

I had been having a really rough go at it, lots of bad run days.  I had hit a wall.  Good thing is I kept pushing at that wall.  Well last week I felt I finally broke through just a bit.  So I needed the opportunity to prove to myself I was strong enough to break that wall.  I searched for a race and signed up for a 5K about an hour away from my house and convinced my 13 year old to sign up with me. There were about 500 runners.   It turned out to be a priceless day.  Yes, I proved to myself I was on track by getting my best time yet, got an awesome shirt, great food and lots of fun after the race, but more important was the real reason I pay to run these races;

The woman who kicked butt and won the race was impressive.
But more inspiring were these runners that I am proud to say I ran with:
  • Watching my own incredible 13 year old sprint to the finish line beaming when she claims to hate running.
  • The 80 year old man I talked to while running who was running barefoot, 
  • The 80 something year old woman who was crazy fast and looked to have finished in the top 10.  
  • The 15 year old who had already in his short life had multiple open heart surgeries and finished his very first 5k that day.
  •  An 85 year old man who was the winner of over 10 Ironman competitions, 
  • The mother who sobbed as she hugged her daughter after they crossed the finish line.
  • The couple that passed me at the 3 mile mark and pushed me to stay with them just as my brain said you can't go any further.
  • The runners who were killing it and the runners who were struggling but kept moving.
  • The 499 other runners and volunteers that were out doing something good!
  • The fun time I got to spend with my daughter and watching her realize she's stronger than she ever thought!!
Lesson learned:  It's not about the money, It's about running with others and the inspiration they bring to your life that allows you to push forward and finish the race!!
I truly came away that day much richer than the money I spent!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Does the Shoe Really Fit?

My family teases me about my shoes.  I do love a cute pair of shoes and who doesn't!!Last weekend I found a killer shoe clearance and purchased not one but two pairs of adorable shoes for $5 each.  I was in HEAVEN!!
When I tried on the gold ones my normal size was too big so I went a 1/2 size smaller, they also have a little bit higher heal than I have worn in along time and the strap around the ankle is a bit constraining, but who cares.  They are cute I will get used to it.  They give me a few inches of height and I need all I can get.  I wore them to church and they were adorable and I did just fine.
Fast forward a few days.....
Of course if you have cute new shoes you need to wear them to work.  I pulled up to work.  Parked my car and was rushing to the bathroom (it is a long drive and I drank a lot of water that morning!), when BOOM!!  I guess the parking lot figured it needed a hug.  I jumped up quickly made it to the bathroom.  While trying to keep my hand from bleeding all over the floor the back of my dress falls in the toilet.  
Can this day get any worse??
I pull myself together. Found a bandaid and got to work.  Lunch time rolls around.  Well my lunch now  consisted of smashed chips and a pancake looking sandwich.  Luckily it still tasted the same.  As I left work, I headed down the stairs, but missed the first step and down I tumbled.  Of course someone was right behind me and witnessed the whole ordeal.   I'm pretty sure I made the highlight reel of the security camera, not just once by twice for that day.  Thankfully, other than my pride I was not seriously injured.  Just some large scrapes, bruises and I'm a bit sore today.  Do I blame the shoes?  Maybe...Should I really have bought the shoes knowing they did not fit perfectly just because they were adorable and a super great price?  

This got me thinking of how often do we try to "FIT IN" just because we are told that is what we should do?  Even as adults we still face the "peer pressure".  The pressure to attend parties, quit drinking soda, cook dinner every night, plan meals, coupon shop, dress nicely, participate in every activity and the list goes on and on!

For example a group of friends gets together quite often and they invite you to go.  You really don't want to go, but feel the pressure to participate.  Now you are faced with the decision of going and being miserable or dealing with the fact that you may not get invited again. 

"Stop. Think. What do you really want to do here?
  Do that. And be okay with it.
Taking it one step further a friend was telling me how she had worked her way up in the corporate level.  She was making great money for a stable growing company and had the potential to go up the ladder even more.  She talked about how she was pressured to do things that she did not like because it was that or lose her job. Alot of the times facing the dilemma of "fitting in" or not being able to pay her bills or provide things for her children.  The pressure was extremely high.  She said she was so unhappy and eventually left that job and is currently making a lot less money, but fully admits how much better her life is now that she no longer has to face that pressure of totally 'fitting in'.
Mary Pritchard says "You need to focus on fitting out not in  Being okay with following your heart, with being who you are. So instead of wasting your energy trying to be someone you're not, focus your energy on being authentic, on being true to yourself." 

Today's Lesson:  Even though I knew that those shoes were not the right fit, I was still focusing time and effort in trying to "FIT IN" them.  It turned out to be a miserable and painful journey.  This can be applied to life.  Quit trying to just FIT will be miserable.  Be YOU..the unique, amazing and incredible person that you are! Don't care what others think or do.
I love this quote:
“You’ll learn, as you get older, that rules are made to be broken. Be bold enough to live life on your terms, and never, ever apologize for it. Go against the grain, refuse to conform, take the road less traveled instead of the well-beaten path. Laugh in the face of adversity, and leap before you look. Dance as though EVERYBODY is watching. March to the beat of your own drummer. And stubbornly refuse to fit in.” 
― Mandy HaleThe Single Woman: Life, Love, and a Dash of Sass

Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Things in My Head.....

Like I said before running is my "therapy".  I use it to clear my head.  Today's run took on a new meaning to the word "clear".  Here's how it went down in my head:

 1.  Training plan says 4 miles.  Ok that is doable.
 2.  Wow who's shadow is that?  Oh my it is mine!! Scary!!
 3.  Stretch a people watching.  Take off and go.  Look strong.
 4. Why did I let my girls talk me into buying spandex running pants. My jiggles have jiggles!!
 5..  Ha.. Hill here I come...
 6.  How long have I been running?  Out of breath...can't breathe.
 7. Seriously it's only been a mile.  Gonna be a long run I can tell already.
 8.  Look how blue the sky is.. I need to pee.  Not a good time or place for that.
 9. Oh cow poop...stepping over it.  Kinda smells..
10. Feeling a little bit of a runner's high..
11. Does a runner's high really exist??
12.  Ok do I run on the highway for a ways or not?
13.  Wow that ditch is really full of water..oops I almost fell in.
14.  Car..don't make eye contact.
15.  Yes car..fat girl attempting to run.
16.  Who's stupid idea was it to run the highway anyway?
17.  OK big hill...prepare to be conquered.
18.  Slow and steady wins the race.  Don't look up..
19.  Wow I didn't realize how long this hill is, am I ever gonna reach the top?
20.  3 miles..Oh Luke Bryan you can crash my party anytime!!
21.  Car..coming really close to me.  Lady I can't get over any further. Wow almost ran over by an old lady. 
21. Hill is conquered. Hear me roar!
22.  Down hill is good.. Too bad home isn't at the bottom of it.
23.  Car turning around. Not a good time to pick this wedgie.  
24. I really don't want to go any further. Why is it I run again? and I'm considering a 10k..what am I thinking.
25. Hey there's one of the construction little flashers laying there, perhaps I should pick it up.  I could put it on my butt to signal a wide load.  Hahaha! I would have a blinking butt!! 
26. Oops how did I miss the road I needed. Guess I will go a little further and turn around.
27. Lying Eyes by the Eagles.  Good song. Wonder if there are any eagles over there.  I haven't seen many yet this spring. Perhaps I should run over that way.
28.  Runkeeper say what??? Workout complete.. 4 miles.  But I'm still a couple miles from home.  Someone want to come get me??
29.  OK feeling strong, YOU CAN DO THIS!!  Squirrel..haha I made myself look.
30.  I'm really tired.  hmmmmm wonder what made that big hole.
31. Almost to the road straight to home.  YAY!!
32.  Don't turn on that road keep going!!
33.  Wow I really like how blue my shoes are.  I really like these shoes.
34. 5 miles?  What? It has already been 5 miles.  Where did time go?
35.  Ouch I just stabbed myself. I think it is time to cut my fingernails.  
35. Oops that trip would of been bad, So glad I stayed upright!
26. I recognize that car..Keep running. Look strong until they've passed and can no longer see you.
27. Keep going!! You can do this.  If you want to run a 10k next month you need to do this..WHAT? That's next month??
28.  OK down hill stretch to home.  I can do this.
29.  I've been running for how long?  Eye of the tiger..eye of the tiger!! 
30. HOME how I love you..What? 5.89 miles..crap I gotta keep going can't leave it that close to 6.
31.  HILL!! What was I thinking!  I'm probably not going to be able to walk tomorrow.
32. WOW! Run complete.  I ROCK!! haha, not really time kinda sucked, but I did it!!

Now you understand my "clear" for today.  I think it was a bit too clear! HAHA!!  
After having such a horrible run the time before it helped to keep things light not think too much today!

Lesson for today: It is Ok to have conversation with yourself !!  HA I have nothing else today, but  ENJOY LIFE!! 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

One Foot in Front of the Other....

I picked this hill a few weeks ago and my goal was to be able to run to the very top without walking at all.  It is a pretty good challenge. Little did I know it was nothing like the monster of a hill that faced me during the final mile of my last 5K  At one point I almost gave up, my feet slowed a bit and then my desire kicked in and I kept going.  I found the only way I could make it was to focus on my feet and make sure I was just putting one foot in front of the other and continue moving.  Not paying attention to how high the hill was or how much further I had to go and you know what...
I survived and even ran back to motivate my daughter that she could do it!!  This small feat was huge.  
I was stronger than my brain said I was!
 A week later I stared up from the bottom of  my "goal" hill with determination and took off...
Was it easy NO, but I finally did it!! I ran the whole way and it felt GREAT!!
This got me thinking about life's challenges.  They can feel so daunting, the stress and pressures are just too much.  We can't do it.....
                   When life hands you these "HILLS"  need to focus on taking those steps, no matter how tiny they may feel, to keep moving forward.   Don't let the adversary tell you that you are weak and should quit. Keep going!! Pretty soon you'll look back and be amazed at how far you've come what you've accomplished and bask in the new found strength!  
Bonus view from the top of my "goal" hill. Big bonus!!

Lesson for today: Keep putting one foot in front of the other! That hill is not as high as you think!!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Leading with My Heart...

This has been an incredibly crazy busy week.  I've felt that no matter how hard I try or how fast I move I cannot get ahead.  I keep falling behind in all that I do.  This morning I drug myself out of bed, got my running gear on and looked outside..RAIN and lots of it.  I wandered around for a little bit debating because I had really looked forward to an outside run.  I finally decided to just do it.  I added a hat and hit the pavement.   The rain was just a drizzle, but as I went on the drops got bigger and heavier.  I was getting soaked.  It made it hard to see.  My body became tired much more quickly. At one point my mind kept saying quit, you don't have it.  You are tired. You suck...
That is when something incredible took place...
My heart took over.  
I began to run with my heart not letting my mind (or satan) get in the way! It became a welcomed challenge.
I finished 5.12 miles with an average mile pace better than normal.
This got me thinking how often when the storms rage in upon us and things get tough, that voice enters our minds and attempts to tells us we are no good, not strong or even worthy so why keep trying.  How often do we let our mindset stop us from accomplishing a dream or anything for that matter.  It causes great fear!!
As I was coming home last night I stopped and snapped this photo.  It reminds me to look for the light in the storm.  It is there.
This is me, wet and cold, but feeling very accomplished to not only finish my run, but more importantly let my heart take over and over rule my mind's negativity. 

Lesson for today:  Sometimes we have to act in faith and let our hearts take over to get through the storms and get passed the negativity that can so often enter our minds.  Remember most of all "THE STORM SHALL PASS".

Thursday, March 13, 2014

In Those Scary Moments....

I sent all three girls out the door to school as usual this morning and then a little while received a message that I never hoped to see.
"Mom, they said Kelsee was not on the bus."
My heart stopped................................
I then pulled myself together and called the school.  I was put on hold while they checked if she was there.  It was probably only a few minutes, but it felt like forever.   Lots of things crossed my mind during that time:
What if someone took her?
If she's not there what is my next step?
Remember..What was she wearing?
When's the last time I hugged her and told her how much I love her?
and so on!!
Finally, she came back on and informed me that it wasn't that they hadn't found her, she just could not get anyone to answer the phone. She took my number and said she would call me back.  At that point I did the only thing I knew I could do...
I dropped to my knees and asked my Heavenly Father for help.
The moment I said Amen the phone rang. She was right where she was supposed to be.  My heart started to beat again and as it did the floodgate opened and the tears started to fall.  I dropped to my knees again and thanked Him for keeping her safe.  I couldn't wait for her to walk through the door, so I could hug her and tell her how much I loved her.

I had another scare this week where my mom called and I could tell in her voice something was wrong.. and
my heart stopped.....
My brother, while playing ice hockey with his family had broken his ankle and once again I did the only thing I knew to do. I dropped to my knees...
Thankfully, he had an awesome surgeon, and with some added bolts and rope (as they called it) he will have a full recovery.
     Let's say it has been an emotional week.  
In those brief scary moments I was reminded of what is really important in this life.
PEOPLE we care about and the relationships we build with them.  .  Sometimes I find myself so caught up in the trivial things of life, that I miss out on opportunities that really matter.  Like trying to get the last batch of clothes folded before I go to bed., making sure beds are made, house clean, dishes done, home cooked meal every night. Sure these are all good things, but if they don't happen all the time in the long run is it really going to matter? 
 Last night the girls and I enjoyed great dinner conversation over a bowl of  Ramen Noodles (not that I would do that all the time).  You get where I am going with this....
My point is we need to MAKE time for the people we love.  Let the trivial things go when you have opportunities to do the BEST things.
Lesson: Life is short so make sure you spend time with the people you care about let them know how you feel!! 
Needless to say my run today was full of gratitude for many blessings and for the chance to do better with my relationships, but I really would prefer no more of those scary moments!.

Friday, March 7, 2014


Back in August of 2009 my family was here to visit and my son didn't want to run this 5 mile race alone, so a few of us joined him.
(Yes that's me in the middle.)
We had a great time and have cherished memories of that day.
Who would of ever guessed that I would ever want to run a race again
Last Summer 8 of us including my Mom ran the Color Run
This is us before the race started.
We had a blast!!
A week later my sister, her husband and I ran another one.  Not sure what I was thinking running a race with all college students!! Especially at registration they said to my sister how nice that they brought their mom.  HAHA!!  Not funny!  
The start was a killer hill. I thought I was going to die! Luckily I lived to tell the story! haha!!
In December I ran another one with my sweet 12 year old. It was a record cold streak.
It was 17 degrees when the race started.
It took a good two miles to finally be able to feel our hands and feet. ( Kelsee was not a happy camper!)
At one point during this race I thought, "What in the heck am I doing?'
Then the next day I turned around and signed up for another race the following weekend.
My oldest daughter was a good sport to run it with me. (Weather was perfect!)
Well the chain reactions continues as I prepare to run my first 5K of 2014 in the morning and the 2nd the following week!!
IT'S PURE MADNESS I tell you!!
and secretly I LOVE every minute of it!
Lesson: Fight that fear and sign up for a race.  You are your only competition.  The feeling of accomplishment crossing that finish line is like no other!! JUST DO IT!!!