Thursday, November 10, 2011

More 13.1 Lessons I Learned

"and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us" Hebrews 12:1
I Rocked Savannah 13.1! Half marathon #3 is done and I had a great race. I didn’t get the PR I hoped for but this was by far my best race. The week of the race was a lot different from my past races. I wasn’t nervous and I wasn’t anxious like normal. I was really looking forward to racing on Saturday. Race morning was even different. I was a little nervous but it was different than the other races. Once I set out on the course, I had a very emotional moment because I remember what was happening this time last year.  I watched someone I love fight for her life. Mile by mile I replayed those days from last fall.  I remembered how she wouldn’t let her illness get the best of her spirit. And with those thoughts, I began to run a different race.  Compared to everything she went through in those last months, I can certainly run for 13.1 miles. Her sprit encouraged me and something happened. I could hear her saying to me, “stop acting in fear and to act in love.”  I was flooded with emotions and the feelings to just let go. And so I let go, and I ran my own race.  Sure, I didn’t run in the time I hoped or expected but part of letting go was allowing myself to let go of other's expectations of me, my feelings of doubt and failure and the stress of finishing in a predicted time. I let go and let myself run my own race.
This 13.1 was different. This 13.1 was about my story and my journey from one year ago until now. In almost one year to the date, I completed three half marathons. I went through physical, emotional and spiritual changes. The one year journey chasing 13.1 has been one of the hardest things I’ve done yet it has been the most maturing and humbling experiences in my life. There were times I wanted to quit and there were times I couldn’t understand why I got up to run another day. A year later, I now see the beauty in my strength, my courage, my faith and my will to believe.  My strength doesn’t come from me finishing three half marathons. My strength lies in the fact that I wouldn’t quit, I kept running. I read a poem that says, I asked for strength and God gave me difficult situations. I asked for wisdom and God gave me problems to solve. I asked for courage and God gave me dangers to overcome.  Well, I had similar request to God.  I asked for wisdom and God gave me running. I asked for strength and God gave me hills to run. I asked for courage and God gave me long runs. God didn’t give me what I wanted or what I thought I needed but he allowed people, situations and races to build my endurance. Chasing 13.1 has taken me on a journey of self-discovery and self-awareness. My experience Saturday was out of the ordinary. It was God using my circumstances and speaking to me through a special person.  So, I choose to honor her memory by dedicating my race to her, DLR; she opened my eyes to get out there and run my own race.
More 13.1 Lessons I Learned
  1. Run my own race.
  2. Believe. It all starts in what you Believe. if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” Matthew 17:20
  3. That “Pain in the Butt” moment is the very lesson that life needs you to learn, understand and apply.
  4. There is no Quit in me.
  5. Some things are just really not that serious. You have to learn how to just chill out and let things be and let people be who they are.
  6. Unspoken truths are real feelings. Treat people for who they are and not based on how you think, feel or respond.
  7. It’s ok to lose the boundaries and step outside your comfort zone. There is more than one way to do things. Sometimes you have to try it a new way.
  8. Hot Yoga is my friend. It’s my gateway to relaxation and stress relief.
  9. It’s ok to fail sometimes, but it’s not ok to just give up. Failure keeps you growing, reaching and stretching.
  10. It’s still a process. I’m in a place called There, because God needed to get my attention.
  11. Pain is only temporary. Quitting lasts forever.
  12. I lost some battles by walking in fear but Thank God, I didn’t lose everything. I never lost my praise.
  13. While chasing 13.1, I found my strong.
.1)  .1 is often the hardest part of a race. .1 can wreck your dreams of a PR or a certain time goal.  It’s when you see the finish line and the crowd. .1 when your legs are heavy and everything aches and burns. It’s the longest yet shortest distance of the entire race. It’s when you can see it and feel it but you just haven’t arrived. The .1 is when you dig down deep and say I think, no, I know I can make it. I’m running towards my .1 right now. I see and feel that something is about to be birthed for me. I’m not there, but I’m almost there. So, God, I stand with outstretched hands waiting expectantly for your abundance of blessings. I have favor….

 Gratitude Journal
1)   I am grateful for my mother. My mom got a text alert as soon as I crossed the finish line and before I could take my post-race picture, she texted me to tell me Good Job and she was proud.
Black Girls Rock and Black Girls Run!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Weeks 10 and 11 SHM

Week 10: For the Long Run
The highlight of Week 10 was that I completed a long run of 14 miles. I ran it and I recovered from it without any soreness. Later in the week I did learn that I had a bit of lingering fatigue but I think a lot of that was because I was so busy and didn’t get enough sleep at night.

So, Mile10’s power verse is a repeat :
" I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" Philippians 4:13 (NKJ)

It’s fitting that Week 10 is a remembrance of this verse. My longest, long run stands firmly on my ability to draw my strength from Christ. Mile 10 is a make it or break it point in the race. You’re over the hump so to speak because you are in double digits but you still have 3.1 more miles to go. Mentally, it’s time to dig in deep and search for that strength to keep going.

Week 11: There is NO Quit in Me
“You will experience fatigue and have to be mentally strong to simply keep going, knowing that you are going to continue to feel tired. However, it's important to remember that feeling tired is what training is about. You receive many benefits in marathon training only after you're tired. So the goal is to run beyond to the point of being tired so that the body is stimulated to grow stronger and more resistance to tiredness.”  ~ Greg McMillian, Running Coach

It’s at this point I must say, that I am tired. My body is talking to me and I just want to rest. I don’t want to hear the alarm clock go off at 4:50 a.m….I’m tired of hearing, beep, beep, beep and thinking about getting up while it’s still dark. I just want to sleep but I don’t have time to whine or think about what I want right now. Coach McMillian said it best, “feeling tired is what training is all about.”  Yep, I’m in the heat of the battle (as the saying goes) because I’m feeling really tired right now. This upcoming Saturday is a race day for me so I have to collect my thoughts. I have a race to run.
This training session has been different for me because I Believe differently. I don’t look at the miles and dread them. I look at the miles knowing I will complete them. What's different about my 10, 12 and 14 mile long runs? My outlook is different. I’ve gotten to the point in my running that I realize there is No Quit in Me.  If you’ve been following me, I told you weeks ago I’m more than a survivor; I’m a fighter.  I have gutted it out for weeks doing track work, hill repeats and long runs and I’ve been through enough bad runs to know that my strength to continue comes only through Christ.  I didn’t give up when someone else told me I should. I didn’t give up when my injuries seemed to persist. I didn’t give up when the temperature at 6 a.m. was 90 degrees on a good day.  I didn’t give up when I was dehydrated to the point I was about to be sick. I didn’t give up when my butt hurt for days and I couldn’t sit for long periods of time. I didn’t give up when others questioned my training.  Instead of quitting, I grew mentally stronger. Running has changed me from the inside out. My physical strength is only seen through my mental toughness. I keep running because I believe I can. I believe in myself and "I believe I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" (Phillipians 4:13). God gave me the promise and I beieve it. Quitting is a mind-set. It’s a tactic of the enemy to keep me from God’s best. I say to the enemy, There is No Quit in Me!
Mille 11 is about focusing on that mental strength to be persistent and to keep running:

 James 1:2-3: Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whennever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance(NIV)

Gratitude Journal

I am grateful for the training preparation.
I am grateful for the hard and easy runs.
I am grateful for the running experience.
I am grateful that running changed me.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Weeks 8 and 9 SHM: It Started with 12.25

Weeks 8 and 9 SHM: It Started with 12.25

I'm a little behind on my blogging right now. I haven't been particularly busy, but I have been lacking in rest. I started a post for Week 8 but never finished it. Here's the recap:

Week 8 
I survived Week 7's Pain in my Butt. I took a few days off from running and focused on foam rolling, stretching, massage, yoga and ART therapy. My mid-week run was an easy four miles and Saturday I had my longest and probably best run of the training season. I completed a 12.25 mile long run followed by a nice, cold ice bath. Saturday's long run felt really good. I let myself relax and just enjoy the run. As I started to blog about the week, I thought about my 12.25 mile long run and Romans 12:2 came to mind:

"Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will."

At that moment, I realized it's time for a renewing of my mind. I've been neglecting my spiritual fitness and my body, heart and mind are suffering. The physical warning sign came in the form of my tight and strained muscles. The mental warning sign came from of my sluggishness and irritability. My training routine has been off for the past couple of weeks and I have been feeling out of my element. I know it's time to take a rest and renew mentally, spiritually and physically. It's time for me to refocus and renew my mind.

Week 9 is the point in my training when it gets hard. This is the time when mileage is high and race anxiety starts to set in. Miles eight and nine are also the point in the race when I'm tired and I want to quit ~ be transformed by the renewing of your mind. However, I'm deciding to renew my mind and not let the enemy get a victory. I'm better prepared for battle this time around. I'm stronger, better and more confident. So, what's a little pain in my butt or some mental fatigue? I can handle it. I can handle it as long as I continue to focus on the source of my strength. I can handle it as long as I focus on renewing my mind. Every run is different, but God's promises remain the same. Entering week 9, is a great time to meditate on James 5:6:

"The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much."

This week my renewing of my mind begins on my knees with some time in prayer. When you are open to God, the impossible is possible.

Gratitude Journal
I am grateful for friendships.
I am grateful for new perspectives.
I am grateful I know when to rest.
I am grateful for cool weather.
I am grateful for the seeds planted in faith.
I am grateful for the rain to make the seeds grow.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Week 7 SHM: A Pain in MY Butt

Seriously, my training came to a halt on Thursday when I woke up with a pain in my butt. Six weeks into training and I have a flare up in my hip muscles. The piriformis muscle runs deeply behind the glute muscles. It helps to rotate the hip. My hip flexors were a little tight and overworked in part due to tight hamstrings which tighten up the low back muscles. The tightness and strain of the hip flexors helped to cause the pain in my butt.

Now what? Little to no running, yoga, massage, ibuprofen, stretching, tennis ball and heat, heat and more heat. I plan to attempt and easy run on Monday and some evening yoga and hopefully I can get in for a quick chiropractic appointment. I'm praying for a good running week! I need my RunningTherapy to keep me sane!
Week 7 Mile Verse:
"Be still, and know that I am God!" Psalm 46: 10 (NLT)

I'm reminded of the comforting of this scripture. Sometimes, you just have to stop, be still and remember God is in control and he already knows the outcome. Instead of running ahead, running too fast or running too much, I am reminded to be still and just stay in the mile that I am in. There's no need to worry about the miles ahead, I need to focus and run in my present mile. God is working on me in this mile. From my last two half marathons, I learned that miles 7-8 have been the hardest both mentally and physically. I break down. Mentally, I'm thinking I still have 5-6 miles to go; physically, I'm feeling the heaviness in my legs and the burning in my lungs. Meditating on Psalm 46 says to me, Be Still and run in this mile and Know that God will give me the strength to run the next mile.

Gratitude Journal
I am grateful for a warm Epsom salt bath.
I am grateful for rest.
I am grateful for hope.
I am grateful for running friends.
I am grateful for the friends who call/text just to check on me.
I am grateful for this heat wrap I'm sitting on J.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Week 6: SHM – I AM a Fighter

 "No Weapon formed against me shall prosper…. "

I am more than just a Survivor. I am a Fighter. When I finished my 10 miles on Saturday, that thought came to my mind. With the exception of Monday, I had a good training week. Three good runs including my long run. I even had the drive to complete a recovery run on Sunday. Imagine that! I actually ran five days last week! Look how far I've come in one year. It's been an up and down physical, mental and spiritual journey, but I made up my mind that I will not be defeated. I made up in my mind that I'm not just a survivor. I am a fighter. God's Word says "no weapon formed against me shall prosper". Going into Week 6 of training, I'm hiding this Word in my heart and standing on God's promise.
This morning I was listening to Joel Osteen and he said "there are some situations that you just can't pray away." I had a moment of God speaking to me. The things we face in life may not be fair or pleasant, but it's necessary for our growth and refinement. God doesn't cause bad things, but he does allow things to help us grow and reach our destiny. We just need to understand it's a process. It's a process that can not be rushed or hurried along. Each day, experience, challenge, or irritation is a test of our faith, our endurance, and our perseverance. When I run, I get new revelations. I remember how much I wanted to increase my mileage, how much I wanted to not suffer with the nagging pain in my ankles, how much I wanted to get rid of the tight calf muscles, and how much I wanted to be rid of the foot pain. I remember thinking maybe I should stop running for a while. Maybe, I should just give this up and not try to run half-marathons. But, something in me just wouldn't quit. I learned how to work around my issues, how to strengthen my legs, how to train the best way for my body. I stayed in faith and started to believe in my abilities more than my circumstances. And, slowly, I'm coming around. I see a different runner. I see a stronger runner. I see a determined runner.

My Running Revelations:
  1. Every run is not going to be a good run and it's ok because I know I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.
  2. God didn't take the physical limitations from me, but he gave me grace to run another day.
  3. I am running with endurance the race God has set before me. Confirmation from Pastor Joel: "Sometimes you can't pray away your situations, you have to learn to endure (long-suffering is another way he explained it).
  4. All things are possible, if I believe. When I believe in myself, I have confidence to keep running.
  5. Praising and being thankful takes the focus off how hard this feels and puts it on the one who gives me the grace and the strength to run this race.
  6. No weapon formed against me shall prosper. I am not just a Survivor. I am a Fighter.
"A Fighter is a person who does not easily admit defeat in spite of difficulties or opposition"

Gratitude Journal
I am grateful that the Lord is revealing to me my strong.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Week 5: SHM: Miles to GO

"I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth." Psalm 34: 1 (NKJ)

It's Week 5! One month of training is complete and now eight more weeks of increasing mileage, building stamina, and improving endurance. When I get tired, I tend to look down instead of looking up. I tend to look at the miles ahead instead of looking at the distance I've covered. I tend to look to the end instead of looking at the present. This week is a reminder to praise God not just petition him with my requests. It's a reminder to say thank you for keeping me and thank you for protecting me. It's a reminder to not get so focused on the distance that I forget to take notice of the process. While I was running on Saturday, I looked up and it was the most beautiful picture of the trees and a clear path of light with an opening. It was so peaceful and pretty right before I reached the busy highway. Sometimes, you have to stop in the middle of it all to give praise and say thanks. God, it's not about the distance I have to go, it's about the praise in my heart as I run my way through.

Mile Verse for the week: I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth. Psalm 34: 1 (NKJ)

Gratitude Journal
I am grateful for long runs.
I am grateful I can listen to Joel Osteen podcasts while running.
I am grateful I never lost my hope.
I am grateful I never lost my joy.
I am grateful I never lost faith.
I am grateful I never lost my praise.

I'll be running and praising!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Is it all worth it?

As I'm preparing for my long run in the morning, I'm thinking about how much time and energy is invested into training. I plan my life around my running. It's Friday night and my biggest concern is turning in early and making sure I'm prepared for Saturday morning. Sacrifice comes to mind. As I nurse tight muscles and nagging aches, I wonder is all of this worth it? It's almost time for bed and I need to get a head start on laundry, prepare my heat wrap and I still have to ice my feet and have some prayer and quiet time. For a moment, I stop and think is this all worth it? My answer is unequivocally, YES!  Yes, it is worth the sore muscles, the stiffness and achiness, the loss of sleep, the fatigue, the occasional dehydration, the never ending preparing and packing and everything thing else that goes along with running and training. I've learned that every run will not be a good run, every race will not be my best race and every morning after the long run will not always be a joyous day. But that's ok. Good, bad or indifferent, I know that I am committed and in love with running. Running is about my self discovery. I can push myself to new levels, higher limits and get past my pain. Running helps me discover my strength, my endurance and my courage. Running is my therapy, my spritual journey and my love. So, when I'm tired and I just want to sleep in, I think about the experience of running and I know and know that I know that it is all worth it. 

God made the ultimate sacrifice when he sent his Son to die for our sins. Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice when he died on the cross. When I think about my Saviour's sacrifice, my heart is overwhelmed. Nothing I do, give up or sacrifice can ever compare. I realize that sometimes you have to lose some things and make sacrifices. And yes, the reward is greater than the sacrifices you make.

Gratitude Journal
I am grateful for RPM.
I am grateful for dying to self.
I am grateful that Jesus died upon the cross.
I am grateful for Girlfriends Praying. 

I have one more run this week, so let me remind you "Jesus said, If uou can believe, anything is possible to him who believes. " Mark 9:23
     Yes, Lord, I do Believe!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Week 4 SHM: Finding My Strong

Jesus said to him, "If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes." Mark 9:23 (NKJ)

I was reading a blog on Saturday and she talked about finding her strong when things look seemingly impossible. After I finished reading the blog post, Mark 9:23 came to mind: all things are possible to him who believes.
Finding My Strong

Saturday ended a high mileage week for me. I ran nearly 25 miles (highest mileage since April). This was a tough training week. I completed a hilly run, long hill repeats, an easy run and a 10+ mile long run with nearly four of those miles being track work. Any double-digit run is tough, but especially mixed with track repeats. I remember thinking I'm only on my second set of repeats. I have one more left to go. Does anyone else want to quit? I remember thinking I want to stop, but I have to hit my splits. Instead of stopping, I started talking to myself. Pick up your feet. Quick turnover. Get the legs moving. Quick turnover equals faster pace. Remember, I told you guys a while back, I drag my feet when I'm tired and it slows me down. More foot contact time equals a slower pace, especially for someone who has short legs like me. I completed the track workout and I ran the four miles back to the Clubhouse. At times I wanted to walk and I wanted to stop, but I just kept on going. I'm Finding My Strong. I'm Finding My Strong in a combination of ways. Sometimes, I find it when I'm running alone on the track. There are other times I find it when I power up a hill and just keep on moving. There are other times I find it when I'm been pushed by other runners or simply pushing myself. However it happens, it's the way God intended. It all starts in what I Believe. If I Believe I can, then all things are possible. Finding my strong is not giving up because I'm tired or because I don't feel good or I'm uncomfortable. Finding my strong is not giving up on running because my feet hurt or my shins or sore. Finding my strong is about digging in deep and saying I can do this. Finding my strong is saying I Believe I can do this. I will overcome fear and doubt and I will Believe because "all things are possible to him who believes." That doesn't mean I won't have doubts or that I won't have bad runs. It just means that I won't let the doubts and the bad runs overcome me. God never intended for anything to take us out. On Saturday afternoon between naps, it really clicked to me what Finding My Strong is all about.

Finding my strong is about believing anything is possible.
Finding my strong is about running with endurance the race God has set before me.
Finding my strong is about depending on God's grace to give me strength in my weakness.
Finding my strong is about knowing that all things are possible through Christ who gives me strength.
Finding my strong is about my attitude, my belief, my determination and my faith to keep on running.

Finding my strong is not an option. It is my destiny and my purpose.

My gratitude journal is simple today. I am just thankful…..

Monday, August 15, 2011

Week 3 SHM: Endurance

"And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. "
Hebrews 12:1

Week 3 is all about Endurance. I have this feeling that I haven't had in a while. I had forgotten about this feeling; the one after the long run when my muscles hurt and I'm tired. Last week was tough training. It was my highest mileage week since May and Saturday I ran my longest long run since May. Endurance. That's what I'm training towards. I'm working towards better endurance. Each day I put on my running shoes is a new day to test my endurance. How will I stand up on my next run? 

Week 3 is more miles, more hill repeats and more track work. It's more time in training and more time on my feet. It's only Week 3, but I need to declare Hebrews 12:1. I need to believe that I can endure another test, another training, another race.

Gratitude Journal
I am grateful for Sunday dinner.
I am grateful for family.
I am grateful for the month of August.
I am grateful I can step, walk and run foward.
I am grateful I have grace to endure.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Week 2: Confidence

Week 1 is in the books and on to Week 2 of Training. A quick recap of last week:
1) Got in some good miles.
2) Pushed myself a more on every run.
3) Battled with dehydration a couple of days(I swear I saw stars for a quick second on Wednesday morning).
4) Need to purposefully hydrate.
5) Learned a little more about confidence.

Things happen when you develop confidence in God and your ability. I started this week with a victor’s attitude and not one of doubt and defeat. On Friday morning, I realized my left foot wasn’t hurting and my shins were not sore. I don’t exactly know what I did last week. I just know I’m doing a lot of things differently. I’m more disciplined with my foam rolling and stretching and I’m more dedicated to strengthening and stretching

The problems with my feet and lower legs have been an issue since I started this half-marathon journey (Remember, the physical therapist who told me I just wasn’t made to run distance). Well, quite the contrary. God made me to run distance. He allowed my struggles and my obstacles to strengthen me. What I perceived as a problem, he’s developing into one of my strengths. I remember the week before my race in April when someone spoke words into my spirit. She said, once you let go of the fear, you’ll start to run without restrictions. When you start to run freely and get rid of the anxiety, the strongholds will break away and you’ll begin to run your best. He’ll restore to you what was taken. Lord, I’ve finally let go of the anxiety and I Believe You. The weight is finally lifting and my running is turning around. I realize I have the power and the strength to run distance. I realize it’s not about me but something greater.

Last week I declared without a doubt, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13).” I Believe that. This week, I am going to have the attitude of Paul.

“Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12: 8 -9a (NIV)

God’s grace is sufficient through the storms, the struggle and the strain. Instead of taking this cup from me, he gave me grace, strength and power to overcome the enemy. It is in my weakness that I am made strong. I’m running in what I Believe and I’m embracing my weaknesses as a part of the process to get to my purpose.

Gratitude Journal
I am grateful for revelations and confirmations.
I am grateful for friendship.
I am grateful for the start of a cooler season.
I am grateful for discipline.
I am grateful for sleep.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Half Marathon Number Three

It's Training Week 1! For the next 14 weeks, I'll be training for the Savannah Rock 'n Roll Half Marathon. Training requires discipline, focus and commitment. It also requires believing in yourself and in your goals. When I started this running journey, I had no destination in mind. I had a goal and decided to attempt to reach it. But in this year of running, I've learned more than how to be an endurance runner. I've learned how to follow God.

As I'm planning my goals for this upcoming training season, my most important goal is to Believe. If you don't Believe, then how can you expect to reach or attain your goals or the thing God has placed into your spirit? Believe. That's my motivation and my motto for this training season. Believe in God. Believe in Self. Believe.
Over the next 14 weeks, I've decided to select a scripture for each mile of the race to motivate, encourage and inspire me to the finish line. Week 1 is stamina training:

Mile 1" I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" Philippians 4:13 (NKJ)

Gratitude Journal
I am grateful for hot chamomile tea.
I am grateful I can hope and pray.
I am grateful for girlfriends.
I am grateful I know how to cook.
I am grateful for the things in life that test you.
I am grateful that I have courage to try and not stop running.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


With each half-marathon I've completed, the training and races have brought forth new perspectives and  revelations for me. I'm beginning a new training season. During this past year of running half marathons and training, I've realized how my running mirrors my spiritual walk. Now, God is revealing to me my ability to push myself. It's often said that people give up just before the breakthrough. When I'm running, the last few miles are always the hardest. Sometimes my legs feel like logs (or a sack of bricks). It's miserable. My legs feel heavy and it takes so much energy to get one foot in front of the other. There are some runs when I can't catch my breath or my breathing feels out of control and it scares me. I don't like that feeling so I back off. I've even walked to try to catch my breath. Once I feel like I'm back in control then I can try running again. Recently, Joel Osteen's words are in my mind, "Don't make a permanent decision based on a temporary feeling." Some personal trainers insist that their clients feel the burn. I've never operated under that theory. I push to failure or fatigue depending on how I feel that day. Again, those words ring in my head, "Don't make a permanent decision based on a temporary feeling." As a runner, I'm never going to get better until I push through that momentary fatigue, weakness and pain.
PUSH. I've heard it before. Jada, you don't PUSH yourself. PUSH. Memories flood my mind of my mama's words about applying myself and not settling for that B grade, I STILL Want That A. Jada, just PUSH yourself a little bit harder and a little bit longer. Stop running with doubt because of the way you feel right now. This feeling is temporary. So, PUSH. When you feel like stopping and giving up, PUSH harder. Running is teaching me so much about myself. During the times when I am flat out exhausted, I find if I keep going there is always just a little more in me. I just needed to PUSH. Maybe, that's what it means to activate your faith. My revelation: Activating your faith is digging down so deep inside and pulling out something that you didn't know existed. God in his infinite wisdom planned our lives and allowed situations and circumstances to PUSH us and bring forth his purpose in us. What's the saying? "Without struggle, there will be no progress?" Well, sometimes God has to force us into a place that doesn't feel good. Before I started running, I couldn't imagine running five miles not to mention running 13.1 miles. Running a 5K felt good. It wasn't too hard. It was something I could handle. Had I stayed comfortable only running a 5K, I would not have realized my strength and my endurance to run a longer distance. I know the heavy feeling and running on empty. I know the feeling when your breath is out of control and you just feel like you have to stop. I also know you shouldn't "make a permanent decision based on a temporary feeling." If we give up too soon, we'll never see the purpose realized or the revelations give birth. We'll be just like the people of Israel walking in circles in the wilderness.
In the last few weeks, my running has taught me that it's time to PUSH. It's time to dig in deep and block out the insecurities and PUSH. I'll never realize my potential or my purpose if I run only in my comfort zone. There is a story in the Bible about the woman with the issue of blood. As she pushed her way through the crowd, she pressed on and pursued her healing miracle. The Bible says that when she touched Jesus, she was immediately made whole. Jesus asked His disciples, "Who touched me?" But the disciples were very baffled and said to Him, "Master, look at the crowd around You and You ask, 'Who touched me?'" "No," He said, "someone has touched me with faith because virtue has left My body" (see Mark 5:30-31). As she touched Jesus, God rewarded her. The Bible says that she came forward and confessed everything, and then Jesus said to her: "Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace" (Mark 3:34, NKJV).
The woman with the issue of blood had one goal in mind – to get healing. By faith, she PUSHED her way through the crowd towards the one who could heal her, Jesus. Today, I've decided to PUSH. I've decided to PUSH myself and run outside my comfort zone. I know the end result will be a better, stronger, faster runner.
Push Forward, Push Past. Push (andPray) Until Something Happens.

Reference: Press Toward the Mark

Gratitude Journal
I am grateful for the journey.
I am grateful that I have felt the fatigue and felt the burn.
I am grateful I am ready to PUSH.
I am grateful that I had to learn to PUSH. 
I am grateful for the wonderful God I serve.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Here I AM

I like to run. On most days, I love to run. On other days, I really don't know how I feel about running. After my second half-marathon, I went through a period of discouragement. I was tired; tired of the running; tired of the sacrifice; tired of the early mornings; tired of the preparations; and, tired of people counting on me to get things done. I think I lost my passion. I let weariness set in in more ways than one. Just last week, I found myself saying, " Lord, I'm tired." I'm tired of the demands and the stress and the need to keep everything together. I'm tired. I haven't been blogging much and I have been neglecting my dedicated prayer and quiet time. This break in my quality time with my Heavenly Father caused me to slip into a place I don't want to go or like to be in. Today, while working out, I listened to a Joel Osteen podcast entitled; Your Second Wind is on the Way. How befitting a title and a message! On Saturday's group run, the comment was made that at the end of my run, I seem to come up with this "kick". I perfect my running stride, my running form and the last meters look effortless. Where does this come from? I've been conditioned and trained to finish strong.

Joel Osteen's sermon made some good points and also referenced running as examples. Sometimes, you are tempted to give up. Sometimes, you allow fatigue to set in and you grow weary and stop pushing and stop trying. But, he reminded me, it's at those times, when you must fix your eyes on the prize and keep pressing. Press your way through the pain. Press your way through the uncomfortable feelings. Press your way through the miles ahead. There were times during training, when I thought my chest would explode and my lungs were on fire. I remember my first training days when I was so tired I couldn't think straight. Everything below my waist would hurt, but I would show up and run even though all I wanted was just one run not to hurt so badly or leave me feeling so sore afterwards. By the time I starting training for half-marathon number two, I noticed my body didn't feel that bad. I could complete a nine-mile run and not have to take a 3-hour nap! My body was becoming stronger. I didn't realize the subtle changes initially, but after a while the hills didn't feel the same. The miles didn't tear me down. The track workouts didn't leave me ready to kick rocks and be done. Training was preparing me ~ breaking me down yet building me back up stronger, renewed and restored.

I'm recognizing each training session was a season of preparation and difficulty. It was designed to push my endurance. It was a time of pushing my body to limits that I didn't and I still don't like. It was a time of running hill repeats, track workouts, tempo runs and long runs. It was a time of learning to run on tired legs. There comes a point when fatigue sets in, but you have to keep running. I've started to notice that I have a tendency to shuffle my feet when I'm tired; my posture changes and my stride changes. I can't afford to drag my feet. It cost me time and it costs me energy --wasted energy. I think I get that extra kick because I can sense or see that the end of the run (or race) is near. On my tired and fatigued legs, I force myself to get it together and correct my stride. That's my extra kick, that second wind that Joel Osteen preached about. When you see me at the end of a race and most runs, you wouldn't realize the struggle I just went through. You can't see the pain I had to push through. You only see the makings of a runner with good form and a beautiful stride.

I'm "preparing" for my third half-marathon and about to start training in two more weeks. My attitude is different. See, I've run, made it through, two half-marathons all ready. It wasn't easy. It didn't feel good. It was difficult. At times I questioned myself and my ability. But, I made it. I made it through 13.1 miles. I'm running half-marathon number three on faith. This course will be one that I will not get to preview first so I can't prepare for the hills ahead or get ready for the straight-a-ways and curves. I must rely on my faith to get through and my determination not to quit. Tired is just a mindset. It's just a battle of the mind. God has given me strength to attack the uphills, navigate the downhills and cruise through the straight-a-ways. It's not about looking ahead and figuring out the course of the 13.1 miles. It's about using my strength and His power to get through each mile without growing weary or faint. I'm taking one mile at a time, and allowing (trusting) God to renew my strength for the miles ahead. This Runner Girl is running the miles ahead on faith and finishing strong.

Quitting is a permanent decision based on a temporary feeling.
God has given me the grace for the season I'm in.
~ Pastor Joel Osteen

Gratitude Journal
I am grateful for electricity.
I am grateful for God's grace.
I am grateful I can run a mile.
I am grateful that God is my comfort, my strength and my refuge.

Here I AM by Marvin Sapp

Monday, June 6, 2011

Killer Tuesday Night Workout

OK, I thought I was going to die today. I got a cramp in my butt, my heart was beating out of my chest and then my hip kept popping. And, this is supposed to be my rest week. I'm taking a short break from running because my foot (plantar fasciitis) is bothering me a bit. So, since I'm not really training for a race, this is a good opportunity to rest, stretch and strengthen and apply some of my rehab exercises. So, I planned to keep my fitness up by doing some non-impact cardio, weight training and yoga this week. Well, I've violated the non- impact rule with a heck of a workout this evening.
I started putting together a workout today and then stumbled across one online. I adapted it to my preference. It is definitely a heart raising, high-intensity, sweat your hair out, burn some calories workout! I do plan to do this again next week, because I only did 2 sets tonight and it took me about an hour and almost took me out! Actually, it was the burpees and the jump rope that was about to do me in.

Below is my REST WEEK Interval Training workout:
  • Bosu Ball Squats - 2 x 15 reps
  • Push up and Ball Crunch Combo - 2 x 10 reps
    • Get in push- up position with your shins on a stability ball. Complete a push-up, then pull the ball toward your chest with your legs. Return to start.
  • Bicep Curls – 2 x 15 reps
  • Jumping Jacks – 1 minute (I did 70 each minute so 140 total)
  • Mountain Climbers – 2 x 15 (probably should have been cardio for 1 minute)
  • Donkey Kicks – 2 x 15 (good old fashioned glute exercise; great for improving running)
  • Driving The Car – 2 x 30 seconds w/ 10lb weight
    • Hold a five to 10 pound plate for the barbell or a hand weight with both hands straight out in front of you.  Then move your hands like you were driving left to right in a car. Keep driving for 20 to 30 seconds. This should make your shoulders burn.
  • Burpees – 2 x 15 Reps
    • Jump up, jump down and extend the legs out; your body is in plank or push up position; jump back in and then jump up and extend the arms over head. This is an explosive full body exercise.
  • Front Kicks – 2 x 30 seconds
  • Plié Squat – 2 x 15 Reps (1st set – 10lb weight on each leg; 2nd set – 5lb weight on each leg)
  • Tricep Extensions – 2 x 15 Reps
  • Walking Lunges. – 2 x 20 Reps (so that means 10 on each leg)
  • One Arm Rows – 2 x 15 Reps
  • Jump Rope – 2 x 30 seconds
  • Plank – 2 x 1 min

After all of that it was time for a stretch, shower and an after workout smoothie! It's tart cherry juice, Greek vanila yogurt for protein, frozen blueberries and pineapples. I sometimes add honey or agave nectar for sweetner, but I've got used to the tartness.


Gratitude Journal
I am grateful for early more prayer.
I am grateful I'm physically able to workout.
I am grateful for pedicures.
I am grateful for good friends.
I am grateful for storms.
I am grateful that after the storm comes the sunshine.
I am grateful to see another day.
I am grateful I can be a blessing to someone else ~ pay it forward.

Friday, June 3, 2011

I Wear Earrings When I Run

My name is Jada and I wear earrings when I run. Why? Because I'm a girly girl. I work out and I don't mind getting sweaty. But first things first, I'm a girl and I love being a girl. I read a blog from a fellow runner last week and her post was about how runners are so comfortable in their running clothes and it's hard dressing nicely when at work or not running. She said she'd rather buy running clothes than regular clothes. I think not! Running is what I do. It is a part of me, but I am a girl. I like to look like a girl, feel like a girl and run like a girl. So, I wear earrings when I run! I was a little weird about running in earrings but one day I got dressed in my running outfit, head band and IPOD and I looked in the mirror and said something is missing. I need some earrings but I didn't have any studs with me that day in the gym. I casually mentioned this story to my running buddy and she laughed out loud and said "you know I've said the same thing too." Yay! I'm not alone. Women wear earrings so quite naturally we should run in them as well. On our next run together, she beat me wearing earrings (even though I know it was my idea J ) only because I forgot to pack my studs again. But from now on unless I'm packing in a hurry, you'll see me running in earrings.
I am a girly girl. I love wearing cute running clothes, cute dresses and shoes AND I love running in earrings. I like being a girl and feeling like a girl. Being a cute runner girl is a part of this girl's personal style. Just because you run doesn't mean you have to sacrifice being cute. I try to strike a balance between purchasing running gear and purchasing shoes, dresses and purses. It's not always an equal divide (sometimes I have to make trade-offs) but I don't ever feel I've sacrificed one for the other. If I'm going to put in the miles on the road and the hours in the gym working on my physical body, why hide it under sweats and baggy shorts? I'm a runner girl and I like being a cute runner girl! So, you'll find me running in earrings!

A Fit Woman is a Powerful Woman ~ Moving Comfort
  1. I am embracing being a Fit and Powerful Woman.
  2. I am loving running in earrings.
  3. I am searching for the perfect running skirt that doesn't "ride up".
  4. I am finding joy and comfort in Jeremiah 29:11.
  5. I am realizing there are new ways to do things and new outlooks on life.
  6. I am breaking old habits and learning new ways to do, act and be.
  7. I am looking for the good instead of being quick to find fault or criticize.
  8. I am empathizing and forgiving others more.
  9. I am working on getting better patience; I'm not as easily irritated, well maybe, I just don't stay irritated quite as long.
  10. I am looking for the good in others instead of dwelling on what's missing.
  11. I am finding confidence in the woman I am becoming.
  12. I am sowing seeds and waiting with expectancy.
  13. I am resting on the assurance of Jeremiah 29:11. It gives me joy and hope but it requires great patience and perseverance. The press is a part of the process and the process is going to birth great blessings.  I just know it. Declare it. Believe it. Press thru it. Receive it. That's my faith in action.

Join me so we can…….

Gratitude Journal
I am grateful for the spirit of gratefulness. Grateful, grateful, gratefulness flowing from my heart.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Peanut Butter and Bananas

Really, in the last five months I think I have eaten practically a jar of peanut butter every five days! That's a lot of freaking peanut butter. I eat peanut butter and toast, peanut butter and bananas, a spoonful of peanut butter, peanut butter and strawberry preserve sandwiches, peanut butter on an English muffin (with honey for sweetener), peanut butter and apples and my newest thing peanut butter smoothies. Ok, so let's do the math, two tablespoons of peanut butter is a serving which equals 200 calories. There are about 14 servings in one jar. So, realistically, I should be able to get seven servings meaning a full week of peanut butter from one jar. Well, guess what? I just ran out this evening and I swear I opened that jar on Saturday morning! So, obviously I'm eating peanut butter a couple of times a day or my tablespoons are some big darn tablespoons. OK, let's go back to the math thing for a moment. 200 calories per serving times 14 servings equals 2800 calories just from peanut butter! Wow! Did you also know that 3500 calories above what you need equals an extra pound to the hips, gut or thighs? In my case, it's landing on my thighs (I think --- it could be some extra muscle building there as well).
Peanut butter is healthy; it's good for you. There is a myth that it's fattening. Truth is, it can be fattening when you consume more than the recommended serving size which I guess I seem to be doing because I'm averaging about 2.8 servings per day, but I'll get back to that later. Now, I did make the switch several years ago to the natural peanut butter. Natural peanut butter has no preservatives and trans fat (if partially hydrogenated oil is listed in the ingredient lists leave it on the shelf). I also usually buy organic (unless my money is funny that week because I lost track of my budget). Peanuts are grown in the ground and are typically grown with lots of pesticides. The organic brands don't use pesticides so it's healthier and less toxic on the body considering all of the sources of toxins, chemicals and contaminants we encounter on a 24-hour basis (that's also my conspiracy theory on cancer too). So, I'm a Natural Organic Peanut Butter girl and apparently I eat a lot of it. SN: If you do try the natural peanut butter, be prepared for the oil sitting on the top. The directions say stir, but I found if you turn the jar upside down a day or a few hours before you open, it will mix the oil. Once you open, you can give it a small stir, but for the most part the oil will be mixed and it's less messy. Also, don't store it in the fridge either. It just makes it hard and un-spreadable. It will keep sitting on the counter or pantry.
Ok, so back to the 2.8 servings that I'm averaging a day. The weird thing is I don't really love peanut butter. It's not like eating cheesecake or chocolate. It just became a part of my training nutrition. It's easy, healthy and it travels well. It's a good source of protein and earlier this year I was struggling with eating enough calories to sustain my running so a spoonful or two of peanut butter gave me the extra calories. Now, that half-marathon training is over, I really need to wean myself off so much of the peanut butter, but I just don't know how. Maybe, I'll just watch my portion sizes and remember not to eat it twice in a day. I just realized I had peanut butter on an English muffin for breakfast and then a peanut butter smoothie for my post-workout recovery snack today. Dang, maybe I do like love peanut butter. I guess I need another plan. Right now, I'm still crossing my fingers I'll be able to wear my white Capri pants from last year before the summer is over --- but when I put them on and look down at my thighs, all I see Peanut Butter written on them! LOLOL!
My Favorite Ways Eat Peanut Butter:
  • Peanut butter on whole wheat toast – Long Run mornings
  • Spoon of peanut butter with a banana – Mornings I'm running less than 5 miles
  • Peanut Butter and English muffin (Ezekiel Bread) – Breakfast (Tuesdays or Thursdays)
  • Peanut Butter/ Strawberry Preserves (1/2 the sandwich) – A pre-workout or post workout snack or an on the go breakfast or a snack (good before or after weight training)
  • Peanut Butter and Apple Slices - Afternoon snack (Carbs should always be paired with protein for slow glucose release during digestion and to promote pre/post workout recovery)
  • Peanut Butter Smoothie – My favorite new breakfast and sometimes post run recovery (really keeps you full)
    My PB Smoothie Recipe: Blend 8 oz. of Almond Milk, 1 ripe banana, spoon of cocoa powder, 2 tablespoons of peanut butter and a little ice for frothiness. Sometimes I'll add a scoop of whey protein powder for the extra protein, but earlier this evening I substituted Greek Vanilla yogurt for the protein powder and reduced the amount of almond milk. It tasted great and the Greek yogurt has the same amount of protein as the whey protein powder, it's healthier and it's more natural than processed protein powder so win-win.

    Gratitude Journal:
    I am grateful for peanut butter.
    I am grateful for my WWHWGP Group.
    I am grateful for a cool house.
    I am grateful for a lowered energy bill.
    I am grateful hard workouts.
    I am grateful for a grateful heart.

    SN: Did ya'll realize my post title is Peanut Butter and Bananas but I didn't really talk much about bananas? It goes without saying they go together and they're both my training power foods.
More Info on Natural Peanut Butter

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

13.1 More Lessons I Learned

Running a half marathon is hard. It's physically and psychologically demanding. But, the Finish is so worth it. I finished my second half marathon in 2:16 minutes (4 minutes better than my first). This time I was in better shape physically, but there were a lot of elements to overcome. I had to deal with the wind, heat, thunderstorms and rain, but a race is a race. No turning back, even though three miles into it, I was like God, please let it storm? Please? If it's lightening, they'll have to stop the race and I get an out. My stomach hurts and I'm tired. Well, in fact it did start to storm during my 10th mile and at this point, I decided no way; I am 3 miles from the finish. I'm finishing this race. I pushed on a little more, trying to get to the finish line and then it started to rain (I'm at mile 12 now). Great, and I'm so close. Then it started happening. I started breaking down on the last hill right before the finish. I got up the hill but then I stopped to walk. This girl beside me said "no, you can't quit. You're too close." You have to keep going. "Thank you!" I told her "Thank you" and picked it back up and dug in for a strong finish. You never know how you will affect or be affected by someone's encouragement. Those words spoken to me on the overpass at Clemson Road helped me more than she'll ever know (I hate I didn't remember to look for her at the finish line). I just wanted a break. That's all. I knew I was close to the finish and I knew I could finish but I was just ready to stop. My body needed a break. Life is a lot like running. Sometimes you just run and run and things get thrown at you left and right and you think, God, I just need a break and then I can keep going. The reality is we don't get a break. We don't get to say, "God, take this from me for a moment and when I'm ready, I'll pick it back up." But we do get the peace of knowing that our Heavenly Father is right there with us during the struggle. He gives us strength daily to keeping running our race. It's up to us to determine how fast or slow or determined we'll be to get to the finish. Now that I have Half-Marathon number two completed I have a few more lessons to share:

13.1 More Lessons From My Journey
  1. Run your own race. It's about you and you only.
  2. Run with faith and stop looking back and having doubts.
  3. Believe. It all starts with what you Believe.
  4. You can make it through the worst conditions as long as you keep going.
  5. Sometimes it's ok to slow down and even to walk, but never stop and never quit. As they tell me, it's during those times when your breakthrough is right around the corner.
  6. Hills make you stronger. You see what you are made of when you can run up the hill without stopping. Runners hate hills but they are unavoidable obstacles in a training and in a race. The good thing about running is you get to see the hill and anticipate how steep or long it will take you to climb. In life, you don't. You just have to activate your faith and believe you're moving closer to the top.
  7. It's easier to become discouraged than it is to try.
  8. It takes Determination.
  9. Encouragement is priceless. Two people spoke something into my spirit during my race week that was totally unexpected, but right away I knew it was God-sent. Run without restrictions and self-imposed limitations and anxiety. God wants us to have faith and to believe. When you start to relax and run freely, you'll see all kinds of strongholds breakaway and you'll start to run your best. He'll restore to you what was taken away.
  10. The enemy is real, but guess what God made me a promise and he'll restore everything (plus more) that the enemy stole. In due time…..
  11. Running builds relationships and character. As SMC pointed out, we bond over runner's trots, a hard run and sore muscles.
  12. You can't do anything alone. Even while running my own race, I lean on the encouragement of volunteers cheering on the course, runner's agonizing beside me, friends at the finish line and my trusted running buddy who always comes back to get me. "Come on, you can do it J!"
  13. And don't let me forget, Black Girls DO RUN! Yes, we do. And, some of us aren't afraid to sweat out our hair either.
.1) I'm Blessed. I'm blessed beyond measure. I'm thankful for the people in my life and my experiences. I'm getting better at this faith thing too. It still gets hard, but when it does I find Encouragement from unlikely sources. So, for anyone who's been my encourager, thank you because you helped me to not quit. I'm stronger, wiser and better. It ain't over until God says it's over, and I just Believe that.

Gratitude Journal
I am grateful for my wonderful mom.
I am grateful I can say I've completed two half-marathons.
I am grateful that I know God.
I am grateful for a day off.
I am grateful that one day (soon I hope) Apple will re-stock their IPAD 2!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

34 and FABulous

Happy Birthday to me. It's my birthday (April 15th) and I'm celebrating ME! This year I'm Determined. I'm Determined to Live in Faith and Walk in Love. I'm Determined to Believe. I'm Determined to be the purposely, wonderful woman that God predestined me to be. So, Devil shame on you for trying to steal my JOY!

Enough of that, Half Marathon #2 is on the schedule for April 16th. Pray for me. The weather forcast calls for rain and possible thunderstorms. The grass is pollenating right now and that's my most extreme allergy (I just took a couple of Benadryl) and I have another, issue bloating and cramps :( But, I'm determined!!!!

Happy Birthday

Gratitude Journal
I am grateful to be turning one year wiser and one year better and stronger.
I am grateful the Best is still yet to come.
I am grateful for my life.
I am just grateful to be able to see and experience the things that I have in my life.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


It's 10:52 pm (and I have to run in the morning) and I just got off the phone. But before I started talking on the phone, I  had been reading this blog that made me go WOW! and stop and thank God for my blessings ~ big and small. Here I am getting a little anxious about my half marathon in a few weeks (and my 13 mile practice run on Saturday) and I read this story of a couple who were both diagnosed with cancer nine days apart and have an 18-month old child. They're both going through chemo at the same time.  Count your blessing one by one. Earlier today, I caught myself complaining and whining over one little thing that mophed into a bunch of other little things, and for what reason? What a way to gain a different perspective and realize the importance of being thankful.

Phillipians 4: 6 (NLT) Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done,

This scripture verse is a perfect reminder to not worry, to pray and most importantly give thanks. There is always a reason to give thanks. My life is a blessing and it's full of blessings. So today, take a moment to remember and pray for this couple and to give thanks. In all things and all circumstances, remember to give thanks.

Gratitude Journal
I am grateful for the woman I've become.
I am grateful for my health.
I am grateful for a bank acount with a little change in it :)
I am grateful for my new love, running.
I am grateful that I am discovering my purpose.
I am grateful that God spared me...........

A little Inspiration to Make you Smile

Sunday, March 27, 2011

I am NOT my Hair

I am a Black Girl and I Run….. I'm proud that I Run. I love meeting with my running group to run. I love connecting with other people who run because only they understand the craziness that we do for the love of running. I love looking for the latest gear or gimmick or trying something new that will improve my running performance. I love talking about running and I love it's not just a hobby but it's also part of my career and now it's a part of my lifestyle. The one thing that I don't love about running is after a run I find myself transformed into this:

I love running but I don't love dealing with and thinking about my HAIR! UGH! Why wasn't I blessed with some wash and wavy just get up and go hair? But, I wasn't so now I just have to deal with it. I'm was in the season of transition, and I got a little restless and cut my hair last week. Yes, I know..... and summer in the south is coming up really quickly. So, now I'm on a quest to find the right products and solutions to the age old dilemma of working out while being a black woman. I really just wanted something different, but now I'm like, I should have thought this thru a little more carefully. Going natural is another thought, but it's more work and more time. Yeah, it's nice that you don't have to worry about sweating out your do, but you still have to manage your style. But, while I think over my next move here are a few items I'm trying to maintain my new do:

  1. Paul Mitchell Super Skinny Serum
  2. Paul Mitchell Super Skinny Relaxing Balm
  3. L'oreal Frizz Serum
  4. Carol's Daughter Tui Leave-In Conditioner
Now, I'm still in the "trying out phase". I do really like the Paul Mitchell products. I did have a good experience with washing my hair and it dried pretty quickly and pretty straight. No real frizz on the end. I'm hoping the smoothing serums will help counter the morning humidity that makes my hair draw up a little like I might have some waves, but honestly I don't J
I've used the Carol's daughter twice. I hope this will keep my hair conditioned and stop the drying and breakage that perspiration can cause. Well, wish me God-speed in working with my tresses in the next few months. I'll update you about my progress
And, don't be surprised if one day I suddenly end up rocking something like this J

Gratitude Journal:
  1. I am grateful I'm learning how to truly worship God.
  2. I am grateful for a good night's sleep.
  3. I am grateful that I gained a couple of pounds.
  4. I am grateful for my sister-girls.
  5. I am grateful to wake up every day fully clothed in my right mind.

    Please pray with me and for me this week. On, Saturday I'll be doing the preview run to my upcoming half-marathon. This will be my first time running 13.1 miles since last November.

Monday, February 28, 2011

RANdomness ~ Thoughts from ME


  1. I have a PR ~ Personal Record that is! YAY me. I had a great 10K on one of the hilliest, toughest courses ever.
  2. OK, really when you do a race, wait to wear your race shirt AFTER the race. I hate to see people walking/racing in the race shirt. UGH!
  3. We're getting a taste of spring and I'm getting antsy. I can't for new dresses, and shoes, and purses, and more shoes.
  4. Retail Therapy is great but it's like going on a food binge. Makes you feel good when it's happening but then I'm remorseful when I think about it later. Well, maybe not. I did get some cute shoes at some some great prices – Mama, I hope you aren't reading this J
  5. I have really been obsessing about my weight lately. It is really bothering me. I don't like being skinny. I'm not a skinny chick. I'm used to looking at myself in the mirror and seeing some booty sticking out. Since becoming a half-marathon runner, I just struggle with my weight and I'm am so discouraged with my jeans sagging in the butt. And people will tell you, oh gosh, you've lost so much weight. Don't you know I know it? Please stop telling me, OK already!
  6. I think I'm still mad that my favorite discount shoe website closed down in favor of opening retail stores. I wouldn't care if a store was at least near me. WTH??? I would think you could reach more people with online shopping, but I guess not.
  7. Am I the only one who's realized that gas is too freaking high? I mean really ~ $3.41 for regular?
  8. I'm thinking is it better to go on an all-inclusive vacation to some tropical island or shopping or both?
  9. Things you should not say to a woman?
  • When are you going to get married?
  • When are ya'll going to have a baby?
  • Are you pregnant yet? Well, it will happen?
Look, we understand the state of our lives. We don't need others reminding us of that fact! Ok, that's all of the RANdomness that's on my mind right now.

Thought for the day: My blessing is greater than my hardship.
Pastor Darrell Jackson

Gratitude Journal
I'm grateful for Teddy Grahams.
I'm grateful for a good manicure and pedicure.
I'm grateful that it's ok to get angry as long as you don't stay angry for long.
I'm grateful that I can be grateful J

Monday, February 21, 2011

The Beginning of Better

I had to take a little blogging break. Lots of personal stuff was going on that prevented me from blogging and keep up with my blogging friends. Today, I've been having one of those days when my emotions are getting the best of me, so I decided to return back to my blogging. When I blog and when I run, I seem to get clarity and encouragement.

Short Recap: I'm training again. It's week six of my second half marathon training. My running is good, but my faith is struggling. I know what I know and I even know what I believe, but I'm shaky with taking a step out in faith and believing the impossible. Some days I see it and I feel it, but other days my flesh takes over and I begin to question myself. The reality is I have trust issues. It's hard to trust the unknown. It's hard to trust my thinking and discern if it's me, the enemy or God. I read something about discerning the voice of God and it spoke about how God will speak to you through his Word. He'll also place certain people in your life to help you grow, to stretch you and to mature you. In recent weeks, I've had some conversations that I know have to be God's intervention. Why else would I have been in the situation to hear the advice or the testimonies? You know, friends have been telling me how strong I am, but sometimes I don't want to be strong. I don't want to be the one to pull it together and keep it together. But, I realize I'm just fulfilling my purpose. My favorite song is Never Would Have Made it by Marvin Sapp. This song ministers to me. I feel better every time I hear it. I find strength to dig deeper. This song is on my running playlist and each time it comes on, I run faster, longer and power up hills. On several occasions, my running group has asked, what got in to me? And, I'm like I was listening to Marvin Sapp. This song is my testimony:

Never would have made it, never could've made it, without you
I would have lost it all, but now I see how you were there for me

And I can say
Never would have made it,
Never could have made it,
Without you

I would have lost it all,
But now I see how you were there for me and I can say
I'm stronger, I'm wiser, I'm better, much better,

When I look back over all you brought me thru.
I can see that you were the one that I held on to
And I never
[Chorus] - Never would have made it

I know that God was the one I held on to. It's been so much going on in the last year, and I'm waiting on my season to change. I don't think I'm patiently waiting, but I am waiting. I know it's during this time that God's building me up. He's making me stronger, wiser and better; He's helping me to go through things I never could have imagined.

James 1: 2 – 4: Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. (NIV)

The above scripture just came to mind. Thank You April for choosing this as our scripture reading during last week's prayer group. Patience. Sticks out like an elephant in the room. I want my change to come now, but God isn't like that. Over and over we've heard/read stories in the bible of how it took time for God to manifest his purpose and his plans. Sara was 90 years old when she had a baby. Patience. Sara was impatient and Abraham had a child with his servant. Patience. Maybe, my faith is tied to my Patience and my ability to endure. During my time of waiting for a new season, I have to be Patient. I have to maintain a spirit of gratitude, a heart of praise and a desire to grow closer in my relationship with God. I can't let my circumstances or my situations weigh me down because I am a child of God. He didn't bring me to it, not to bring me through it. So cliché, but so true. Maybe, that's my faith-building lesson for today. Scratch the maybe. It is my faith-building lesson. Joel Osteen preaches a lot on declaring faith and victory over your life. I think this is part of my test. Starting today, I declare a new season. I declare a breakthrough and healing. I declare this is The Beginning of Better. God I trust you. I trust you more than ever. I see you working in my life Lord. I pray for strength to trust you and not question what I don't understand. I'm fulfilling my purpose and honoring and you, Lord. I declare I Made It.

James 1:12 (a) says God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation (NLT)

Gratitude Journal
I am thankful for my health and my strength.
I am thankful this is The Beginning of Better.
I am thankful that I love you.
I am thankful for my mother.
I am thankful for supportive friends.

Here is my favorite song, I pray it ministers to you too.