faithfulness and balance

As the semester comes to a close for me, I’m constantly thinking and reflecting about what went well, what things to change next semester or next spring and how to maximize my summer time. Believe you me, all educators know that you blink and suddenly you’re turning your calendar to August 1 and few of the items on your “summer list” have been checked off.

balance

This semester was incredibly fast. There were some challenging days.  But it was also very good. It seemed as if once a month I was traveling or doing something outside the responsibilities of my job. I was very fortunate to attend a StrengthsQuest Intensive at my alma matter in February and have been brainstorming on how to incorporate this with students. In March, I had the wonderful opportunity to serve as the Volunteer Coordinator for RunTheBluegrass–the half-marathon held at Keeneland in Lexington, KY. This was the bucket-list half-marathon I ran last spring and although life threw some curve balls to my training, I still wanted to be involved and absolutely loved this experience. With 4000 runners, approximately 6000 guests at Keeneland and 200 volunteers, I definitely learned a lot about large-scale event planning. Definitely threw me back to New Student Orientation and Check-In energy and although I was exhausted, it was so worth it! April brought my class trip and graduation for Leadership Scott County and the end of the semester which is quite busy in and of itself. My interns made their final presentations, seniors prepare to don their cap and gown and I recall all the things that haven’t been confirmed before students or faculty duck out for summer. (Photo credit: ★ jox via photo pin cc)

May. One of my favorite months for a multitude of reasons. The biggest is that it brings a different pace to my life. Through all the busy-ness this season brought my way, I was still trying to do my best in all my goal areas for 2013. It’s hard to believe that it’s May and I still haven’t really posted a true overview for my yearly goals.  I’ve been chucking away at them, remaining silent in this space for a variety of reasons.

faithfulness

In April, I worked with a friend who is also starting her business as a running/wellness coach.  We looked at some goals, what things I feel need to be in place to make me happy. Many of our coaching sessions were over a run at West Sixth. The last week I’ve been reflecting on our last conversation. I’ve always been the type to have these huge goals. I know deep down that goals are to be attainable, and in my mind, they have been. However, I find myself disappointed at my self-discipline in actually attaining said goals.  Over the weekend, I spent a little extra quiet time fueling my soul with reflections in my journal entries over the past few months and preparing for the summer session of HelloMornings (a fantastic way to build accountability for morning quiet time, movement and planning). I re-read the e-book that HelloMornings was built off of, Maximize Your Morningsand something that the author Kat Lee said, jumped off the page for me.  (Photo credit: Perfesser via photo pin cc)

It’s about faithfulness and balance, not about perfection.

Talk about being stopped in your tracks. Whether it’s practicing a morning routine, or eating clean, or staying committed to a running plan–

faithfulness.

balance.

Two things I strive for in my daily life, but had been failing at miserably for months.

That’s my goal for May. Be faithful in what I do and what’s important to me. No check-sheets or lists. Just faithfulness to what I have on my plate each day.

My accountability is just to show up.

Let faithfulness guide the things I commit to and may they be fueling my calling and passions and God given talents.  That will bring balance to all things in my life.

Be well,

fncsignature

Don’t Lose Your Life

Photo credit to darkmatter via photopin cc

Please hear me I’m not saying that there isn’t a place for having dreams and goals and plans…all I”m saying is don’t get so caught up in those things you forget everything else. Dang it, I pretty much just spoiled the whole post…continue reading…

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We are to experience the abundant life ~Lara Williams

I mentioned turning 30 a few years ago and honestly, I really looked forward to it.  I know a lot of women really struggle with that number, but I embraced it.  I have always had friends older than I, and I loved their perspective of feeling they really felt at home in their skin–more confident, sure of themselves, fearless, and brave–upon reaching that milestone age so many fear.

My favorite cake (same as our wedding cake!)

In turn with that excitement, I created the 30 before 30 list.  You know, that bucket list of things I intended to check off before leaving my 20’s behind.  Lots of things on the list and I had every intention of knocking them all out of the park solid.  Some were trivial (start composting), some more difficult (run a 1/2 marathon), but I set out to check off this list.  My list.

Say ‘no’ to the voices and listen to God. ~Sarah Mae

Then life happened.  Things with my Mom’s illness started snowballing and although I thought I could still get them done, the list got left in the dust.

My 30th birthday came and went with wonderful celebrations with the beau and family and friends.  No worries, I thought–I’ll complete the list within my 30th year of living.

The one I knew that would take the most effort was the half-marathon.  So I started training.

Mind you, the beau and I ran our first 5K on Thanksgiving 2010.  I turned 30 in May of 2011.  On March 31st, 2012, I ran my  half-marathon.  41 days prior to turning 31.

Proof–that’s my name on that bib!

In chasing that dream, I had to make it my priority.  Being a slow runner, my Saturdays became dedicated to long runs.  I ruled out connecting with friends, housework and trips to Virginia because I had to get in a run.  Sometimes other things that probably should have been my priority.

Saying ‘yes’ to something is saying no to something else (husband, kids, health, extended family, etc.) ~The Nester

You see, truth be told, I was not ready to run a half-marathon.  I wasn’t the last person out on the course, but I was close to it.  I got so focused on meeting that goal that come hell or high water, I would cross that finish line and get that medal around my neck.  Both things that I did.  But at what cost?  I was so focused on running that all other forms of physical cross-training went out the window.  Assuming I’d shed some pounds and make the run easier, I didn’t realize that long distance runs can make you gain weight (depending on your eating habits).

So, yes, I have the medal.  But what did I sacrifice in the meantime?  Thankfully, it was nothing earth-shattering.

Am I doing the right things well? ~Ann Voskamp

But was I doing what I was meant to be doing in that season?  I will say that there were some relationships formed through that experience that have been so life-giving.  I met an amazing group of runners in my area that continue to encourage and inspire me to this day.

But was I being realistic about where I was at in the moment or was I chasing after a dream?

Worship God by being obedient to where you are right now, no matter how big or small. ~Sally Clarkson

Unfortunately I have to say it was the latter.

So this morning, my alarm went off early as it always does and even though the temperatures said 27 degrees, I layered up, dusted off my running shoes and hit the pavement.  I’m taking things slow this go round.  No big goal in the immediate future.  Just work on speed.  Run a bunch of 5K’s to improve my time.  The beau and I discussed a holiday run to see where we are as we’ll miss our traditional Thanksgiving Day run due to his school schedule.  And sure, I’d love to run my next half-marathon next fall, but I’m gonna take it one day at a time for right now.  I have hope that it can happen and I want to do it the right way.

Jesus can do big things when we share about hope. ~Annie Downs

I’m hopeful that life isn’t about missing the everyday moments of grace we are afforded because we’re chasing the next big shiny thing or checking something off our bucket list.

Be well,

{This is post #2 in my reflections from Allume 2012.  Click here to visit the rest of the series.}

#honesty-day #2

So, yesterday I mentioned that some local pals of mine are venturing to write daily for 30 minutes each day in the month of August.

I’m not giving myself any parameters other than that.  Do I hope that some of those pages will come out in this blog.  Absolutely!  Do I know that some of the writing may just be too raw, too hard to put in this space?  Absolutely!  This post actually teeters in that direction, but hearing myself speak of vulnerability, I’m going with it.

Day Numero 2

What I do want to gain in these 30 days  is the practice of a discipline that I LOVE but don’t make the time for.  If I can squeeze in these 30 minutes doing this fun, life-giving, creative thing, then I absolutely should be able to carve out time to do some other fun (okay, not always), life-PRESERVING things.

Enter #honesty.

The beau and I used to joke about this a few years ago.  In our written communication, we would utilize the twitter hash-tag phenom that was new on the scene at the time for anything that we needed to say that might sound a little brazen, a little rash.  You see, I’m a sensitive soul.  I wear my feelings on my sleeve.  And that, my friends, gets me in trouble from time to time.

But with #honesty, I feel like all bets are off from my feelings getting crushed.  It’s like that story I once heard of a couple that anytime having a “discussion” on difficult subjects, they would both wear Rudolph noses.  It’s hard to take yourself too seriously when the person staring back at you has a very shiny nose.

Lately, I’ve needed to put on that nose to have a hard conversation with myself.  As mentioned a few posts ago, I’m tired of constantly feeling like the excuse of “life has thrown us curve-balls lately” has been all I ever say.  Life has thrown some our way, but we by no means are exempt.  We by no means are the only ones in our circle of friends or teams of co-workers who are finding themselves in non-ideal situations.  If you follow my Mom’s blog, you know about the roller-coaster ride we have been on for the past 3 months.  But I’m sure as you’re sitting there at your office desk, or in your pj’s on the couch, or on your phone running errands during lunch, you’re thinking of your own “thing.”  Your own curve-ball.  You may be driving back to it–at home or at the office.  You may be staring at it–in the faces of loved ones or the face in the mirror rattled with sickness.  You may be sitting in the very midst of this roller coaster ride, screaming to get off, because you were not tall enough to ride, but you feel you’ve been forced in, buckled in and there is no escape.

#honesty.  Do I feel that I’m mature enough to handle all that goes with caring for an ailing parent?  No.

#honesty.  Am I scared about what the future holds for my marriage thinking about the beau going back to school, working full time?  Absolutely.

#honesty.  Do I feel restless, even though I feel that I’ve grabbed hold of the vision God has for my life?  Yes.

#honesty.  Am I saddened when I see myself in full-length mirrors?  ….Yes

So what do we do with these honest assertions of life?  How do we manage them?

My mantra over the past three months, but really the past 3 years is that I’m just “taking it day by day” or “we’ll figure it out”.

But what if taking it day by day means that there is no motivation to get out of bed to go run at 4:00am doesn’t come?

What if day by day means that finances seem all over the place?

What if day by day means that it’s been months without a date night?

Day by day HAS to coincide with figuring it out. It is not an OR, but an AND.  They are not left to be isolated statements.  

Figuring it out might mean that you have to become a control freak for a season.

Figuring it out may mean that you say No to lots of things you want to say Yes to.

Figuring it out may mean that you are saying Yes to things you’d rather say No to.

Figuring it out may mean getting less sleep.

I’m still determining what this means for me.  Still figuring it out.  Figuring out how to take it one day at a time and still meet those goals.  Make it up for that run.  Care for Mom in the way she most deserves.  Be intentional with that friendship.  Do the best at my job.  Be the best wife I can be.  I will figure out how to integrate these life-preservers.

Be well,

How do you take it day by day AND figure it out?

Don’t bite off more than you can chew…

Training for a half marathon is tough stuff.

Training for a half marathon when you’re significantly overweight is really tough.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m super stoked that I crossed that finish line.

However, there’s a bit of regret that I didn’t train quite like I’d hoped–I never really got a hydrating & fueling schedule down, I didn’t increase my speed like I’d hoped and I abandoned all other forms of physical activity in lieu of half training.

That’s both half-marathon training and half training for the half.  No morning gym session with the beau.  No Cardio Sculpt classes with work friends.  Barely getting in my training runs.

Last week was rough.  Like–really rough.  The beau and I had decided we would complete a Whole30 every quarter or so (January, April, & July, October).  Being out at a conference the week before and then just completely wiped after last Saturday’s race, there was no intentional meal planning or grocery shopping, so needless to say, our Whole30 plans for April started out as a complete failure.

We also have been talking about being more intentional with our budget and saving for a bigger vacation this summer as it’ll be the last one for a while (more on that to come), so we were going to also implement a no-spend April.

Last week also happened to be the last week of my lenten practice of saying no to that lovely thing called Java….

Let’s recap: Implement a Whole30 (no sugar, dairy or grain when we hadn’t meal planned or grocery shopped), no spending outside of groceries (which meant no meals out) and no coffee.

Looking back, I’m happy to see I simply survived last week at all!

About half way through the week we decided we just needed to give it a rest, and come up with a better plan before we could be successful.  Knowing we had a fairly low-key weekend, we had several great discussions about what needed to change, what our plan was going to be and how we could make some small changes to help us be successful on all accounts.

Biggest lesson–don’t bite off more than you can chew.  We were clearly over-zealous in our plans last week thinking we’d be on some sort of super-human high from the half-marathon that we’d be more than able to jump right on a Whole30.  Boy were we ever wrong.

Looking back, the half-marathon completion was a great feat to complete and check off my list.  But completing the half did not allow me to reach all my health goals.  I struggle (greatly) with scale and size issues (partly because I feel we as a society are so super infatuated with these things that do not really equal health–but that’s most definitely another blog for another day).  However, part of those health goals include for me do include becoming smaller and healthier to allow me to meet other goals with more success down the road (more half-marathons, perhaps a Tough Mudder, and hopefully one day, having babies).

I’m gonna get back on the blogging wagon this week (boy, have I missed you by the way) to share some of the techniques we have up our sleeve as a way to help us stay accountable. I hope that you’ll share your thoughts, tips and suggestions along the way.  This week (as many of my recent posts) will be about changes to make our lives more healthy, but in the long run, I’m looking for sustainable practices that will help every area of our life–from physical to financial, the renovation of our house, and the continual renovation of our souls.

Some of our techniques I’ll be sharing about:

  • Fuel In = Food = Eat Clean
  • Fuel Out = Movement = Do something (at least 1 thing) active each day
  • Recover = Sleep  = Down at 9pm &  Up at 5am
  • Internal Living = Balance for mind, body and soul
  • External Living = Clean yo’ house!

Best,

Run the Bluegrass

Swag and Medal!

When the beau and I were approaching turning 30 last year, we made our 30 before 30 list–you know that list of 30 things we wanted to accomplish before reaching that milestone age.  I’d love to be sitting here saying that we crossed everything off that list.  Unfortunately, we got the list down to 15 seeing that that would be more manageable, but that didn’t quite happen either.  I think at the time, I was really ashamed for not doing that and heaped guilt onto myself so much so I even deleted the posts around here that I had made about that list.  In the spirit of vulnerability, I’ll dig that out and re-post soon.  Perhaps now I should start working on my 40 before 40 list.  Haha…

Although there was a sense of grief for not getting that list completely checked off, the one thing that really haunted me was the half-marathon.  Deciding that I wouldn’t live in a state of regret, I vowed that I would at least finish it within my 30th year of life.  I’m very proud to say that this weekend, that happened. As you may have read in my intro to running post right after we started our training, running wasn’t just about getting healthy and completing a goal, but being the best steward of the life (and legs) that we have so graciously been given.

There was also this idea for me that completing this was a dream I’d always had, and I had to do something to make it happen.  Dreams are good, but they don’t get you anywhere most of the time unless you have some accountability.  Enter the deadline.

my push for the finish line

When first hearing about Run the Bluegrass, the Beau and I discussed it and decided to hop on board.  What a better way to finish our first marathon in our own town (okay–we claim Lexington as ours even though it’s not officially) and it was touted as being one of America’s prettiest Half-Marathons.  We signed up. We had no idea it was also going to be extraordinarily full of those rolling Kentucky hills.

We started training after our second 5K in November, registering at the early, early bird rate ensuring that if we had money on the line, we’d be more likely to train.  I looked up training plans and found one that was solely a running planning, jotted it all down in my Erin Condren planner and in December, we set to training.  We had about 17 weeks at that point.  We didn’t get in much running the week of Christmas due to being sick and the holidays, but overall, felt pretty good about our plan at the time.

Let me just state right here that training is rough.  Not only is training for a half-marathon tough regardless of your age, fitness level or experience, when you have quite a bit of weight on you that you need to shed, it’s even tougher.  More on that to come…

We did our best for what we knew how.  We stuck to our plan (for the most part) and thank the good lord above, got connected with LexRunLadies at the perfect time.  I was able to join on two group runs and even though my pace was much slower than all those other ladies (and gents) out there running, having a support community made such a difference in my training.  I’m so thankful that there are exciting training plans for the summer and into the fall already underway.

So March 31st came and although I had been on part of the course before with the ladies, it’s hard to really conceptualize what 13.1 miles is going to look like and more importantly feel like.

We picked up our packet the day before and were stoked to get our shirts and numbers.  It still seemed very surreal at that point.  I could not believe we were actual going to run a half-marathon.

Pre-Race Pic!

It could not have been a more perfect morning.  Temps starting out in the 50’s with it forecasted to be no warmer than 70.  It was sunny to start out, but ended up being very overcast all day, which was perfect.  We went to bed early the night before (per usual) and woke up at our usual (early) time.  We got our gear on and went out for a walk/run to warm up our legs.  We had lots of time before we had to be at the course, so we both read a bit and I got real sleepy.  That adrenaline picked back up though once we got in the car and was close to the course–seeing all the cars and taillights.

Man...it was early!

Getting to the course, we saw a few familiar faces, got a pic with the Ladies and shared a few hugs and met some fellow runners that I hadn’t even met yet from our group.  Krissie  as always was so encouraging and I was stoked to finally meet Lydia, a fellow first timer!  After seeing a few other friends from church who were running, we made our way to the starting line.  We continually moved toward the back, knowing that my emotional and mental state would be much better having fewer people passing me at the start.

Lex Run Ladies Runners and Volunteers

A few of the LRL Runners

I kept it slow and steady knowing some of the hills that were awaiting me and that I didn’t want to run out of steam too fast.  I don’t have a Garmin or anything super fancy to track my pace and time, but I felt like I was doing good.  Breathing was good.  Pace felt just right.  Right before getting to the first water station at around 2.75 miles, I met up with Abby and Daphne her dog wearing running shoes.  Abbi was the end.  The gal whom I later became to know as the sweeper.  She was to keep a 16 minute pace and be the last “runner” although she walked almost the entire way.  Those around me were mostly walking.  Several had started running, but after encountering the hills, quickly turned to a solid walk.  My short legs even at my standard running pace were barely keeping up with those walkers.

Not gonna lie.  I was discouraged.  I had started out saying I just wanted to finish this race.  Then I said I wanted to finish and not come in last (I know that someone has to come in last, I just did not want it to be me).  The week of, I said I wanted to finish in 3:30.  Knowing that before I had even gotten to mile 3, I was already with the “sweeper”–I was not feeling it. Why in the world had I signed up to do this?

Then I remembered what a dear friend & colleague shared with me earlier this week about our professional lives.  “Comparison is the thief of joy.”

Let me state that again. “Comparison is the thief of joy.”

From that point on, those six words rang through my mind over and over and over.  I kept a smile on my face thinking of all those folks I was running for.  Those who were on my mental list.  Those who had been encouraging me all week.  Those who had been my cheerleaders for the entire training period.   I had my phone on me and from time to time would take a look at the tweets and one fun text from a student encouraging me to press on.  No one was going to steal the joy that I was going to have at that finish line.

I kept trucking on, walking up hills and running fast down them and in the few straight stretches.  There was a nasty S-curve at one point that I just was over before even starting to walk it.  Then I remembered those who would have loved to have walked it but can’t.  “Suck it up Faith and walk up this nasty hill for them.”

There was nothing like seeing a crew of folks standing near the barn close to the finish and all of a sudden seeing neon signs being held up.  Then I recognized the Beau.  And then Krissie and Nathan with his ‘stache. 🙂 I saw Maria, my accountability partner.  Our friends from church.  Our small group family.  A baby stroller–little Grayson had made the trip too.  Let me just tell you, I could barely hold back the tears.

Best Smallies Evah!

Seeing those smiles and encouragement really pushed me across the finish line.   Maria joined me for the last stretch and it was so great to have her there and share in a really incredible moment.  Hearing the cheers from those strangers at the finish was amazing.  And having that medal placed around my neck was one of the proudest moments of my life.

We did it!

Let me state again–this course is very tough.  The part that I had not ran before was brutal.  I did not finish in 3:30.  I was not last–but not far beyond the last.  I actually didn’t even come in last in my age group, which honestly, I’m completely shocked by.

I am very proud.  I didn’t give up.  I stopped comparing myself to others and finished with a smile.  I’m excited about what’s next.  Have a few 5K’s and 10K’s on tap to really zone in my training and looking forward to a new perspective when I complete the Iron Horse Half in October.

Can’t wait to getting one of those 13.1 stickers for my car and (as Lydia said) recalling each time I see it just exactly what I’m capable of.  Tough to have a pity party for yourself with that on the back of your car.

Best,

Weekly Roundup-March 18, 2012

A few days late…spring break got the best of me folks…

Goals:

  • Physical–As I mentioned, I ran my first 10 mile run last Saturday and it was so empowering to do so!  We are really in the home stretch for the 1/2 marathon (less than two weeks!) and we are grateful to have gotten 10 miles in, as many training programs stop there.  We were hoping to do 10 today, but due to scheduling issues poor planning, we ended up running after church and it was 70 degrees.  Seeing as how we typically run in about 50 degree weather (max), we were not prepared, not well hydrated and we both had to stop a little early.  I stopped right at 8 miles and walked the rest of the way in (we were on a trail, so we had ran 5 miles out).  I texted the Beau who was ahead of me to call me when he was done, planning on asking him to go get Gatorade (never been a big fan of drinking calories, but after Krisse’s post, I knew it had to help as I felt so dehydrated).  When he called, he was already on his way back from the store with 2 Gatorades.  I love my beau. I honestly wept when I hung up the phone. He even walked to meet me to get me my fuel.  Although I’m excited to run this race, I know that our training in our head has got to step it up if I want to continue running.  We have much to learn about fueling and becoming more in tune with our bodies to be the most effective when we are out on the pavement.
  • Spiritual–We began a new series at church this past week about relationships and what a beautiful mess they are.  Man, once again, it so hits home. The series is centered around what has long been one of my favorite verses: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and all your strength and love your neighbor as yourself.”  (Luke 10:27) It’s all about loving God so you can better love others.  We were able to get a first hand experience of this as the Beau and I headed to West Liberty, which was one of the communities severely hit by the tornadoes that came through a few weeks ago.  Talk about perspective.  It’s so sad to see the destruction that a storm of this caliber can create.  It’s also humbling to remember that something we cannot control can have such a huge affect on our lives.  It also ushered in a sense of trust in God’s goodness to us in the midst of difficulty.
  • Creative–Nothing too creative this week…probably going to be benched for a few weeks to be honest.
  • Home–Very thankful to get some spring cleaning done!  Yay! I purged my closet and dresser of unused/unwanted clothing, sorted my closet entirely by color (yes, I ROY G BIV’d it and I’m not ashamed), and am excited about working my wardrobe a bit more creatively.  I have a work conference coming up along with a few more down the pipe this year and I’d love to be able to utilize my wardrobe more effectively (and in everyday wear as well).
  • Personal–It’s been a very random week to say the least.  Students were gone on spring break, but we were in the office.  I had scheduled to be off a few days at the end of the week and then we did tornado relief, so I was only in the office two days.  Very unusual, but I’ll take it. I’ve been staying pretty on top of things with my Week at a Glance planner, even in the randomness of the week.  I was very fortunate to have some time have a girls day for myself on one of those days off-brunch with girlfriends, a gift certificate for a massage, a hair appointment.  It was lovely.  Thursday also started March Madness, so we’ve been watching lots of basketball around our house.  Loving that our Kentucky Wildcats are looking so good and there have been some really amazing Cinderella stories.

Mom Update: Still having quite a bit of back pain, but trying to stay positive!

Yummy Recipes! Such a crazy week, I made some staples of Sausage Balls and Brussel Sprouts, as well as yummy Sausage, cabbage and apples on St. Patty’s Day! Have a much better “normal” week and more yummy meals on tap!

“Pinteresting” Things: If you’re on pinterest, feel free to follow my boards!

Yummy Pina Colada  pops that are Paleo!  Can’t wait to try these!

YUM!

Speaking of style, I’ve been looking at lots of exciting ideas for refashioning and restyling my closet.  Some great finds:

Options for a striped oxford shirt

The little black dress--5 ways!

I’ve also been looking at lot at belts, scarves and cardigans–so may ways to change up an outfit with these pieces!

Scarves!

And something I’ve been telling myself lately on the pavement:

motivation

Things I’m learning: My “theme” for the week on my weekly planner was “Calm.”  It’s funny how on spring break week when most folks week is not calm, and my week honesty was (on the surface) quite hectic, I had a sense of calm resonating from deep within that sustained me.  The other thing I’ve been learning–not so deep.  When you’re planning a 6am run with the beau, a) remember that the time change makes the sun rise later, b) make sure you both have your headlamps c) know your route.  Secondly, when  you forget all those things and have to run at noon with the sun blazing at 70 degrees on March 18th, don’t complain about your sunburn and increased number of freckles.

Interesting quote/Scripture:

My verse for the week–“For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.” 1 Corinthians 1:25  I sense God is stirring some things deep down within that seem very foolish to me.  I guess they’re right on point then.  Stay tuned…

Hope you’ve had a great week! Happy Weekend!

10 Miles and more races?

I did something this weekend that I never thought I would do.

I didn’t even set out to do it on Saturday.

Run 10 miles.  10 miles? Yup.  Sure enough.

The beau and I headed out to a beautiful nearby town to meet the other LexRunLadies and another running group who was running parts of the Iron Horse Half Marathon route.  When we were getting ready early to make the trek out there, the beau said, “I cannot believe we are about to run 10 miles!” and I immediately clamored back, “No, we’re not.  We’re only slated to run 9 today!”  You see our plan actually had us running two 9 mile runs on back to back Saturdays.

We got out there, started running and it was beautiful.  I mean, it was chilly to start off, but the course is truly beautiful and there’s nothing like running in pure, bottomless sunshine.  As I’m running and hit 6 miles, I realize that I’ve got a little bit before I’m supposed to head back and turn around to get back into town and from that turn-around spot, it was a 3 mile run.

I could possibly run 10.

So I did.

And it was magnificent. It was one of the hardest things I’ve done.  But it was magnificent.  I’m still trying to figure out my fueling power, and getting that extra “ooomph!” to get up and go when my legs and brain are telling me to just walk for a minute.

But nonetheless.  I ran 10 miles on Saturday.

The beau and I celebrated by breakfasting at our favorite spot in Georgetown on the way home.  I heard from a friend (also training for her first half-marathon) who got advice from the folks at John’s Run Walk Shop in Lex that when you run your first 10 miler, celebrate by having a slice of pie.  Well, we were at Fava’s…so…there was pie.

We ran some errands, got home, watched the UK game, ate our pie and recovered.  There is quite a difference from recovery to resting.  For sure.

I immediately started thinking of what races I wanted to keep running.  After being out there on that course on Saturday, I knew that I wanted to be back out there in October with autumn leaves falling to the ground around me and decrease my time by quite a bit.  But there has to be additional cross training, more races and weight lifting for me to get faster and decrease that time.

Enter the Race Calendar.

These are all still in flux, but as of right now, this is our race calendar for the remainder of 2012.

As running mate of several LexRunLadies Mark the Beast said earlier today, “Are you waiting for the perfect time to make changes in your life? I think now is a perfectly good time.”  Get out your calendar, the checkbook and join me for one of these races! Some of the 5K’s listed on the John’s Run Walk Race Calendar are only $15!

There are several others that will be coming up that will most likely get added to the list.  For real…what are you waiting for?  Sign up and join me!

Best,

Weekly Roundup-March 9, 2012

**Get ready folks! I’ve got bookooh’s of photos in this post. How in the world do you spell that word anyways…**

Goals:

  • Physical–Ran with Lex Ladies Run on Saturday and that was really great. It was really nice to run with people–even if I was much slower than most of them, just knowing they were out there and catching up with some of them at the end was really awesome. It was also really great to just be out there running part of the Run the Bluegrass Course! It’s absolutely beautiful! Now that the race is just 22 days away (ack!) I’m really getting excited, but also still very nervous. We are both getting back on the Paleo wagon after a few little slips here and there–it seriously makes us both feel so much better.
  • Spiritual–The Depth Group that I lead weekly with some college women has been studying Celebration of Discipline this year, which has always been one of my favorites. We had one of the best discussion of the year (in my opinion) on confession. It was really, really good. Sidenote–I’m always so challenged when talking with college students–being in the classroom for many of them who are studying theology or just in a required bible class gets them thinking in ways that I typically don’t. For instance, one student this week just casually said, “so Faith, what’s your view on predestination?” I had to honestly say, “well, I don’t really think about it that much, so let me think and then get back to you.” I’m the student in these situations. Okay–back to Depth group–really, really loved our discussion on confession. We talked about our salvation and how it is not necessarily an event, but an ongoing process and that we must constantly be in a state of seeking to be better, to grow, to change. We cannot do this on our own. We must constantly pursue Christ. It also brought me back to a quote I read in my devo time this week. From the book The Imitation of Christ, “Be not angry that you cannot make others as you wish them to be, since you cannot make yourself as you wish to be.” Ouch.
  • Creative–Definitely stepped this up but forgot to take photos! ACK! I will update, but I made the prayer sticks and the date night jar as well. Love them both! I’m looking forward to more things that I can do this Sabbath Sunday!
  • Home–Had a busy weekend, so we didn’t get much accomplished, but the week has been accomplished. It’s made us feel very busy–not sitting down for anything other than when we actually eat dinner, but good at the same time. We have been getting in our cleaning plan, which excites me as we are hosting our small group tonight and I don’t have to worry about our house being in disarray! Yay! Looking forward to a weekend of cleaning out and purging. We are such an over-stuffed society with stuff we just don’t need. We also finally got something put on the walls that had just been staring there since…Oh, January or so.

    H.O.M.E.

  • Personal–I’ve had a really great week and a really difficult week all balled into one. See twitter messages from Tuesday and then the two from Wednesday:

Not that I’m proud of my chick-fil-a run, but, it is what it is.

Mom Update: Mom got her back brace and will be able to wear it when she’s walking or going to visit family or on an errand run like she has been today. Still down and struggling a bit, but thankful for some encouraging

Yummy Recipes! Several things to share on this front this week. I made a batch of my pumpkin muffins for a treat last week and finally remember to snag the photos!

Pumpkin Dark Chocolate Muffins (GF/Paleo) Ingredients

YUM!

I made some delish stuffed peppers last night that I found from this new favorite food blog. I added some cauliflower rice and it made 6 very stuffed peppers! The best part-another crockpot meal to my lineup! SCORE!

Mexican Pulled Chicken Stuffed Peppers (and the lineup of kitchen tools)

And finally. Green Smoothies. Our new favorite (after we buckled down and scored a new blender). We’ve had one every day. Yum. And I PROMISE you cannot taste the spinach. How awesome is is to have taken in that much spinach before you even get to work! I found the recipe here (finally!) after literally googling “green smoothie dole cup” (click link to see what I mean). One of those times I was kicking myself for NOT pinning something initially seen on pinterest.

GREEN Smoothie

“Pinteresting” Things: If you’re on pinterest, feel free to follow my boards!

This is coming to Ikea in April and I cannot wait!

ikea cart

I wish I had a bunch of fabric scraps–this is so fun! Love St. Patty’s Day!

st. patty's wreath

This is SUCH a cute idea to send to someone who might be under the weather or down in the dumps–I have someone in mind I might send this to!

sunshine

Another reason why I need to learn to sew. Stat.

potholder clutch

And finally chickens. What more can I say?

chickens

Things I’m learning: So much. Where to begin really. Still processing Dark and Light. Rootedness. Slowing down. I think that’s the thing that has hit home the most this week. We had a 1/2 day staff conference at my work and our wellness coordinator was talking about Health Made Simple–3 Do’s and 4 Don’ts. The don’ts included not going through a drive through (uh-oh, Chick-fil-a), not using tobacco, and not drinking pop/soda and especially diet pop/soda. The fourth thing was not to do everything at one time. Our speaker was meaning all three of these things–don’t quit them all at once. But when I saw it on our handout, I immediately just though–don’t do everything in life all at once, Faith. I’m constantly wondering how people do it. Thinking about Brene Brown’s talk about how we are the most stressed, over medicated, overweight, over worked country and yet we just keep doing it. One day it’s going to catch up with us. I”m so ready to slow down a bit. Looking forward to a few days next week to do that.

Interesting quote/Scripture:

“So I run, but not without a clear goal ahead of me.” 1 Corinthians 9:26

And once again from the book The Imitation of Christ, “Be not angry that you cannot make others as you wish them to be, since you cannot make yourself as you wish to be.” Help me Lord to focus on me. No one else.

Hope you’ve had a great week! Happy Weekend!

Thankful

I’ve not been nearly as disciplined with recording my One Thousand Gifts as I had intended, but I’m gonna camp out here for a little bit today…I have a lot to be thankful for this Monday.

  1. The safety of a home knowing destruction was just miles away.
  2. A new running group that even though I was the slowest of the bunch, still welcomed, encouraged and challenged me.
  3. The most beautiful running course I have laid eyes on.  I’ll get several more miles of beauty in 4 weeks when I tackle my first 1/2 marathon.
  4. Monthly Breakfast club with my smallies gals.  You know you’re with friends who are more like family when you can come post-run, throwing on metallic flats and a jean skirt on over your running leggins and proceed to scarf down what was left of the breakfast provided. Don’t worry–I threw on a some body spray and a little mascara as to not be too scary–there were infants present.
  5. Being so extremely tired from a (an almost) 9 mile run, but yet so excited feeling as if you could conquer the world.
  6. An amazing church that challenges me to challenge the status quo and truly listen to God and what he’s saying.
  7. Lovely Sabbath Sundays.
  8. Crafting!  (I promise, I’ll share some photos on Friday!)
  9. Good family management convos with the beau–calendar, budget, meal plan, cleaning plan, hospitality plan.
  10. Making tough decisions in light of being more aware of how we spend time and money.
  11. The creativity to look up lots of new fun recipes and have the adventurous spirit to try them and be creative in the kitchen.
  12. Finding a new food blog with lots of Paleo crockpot options!
  13. Waking up to a gorgeous snowfall this morning–at 2:30am!
  14. Being so excited about the snow that we called a movie-thon downstairs.
  15. Almost in disbelief that this is a possibility for my future!  More on this to come!  Stay tuned!

Best,

 

 

PS–And a Happy Early Birthday to my dear friend Kelly!  Check out the 30 hour sale at iBloom–doors opened early due to the crazy response!

Weekly Roundup-March 3, 2012

Goals:

  • Physical–Overall, I have felt so much better this week!  Physically, my runs have been more en pointe, I’ve had more motivation at work and felt really great.  So far this week I’ve ran 11 miles, pulling my first 7 miler before work yesterday.  I’m very thankful to have a flexible work environment that understands my training must be ramped up for the next month and I may be a little late 1-2 days a week.  I’m looking forward to my first run on Saturday with Lex Ladies Run.  I have been so encouraged this week by their online presence and encouragement.  Now that I’m in the homestretch of my training, I really need to pick up the pace and intensity and I’m certain that having a group of ladies to run with will do the trick.  There are several 3K’s and 5K’s they are participating in before our 1/2 Marathon, but even one run with them before the big day will be great!  I’m looking to clock 9 miles, my longest run ever!  Say a little prayer for me!  I’ve also been wanting to get back in the gym and throw some weights around.  Not only will it be great physical training and a way to get some stress relief, but most women I’ve seen who have dropped some serious pounds have spent their time in the gym at some point.  It will be much easier to run those 13 miles in 29 days if I can drop a few more pounds by then.  Now that I’m getting more comfortable with running longer distances during the week, I may pick back up my Cardio Sculpt class twice a week at work.
  • Spiritual–I’m still hearing a lot about the darkness and the light, but this week’s theme has been “Rooted.”  Now, if you know me at all, you know I love trees.  I love the imagery of trees and their deep rootedness, I got a tree pendant for Christmas and even have a Tree Pinterest board.  I love Ephesians 3:17 that says “I pray that love may be the ground into which you sink your roots and on which you have your foundation.”  That may be my favorite verse.  So anyway, along with the images of dark and light, I’ve been reminded of the importance of having a solid foundation and making your roots sink deep.  Roots were even mentioned in the church service we attended on Sunday when we took a day away to Cincinnati.  I’m also back to reading The Circle Maker and it’s been need to see a type of rootedness he describes when talking about “Hyperlinking” your prayers.  So need how God created us for connection and to have a solid foundation  and we have that ability if we look for it.
  • Creative–I  have several ideas and am making this my accountability statement that I will spend some time this Sunday during our Sabbath to put those ideas into action!
  • Home--Saturday was really productive at our house as we not have our Deep Freeze hooked up in our basement AND lights downstairs with a switch!  Before we just had clamp lamps and it made doing laundry a bit scary.  Laundry is much more enjoyable now!  As I mentioned earlier, we took off on a spur of the moment Cincinnati Trip for the day on Sunday as a bit of a get-a-way.  We enjoyed a service at Crossroads Cincinnati and burger madness at Arthurs,but we also wanted to run some errands at our favorite Cincy Stores, Trader Joes, The Container Store and Ikea.  The Container Store wasn’t open yet when we were on that side of town, but we had a very fruitful visit to TJ’s and Ikea.  We had a budget at Ikea and stayed within it (WOWZA!) even though there were a few extra things not on our list that ended up in our cart.  We have already “implemented” several of our purchases–paper towel holder and a bathroom towel holder, and have several others hoping to be utilized soon.  We scored some curtains for the living room and some really great fabric on sale that I’m going to make (with help of course) some curtains for the window in our stairwell.  At the time, we weren’t sure where they were going to go, but since having them home and doing some clean up and re-organizing furniture around the house, I think it’ll be the perfect fit for the stairwell.  And for $2.99 a yard, how could I pass this up?

    Love a Deal!

  • Personal–Although Sunday was a busy day since we were out of town, it was a great weekend overall.  It’s always nice to take a step back from the norm and do something random and sporadic (and for all you folks who know the planner in me well, yes, I promise this is me still writing!).  I’m learning that sometimes, you just need to pack up and get out of dodge for a bit!  Again, this week overall has been really great–I’ve felt in the groove with my running, productivity at work and home, balanced with rest (we may or may not have been in bed at 8pm last night!)  Looking forward to another similar weekend of balanced productivity on our home and rest (and crafting!  I haven’t forgotten!)

Mom Update: Mom is doing well–she has an appointment with an orthopedic doctor today about a back brace.  She was fitted for one a few weeks ago and should receive it today.  They’ve said they are pretty uncomfortable in the beginning and I’m praying that she’ll be able to endure the pain as I think it will be a great support for her back.  She hasn’t felt the greatest this week between her arthritis flaring up and just feeling a little sick, so I’m hoping a day out with her sister and Mom and good news at the orthopedist will be a good ending to her week.

Yummy Recipes! I had a few new recipes on the docket and some old standby’s . We enjoyed (and still are!) some great Pulled Pork on Monday.  This is SUCH an easy recipe and if you are at home to turn the pork, I’m sure it’d be even better.  Ours turned out a little charred since I was at work, but that’s okay with pulled pork, right?  You want that charred taste.  We had some staples of Pumpkin Chili and Harvest Stew this week as well–I haven’t fixed the harvest stew in a while and while it’s a staple in the fall, we had some sweet potatoes and apples that needed to be used and stew meat was on sale so we were sold!

“Pinteresting” Things:  If you’re on pinterest, feel free to follow my boards!

Absolutely beyond thrilled to try this during the weekend–having a lot of antique furniture, we have some water stains that just make me cringe everytime I see them!

water stain removal

GREAT inspiration for our reading room upstairs from this picture.  I absolutely love all the color even though the walls are very neutral!

Color!

I really want to do this as apart of my crafting on Sunday!  It’s so simple and easy.  Plus I have plenty of Mason Jars and jumbo craft sticks that I bought for another project I want to do–That picture is below also…perhaps I”ll knock them both out on Sunday!

date night in a jar

Prayer Sticks

Things I’m learning: Last week’s things I was learning: Margin.  Balance.  Rest.  This week has been the result of living into some of those things.  I still have to “knock it off” when I feel some perfectionism tendencies kicking in.  “Judge not least ye be judged” also applies to me.  If others I’m living life with–my spouse, friends and even co-workers (since I work at a faith based institution) are living into this scripture, hopefully they will be slow to judge when I integrate margin and balance into my life.   I also read this really great article sent to me from my friend Amanda about being positive towards our spouse, but I also think that can come into play with all relationships in life.  Thanks Amanda for sending that my way!

Interesting quote/Scripture:

I’ve already added many of my favorite quotes from my Book Review Post earlier this week–please check it out if you haven’t done so already! 

This song was played for us at my Huddle Group this week.  We were encouraged to listen to it as if God was singing it to us. (fast forward to 1:35 to miss some banter). And of course, I didn’t mind the artist at all, but it’s been really powerful to hear it in this fashion.

Hope you’ve had a great week!  Happy Weekend!