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The Short Version of How I Got Started Running

When I was very young I began running with my dad.  Everyday we would try to make it a little further than previously, till one day we finally hit a mile!  Sadly, after reaching that “milestone”  we quite.  As I grew up I loved playing tag, taking walks, roller skating, biking, swimming, and gym class in our homeschool group, so I have always been a sporty type of person.

Around the age of 13 or so, we went to a churches outdoor fall party.  I was already way overweight at that age and when they called for the 5k I wished I could go but decided not to.  Then they had a short sprint past the lake and back.  I was thinking “Sure, I’ll go for that.” 

But what I didn’t hear during the instructions was that you had to go AROUND the lake, not past it.  I huffed and puffed till I could go no further.  I was so embarrassed when two of the girls heard me breathing and looked back. I wished I could run and hide.

Fast forward about five years and my sister tried to encourage me to run with her. I went a few times but hated being out of breath. I was doing what typical beginners do and that is starting out too fast, which causes a lot of people to hate running.

Around the age of 20 I played around with short jogs, but only where no one would see me. At 21 my dad decided he was going to sign the family up for a 5k and I decided that if I was going to do it, it was going to be running the entire three miles.  No exceptions.

As I trained, using Couch 2 5k, I remember one day feeling totally discouraged and defeated because I couldn’t push myself as much as I wanted.  I went into the house and sat down at my desk to read a short paper on discouragement.  In that instant I knew I had to do it.  I headed back outside and chose to run three quarters of a mile without stopping.  I finished it and during that run I was hooked.  I don’t know what happened but from then on I knew I wanted to be a runner.

From that day forward God has run with me everytime upon my request and it has drawn me into an intimate relationship with Him. 

I can’t explain to you what is so thrilling about running, you would have to experience it yourself. I used to think runners were crazy and I feel like God has something for me in this sport. Looking back now I can see the many times He tried to get me started. I am so glad He did not give up on me, because running has changed my life in multiple different ways.

Through Be Still and Run I hope to encourage others to embrace this simple act of running with God, as part of their daily life!  May He implant this desire in your heart!

Until next time,
Happy Running Y’all!!

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Dreams Die and Dreams Live

Write the Vision and Make it Plain

A few years ago I went through a phase of whether I was to continue in my dream with my horse ministry or let go and move on.  It was going to be called Solomon’s Stables.  I had designed the barn, the land, the facilities, created  lesson plans, wrote up leasing papers, priced everything, created a logo, and on and on.  I knew what my goals were going to be, my focus was planned out, and ministry ideas were ready to be put in place.  I even gave lessons to two girls and we saw God work in some pretty cool ways.  But then I graduated high-school and for some reason, over time, just lost interest altogether.  God simply just took that desire out of my heart.

I began working with my family on their market garden business.  We went through a lot, gathering supplies, making a video and website, advertising, planning out ministry ideas, going to farmers markets, etc. etc.  But come to find out God is leading my parents to counseling instead.  The end of the family farm left me with a lot of time on my hands and no income.

But now what?  What in the world was I supposed to do? 

I wasn’t even sure what I enjoyed doing.  I had my whole 2020 year planned out, but with this sudden change in my family’s plans, now what?  I decided to do a week of prayer, with one or two meal fasting increments, seeking God for direction.  I asked two friends to join me in prayer as I sought the Lord for wisdom and guidance.

What God lead me to was affirmation and encouragement to just live my life.  Seek God and focus on him. 

Just run.

Just write.

Just pray. 

Just keep going. 

As I recall all the moments that I wondered whether I was on the right path or not, I remember once seeing a little sign in a store that said something like, “You’re where you’re supposed to be.”  But in my spirit I heard God say, “You are right where I want you to be.”  It was so uplifting!

A couple weeks ago I felt like the Lord was leading me to, “Write the vision, and make it plain… that he may run that readeth it.” (Habakkuk 2:2-4)  I decided to finish the vision board that I had started last year (2019).  It was so much easier this time around though because I now know where God is leading me.

I love organization but I wanted this board to be jumbled, colorful, and full of different ideas that all led to my main goal, which is to glorify God through my love of writing and my new found passion for running.  I began getting so excited but quickly realized God’s way of getting us to our goals is much different than we have in mind.  Much, shall I say, slower?  We see something and want to jump at it, but God normally says, “Slow your horses, let’s talk about this.”  He loves us and wants us to succeed.  He wants us to be wise about our decisions.  And…

He wants us to do it WITH Him.

So, what is your vision?  Let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear from you!

Until next time, Happy Running Ya’ll!

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Important!

Hey, ya’ll! First of all I wanted to real quick say

Thank you so much for supporting me! You have been a huge encouragement in the continuation of this blog! I have enjoyed create content for you guys, (and girls 🙂 ) since we started here!

Now secondly, I need your help. I will be changing the running girl icon in my logo to a simple sketch. Head on over to my Facebook page on Tuesday Afternoon if you wanna be a part of the poll! It will be open till the end of the week so feel free to think about it. Looking forward to getting your input!

Thanks so much! And Happy Runnin!

Allison

P. S. Here is the Facebook link: https://m.facebook.com/allisbsr/

My First Full Marathon Training and Race Recap

Ya’ll I can’t even begin to explain how great this journey has been!  I had originally planned on running a Half-Marathon in the year 2020 but because of Covid, that got canceled.  Then this year, 2021, I planned on running the same Half-Marathon from 2020.  But no, God had other plans!  Great plans!!  Before I share what happened I wanted to thank some people…

Huge Thanks!!

First off thank you to my parents who put up with my indecisiveness and doubt during training.  Your encouragement to do what God was leading me to do was a huge help.  Your getting up at 4 am on race day to support me, the effort you took in trying to find me during the race to encourage me to keep pushing, the many encouraging words in the last stretch of the race when I only wanted to sit down, the big pizza meal afterwards… I couldn’t have done it all without you!

Early morning departure!

I also want to thank my sisters for putting up with my talk of running and complaining about the pain and how I wanted to quit.  You saw the whole back story and still encouraged me to do what God was leading me to do, even if you thought I was crazy.

I also want to thank all my friends who prayed for me during training and the race.  Telling you my fears of passing out or not being able to finish was super helpful and I’m very grateful for your prayers and support!

Also a big thank you to the running group I am a part of (you know who you are)!  You all were so encouraging and very helpful in both training and my success on race day; I couldn’t have done it without you!

Also a huge thanks to some friends for staying around to see me at the finish line (and for running the last stretch with me), you helped push me there at the end just by being there!!

And also a big thanks to the running and nutrition coaches for your advice and help you gave along the way! (You know who you are as well!)

The Decision

When I decided to sign up again for 5k May (running/walking a 5k everyday in May) this year, I also wanted to sign up for 5k Mayhem (a 5k every hour for 12 hours) and get better results than I did in 2020.  Yet I felt like God was giving me permission to do 5k May, but not the Mayhem.  I was bummed.  But there was some good news, He wasn’t just saying no,  He was saying He had something better. 

After much complaining I finally asked Him what the better was and He said “A Marathon.”  For some odd reason I immediately got excited and started looking around for a fall Full so I knew when to start training.  It confuses me that I took Him immediately at His word because I said I’d never run a marathon.  I said those people were crazy, well honestly I used to say all runners were crazy.

With about 6 or 8 miles to go, I was starting to incorporate walks in only when I needed them.

After much research I finally found one I had peace about and started training the first week in May.  My long run at that point in time was 5-6 miles so I started with that. The first weekend in June I did an 8  miler. But it was the last long run of July that I was anxious about… the 15 miler.  I knew this was going to be a huge mental and physical challenge for me.  When the day came I took that Saturday extra slow, so much so that it took me 5 hours to complete!  The milestone was accomplished but now I was anxious about the 8hr cut off time on the marathon.  The math of that run was not in my favor.

The week following the 15 miler was a very slow easy week as I prepared for a 5k I was hoping to get a personal best on.  My time ended up being 31 minutes, beating my course record by 3 minutes but being 4 minutes over my overall best.  That was discouraging and I ended up battling a bit of post race depression the following week.   This race I believe was the start of my struggles. 

The Struggles Begin

The week after my 5k race led to the 16 mile long run, which unfortunately, on the last mile, my feet became very uncomfortable and it ended up leaving me with a foot pain I could not run on.  I limped around for a day or so and wasn’t able to run for half the week, so I ended up having to focus on recovery and decreasing my weekly mileage as well as skipping that next long run. 

The following week I was able to do the minimal amount of weekly mileage, dropping all cross-training and strength training, fitting my 18 mile long run in just fine.  But again this left my feet in pain and I had to focus on recovery the following week.  By the time I got to the peak week in training my weekly mileage was poor and my long run ended up only being 17.5 miles, so you can imagine what was going through my mind when I realized in two weeks I would be running 26.2 miles!!

During the last half of my training I was tempted to quit multiple times.  But for some reason I just couldn’t.  I took one day at a time and it honestly felt like I would go out and run without even thinking about it.  I felt called to run this marathon so much so that I couldn’t give up.  But that’s not to say I didn’t consider it many times.  I did have quite a bit of accountability and support from family and friends which was a huge blessing and motivation.

It was pretty wet during the first two and a half hours I was out there, but it was cooling and kept my allergies at bay.

Marathon Day!

I will never forget the feelings I had on this day.  It was much like the weather during the race – Cold and wet, to cool and breezy, followed by being soaked in heavy rain, then along comes the sun which dried up all the rain and the itsy bitsy spider… just kidding… but really the sun came out and made the blacktop dry at a pace quick enough that you could feel the water in the air.  My feelings were a mixture of excitement, wonder, and anxiousness, yet amongst this I was filled with peace knowing that I was called to run this marathon and that I had made it healthy and fresh to the start line.

I was a little worried about my nutrition – when to eat and what, my hydration – especially as the race progressed and I didn’t need as much when it was raining but needed quite a bit when it was humid, and the cut-off time which just an hour prior I had realized was actually 6 hours and 45 minutes instead of 8 hours.  But God had promised me I would finish so I tried to relax my nerves with that.

5 minutes before the start I began doing some drills and strides as my warm up.  I was determined to stick with my own routine and since it was dark, I didn’t have to be tempted about copying someone else since you couldn’t really see anyone visibly.  We were all just a bunch of bouncing figures running around the start line.

Everyone got in line as they sang the National Anthem and then the fireworks that started the race were awesome.  As we all ran over the start line there was a guy dressed up as a duck which made me laugh as I high fived him. My goal during this marathon was to laugh and smile as much as I possibly could so that I would stay loose and light hearted.  I was off to a good start!

Not the best of pictures, but this guy made me laugh and the fireworks in the background where really cool.

Immediately pulling out of the park I found someone directly in front of me going a good pace so I decided to stay behind her for the first mile as I continued my warm up.  The second mile I ended up breaking away to set out on my own steady pace since luckily today’s warm up was a short one – must have been all the adrenaline.  I started out with a rain jacket but quickly switched to a garbage bag as it got hot pretty quickly. 

I listened to the Bible for the first few miles, which I think got me into a pretty good pace, before switching it to some Southern Gospel a little later on.  Someone was cheering me on on the Race Joy app and it sounded like a duck or chicken every time so that got me some good laughs throughout the first 9 miles.

By mile 13 I was thinking, “This isn’t so bad,” but it wasn’t long before I had to start taking a few walking breaks.  By mile 18 my quads started hurting and my form had failed so my shoulders and neck were killing me.  Walking breaks from here to mile 20 where only when I needed them, and from 20 to 26 was running every possible second I could intervaled with fast walking.

Mile 20-26 were a “focus on the mile you’re in” kinda deal.  The thought even crossed my mind that I might not make it.  But I was determined to laugh and be silly when I could so I asked some of the volunteers and cops if they wanted to switch me… I got some good reactions!  Slowly each mile went by, but that last mile was the longest mile I have ever ran.  A friend helped me run the last stretch just in time to make it 38 seconds under 6 hours!!

During the end, these mile markers seemed to be stretched farther and farther apart as I got tired. Sorry it’s hard to take photos while your running 😉

When I crossed that finish line, running as fast as I possibly could in pain, it was the strangest thing ever.  I actually don’t think it hit me that I ran a marathon till the next morning.  I was half asleep and I thought “was that a dream?”  until I got out of bed… no really it was when I fully awoke that I realized I had just run 26.2 miles, something I said I’d never do because I didn’t think I could, but when I got out of bed I did have some proof as my feet hit the floor!

Within minutes after I crossed the finish line I put anti-inflammatory essential oils on, drank some molasses, salt, magnesium water, ate some Doritos, finished the banana Larabar from the race, ate a banana, and drank a protein shake.  I had just burned over 5,000 calories so it didn’t cross my mind one time how much I ate just then!

As soon as I got my snacks this is where I sat for a little while before I was advised that sitting too long was probably not the greatest idea.

Successes

God had encouraged me to eat, after an hour, just whatever I felt like it and whenever, which started out being some Cliff Blok Energy Chews.  I ended up eating one date and some homemade energy guu before I made it half way.  Another thing I felt like was a huge help is that in that first half I was tempted to start counting down from 26 but God encouraged me to count up until I got to mile 13 of which then I could start counting down.  It kept the numbers short and more mentally manageable. 

The other thing I found which was a huge success is the hydration.  I’ve been over-hydrated and dehydrated during training so I had that on my mind while I was running.  God encouraged me to drink what they offered at the aid-stations and only use the handheld water bottle I had – which by the way was a Nathan non-slip, awesome product that I am super pleased with – when I was thirsty in between.  I used a NUUN Immunity hydration tablet in the water bottle for the first half which I am happy with as well.  I didn’t hold water or cramp so it must have worked well. 

The last stretch of the race seemed to go on forever! But I was able to “sprint” through the finish line – as fast as I could.

As for the aid-station water, let me tell you, I hate ice water, but that cold water was to die for, I guzzled it towards the end like it was going out of style!  The volunteers were super friendly and I loved the signs posted towards the end, they were quite humorous.  The one that stood out the most was something like, “Where in the world is the finish line??”  The other one was, “Did you join the ‘I peed in my pants’ club today?” –of which I was blessed to have not had to use the rest room one time, and no, I did not go in my pants.

I also wanted to point out that my foot started hurting somewhere after mile 20 and I knew if it manifested itself that it was over.  I told God, since He promised me I’d finish, that He had to take the pain away… and He did.  I actually had no foot pain till a few days after the marathon which has just been a little plantar fasciitis because of tight hips and calves, so nothing new.

The start/finish line. It looked totally different here than it did almost 6 hours later, I actually wasn’t even sure where the finish line was during that last mile.

Recovery

This is a phase I will probably hate out of them all.  Not being able to just get up and run in the morning is very painful to me, I miss it already.  I have only stretched one time in the past month and I used it as a workout a week after the race.  This I feel has benefitted me quite a bit.  I have cycled once so far, walked almost every day, and for the first week allowed myself to sleep as long as my body wanted, laying off all jobs and tasks that didn’t have to be done.  I did soak my feet in Epsom salt the night of the race and I enjoyed a long 12 hour “nap” that night!  Planning of course for my next race has been a priority!

Crossing that finish line was so relieving!!

Overall

Overall this was one of the greatest experiences I have ever had!  It was so worth the pain and the difficulties that training brought.  I doubted many times during training if I wanted to do this but God gave me enough grace each day to help keep me moving forward.  Not much will ever be as special as this was to me.  I had the greatest time running with God and never have I felt so close to Him and peaceful as I did while I was running that marathon!

The scenery at times was beautiful!

What’s Next?

I’m honestly still praying about that.  I feel the Lord might be leading me to a trail 50K next summer, but we will see.   If not, I have a trail marathon in mind for next fall and I’ll focus on a half marathon or 5k’s in the spring and summer.  As of right now I am still in recovery mode, I was able to run a 5k yesterday so that was wonderful!  Lord willing, I would like to work on my 5k and 10k speed over the winter while maintaining a long run base around 15 miles.  New opportunities are just over the horizon!!!  …For you as well!

Lord willing, I will be making a list of the products I used during the race and training, so keep your eyes open for that if your interested!

Until next time, Happy Running!

Listen to it instead?

Insomnia

Why can’t I sleep??

There have been a few times throughout my life that I am exhausted throughout the day and can’t sleep at night, but this one particular night was awful.  I tossed and turned and couldn’t find a comfortable position to lay.  My mind was swirling with all types of anxieties, including that I couldn’t fall asleep.  As soon as I would start to drift off, my eyes would shoot open and my heart would be racing. I tried getting up and walking around, getting some water, eating, scrolling on Facebook, anything.  I even tried sitting in a crouched position on the floor where I normally drift off to sleep while I’m praying, yet nothing worked.  I even tried praying for people which normally puts me back to sleep.

Eventually after much begging of God to let me sleep, I fell asleep.  Then my alarm goes off.  It had only been 4.5 hours.  I shut it off and considered going back to bed to get more shut-eye but God said, “Stay up.  I’ll help you get through the day.  You can always take a nap.”  Surprisingly I was able to skip coffee that day and still make it through, actually feeling quite good. (I try to skip coffee for 1-7 days every now and then so that I am not addicted to it.  It seems the caffeine losses its affect on me after a few months and rather makes me tired instead of waking me up.)

The moral of the story…

I feel so bad for those who suffer regularly with Insomnia, because sleep is a gift from God.

It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep. –Psalm 127:2

But even though sleep is a gift, it is not forced on you.  You can do things to ruin the gift God gave you.  Say your best friend brings you a present for your birthday.  It is happens to be that one thing you have been wanting for years.  But then you begin to crush it and take it apart.  You pour soda on it and then complain to your “bestie” that it doesn’t work anymore.  What do you think your friend is going to think?  Why would we see God’s gifts any different?

There are many reasons one can have insomnia, assuming it is not a medical condition, the top ones being too late to bed, too much screen time, and too much anxiety or stress.  Exercise, diet, and vitamin deficiencies, as well as too much caffeine or too soon before bed can also play a role.  But personally I would guarantee, especially if you live in the States, that anxiety plays a huge role in your insomnia.  Ecclesiastes puts it this way:

For what hath man of all his labour, and of the vexation of his heart, wherein he hath labored under the sun?  For all his days are sorrows, and his travail grief; yea, his heart taketh not rest in the night.  This is also vanity.  - Ecclesiastes 2:22-23

No matter what God has placed before you to do, anxiety does not have to ruin your life.  Jesus came to give us abundant life!  Satan on the other hand wants to steal and destroy your sleep because he knows how important it is.  (See John 10:10)

God promises to give his children peace and sleep, free of anxiety!  But we have to accept it.  We have to take the necessary steps to get it.  If someone is offered an interview for a job, don’t they have to go to the interview and present to the bosses in order to possibly get accepted?  We have to do our part.  I’ll give you two sections of scripture in closing that have proven beneficial in helping me sleep.

My son let not them {God’s Word} depart from thine eyes: keep sound wisdom and discretion: so shall they be life unto thy soul, and grace to thy neck.  Then shalt thou walk in thy way safely, and thy foot shall not stumble.  When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid: yea, thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep shall be sweet.

Proverbs 3:21-24

Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.  And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:6-7

If you need prayer for their Insomnia don’t be afraid to ask, I’d love to pray for you!

Until Next Time, Happy Running Ya’ll!

Depression – Living without Hope

I’m going to be vulnerable with you.  Once a month I struggle with feelings of depression as part of my cycle.  Sometimes it lasts for minutes, other times it lasts for days.  I have found a trick to beating these feelings or at least stuff them away until the time passes, but I’ve recently encountered some people who truly have to deal with regular bouts of depression, or rather seem to be stuck in it.  From my limited experience and watching others, this is what I wrote in my journal last night:

“Depression.  It’s rampant throughout the world.  It’s not just visible, some people hide it.  It’s a lonely, dark place.  It’s full of lies, doubts, fears… But the root?  It’s HOPELESSNESS.  It cripples, blinds, and leads astray.  It destroys everything good in a person.  How to get out of it?  I’m not quite sure.  Is it a place? An emotion? A feeling?  Or is it a season or valley which one must walk through?  A desert perhaps?  Or only a tool which satan uses against us?  Which if this is the case how weak my sword is in fighting the thoughts that arouse!  Or rather how weak I am in using the sword!  O Lord save me from this state and bring me back to a hope filled place.  I need rescued; I need something to cling to. Rescue me Lord!”

Another place I wrote:

 “Why is it so easy to dwell on the fears and doubts that crowd someone’s mind?  Maybe that’s just it.  If it crowds their mind, there isn’t enough scripture and truth to dwell on instead.”

Depression saps one of all their energy, all their will and desire, and all their motivation.  They have no hope.  They have either 1) Dwelt on lies and fears of the enemy so much that they have lost all reason to live or 2) They have forgotten their Why.

I’ve talked a lot about knowing your Why and yet again I’m reminded of how important it is.  Ask any depressed person Why they are on earth and I guarantee they won’t have an answer.  If they do have an answer then more likely than not, the answer comes from their head and not their heart.  Their heart is probably so full of lies and fears that it has sucked all desire to go on.  Possibly they don’t feel loved or cared for.  They may not have anything to look forward to.  But one thing every depressed person has in common is this:

They have no Hope!

The definition of hope could very well be summed up in this: the desire to obtain something with at least some expectation of receiving it. 

Hope comes from knowing WHO God is and believing that His Words are true and that He WILL do what He says He’ll do.

Depression starts in our mind (thoughts) which feeds our soul – home to our feelings, emotions, desires, and will.  If our souls are weary and wishy-washy then the first step we need to take is to ask God to show us who He is, to help us “taste and see that the Lord is good.” (See Psalm 34:8)

Here are a couple scriptures you can look at:

Why art thou cast down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted within me?  Hope in God: for I shall yet praise Him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.

Psalm 43:5

Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath: that by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; which the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.

Hebrews 6:17-20

If you are stuck in feelings of depression, you must know that there is hope if you are a Christian, because God is the only one who does not lie and it says that if we come unto Him we “shall find rest unto [our] souls.” (See Matthew 11:28-30)

Love you guys, see ya next time, and Happy Running!

How Teaching Yourself the Gospel Could Make You a Better Runner

I have always loved Hebrews 12:1-2!

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

I would quote these two verses while I ran and it gave me some motivation when it didn’t hurt.  But then came the discomfort and pain… I would complain and grumble about how I hated running and asking God why He called me into running and on and on.  I was tired and running out of “ump” to keep going.

One day as I read Hebrews 12:1-2, verse 3 seemed to jump off the page at me.

For consider Him that endured such contradiction of sinners against Himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your mind.

I was like “Wow!”

God called me into the running space, why? I do not yet have an answer, but I have this burning desire inside of me, especially this year, to run and to see what I am capable of.  Therefore in my faintness and weary heart I was able to relate so much to Jesus in verse three.  He endured pain and suffering for me, for you, worst than any of us could ever imagine.  He was separated from His Father, humiliated, treated unfairly and unjustly, hurt and torn.

I began quoting this verse to myself as I ran and as I would think about what Christ endured for me it would give me this energy and strength that I didn’t know I had.  It helped me to push past the pain.  To push past the weariness.  To keep going even when it got hard.

Since running is 80% mental it makes sense to conquer the mind so your body is free to run.  It makes sense to step outside of ourselves and think of someone else.  Not only does this remind me of what Jesus went through it also reminds me that Jesus loves me!  A lot of people have doubts that Jesus loves them.  They figure if He loved them they would have what they pray for and be void of  troubles.  But we seem to forget the benefits of going through an injury, going through a trial, and going through suffering, it is actually a gift, something to be grateful for!

In the next blog post I will be sharing what I learned through an injury and how changing our perspective through trials will actually make us stronger in the end.  But for now, I pray you will find strength in teaching yourself the gospel and realizing your pain comes nowhere near what Jesus went through for you.

Love Ya’ll, See ya soon!

Happy Running!

Do you do Resistance Training or do you Resist Training?

One afternoon my dad picks up my bag of resistance bands and asks me what they are.  After I tell him, his reply was simple, true, and yet hilarious: “Oh, you do resistance training and I resist training!” 

In that moment I realized something.

We have a choice. 

We either train or we don’t. 

There is no in-between. 

We are either getting stronger or getting weaker.

 In this season of my life God has led me to run a marathon.  With this challenge comes another more difficult challenge – rather than my pace getting faster, it’s getting slower.  Instead of running an easy 11:00 minute pace, I run anywhere from 12:00 – 15:00.  That is a huge squash to my ego.  I want to train to be fast and run longer.  But the sad thing is our bodies can’t really handle the extra distance and the extra speed if it’s never done it before, it will crash and burn out.

My dad has always been a huge supporter of my dreams, particularly my running ones, and he likes to come up with these crazy ideas and challenges he tells me I should do.  My favorites have been ones like:

  • “Don’t track your runs till your next race,”
  • “Just go out and run, when someone asks you what your pace is, simply tell them, ‘I don’t know, I just run such-and-such a distance.’,” and
  • “Run a certain amount of time one way, like a half hour and then run back, don’t focus on your time.” 

My Heavenly Father has technically told me the same thing,

  • “Just run.  Don’t compete.  Better yourself and enjoy spending time with me.”

This causes me to want to bale on training because it is not yielding the results my flesh really wants – to be faster than everyone else.  I want to resist training firstly because it hurts and secondly because it goes against what my flesh wants.  But isn’t that how we grow?  By going against the grain, against what feels good and what is comfortable?

The way a resistance band works is like pulling against the grain, making a certain exercise movement harder than it would have been otherwise.  As time goes on, an easy band may become too easy, so you switch to a medium band.  Overtime that medium band becomes too easy and you must go to the intermediate one.  Before you know it, you will be using the extra-hard band and find that that too is becoming not enough. 

In life circumstances come and go.  Seasons come and go.  Years come and go.  Trials, situations, opportunities… what are we doing with all of these?  Is it pulling us down, weakening us, throwing us into an internal prison?  Or are we growing stronger by the minute, getting up and running forward when we get knocked down?

It is your choice!  You can either resist the training that God brings your way or you can use these times to get stronger and grow closer to your Creator.  Let’s choose to do Resistance Training rather than to resist it!

“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.  For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.  And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”

Galatians 6:7-9

I love being able to share my heart and all God teaches me with you all, and I pray for you as my reader often. If you ever have any specific prayer requests, please feel free to contact me, I would love to pray for you!  Having support and prayer from others makes Resistance Training so much easier.

May God bless you, Happy Running Ya’ll!!

Your “A” Race – What is more important to you??

Sometimes in life we have to make decisions that we wish we could avoid.  Sometimes it challenges our pride and sometimes it challenges our heart.  We come to a cross-road where we wonder which road to take.  That is when you need to look back on your why’s and priorities… If you have them.  The worst thing someone can do is get to a cross-road and not have their heart ready for it. 

Your “A” Race is the most important race of the year for a runner.  Is it that marathon in three months, the half-marathon you are using as a training run, or that 5k you decided to jump on last minute?  Figuring out what is most important to you will determine how you make all other decisions.

In life our “A” Race should be Christ.  He wants a relationship with us.  If you think about who God is, we would be foolish to decline his friendship.

My number one priority in life has become my relationship with Christ.  That is also His number one priority in my life, His relationship with me.  It took me a long time to realize this and I am still learning but it has been so joyous and freeing.  I have never in my life realized what I was missing until I began allowing Him in my heart. 

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 

And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;

to wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. 

Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciles to God. 

For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”

2 Corinthians 5:17-21

I have finally come to the point that I can’t stand being away from Him, I need Him, I can’t live my life without Him.  It’s kind of like that guy or girl that you dated or really liked at some point that you just couldn’t get your mind off and can’t stand being away from him or her.  I am not quite to the point of Jesus consuming my every thought, but I do love the times that I sense His presence throughout the day.  He is always there to hold me while I cry, to listen to my frustrations, and to give encouragement or direction when I need it.

As for my running, my “A” Race is the Marathon this fall.  I did one 5k race that I ended up running a couple weeks ago, but if something in my body had threatening continuation of marathon training, I would have pulled up on the reins.  Because my main focus is to finish my “A” Race, anything that gets in the way of that priority will be set aside for another time.  Runners really need to dial this in because it will affect how we perform at our greatest heart’s desire.  Being only part way in in everything will cause you to not give 100% in your biggest race! 

Where ever you are, be all there!

I love you all and am praying for you!  Have a blessed day and happy running!!

It’s Your Choice – Faith or Fear??

Fear says, “Look at how far you have left.”

But Faith says, “Look at how far you’ve come.”

Faith is of God. 

Fear is of the devil. 

You cannot have one while you have the other. 

One will rule, while the other cries. 

Faith pleases God. 

Fear delights the devil. 

Faith consists of trusting God to keep His Word, while fear doubts and plagues the mind causing depression and anxiety.

Which one do you have?  What do you worry about?  What plagues your mind with intrusive statements that causes you to react in unpleasant ways?  What consumes your mind?

“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee:  because he trusteth in thee.”

Isaiah 26:3

Trust – Belief – Faith… They are all the same.  Peace – Joy – Hope… These are bi-products of the first three.

It’s your choice.  One of the simplest most powerful things I have ever done is to simply tell fear, “NO!”  It’s really that simple.  For me “No” can sometimes sound like this:

Fear:  You have a 17 mile run coming up and your feet hurt.  Sounds like Achilles tendonitis, well looks like you’re done.  No marathon for you.  Too bad.

Faith:  I know I have 17 miles to run on Saturday and I know my feet hurt.  But with God all things are possible.  It’s only Tuesday, if I take care of it, it’s possible I could stay on schedule.  But if not then that is okay, I can try to run it on Monday, or next Saturday.  If I don’t get to run the marathon then hey, I’m not sure I mind that too much.  Anyway, I’m not listening to you.  My God loves me and it’s okay if I don’t get to run today.  I’d rather take a couple days off and be behind schedule than not be able to run for weeks or months because of an injury.

If you give into fear, God will allow your fear to come to pass.

If you live in faith, anything is possible.

I love ya’ll and am praying for you, Happy Running!

The Unexpected Answer to Prayer

God Story – Part One

Back in 2017, when I officially started running, I anxiously signed up for my first 5k. I was ridiculously nervous and felt sick to my stomach. I was so stressed about my time and how I didn’t want to come in last.

The morning of the race came and my parents had to convince me to go. I knew it was going to be wet and possibly rainy, with a wooden bridge to cross. I didn’t want to get hurt.

I asked God for a verse of whether I should run or not and he gave me Psalm 17:5, “Hold up my goings in thy paths, that my footsteps slip not.” I wrote out a quick prayer asking God if I could possibly get first place in the race and that I wouldn’t get hurt. Yes you heard right, 1st place.

The gun went off and I felt dead as I ran full speed through the streets and park. When I crossed the wooden bridge my legs felt dead, but I refused to stop so I ended up hop-walking till they woke up again. I prayed for strength and pushed back into a run.

At the end of the 5k, after everyone had gotten a look at their times, I was shocked when I was half way in the middle, ranking wise. Not at the top , but not at the bottom either. I was even more shocked when they called my name for first place! (But then I smiled when no one was called for second in my age group 😁)

God had answered my prayer in an unexpected way and I was so grateful!!

To be continued…

God Story – part one

Marathon Training – Knowing Your Why

Have you ever set yourself up to accomplish a goal or task and half way through wondered why you’re doing it?

That’s what I’ve been thinking for the last few days – Why am I training to run 26.2 miles?? 

People have said it doesn’t matter what your “why” is, you just need to have one so that when you ask yourself down the road “Why am I doing this?” you can remind yourself.

For me, I am running this marathon because I feel called by God to do so.  I cannot come up with any other reason.  And to be honest if God had not called me to be a runner I would probably not be a runner at all.  I had said for years that I would never run a marathon, yet I catch myself during long runs contemplating being an ultra runner.

But why?  I have no reason other than for this season of my life this is what God has put in my heart to do and I purpose by His strength to run this race that He has set before me.

Can anyone relate??

When I posted this on social media I received the following comment:

“When you cross the finish line you will know. There is nothing like it. In the final miles, you will be questioning your very existence. If an angel appeared to you and offered death, you would take it. But then you pass the 24 mile marker, and know you are almost there. Your legs refuse to move, but your mind is stronger. Then you pass the 25 mile marker. You tell yourself that anyone can run a mile. You pray to God, just let me finish, and I will never do another bad thing again, ESPECIALLY something as nuts as running a marathon. But you still would rather be dead. Then you pass the 26 mile marker. Magic happens. You don’t feel pain anymore. The agony of the last hour is drowned out by people cheering. The legs that refused to cooperate for the last 8 miles, suddenly start working. You run across the finish line, people are going crazy for you, and that painful grimace that was frozen on your face for eternity, suddenly becomes an ear to ear smile. You get a drink. You get a medal. You get to sit down, and maybe even fall down. You get to cry if you want. You’ve never felt like this before. You’ve never hurt so bad, but felt so good. You suddenly know why you did it. When you get out of the nice warm bath that afternoon, you start looking for your next one…”

– Anonymus

I want to encourage you that right now you may not have an in depth reason for why you do something. But you will, trust the process and enjoy it.  Rest in Jesus’ arms and take each day at a time.  I’ve learned in other areas that the final reward is so worth the hard effort we put in.  Keep going, one step at a time!

Happy Running Ya’ll!

Seek to Understand Rather than to be Understood

How Being Intuitive can Change your Life

I came across this phrase while listening to a podcast about a month ago and absolutely loved it!  Seek to understand rather than to be understood!  Wow, how powerful!

Not only can this be used in human to human connections, but in understanding our body and soul.  I am amazed the more and more I become an intuitive person how much better my life can be!  God can work through our intuition as well – which in my opinion is really the Holy Spirits work in us, rather than just our conscience.  By practicing this it has drawn me closer to Christ and farther away from stress and worry.

I started out being intuitive with what I ate.  In the beginning I wanted a lot of sweets and chocolate, but after giving my body that, I began craving fatty foods and fruit.  I became so satisfied when I ate that I actually began eating less.  Well okay I have to confess, sometimes after a long run I eat more than less, but you get the point.

Next was being intuitive in creating content for my career.  When I had an inspiration to create a blog post, or podcast, or just simply edit my website, I did it.  And because of the inspiration and passion I had at that moment, it was created from my heart and with more enthusiasm.

Following close behind that was my quiet time with God.  At first this was kind of scary because God would lead me to skip reading the bible and go out for a run conversing with Him, or lead me to listen to a sermon.  My idea of the correct “quiet time” was being challenged and I wasn’t sure if God was leading me to do this or my own flesh.  But I began to love it!  If I wake up in the morning and want to spend an hour in prayer with a verse or two, then I do. If I wake up and feel like listening to the Bible while I run, I do.  Most of the time I prefer to rise while it’s still dark and get my quiet time of prayer, bible reading, and devotional in then, but life throws curveballs and sometimes they became a blessing in disguise.  My devotions became more about a relationship with Jesus than something I had to do every day.

And lastly, I have been working on intuitive training.  This has been challenging, as I am not used to listening to my body.  I normally just do what I want when I want and if I hurt take a few days off.  When you are training for something specific you can’t very well do that.  So I have been needing to learn the difference between pain and discomfort, my brain telling me to stop as opposed to my body telling me to stop, and whether I should move my training runs to different days depending on how my body feels. 

Through being intuitive I also realized that it can be dangerous.  We need to learn the difference between a good desire and bad desire by staying in a relationship with God.  He created us with feelings for a reason, use them but be careful, we still have a sinful nature that we must bring into captivity.  Our fleshful intuition can lead us down bad paths that are not worth even considering.  Therefore we must stop trying to convince our mind or our flesh of what is right, we must stop and ask ourselves, “What am I feeling right now?  Is it good, does it line up with scripture and God’s character?  If so, why not do it?  Or is it sinful?  If so, why am I feeling this way?  Is there something I need to take to the Lord and deal with right now?”

This phrase has literally changed my life in subtle ways and I get so much more done and with a better attitude.  This isn’t to say there will still be times when we have to do something we should whether we feel like it or not, because there is and there always will be so long as we live on this earth.  But we can learn to listen and understand rather than trying to get our points across – and as for relationships, this can make a world of a difference in an argument too. Just sayin!

I pray you have a wonderful week and fall in-love more with Jesus!

Happy Running Ya’ll!

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