So I thought I’d share some of the random pics I have on my smartphone and write this blog entirely on my phone as well, just for kicks. I feel like I have the most random photo album ever – some pics I’ve taken myself, some not. Here is just a glimpse into my ridiculousness…

My new running kicks, the Mizuno Wave Runner 15

David Wallace. Suck it.


Thanks to my friend Charlotte for that lil gem!

Really good pie

Praying mantis at car wash

Me super muddy at the Ruckus

I love seeing pics that remind me of friends.

Why you all in my grill???


Nothin you can do about it


Moms dogs tongue is like 500 feet long

McKayla is not impressed by this blog! Rats!

Hope everyone has a nice weekend 🙂

Run by faith,

Dear Mama

The other night I was putting my 5-year old to bed and I held her close and whispered, “I promise to never, ever leave you.”  This promise may seem ridiculous, but it stems from my insecurities about the impact my working for 3 years of her toddlerhood took on her, always shipping her off to be in the care of someone else rather than feel her mother’s love day in and out.  I always worry it will cause some kind of insecurity.  And her response?  “What about when you die? How will we be together then?”

Mark 16:16 says, “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.”

I responded to my little girl, telling her if she wants to see me after we die she needs to grow up to love God, to try to be good, and to be baptized and follow Jesus.  She asks if I’ve been baptized and I tell her yes.  I promise her I’m going to do all I can to go to Heaven but that she needs to do the same.  Then we will be together forever.

I think about the people in my life I love more than words can describe.  I think about those I’ve already lost – good, honest, hard-working people… non-Christians… and I wonder… did they go to Heaven?  Will the other people in my life that I love, other non-Christians or luke-warm Christians, will they be saved?  Can you go to Heaven without following God’s road map?  It is hard to think about those we love most not going to Heaven.  When I do let my guard down and think about it I weep for them and for myself.  It makes me feel like I’ve failed those I love the most because I wasn’t able to show them how great God’s love is.  But He did give clear instruction in His book on how to be saved.  I have no clue how to absolutely guarantee someone goes to Heaven, but I’d say the Bible would hold the most probable answer.

There are times I want to quit.  I want to quit it all –  quit being responsible, quit having to set an alarm to get up early when it’s the weekend (!!!), quit striving to better myself for my family and just be selfish.  Heck I’d just like to use the restroom one time without having someone bust in on me!  I’d like to just start locking the bathroom door.  Lock them out.  Quit it all.  Live for me.

Then my little girl asks me that innocent question, “What about when you die?  How will we be together then?”  And all selfish desires melt.  Imagining a day without my beautiful, sweet, loving girls literally rips my heart from my chest (to the point that I’m actually tearing up just typing this – I’m such a sap!) and I love them so much I would literally go to the ends of the world for them I would do anything to know that there would never be a day in which I would have to be without them.  And with that I press on.  I give all of myself to the Lord, I surrender my heart and soul and I teach them to love Jesus.  I pray that it sticks but I know it ultimately will be their choice and I realize life is a marathon.  As for me, I choose to follow His road map.  I pray I see you at the finish line.

Run by faith,


Here Without You

Part of marathon training is getting my weekly distance run up to 20 miles.  Some distance days when I knew I had to run 15 or more miles (according to my running plan) I’d just go out and run till I either ran out of time or ran out of gas.  Then I’d come home, map it, and see how far I went.  I was really enjoying that process and thought of it as an “organic” approach to running, as the sport is lending itself to more and more gadgetry (GPS shoe chips, ipods, etc) — until I noticed that I kept finishing at 18.5 miles.  Realizing that I was falling just short of my 20 mile goal, which is kind of the pre-marathon max distance one conquers to prepare for 26.2, was starting to play mental games with me.  In an effort to stay as low-tech and high-fun as possible I found myself 1.5 miles too short 3 times in a row… and I began to doubt myself.   I firmly believe distance running is 90% mental and if I didn’t hit the 20-mile mark I was beginning to fear I wouldn’t be mentally prepared to go the distance in May.

So last week I broke down and bought a Garmin GPS watch.

And let me tell you… it ROCKS!!!  I took it for 2 runs last week, a 9-mile loop and a 20-mile out & back, and it’s really hard to not be obsessed with your pace!  I found it actually pushed me to run the 9-miler really strong and was almost like the running coach or partner I’ve never had and I loved it.  I thought it was a bit of a distraction for the longer run but it helped me get the job done, which was really all that mattered.

As I often find in life I think my distance running escapade made for a good metaphor when it comes to our relationship with Christ.  We go to church (our *distance* (or commitment) run of the week) and we hope that’s enough to help us stay in the race and cross the finish line – with the result a “gold medal” into Heaven.  But just going to church isn’t enough.  Look at my situation:  I was doing my weekly distance run.   Keeping things basic and uncomplicated.  And my running fell flat and I began to doubt myself.  I hadn’t done the homework to pre-plan my runs to make sure I was hitting 20 miles.  And I should have.  Also I’ve had a TON going on in my personal life and it’s cut into my cross-training time, which has hurt my running quite a bit.  Just going to church isn’t going to keep you on track and with God Monday through Saturday.  You’ve got to do your prep-work and spiritual cross-training.  Start with studying the Bible.  It’ll help you make better decisions when faced with things of this world.  And it’ll remind you that wordly things, such as lust, money & greed, aren’t important and help you appreciate your life exactly as it is and the many gifts God has already given you.

1 Tim 4:7-10 says, “Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance. That is why we labor and strive, because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, and especially of those who believe.”

Put God in your daily GPS. His is a race we should all strive to win.

Run by faith,

runnin’ down a dream

For me it’s never, “Do I feel like running today?” But rather, “I wonder how many miles can I squeak out before the kids get up?” It wasn’t always this way. And please, friends, let me say that for as much as I run I’ve never won a race. After running dozens of races I’ve taken home all of two age category trophies – I’m no Steve Prefontaine by any measure. Also, contrary to my blog’s name, I’ve never actually run a marathon (I was using the word as a shout-out to my favorite sport & a metaphor for life). I did run a half in 2010 only to find out 2 weeks later I was pregnant with #3. Only God knows what my future in running may hold.

Those close to me know I am very passionate about physical fitness and it’s a big part of who I am. Growing up my parents always had me and my brother in tons of sports and we both continued to be solid athletes throughout high school. As we considered our colleges and ideas for becoming adults, we both parted ways with athletics. To this very day I still miss sports very, very much. But for me leaving sports was something I felt I had to do in order to dedicate myself to my studies. I was at a large university studying to become an engineer and I just didn’t feel I had time for it. Without sports (or Christ) and the healthy environment it promotes, I became victim of the tragedy that befalls likely the majority of college students – gaining the “freshman fifteen” (except for me it was more like 25). Believe it or not, I was partying hard every weekend and smoking a pack of cigarettes a day.

The summer between my sophomore and junior years changed that. I met a boy who was very into physical fitness. And in talking about my love for the good ol’ days on the hardwood, he laughed and said he bet I couldn’t even run a mile anymore. “Run a mile,” I remember saying, “Of course I can run a mile! Anybody can run a mile — I used to run so much it isn’t funny!” And just like that a challenge was issued and I had to step up. So I planned a mile run, 1 mile out from my apartment. I ran it… it wasn’t pretty and when I reached my end point 2 things had become evident: #1, I could not “run” a mile, and #2, next time I need to plan my mile in a loop because now I was exhausted and had to make the walk back to my apartment feeling completely pathetic. Looking back I can’t believe I was surprised at the time, given my unhealthy lifestyle. But I was. I had taken my physical capabilities, up until that point, for granted. That mile was a HUGE wake up call.

So I started jogging. Initially I used it as a crutch to really cut back on the smoking. Then BONUS: I started losing some weight. Then DOUBLE BONUS: I was just feeling better about myself in general. It was affordable and available so I did it. I signed up for my first 5-K and enjoyed it. But I soon found myself losing motivation. I had reached my 5-K goal and I wasn’t really very good or a “natural” at running. So to set a new goal and stick with it I signed up for another race, this one to raise money for Cystic Fibrosis. I didn’t even know what Cystic Fibrosis was at the time, but I knew I needed another goal or I’d quit and I wanted to be an athlete. A legitimate athlete. Again.

I went online and looked up Cystic Fibrosis. And at that moment – and I still remember the moment – I realized there are TONS of people out there who can’t run and would love to. People who were runners, far better runners than I, who had gotten sick or in accidents and would give anything for one more mile. And there I was, sitting at my computer, with two perfectly good legs and I wasn’t appreciating them. At this time in my life I didn’t know God but I was smart enough to appreciate what I had been given. At that very moment I decided I was going to start using my legs, and my body, to run races. To raise money for those who couldn’t run. And as my way to show that I appreciated the “gift of gait” I had been given. I didn’t want to end up some day potentially on the other side of things and look at my legs and my memories be of them sitting on the couch. I wanted my memories to be the joy of running through the woods on a colorful fall day. To know that if injury or illness befell me could look at my life… and my legs… and know that I lived. That when I used them I felt free of all life’s burdens. And now, as a Christian, when I run I feel closer to my Maker.

When I stand at the starting line now, three children and countless miles later, I give thanks to God for my many blessings and I pray my run somehow brings Him glory. And I think of my favorite pre-race scripture “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,” (Phil 4:13) and I know that regardless of my natural running abilities (or lack thereof) I can tackle the road ahead if me. Because Christ is always by my side.

Run by faith,


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