#irun4 TOBY!

On March 29, 2014 I made a decision that is certain to change my life forever for the better. I signed up to get a running buddy through I Run for Michael. In a nutshell, this amazing group matches special needs kids or adults with runners who will run for them. The buddy/coach receives emotional support and the runner gets a new purpose to their runs.

I signed up for the facebook group and watched things for a couple of weeks before I officially took the plunge. What was holding me back? Two things - first, I was questioning how me running for someone in spirit could really make a difference and two, I have too much empathy for my own good. Was I ready to carry someone else through times of trouble or sorrow? Was I willing to offer prayers?

For the prayers, ABSOLUTELY! And after watching the posts on facebook and talking to a friend I realized, yes, me running for someone makes a huge difference. In does matter. It will make a difference. Okay, I'M IN! Can I carry and lift someone up? YES! It is my goal in life to motivate others and to be a source of happiness, this is my place!

The wait seemed so long. I kept track of my placement on the list each time it was posted. When I broke 2,000 I cheered. When I broke 1,000 I cheered. At 165 it was getting very real and very exciting. When I was number 10 I squealed! Darling daughter looked at me and I had tears in my eyes and she asked what was up with me. I told her I was #10! Since she has heard me ramble on about this since March she knew what I meant and cheered. Any day now, any day now I would meet my buddy!!!!!!!

From that point on I was glued to my phone in a way completely not like me. I was "stalking" the next posting of matches waiting as patiently as I could. At a pool party yesterday I even stole away to a shady corner to peak. I know...awful! But I had been waiting so long and there it was! The announcement. I HAD A BUDDY!!!!! More tears swelled in my eyes, I called darling daughter over to the side of the pool and said "Toby!", she looked at me oddly for a moment and then it sunk in, I HAD MY BUDDY, and she gave me a high five.

In less than 24 hours Toby has found a place in my heart and in my family. I love that darling daughter is as excited and has announced she too will run for Toby. Today when I did my one rest day mile she tossed in a yoga session. We crafted for Toby and she was my trusty photographer.

At the party people asked what was up. We explained it and most got it and were excited and expressed things like, "Wow! That is cool!". But in all good there is always one doubter. The one who said, "Oh, you are just virtual friends." and I let it slide and forgot it a nanosecond later. Not everyone will see things the same.

Today that comment came back and irked me another nanosecond until I thought about pen pals. In the past were pen pals referred to as "just pen pals"? Humanity has so much to offer one another and I love that I, like many, choose to go beyond what is right in front of us and to extend our love and caring further. I am honored and blessed to run for Toby. His family has given me a gift of sharing their son and life with me. I will give them my 110% each and every day because I truly feel that is what I am supposed to do. Our families have been perfectly matched by higher forces and I can't wait to see what the future holds for us!

Who do you run for?

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful I got my buddy yesterday!
Daily Affirmation: I do not let fake barriers hold me back.


Goodbye FEAR, Hello FAITH

It dawned on me this morning that FEAR was taking a hold on me and I realized, I needed to shake it off.

First, let's rewind. I have been questioning if breaking a 4 hour marathon has value, if I can do it, if I should, if it really matters. In all reality, I have been battling FEAR. I just wasn't able to pinpoint what was going on until today.


It is a nasty thing. If you were to look at its definition, and I did, you would discover that fear is literally an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that something/someone is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.

As I sit here staring at that definition I realize why my goal of breaking a 4 hour marathon is generating fear. Yes, running a marathon is likely to cause pain. Been there, done that. And yes, that pain will go away and varies in intensity. That is not my issue.

So what is?

No, my goal isn't dangerous per se and it is not a threat to me. I have accepted that there will be pain making that issue null and void but the butterflies still stir.


Because I am putting myself out there. I have told the world what my new big dream/goal is and this leaves me exposed and vulnerable. I am open about my training, I will tell you when I fall off schedule and why (vacation, family, work, etc.), I will share my triumphs, and I will share my struggles.

No one is perfect in this world and my blog is about reality. I will tell you when I have fallen down and recently I have. I have lost sight of my power word for 2014 and it is time for me to bring it back to the center of my life.


Now this is a good thing. Faith defined is the complete trust and confidence in something/someone.

I can not sit here and type with 100% certainty that I will break a 4 hour marathon but I can tell you, I won't give up on my dreams. It took me 3 years to achieve my goal of breaking a 4:20 marathon so I am not giving up on my new goal in a short 7 months. That is just wrong.

What matters most is not if I achieve my goal but rather, if I keep striving to be the best me. I will not give up when things are tough. I have been training hard and the long mid-week runs are tough mainly from the standpoint of working them into my work week before starting work at 6:00 am each day. This determination will pay off. Yes, I have juggled my training here and there but I am still in solid standing and ahead of the game from where I was last year.

Last summer my training slipped too and I didn't do one set of intervals while on vacation. This time, I did my intervals....each week. I lost my long runs both years but I had some good weeks with lovely mileage this year. I got lots of time on the roads in Texas heat. That will count for something. I will not lose FAITH in myself because I FEAR failure. Failure is not something to be feared but embraced. In all reality, for a person to stand up and say I have never failed they are really saying I have never fully pushed myself to my limits. Sorry, but I do believe that is true.

I have fallen down. I got back up. I will fall back down. I will get back up. Falling down just shows I don't give up, that I continue to try new things, and that I set challenges for myself. I will continue to do so.

How about you?

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for yoga opening my mind to what was really holding me back.
Daily Affirmation: I have FAITH in myself.


A Virtual Coffee Date

Have you seen these posts before? Ones were the blogger invites you to their virtual coffee date and just chats? I find them fun to read but I never felt I would sit down and write one. That is, until today.

What changed? Perhaps everything, perhaps nothing, but in all reality, today would be a perfect day to call up a few friends and say, let's hang out and chat.

So today you are officially invited as I feel I really do just need to chat in a way that isn't focused like my traditional blog posts (if you want to consider all of them focused). I don't have an overriding theme or issue I want to discuss. I just have a lot going on and you know girls love to chat away their worries!

I would tell you about my running and how in some ways it is going so good but in other ways I feel deflated. I find myself questioning why I have set the goals I do and if it is really worth it? In all reality, who would care if I broke a 4 hour marathon or if I didn't? Okay, I would care that I gave up on a goal so I keep going. I would ask how your running is going.

I would tell you I am loving yoga but there are days, like today, where I feel I am making no forward progress. I could hardly touch my toes I am so tight. I would ask if you have any suggestions for opening up your hamstrings.

I would tell you my shoulders have been hurting for days! I have these knots that just won't fully release and I have had moments of paranoia that they are indicators of something bigger. But I find comfort in the twitching muscle spasms to remind me it is just a muscle thing. I would ask if you knew any yoga poses to help relieve muscle tension in your shoulders.

I would tell you I am so worried for my friend's Ma who has had a really tough year. She is on a plane flying to Maui today and hopefully once she is nearby all of our worries will subside. I would ask how your family is doing.

I would tell you work is beyond crazy for this time of the year and I wonder how I am going to get everything done that I need to do. I would ask you how your job is going.

I would tell you blogging is still a joy but I wish I had more time to read blog posts from others. I would ask you about great blog posts you read recently.

I would tell you I find comfort in my bible study and loved how much I could do while on vacation. Perhaps it is just reading for me that is fun but then, I love involving darling daughter in the stories and sharing what we are learning together. I would ask you what you like to read.

I would tell you I am blessed with good friends, real and virtual, and that I don't like the term virtual friend. It seems to make you sound less valuable in my life and that isn't the case. Some of my virtual friends are more present when I need them than some real life friends. I think it is because with virtual friends the power of technology is embraced. I would ask if you agreed.

I would tell you I have the best running coach ever and love that he never gets down on me when I flop...and I have flopped....but I will return to my focused self. I would ask you who is making a positive impact in your life.

And then I would realize time has flown by and even though I had so much more to share and hear, I need to rush out. I would thank you for taking the time to hang out and listen to me carry on.

Hope to talk again soon.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for rain.
Daily Affirmation: It is okay to get in a funk, I will get back out!


Blog of the Month!

It is that time of the month again! Time to spread some love and share some information on another wonderful blog out there. Perhaps you know it, perhaps you don't, but why not read a bit about this month's blog and tell me what you think?!

Introducing Heather from Divas Run for Bling! Heather is a runner, blogger, and scrapbooker living in Chattanooga, TN with her husband and three fur children. She blogs about her journey as a runner - the races, training, lessons learned, healthy living, tips and advice and, of course, the bling. Heather's blog isn't completely new to me as I have been following her on facebook and twitter but I am sure you know what that means....I miss a lot. Both social media forums can have a lot flying by and if you are not watching all day, and I am not and never will be, lots can fly by. Thankfully I just added her to my bloglovin' list as well....assuming I find the time to sit down and read all the blogs I want to read. Oh my! So little time!

It seems I have stumbled upon her Recipe Thursday today and come on, that is a reason to set off alarms to see what Heather has to say! I love reading about recipes in hopes of finding a new gem for my kitchen. Today Heather is sharing her Mocha Coconut Protein Smoothie. In all reality, with the dairy in this recipe it will not find its way into my tummy but it did remind me how much I love making smoothies. I just try not to get the blender going before 4:00 am at my house but am now contemplating adding a blender to our "office kitchen" at work. It may be nice to fancy up my daily smoothie with some added yummy ingredients. Currently it is my VegaSport protein powder and water. Yep, I am #vegafueled!

If you have a spare moment though please stop over and say HELLO to Heather and let her know Erica G sent you. It is always good to spread some love!

If you would like your blog to be featured, please fill out this form.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for dairy-free, gluten-free, and soy-free protein powder mixes!
Daily Affirmation: I spread happiness every day in one way or another.