"Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, Who is in you, Whom you have received from God? ... So use every part of your body to give glory back to God..." 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Find the Silver Lining

This week I made a new discovery within myself.  I have mixed emotions on this enlightenment, however; I am clinging to a happier perspective. Or at least trying.

I made the trip down Woodward Ave towards St.Joes Hospital to visit maw maw on Friday.
She has been in the hospital now since Thursday struggling with a bowel obstruction and diverticulitis
On the way out of the hospital, I had many memories and thoughts filling my brain like a tidal wave.  I didn't know if I should laugh, cry or chalk it up to raging PMS hormones.
Multiple emotions erupted, crashing into one another.

I came to the conclusion, I was grieving the loss of My Heritage.
I took this drive many times to discover my mothers fate at 18 years old. I watched my mom for almost 8 weeks fading away in a coma at this very hospital. Just a few streets away was my grandmothers church that I grew up in, All Saints Episcopal Church. And just a couple miles away is where my Aunt Mary lived, where I would see my dad and all my Mexican cousins. On the ride home I would pass N. Telegraph rd, a little ways down my grandmother lived on Apple lane, 24 Apple lane I believe it was. I little hole in the wall apartment I would visit her at almost every Monday for years.
Its now just memories.
Good memories, bad memories, all part of my existence. My make up.

These are not the emotions you want to be dealt with when you are struggling in the hormone dept.
Missing your culture, your ancestry or what you believe to be your make up.
Missing you parents, your grandparents, your cousins, your aunts, your uncles, your BLOOD.
I have my brother and my sister, and they are both AMAZING, but even they live hundreds of miles from me.

I was quickly reminded of all the people God has put in my circle. He has surrounded me with so many people to love on me.

I reminded myself it is O.K. to go "there" but not to camp "there" too long.
Find the Silver Lining.

Today, I have new routines, new friendships and I am privileged with incredible parents, my husbands.
By the time I arrived back in Clarkston, I was smiling and counting my blessings.

My heritage is what drives me. It is what quietly fuels me, often without making its presence known.
It presents itself in the form of Stubbornness, Strong will, Passion and many other character dispositions I carry.

My thoughts and my running: Collide
I thought about this today when running with Lacey.

Our Goal: 12 miles @9min/mi
Our Plan: Run at my gym. Lacey designed a 4X3. 4m on the track, 4m on TM then 4m to finish on track.

Our first 4 miles on the track were easy. We chatted, smiled and kept good track of our laps.
Be both DREADED the TM. We were side by side onTM's. My original thoughts were that the TM would do all the work for us, making us maintain our 9/min/mi and turn our legs over.
As painstaking as it is running on the dreadmill I knew we could not settle into comfortable. I looked to my right and would throw up digits on my fingers indicating to change the incline on the machines.
I could see Lacey poking at the buttons. I knew SHE had to get the training in for Boston. I was hurting more than she was. But she needed this.
The dialogue in my mind was annoying. I kept hearing my heritage over talking my weakness. Lacey looked smooth as silk. I had sweat dripping off my chin and felt like my 4 miles was more like 40 miles. My inner temperature was what I wanted the outside temps to be as I could feel every pore sweating. And in my suffering, I continued to add inclines to our TM workout. I continued to fight throw the defeating conversations.
Even after the TM workout we still had 4 miles on the track to finish it up.
The only dialogue that was speaking was between my ears because even Lacey wasn't chatting. I counted our laps, our miles, counting down the time, the miles and trying to program my legs to get comfortable.
With a little more than a mile left a group of about 8 boys game out onto the track. They ran in a line doing a Indian Run. I was SPENT! But I was actually sparked back up watching the boys raise their hand indicating for the last boy in the back to speed up and run to the front.
"Lacey, lets catch up and join them!"
Lacey knew I as serious. And she was not liking this plan.
Sure enough, we caught up to them. I saw the front boy raise his hand I jumped in behind the last boy and OFF WE went racing together to the front. The boys turned their heads and started laughing.
Their coaches were just a few feet away.
Out of breath and laughing I yelled, "Sorry, I just couldn't help myself!"
The coach responded "HA, that's great! They needed the motivation."

Lacey and I finished our 12 miles. We ran our plan and ran it well. There was no OTHER option.
That's My Heritage.
I am reminded this week. I grieve my ancestry. I grieve the Murdock in me. The Gonzales in me, my family, my customs, my routines and my memories.
But its perspective. I live My Heritage out in my actions.

12 miles@9/min/mi.
Stretch and roll before and after. Along with abs, Lacey rocked out the cold plunge as I fed her an apple and enjoyed the Jacuzzi!


Friday, January 12, 2018

Running isnt a Free Sport.

Every sport has a cost. Running can be less costly and on the flip side it can cost you a second job to pay for registrations, accessories and travel expenses.

This year I am signed up for:
  • Snow Moon Run: 35$
  • Highland Loops: 55$
  • Detroit Marathon: $102.65
  • Three Sisters ultra: 75$
  • Woodstock 100K w/camping: 155$

These alone add up too!
I still have to sign up for:
  • Pot o Gold: 30$
  • Mohican50: 115$
  • Clarkston Backroads: 50$ before Feb1st
Total: 617.65

Items to add on:
  • This does not include the races I don't know that I will do! 
  • Shoes, trail shoes and road shoes
  • Lodging
  • Clothing, I love running clothes!
  • State, county and metropark pass stickers
  • Accessories, head lamp/night gear, water bottles, gear, ect.
All this being said. I am so thankful for all the Christmas gift money that my clients gave me. I was able to purchase 2 registrations. 
I have to ration myself. A little here and a little there.  

This year I will look forward to 3 new races: Snow Moon Run, Three Sisters and Mohican50

I am just keeping base miles right now.

So today was a fun run with the gang out at Seven Lakes.
Our January thaw left the paved roads mostly clear with a few patches of ice. The snow had melted and the water damn was spewing.
I was extra courageous wearing a running skirt and compression socks.
I looked cute until I took a body slide into and across the melted mud. Then I looked official! 

We ran a little keeping a good pace until someone picked up snow. From that point, I am not sure what happened other than body plants in snow banks and snow balls flying everywhere.

At 44 years old, it is soo good for the soul to laugh and be a kid. 5 grown adults acting like kids chasing each other with vengeance.

Knobby knees, wrinkles Mud!

With muddy biff produced some good laughter. But even I got my revenge when we came to the back of the camping area and looked straight up a big ole HILL.

It took a little convincing. We took off our coats, you know to get SERIOUS and UP we went. And back down too. It was muddy, steep and tough. I was trying so hard to calm my breathing, the more I did the more it made me want to laugh.

Mud slide hill

Today we ran 10 miles. We ran a solid pace including our shenanigans and challenges.

I am looking forward to training with my group. We all take our running serious but we also know how to make an adventure out of it too!

Enjoy what you do. Play out the unplanned adventure. Take the side route, climb the tree, and do the Happy DANCE!


Monday, January 8, 2018

Seriously, No Goals

Synonyms: Decision, Settlement, Dedication, Aim, Pledge, Promise

As soon as I mention "So, did you make any New Years Resolutions?" to most people, most people respond:
"I don't make New Years Resolutions."
"Oh, I didn't really even think about it."

Last night at our teens small group I LOST MY MIND. 
We had about 30 kids and 3 of us leaders in a circle. I always like to start out with and icebreaker. 
I did a very SIMPLE icebreaker. I asked them about Resolutions. 

Within the first few students I was instantly discouraged by the lack of enthusiasm and interest in participating in the EASY icebreaker. 

By the time the circle had finished, I was fuming. I was now finding myself discouraged by their poor attitudes and lack of participation. 

Before we started the lesson I had a few words to share with them.

My thoughts on RESOLUTIONS or GOALS.

The last I checked, most of have not "ARRIVED."  I know for me personally, I am always trying to be a little better than I was yesterday. Some days are better than others but many days I Fail. I lick my wounds, dust myself off and try again. 
I set resolutions, or goals to give me something to aim for, to work towards. It gives me purpose, a plan to the strive towards, not just beating the air aimlessly, without direction.

"Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air.."1 Cor 9:26

Without a goal, a purpose, I can be easily discouraged. 
Without a goal or a plan I SETTLE.
I find myself comfortable in the land of being mediocre. I wasn't designed to be mediocre, and NEITHER WERE YOU. 
Without a goal, we get stuck on stupid. Complacent. Often backslidden and not moving forward at all. We allow things to creep into our lives that hold us back. 

I was so discouraged these young people not only had any resolutions but basically stuck their middle finger up at the whole idea, had a bad attitude.

Because if you take it to the WHOLE NEXT LEVEL......as I am about to..
As a CHRISTIAN, we should be training every day to be better. 
25. Everyone who competes in the games trains with strict discipline. They do it for a crown that is perishable, but we do it for a crown that is imperishable. 26Therefore I do not run aimlessly; I do not fight like I am beating the air. 27No, I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.…". 

I explained to the kids that setting resolutions or goals gives you something to work towards. Its not something that is easy and even always comes with success. But letting fear of failure prevent you from setting goals should NOT be your back door. Failure is not the end of the road, it is just a bump in the road.
I have more failures than successes. I have plenty of people that would love to share some of my blunders, mistakes and failures with you.
See its PEOPLE that keep track of your failures, not GOD.
And its Satan who wants to remind you of them. He wants you to wear you fears and failures so you won't want to try and be more Christ like. To be a better person.

It hurt me to see the kids so complacent. They are our tomorrow.

Each one of us can set simple goals, even daily goals. You don't have to advertise them to the world but I would encourage you to write them down even journal them.
Don't settle on coasting because it is easy.
Like my dear friend Rachel says, #DOTHEHARDTHINGS

years goal...New Race at Woodstock
The Happening 100k

Where: Trails/backroads Holly Rec
Distance: 6.5 ish (I forgot to start my watch)
We had so much fun today. With the snow fresh and untouched we were excited to put our prints in the snow. The tempertures were warmer and I was shedding clothes before we even started. We started on the trail but got off at the first chance we could, hitting the backroads. The snow was too heavy to trudge through. But it sure was pretty.
We ran some good miles, steady, hitting most of the hills running and breathing really heavy. I felt so much better hearing the others breathing as hard as I was. Misery likes company!

Because it warmed up so much, when we finished we went for a little lake asventure. This lead to creeping across the lake, snow angels and a little mayhem. SNOW BALL FIGHTS.

It has been soo cold that we have all been running and hustling home to get warm. Today was great. We enjoyed running and the adventures in it.


Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Running the Numbers for 2017

2017 was a year of victories and failures.
I ran new races, I met new faces and to keep this rhyme going..you got it, I ran in new places!
It wasn't a year of PR's. But it did hold a new distance for me, my first 100 miler.

For Christmas, Lacey gave me a very nerdy gift. 3 spreadsheets with:
  1. My races (mileage, time, pace) 
  2. My 16 week training plan for Glass City Marathon
  3. My 25 week training plan for Hennipen 100. 
I have also crunched a few of my own numbers. 

Total miles for 2017: 2,451 yearly miles
  • That's an average of 6.7 miles a day, a 10k a day or 3.1 marathons a month.
  • 1,320 miles to see my brother in Stuart, Florida, I could almost make it back home, I would have to hitch a ride!
  • I have always wanted to go to the zoo in San Diego, California, 2,354 miles!
Glass City Marathon 2017
I trained for 16 weeks starting January 1st. 
  • Total Training Miles: 702.7
  • Highest mileage week: 51 miles
  • Lowest Mileage week: 22.2 miles
Hennipen 100 2017
I trained for 25 weeks, using Glass City as my starting training week. 
  • Total Training Miles: 1435
  • Highest mileage week: 100.50
  • Lowest mileage week: 28.8
  1. March 17th, Pot O Gold: 4 miles, 33.05
  2. April 9th, Run Michigan Cheap Millington: 13.1, 1:47:54
  3. April 23, Glass City Marathon: 3:46:20
  4. May20, Highland Loops Trail Run: 16 miles, 3:03:16
  5. June 11, Run Michigan cheap Lk. Orion: 13.1, 1:54:47
  6. June 24, Wings of Mercy 5K: 3.2, 25.09
  7. August 10, Great Pizza Challenge: 3.2, 25:09
  8. August 26, CRIM festival of Races: 10miles, 1:24:04
  9. September 9, Woodstock: 50 miles, 10:27:22
  10. October 7, Hennipen 100: 23:13:19
  11. November 12, Clarkston Backroads: 13.1, 1:58:32

My greatest Victory was running my first 100 mile race, Hennipen100. Not only did I finish but I finished in my goal time. This was pretty epic considering most of the time you don't set any goal other than JUST FINISHING!

And of course my biggest failure, Glass City Marathon. I tried to qualify for Boston.

My favorite new Race: Highland Loops

2017 was a year of strong friendships. Team Squishy toes was birthed out of long trail runs and ridiculous hashtags.

Part of Team Squishy Toes

This girl put many many miles in with me. Not only did she ran her first 50k for me, she also held my hand through sweat, vomiting, pee pee pants, she was there for my greatest victory and loved on me in my failures. 


Now to start planning 2018!


Monday, January 1, 2018

Goals 2018: FOCUS

2 Chronicles 15:7 " But You, Take courage! Do not let your hands be weak, for you work shall be rewarded." 
January 1st.
That's it. I'm done. Back in the saddle again.
Its time to purge bad habits, junk food, junk miles and get Focused.

I need to lick my wounds and prepare for more.
No more whining, crying or making excuses for being a slacker.

I love when I get my mind into my goals. There is something magical about setting goals, putting my mind in that place and Focusing on each goal.

I get excited knowing that each target requires sacrifice, commitment, dedication and a certain amount of discomfort.
Its the challenge that gets me charged. The fuel in my fire.

I am still setting my goals for this year. I am planning my races for the year and making a few new years resolutions.

I set my goals to challenge myself,  try new things and even some old things with a new perspective.

New years day always brings so much hope. The coffee was perfect setting me up for a great day to follow. 
Lacey texted me first thing this morning reminding me that it was freezing out. 
Lacey sent me this....It is posted at the Track at Genisys!

I decided to start my wearing my butterfly running skirt. I was giddy when I discovered my newer running shoes matched.
As ridiculous as it sounds, I felt like a princess. There is a lot of girl in me. I love feeling pretty. 

Todays GOALS:
1. Double digit run.
2. Hold an average pace of 9min/mi

I wanted to run with a lil bit of distress. Training has to have a certain amount of displeasure. The pleasure exceeds discomfort when you reach your goals. 

I had to park in the back of the parking lot at Genisys. I couldn't find a parking spot. The massive gym was packed with New Years Resolutioners. 
All the faces get me so excited. Its hard to not get stoked and be an extrovert. I was grinning from ear to ear wanting to share high fives to random people. 

I put my ear buds in and headed upstairs to stretch and roll. 
The track is hard to walk past and was easy to come back to. Walkers, runners and a lot of high school students were sharing the very large track. As one of the largest tracks in Oakland county, it appeared small with so many people using it. 
The first lap my legs wanted to hop skip and jump. But that second lap was a great reminder that the endorphins were short lived. 
I felt great, making my first mile actually fun. 
By mile three I still felt great, however, I was actually concerned play time would come to a screeching halt and I would be suffering on the second half of my double digit run. To prevent that the dialogue in my head began to debate my miles. 
9 strong miles sounded better than 10 miles of suffering. 
By mile 5, I was still on pace and feeling great. I got a second wind from a young guy who was running what appeared to be 100m repeats. He flew by my so fast that my heart actually skipped beats and I found myself laughing out loud. Watching him was impressive to say the least. 
I couldn't help myself, I had to tell him how fantastic he was to watch. 
But I didn't miss a beat. I stayed focused on my pace. I even shared a few encouraging words to random runners on the track. 
Giving others encouragement always encourages me. Smiles help to put a little more pep in my step. 
By mile 6, I decided I was going to run MY GOAL. 10 miles. My pace was a bit faster than I wanted but I knew I could hold it, I knew I needed to try to hold the 8:40min/mi. 

Chris Swanson stepped onto the track. He looked at me but I don't think he associated me with church. 
He was just the right fuel to finish out the last 3 miles. We went back and forth passing each other. He picked up his pace on my 8th mile. I didn't think I could hold on to the 8min/mi. 
I kept my eyes on the back of his head and his large headphones. 
Focus. I focused on the goal, I focused on my breathing. I focused on my posture. I kept everything running in my vision. I counted my laps, I counted my minutes. I pumped my arms, picked up my legs and stayed just a few meters behind him. I could see him looking behind him. 
The last quarter mile I decided I was going to finish by passing him. 
NOO I am not competive....
I quickly picked it up knowing the 10 mile marker was just a few feet away. I hit the last gear I had and flew past him holding on as I ran beyond my marker. 
I smiled inside, giggle a little, then went to the side thinking I was going to puke my brains out. 

Friendly competition, not malicious in any way. I was able to use someone to help me make my goal. 
And it was FUN! 

It felt so good to run a little faster than I have been. To be able to get my blood pumping and my legs turning over really helps me mentally. 
My wobble sticks are sore and tired, but even that is like a trophy for hitting my goals. 

I have to add up my 2017 miles this week. 
I will share those later this week.
I Hope You set some Goals for 2018. Goals prevent you from getting complacent. They remind you that there are great things out there. But you have to work for it!


Thursday, December 28, 2017

Some degree of Crazy.

I have had the debate multiple times with multiple running friends;
Running quality in freezing temperatures VS. running indoors.

So it is fair to say I HATE running cold. I will do it but if you are running with me you will hear me whine most of the time, if I talk at all!


I do not pound my chest talking about how I haven't been on a TM for "X" amount of time.
Good for you.
Not good for me!

I personally run outside in the winter mostly for two reasons:
  1. I have FOMO- Fear of missing out. I like running with my friends. 
  2. If I am running short on time it is quicker to run from home. 
I believe running indoors for ME benefits ME more than running in freezing temps and inches of snow by:
  1. Running cold requires many layers. the more layers I have, the more I have to irritate me. Too tight, to itchy, too short, too thick, too stinky, too big, too bulky and so on. 
  2. I get mentally defeated. It requires so much more work for me running in the cold. I feel like I am huffing and puffing the entire time. My chest is heaving, my breathing is pathetic and I feel fatigued with very few miles in. 
  3. Mentally I get discouraged by my pace. I am running slower yet my body feels as though it is working harder. 
  4. I struggle maintain my pace due technical issues, my eye lashes freezing together, my shirt riding up, snow banks and ice to name a few annoyances.
  5. Running indoors allows me to run in SHORTS! The bare minimum. Having the air touch my skin is magical. I am such a happy runner. And Happy is Good!
  6. I can get on the treadmill and it makes me keep my pace. The TM is not forgiving. She doesn't let you catch your breath, she keeps on turning unless you push the button. I can hit the incline, the decline, punch in my pace and watch Ellen! 
  7. Running on a TM is good mental training. It takes A LOT of perseverance to run farther than 5 miles! 
  8. If I go to the gym I am way more disciplined to stretch and roll properly. I am also more motivated to do core and strength training. 
2018 is a New Year. I have new goals, new thoughts and new perspectives. 
I LOVE running. 
I plan on doing as much running next year as I did this year. 
I am NOT RUNNING. It is NOT my sole identity. 
This year I cut back on my social media running posts. 
As much I love running and this is a running blog I have even wrote about things other than running. I haven't put in all my stats and I haven't even been blogging as much. 

I have been doing the other things I love. Parenting. Being a youth leader at my church. This year marks the 12 year I have been either going to or volunteering in an addiction facility, one of my greatest passions, addiction.
I have over 20 years as a stylist. I love my profession and give 100% to my job. I LOVE people.
I even read a few books this year, listened to some great podcasts and watched a few documentaries. 

Yes, I ran some epic races, I coaches XC again for our local charter school and I still ran over 2000 miles for the year. 
BUT, I am MORE than a Runner. I love being outside, I love kayaking, watching the sunrise and catching the sunset. I love baking, camping and watching my boys play ball.
Christmas gift REVIEWS:

I ran today in them at sub zero weather. My feet never got coldor wet and I was pushing through a half a foot of snow. These particular pair of socks are actually taller than the ankle high ones I have. I prefer them higher, they fit great under my running tights and kept my shins warm and dry as I trudged through the snow. 
Smartwool: 25$
This is hands DOWN my favorite buff. At first, I didn't think I would like it due to its narrow neck. It was itching me until I got cold! WOW, it warmed my cheeks and nose instantly. It snuggled around me like a little face furnace. I would occasionally pull it down I would get so warm. 

Brooks Windbreaker: 100$
This light weight windbreaker folds into a teeny weeny little square, great for ultra running. I used this as a outer shell on Christmas to lock in the heat and keep the wind from cutting through me. It paid for itself the first time I used it. Christmas is was again sub zero and I got caught in a white out snow squall. I NEVER got chilled.

Nike Thermal running shirt.
My favorite detail with this layering shirt is the longer length in the back. It covers my toosh. The arms are also longer with fold over hand sleeves and thumb holes.  The material is lighter, making this the perfect layering shirt. 

In other news. 
My good Friend Ken is running "Across the Years" . He is running the 6 day race. I am excited for him. I think he is crazy but then that is all relevant. We all have some degree of CRAZY in us. 
He started today and has over 40 miles in. He is trying to average 55 miles a day. 
Remember him in your prayers!


Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Catching up on camera

I am still alive and kicking. I am even still running.
I am slowly digging myself out of chaos.
Manageable chaos, self induced.

Thanksgiving has passed.
Christmas is already a memory and life is breathing again.
I am crawling out of my hole.
I had a few days it was hit or miss. Long days, late nights and lists that never appeared to have a period. And we are not talking menstrual, we are talking punctuation.

I am now running in multiple layers of uncomfortable clothing.
Tights that are too tight. Thermal shirts that itch. Hats that make my hair stinky.
Layers, soo many layers that stick in weird places and bunch up leaving me feeling like the Michelin Man.
OHH and lets not leave out the fact that its so stinking freaking bloody cold all my devices keep FREEZING up and shutting off on me!

Ill catch you up to speed through some photos.

LACEY, PAULA AND MATT surprised me with a mini birthday party. This was seriously one of the sweetest things. Because my birthday is so close to Christmas it is really a P.I.T.A. 
Everyones busy, and I feel like a burden. But they made me feel like a princess. 
Whiny Butterfly may be a nickname I have adopted. 
I opened Laceys gift, the one she has been ITCHING to give me since Thanksgiving, and jumped all over like monkey. 
She found me a running skirt from Lululemon with BUTTERFLIES all over them!! `

I have wanted a pair of these obnoxious running glassed for a year! My mother in law bought me them for my birthday. I wore them on Christmas to try them out. I got caught in a white out, they were AWESOME. They kept the snow out of my eyes and added the perfect amount of ridiculousness. They are so FUN! I want them in every color! 

All my goodies on!

PART of my goodies from Christmas. Andy always spoils me. 
Brooks windbreaker
Runners World Journal
Runners World Train Smart. 
Smart Wool Buff with Merino wool
Nike layering thermal shirt
A bib/medal hanger

THESE ARE THE MOST AMAZING SOCK. Andy bought me a pair 2 years ago. They don't get wet! My feet stay dry and warm.They are expensive, 50$, but worth every penny if your an outside winter runner.

I got distracted this morning and "Ran" out of time to go to the gym. I had to buck up and venture outside in sub zero degree weather. 
I NEVER got cold. However, if my eyelashes could speak, they would be cursing me. I actually had a car come to a complete stop. This man rolled down his windows, with a big smile he yelled "You are the BEST, Good for you, you are the BEST!" 
I smiled until I realized I dropped my brand new glasses somewhere through the village of Holly. I found them! tucked away in a snowbank. OHH happy day! 

So...If I can organize my day properly ttomorrow, I will give a review of all my new goodies..including the new New Balance running coat Andy bought me for my birthday!
And loved.