Sunday, December 31, 2017


Trials come in many shapes and sizes and what may be a trial for one person may not be for another. I have not written about this but feel like it is time for me to share my journey over the past two years.

In May of 2015 I completed my first Ironman. I was in the best physical shape I have ever been in. I decided to race in Austin 70.3 (August 2015) and even though I had a slower time I still finished ranked higher in my age group than any other race. In February 2016, I decided to run the Cowtown 5K and Half marathon the next day I actually finished in the top 20 in the 5K which I was happy with. During the half my right leg went numb.This scared me as I have had back problems in the past. I have have two microdiscetomies with the last one being in January 2003. My neurosurgeon back then said if I ever needed a third surgery I would require a fusion. I have tried really hard to take care of my back since that conversation. I had friends coming in town in March 2016 to run the Rock n Roll half marathon. I had not been running since February and was hitting my back exercises pretty hard. The numbness in my leg would come and go. I decided to run with my friends. Probably not my wisest decision.

The numbness and pain in my butt was increasing so I finally went to the doctor in July. He informed me that I needed a fusion from L4 - S1. All I could do was cry. He informed me this was a 4 hour surgery with a couple of days in the hospital, and a long recovery. How was I supposed to do that with a 5 and 7 year old. I have a friend who is a Physical Therapist Assistant and I emailed her because I felt so uneasy about having this surgery. I had it scheduled for November so my husband could be around and the holidays would be here to have help at home. My friend suggested I come in and get an evaluation from her boss. I did this and she said she did not think I needed a fusion and that I needed to get a second opinion.

I began physical therapy in September 2016. My leg was still numb and I could no longer raise up on my toes. I also got a second opinion which showed I had a cyst on my L5-S1 nerve root. The new neurosurgeon suggested I go to a pain management doctor. I did this and he suggested I get a steroid injection. I had this scheduled for December until I found out how much it cost. I pushed it back to January 2017.

The first steroid injection did not do much for me so I went in for a second injection in February. While in there this time he was going to try to burst the cyst. He felt that he was successful in doing this, and I did start getting sensation back in my leg.

Once the pressure was taken off my back, my ankle started to hurt. It had been swollen for years but had not bothered me until now. I went to the orthopedic and I have a bone spur that is separating the peroneal tendon. I was placed in a boot for 4 weeks. This all took place in March.

I went back to my neurosurgeon for a follow up and he wanted me to have a myelogram. I had this done in April and they struggled to get it done. Every time they put the lidocaine in my back it siezed up. After laying in the hospital for 6 hours after the procedure they sat me up and I had the worst headache of my life. I thought it would go away and by Monday I was throwing up every time I sat up. I went to the ER on Monday to have a blood patch done. It took the headache away but I felt like I had just had back surgery my lower back hurt so bad. I spent a full week just laying in bed.

In May, I started getting really tired all the time. I would get 8 or 9 hours of sleep a night and still take a 1 - 2 hour nap every day. I had no energy, was lethargic, and was getting very frustrated about it. I started taking supplements which helped some but didn't take care of everything. I started having blood work done but everything came back negative.

The summer was not too bad the pain I had now was in my right quad. I felt like it might be more my hip that was the problem then my back. When I went in to be re-evaluated for my back my right hip was extremely tight so we started working on it.

On October 9th, I had just finished working and was yawning and my jaw popped. It was horrible pain I couldn't sleep, or eat. My dentist just prescribed 5 weeks of steroids which I didn't want to go on, pain meds and muscle relaxers. Who knew physical therapist worked on jaws as well. It turns out I displaced the disc in my jaw on the right side. Every ache and pain I have is on the right side.

I have tried to remain positive through all of this. It is hard sometimes. Living in chronic pain is difficult. I read a book a long time ago called "You gotta keep Dancin" by Tim Hansel. I started reading it again because this really is about attitude. I have had to apologize to my husband more times than I would like to admit because I have not always been the nicest person to him through all this.

Everyone may not know the physical pain I have been in the past two years and I know there are others out there who hurt much more than I do. But I have to remember this. "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." James 1:2-4

As I said everything has affected my right side which only leads me to believe that I am unbalanced. As 2017 ends and 2018 begins I am focusing on becoming more balanced in all areas of my life.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

this is amazing

A week after my worst race ever, I went to Louisiana to one of my favorite races, River Cities. I went with my friend Monica. This is the second year we have done this trip. This year I was going in to compete against her. I always enjoy a friendly competition. However, this was not really fair, because a week later she was doing a half ironman, so she was not going into this race to compete.
When we got to transistion, we were set up next to one another. Ha, this will be fun, because now we can see where the other person is. I saw another friend of ours there and asked what age group she was in. Bummer, she is in the 45-49 age group too. No way am I beating Lesley. She is a fantastic runner. I only wish to be half as fast as she is.

When we started, Monica knew I was trying to beat her. She was out of the water 23 seconds ahead of me and was grabbing her bike as I was getting to mine. This was wonderful. I knew exactly how far ahead of me she was. It also meant I knew I had to sell out on the bike to either catch her or close the gap. I had another goal on the bike and that was to not be passed by my friend Wade. He passed me last year about half way through the bike. As I pulled into transition I knew I had not caught Monica but I didn't know if I had made up any time until I saw her racking her bike. My bike time was 12 seconds faster than hers. She got out of transition before me on the run. I could see Monica almost the whole run. I would spot a shadow and count to see if she was pulling away from me. Somehow she kept the same distance in front of me. The other great thing about the run is that there are a couple of fingers. Every time I saw her I would ask her to slow down so I could catch her.The funny thing is she was hearing me say "Don't slow down." So she wasn't. In fact, towards the end she had a bigger kick left in her than I did. Her run time was 29 seconds faster than me. She ended up beating me by a minute exactly. It was such a fun race because there were so many friends there doing it.
Just a week ago I was miserable doing a triathlon and this week I was having the time of my life. It reminds me of the verse "Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9 Sometimes things do not go the way we want or plan. It is easy to get discouraged during those times. But that is not the life God wants us to have. He is with us wherever we go. The good times along with the bad. His timing is perfect. Life isn't always easy. No one ever said it would be. But there is a peace that we can live in if we live it in the loving arms of our heavenly Father.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Complete Disappointment

I have not written for awhile but not for a lack of wanting to. I am going to back track to the summer and hope to get caught up in the next couple of weeks. This summer I raced in Tri Waco. My in-laws live there and my mother-in-law had been asking me to do Tri Waco for awhile. I decided this would be a good year since I had done a full ironman and would still be in shape. I normally run a race a month so I will continue to train. Otherwise I get a little lazy.

I signed up for the Olympic distance because I wanted something a little longer than a sprint distance. I was actually nervous for this race. I have not been nervous for a race in years. However, this time I had butterflies and was a little anxious. My friend Jeff said, "Nerves mean you are expecting something big." I guess that is true because I was hoping to place. I had driven the run course the night before and knew it was hilly. I had heard great things about the bike course. I heard it was on a flat smooth road.

So starting the swim I felt good. It was with the current until the turn point, then it was against the current. When my watch beeped that I had hit a mile I knew I was in trouble. I was only supposed to be swimming 1500 M. By the time I got out I had swam 1.2 miles. That is a half ironman distance. This was not a good sign for placing. My pace was 3:07. My worst swim EVER. Mentally at this point I was a little beat down. The bike course had been altered because of all the rain. It had created a sink hole so they had to change the course. Well, let me say, the course was horrible. It was on newly laid chip seal and the gravel was still really bad on the side of the road. They also coned off the section we were supposed to be riding on and it was not very wide, so cars were very close to us. I saw more accidents than I ever have on a race. I also felt that my teeth had been rattled out of my head. My average on the bike was not horrible but not great 16.9.

I was so glad to get off my bike only to start the run which I knew was extremely hilly. I didn't even get a mile into the run before I started walking. It was extremely hot and humid. I kept thinking how miserable I was and how I just wanted it to be over. My run pace was 12:55. Again horrible. My family was all there but it was my biggest disappointment for a race. I went in with high hopes only to be crushed by the results.

Sometimes I feel like this represents my Christian walk. I have the intentions of having daily quiet times, a more consistent prayer life and daily spiritual growth. Too often though, I miss some days of reading my Bible, and my prayer life seems like the chip sealed road I was just on.  However, I keep on because that is what a relationship is. You don't just quit or give up because you don't feel like it. Christianity is not feeling based. I think we sometimes get bogged down by that. I don't feel like reading my Bible, I don't feel God's presence, I don't feel like praying for that person. When in reality these are the times where most of the growth comes from. I didn't feel like finishing Tri Waco but I did. Growth came out of that. And those days I don't feel like reading my Bible....are often the days God speaks to me the deepest.

Tri Waco, I will be back next year with my husband....but I am only doing the Sprint distance.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Ironman Texas 2015

Ironman Texas 2015 Race Report
Finish time 15:45:50

Pre race: So I drove down to the Woodlands on Thursday by myself. I planned on being there in time for the Inaugural Underpants run but I was also trying to hydrate so I had to stop 4 times in 4 hours to go to the bathroom. The first thing I did when I got to the Woodlands was athlete check-in. As soon as I got in line my friend Fred found me and said hi. It was good to see a familiar face. Check-in was uneventful. I ran into some other friends from the FW Tri club at the Expo. Ron, Rick and John. It was very comforting and calming to run into some familiar faces. I got checked into my hotel and then went to the banquet. I sat with my friends, Fred and Holly. I enjoyed the food and the banquet.

Friday morning, I got up to go to the swim warm up. I did the swim without my wetsuit. They said the water temperature was 81 but I thought it was cooler than that. The best thing that happened at the swim warm up was my friend Jenna came over and gave me the biggest hug. Any nerves or anxiety I had left. Her husband and I agreed to do this race a year ago and shook on it. I kind of attached myself to them the rest of the weekend. It helped we were staying at the same hotel. I was still up in the air about whether I was going to wear my wetsuit on race day. I also got a 30 minute bike ride and a 1 mile run in. My legs felt heavy on the bike which was not very encouraging. Everyone had told me to take it easy on Friday, but I still needed to get transition bags ready and dropped off, bike dropped off, and check into the hotel. When I parked for bike drop off, I noticed my back bike tire was a little low, but not flat. I pumped it up and questioned whether I should change it. I didn’t change it and this decision may have been a mistake. Transition was a mud pit, and smelled horrible. One more obstacle for tomorrow.

I invited myself to join Jenna and her husband for dinner. 7 of us ended up going to Macaroni Grill. Once again everyone says stay away from creamy sauces and that is exactly what I ordered.
My stomach doesn’t get upset with much. The topic at dinner was to follow your plan. I jokingly had said, “what, I am supposed to have a plan,” but honestly, I really didn’t have a plan. I didn’t know what that was supposed to look like. Chris was up in the air about wearing his wetsuit, so we shook hands that we would both wear one. I am finding handshakes with him get me in trouble. My family showed up around 8:30, and then the panic set in. I could not remember where I put my timing ship. I didn’t find it until almost 10:00. So much for me getting to bed early.

Race Day:
I woke up around 4:15 and made waffles without waking anyone but my husband. I ate two waffles and packed a Chobani yogurt and banana to eat before the start. I met Chris and Jenna in the lobby so I could get a ride over to transition. Jenna dropped us off in front of transition and we walked in. I went to check on my bike expecting to have a flat back tire but it wasn't flat. Yeah! I put my water bottles on my bike along with my nutrition. I also pumped up my tires to their desired air pressure. I found my T1 bag and put nutrition in there as well. Went back to my bike and checked it one more time. Everything looked good. I started to head out of transition when I realized I had hung my wetsuit on my bike and didn't have it with me. I had to go back and get it. This time on my way out I saw my friend Holly and wished her luck. 
The walk to the swim start was not bad. Probably the most frustrating part of that was listening to non-racers complain about the walk and wonder why they were not running a bus shuttle. I really wanted to tell them to be quiet but I didn't. I just walked a little faster to get away from them. I got to transition just as they were singing the "National Anthem." I still needed to drop my special needs bags and get into my wetsuit. I was not nervous. After dropping my special needs bags I texted Jenna to see where they were. As I was walking over to them I saw my friends, Tonia and Fred, and stopped to talk with them. Jenna and Chris joined us. I started eating my yogurt and banana and checked my phone to see where my husband was. We found each other before the start. I got my wet suit on, and lined up with the other wetsuit swimmers. I realized during my training I had never swam 2.4 miles. Oh well, can't change that now.

Swim: I started the swim and was calm and relaxed. I started on the outside because it was less crowded. I didn't need to sight much because I had people on both sides of me and I was breathing from both sides. I started on the outside but ended up close to the buoys and could not move back to the outside. Only once on the way out did I think some girl was going to punch me. We bumped into each other and the look on her face, I thought she was going to stop swimming and attach me. I thought she must have been getting swam over all morning. Of course she occupied my mind for awhile too. I reached the first turn buoy and thought that was quick. When my watch beeped for the first mile of swim, I checked the time. It was 34 minutes. That was a lot faster than I was expecting. Not long after that I got kicked in the nose. I wasn't expecting that and boy did it hurt. I went wide getting into the canal and once there it went by fast. I had to do the breast stroke in a couple of places because I couldn't get around people. I had a run in with one more guy. Our arms got tangled up and I felt like he was trying to do a wrestling move on me. My shoulder hurt a little after that but I knew I was almost done with the swim. I came out of the swim and some guy came up behind me and started unzipping my wetsuit for me. Thank you because I forgot I needed to be doing that.

T1: The wetsuit strippers were fast and helped me get off the ground. I walked through transition. On my way to my bag I saw Tonia and Ashley. I grabbed my T1 bag and went into the changing tent. I grabbed my nutrition for my back pockets and put it in. It was a struggle but I got it all in. I put sunscreen on my arms and then put my shoes and socks on. The woman next to me told me not to put my shoes on because of how muddy transition was but I was putting ziplock bags over my feet. She said she wished she had thought of that. I left my bag and went out to get my bike. As I came out, I had them put sunscreen on my back and shoulders. My dad was standing outside transition next to the bike rack. I walked my bike out. Took my ziplock bags off my feet while others where waiting in line to get their feet in he kiddie pool. I hopped on my bike and started the bike portion.

Bike: I was hungry and needed to go to the bathroom. The sun was out and so was the wind and humidity. I got to the first aid station and there was not a line at the port-a-potty so I stopped and used it. My average speed dropped from 18.2 to 17.8. I wasn't going to complain about that. The wind was strong but I could not tell which direction it was coming from. I felt like I was getting pushed from all sides. I don't remember much from the first part of the bike except that I had a couple of people pass me and say "pretty in pink" as I was in a pink tri kit. I also had a guy pass me on the right, which scarred me because you are only supposed to pass on the left. When he passed me on the right, I swerved to my left. I was lucky no one was passing me at that time. I was eating and drinking every 15 minutes. I had planned on drinking Ucann and Gatorade but I went with water and Nuun. The Gatorade was too sweet for me. I ate peanut butter filled pretzels and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches along with pop tarts when I wanted something sweet. I felt good on the first part of the bike but all of a sudden I felt like all I was doing was pedaling into the wind. I stopped at another aid station to refill water bottles and Nuun. I was not planning on stopping at special needs but I was running out of pretzels so I stopped to refill those. About two miles later a guy passed me and said it was about to get really fast. Good because I was working hard to keep any speed. We turned and it was supposed to get fast, instead I got a flat tire on the back tire. Ugg! I got off my bike and took my wheel off. Then I looked up. I realized I was about 200 yards from where I just turned with volunteers and about 500 yards from the next aid station. If I had to do it over again I would have ridden to the aid station. Instead I had already committed to changing my flat. I got my wheel off, my tire off and a volunteer walked over to see if I needed help. I said I think I have it but she stayed with me to make sure. During that time a police officer came over to see if I needed him to call bike support. I told him to wait to see if I could get it changed and aired up without them. I had practiced this so I knew what to do. I got it changed and aired up. The volunteer was nice enough to take my old tube and trash. As I was putting my wheel back on. My chain came off on the front derailer so I had to take the wheel off again to fix my chain. I assume this took me approximately 10 minutes. I hopped back on my bike and pedaled hard as I wanted to make up that time, but the wind was too strong. I stopped one more time at the aid station run by the ROTC kids. I filled up with water, Nuun and went to the bathroom. I thanked them and went on my way. The last 30 miles I could not get aero my shoulders hurt so bad. Me and a girl in purple kept passing each other playing leap frog on the bike. I would pass her up the hills, she would pass me going down. I passed my dad on the side of the road at mile 90. It was good to see a familiar face. I kept thinking once I get to mile 90, it is just like a loop through my neighborhood. The only problem is my neck and shoulders were killing me along with the wind. As I got into the Woodlands cars would drive by and cheer for you. It was nice. I had volunteered last year so I thought the bike would come in from the same direction we went out. It did not. It came in from the other direction so I was a little shocked when I approached the dismount line. 

T2: I got off my bike and walked it into transition.  Someone took my bike and told me to take my helmet off because of the heat and pointed me in the direction of my running gear in T2. My dad was at transition and yelled at me. Then I saw Jenna and gave her a big hug. Once I hit pavement I took my cycling shoes off too. I grabbed my T2 bag and saw Tim just before going into the tent. I sat down, and someone brought me some ice water. I drank all of it. I emptied my back pockets, grabbed my towel and wiped myself down. I felt gross. I put on my fuel belt, visor, glide, dried my feet really good and put on socks and shoes. I sat their for a minute just to eat ice and drink a little bit. Kristen, left before I did. I wished her luck on the run. My transition time was longer than it needed to be.

As I came out of transition, I stopped to get sunscreen put on my back and shoulders. It was about 4:30 but I did not want to risk getting sunburned. I had done well so far through the day to avoid it. My goal was to run a 12:30 pace on. I checked my watch to see my pace out of transition. It was faster than I wanted and I remember being told to run slower than I think I am. As I ran and approached Grogan's Mill Bridge I encountered the first set of speedo wearing men, with music pumping. The energy on the canal is amazing. Not long after that my friend Holly passed me. She looked really strong. I asked if she was on her third lap, and she said only her second. There is a steep little dirt hill you must go up on the run. Right after it is an aid station. I had poured water on my head in transition with my glasses on so I could not see. I asked to borrow someone's shirt to dry my glasses. Some man said I could use his. Thank you kind volunteer. My plan was to run between aid stations and walk the aid stations. I got the the second aid station and grabbed a banana. By this time food, water and gatorade sounded horrible but I knew I needed to keep consuming food. The only thing I ended up consuming was the fruit. As I came around the corner my husband, kids, sister-in-law from Chicago and her friend were there. I kissed Mike, he wouldn't hug me, hugged Melanie and kissed the kids.
I was feeling good and this was the first time I had seen them since the starting line. I saw Kristen in front of me and I wanted to catch her, thinking maybe we could run together. She was talking to someone on a bike. That person ended up being John. I talked with him a little bit and told him this was the only one I was doing. I caught up to Kristen and really wanted to run with her, but our race plans and paces were a little different. The back side of the run is very quiet. One aid station had music blaring and one of the cops was dancing every time I passed her. Another aid station had watermelon.  I always looked forward to that aid station. My friends Ron and Rick were at the next aid station. I stopped to go to the bathroom there. On my first loop as I approached the canal and could hear the noise, I got a little emotional but was able to hold it together. There is a place called Catapult turn and a guy in a red speedo turned his butt to me. I told him I didn't think my husband would appreciate me spanking him. After Catapult Turn was Hippie Hollow. These people were banging drums and trashcans and high fiving everyone. Their energy was amazing. After I passed them across the canal I could hear people yelling my name. It was Jenna, Michele and John. Not long after that my friend Tonia came running down a set of stairs and ran with me for a little bit. Her husband was in front of me. After I saw her I had to run two little fingers. I hate fingers. Mentally they beat me down for some reason. The second one was like running in a wind tunnel. As I approached the split for lap 2 and 3 I saw my dad just before going down the stairs. Yes, we had to go down stairs twice. I walked these. After the stairs I saw Michele, John and Missy. Missy ran with me for awhile. It was great having the company because I had not had it. My family was at the same spot they were last time. My mother-in-law was with them this time. This time I asked Mike to walk with me for a minute. I told him I was having a blast but didn't need to do this again. The second loop mentally is the hardest for me. My pace had slowed down so now I was trying to walk .1 mile and run .4 miles. Me and some guy kept leap frogging each other. He was cramping and said he was walking the rest. After I hit the 13.1 mile marker I thought well now this is the farthest I have ever run. As I was running through the neighborhood on my second lap there was a woman with her child in a stroller. She said to me, "Thank you for setting an example to my child of what a healthy lifestyle looks like." Wow, that is exactly what I was trying to do for my own kids. I thanked her and kept going. I finally saw Charlie and Lisa, I had been looking for them all day. I can't remember if I hugged Lisa or not, I think I did. It was good to see them. On my second lap of the finger section there was a woman sitting on the side of the road in her wheelchair cheering everyone on. Amazing. As I approached the split again for my final lap they handed me a glow ring. I put it around my neck and my dad was at the bottom of the steps. He walked with me a little bit. He was debating on going home or watching me finish. I told him to do what he needed to do. As I came through the canal Michele and Missy ran with me for a little bit and then told me they would see me at the finish line. Never did I think I could not do this once I got off the bike. It was just a matter of what time I was going to do it. The Dave Matthews Band was playing this same night. I could hear most of the music except on the back portion of the run. The last lap was dark and not many people out. The aid stations with music were now quiet. Still with volunteers but the energy was gone. I walked a lot more that last lap. My feet and quads were killing me. As I ran through that same neighborhood I heard a kids ask her mom why women were doing this race. The mom's response was I guess because they like to run...if only she knew I don't like running. As I got back to the canal, Catapult Turn was empty. In fact, one guys started to go the wrong direction. I yelled at him that it was this way. Hippie Hollow still had some people cheering. As I was running toward the fingers, my friend Jeff popped out of the crowd and ran with me. He placed his hand on my back and said I was doing great, and to keep the pace I was doing to the finish line. I knew that wasn't happening. The lady in the wheelchair was still there cheering. I remember thanking her for still being out there because it was late. She just kept telling everyone that they were amazing and awesome. It was pretty powerful and a great reminder that I was capable of doing this physically. I still get choked up thinking about her. I did the last two fingers. I remember friends telling me to get space between me and other competitors so I could enjoy the finish line for myself. It just seemed to get more crowded. As I made the turn for the finish line, I had no clue the shoot was that close. As I ran in, my friend Jeff was screaming at me. I stopped and hugged him. He said your an Ironman. Wow. Thanks Jeff for that hug, it took all the pain away and I will never forget it. The noise, energy, and crowds in the shoot are hard to explain. But it is amazing. I made my last right turn and about half way down were the Grogans and Missy. I stopped and hugged them. I still hear John saying..."you did it kiddo". I high fived every hand that was out reached. I got to the u-turn and heard my husband. I turned around and went back to hug him and the kids. It meant the world to have them there. My two requests for my husband was to be at the start and finish. And he was. He has been my biggest support. I left them to run up the hill to the finish line. My friend Holly was half way up the hill. I stopped and hugged her as well. There were about 6 athletes in front of me so I stopped to walk to put a gap between me and them. Once I had that gap, I ran across the finish line.
Funny thing. I never heard Mike Reilly say my name. The funnier thing about that is I didn't care. My friend Ron caught me and my medal was put on by the winner of Ironman Texas Matt Hanson. What an amazing experience. 

Post Race: After I getting my medal, Ron walked me to get my picture taken, and get my shirt and hat. After I got those things I said I was ok and walked down the shoot to the food. I wasn't hungry though. I saw my dad for the first time. He had stayed. I walked down and the only food they had was pizza which sounded really bad, so I grabbed a water and was trying to figure out how I was going to find my husband. Holly had come down and met up with me.
I called Mike and said I was on my way down to see him. Turns out I was on the wrong side of the street so had to walk back down and around. I found him and hugged and kissed him. He offered me the keys to the car so I could stay til midnight. I told him he was crazy and I was ready to go back to the hotel. I saw Lisa and gave her a hug and Charlie as well. As we walked to the car some a guy leaving prom ran up to me and shook my hand and told me congratulations.Pretty cool. 

Take away: 
1) I should have changed my back tire just to be sure. 
2) I should have started moving out of T2 sooner.  
3) If I have the opportunity to go cheer friends on for a race this distance...I will do it. 
4) Being called an Ironman was anti climactic. Maybe because my thought through this whole race was this is not what defines me. God is.I wish we would get this excited about being Christians
5) The discipline I had with my training, I need to have with my quiet times.
6) I might do this again.

Friday, May 15, 2015


I have a confession. I visit McDonald's almost daily because I enjoy Sweet tea and there large drinks are $1.00. Lately the people working there have been so cheerful. It makes me smile as I leave. It is the positive attitude that is contagious. I am very fortunate that I have family and friends who have been encouraging me on this Ironman journey.

"Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing." 1 Thessalonians 5:11

I have friends who have encouraged me to go run even though it is my least favorite discipline. (Annick). My goal as I run this race is to encourage those around me. Words are powerful, and I want my words to be those that build others up, my kids, my husband, my friends and even the stranger I pass by.

"Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen." Ephesians 4:29

"And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds." Hebrews10:24

Let us encourage one another. Be kind. Love. It makes a difference.

Monday, May 11, 2015


Triathlons are an individual sport,where you compete not only against other people but also against yourself. It is hard for me to show up to a triathlon and not start looking at other people to see , are they in my age group, do I think I can beat them, and what kind of gear do they have? Of course, I just bought a triathlon bike so I can no longer look on with envy. I have been doing triathlons for about 9 years now. I often do the same triathlons so I can compare my times from year to year. But my competitive side still wants to do well among people in my age group. There are two things I have struggled with through this training process that God is working on. First is, I have struggled comparing myself to others. Comparing training plans, am I doing enough, am I doing too much. The other thing is envy. Envy of what others have, a coach, a nutritionist, able to afford the host hotel. Whatever it is, either comparing or envy, neither one are very becoming.

The Bible says, "Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else, for each one should carry his own load." Galatians 6:4-5. I shouldn't be comparing myself to others in any of this. We all come into this with different motivations, different obstacles, different strengths. Not one of us comes into this on the exact same page, so Ironman Texas isn't a race against others. It is a race or better a challenge for myself. A physical and mental challenge. I know this verse talks about "taking pride in himself". It is referring to a pride we can have knowing we are created in God's image and saved through grace. I can't do this apart from God. I am not doing this on my own strength. I wouldn't be able to do this on my own strength, but I go into it with confidence that I am ready.

This has been a good lesson in being content with all I have. I have and am exactly where God wants me to be. "I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength." Philippians 4:11-13.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Which comes first?

In March I ran the Cowtown half marathon, as a training run. The weather the week before had been less than desirable. Snow and ice had blanketed Fort Worth so much that the 5k and 10k that were supposed to be held on Saturday had been cancelled. Sunday morning I gave myself a little extra time to get to the starting line due to the road conditions but I wanted to run this rather than run on a treadmill for 13 miles. When I got to my corral I saw a friend and fellow tri club memeber, Ron. I went over said hi and asked if I could run with him for a little bit, until he left me, because I was using this as a training run so was not going to push very hard. He said I could and that he was using this as a training run as well. He told me his plan was to run a 10:30 pace but that he was going to start slow and work up to that pace. Hmmm...I have always tried this but always end up running way to fast in the beginning. Crews had worked hard over night to clear roads and sand them. I thought I would just pretend I was running on the beach with snow all around. Ron and I started running with an 11:00 pace for the first mile. The second mile was a 10:45 pace, mile 3 a 10:30 pace and mile 4 a 10:15 pace. The route was more beautiful to me today than it has been other years as it was covered in snow. The temperature was not that bad and my feet didn't get wet until mile 11. Ron and I talked a lot while we ran, at mile 6 I lost him somewhere though. So I ran the last 7 miles by myself. Mile 9 is mostly uphill into downtown Fort Worth and there on the side of the bridge was a friend ringing his cowbell cheering people on and I saw a few other people I knew in downtown cheering as well. As I approached mile 13, there were two women who looked to be struggling. I told them they were almost there and asked them to run to the finish line with me, which they both did. Close to the finish line were two more friends, Annick, who runs with me most Monday's and Fridays, and Monica who was one of my coaches for my first half ironman. They came out in this cold weather to cheer. Amazing!!!! I finished in 2:18. Just 8 minutes slower than my fastest time.

Why do I share this? I had more fun on this run than I may have had on any race. I felt great the whole time. I talked to and tried to encourage the people around me. And I feel like if I had raced this I would have had a PR. So the question is....which came first the great race or the geat attitude? The Bible says, "Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life- in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing." Philippians 2:14-16. This leads me to believe the attitude comes first. If I can get my mind right than the joy follows. Hmmm. Pretty powerful. How often during my training have I grumbled or complained...more than I would like to admit. Those training days were not very good either. What would happen if I went into my daily life with an attitude of thanksgiving and praise and didn't grumble and complain. I am pretty sure the outcome of my day or training would be completely different.

My husband asked me this morning if race day will be a joyful time or a grin and bear it kind of day. Would I be smiling or looking miserable? After reading this verse, I will be smiling as much as I can and encouraging those around me. "A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones." Proverbs 17:22 I want good medicine not dried up bones on race day and in life.