Friday, April 3, 2015

Everyone has a Story.

Everyone  has a story that is their own, and why they do what they do. Here is mine. I saw my first Ironman on television back in 1980, on Wide World of Sports. I was 10 years old, and I remember thinking that was one of the coolest things ever but there is no way I would ever be capable of doing something like that. My passion back then was soccer and continued to be that through college. I always watched the Ironman when it was televised and it always brought tears to my eyes because I was so impressed by not only their physical strength but also their mental strength. It always stirred up emotions in me watching it. Not sure I have still watched one without shedding a tear or two.

I grew up a soccer player, it was my passion. I even played soccer in college. As a result I have my share of injuries. In fact, I broke my ankle in college and didn't know about it for 7 years. I have had 8 surgeries. A double hernia, three knee surgeries, two on my left, one on my right, two back surgeries and two C-sections. I have had a lateral release in my left knee and have stage 4 chrondomalacia in my left knee. I have had a herniated disk in my back at the L5-S1 and waited too long for back surgery the first time and have permanent nerve damage in my right leg. I have a hard time getting up on my toes. This makes my running gait a little interesting. My back caused so much pain that I could not walk my dog without having to sit down on the curb until the pain subsided. I lived on the third floor of my apartment complex and couldn't walk up to my apartment without sitting down on each level because the pain was so intense. My last back surgery was 2003. I don't take my health for granted and am grateful I can be physically active.

I had put the thought of triathlon behind me until I started working at TCU, and a group of co-workers suggested training and doing one together. This was in 2004. So about 10 of us during our lunch break or before work would get together and train. I was slow, very slow. My first triathlon I did on my mountain bike and was the last to finish from our group. I may have been last but I had a blast. I continued to do sprint triathlons for the next 8 years. In 2012, I decided to do my first half ironman and trained with Team in Training. I had so much fun I signed up for another 6 months later. I joined the local triathlon club and was now surrounded by people who do Ironmans for fun. I decided to do one because it has been on my bucket list. I chose, Ironman Texas because it makes sense for my family. I have two young kids, a 3 and 5 year old, who I would love to see at the finish line. My husband is a high school teacher and coach so the Fall Ironmans do not work with our schedule. Ironman Texas was the perfect fit. I can't wait to get to the starting line.

Everyone has their reason why they are doing this. I can't wait to join the few people in the world who are called Ironmans. And even though I am doing this it is not what defines me. God is what defines me and that is so much bigger than this race.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Rules and Grace.

I am a rule follower most of the time. Yes, I have had my moments of rebellion, some small, some fairly big, at least to me. The older I get the more I enjoy following rules, except the speed limit, I admit I have a heavy foot. Part of this need to follow rules is the need to follow my training schedules. I don't have a coach and this is a schedule someone sent me. I looked at a lot of schedules but this is the one I chose. It is a lot but, I am doing an ironman so I probably need to train a lot.

My struggle with my plan and being a rule follower is that things come up that cause me to miss a training day and then I beat myself up for missing the training. Things like being called into work, sick kids, two weeks of this by the way, a death, family in town, the holidays, me being sick. These things are out of my control. I am not missing because I don't feel like doing the workout I am missing because of life.

People have told me that if I do 70% of my training I should be okay and that it is better to be undertrained than overtrained. I hope they are correct. So knowing this I wish I could tell my brain that it is okay to miss. I wish I could give myself the grace to miss and be ok with myself. Instead I have a tendency to beat myself up mentally.

It made me wonder about grace and my faith in Jesus. I have people tell me they don't want part of Christianity because of all the rules that they must follow. That they are tired of feeling guilty because they, in their mind, have not lived up to these "rules". I know that guilt, I feel it when I miss a workout.The great thing about Christianity though is it isn't about a set of rules to follow it is about a relationship with our Savior that is personal. The Bible says, "For by grace you have been saved through faith; and not that of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works so that no one may boast." Ephesians 2:8-9. I don't have to do anything but have faith in Jesus Christ to be saved. Wow. God desires that relationship not because of anything I have done to deserve it., because there is nothing I can do to deserve eternal salvation.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Encouragement from a small voice.

I want my family to be as involved in my training as I possibly can get them. December 1 was the kick off to my training. That weekend we went for a family jog and bike ride. It was good to have them all out there, because I know there will come times that they can't be there because of the distance I need to train, weather, or other obligations. 

I normally run on Monday and Friday's with my youngest child, she is three.  She is my biggest cheerleader, coach, motivator.. I wish everyone had someone like my youngest child in  their corner, or stroller, or burley. When we run, if I stop to tie my shoe she starts yelling, "Run mommy run." If I start walking with a friend she will say, "Faster mommy faster!" When we are done running she always says, "Good job mommy, Good job!" I can't tell you how motivating this is for me. My youngest daughter is being pushed in the stroller while I am jogging for up to two hours and she is enjoying herself and encouraging me along the way.

When we go for a bike ride, I normally have both kids, the 3 year old and her 5 year old sister. Let me tell you, they are crammed into the Burley but they never complain. We talk while I ride. I occasionally will get a "Go faster mom!" But always when we get home the youngest will say, "Thank you mommy!" Like I just gave her a present or something. Maybe that present is my time....even though I am pulling them in the burley we are still talking, they are sometimes sleeping or watching a movie on the Ipad, but we are together.
I don't want to lose time with my family because of training. I hope I gain time with my family because of training.


It is amazing how such small words coming from such a young child have an impact on my outlook and training. If those small words have such a big impact on me how can my words impact those around me? The Bible tells us "But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness." Hebrews 3:13 If my daughters words encourage me, when my self talk is not all that positive, and lifts me up. How much more can my words encourage those around me. This is the lesson I am learning from my daughter. Encourage. Speak kind words. Enjoy the moments together.

Friday, October 31, 2014


I normally don't run with music. I figure I am going to train like I race. I can't listen to music when I race. However today I listened. I had an 1:20 minute run and I was struggling through it. About 45 minutes in  this song came on. I ended up listening to it for the remainder of my run and my pace picked up drastically. This song provided encouragement and motivation on my run. It is such a great promise to us.

"Love walked among us. Love laid down his life, steal sin for us. Oh love, has a name, Jesus crucified, alive today. Lift your voice and sing out. For all that has held us down. Where is it now, where is it now.
Love, watch it fall. And the walls that trapped us in and held control lift your voice and sing out. For all that has held us down. Where is it now, where is it now.

Lift up our hands, glory has risen open our hand we have been forgiven. Nothing can shut what the father has opened. Nothing can lock what the Father has broken through. Lift up our voice, joy it surrounds us. Sing and rejoice, the King's come to crown us. Nothing can shut what the Father has opened, Nothing can lock what the Father has broken through.

We are the sons and daughters of the king.

Sons and daughters of the King. Lift up your voice and sing. Love drove the darkness out. When Jesus rose and Life poured out. Sons and Daughters of the King. Lift up your voice and sing. God has brought us victory. We've been set free, we've been set free." - Sons and Daughters Of the King, Fellowship Church.

As I listened to it I was encouraged by the lyrics "nothing can shut what the Father has opened, nothing can lock what the Father has broken through." I know that I was supposed to sign up for IM TX. And that this journey isn't just a physical journey but a spiritual one as well. So on my days of training when I am feeling discouraged I can be reminded of this.

The other encouraging piece was that we are sons and daughters of the King. Now that I am a mom of two young girls...I understand a different kind of love. I love of a parent to a child. What an amazing honor to be called a daughter of the King.

The last lines that brought encouragement were, "God has brought us victory. We've been set free, we've been set free." No matter what or how I finish IM TX I already have victory. Victory in God. I am set free. So often I put limitations on myself, past defeats, past sins, past injuries, negative self talk. Guess what? I can throw that all out the window because I am set free. Those are things that bind me. I need to remember when I am running or training that this is not about me. It is bigger than me, and I am a daughter of the KING. It doesn't get much better than that.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

I am In

Well it is official. I signed up for Ironman Texas. My hope is that this is a journey of not just physical growth but also, and more importantly, spiritual growth. The verse that kept running through my mind as I hit the "register" button was "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out before us." Hebrews 12:1.

My cloud of witnesses first and foremost are my husband and children. I want them to see Christ in me as I train. I want them to come first as I train. I want them to be my priority as I train. I want others to see Christ as I train. I want the things that hinder me to be thrown off....I don't know what those things are just yet but I am sure I will find out. Negative talk, frustration....who knows, but I will share as they come up.

Here is the bigger thing for me though..."let us run with perseverance the race marked out before us." So many thoughts come to mind with this: 1) what is perseverance? 2) what is the race that is marked out before me? isn't just the is more than that it is life.

1) Perseverance's definition is "the quality that allows someone to continue trying to do something even though it is difficult" Oh I am quite sure this is going to be difficult. Do we really know what it is like to persevere? Life seems simple sometimes. I know it is not but right now that is where I am in life. Don't get me wrong I have had some hardships but right now life is good. And even though this is an 8 month journey until race that really perseverance or does that take longer. I look at my friend's kids who are fighting cancer....that battle is much longer than 8 months. They are persevering. Me....maybe I am enduring. I want my kids to see what perseverance looks like. You don't quit because something is hard or doesn't go your way. Someone please remind me of these words on those training days that I don't feel like doing them.

2) The Race: Life: Ironman: What will I learn on this journey about life? I can't wait to see what God is going to teach me.

I hope that you find encouragement in this blog. I will update it as frequently as I can.

Monday, May 12, 2014

A Little Anxious

I am a little anxious about next weekend. You see I am going to go volunteer at Ironman Texas to register for next years race. I completed my first 70.3 two years ago and have completed two more since then. I have always wanted to do a full Ironman but the minute I register, it is going to become real and there is no backing out. My husband supports this. My daughters who are 2 and 4 have no clue what I am about to take on.

Here is what I am anxious about:
1) Can I complete this in the 17 hours?
2) Am I going to have enough time to train and not take away from family?
3) Will this take to much time away from my family that I will not be able to get back?
4) Is this a smart decision?

You see the Ironman has always been on my bucket list. I just want to do this one time:

I want to know that I am not only physically capable but also mentally.
I need to know that I have the mental toughness to do this.
I want to set an example to my kids about living a healthy lifestyle without being overly consumed.
I want to show my children to set goals and go after them.

I am sure this list will grow but for now, as I read people's post about racing this coming weekend. I get nervous too because I will be committing to something big. And once I commit to something I will see it through.