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.

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.