Category Archives: Motivation/ Encouragement

Love and encouragement to support you through trials.

40th Half Marathon in 2014


40th Half Marathon in 2014

Dallas Metro PCS Half Marathon

December 14, 2014

Half Marathon #40 of 40 in 2014

I turned 40 and set a goal to run 40 half marathons in 2014 to celebrate.

Never did I know how I would make it happen nor did I know how this goal would change my life.  

What I did know was if I set a goal and shared it with others, I would do whatever it took to accomplish it.

 I would not make excuses.

Running the races was not the difficult part of the goal.  The challenging part was funding and scheduling the races since I worked full time as a teacher and was sole provider for my children. With the support of family, friends and a part time job in November, I completed the goal, but at Race 33, I did consider quitting.    My mom was a big cheerleader for me during this goal and was not going to allow me to give up at this point; plus, I have never been one to give up.  I created a plan to finish  and implemented the plan.

Dallas Metro PCS Marathon is one of the larger marathons in Dallas, TX and used to be called Dallas White Rock Marathon with thousands of runners. My mom and I went to the expo on Saturday.  My boys and best friend came downtown to support me and we all stayed at the Sheraton. My lifelong friend Casey, who has been an encourager of my running through the years, met me at the start line to pace me for a PR (personal record).  It was not a PR, but I did push myself and finished strong with a time of 2:21:10.

Several friends and family awaited me at the finish line cheering as I finished this monumental goal.

We all met at Gator’s for brunch to celebrate after the race. It was such an honor to have friends and family to support me through this adventure. It was a life changing goal and I am still in shock when I think about it.  There were times when it seemed impossible and I questioned my sanity.

 As I reflect, I consider it my mid-life crisis.  Overall, I have a feeling of pride and accomplishment for pushing through.  I learned so much about myself through this process and saw myself transform through the year while making friends all over the world.

I have completed the Dallas Metro PCS half marathon twice, but this one was my 40th half marathon in 2014.  I began this adventure with half marathon number one in with Mississippi Blues on January 11, 2014 and finished in Dallas, TX on December 14, 2014 and traveling in ten states in the USA.

Cowtown Half Marathon


20140302-205245.jpgCowtown Half Marathon is in Fort Worth, TX and benefits The Cowtown C.A.L.F project providing local children with shoes. It warms my heart to know children are benefiting from my running habit. The volunteers are always friendly and the race is well organized.  The distances vary from 5K, 10K, half, full, and ultra.  You can chose to do a challenge consisting of 5K or 10K on Saturday and half, full, or ultra on Sunday.  The medals are spectacular and the expo is great too.  You receive a finishers shirt at the end and a shirt in your packet pick up.  As you finish the race, you enter the coliseum for water, fruit, ice cream, and warm chicken noodle soup which was an awesome post race treat that warmed the heart. I recommend this race to anyone and everyone. It is a great family event and Fort Worth is a great place!

Saturday, I went to the expo and was swept in by the energy of runners.  You could feel the excitement in the room plus I was on a mission to check out the other races repesented and register for future races at a discount.  I was able to register for Women Rock (March 29, 2014 in Grand Prairie, TX) and pick up my packet and I also registered for a new race that was going to be on the Lewisville Dam… SCORE… it was inexpensive and close to home. I also bought a cool Wonder Woman  cup from the Gypsy Runner.

After the expo, I went to my friend’s house to prepare for dinner when I realized I forgot my good running shoes.  I had already been having foot problems and knew it was time for new shoes. I had to decide do I run in my old worn out shoes that I had on or buy a new pair. Pearl Izumi is across the street from my friend’s house.  I walked across the street, was fitted and bought the shoes.  The young TCU student who fitted me was great and the shoes were my favorite color.  We will see how it goes running in new shoes … Sunday at the race. We went to Ol’ South Pancake House with friends for the German pancake.  I love the German pancake and will run a marathon to eat one any day. We had a great visit and headed back to Cindy’s to sleep. Saturday was a great day and I am excited about the Sunday’s race.

The alarm goes off at 5am and my love/ hate relationship begins.  I love running and the pleasure that goes along with it, but I hate waking up early.  I dress and head out the door.  Since I stayed at Cindy’s, I was only ten minutes from the start line.  I park and walk over to the start to wait. I observe the runners surrounding me.  There are first timers, professionals, chivalry, small, large, and all races of runners.  It makes me happy to be surrounded by people with the same goals who are working to be healthy each day.  I know the half is the shortest distance today and there are people running a lot further than I am today.  While waiting, I meet a nice lady named Chris who lives in Allen and we chat about running and raising children… my two favorite subjects.  We run together for the first mile until I had to stop and tie my “new” shoes… oh no… how are these “new” shoes going to work… I am already tying them… this cannot be good.  The weather is perfect for race day.  I could not ask for better conditions in all aspects of this race… oh wait… the “new” shoes.  They were going to be the test.  I have always heard don’t run a long race in shoes that have not been broken in.

I am in coral 6 and the race has started. 15 minutes later, I am crossing the start line.  The race is crowded and my first mile was slow going. The volunteers and fans were great encouragement. The course was great until mile 9 where me met a huge hill on Main Street. Lululemon had the best signs and were giving out Hershey Kisses. Overall, the race was full of excitement and encouragement for all. I was disappointed with my time.  I finished with 2 hours 41 minutes which was my worst time since my first half years ago.  I was adorned with the fabulous spur medal, went through the food line, picked up my finisher shirt, and headed home.  When I got home, I went to bed and only woke to lead a short boot camp for my friend Dee. I went back home and back to bed as soon as I could.  I had a low grade temp and felt horrible with could have contributed to the slow time.

BTW, the new shoes were great! No blisters and no more pain in my arch. I love them and look forward to buying more Pearl Izumi running shoes.

Cowtown half marathon has to be in my top ten for several reasons.  One being it helps out local youth and two, it is close to home. Cowtown Half Marathon is #8 of 40 in 2014 as my goal to celebrate my 40 years of life!

Are you going to run Cowtown 2015?

 

Rhythm & Blues Half Marathon


Rhythm & Blues Half MarathonRhythm & Blues Half Marathon

Rhythm & Blues Half Marathon  was the sixth marathon in my goal of 40 in 2014.  It was my first time to run in Houston, Texas and overall a great race.  I arrived in Houston on Friday evening via the megabus. Garrett and Danielle picked me up at the bus station and we checked into our Residence Inn by Mariott suite.   Mariott has been my choice in hotels lately for the great service and cleanliness. After checking in, we went for sushi.  Saturday morning, we went to Rhythm & Blues Half Marathon packet pick-up and then to the Houston Galleria for shopping.  Packet pickup was easy and they had the Clif Shots in Vanilla which made me very happy.  I stocked up on them since I have not been able to find them locally. While shopping at the Galleria, I purchased a pair of lululemon running tights which I will share more about in another blog post.

After a morning of shopping, I attended an event sponsored by Essence magazine featuring Tony Gaskins. The event was very nice and informational.  I will share more about it in another blog post.  I want to stay focused on Rhythm & Blues Half Marathon. Garrett, Danielle, and I went to dinner at Goode Seafood which was incredible before I returned to the hotel to rest for the race.

Garrett & Danielle

Race day has arrived and I was up and ready for the race.  I was not sure what to expect since I had not exercised since the race a week ago and had traveled a lot. Garrett dropped me off at the starting line and I felt great.  The weather was perfect and the race was small and had a friendly atmosphere.  It did start a little late which was fine because it gave me time to visit the porta potty and set up my music.  The race started and we were off.  It was a double loop and did not have a lot of scenery, but it did have several bands playing and friendly volunteers handing out water and Gatorade.

At about mile 8, I met a first timer who told me she had knee problems.  The lady next to us started praying for her, her knees, and claiming victory for her to finish.  I was impressed with her faith to speak out for a stranger in the middle of a marathon. I love seeing people reach out to others who are hurting.  We visited for the next mile and I were separated while she slowed down to wait for her friend.

I pushed had at the end to beat a 2:30 time, but did not beat it.  I am slowly improving, but not as much as I would like to improve.  I will start on intervals this week. The best part of the race was having Garrett and Danielle at the finish line to cheer for me. Garrett was shouting, “mom mom mom” while Danielle was filming.  They ran up and hugged me and we headed to the pizza and beer tent.

Rhythm & Blues Half Marathon – video of finish line

Overall, the race was great!

My son and Danielle there to cheer for me was the best.

The Lululemon running tights prevented chaffing.

The medal was great!

The pizza and beer were good too!

Rhythm & Blues half marathon #6 of 40 in 2014!

2/15 Stonebridge Ranch Half in McKinney, TX

Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans


Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans

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Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans’ weekend began with reuniting with several lifelong friends as we celebrated the life of a classmate. It was a bittersweet time. The funeral was nice and then we all met for lunch which was great. It was nice to reconnect and reminisce. I feel blessed to have so many lifelong friends and for us to come together to remember our dear friend.

I met Lisa in North Dallas and we ventured off in a Chrysler 200 rental car. The rental car was a great idea for $54 we were able to put wear and tear on someone else’s car. About midnight, we decided to rent a room to rest and finish the drive tomorrow. Seems like an easy task… Right? I called the reservation number for Days Inn, but when we got to the hotel they didn’t have our reservation and the front desk clerk wasn’t willing to go out of her way to book a room for us. So, we decide to go to the next town. When we arrive, same thing; no reservation from the reservation number. This front desk clerk was very helpful, but the area looked shady and we decide to go on. We go across the street to Red Roof Inn and the shady action in the front office set us on our way one more time. Finally, after seven tries, we find a hotel that was ok to sleep for a few hours. On Saturday morning, we complete the drive to New Orleans and eat at Deanie’s which was fabulous. I had the best BBQ shrimp. It was a gorgeous day with sunshine and perfect temperatures as we walk to the NOLA convention center for packet pick-up and expo. We check into the hotel and spend more time in NOLA eating, drinking, and people watching. We are at Masapero’s. We had the best waitress and great shrimp and catfish. Lisa has red beans with rice and jambalaya. We closed the evening with a stop at Cafe Du Monde for beignets.

Sunday morning, we parked the car near the finish line and ride the shuttle to the start line. Rock ‘n’ Roll series are always overpopulated and it was NOLA where everyone wants to hang out. I know there were at least 22 corrals. Lisa was in 6 and I was in 13. There was a light drizzle as we waited and prepared for the race with a last minute stop at the porta potty… One the not so glamorous parts of the race. 22 minutes passed before corral 13 crossed the start line and since corral 1 crossed the start line.

I had decided to dedicate this race to my friend who had passed away. Before I crossed the start line, emotions flooded me and tears began to flow. 13.1 miles in 2 hours 30 minutes were spent praying for Jason, his family, and my classmates. I was able to reminisce and strategize ideas to help the family and my classmates. My heart still aches to think of life without him and for his family. I will never understand these types of situations in life.

At mile 10 of Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans, I felt great and felt I could PR. There was a consistent light drizzle throughout the race. I didn’t PR and was frustrated with myself when I finished with the same time as the precious races when it was a flat course. Lisa PR’d with 2:09.

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After the race, we showered and rested before returning to NOLA for more food and drink. We ate at New Orleans hamburger and seafood and then Jester’s for the best drink. We were able to watch the Super Bowl at Jester’s. While at Jester’s, we met Christy, Kailey, and Mickey with Race Addicts. Race Addicts  is an app for organizing your races.
I use the app and follow them on Facebook.

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I was excited to met them and they featured me on their page. We hung out with them the remainder of the evening. They were tons of fun and the highlight of the trip. I will meet up with them again in October in Key West in October for the SOMO half.

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Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans was race 5 of 40 in 2014 to celebrate my 40th birthday.

We returned home on Monday for me to leave on Tuesday for Austin to attend a technology conference for teachers.

 

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I don’t understand


I don’t understand.

I spent today with several lifelong friends as we celebrated the life of a classmate. This week has been emotionally draining.

I don’t understand how in the blink of an eye he was gone. So many emotions flee through me and I don’t understand. I never expected this. I took for granted the days that he was here. If only I had one more day, I would not take it for granted.
I don’t understand how life can be complicated and simple at the same time.

I had known Jason since sixth grade and different stages of life we had seen each other more than others. Over the last few years, we communicated more and saw each other more often. He told us two weeks ago, he had cancerous tumor, he was having surgery, and he would be fine. He played it off as the worst part was missing a Randy Rogers concert.

Jason went in for surgery on January 27, 2014 and things did not go well. He was resuscitated, spent many hours on the operating table, and passed away the next day. He left behind there children and hundreds of friends. He touched so many lives and was an amazing man, father, and friend.

Several of his lifelong friends meet at the church for the funeral and lunch afterwards. We were all happy to see each other, but not in these circumstances.

We do not know what tomorrow brings. It is important to tell the ones who are special that you love them and live life to the fullest.

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The Pieces of My Shattered Heart- Guest Blogger


The pieces of my shattered heart are lying in the sun.

Warming to the hopeful chance of finding love again.

Convalescing.

Recharging.

Rejuvenating.

 

Knowing there’s an arrow poised to pierce this heart of mine.

Bursting with a renewed purpose, splendid and divine.

Bountiful.

Exquisite.

Prolific.

How to Pray for your Leaders


How to Pray for your Leaders

Personal needs

  • Humility (servant heart, admit wrong, teachable, receives positive criticism)

  • Wisdom to know God’s agenda

  • Positive Relationships (patient with self and others, interacts positive with difficult people, treat everyone with love and respect)

  • The Fruit of the Spirit

  • Health

Family Needs

  • The priority of family

  • Children would love God

  • Provision for the Family

Spiritual Needs

  • Anointing of Holy Spirit (Confess known sin)

  • Time alone with God

  • Integrity (Satan will try to tempt)

  • Protections from Spiritual Warfare(lust of fles, eyes, pride of life- Eph. 6:10, 1 John 2:16)

  • Accountability

Congregational Needs

  • Evangelism

  • Personal Growth

  • Mobilization of the laity (Effective motivator and equip-per)

  • Intercession

My baby turns 14 today!


My baby turns 14 today!My baby turns 14 today!

My baby turns 14 today and it has not been your typical birthday celebration kind of day. Austin is my youngest son and he turned 14.  He is an incredible, young man and excels in school and on the football field. He was born with a hole in his lung which made his first few weeks of life difficult.  He is alive and well and doing great.  I have had the opportunity to teach in the middle school where he attends and realize that he will be leaving in about 17 weeks to attend high school which makes me sad.  I am blessed to have time with him each day driving him to and from school and to have been at school for him when he needed me.  He will tell you that he is happy about going to a school where I am not there.

The day started as a normal day as we prepared for school and started on our way (I did make cupcakes and our dog spared three of them from his breakfast counter surfing) until I was called into the hallway by the assistant principal.  My baby boy who rarely got in trouble was under the radar for the assistant principal, but it was more of a concern about some of the other boys sitting at his lunch table.  Thank God… it was a close call. I continue on with UIL activities to get a call from the high school principal about my oldest son. The high school principal and I have a relationship since he has had to call me a few times.   Yes, my oldest has been the source of several of the sparkles in my hair.  Needless to say, he keeps my life interesting and he has entrepreneur skills.  The high school principal explains to me that Garrett has been making fake parking passes and selling him. He continues to tell me that they are the best he has ever seen and that he did a good job.  He will have to return the student’s money and attend Saturday school.  My oldest excels in computer graphics and sales.  I can honestly say, I have never  Oh wow… it is only 4 pm.

We are home for a couple of hours and we all took a nap; it had already been an exhausting Monday. My baby turns 14 and we are spending the evening preparing him for high school at  a meeting  to prepare for his courses for the upcoming year.  He had to opportunity to look at the different options and meet the head football coach. The school he will attend has won back to back state championships for football and my son is excited about the football program. We braved the cold, ran to the car, and headed to Chili’s for dinner… his fave.

Upon arriving at home and preparing for bed, I learn that a lifelong friend had complications from surgery, had been resuscitated, and was not doing well.  I did not sleep well and was concerned all night.  I reflected on life, counted my blessings, and reminisced about our times together while chatting with other lifelong friends.  I realized life is a gift and the small things like calls from principals don’t really matter in the big picture.  Remember to tell those who are close to you that you love them, embrace the moments you have together and always have a heart of gratitude.