Run Find Your Happy Pace

finding my happy pace in running and life

Batman, belly bumps and tears

Our very dear friends and neighbors left today. ūüôĀ ¬†Big sigh. ¬†Today they Begin their new adventure from VA to AZ to Japan. ¬†Last night we had shared one last meal and some laughs together. ¬†My hubby’s famous pizza on the menu, 13 kids, 6 adults and the wonderful joyful noise of semi-controled¬†chaos. But we wouldn’t have it any other way.

After dinner, as the kids laughed and played, the adults helped finish last-minute packing of the U-haul and suburban. ¬†We, the adults, kept ourselves in check emotionally…until a sad, teary eyed 3 year old ran back to say his last goodbye. ¬†And thus started the waterworks. Tears were shed, many tears. ¬†The heart has such a huge capacity¬†for love but can be broken in a million pieces by a single tear.¬†The culmination of two years of joy and fellowship came to a head. ¬†Although we all knew it was coming can one ever really prepare for a goodbye? ¬† As the Mom’s tried to hold it together the kids started to fall apart one by one.

Soon it was past dark and it was time to finish our goodbyes and head home to get the kids settled. ¬†We tore the girls away from each other, the ones staying here still in tears. The older boys hugged and slapped each others back. ¬†Finally it was time for the little guys to say their goodbyes. ¬†They are better known around here as Batman and Robin. ¬†So what do Batman and Robin do? ¬†Well at first they just hugged and we started to walk away. Suddenly Batman yells back to us “hey” and lifts his shirt, little belly sticking out. ¬†Our little man runs back over lifts his shirt and they belly bump each other. ¬†They depart in laughter instead of tears. ¬†What could be more perfect for them and more heartbreaking for us?!

I was able to hold some semblance of composure until I turned in for bed. ¬†My hubby and I started talking about how much we would miss our dear friends. ¬†But what got to us the most was a blonde haired hazel eyed Batman and his cute as a button buddy Robin. ¬†You see our youngest made his very first best friend in our neighbors youngest son. ¬†Their favorite game is dress up Batman and Robin. ¬†Our little guy is Robin. ¬†It breaks my heart to see him lose his buddy, his bestie, his Batman. Batman has spent lots and lots of time at our house and we loved him like a 4th child. ¬†Don’t get me wrong we loved all 4 of our neighbors children, but it was so special to see our youngest develop from a toddler when we¬†first moved in, into someones true best friend. ¬†One of God’s true gifts is the gift of a true friend.

Therefore we bid you farewell Batman and friends, take care of each other, email and Facebook often, Skype when you can. ¬†We will miss you all and I thank you for showing our family what true friendship, fellowship and love for each other means. ¬†We will miss you in body but keep you close in spirit. ¬†We hope to see you again someday on this earth. ¬†In the military, stranger things have happened (who knows I hear Batman and Robin have a lot of pull around here.) ¬†But we know we will see you all again someday in God’s heavenly kingdom, and then we will never have to say goodbye.

With deepest love and affection…….BELLY BUMPS all around!

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My Peaceful Place and So Much More…

I went for a “run” Monday. ¬†At least that’s what I intended to do. I wanted a change of scenery so I went to the Norfolk Botanical Gardens to run. I also wanted to clear my mind. You see I volunteered ¬†to give my testimony this week at my women’s bible study group. ¬†We have been studying “A Woman’s Heart” By Beth Moore. ¬†I felt a calling inside to do it, but now I am nervous. ¬†As¬†I ran my legs felt achy, my breath rugged and unsteady and my mind uneasy. ¬†About a mile and a half into it I decided to walk a bit. Passing a part of the garden that always gets my attention, I slowed and strolled past old weathered statues and budding flowers. Ah so peaceful I thought. Then I started to run again, yet still the achy and uneasiness continued. ¬†How does one run 13.1 miles one week and can barely squeak out 4 I thought. I stopped yet again and sat near a beautiful fountain. While I sat, taking in the beauty, I prayed for a while asking God to let my testimony be honest, sincere, heartfelt. I remembered Beth talking about the fact that God is so near to us, just beyond a thin veil. ¬†Sometimes when I pray I raise my hand up to that veil and feel like I can almost touch him. ¬†How wonderous. After a while I got up again and soon passed a part of the garden I had never seen before.

I thought what a peaceful place. ¬†I walked along the dewy pathway. ¬†Beautiful flowering bushes towered on each side of me lining the emerald pathway. ¬†Wonderous shades of blush pinks filled the bushes. ¬†Then just at the end of the path sat a worn wooden bench. ¬†Just calling me…here, come sit a while. ¬†It was as if Jesus himself was calling me to calm my mind and spirit. ¬†As if God sensed my anxiety and said….”walk don’t run, enjoy the beauty I have made”. ¬†As I approached the bench I could hear the light splashing of water. ¬†Just beyond the bench stood a glistening fountain surrounded by spring daffodils in their dazzling array of yellows, pansies of royal purple. ¬†Yes I will stay a while I thought. ¬†As I ¬†basked ¬†in all the beauty before me I couldn’t help but think how much more beautiful, beauty beyond description, heaven and the garden of Eden must be. I mean look at all the beauty God has already provided for me. ¬†If he took this much effort to make every colorful bloom how much more love he must have for me. That he loves me so much that he desires fellowship with me a sinner. ¬†He desires it so much so that he sacrificed his only son for me! ¬†How blessed am I¬†that he is available to me anytime, anywhere!¬†¬†How lucky am I to have Jesus near to me, interceding for me to the father. ¬†No need for sacrifice or a high priest. ¬†Jesus covered all my sins by his sacrifice.

I pray just as the flowers are sweet to smell and beautiful to behold, let my prayers be sweet aroma to you dear God. Lest my heart never forget that you have provided me with all I need. ¬†Let me remember to turn to you each day in both good times and bad and know that you are “always sufficient in perfect proportion to our need” (Beth Moore week 2 day 4) That compared to even my greatest human experiences you are so much MORE!

One of my favorite moments, of many, in the last weeks was in week 5 when Beth spoke about us being like the lampstand in the temple. ¬†That when you open your eyes in the morning let God whisper to you “Today, my precious child, let there be light” ¬†and at the end of the day, when he tucks you in may he delight to say “There was light”.

I ended up with so much more than a run that day, I ended up with my testimony.  Thank you God for hearing me and always providing for me.  Thank you for slowing me down when I am running through life.  May my life please you and may I always be willing to seek you for your forgiveness and peace.  In Jesus great name, Amen.

(I ran back to my car and grabbed my phone for the picture of My peaceful Place.  It is the picture above.)

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A Shamrock’n good time

Hello all,

I had a awesome Shamrock Half Marathon this past Sunday!!After months of training with an injury I set a PR (personal record)! ¬†I beat my old record by a whopping 9 minutes!! ¬†Praises to God for all his help and faith in me. I am lucky that my injury hurts when I stop running not while I run. ¬†Strange but true and very much appreciated. ¬†I know there are lots of injuries that would just take you out of the running game completely. ¬†I was so happy crossing that line that you could not have paid me to wipe that smile off my face! ¬†You would have thought I won the whole darn women’s division. ¬†It sure felt like it!¬†

I want to thank Kelly my running coach for all her support. ¬†Kelly had asked me what my plan was. I told her “start off slow and Find my happy pace” yes I really did. ¬†She gave me¬†two time splits to check for during the race at miles 6 and 10. ¬†I made both. In fact at mile 10 I realized I was almost 3 minutes faster that what she told me would be considered “in even better shape” to beat my old half. ¬†What a great feeling that was, definitely gives you incentive to knock those last 3.1 miles out.

I am also proud that I was able to run with my best friends and neighbors as a complete group (plus one additional sister in running). ¬†You see, as military life goes, one of our own is leaving soon. ¬†Sue you have been a great inspiration to myself and Alicia. ¬†I am pretty sure we would have never run a half marathon without your support. ¬†Gosh a year ago I thought I might die after the Shamrock 8k! ¬†Now look at us! ¬†And since a series of foot injuries plagued our group it was nearly a miracle that we made it to the starting line at all. ¬†I will miss watching your butt ahead of me and your smiling face at the finish. ¬†Forget destination weddings….I think I hear a destination race calling our names. ūüėČ

So thanks to all of you prayed and supported me.  Now I have a new record to work on breaking!

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Long Runs, GU and Small Victories

Last long run before The Shamrock Half next week. ¬†Three words to describe this run…rough, windy, and GU-less. ūüôĀ

It was one of those days when a jacket is too much, a long sleeve tee is too little. ¬†From the inside looking out it looked perfect. Sunny and cool. ¬†One problem…the wind. ¬†Around here (by the shore) wind can be a big challenge. Think running forward while feeling like your going backward. ¬†Jacket on, jacket off, jacket on, well you get the picture.

Also due to poor planning on my part I had none of my usual GU at home this morning. ¬†So I brought along the only thing I had a Chomp Shot I got at the Princess half but never used. ¬†Lets just say the description “shot” fits this. ¬†Now some of you may like Chomp Shots but I did NOT. ¬†It definitely felt like a shot of energy all right, but I didn’t feel my body used it the same as my usual GU. ¬†It was like a shot up and a crash and burn. ¬†I also “like” to hit my rough patch at about mile 6. Ok I don’t like it at all, in fact it sucks! ¬†If I could skip from mile 6 to 7 that would be a dream. (Somebody work on that…thanks) So anyway, after the crash mental games definitely came into play. ¬†My mind started wander and all I wanted to do was run (okay walk) home like a whinny little baby. ¬†Then I remembered something I had heard. Set up small goals for yourself on a tough run, a point A to point B mini goal if you will. ¬†So I did. ¬†From here to that tree, from here to the bridge, from here to the Campground, to Boon (my neighbors will know what I mean) and you know what IT WORKED! ¬†Thank goodness for small victories that set you on the path to big ones.

So here’s to long runs, GU, small victories and ¬†finding your happy pace!

P.S. God bless you full marathon runners, I couldn’t imagine hitting a wall somewhere between 16 and 20, hats off to you!

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Hurry Up and Slow Down

So happy to get my official Disney time and found out my time was actually only 4 minutes slower than my Rock n Roll time back in September! ¬†Not 5 like I had originally thought. ¬†Great time for me considering my picture stops. ¬†Yes I stopped to take pictures……sue me. ¬†Its Disney people not the Boston Marathon!!¬† Seems people are on either side of the fence with that one. ¬†I either get “Who did you get a picture with?” or “WHY on earth would you stop for pictures during a race? ¬†Who does that?”

Any who, now I need to decide on races coming up in April and May. ¬†Barring any unforseen bumps in the road the Shamrock Half is on for me this month. ¬†In April there is a local Dismal Swamp Half I was thinking about but I may forgo that one. ¬† As much as I would love to do one half a month I don’t know if my body can handle it. ¬†Still feeling a little tired from the last half and now have a bit of a cough going on. ¬†No runny nose or anything but a stinkin’ cough. ¬†Yuck. ¬†Gonna give my self a few weeks to decide.¬†For May I am in the process of setting up overnight kid duty (thanks to my parents) so I can travel to¬†the¬†Diva Half¬†in North Myrtle Beach. ¬†The hubby is scheduled to deploy in early May. ¬†You get tiaras an boas plus a champagne finish! Come on that sounds like a must do on the bucket list! ¬†The “Diva” is May 20th. ¬†I will also be turning a year older on May 13, so this could be a belated birthday present to myself.

Ah, if I had only started this running thing when I was like 20 instead of well, much later. ¬†Sue (my hero) where were you so many years ago? ¬†So there in lies the Hurry Up and Slow Down mentality. ¬†Hurry up and run, slow down and recover. ¬†Think about what to do next and in the meantime –¬†Run¬†Find Your Happy Pace.

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