Run Find Your Happy Pace

finding my happy pace in running and life

One Month In Already? The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of a Cross Country Trek

Has it really been an entire month since this?

I made it, I can't believe I made it!

I made it, I can’t believe I made it!

Apparently yes, yes it has.  We have now officially been in California for an entire whirlwind of a month.  So here is the good, the bad and the ugly.

The good. I drove well over 3,000 miles (see above photo)  Yes me, if you really know me this is a HUGE accomplishment for the girl who falls asleep when not driving if a trip is longer than 15 minutes.  I also learned that “endurance” driving is like doing a half marathon.  If you want the time to go by you need to be alert yet in the zone at the same time.  I thank my time spent distance running for helping pass 8-10 hours on the road each day.  Get in the zone, don’t think about how much longer you have, just get it done.  You see we drove both our cars from the east coast.  In the Mom-mobile my crew was both my sons and just for fun our 2 cats, because if your going to drive cross-country you might as well add a few animals into the mix.

Snickers.  Cat, dog or ferret?

Snickers. Cat, dog or ferret?

 

Puffabella

Puffabella

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Traveling is exhausting

Traveling is exhausting

For the first few days we had some pretty good (read: blinding) rain storms rain storms.  So on day 3 we replaced my wipers.  As you can probably guess….it never rained again, lol.   We did however get to see some really neat places on our travels such as this…

10406972_10206143080249852_590051294918854891_n

That is salt NOT snow, pretty cool.

11039802_10206143079009821_8899443442214331808_n

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And this.

????

????

OK we have no idea what that is but it was cool.  We renamed it the tennis ball tree.

My youngest played the iPad (ok probably too much, but hey it kept the complaints to a minimum so don’t judge me) and cracked jokes along the way.  We played a couple of entertaining, if not slightly disturbing, rounds of “Would you rather”.  Side note: whoever wrote the cards for that game has some issues…just saying.  My oldest was a pretty awesome copilot, keeping me company and reading google news to me when I started to get tired.  But best of all we got to spend time together and I realized he an I have the same sense of humor.  We like to laugh at the same things and enjoyed spending quality time with squishy (inside joke)  I love you kiddos!

The bad:  We saw very few accidents (ok yes that is good) except for the day the SUV right in front of my husband and daughter almost flipped.  Two things here, I am glad my husband had taken a drivers defense course at one time and God had his hand on that SUV, it swerved, spun and even went up on two tires but never flipped or hit any other vehicles on this busy stretch of road.  Depending on which way you take, driving across country can be very boring.  Lots of road, not a lot to look.  Unless you like grass, sand, dirt and lots of tractor trailers.  Also apparently different GPS’s don’t always agree.  We only lost each other once.

11237220_10206126067664548_300913914961088326_n

The ugly:  In true PCS style (ok wait for it here comes the whinny part of the trip) a bunch of unexpected events happened.  This time not broken appliances or lost household goods.  As a family we lost not one but two Uncles (on my husband’s side) God Bless you Uncle James and Uncle Michael.  As we were just arriving in Cali this made it impossible to grieve with family as they are now literally on the other side of the country.  I also found out one of my Brother In Laws has been pretty ill  (at the time) due to an unknown cause, don’t worry he is fine now.  Then within a weeks time of arriving in California my Dad was rushed to the ER and later received triple bypass surgery.  Again we are here he is waaaaay on the east coast.  A few days later my husband’s aunt lands in the hospital with a severe illness.  I swear to you we cannot make this stuff up.  My daughter fell in a freak accident after church and nearly broke her nose, it was a close call.  Apparently if you can sprain your nose that’s what she did.  Thankfully no black eyes and only minor swelling but a good amount of pain.  We had placed ourselves and all our family in God’s hands, even before we ever hit the road here.  God is good, we know he has everything under control.  Imagine what would have happened if we didn’t trust in Him.

But enough of that!  This part of California is lovely, beautiful, breathtaking and like perfect running conditions EVERY day.  I am not kidding.  No humidity and partly cloudy to sunny.  Mornings start in the upper 50’s and go to highs in the 70’s.  I think we had one day in the 80’s, the locals were dying.  There are many misty mornings but hardly ever rains (both good and bad).  We had a thunderstorm last weekend which didn’t faze us being from the east coast, however according to the locals this was a really big deal.  Apparently they haven’t had a thunderstorm here in years.  Yes read that again my East Coast friends….years.  Who knew?  The downside for me at the moment is hills.  Virginia Beach is flat-as-a-pancake land.  Spending the last 5+ years running there makes one not well hill adapted.  I should have spent some more quality time at Mount Trashmore.  However I am determined to rock these hills….eventually.  Or at least climb them without dying.  If not at least I know if I am ever a flat lander again I should be speedy, or at least speedier than when I got here.

I have a feeling it will be hard to leave here when the time comes at least from a running point of view.  Luckily we have a few years here to enjoy it all.   Check it out…try not to drool.

11665368_988163827884449_3393408691207688783_n 11692713_994061877294644_7950035037661250547_n 11694888_988311827869649_8840156562781898404_n11350630_10206161440988859_5112328049149553435_n 11188226_10206191082489878_9177646408616795452_n 11054525_10206190539316299_7360233216896221328_n

Oh and one last thing.  Never fear I have found a cupcake place here 🙂  Gotta have my cupcakes.

11695038_1000471893320309_1390557045623469155_n

 

8 Comments »

On the Move (almost) Part 1 – Motivational Monday

Motivational Monday:  God is the same today, tomorrow and always

Hebrews 13:8 New International Version (NIV)

8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

No matter what is going on in your life, God never changes.  Our lives change, our circumstances change and we let life distract us from Him but he never takes His eyes off of us.  Never.

What’s up with Finding My Happy Pace in running?   Well to be honest its been at a complete standstill but NOT BY CHOICE!!  Just about 3 weeks ago I had to have a minor procedure, I’m fine, no worries, but it did require stitches.  Stitches wouldn’t have been a biggie except they are on the side of my knee so the Doc said no running.  “OK I’ll just walk….a lot” I said.  “Oh no.  No walking for exercise either.” said Doc.  WHAT?!?!  The only good thing about no running or walking was the timing.

What’s up with Finding My Happy Pace in life?  We (my family) are getting ready for a big move. Moving in general is no fun, moving across the country, well that adds a whole new level of “fun”.  So no running meant more time for me to obsess over how much stuff we have and how much we don’t need.

Since we were fully aware of the upcoming move.  I have been trying to declutter the house since January 1 of this year.  My family on the other hand has not been too keen on the house de-cluttering process, its pretty much been a one woman show.  But I do feel like I made some good progress.  I even bought a book about de-cluttering, hahaha, go ahead and laugh (my hubby did)  I think his words were like “Sooooo, you bought a book about how to de-clutter?  Doesn’t that book actually add to the clutter in the house?”  Turd 😉 ( I say that lovingly, really)  I actually liked the book a lot and related to a lot it was saying.  The book was Clutter Free by Kathi Lipp by the way, in case your interested.**  But I digress.  De-cluttering has been an awesome freeing feeling.  We still have a lot to go but its been a good start, for me anyway.

And now June has snuck up on us all.  This past week the packers have come and packed all our belongings (the amount of boxes is still unreal #firstworldproblems) , the truck came yesterday and the house is pretty much cleared out.  We shall be living on blow up beds and sleeping bags for the next week, I think its kind of neat and so far no complaints from the peanut gallery.  I am hoping to declutter more on the backend of the move.

11053481_10206042856704326_8902274447465351086_n 11425417_10206042625818554_987318577363739008_n

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As far as my future running:  My stitches finally come out Monday wahoo!  My hope is to get a few runs in this week since the packing is all done.  I’m going to miss these routes I have mapped out the past 5 years.  You know the routes that you can run by feel anything from a mile to 10 but know exactly when to turn around.  And the shady routes you stick to on a hot summer day. Sigh.  I will miss you.  But I am also ready for some new and challenging running and life adventures!   Keep an eye out for all new adventures!

 

** I have no affiliation with Kathy Lipp or Clutter Free but I really did enjoy it.

 

 

No Comments »

Coast to Coast Part 1 – A Most Awesome Running Adventure!

As some of you may or may not know my family was blessed with being able to take a month-long vacation (aka: most awesome adventure) in an RV across the US to the west coast and back.  Lol, and no we are not crazy and yes everyone made it back alive 😉  Thanks to a lot of planning (Mostly on my hubby’s part because he rocks) we made the trek from Virginia all the way to Cali and back.  I had never been further west than Nashville, TN so this was a huge adventure for me.  This is “Part 1” of my adventures  and covers our stops from Virginia out to the California coast.

Prior to our departure I had promised myself and my Irun4 buddy Logan (what you don’t know what Irun4 is?  click here…its fantastic!) that I would attempt to run, walk or hike at least 1 mile in every state in which we spent the night.  I mean when was I ever going to get a chance to do that again?  I thought it would be a great motivator to keep me running on vacation and an excellent way to keep in contact with Logan over the month-long trip.  OK, ok  I also wanted to be able to eat whatever I wanted (read “cupcakes”) and really enjoy myself without totally tipping the scale when we returned.   Win/win 🙂

BTW: I have tons (and tons) of non-running related pictures of the beautiful places we were blessed to see across America and if you have about 3 hours I would love to share them with you.  Or you can check out more pics on my Instagram account at:

Runfindyourhappypace or search #runfyhp summer

Let me start with one of the biggest highlights of my trip.  A day I will always remember.

 Check out this handsome young man!!!

Screen Shot 2014-08-14 at 6.01.01 PM

Meet LOGAN!  My Irun4 buddy.  Thanks to my wonderful husband and Logan’s awesome Mom. My family and I were able to swing by Logan’s part of the country and meet face to face, hug to hug and heart to heart.  He is 1000 times sweeter in person than online.  Logan has brought joy back to my running and I was honored to meet he, his Mom, and little bro in person even if only for a short while.  He showered me with hugs and presents!

Thanks Logan!!!!!

And we're off!

And we’re off!

So back to the running part of my adventure.

First Stop  Knoxville, TN

2 miles was all I had time for this day but hey I was already ahead of my 1 mile per stop goal!

Screen Shot 2014-08-14 at 5.32.50 PM

Little Rock, AK

Our next overnight stop was Little Rock, AK.  The hubby and I got up early the next morning and got in 4 sweaty miles.  About 3 miles in we found a local Christian High School and were able to run on their beautiful track around the football field.  We also passed a pretty field of wildflowers so I borrowed one 🙂

Screen Shot 2014-08-14 at 5.31.42 PM

Screen Shot 2014-08-14 at 6.04.14 PM

Amarillo, TX

Next stop…Texas.  One of only two nights of rain the entire trip!  Actually it was hail, and lightning and a tad scary but lucky for us it passed quickly and we never got the full brunt of it.  We did however find out the back window of the RV (right by my head leaked…ughh)  The next morning the weather was great and the hubby and I ran 3.25 miles together.

Screen Shot 2014-08-14 at 5.33.35 PM

KOA Grand Canyon/ Williams, AZ

I got in a short run of a mile and then walked miles and miles at the Grand Canyon!  Breathtaking.

One of the views from the campground just outside the Grand Canyon

One of the views from the campground just outside the Grand Canyon

Screen Shot 2014-08-14 at 5.47.01 PM

The Grand Canyon just off the trail

Bryce Canyon, UT (my favorite!!)

Ok I didn’t get an actual run in here but I hiked…a lot.  I also went on and ATV tour and my very first horseback ride! For me Utah was a hidden gem of the trip.  I loved every bit of it!  Before we left Virginia I had asked my husband why were were stopping in Utah?  Duh…now I would go back in a heartbeat!

Screen Shot 2014-08-14 at 5.35.50 PM

Family ATV tour

Screen Shot 2014-08-14 at 5.36.35 PM

The view of Bryce Canyon from my horse “Sarge”

Screen Shot 2014-08-14 at 5.36.02 PM

One of the many stops in Bryce Canyon, UT

Screen Shot 2014-08-14 at 5.37.59 PM

Mossey Cave Trail. A very beautiful hike to a waterfall!

San Diego, CA (KOA San Diego)

We made it to California!  First stop was San Diego.  I was able to get a few miles in and man was the weather nice!  I also got to put my toes in the Pacific!  Coast to Coast, Ocean to Ocean baby!

Screen Shot 2014-08-14 at 5.39.22 PM

A very beautiful day in San Diego!

 

Toes in the Pacific!

Toes in the Pacific!

Anaheim, CA (Anaheim RV Park and Disneyland)

Did someone say Disney?!?  Why yes I did.  My pick of the trip…Disney!  We were able to camp at an RV park that was close enough to WALK to Disneyland!  How cool was that?  So between the 15-20 walk to the park and all the walking at Disneyland and California Adventure I would say 1000 miles easy 😉  and who doesn’t love Disney!

Screen Shot 2014-08-14 at 5.40.29 PM

Family Shot from Disneyland. We had looked for an Olaf all day!

 

Mariposa, CA  (Yosemite West, KOA)

I was able to get in a one mile hilly run/walk here.  This girl is used to flat!  Well there wasn’t much flat going on at this KOA, but I got up early and got it done.  We also did a good amount of hiking at Yosemite that day too.

Screen Shot 2014-08-14 at 5.41.18 PM

 

Yosemite!

Yosemite!

Manchester, CA  (Manchester Beach / Mendocino Coast KOA) 

The adventures getting to this KOA were enough to fill a whole other blog post.  Let’s just say don’t trust your GPS at all times.  But man was it worth it!  Our favorite KOA and wonderful running and hiking adventures.  I got in an early morning run with the bonus of deer, jackrabbits and a bunny.  Later in the day we hiked a trail to the coast.  The weather was chilly but a nice reprieve from the heat of AZ, UT and Southern Cali.  And the view from the beach (accessible only by the 20 minute hike each way) was simply stunning.

Screen Shot 2014-08-14 at 5.42.17 PM

A nice cool run with my animal friends

Screen Shot 2014-08-14 at 5.42.58 PM

This hike was just so peaceful and beautiful.

Thanks for joining me on part 1 of my Coast to Coast Adventure.  Pretty cool huh!  Believe me I know how blessed I was to do this.  We prayed everyday and thanked God for our adventure!

Stay tuned for Part 2 coming soon!

 

 

 

 

4 Comments »