January 19, 2018

Why You Should Make Lots Of Plans

It's 2018, and I am excited about running. Last year, I lost a good bit of the passion I had for running. I just couldn't find any motivation to lace up my shoes. Not sure why, and it doesn't really matter at this point. It's time to focus on the now and the future, and the forthcoming days are filled with thrilling plans.

First, I'm kicking off the new year with a 15K. My very first long distance run! I've been training for this since before Christmas along side some of my favorite running buddies.

Upon close examination of the above pics, you will no doubt see a common denominator: my bestest running buddy Jaimee has been training with me. Every Saturday morning, without fail, no matter the weather, we rise to meet the pavement. This has been exactly what I've needed to get my running groove back.

The training plan has basically been to meet one morning a week, increasing our distance by a mile each week, and running .25 and then walking .25. It's working! We will have gone 8 miles before we run/walk the Atlanta Hot Chocolate 15K (9.3 miles).  We won't be the fastest, but I'm sure we won't be the slowest. And we will have finished a run longer than our typical 5K or occasional 10K. I'm so psyched!

Honestly, this is giving me the confidence I think I've needed to even consider tackling something of more significant length. Yes. I'm talking about possibly completing a half marathon.

I NEVER thought I would EVER even consider running something of that length. But now, I want to. I really want to!

So I've discovered, this is what is really fueling my passion to run regularly again: plans.

I have running plans, and I want to make even greater running plans. And those plans, they translate into purpose. They are inspiring me to keep moving. I'm no longer running to run; I'm running to accomplish bigger goals. To achieve grander ambitions. And to boldly run races I never thought I would run before (Star Trek pun - yes, I went there).

If there are any words of wisdom I have to end with, here they are... Make plans. Lots of plans. They make running - and living life - all the more worth it.

December 29, 2017

The Time Is Now

Exploring runners' blogs rocks! They provide inspiration and motivation, and lately, I've been in short supply of those essential elements in my running life.

Putting on the dry-fit apparel and lacing up the shoes - those things don't happen without running mojo, and I know of no better place to find that than from other runners.

So today, I am linking up with Running on Happy, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs for their Coaches' Corner.

Rachel at Running on Happy wrote a post about "Setting Goals For The New Year," and I was inspired to think about running and 2018.

I made two specific running goals for 2018 early on in 2017, and I'm excited to see these ambitions finally realized sooner rather than later. 

First, I have wanted to run the Hot Chocolate 15K in Atlanta for many years now, and this February, I have signed up to do it. I will get the chocolate bar shaped medal I have coveted for so long!

My precious...

My husband typically runs this 15K and has a few of these rectangular shaped beauties, and every year I would stare longingly at his bling and say, "Next year. That will be mine. I will have one. Next year." And the next year would come, and it would go, and with it, another chance to obtain that treasure lost.

But this past summer, I turned 40, and I told myself, "Jamie. Go get what you want. You're 40. The time is now."

So, February 4, 2018, I WILL have my chocolate bar shaped medal!

Another something I have always wanted will also happen in February 2018. I am going to run my first Walt Disney World race!

Another AWESOME medal! Whoo hooo!!!

I have signed up to run the Disney Princess 5K with some of my favorite running buddies. I'm so very excited about this running goal! I mean, Disney, princesses, and running?! It's going to be a dream weekend!

Beyond those two races, I'm not sure what more I want to do with running in 2018. I know I want to run - much more than I managed to do in 2017.  And I'm loving a new running date I've established with my BFF on Saturday mornings, so that will certainly help.

So I guess the third and final running goal I have is - just keep running.

Truly though, I am super excited about finally tackling those two races for two reasons. First, I've been wanting to run those races for years now. And second, they are opportunities to do something for ME.

Because while I've - for sure - neglected literal running in 2017, my metaphorical running has suffered as well.

Interesting how the two seem linked, yes? But that's for another post.

I've obviously got some literal running goals mapped out, so I've also come up with one goal to help me run the race of life better. One simple initiative.

Every day, I must do something for ME. I must take at least one action in an effort to take care of myself. I must complete one activity that will put a smile on MY face.

Cause if Momma ain't happy...

And Momma could be happier. But Momma's been tired. Consumed with running around taking care of everyone else.

So, there you have it. My literal and metaphorical running goals for 2018.

What about you? What do you want to do? What do you NEED to do?

If I may offer some advice, borrowed from a great brand of running shoes, JUST DO IT!

And let's cheer each other on in 2018! Join my Facebook page for more encouragement as we run the race before us.

December 11, 2017

In All Things

Hello, my dear blog. I've missed you!

The 30th day of September was my last post, and that's just wrong. I need you. I literally NEED this space. I discovered at a young age just how therapeutic writing is for me, so to ignore this territory during the past chaotic months was just... well... just plain stupid.

Life got busy and pushed me forward - slowly, at first, then faster and faster - until I hit a brick wall this past Friday.

October - I helped out with this year's Smile Run - and realized how much work goes on behind the scenes of a 5K. A pumpkin patch visit, and our church's Trunk-or-Treat. Then, there was a trip to North Hall HS for a speech and debate tournament. And before I knew it, October was gone...

November - More speech and debate tournaments - two Saturdays sacrificed on the alter of forensics. My husband's doctor appointment - where it was decided he needed surgery to fix an artery. Then, Thanksgiving at our house. And November was gone.

And then, December... The first eight days of this month spent almost entirely thinking about and planning for our first speech and debate tournament at the high school where I teach and coach.

Only to have it cancelled, this past Friday, due to seven inches of unexpected snow. The forecasted light dusting turned into a blizzard - freezing months of planning and preparation.

Not gonna lie. I cried. Like a baby. Multiple times that day.

It was like running a long distance race - 3 miles, then 6, then 9, then 11.5 - and falling short of the finish line.

All that effort, all those miles, traveled, for... nothing.

And yet, was it all for naught?

"And we know, that in all things, God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28

I have hope that these past months were not insignificant.

In fact, I know they weren't.

During the months that flew by filled with busyness, beautiful things happened. I just never took the time to stop and really LOOK at them...

My youngest daughter Hannah - at The Smile Run! First place Tot Trot!

Our favorite pumpkin farm to visit.

My speech and debate captain and I with first place trophies!

Thanksgiving at our house - around our first dining room table!

And our tournament? Well, there are plans in the works to ensure its attempt will count for something, and the door is not entirely shut on an opportunity for us to host an event this year.

He does work together for the good of those that love Him. Don't ever forget that!

*cue the wiping away of fresh tears - this time, tears of joy*

Keep running! Never stop! The race is totally worth it!

Beth's first 5K with her running group, Sole Sisters, December 2nd. Such a beautiful leader.