Treasure Hunt Run

Last Saturday my mom and daughter Rachel got up to run 3.5 miles.  We read in the newspaper about this pirate treasure run and thought it would be fun to do.  I was very happy that this race offered a $10.00 coupon code and a discount for being a teacher!  Usually the discount is for military and police and firemen.  It’s about time someone remembers the teachers!

This was a local event in Plant City so that is the main reason we decided to do this last minute.  The race began at 8:45.  It was not a timed race but you had to finish in an hour in order to keep any treasure that you may have found.  They hid 200 little treasure boxes in the forest.  (More of a wetland) There was a path but at the pirate signs you knew that you can stray away from the path to find the treasure boxes.  They were very well hidden.  My daughter Rachel was able to find 2 boxes.  She gave one to me because you can only cross the finish line with just one box.

They even made sure we had plenty of water.  You just had to get it yourself since it was a small event.  No problem here!


Inside the boxes were coins.  You were not allowed to open the sealed box until you crossed the finish line and then you handed it to the DJ.  He announced what you won.  You then had a choice to donate your money to the charity or keep the treasure for yourself!  I’m so glad I didn’t get the $1,000 treasure because I would have wanted to keep it.  Yes, that’s the truth. Think of all the running I could do with a $1,000!  But God knows my heart and I only won $5.00 so I gladly handed it over to the charity.

It was a neat event to attend.  My mom was not able to find a box and Rachel didn’t find a third box so she didn’t get a chance to win any money.  At least my mom got another beautiful medal to hang on her rack.  And another memory recorded in the books.


Who Said Running Was Cheap?

Last night my husband and mom had a long conversation about the expenses of running.  I know we all have our hobbies and running seems to be mine.  My husband also has his hobby.  He likes to look for deals on speakers and sound audio stuff.  The great thing about Michael’s hobby is that he gets to try the stuff out in our theater room, then he sells them.  It doesn’t really cost us anything but makes a mess of the room as you can see in the picture!  At least he is having some fun with it!  Since we have a family of 6, we do watch our budget and make sure that we do not overspend.  So the question came up last night.  How much is all this running costing us?

My heart sank because all I could think is that my husband must think I am crazy because he wanted to figure out the cost of all my running adventures with my mom.  Oh no, do I really have to tell him?  So we calculated the cost of all the races, shoes, running gear, and hotel costs.  We added up over $2,400!  It was kind of scary but we just started to laugh.  I know that is a lot of money so now I will have to justify the spending.

This is the only hobby I have that I actually spend money on.  I am a very fugal person.  So is it worth all the cost or am I just plain crazy?  Since last year was the first year that we ran, a lot of the items that I purchased will be used year after year so now that I have most everything I need, I should be good to go!

I would consider myself a low maintenance person.  I do not get my hair done professionally, although I may look better if I did.  My nails are maintained and groomed by me.  No fancy nails here!  My wedding set is my only “real” jewelery.  I do not find joy in diamonds, my husband could have bought me a cheap cubic ring and I would have been just fine!  All my clothes are from the clearance rack and my shoes are cheap.  Sadly, I have spend more money on compression socks than my own clothes.  Something must be wrong with me!


Did I mention that I use coupons to feed my family as well?  We have a stash of food that has been purchased for pennies and my children can live on spaghetti and macaroni 7 days a week.  Right?  Don’t worry, I have cheap cans of vegetables as well!  There are even days that we may even have pancakes for dinner!   I do make salads and keep plenty of fruits around the house as well. There isn’t costly soda and junk food in our house.   Our kids are very healthy, so they must be eating something right.

Did I mention that I drive a 10 year old mini van as well?  It’s paid off so there is no  car payment for me to pay.  Maybe if I had that nice black BMW car, then I wouldn’t spend money on running. I don’t think my husband or Dave Ramsey would approve of me going to the car shop and getting a loan, so I won’t.

It is a joy to be able to get up and run with my mom, daughters, husband, friends, and soon my fourteen year old son!  The time and memories are priceless.  The Lord has bless us to be able to be healthy and I find it fun to run.  I think the spending is justified!

Most importantly as I was thinking about how much I love to run but my true joy is in the Lord Jesus.  He comes first and often I am able to spend time with Him as I run.  It is because of His strength and love that I am able to step out on to the pavement.  I really don’t want running to become an idol.  Anything that consumes my time and energy more than focusing on the Lord becomes an idol.  A few weeks ago we were studying that in Sunday School.  I had to ask myself, Do I have idols?  Am I spending too much time running?  Often I find myself mapping out my exercise schedule and figuring out how am I going to get my runs in.  We really need to make time on our schedule for prayer, church, and spending time with the Lord. If I don’t plan it, it doesn’t happen.  I think that is why I like to pray during some of my runs.  I have to plan it though and it helps me to focus on Him and needs of others.  My husband bought me an ipod a few weeks ago (on Craigslist, remember, we are cheap!) and I love to listen to worship music.  So sometimes running for me can be an act of praise as well.  There are also days that I just run for fun and that is alright as long as I don’t forget about the Lord.  We all have something that we love to do, we just need to be careful that it doesn’t turn into an idol.

For me, I also need to make sure I cut back on my spending!  Hopefully this year, I will spend half as much on running.  But what I do know, is that whatever we do in life, let’s do it for God’s glory.

Gasparilla 15K

This weekend was such an incredible experience.  I can’t believe how long that my family has lived in Florida and we have never ran the Gasparilla races ever.  18 years ago when I first started to date my husband, we would rollerblade down Bayshore together.  It was nice to experience Bayshore again.


My mother and I woke up at 4:00 in the morning so that we could make sure that we would be able to park at the Tampa Convention Center.  It was nice to have parking close by.  We made our way into the convention center and got ready.  It was nice not having to use porta potties!  Once we were ready we headed outside to figure out where we would have to line up.  Surprising they did not have special placements based on time.  I found a 9:30 pacer and thought that is about where I should be.  My mom stayed and talked with me until it was time to start.  She didn’t want to start too close because she usually runs a 13 minute mile.

It was very crowded so my first mile I was running at a 10 minute pace.  After that the crowd started thinning out and I was able to maintain a 9:15 pace.  It felt really great and I was beginning to wonder if my IT band would act up.  God is so good because it didn’t.  My mother and I decided that we would run with music for this race.  This was my first race running with music.  It was nice because there really wasn’t much entertainment along the route.  Just straight running.  I love to listen to worship music and sometime as I am listening and praising God I would start to get all choked up and can barley breathe. So I really had to try not to think too much about the worship songs or else I would be in tears.  Without Christ I could not do anything.

Halfway along the route I was able to see my mother running.  It was great, she was all smiles.  I must have been at mile 6 and she must have been around mile 4.  She was doing awesome with her pace.  It must have been the music!

My goal for this race was to finish under a 10 minute mile pace.  I was able to finish at an average of 9:49 pace per mile!  It would be nice to run faster but the more miles there are the slower I go.  All God requires of us is to do our best.  If He wants me to run faster, then He will give me the strength but I am thinking that at 36 years of age, just finishing is an accomplishment.

Once I crossed the finish line I ran into a friend from church.  Cheryl was running the 5K.  She is such a positive and encouraging lady.  It was nice to see her.  She did awesome for her 5K.


It has become a tradition that I run and find my mom after I cross the finish line.  So I made my way back towards Bayshore and ran the last mile with her. We always have fun the last mile and I am able to take pictures of her.  It is amazing that my mom can do this.  It doesn’t matter how old, your size, or shape, God will help you get across any finish line.


The only complaint about this race is that there was no fuel during the run.  I know 9 miles isn’t much but I was hungry towards the end of the run.  Then you had to walk almost a half mile to get the food!  They gave us fruit, smoothies, Coke, and protein bars. 🙂

It’s been a huge blessing to be able to run these races.


Gasparilla Expo and a Reason to Blog

Today my mom and I took a much needed day of work to go to the Gasparilla Expo.  We arrived before the doors were even opened!  It’s so much fun to look at all the running stuff and sample the many items and sports energy drinks.  We pick up as many samples as we can even if we don’t like the product!  Today my bag must have weighed 10 pounds!  I meant to put it on my scale but forgot.  We have been to many Expos and this one was the best ever!  Everyone was so friendly and there was so much energy in the room.

We got so many samples.  Some included frozen yogurt, chocolate milk, protein bars, pretzels, and even a ton of free Mc Donald coupons!  They were for free oatmeal and yogurt!  I just love free stuff!  I even asked for a few extras because I like to give the stuff away to my students at school for prizes and good behavior.  There will be many happy students next week when they see what prizes they can win.

This will be my mother and I first Gaparilla event.  We will be doing the 15K so it will be an easier run.  They do have a half marathon but since I just did the Disney Full last month I wasn’t ready to jump right into 13.1 miles just yet.  We will be doing a beach half in March.  We will be going to bed early and waking up at 4:00a.m.  We must be crazy but it is so much fun!


I am not much of a writer but I am forcing myself to blog about each event my mom and I run.  We are able to print up a book each year.  This is a whole lot easier than scrapbooking.  All you need is a blog and this company will print up the book.  I ordered one for my mom and grandmother and it came in the mail today.  The book came out beautiful and I am thinking I should also have a family blog so I can document my children’s activities and holidays.









Strawberry Distance Challenge 5K

Last Saturday my mom, Rachel, and Naomi got up early to run the Strawberry Distance Challenge 5K in Plant City.  This is a special race for my mother and I because a year ago it was my mother and I first running event that we had done.  It’s hard to believe a year has flown by again.  The event takes place in Walden Lake.

This was Rachel’s fourth 5k and she placed 1st again for her age group.  After looking at the results, I noticed that she placed 11th out of close to 200 females that participated!  The funny thing is that she didn’t even train for the event.  She just woke up and ran it.  There is potential for her if she put in the time.  Right now, she just wants to have fun so no pressure for her.

Naomi also ran the event without training and did amazing.  She placed 3rd for her age group.  I was proud of her for running.  She always has a smile on her face!

My mother did more than awesome because she set a new PR!  She finished at an 11:59 pace!  Now I know her potential and I won’t take an excuse from her when we go out running together.  She was a little disappointed that she didn’t take home a medal because all of us placed but she is a winner!  She beat her time and completed the 3.1 miles.

That’s what I love about running.  Your in a race against yourself.  My goal for this race was to finish in under 27:48 because that was my last 5K time.  I am happy to say that it was accomplished.  I think the Lord had to help the last tenth of the mile.  When I looked back at my splits on my Garmin, I laughed because the last tenth I sprinted at a 7:30 pace!  There was a lady that was about to run past me and I just didn’t want to let her pass so I sprinted the last tenth of the run to the finish line!  Once the results were posted, I am embarrassed to say that the sprint allowed me to place 3rd for my age group!  I placed third by one second!  I did not realize that you must finish strong until that day.

We had friends and youth there as well.  Some of our students from Shiloh’s youth ministry were there because they had sponsors that gave them money for summer camp if they raced the event.  Some of the students raised close to $100 for their summer camp!  Way to go and God is so good!

My husband had the job of taking photos for us.  I wished that I had my camera because he took his bike so that he could photograph us running and crossing the finish line.  He got his exercise that day as well.











Recovering from a Marathon

The day of the marathon I felt so great and had tons of energy.  I remember even dancing around the house that night wishing that I could go to a Zumba class.  Little did I know that I would wake up the next morning to terrible knee pain.  I couldn’t even walk very fast.  I had to get to work so I just dealt with the pain all day on Monday.  I have always been an active person so not being able to walk fast and not workout just killed me on the inside.  But I know that I my body needed to rest and heal from all the extra running I was doing.  I didn’t do any activity for the first week.

Friday we were leaving for a ski trip and I woke up with my left leg all numb.  I couldn’t feel anything and was getting concerned.  I decided to go to work because I didn’t want to miss.  The one thing about being a teacher is that you feel extremely guilty for not going to work.  I was thinking that once I got to work and was moving then the numbness of my leg would stop.  But it didn’t.  I called my husband and we decided that I needed to see a doctor because we were leaving at 4:00 for the ski trip.  I waited at the office for over three hours!  The doctor gave me some great suggestions and of course a new prescription.  I am not sure if the prescriptions help or not, I just think that they like to write them to make us feel better.  My leg finally felt better Saturday afternoon.  Yeah!

Usually when I ski we go 24/7 but this year I played it safe on the greens and did very little.  🙁  My daughters and son did amazing.  Jacob and Naomi even went down black slopes!  That is crazy.  Rebekah went to ski school and learned to stop and make it down the bunny slopes!  My husband skied a lot as usual. He even takes video while snowboarding.  I am doing good just to stay up!

Thursday was the day that I decided that I would go back to Zumba class.  It was great and I didn’t feel any pain.  I can’t wait to go to more!  I love to dance and it is a great stress relief for me.  Today my mother and I went for a run.  It was my first run since the marathon.  I made sure to take it slow because of my IT band.  I am going to be going slower and doing less miles until this problem with my knee goes away.  I have been faithful at doing the stretches and physical therapy exercises.  With God’s timing, it will get better.

One suggestion that my doctor made was for me to get shoes that were my size.  The shoes that I have been running in were a 1/2 size bigger.  I thought that would help my toes.  My issues didn’t start until I purchased my pink running shoes 1/2 size bigger.  I went to Fitniche today I they observed me running and recommended shoes for me.  They are the Mizuno Wave Inspire 9.  Hopefully these will work out.  They said I have 15 days to try them and if they don’t work for me, I can return them.

I also purchased Kinesiology tape for my knee.  I will see how that works out!



26.2 Mile Prayer Journey at Disney Marathon 2013


This morning we had to wake up at 3:00 am to get ready for the Disney Marathon.  This was mine and my friend Tina’s first marathon.  My nerves were kicking in all week because of my IT band injury that I still have.  I have been going to physical therapy and the Dr. for the problem but decided not to get the shot last week.  I do not like needles and had a panic attack!  On Friday my husband brought me flowers and 26 scripture verses to read for each mile.  I am so thankful for those verses.  I clung to them the whole 26.2 miles.  Since I didn’t want hold too much stuff I decided to write the names of the people I was to pray for each mile on the scripture verses.

My corral started a few minutes before 6:00, so I opened my purple piece of paper and begin to pray for husband during mile 1.  Praying and reading God’s Word the whole 26.2 miles was an indescribable experience for me.  There were times when the scripture lined up for exactly person I was praying for.  When I needed to Lord’s strength, there was a new verse.  My heart became very heavy as I was praying for my family, in-laws, cousins, friends, co-workers, church, and so on.  I thought I was going to fall on my knees and cry out to God but knew I needed to keep running.  Sometimes I would get all choked up and would need to take a deep breath.  The Lord just kept revealing issues that I needed to work out in my heart as I prayed for others.  The time flew by so fast.  If you ever go run, having a set scripture and prayer list ready is amazing.

Meanwhile as I was praying I was also dealing with pain issues from my IT band.  As I was pondering on God’s Word, I couldn’t help but realize that this pain I was experiencing was nothing that our Lord Jesus Christ experience.  He carried the cross for us so that we could have eternal live through His death and resurrection.  That’s when I knew I would have to swallow my pride and not worry about my time anymore.  This was a time for me to thank the Lord for all that He does for us and He was going to get me through this marathon, not me.

The overall marathon experience was so encouraging.  People are calling out your name and cheering you up.  That is what the bible tells us to do.  We are to encourage each other daily.  Can you imagine if we lived a daily marathon where we encourage each other to do our best at our jobs, to keep going strong in your marriage, to not give up when it hurts?

My favorite thing about this marathon is that I didn’t get hungry!  I made sure I ate plenty a few days before.  You will see my desert from Friday night!  Yummy!  I did gain 2 pounds but I did not want to hit the runner’s wall.  It worked!  They passed out chocolate!  I will run for that.  Usually, I watch every food I put in my body but this weekend, I did not care.  I figured this is the one time I can eat what I want and I would burn it off.

My poor husband’s kidney stones were acting up during the whole marathon.  I kept praying for him and when I saw him at mile 18, he was on the ground sitting in pain.  My heart hurt for him and at the end I drove him home while he was having terrible pain.  It was getting scary and he had a fever.  He still is in pain so I am praying the Lord will help him pass the stones.

Thanks again everyone who prayed for me during this journey.  The words of encouragement has been more than awesome.


26 Miles to Pray for Others

Today I had to stay home from church because my daughter was sick today.  It’s the last day of our Christmas break and she would have to get sick.  She is doing much better now.  Yeah!  I started thinking about this marathon that I am going to do next weekend and started to get a little nervous.  I know that through Christ, He will give me the strength and what I need to make it.

I started to reflect and think about how much Jesus depended on prayer.  He was up early to pray to His Heavenly father.  This is mind boggling because here the perfect son of God is praying all the time and He is Lord.  The bible even tells us that we should pray without stopping.  I like to think that that scripture is saying that we should have a prayerful attitude at all times no matter what we are doing.  The great thing about prayer is that you don’t have to have your head down with eyes closed to do it.  Jesus knows our thoughts.  Jesus also prayed for God’s will not His.  The night before His death on the cross He was even praying for God’s will to be done even though He knew what He was about to face.  So what does praying have to do with a marathon?

I tend to read a lot of running blogs to get ideas and new knowledge since I am a beginner.  I was reading someone’s blog and she had 26 specific people that she prayed for during the marathon that she ran.  I love that idea.  I often talk to the Lord while I am running, so why not take advantage of this time to pray for specific people and needs.  I know that I should pray a lot more than what I do now.  If Jesus got up early daily then how much more to I need to get up to pray.  Some of my heart issues would change.  My goal for next Sunday is to lift people and needs up in prayer.  I have specific people and needs for each mile.   I have it written on a small index card that I plan on keeping with me so if I forget the need/person I have a reminder.  I am going to leave the music at home and as I go through each mile marker, it will remind me to pray for others.

Mile 1:  Michael

Mile2:  Jacob

Mile 3:  Rachel

Mile 4: Naomi

Mile 5: Rebekah

Mile 6:  Mom

Mile 7:  Dad

Mile 8: Brothers

Mile 9:  Grandparents

Mile 10:  Mothers and Father in Law

Mile 11:  Sisters in law

Mile 12:  Brother in Law (Only have 1)

Mile 13:  Nieces

Mile 14: Nephews

Mile 15:  Aunts

Mile 16: Uncles

Mile 17:  My many cousins

Mile 18:  Friends

Mile 19:  Shiloh Baptist Church

Mile 20:  Youth Ministry

Mile 21:  Students at school

Mile 22:  Coworkers

Mile 23:  Those that are seeking Jobs

Miles 24:  Homeless

Mile 25:  Those that are hurting and have lost loved ones

Mile 26: Me

A New Year and New Goals

It seems that the time flies faster each year as I get older.  It is hard to imagine that a year ago I started running with my mom.  It was so painful and we just thought that we would complete the Princess Half and never have to run again.  Little did we know that completing the 13.1 mile run would create such an addiction.  The good news is that if I am going to be addicted to something, running is great for the heart and health.  Last year we were able to complete three races.  I am ask often why do I do these races if I know I am not going to win.  Well the great thing about running is that you are in competition with yourself.  For each half marathon I completed my time was better each time.  The same for the 5K races.  So I would think that would be an accomplishment.  My current pace is a 9.5 minute mile for short distances and 10.5 for longer distances.  It would be nice to see better time this year.

I have trained real hard for he full marathon that will be here in 11 more days!  I am hoping that I have not over trained.  My body and knee still hurts so I have been slowing down a lot.  This morning I ran 3.5 miles at 11:30 pace with my mom.  My first goal for the marathon is to complete it in under 5 hours but if I have trouble, I just want to cross the finish line.  I did go to a physical therapy session this week and it helped.  I have 3 more sessions to attend before the marathon.  Hopefully it will make a difference.  The PT worked on my IT band and gave me many wonderful stretches.  Next Wednesday, I will be going back to the doctor and I am considering getting the cortisone shot.  I know there are different opinions about this but I feel that I have worked too hard not to do the marathon.  The shot will help ease the pain so that I can complete it. Once the marathon is over I will not be running as much and the It band problem should go away with less running.  Here is a picture of the medal that I will get if I complete the marathon.  It is real big.  I used to have my medals in my closet but my husband made me this medal rack for Christmas and now it is over my desk. At least my desk is in my room in the office area so it looks nice with the pictures around it.  I have a picture of each race and it brings a smile to my face when I look at it and can have great memories with the ones that I love! 

This year my mom and I looked at the running calendar and are looking forward to running some different events this year.We do want to do some fall ones but don’t see any up online.  At least we know what we are doing for the spring.  What races do you run?  May your 2013 be the best ever!

January- Disney Full Marathon

February- 9th Strawberry Distance Challenge 5K

February 23- Gasparilla 15K

March 17- Florida Beach Halfathon

April 14- Iron Girl

May- Miles for Moffit

June, July, August-  Way too hot!  Beach time!

December 9- San Antonia, Texas…Rock and Roll with our aunt and cousin!

The Color Run and Dealing with Pain

It has been a while since I have last posted.  I have honestly debated if I wanted to write about running but decided I would continue at least till I complete my first full marathon.  This is a great way for me to document my journey and it allows my family to see what is going on in my life.  99% of my family members live out of the state of Florida.  During the holidays it really makes me miss everyone.  I wish I could be closer but they live literally all over the world.

A few weeks ago, my mom and the girls headed to St. Pete for The Color Run.  It was Naomi’s first 5k and I was so proud of her.  She did amazing.  This is a fun run and would be great for any beginner.  The best part is that it is not timed!  I left my Garmin at home and did not worry one bit about the time.  I just wanted to have fun with the girls.  I do not like to get messy so I stayed in the middle of the color zones.  As you can see in the pictures the girls LOVED getting paint all over them.  My husband drove us and treated us to IHOP after the event.  People were giving us weird looks because we looked a mess!  We were so hungry that I did not even care what I looked like.

The past couple of weeks have been hard because I have been having major pain when I run.  I have been working so hard and now the marathon is three weeks away and I can not even run.  Last Saturday I went for a 20 mile run and had to start walking at mile 16.  Once I reached the 19.25 mile mark, my husband picked me up.  I was mentally and physically exhausted.  The feeling was so terrible I just had to lay down for an hour or two.  The Dr. says the pain I am experiencing it called Iliotiobial Band Syndrome.  Basically I have inflammation and pain on the outer side of my knee.  I will start physical Therapy on the 31st.  Hopefully it will be enough to help me get through the marathon.  I was hoping to finish in 4.5 hours but now I am praying I will make it across the finish line.

I know if it is the Lord’s will for me to complete the marathon, He will give me what I need to get through it.  I am thankful that my husband will be there for me that day.  I feel guilty that he will be waiting a really long time for me to finish but he is an amazing husband and I am so blessed to have him.