Monday, December 7, 2009

California International Marathon

Yippee! I did it, I finally ran a marathon and enjoyed it. I also was able to actually exceed (by 1 minute) my goal time of 5:30; 5:28:52 - a PR for me. I'm SO excited!

I usually do a run/walk ratio of 1/1 for my marathons, but decided to try and run all the downhill sections of this one. Because of that, I started out a little fast, but not too much. The first mile was 10:41; but then I leveled out and kept the rest within my range.

This marathon is advertised as a pretty easy one and I believe it is. Not to say it isn't challenging in some areas, because there ARE a few hills that can get you down, if you don't prepare for them. Fortunately, where I run is rolling hills so I didn't really have too mamy problems with this race.

It was nice having so much support along the course. My last (and only) 2 marathons had pretty much no support, which I'm fine with, but I really enjoyed having people support me along the way.

I noticed a blister forming on my fourth toe of my right foot at about mile 8. I should have worn a pair of toe only socks in addition to my 2 pair, but I forgot to pack them. The blister broke at about mile 20, a new, weird & painful experience for me. :) I've never had a bloody sock before. LOL Still, it actually quit hurting after a while and I did fine.

I was concerned about my breathing since I have had a cold for about a week, and I did have some issues with coughing after mile 20, but overall, I was fine. The problem I had started about mile 19 with my legs just feeling like they were giving out. This made it harder for me to run so I did a lot of speed walking then. Disappointing, but I still met my goal!

I kept close to the 5:30 pacer and actually was ahead of her for the last part of the race. I was overjoyed when I realized I would meet my goal pace.

I was able to finish the last .1 of the race running, so I finished strong and I'm sure the photo at the finish was better than if I walked it. I loved the announcer at the finish - he was great, even commented on my pink Newtons. :) I especially liked it when he said I was 56, but looked 29. I think I'm in love. hahaha!

This was a great race and one that I actually enjoyed running. I'm really glad I picked this marathon. Next marathon - Salt Lake City Marathon, April 17, 2010!

When I run long runs, my hands swell extremely. Anyone else have this problem?

Here are before & after pics:

Monday, November 2, 2009

Stretch, Stretch, Stretch!

I've had a few people ask me about the stretches that I do daily so I thought I'd give you a recap of what I do. The stretching exercises I do are very simple and basic and only take me about 15 minutes out of my day. I never stretch before a run or bike ride, but always after. On the days I don't run or ride I still stretch, but I wait until my bath to do so. That's because I want my muscles to be warmed up before I stretch them.

I begin with sitting with my legs together in front of me and bending over and touching my head to my knees. (Trust me - this took lots of weeks before I could go down this far) I hold it for a count of 8 and I do eight of them.

Groin or inner leg stretch: Seated, put the soles of your feet together. With your elbows on the inside of your knees, gradually lean forward and gently press your knees toward the ground, holding for 8 seconds, 8 reps.

Next, I do piriformis stretches:

Sit with one leg straight out in front. Hold onto the ankle of your other leg and pull it directly towards your chest.

I also do this piriformis stretching exercise:

To stretch the piriformis muscle, start by laying on your back with both knees bent. Cross your right leg over the left, placing your right ankle on your left knee.

Next, reach down and grab your left thigh with both hands, and pull back towards your chest. You should feel a stretch on the outside of your right hip.

Hold the stretch for 5-10 seconds, and repeat 5-10 times (I hold for 8 seconds, repeat 8 times)

I do a simple calf stretch, sitting with my legs straight out in front of me, and no, this is not me. LOL I gently pull on my toes to stretch my calves, holding for 8 seconds, 8 repeats.

There's also this one:

Sit with both legs straight. Loop a rope around the ball of one foot and grasp each end of the rope. Flex your foot back toward your ankle, toes toward your knee.

Hamstring stretch: Lie on floor with legs straight out in front of you. Use a rope like the calf stretch, wrapping it around one foot the same way, then lift that leg straight up as far as you can in front of you, keeping the other leg flat on the ground. Hold for 8 seconds, 8 reps. Do the same for the other leg.

Gluteal muscle stretch: Sit with legs straight out in front of you, bend one leg and cross that foot over your other legs and put it next to the outside of that knee. Wrap your arm around the bent knee and twist your body toward that knee, gently pulling that knee toward your chest. Hold for 8 seconds, 8 reps; repeat for other leg.

IT Band stretch: 3 sets, holding for 30 seconds each time.

Place the leg you want to stretch behind the other one.
  • Keep the foot on the floor and push your hips out to the other side.
  • Hold for 30 seconds
  • Never bounce when stretching, always ease into it gently and try to relax.
Quad stretch: 3 sets, holding for 30 seconds each one, make sure you keep your balance by holding on to a steady object with the other hand.

Exercises for the foot and ankle:

Put 10 small objects on the floor--like marbles or Monopoly pieces--and place a small cup nearby. Using your toes, pick up the pieces one at a time and put them in the cup. I do 3 sets of ten for each foot. I use marbles.

Standing on stable ground, balance on one foot with your eyes open. Once you can do that for one minute, try it with your eyes closed. I do this at the gym on a balance pad. I can't manage it with my eyes closed though.

Back exercises
: Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat to the floor. Cup your hands just under your knees. Using your arms for support, gently pull your knees to your chest. Hold for 20 seconds, then lower your legs to the floor. Repeat 3 times.

I know it seems like a lot, but it really doesn't take much time and is well worth the effort. I have never been able to touch my toes; couldn't even reach halfway down. Now I can put my hands flat on the floor.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Bizz Johnson Trail Marathon - A Unique Experience

Another marathon completed, not as I wanted, but still COMPLETED! I am learning as a runner, that things don't always go according to plan, and I have to be flexible. I knew going into this marathon that it would be iffy that I would even be able to do it, much less finish it, but I WAS hoping I could at least run most of it. It was not to be, sadly. However, I DID finish it, even though I had to walk most of the distance.

The Bizz Johnson Trail is a lovely place to be, no matter what you're doing. Running a marathon on it seemed like such a great idea. I knew that the altitude might be a problem, but was hoping to overcome that by getting to Susanville a few days early to acclimate. I arrived on Thursday afternoon about 4:45 pm, after a 7.5 hour drive from Salem. Friday I picked up my bib # at the Historic Train Depot and then spent the rest of the day just relaxing at the motel. The Bizz Johnson Trail is an old railroad bed that runs through The Lassen National Forest from Westwood to Susanville, California.

Saturday morning I volunteered at an aid station for the 1/2 marathon. I had never done any volunteering at a race so it was a new experience for me. The volunteer coordinator, Marissa, was wonderful, as were Brian and Wendell, who are race directors for Pacific Coastal Trail Runs. Everything was explained very well and then I was asked to drive my car to the location, not a problem, but so much for my clean car. lol It's very dusty up there! Howard (my volunteer friend) and I had a great time providing drinks & snacks to the runners as they came through. We were located at mile 4 of the half marathon; at what would be mile 17 of the marathon. It was nice to see at least part of the course ahead of time. Here's some pictures of that area:

When we were done, we went to the finish area to see if they needed any help there. It was nice to get a look at where I would be finishing the marathon (I PLANNED to finish!).

That night, a twitter friend, Michelle and her husband Glenn arrived. They are from the Portland, Oregon area and had just run the Portland Marathon the week before. They were going to run this one also! It was great seeing them again; I had met them at the Newport Marathon. Here we are the night of the marathon, after dinner.

The marathon was the next day and we were leaving the train depot at 8:00 AM on buses, the marathon started at 9:00 AM, a little later than I'm used to. We were bused to Westwood for the start; some of us remained on the buses (which, by the way, were charter buses - so great!) to keep warm because the temperature at the start was 29*. I love running in the cold, but we knew that the temps were gong to reach at least 66 by the end of the day so I dressed accordingly. - shorts and a sports bra top. I also wore gloves & arm warmers. The gloves & arm warmers came off before the first hour was up. It warmed up fast. At the end it was 70* - that's an increase of 41 degrees!

Notice my Newton running shoes. This would be the farthest I had ever gone in them. They are great! I also wore my Zensah calf sleeves. They help so much!

This was a small race - only 445 registered, but about 9o didn't show up so we started with about 360 or so. We did a quick out & back of McCoy Road to make the race a complete 26.2. (The Bizz Johnson Trail is about 25 miles long.) I was feeling pretty good, kept my pace at about 12:30 for the first mile, 13:00 for the second & third, hoping I could take it easy for the first 7 miles since they were slightly uphill. Mile 4 was at 13:30, and then about mile 4.5 my Garmin started beeping that my heart rate was too high. That meant it had to be over 200, since that was what I set it for. I was also experiencing heart PVCs (I get them all the time - non-life threatening) so I knew I wasn't going to be able to run anymore, at least not during the uphill part. I began speed walking, but still couldn't get my heart rate down. I started feeling really depressed, because I had wanted to finish in about 5.5 hours. No way was that going to happen now!

I kept toughing it out, speed walking and finally started to feel better about mile 10. I attempted to run a few more times, but realized that the altitude was just too much for me. I normally run at 500' and we were over a mile high - started at 5300', went up to 5619' and then slowly came back down to 4200'. So much for getting there early to acclimate. :) I also needed to remember that I had suffered a concussion just 3 weeks ago, so my body was still in recovery mode.

Once I accepted that I would be walking the majority of the marathon, I began to enjoy it more. I knew I would finish it and just hoped to do that before dark. hahaha! I kept getting passed by everyone so I wasn't sure if anybody was behind me, but I didn't really care.

At mile 14 I starting having a silent migraine, which is painless, but affects my vision. I just kept on walking and it went away at about mile 14.5. Yes, I'm probably crazy, but I am MORE stubborn! :)

The aid stations are placed 2 miles apart, which is really nice if you're running mostly alone, because it gives you someone to talk to once in a while. All the volunteers were great and so friendly and encouraging.

At about mile 20 or so, I caught up with Amber, a 28 year old who was running her first marathon. We ended up passing & catching up to each other for a couple of miles and then just stayed together for the last few. I was glad for the company even though we didn't talk a whole lot - we just wanted to put one foot in front of the other AND to be able to breathe also. :) I'm glad she was there because for some reason, the volunteers at the aid stations at miles 22 & 24 decided to leave early. They left the supplies, but didn't stick around. I'm not sure why, but it was weird.

Amber & I kept encouraging each other - "I know the mile marker is just around the corner." and "We ARE going to finish - look, there's mile 26, .2 to go!" At approximately mile 26.1, there is a detour off the main trail to the finish at an area called Hobo Camp. We had a small uphill section & then it was downhill for the last 500 feet or so. I let Amber go ahead of me - her small son & husband were there to cheer her on. I was one second behind her. I remember smiling as I crossed the finish line. I had done it, completed my second marathon. I didn't care how I did it, I had done it! My time was 6:45:12. No wonder I was so tired, that's a LONG time to be speed walking, with no breaks. Whew!

I remember telling Marissa at the end that maybe someday I would actually "RUN" a marathon. LOL.

I will never get tired of the feeling of accomplishment on completing a race, especially a marathon. I makes all the pain worthwhile. I know I've done something that few people ever do, and something I thought I could NEVER do. It is SO true about runners getting a high after running! I love it!

Yes, I will do another marathon - I'm registered for CIM on December 6. Who knows - I may actually get to run most of it. Whatever happens, I WILL finish!

Oh, and by the way, I WASN'T the last to finish - there were 8 people behind me. The last to finish completed it in 8:16:40

This is a wonderful marathon, but I don't think I will run it again. The altitude, coupled with the long drive down, just makes it too difficult. However, I've learned to never say "never". :)

This is a picture of Mt. Shasta taken on the way home Monday. I felt like I could reach out and touch the mountain. It's SO lovely!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Ouch, Ouch, Ouch!

Well, it finally happened - my first bike crash; and not just a piddly little fall, oh no, I have to do everything in a big way!

Saturday, I needed to ride 27 miles to offset my lack of running 9 miles (3x run miles=bike miles). I got up at 5:30, prepared to go out about 6:30, but it was still dark so I waiting until 6:55. I was wearing my running shorts, bra top & tank top, but when I went outside it had started pouring down rain and the wind was blowing. So I went back inside, took off the tank and put on my waterproof rain jacket.

I was intending on running my usual North-South route which takes me North for half the distance and then back South on the same road. Since the wind was from the South, I just couldn't handle running against it again, so I decided to take a different route and kind of made it up as I went. It would take me into the small town of Aumsville, about 5 miles away, & then I would figure out which way to go. As I look back, I realize I should have gone against the wind. LOL

I crossed the overpass over Hwy 22 and began my descent into Aumsville on 1st St. I remember a truck with a trailer pulling out of a street ahead of me, I noticed the shoulder ended and I started riding on the road. I saw Gordon Lane on my left and thought of my brother in law, Gordon.

Then, I woke up on the ground with a gentleman asking me if I wanted him to call 911. Pretty befuddled, I mumbled something about getting back on my bike to finish my ride. Yeah, right! He said I had a bad cut above my eye that would need stitches so I nodded to call 911. Then I started thinking about how much it would cost. So typical of me. :)

This man was SO kind, he got my son's cell number from me and called him; then he made sure the road was blocked from cars, put his coat over my legs & later under my head. What a Good Samaritan he was.

I remember my helmet strap was choking me so I unclipped it but kept the helmet on. Thank God for helmets! Everyone needs to wear one when riding a bike, EVERYONE!!! I also remember unhooking my bottle carrier from around my waist & pulling it from behind my back. It was killing my back!

I suddenly became VERY nauseated and knew then that the ambulance was a good idea since I most assuredly had a head injury. My neck was hurting too and my upper back ribs, plus my hand (all on the right side of my body). Nothing else was hurting and I could move my legs, feet & toes fine. I remember having dry heaves, but thankfully did not throw up. I'm so glad - did not want to lay on the ground beside that. hahaha!

I was in and out of consciousness but do remember the first responders and the ambulance crew. They were great, but kept asking me questions!! I didn't want to answer anything, too nauseated and my head hurt! LEAVE ME ALONE! Well, that obviously wasn't going to happen so I began to tell them to check my Road ID on my shoe. They were not familiar with it and still kept asking questions. They asked me if I was taking medication and I said, "Yes, Lots. Check my Road ID" then they asked if I was allergic to medications and I said, "Yes. Lots. Check my Road ID". A pattern was developing! For the life of me, I couldn't remember anything except I'm allergic to Codeine & Nortriptyline, but I couldn't even say that. They finally gave up. Smart move on their part. hahahaha!

The paramedic gave me anti-nausea medicine which helped some, but I was still in a groggy state when I reached the hospital. It's nice to go to the ER in an ambulance, half conscious, because there's no line, no waiting. LOL

I told the nurse about the Road ID & he removed it and check online and VOILA! there was all my information. He was very impressed and said he had been telling his runner wife to get one, but she kept putting it off. He said she's getting one now for sure!

I got more nausea medication and then Dilaudid for the pain. It worked, but it made me super sick so I got more nausea medication, a different kind, which finally worked. I had a CT scan of head and X-rays of chest & hand. No broken bones, just bruised and a concussion, plus 10 stitches above my right eye. Got to go home!

Here's the progression of the shiner

I have to say how great my son was. He went and got my bike, helmet, etc and then came to the hospital and stayed with me the whole time. He called everyone for me and took care of me at home. He even had to wake me up during the night. This was his first time doing anything like this and he showed such concern, but wasn't mushy. He's just like me, joking when it's appropriate and serious when necessary. I'm proud of him.

I have absolutely no recollection of the accident. I faintly remember hitting the ground, but nothing before. The next thing I remember is waking up and being asked if I needed an ambulance.

We thought the man there had seen the accident, but he was at a diner and as he pulled out of the parking lot, he saw the crowd and me on the ground, drove there and blocked the road so no cars would run over me. He then stayed, called my son & 911 and didn't leave until I was taken away. It's so nice that people still care. He even called my son today to see how I was doing! This is a perfect stranger.

I believe God sends people like that. All Christ Followers have the opportunity to respond in that way, just like Jesus would do. How many of us actually do it? AND to call back and check up on me! A true Good Samaritan just like in the bible.

I thank God for sending him. I also thank God for protecting me. I had no covering on my legs at all. If it hadn't been raining, I would have had nothing on my arms either. I fell in such a way as to land on the upper right side of my body, on the hardest part - my head. :) At least that's what I've been told - I have a hard head! NO injuries to my lower extremities at all. It would have been a mess if I'd slid on the pavement on my bare legs. I also had gloves on which protected my right hand. God is good.

I hope I never remember the accident so I won't be afraid to ride again. As far as I can tell, I must have slid in the rain as I crossed the RR tracks. They are at a 45 degree angle to the road there and would have been a hazard.

Always remember to check out your route before hand or at least go slow in the areas you're not sure of. I was going at least 14 mph so fell pretty hard. Just the Thursday before I remember thinking that I could get hurt really bad if I fell off my bike. No kidding!!!

I am still really sore and have a wonderful black eye & the other one is getting nice color too. I overdid it today and am now paying the price. I'll stay in bed for sure tomorrow!

God bless you all and have a wonderful day.


Saturday, August 15, 2009

His Strength is Perfect

On my 40 mile bike ride Wednesday, I was NOT wanting to ride, at all. I had ridden the previous two days and was really tired. I forced myself out the door and on to my bike. I really wanted to quit at 2 miles, but kept telling myself, just a few more miles...

When I realized that I was actually going to complete the entire 40 miles (at about 20 miles in) I began to have a portion of a song go through my head, "His strength is perfect when our strength is gone; He'll carry us when we can't carry on; Raised in his power, the weak become strong; His strength is perfect, His strength is perfect." I realized that I had made it this far because of the strength of Christ. I had been praying the scripture, "I can do all things through Him who gives me strength." (Philippians 4:13) and He HAD given me strength!

So often I feel like I can't make it, that I have reached the end of my rope, but I've found if I call on Christ, He is always there to help me, to give me the strength to make it. I was able to ride 62.2 miles on my bike today and I again had that song going through my head. I decided to try to find the entire lyrics and to my surprise, that scripture was part of the song!

I can do all things
Through Christ who gives me strength
But sometimes I wonder what he can do through me;
No great success to show, no glory on my own
Yet in my weakness he is there to let me know . .

We can only know
The power that he holds
When we truly see how deep our weakness goes;
His strength in us begins
Where ours comes to an end
He hears our humble cry and proves again .

Wow! That is SO true. When we decide to let go and let Him take control, then He can begin to work miracles. Yes, we must do our part, most definitely! But when we've reached the end of our strength, then He is always going to be there to support us. How awesome is that?

I know that I could not have finished the 40 miles or the 62 miles without His strength; nor could I have run my marathon or finished any of my runs without His presence and strength. He expects us to work to the best of our ability, but to be aware that we DO have limitations when we are on our own. However, with Him beside us, we have NO limitations to what we can do. I love that!

Thank you, Jesus, for your strength! Thank you for always being there to help me when I need you!

God bless you today and everyday.


Saturday, August 8, 2009

"Half Century" Bike Ride!

Note to self: "NEVER, NEVER, NEVER (did I say never?) map a bike route that includes going South from Silverton on Cascade Hwy!" One (and only one) good thing about it is that I got a good hill workout out of it. Every time I think I have ridden lots of hills, I find another route that has more of them. ACK! I couldn't just turn around and go back - it was the wrong direction and I would have had to ride 60 miles today instead of 50. Oh well, live and learn. LOL!!

I am amazed that I was able to ride so far, more so since the last 20 miles were basically hills, long & steep hills. Did I say "long"? They were SO long. At mile 31.2 I started a hill and finished it at mile 33.4 with an elevation gain of 227'; then again at mile 36 started another long one that ended at mile 38.8 with a gain of 400'. This went on for the rest of the ride until I reached within a mile of my house.

Here's a shot of what I thought was the top of the first LONG hill! It just keeps on going...

But the view from the top is worth it!

The weather report said it was supposed to be 54 and cloudy so I stupidly believed it and wore tights & a long sleeved shirt. It was sunny the whole time and of course I overheated. I removed my shirt, but was stuck wearing the tights. It was a busy road so I didn't want to ride au naturale. :)

I also ran out of water at mile 37, something I never do either. I wasn't thirsty for the rest of the ride, but really needed to eat my other gel, but not without water, so my energy level fell way off.

So the last 20 miles were the ride from hell, :) but I survived! My average speed wasn't too bad - 13.9; actually that is pretty good, only .3 mph difference from my 40 miler!

Wow, I can't believe I rode 50 miles! I am definitely feeling tired, hungry too. I burned 2201 calories so I guess I can eat pizza for lunch!

Have a great day! I'm going to. :)

Monday, July 27, 2009

New Bicycle!

Since I'm on a temporary leave from running due to an injury to my thigh muscle, I thought I'd begin biking in earnest. I biked a bit last year when I had a stress fracture, but quit when I joined a gym and started pool running & using the stationary bike there. I had been using my daughter's old bike, which is a boy's bike and has off road tires. So I thought I'd look for a new one. What a hard job!

I just thought I'd go to Walmart and get one there, but looked and realized I had NO idea what kind of bike to buy. So I decided to go to a bike shop and looked online to find one in my city of Salem, Oregon. I found one downtown and went to look. Well, that was a brief look since they were all WAY out of my price range. Hey, I just want a bike that will last with me using it 3 times a week for cross training. I don't need a racing bike or a mountain bike or a $1,000 bike, ok? I talked briefly to the sales guy & then left, disappointed.

From there I went to Sports Authority and talked to the sales person there. He was very helpful and showed me a hybrid (women's) bike that was on clearance for $280. It was even pink! He suggested I look at another bike store also downtown to see if they had a better selection so I put off getting the bike that day. I should have just bought it then because after looking at the other store (AND circling the block & parking a block away, walking there on crutches!) I found they didn't have any bikes even close to that price or that kind. So it was back to Sports Authority where I got the same sales guy and purchased the bike. He was able to get it into my PT cruiser so I took it home that day. Here's a picture:

Here is a picture of the one I was using before:

Now, here they are side by side:

I realized after I bought this bike that my daughter's bike wasn't even a full size one, plus the tires needed air! Shows how much I know about bikes. lol

I went for my first ride today and made it 20.42 miles! I DO like the bike and am SO glad I got it. My leg did pretty well as long as I was pedaling hard, but if I tried to pedal downhill with no pressure it hurt. My route has lots of hills, one being a 14% grade uphill so my quads got a good workout & will probably be sore tomorrow, but it's ok. I'm just so glad to be outside exercising again.

I can't wait until I can run again, but will continue to bike 3 times a week for cross training. I am finding I love it. And YES, I do have a helmet - wouldn't run without one. Now I need to buy a kickstand (it doesn't have one???) and a lock so no one steals it from my front porch. I'm all set!

I've found it is important to be prepared for whatever you do, but you HAVE to have the right equipment or you can't maximize your experience!

And NO, don't expect any duathlons or triathlons from me. I'm happy just running races. Biking is for fun & cross training and as for swimming - not my sport! :)

Have a blessed day!


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

What? Injured AGAIN?

You've got to be kidding? Another summer injured? Whats up with that? lol I guess I should listen more to my body and quit running when I am having pain. DUH! I have injured a muscle in my upper thigh and will have to be off road running for a few weeks. All is not lost, though. I can still do my marathon in October. All I have to do now is start pool running & biking next week so I'm still on track. I am so thankful I didn't do something really stupid and end up being out for much longer.

I wanted to run the Salem Run for the Arts 5k so bad that I just ignored the signs of a possible injury and ran anyway. I actually didn't do too bad either - 37:21, but couldn't put weight on my leg right after the race; not a good sign.

I've GOT to stop pushing myself so hard and really listen to my body. I've also purchased a pair of Newton running shoes that should help with my foot strike. Read about Newtons here. I am bummed that I can't try them out for a few weeks. I ran in them for the race and they felt good on my feet, but my leg hurt so bad I couldn't focus on how they performed otherwise.

This means I can't do Homer's Classic 8k race in August, but should still be able to do the 5k in Corvallis at the end of that month. That's an easy way to start back into road running. I will just run it for fun.

This reminds me to always stay alert for signs of injury and STOP running before it occurs. It's just like in real life - we need to stop ourselves BEFORE we do something stupid. Then we won't have to try to fix it.

1 Timothy 4:16
"Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers."

It's easier to prevent something that to repair the damage after it's done. Make sure you stay close to God and His word and follow His teaching. Then you will not regret what you should have done.

Have a blessed day!


Saturday, July 4, 2009

Stayton Old-Time Runs 10K

What a HOT day to run! I knew it was a gamble when I signed up for this 10k on the 4th of July, but was hoping it would be a cooler day. It didn't happen! This past week has had our area in a heat wave, with temps the last few days in the 90s. I really debated about running in the hotter temperatures, but decided to buck up and just do it!

I've never run this race before, so I wasn't sure of the course; if there was shade, etc. Turns out there wasn't! At least not much, maybe a spot here & there, but nothing to brag about. So, no shade, no breeze, just lots of hot sun. The temp at the start was probably only 65, but at the finish, closer to 75, but with the sun beating off the asphalt, it seemed A LOT hotter.

I appreciated the two water stations, at miles 2 & 4 and just soaked myself with the wonderful ice water, but it didn't last long. :( Still, I ran the best I could and finished not last, but the second from the last! I managed to sprint to the finish line though, just to look good in the picture, of course. :)

My time was approximately 1 hr 16 minutes, with a pace of 12:10. It is interesting to notice how my 10k times get slower as the temperatures get hotter. My best time was in April, with the temperature at 42*, 1 hr 10 minutes; a pace of about 11:18.

The Jeff Galloway run/walk/run plan says you should slow your time by 30 seconds per mile for each 5 degree temp increase over 60, so I guess I'm still doing great work. It's just hard to see my time slow down.

I'm still very pleased with my results today. It was a fun, well organized race and I will probably do it again next year. I placed 2nd in my age group again, but there were only 2 of us! The proceeds from this race benefit HOPE for the Kidney Foundation - it was a great way to have fun & support a good cause.

Next race is Salem Walk or Run for the Arts 5K on July 18. I've got 2 weeks to rest up. :) It starts at 7:45 AM so I hope to be done before the heat hits.

Have a wonderful day and God bless you.


Monday, June 29, 2009

Zensah Contest

I just wanted to let everyone know of a great contest a twitter friend of mine is having. Go to her blog and read about how you can win a $75.00 gift pack from Zensah Compression Clothing .

I want to win so I can get stuff to match my pink leg sleeves.

I wear these when I'm running and/or when I'm recovering from a run. They are awesome and help speed recovery to the muscles in my calf & shin.

I think I would look awesome in the pink running skirt

& arm sleeves too don't you?

I could be a giant Pepto-Bismol tablet or maybe a Necco candy! lol

If you are a runner I would recommend these products for you to try. They are awesome!

Zensah is also on twitter if you want to follow them -

Have an awesome day, everyone!

Keen on runnin'.


Friday, June 26, 2009

Amping up the Training!

Today I decided to do some REAL interval training to get my speed up to what I want it to be for my next marathon. I decided to use the Yasso 800s method I started today by doing 5 of these intervals in 5:30, since that is what my goal marathon time is. It was really hard to run for that long without stopping since I am used to the Jeff Galloway Run/Walk/Run program - - but I persevered and did 5 of them. I will do as the website suggests and add 1 more each week. I would like to get my time to 5:15 so I will shoot toward that goal also.

I am pleased that I was able to stay on pace for these 5 interval workouts, even though I felt like I was dying. :) I walked a minute between each one and that worked out really well for me. I finished with approximately a half mile cool down.

My weekly workouts are as follows:

Sunday - Rest
Monday-Long Run
Tuesday-Strength Training
Wednesday - Easy 3 mile run (or 30-60 min)
Thursday - Strength Training
Friday - Interval Yasso 800s
Saturday - Strength Training

Next week my long run is 12 miles; the only difference in my training next week is that I have a 10k race on Saturday so that will be in place of my interval training. I will rest also on Wednesday and run my easy run on Thursday, with strength training on Friday.

I have scheduled two races a month through September and then my marathons October 11, and December 6. I haven't scheduled any races in November, except maybe for a 5k on Thanksgiving.

I am SO excited that I am able to do this training. It is the pits during the summer months because of the heat, but I will persevere through it. Jeff Galloway suggests slowing your pace by 30 seconds per mile for every 5 degree temperature increase above 60 degrees so I will work toward doing that. I want to run in the heat to get used to it.

I will keep running and reciting my mantra, "I can do all things through Him who gives me strength"~~Philippians 4:13. I KNOW I can do all things through Christ and I intend to do just that.

God be with you and bless you all today and every day.


Monday, June 22, 2009

Still Running!!!

I am FINALLY posting on my blog! Don't have a heart attack! I've been lazy.

The 2 weeks after my marathon I didn't run at all. The first week I was on crutches so I didn't even go to the gym. I had company for 4 days and then did an estate sale for my mom the other 3 days. Busy, busy, busy! When I finally went back to the gym, I had planned to do pool running until my ankle was better. That lasted one day! I can't believe last summer I was able to do 4 hours of pool running. I barely managed 30 minutes and was bored out of my mind. LOL

I started back running on June 15, just a week ago. I ran 2.69 miles on Monday and 3.22 miles on Wednesday. Then I decided to run the WVRR Summer Solstice Fun Run 10k on Friday. Since I was supposed to run 8 miles that day, I ran 2 miles in the morning and then ran the 10k at 7PM that night.

The race was held at Minto Brown Park in South Salem. It's a beautiful place to run, with paved and unpaved trails. Unfortunately, there are a lot of cottonwood trees and the air was full of the blooms! Not good for allergies, but didn't really bother me. The problem I had was with the temperature. Not that it was hot, only 63 degrees, but I can't handle any temp above 55 when I'm running. I know, wimpy! I get extremely hot when I run and get physically ill if I overheat. It was nice that the park is well shaded and running along the Willamette River there was a wonderful, brisk breeze. That helped a lot.

There were supposed to be 2 water stations for the 10K, but just before the race started, we were informed that the 3 mile one would not be available! Not good since I didn't bring any water at all. Last year it wasn't needed! Not that I drink much, but I pour it over my head to cool off. Oh well, live and learn!

I didn't finish last, but pretty close. The official results aren't up on the website yet, but my unofficial Garmin time was 1:13:22, which beat my last year's time by 11 minutes! I placed 3rd in my age/gender category, but there were only 3 of us! :) Still, I DID come out and run; the other 55 year old women did not.


Today I ran 10 miles (picture above show where I run - beautiful, huh?), which was a little much since I ran 8 on Friday, but my marathon training called for that and I need to stick with the plan, ya know! It was warm and sunny so I struggled but still finished with a time of 1:58:59; 11:59 pace. I do better in the winter, but it was still a good time AND I'm supposed to run it slower 'cause it was my long run. That means I ran it too fast - oops!

I am now sitting in my bed and resting for the remainder of the day! Monday is my long run day AND the day I try to take off from any kind of work (around the house or anywhere else). Of course, I still have to cook dinner, but I make that really easy. Tonight, it's pizza from WinCo! Easy!!

I want to say how much I appreciate the encouragement I get from runner friends on Twitter (and Facebook). Without them, it would be very difficult for me to continue running. They are the best! I met a couple of them at the Newport Marathon and plan on meeting a lot more in December when I run the California International Marathon in Sacramento. I can't wait!

My next race is a 10k in Stayton on July 4th. I pray it's not too warm or I'll be walking it. lol

I am thankful to God also for His help every time I run. I know I am doing what He wants - keeping healthy and taking care of the body He gave me. We need to be good stewards of all He gives us.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 says: "Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, 20 for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body."

I believe that exercising and running, plus eating right to keep my body healthy is what God has in mind for us. Too many people call themselves followers of Christ, but destroy their body with the wrong foods and no exercise. I want God to be pleased with what I have done here on earth, not only in furthering His kingdom, but taking care of the "temple" that He has entrusted me with.

Have a fantastic day today and God bless you.

I promise to post more often, really I do!


Saturday, May 30, 2009


Well, I DID IT! I finished my first marathon. I can't believe that, at age 55, I completed a marathon for the first time. It was not the best time, nor was it what I had anticipated, but I crossed the finish line and I wasn't the last one. :) There were 80 people behind me. Now, I know that's not a lot, considering there were around 800 running, BUT I FINISHED!!!

I started out very strong and didn't push myself at all, using the Galloway run/walk/run program. For the first mile, I ran 2 minutes and walked 1 minute, since a lot of it was downhill. After that I switched to run 1 minute, walk 1 minute like I had planned. I did very well until mile 10, when my ankle begin hurting EXTREMELY badly. So badly that I realized that I could not run anymore, but would have to walk. Talk about disappointing! I still had 16.2 miles to go! I had hoped to finish in 5:30, but forget that!

I began speedwalking and re-set my goal time to around 6 hrs. The pain kept getting worse and worse. I kept stopping to adjust the compression bandage I was wearing, but realized at about mile 23 that I had better not stop anymore or I wouldn't be able to start again. I was darned if I was going to not finish this race! I would crawl if I had to. :)

My daughter met me at about the 25.9 mile mark (she was worried I was dead on the side of the road.) and walked with me until mile 26.1, then sprinted ahead to get my finish pics. Two friends of mine, Matt & Sharon, continued on with me to almost the finish line. I wanted to run the last bit, but one try was enough to stop that idea. I finished in 6:02:37, which was right on what I had hoped for since I was walking. I almost broke into tears when I reached the finish line. I just couldn't believe that I made it.

My average pace for the first 10 miles was right at 12:00, perfect for a finish like I had planned; but the last 16.2 miles had an average pace of around 14:30, which gave me an average pace of around 13:40; pretty good for walking so much. It WAS a PR since it was my first!!!!

I was excited to meet @solorunner & @meechelle, my twitter friends, along with some of their friends. They ran great!

My mantra when I'm running long runs is always from scripture: "I can do all things through Him who gives me strength"~~Philippians 4:13. Today, I really needed that scripture AND His strength. I said that over and over again, along with a few "Please help me, God" phrases (ok, maybe a LOT of them. :) God is so faithful and I believe He helped me to persevere through to the end.

Philippians 3:14 - "I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." - I pray that I will persevere in my walk with Christ also and strive toward the goal He has for me.

I want to say a big thank you to everyone who encouraged me and supported me through the training for this marathon. I SO appreciated your belief in me that I could do this.

Now, on to the next one - October 11, 2009 - The Bizz Johnson Trail Marathon in Susanville, California. Let the training begin! (After I heal, of course)

Have an awesome day and God bless you all.


Monday, May 4, 2009

Be Flexible

Ok, I need to be more flexible in my workouts! I seem to think that if I don't follow the schedule EXACTLY as it is written then the world will come to an end and my marathon training will be all messed up.

I had a 23 - 26 mile run planned for today, 4 weeks from my marathon; then taper for the last 4 weeks; this is what the Jeff Galloway run/walk/run plan calls for. However, I have been having pain in my buttocks & down my right leg and have been struggling with my running. Thanks to @TrainEveryDay, I found a link explaining what the problem is -
Piriformis Syndrome - . So it's not another stress fracture, thank God.

I was hoping I could just run through the pain today, but realized after just a few miles that it was stupid to try to do that and jeopardize my marathon; so I turned around and came home, feeling defeated. I had started at marathon pace so my 3.88 miles was only at 11:36, which is very slow for that distance, but very good if I was running the entire 26 miles. So that part was good. :)

I decided to quit beating myself up and realized that I have already run 2 - 18+ milers, 1 - 20 miler, 1 - 21 miler, 1 - 22 miler, and 1 - 24 miler. I guess I CAN run a marathon. :) I will see how my leg feels next week and try for a 20 mile run on Monday, but I know it isn't completely necessary. It's more necessary that I let my leg get completely better for the marathon. I need to be more flexible.

I guess I need to be more flexible in other aspects of my life also. That's something I have been working on for the past few years and I know I'm getting better, but I can always improve. I'm not saying that I should compromise my values or Christian beliefs, but I need to realize that I am not always right (duh!) and be open to what others AND especially God have to say. I have to understand that if something doesn't go my way, it's not the end of the world and will probably be better. It's not "my way or no way". :) God's way is ALWAYS better. I just need to let Him rule in my life. He is forever looking out for me and will lead me in the right direction; all I have to do is follow Him.

Psalm 31:3
For you are my rock and my fortress;and for your name’s sake you lead me and guide me;

John 12:26
If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.

God bless you and be with you today.


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Perseverance Pays Off

Boy, am I behind on my blog posts! It's been 1 day short of a month since posted. Oops, sorry! :)

Since my last post, I have run 90.1 miles with 3 long runs of 10.1, 14.1 & 18.4, the last being just 2 days ago.

I am training for my first marathon in Newport on May 30. I've been doing pretty well, with a few speed bumps along the way. When I started running in November of 2006, I was 53 years old and a definite non-athlete! I have always been a staunch supporter of non-exercise, trying not to use the "e" word at all, and definitely not doing it.

A friend of mine, Greg Johnson, inspired me to begin exercising at the beginning of 2005 and I had purchased exercise equipment, plus an elliptical to do just that. I had been very faithful to exercise. Somehow, I got inspired (by Greg) to begin running. I did a lot of the wrong things, ended up with an injury to my knees and had to stop for a while, but picked it back up in the spring of 2007. Then I got a stress fracture in my right tibia in May and had to stop AGAIN! I picked up running again after I healed, but just on a VERY small scale, never running over 2 miles at a time AND I was VERY slow.

Again, thanks to Greg, I entered my first race, the MLK Stride Toward Freedom 5K in Salem, Oregon on Jan 19, 2008. I hadn't run for 2 months because of health issues but still managed to finish with a time of 41:26, pace of 13:21 (VERY slow, but I finished!). That got me encouraged and with the begging of another friend, I decided (not very wisely) to sign up for a marathon in the fall and begin training for it. I had no idea what I was doing, but plodded on. After numerous aches & pains, I was fitted with prescription orthotics in the summer of 2008, but I had already suffered a stress fracture to my right femur, so the marathon was out. :( I had already completed 2 other races - a 5K & a 10K, both ran in the heat of the summer with not so good times.

So, it was back to recovery. This time I did a lot of pool running, joined a gym and began training correctly. Once I healed, I registered for the Newport Marathon and also the Bizz Johnson Trail Marathon in October (the one I had to cancel on last year).

So far I have been doing very well. I lost 27 lbs last fall and my times have improved dramatically! I ran the MLK 5K race again this year with a time of 32:28; pace 10:29! I am wisely using the Jeff Galloway run/walk/run program and have increased my mileage to a long run of 24 miles, with a maximum weekly mileage of 32.46.

Now, I just have to not over-train and get injured before the marathon. Only 5 1/2 more weeks to go! I know that I CAN do this and I am so pleased that I have persevered and come this far. I know I haven't done it on my own, but have had the support of friends and the great help of God.

I remember thinking just 2 years ago that Greg had to be crazy to run 26 miles - that seemed like an impossible task back then, but is now reachable. I want to say thanks to him for his encouragement during all my training. He has been the best!

I also am thankful to all my "twitter" and "facebook" friends who have supported me. Having that outlet has kept me on track. I don't dare goof up and skip a run, they will all know. :)

Thanks to everyone!

James 1:25
But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.

Perseverance will be rewarded! God says so in His word. We have to act on what we hear and DO it and then we will be blessed. I could have just listened to Greg explain how running had changed his life, read all the training manuals on running and even bought books and joined a gym, but if I didn't do something about it, I would still be a couch potato, hating the "e" word. :)

It's the same in our walk with Christ. We can ask Him into our lives, but if we just sit around and do nothing else, what good are we? God wants to work in us, but He can't do it alone - we HAVE to do our part. With us partnering with God, great things can be accomplished.

I know God is always there for me and will pick me up when I fall, but for me to expect Him to do all the work is foolish. He may give me a vision or a dream that He wants done, but if I just wait for Him to act, it will never see the light of day. I HAVE to get up off my behind and get to work too.

I am going to continue to persevere in my running, but most importantly am going to persevere in my walk with God. I want to do everything in my power to help him establish His Kingdom on this earth - I want it to begin with me. How about you?

God bless you and be with you today.


Monday, March 23, 2009

"Best Laid Plans"

I had my long run (26 miles) all planned out today. It was going to be VERY windy, so I decided to get up at 4:00 AM so I could eat and then run at 6:00, to try to beat most of the wind. I went to bed at 9:00 PM, but of course, couldn't go to sleep. I tossed & turned all night - great start. I was up at 4 & checked the wind - already at 10 mph - wonderful! I was able to get out the door to run at 5:56 - a good start.

I am using the Jeff Galloway run/walk program and decided to stick to the plan of running 2 minutes & walking 1 minute. I was able to continue this plan up until mile 12, and then went to run 1 min/walk 1 min because of the winds (yes, they picked up to about 15-20 mph).
Usually, I start out way too fast and then crash the last 2 miles.

I made a big mistake - I was trying to run in a direction away from the wind so I went North - that unfortunately is downhill (and I mean VERY downhill). The first hill I went down was about a -12% grade and it kept going for almost a mile, winding around curves. My shins & knee weren't used to this type of downhill running, so I ended up tweeking my knee and getting shin splints - stupid move on my part. Anyway, after running for 17 miles, I ended up speed walking the last 4 miles and only ended with 21 miles. I didn't want to injure myself this close to my marathon, which is May 30, so I decided to call it quits after 21 miles.

I was actually surprised that I averaged a 11:57 pace overall, since I walked the last 4 miles, but the run-2/walk-1 method DOES work on increasing speed - my first 17 miles were a lot faster than I usually run.

It was a disappointing run and now I will have to rest my leg the rest of the week, but I learned my lesson - "the best laid plans" I have may not necessarily work.

I'm finding this to be true in my life also. Whenever I think I have great "plans" for something and forget to ask God's advice, I usually end up failing. The scriptures are clear on this matter:

Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

You notice, God doesn't say I know the plans YOU have for yourself; He knows the plans HE has for you. His plans are always the best; mine are not.

Proverbs 19:21
Many are the plans in the mind of a man,but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand.

I want plans that will stand, don't you?

Proverbs 16:9
The heart of man plans his way,but the LORD establishes his steps.

I like this scripture; we are not robots doing what God tells us. We CAN establish plans as long as we allow God to establish our steps to make those plans succeed. How much better than me trying to do it myself. Thank you, Lord!

Proverbs 16:3
Commit your work to the LORD,and your plans will be established.

So all I need to do is commit all I do to the Lord and He will work miracles. This is hard for me to do since I sometimes think I know best - that is SO funny - there's no way I know more than God. :)

Isaiah 25:1
O LORD, you are my God; I will exalt you; I will praise your name,for you have done wonderful things, plans formed of old, faithful and sure.

I'm definitely going to let God be in control, even in my running. I need to remember that He DOES know best and will not let me down. I'm going to let God plan my days. :) How about you?

Have a great and glorious day today. May God be with you and bless you.


Friday, March 6, 2009


"The freedom of Christ is worth the surrender of absolutely anything. Relief, not remorse, awaits the repentant.

Father, Your Word says that a person who lacks self-control is like a city whose walls are broken down (Proverbs 24:28).

Sometimes I feel like there is so much rubble, I can't rebuild the wall (Nehemiah 4:10). But Your Word claims that You are the Repairer of Broken Walls, and the Restorer of Streets with Dwellings (Isaiah 58:12). Please introduce Yourself to me by these wonderful names and rebuild the rubble in my life.

I confess to You that I am overwhelmed by the task ahead, but I am thankful that You have authority over all things. Heaven is Your throne; earth is Your footstool (Matthew 5:35). Therefore, anything over my head is under Your feet!"

~~Praying God's Word Day by Day by Beth Moore; March 6 prayer.

This is my prayer for myself today. God, you always are faithful to show me what I need; to tell me what I need to hear. Please help me to continue to trust you and depend on you to help rebuild the mess I've made out of my life. Thank you that you always forgive and bring me back into your loving arms. What would I do without YOU?

What would any of us do without HIM?

God be with you and bless you today.


Monday, February 23, 2009

Blessed to be a Blessing

Matthew 25:14-30

14"Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his property to them. 15To one he gave five talents of money, to another two talents, and to another one talent, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. 16The man who had received the five talents went at once and put his money to work and gained five more. 17So also, the one with the two talents gained two more. 18But the man who had received the one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master's money.
19"After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. 20The man who had received the five talents brought the other five. 'Master,' he said, 'you entrusted me with five talents. See, I have gained five more.'
21"His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!'
22"The man with the two talents also came. 'Master,' he said, 'you entrusted me with two talents; see, I have gained two more.'
23"His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!'
24"Then the man who had received the one talent came. 'Master,' he said, 'I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.'
26"His master replied, 'You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? 27Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.
28" 'Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents. 29For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. 30And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'

A different look at this parable –

Using the money God gives you for yourself – that’s like putting it in the ground. It is not gaining anything.

Using it to help others – giving to the poor, homeless, etc. is like earning interest in God’s kingdom.

What He has given to us is not ours – it is to be used to benefit the kingdom of God. That will multiply it immensely. We don’t “deserve” to spend money on ourselves. We deserve death for our sins – Jesus has given us life – let’s give that gift of life to others and not keep it for ourselves.

This not only applies to our finances, but our time as well. How can we say we don't have "time" to help others - in the homeless shelter, jails, prisons & where it is needed? Do we think our time is our own also? We need to make sure we share everything we have with those less fortunate and that includes our time as well as our finances. God did not put us on this earth to be "successful" in an earthly sense, but to be "successful" in His Kingdom here on earth. Everything we have has been given to us by Him, we haven't "earned" it and we certainly don't "deserve" it. God gives us things to see how we will use them, either selfishly for ourselves or unselfishly to help others. What do you do with what God has given you?

God said to Moses in Genesis 12:2

"And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing."

We are blessed so we can be a blessing to others, that's the ONLY reason.

We do not want to be like the goats mentioned in Matthew 25:31-46. We need to do unto others as we would to Jesus.

I pray that I will give back to others what God has given me, that I won't think I am worthy enough to keep anything for myself. I want Jesus to say to me, "Well done, good & faithful servant.". Don't you?

God be with you and bless you today.


Saturday, February 7, 2009

Does Life REALLY Suck?

What an interesting 2 weeks I've had. Not really good ones either. I wanted to title this post "Life Sucks" but that isn't very uplifting, is it? Nevertheless, that is how I have been feeling. There were times when I just wanted God to take me home, but He, of course, just ignored that request. Where is my joy? What happened to my optimism, my hope? Well, let's see...

  • I have been focusing on myself mostly - that's not a good thing.
  • I have been "sort of" praying to God, but not really with a repentant heart and spirit.
  • I have "read" my bible, but not really "listened" to what God is saying to me.
  • I have not kept my eyes on Jesus, that's for sure.
  • I have desired things that are NOT what God would want for me, and then have been upset when I haven't gotten them. - GO FIGURE!
  • I have pretty much given up on ever being happy or joyful and have decided that I will just have to "bear" this.
So now what? Do I continue to live like this or should I try to change? Right now, I don't really know, but I DO know this:

Deuteronomy 31:8
"It is the LORD who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed."

So, God is with me even during times like this. That's encouraging to know, but also somewhat embarrassing! So I have been trying to do this on my own, when HE has been there all along, wanting to help. Oops - that was stupid of me, wasn't it?

Ok, what else?

Jeremiah 29:12
"Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you."

Ah - He has PROMISED to hear us when we pray. That's cool!

Romans 8:26
"Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words."

So I need to remember to pray in the Spirit also.

What about reading the bible? I read it every day.

Jeremiah 15:16
"Your words were found, and I ate them,and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart, for I am called by your name,O LORD, God of hosts."

Lord, help me to be like Jeremiah so that Your words will become a joy to me. Help me to really listen to what You are saying and not imagine what I want You to say. Help me to keep vigilant so I don't desire things that I cannot or should not have. Help me to LISTEN, LISTEN, LISTEN to You!!

Matthew 26:41
"Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak."

Oh yeah, the flesh is SO weak. I pray that God will give me strength.

Psalm 32:11
"Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, O righteous,and shout for joy, all you upright in heart!"

Psalm 51:12
"Restore to me the joy of your salvation,and uphold me with a willing spirit."

Oh, I wish I could experience that joy again! It would be so wonderful! I know, Lord that You want this for me. I WILL feel it again, I know. You have promised and You are faithful. Thank you, Lord.

Deuteronomy 7:9
"Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations,"

So I guess life really doesn't suck, unless I choose to let it. I think not, don't you?

God be with you and bless you today.


Monday, January 19, 2009

Trust in God ONLY

Will I ever learn to trust God completely? Every time I think I am, something comes my way that throws me for a loop. I fall back into despair. I feel like David when he wrote in Psalm 13:1-2

"How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
2) How long must I take counsel in my soul
and have sorrow in my heart all the day?"

I know HE hasn't forgotten me, but I somehow have forgotten Him and what He can do for me. I have trusted in myself yet again; I have trusted in others yet again; when will I learn? Sometimes I don't think I ever will. I am in sunk in despair right now. Please, Lord, answer me. I want to be able to say, like David (Psalm 13:5-6):

"But I have trusted in your steadfast love;
my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.
6) I will sing to the LORD,
because he has dealt bountifully with me."

Right now I don't think I can. Lord, please help me.

"I have set the LORD always before me;because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken." ~~Psalm 16:8

Yes, Lord help me to always set you before me so that I will not be shaken. Help me to trust in you ALWAYS, never in man, never in myself. You are the only one who will never let me down; Lord, please help me to remember that.

"It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man." ~~Psalm 118:8

"Put not your trust in princes,in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation." ~~Psalm 146:3

Thank you Lord for helping me to trust in You. You are so awesome!!

"Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose trust is the LORD." ~~Jeremiah 17:7

May God be with you and bless you today.


Thursday, January 15, 2009

God is for Us!!

Romans 8:28-3 "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. 29) For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30) And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. 31) What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?"

I love verse 31 - it is SO true. We don't have to worry about who is against us or who is out to get us; GOD IS FOR US!! This is such an encouragement to me when I am facing any type of adversity. I just need to remember that no one or no thing can get to me unless he/she/it goes through GOD first. That means that He knows that I can handle it, WITH HIS HELP. He wants only the best for me and will not allow anything to get to me that isn't going to make me a better person. He will not allow any temptation to come my way without providing a way out.

1 Corinthians 10:13
"No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it."

I just need to be so close to Him that I can see the way out and take it. I always thought the scripture about God not allowing anything to come our way that we couldn't handle meant that nothing would come my way that I couldn't handle on my own. I think this means that nothing will come my way that I can't handle WITH GOD'S HELP. Of course I can't handle it on my own. I can't handle ANYTHING on my own - I always need God's help.

I pray that I will be able to ALWAYS remember this and depend on God to help me through every part of my life. I don't want to get so cocky and arrogant that I think I can do it on my own. That's when I fall.

God be with you and bless you today.