OK people...it is official beginning TOMORROW!!! 

I am training for the Columbus half marathon!  WHAT?!?!?!

Thankfully I am not doing it alone, and though I have faithful training buddies Karen and Lucia by my side, it is not of them I speak when I say I am not alone.

This is MOST DEFINITELY a Spiritual matter and God is here with me.  I know for a fact it wasn't an accident when God included a comparison to a race in Scripture.  There are many references to racing and I am sure I will NEED to revisit these over the next weeks and months (race day=OCTOBER 16th 2011) however, there is one particular verse I would like to visit today.

"I went in response to a revelation and, meeting privately with those esteemed as leaders, I presented to them the gospel that I preach among the Gentiles. I wanted to be sure I was not running and had not been running my race in vain."  Galatians 2:2

You are probably thinking, "this isn't the verse I thought she would pick..."

Me too!

I think that running is great when I get the runner "high" known as endorphins however those don't start my workouts...it takes motivation beyond endorphins to BEGIN.

I want to know that I have a purpose and a reason for running a race...not to "run my race in vain."

I am not running it to be healthy, though that isn't a bad reason to run...and I hope it is a side effect!

I am running for kids in Romania.  For the kids that will one day live in the house that is being finished in a village named Ghioric.

It is my goal to raise funds for the purpose of raising them in a place where they can learn and know God's love and that they haven't been abandoned by the FATHER that matters.

Please be in prayer that my training is not in vain and that I continue to be motivated and spurred on by His love and glory.  Pray how you can be involved, whether by praying, donating, or attending the race to cheer me on at any point throughout the course...cause I will need it!


A friend who sticks closer than a brother...

So hey...

"One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother."      --Proverbs 18:24

I haven't had a ton to say honestly.  I have been super busy and enjoying the people that God has placed around me for sure.  I am simply amazed at the people blessing my life that have popped up at God's prompting and I just love it.  Don't get me wrong...by quoting the above Scripture I am not discounting my family time and relationships at all...but sometimes friends become like family.

Two friends I want to mention specifically are Karen and Lucia.  Karen and I met several years ago, when she was pregnant with her youngest son, Tyler.  I love her smile, laugh and joy!  She is also so dedicated to her family and an inspiration for me personally when it comes to my NEW love of running!

Lucia and I...well it is a super cool story and I honestly am in awe at how much I love the girl in such a short time since it usually takes me a little time to be so sold out to a friendship.  I am not a shy person by any means, but I feel like I could tell Lucia anything or call her for anything and not feel like I am burdening her...and likewise, I would DO anything within my power to help her out!

Our story is quite fun.  We were supposed to be roommates on a mission trip to Ukraine.  My brother and sister in law planned their wedding like a day or two before the trip returned so I had to cancel the trip.  On went life without much more thought about the matter, except I prayed for the group and later found out that Lucia and her husband JJ had decided to move to Ukraine as a result of that trip...Pretty cool!

Fast forward to about 2008 or so...I was working here at Starbucks and I also had friends who were friends with Lucia...so we saw each other and knew who each other were.  She came into Starbucks a few times...she was a face I knew.

THEN...I move away to Ohio live for a year and a half and move back.  My friend Karen and I had remained close through my distance in Ohio and so when I moved back it was natural to hang with her and through her, I began hanging out with Lucia...and their 4 AWESOME boys! :)

We run together, eat and drink together, and there is always laughter!  LOVE them!  Through their friendships pushing me, I ran my first 10k and am actually planning to train for my first half marathon!  What the heck?!?!?!  The other thing I love love love is that many friends will think that because they are married and or have kids and I am not married and have no kids that we have to limit our interaction.  NOT TRUE WITH LOOSH AND GEORGIA PEACH (Karen is from Georgia)...I love to be invited to their kids birthday parties and playing Wii and dinosaurs with them...and even doing the potty dance after a successful potty time.  I have lots to learn from them...and believe me...they have lots to learn from me...hahaha!  Just kidding.

Anyhow...I am so stinking blessed by them and wanted to share.I was gonna post some photos...and frankly, I don't have many, I had some on my old phone of us trying on fun hats and accessories at Charming Charlies and Wal-Mart and that phone is now dead...and the others I take are usually of their kids...what the HECK???  The few I will share include a couple of their kiddos at their birthday parties and some sombreros...have I mentioned they are GREAT moms???


my Flying Pig Marathon 2011 - Toyota 10K results

my Flying Pig Marathon 2011 - Toyota 10K results

Flying PIG!!!

So my view on running has changed so significantly I can't even begin to tell you...but...of course, I will try!  :)  I hadn't posted much about my training on here because 1. I didn't know if I would go through with it and 2. I didn't train as much as I should of because it was rainy and yucky so much of the time I was supposed to be running...so, needless to say, VERY little training went into this run.  Though I kept in shape cardio wise with zumba, some running, and elliptical machines, I didn't do my long runs on the weekends like I should have...

When I began training I was thinking, ugh!  A mile???  Now I think...1-2 miles is a SHORT run!  Weird how perspective can change.  

So, I will just tell you my mindset in the past few days leading up to the race and the race itself...I find it all quite amusing at times...

A couple of days ago, when I realized none of my family or boyfriend was going to be at the race, I was bummed.  I still am kind of but I am SO glad to have had Karen and Lucia with me!  We began this journey together and I am so blessed to have them as friends!  It is times like this when you realize who is really WITH you if ya know what I mean!

Yesterday I went to the Flying Pig Expo, by myself, as I had to work in the evening when Karen and Lucia were going to attend.  So, I drove to downtown Cincinnati around lunchtime on a Friday...PARKING!!!! UGH!  So...I drove around several blocks and finally found a place...and walked to the convention center.  Once I was there I thought, "I sure hope I can find my car later!"  So...I went through, registered, got my shoe tag, my t-shirt, saw my friend Daren Wendell who works with a GREAT organization www.activewater.org.  And I left, thankfully, I was able to find my car right away!  It was also SUCH a beautiful day to walk downtown!  So...I was SUPER pumped up and ready for what the next morning would bring...yet I still had to work a shift at Starbucks...

So, I worked, and it was fine...I designed some special addition Starbucks cups for Karen, Lucia and I with pigs...they were SUPER cute!  I got off work at 11:15pm and went home to make my playlist for the run!

When I got up this morning at 5:15 I was pretty tired but I pressed on, ate a banana, dressed in a stupor and headed to Lucia's to pick her up and meet Karen and some other girls (my new friends) at church at 6:30!

We got to the race, crossed a bridge on foot to Cincinnati, from Kentucky...if you don't know...I have a FEAR of bridges...and...I had to cross 2 BRIDGES during the run...cried when I crossed one of them that a train was crossing at the same time...and then crossed BACK over the one to Kentucky after the race...that was the hardest part about my race...BRIDGES!

So, we got there, used the port a potty, and warmed up by running up a little hill...once we got up there we were in the line to start and waited till the horn blew!  Then...WE WERE OFF...and my PANTS STARTED FALLING DOWN!!!

So, I walked to tie them tighter...lol...

I turn on my headphones...J-LO and Pit Bull start with "Get on the Floor" (My zumba warm up song!)

As I was running, the first mile was pretty easy because everyone is super stoked and excited!  The second mile a little harder, the third was ok...but my time was still about what I was hoping for...then...ummm WHERE IS THAT 4TH MILE MARKER????  Am I EVER going to get there???  UGH!!! LONGEST MILE EVER!!!  Then, out of nowhere I see it...MILE MARKER....NUMBER 5???  YESSS!!!

It was a nice surprise seeing mile 5 when I though the next one was 4, though that mile seemed sooo excrutiating!!!  So then I grab some water...my FIRST one...and drink...and...CHOKE!!!  It was G2!!!  LOL!  I thought it was water...but HEY!  I NEED those electrolytes so I grab MORE!!!

At maybe 5.5 miles I get me some Black Eyed Peas on my playlist...YEAH!!! I GOT A FEEELING...

I hit a downhill slope right as Fergy hollers DRANK!  MAZELTOV!!!  I sang it out loud...the guy I was PASSING looked at me like I was CraZy...lol...I am...whatev!

So then I got to jam to Hillsong Take it All...and pumped my fist and yelled..."Take take TAKE IT ALL!!!"  and got stares again...AWESOME!

And the FINISH SWINE came into view...as "Doing it Well" began playing!

IT was the best song that could have played at that point...I was SOOO tired.  And, I thought of my minister, LD Campbell, when he used to say, "Finish well."  So...I was "Doing it well" and finished my race as well as I could...

When I crossed the finish line my friends were waiting and Brenda and Joe (SOME VERY AWESOME PEOPLE!) Brought me flowers!!! So BLESSED!

Then...Lucia, Karen, Angie, Heather, and I went and ate the BEST ORANGES EVER, chips, granola bars, peanut butter crackers...ohhh yeah...best food EVER!  LOL!  AND...I got a FLYING PIG FINISHING MEDAL!  And...the best part...one of those silver blanket things you wrap around you...seriously...until I got it, I was like, "oooh...I wonder how you get one of those..."  And then...I GOT ONE!  It made it feel so OFFICIAL!  Weird...

Lots of Biblical things I could parallel my experience to, but I am gonna sit on that for now...chew on it, and see what it is God wants me to learn most...then, I will share again!  Till then...Godspeed!

Oh...and I didn't take my camera (IF YOU CAN BELIEVE THAT)...check some pics out on facebook if you are my friend!