July 15, 2016

December 10, 2015

On December 10, 2015, my friend Jaimee called me and suggested we go for a run. She had bought entries for a virtual 5K that came with medals. For those of you not familiar with virtual races, you buy the bib (and other swag that may come with it) and run the race whenever and wherever you want to run it.

It was the perfect gesture of friendship from my best girl who knows I love running.

Romans 12:10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.

And for some reason, I never wrote a post about that run. How could I have neglected to do that?!

It was a good run. We both needed each other's company that afternoon for various reasons. We had a lot weighing on us both. Jaimee had a lot more on her mind than me given her mom had gone on to glory only two months ago.

So we ran. And we walked. We paced ourselves. And we talked. It felt good.

Proverbs 17:17 A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.

Afterwards, we hung those virtual race medals from our necks, enjoying their awesomeness, and took the above selfie.

"Is any pleasure on earth as great as a circle of Christian friends by a good fire?" C.S. Lewis

It was a great run. Our friendship is a great run!

And in honor of all our runs and, more importantly, in honor of my Jaimee, please enjoy this video: Jaimee and Jamie - Running Buddies.

Today's forget-me-not: My best buddy (running and otherwise) Jaimee.

July 8, 2016

My final Peachtree Road Race?

July 4th, 2016, I ran my third Peachtree Road Race.

The Peachtree is the largest 10K in the world!
And this year, the Peachtree kicked my... butt. 

The first year I ran this 10K was in 2013. It was overcast, and there was a persistent drizzle for the first half of the race. But I didn't mind that at all! I was perfectly fine with the soft rain and cloudy sky as opposed to the July heat I could have been greeted with that day. And the second time I ran the Peachtree (last year in 2015), there was an intense thunderstorm that shut down the race for about an hour. The brief closure was a first for the event.

So both times I have run this race it was cloudy with rain. And I never realized what a blessing that was until this year. 

This year, there was no rain. There were no clouds. The sun shone down on me from start to finish, and the intense Georgia heat sucked away my energy.  What made the matter ten times worse was I had gotten my race bib from someone whose race time had put her in corral X. I was one of the last runners to start the race. Pre-race pictures below:

Finally at the starting line beneath the iconic Peachtree flag!
I knew it was going to be hot that day, so I had been hydrating the day before and that morning. I drank as much water as I could possibly stand. However, when you do that before and during a race, you can imagine what you'll need to do about 3 miles into the 6.2 mile course. Yep. I had to pee. For the first time EVER in my racing tenure, I had to stop at a portable potty and pee during a race. I tried not to let that bother me, though. I knew my racing time wasn't going to be as good as in past years given I was deliberately going more slowly because of the heat. And I was right. I ended up with a time of 1:31 as opposed to the 1:20 and 1:23 of years past.

Over four miles done. Man, I was HOT HOT HOT!!!
I did everything I could do during that race to stay cool. I got something to drink at just about every water station, and what I didn't consume, I was sure to pour it all over my head. I also made sure to run through every open fire hydrant I could maneuver through. I got in the shade created by trees and buildings whenever I saw it, but regardless of my efforts, I was still a hot mess once I crossed the finished line.

Upon concluding the race, I got my shirt and found my husband (he had been patiently waiting for me for about two hours since he started in corral C).  I had been looking forward to all the post-race goodies (cereal bars and ice cream and cold water) to give me the boost I so desperately needed to make it to the Marta train station about two miles away, but I was sadly disappointed. Much of the post-race banquet was already gone by the time I got there! Instead, I was treated to hot water and some bananas. Coke had brought plenty of coke zero, so I got a can of that. But my stomach made sure to let me know later what a mistake drinking pop (I'm from Indiana) immediately after a race is!

And so I summoned whatever inner strength I had left to walk, very slowly, to the nearest Marta station...

Walking to Marta after the race is like a scene from The Walking Dead.
Finally made it to the bus to Marta! TIRED!
It was a tough race. I don't regret running it, but I don't think I want to put my body through that again. It's not that it was a 10K. I've run a few 10Ks and plan to run more. It's that it was a 10K in the extreme Georgia heat, and my body has told me before and told me again on this day, it does NOT do well with running and high temperatures.  So for that reason, I think this might end up being my final Peachtree run.

I don't want to say I would NEVER run this race again, because a friend may convince me to do otherwise or you just never know, but I am leaning toward this being my final Peachtree Road Race.

Which would make this beautiful blue shirt even more precious to me than it already is.

The coveted shirt for Peachtree finishers ONLY.
Today's forget-me-not: Running in the heat is a big NO NO for Jamie!

June 24, 2016

So, you hate running?

Warning: Race report and rant directly ahead.

This past Saturday, I ran a flippin' 5K, and it was literally called "I Ran A Flippin' 5K."

This 5K was to benefit my daughter's gym; she takes tumbling classes at Zenit Gymnastics.

Now, this brings me to one of the greatest reasons why I love running. I get to participate in events that benefit causes and/or organizations near and dear to my heart. I get to show my support in a very tangible and sacrificial way. It's a sacrifice of my Saturday morning, my physical energy, and my money. How could you not love when someone sacrifices for a worthy cause?

And yet, I hear so many - over and over again - say they hate running. If you are one of those individuals, I just want to say to you, "As much as you can't understand why I love running, I can't understand why you hate it."

There are too many reasons to love running. Another reason I love running is because it gives me a chance to fellowship with friends and encourage them to stay fit and healthy. How could you possibly hate that?!

A former student of mine, now friend and fellow runner, Jordan.
And yet, there you are, on the couch, eating your cake and sipping your wine, letting everyone that will listen to you via social media know that you hate running. Might I suggest that you dial it down a notch because you're hating on an entire community that embodies things that are right and good in the world. I mean, why hate an attempt at someone's endeavor to maintain overall health and wellness? Jealousy?

A banana tastes better after running a 5K - a fact of life you will never really know...
I mean, it's okay. Running isn't your thing. Fine. Then say THAT. Say, "Good for you runners, but I prefer ____________."

When you say you HATE running, it's like saying you hate Christmas. That's not good! You just sound like old Scrooge spouting your negativity! #dontbelikescrooge

Truth be told, the vast majority of those that say they hate running have never really given it a try. I'm talking about giving it a REAL chance. Typically, haters have never gotten beyond day four of a couch to 5K program - if they've tried one at all - and they have certainly never participated in a race. (And I'm not talking about a fun run. I mean, come on, that's not a race.)

Races provide an opportunity for you to hit what we runners call a PR or Personal Record. And with each successive race you run, you realize you aren't running to beat all the other runners. You are running to beat yourself. To achieve a new PR. And then maybe, just maybe, you might place in your age group. And that is a feeling of accomplishment like no other on this planet!

I placed 3rd in my age group this past Saturday with a new PR for 2016: 33:30.
Look at the above picture. What is there to hate in that?! How could you possibly hate running?!

I could go on and on about why a person should love running and runners and running events, but I think you get the picture, right?

So the next time you are tempted to say or to post, "I hate running," please, stop yourself from committing this grievous sin! Instead, speak the truth. Say, "I (have or have not) tried running. I (know or believe) it's not my thing. But, wow, I have such a respect for runners. For their dedication and their drive. For their commitment. They are a great group of individuals, and I admire them."

As you should.

And to that I would say, "Thank you. Thank you, very much."

Today's forget-me-not: Spread love, not hate.

June 4, 2016

Hustle for Heroes 5K

School is done and summer has begun! That's mostly why I haven't been posting regularly as of late. Wrapping up the school year for myself and my girls has been a bit time consuming - you know, all those end of the year parties, recitals, and award ceremonies.

But, no worries! All that will change this month. I promise! Good things are planned for this space :-)

Now, let's move on to what I intended to blog about today.

A couple weekends ago, I ran the Hustle For Heroes 5K. Here's a little bit about that event:

"Join the Woodstock Public Safety Foundation (WPSF) for our 4th Annual Hustle For Heroes 5K Run/Walk & 1 mile Run as we run in honor of those law enforcement officers who have given their lives in the line of duty. All proceeds will benefit the charitable programs sponsored by the WPSF including: Shop with a Hero, Law Enforcement Explorer Unit, Police/Firefighter Assistance and several other programs."

It was a race for a great cause. However, I'd be lying if I said that was the reason I ran it.


I just really wanted to run!

So, I messaged my running buddies, and the rest is history.

Great friends and fellowship. Great weather. Great run (time 35:35).

The truth that was emphasized to me that day - and that truth I now pass along to you - is simple:

God is good!

Today's forget-me-not:

May 6, 2016

Love Peru Fun Run and 5K

This past weekend our entire family participated in a fun run and 5K race put together by a group of individuals that work with our church's orphanage in Peru. Their goal was to raise some much needed funds for the general operation of the orphanage.
I think this is the first racing event that we've done as a family, and it was awesome fun!

My girls came ready to run the 1 mile fun run. Beth, my oldest, was excited to be running it without mommy having to be at her side. I "ran" it with Hannah, my youngest.

Hannah started the fun run in a sprint, but she quickly realized she was not going to be able to maintain that pace. Her strong spirit carried her farther than I expected, but then suddenly, she stopped. At that moment, I had to give her a little pep talk. First, I told her you NEVER stop during a run. (Just like life, right. Don't stop!) Just keep walking. So after I got her walking, I explained to her that she didn't have to run the whole race. She could walk some of it. That's more than okay! And when she started to run again, I encouraged her to slow down and pace herself.

Near the end, she wanted to stop again, but I told her that she was close to the finish line and there would be so many people there waiting for her. They would all clap and cheer for her. And that tid bit of information inspired her to start jogging again, this time really pacing herself, all the way to the finish line.

I wish I could have gotten a picture of her little face as she ran through to the finish. She was smiling from ear to ear as everyone cheered her on. It was priceless!

Beth did a great job! She took off as soon as "go" was shouted and was among the leaders of the pack for a good portion of the fun run. She did a great job pushing herself, and she finished strong! Afterwards, she asked if she could go with a friend and her parents as the friend, their oldest daughter, pedaled on a bike to watch the 5K runners. I said yes. As it turns out, I misunderstood what she was asking to do. That family was registered for the 5K, so Beth went with them! She covered over four miles that day!!

Finishing the 5K after the 1 mile Fun Run!
Needless to say, a great time was had by all in this family! My oldest may have caught a love for running? And I got to teach my youngest about one of the most important post-race rituals no runner should skip: the eating of the banana!

My husband ran the 5K with our children's pastor, and hubby placed first in his age group!

Our children's pastor placed 2nd in his age group! #awards
It was a perfect day to run a race that we will be sure to repeat! You've just got to run (or run/walk) a race. And if you just don't think you can handle doing that, then volunteer to help at one and partake of the race day excitement that way. Volunteering can be great fun too! Hannah thought so...

Handing out water to tired runners! #bighelper
Today's forget-me-not: The Love Peru Fun Run and 5K

I got these pictures the race took after the blog post was published:

April 29, 2016

Challenging Change

Not long ago, I started a new job. Well, in truth, it's not new, really. I just transferred to a new location. Same job, different building. Same job, different colleagues. Same job, different challenges. So, the same but different.

Anyone else out there dealing with different right now?

Click on the image below to get my entire article and see how I'm dealing with this new challenging change.

Today's forget-me-not:

April 23, 2016

Autism Awareness

I have run thirty-six 5K races, and I don't regret a single one. There are some that have frustrated me and some that have inspired me. Then there are some that have become yearly traditions. These are the races my heart says to me I must return to year after year. The race I ran this past Saturday is easily going to be in the repeat category.

The Glow it up Blue for Autism in Atlanta 5K, sponsored by The Locomotive Race Series, was a great race! Check-in was easy, the race course was mostly flat (huge win!), and they had plenty of good eats available after the race. And to top it all off, every finisher got a medal!

I love 5Ks with bling at the end!
But what really makes this race one that is going to be a yearly tradition is the cause that it seeks to support: Autism Awareness.

The diagnosis of autism is something that every mother and father fear and that too many end up having to accept as a reality.  My sister's son was diagnosed with autism a few years ago. After the diagnosis, life changed dramatically. She and her husband work constantly to get their boy the services he needs to ensure he has a successful future. It's hard work. Fighting autism is hard work. But they soldier on, and because of their dedication, my nephew, Lucas, has had many victories and still many more to come - I'm sure.

My sister Lisa with her son Lucas.
I asked my sister what Autism Awareness means to her, and this is what she said:

"Autism Awareness to me means that people come to understand the autism spectrum. Not every person with autism is the same. They're all very, very different. People just need to be more educated about the disorder and also educate their children which is a big concern of mine for Lucas. If children have proper education about autism then they are less likely to poke fun at kids who are on the spectrum because they will understand the quirks of someone with autism. It's all about educating people."

And that is why I wanted to run this race. I ran it for my sister and my brother-in-law. I ran it for Lucas. I ran it for all my friends whose children have autism. I ran it for Autism Awareness.

That's probably why I made my best 5K race time in a long time of 35 minutes (an 11 min mile). 

My little nephew, and other little boys and girls I know like him, are why this race will become a yearly tradition. It was a great race for a great cause!

I had some awesome company that night! Thanks guys!
 Today's forget-me-not: Autism Awareness

Please take the time to visit the Autism Speaks website to educate yourself about autism. Thank you!

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