Big Sur International Marathon 4.30.17 #bsim – Training

If you have followed my blog for a while you know a continuous, planned out training plan for running half marathons and marathons really never been part of my routine. Life, in generally, tended to push running to the back burner and my training runs would happen haphazardly. I would run but not consistently and I didn’t track my pace or really push myself.

As I mentioned in my last post, I got into the Big Sur International Marathon through a lottery system. Naturally I started to check out the course. The thing that kept getting me was the elevation change from the start to the finish…close to 2,500 feet!

Talk about an intimidating course! I already had a trainer for strength training and he also runs. Something kept telling me though I needed to do something radical.  I have followed a running coach, Scott Fishman, on Twitter for several years. I liked his approach towards running and life in general. He would even ask me how my running was going for several years. Around September I saw where his company, Team All American, had a promotion going on for new athletes and they were offering a free one hour consultation. So I decided to check his approach and company out.

I knew the thought above was true! The biggest thing that sold me on hiring a running coach was his encouragement for me to become the best that I am able to with running. See, I have never mentally considered myself an athlete with my running. I struggled and wanted to basically run without any pressure on myself due to all the pressures I have in the rest of my life. Yet, he specifically asked me why I would put all this time and effort into running half marathons and full marathons and not train to do it at the best of my ability? Hmmmmmmm, yes, why would I do that? I am a goal oriented person and I should apply this mentality to all areas of my life. I really needed to get honest with where I was and where I wanted to end up.

I ended up starting my training program in October and I trained for six months for the Big Sur International marathon. I was really clueless as a runner. As I mentioned earlier, I really didn’t know what pace I was running while I was running. I knew the overall pace at the end. I finally bought a Garmin watch and I have never looked back. What an eye opener. I stuck to my training plan for the most part. I went from December until about 3 weeks before the end of tax season without missing a scheduled run or workout. It was tough.

Would I do the same thing again? Yes! A customized, training program actually works 🙂 Being accountable to a live person was key to me. My last marathon I ran at Disney as part of the Goofy Challenge in January 2015 and I completed it around 6:20 and it was flat. I finished Big Sur at 5:40. My only goal was to finish which had to happen in 6 hours or less or they would pull you from the course. So to finish at 5:40 on the toughest course around I am quite proud of the accomplishment.

When when I read the words from my coach where he called me an athlete that was the moment I realized I had earned the right to call myself an athlete. This marathon was a game changer in my approach to running. I am an athlete and I have lots of room for improvement. I may be 47 but I am in better shape now than I was in my 20s. I may have been thinner back then but I was not in shape like I am now. Looking forward to the runs to come!

Training as a fiance, wife, mom, entrepreneur, friend and the list goes on does not happen without a lot of support, understanding and encouragement from the ones who mean the most to me. Of course, it wouldn’t happen at all without God Almighty allowing me to pursue my passion. Thank you, God! Rob was simply amazing at allowing me the time to run when we were together, even ran with me several times. Even when I wanted to give up the week before after driving the course he encouraged me to finish what I had started. He even agreed to get married in California the week before the marathon, even though it was a very special date on the calendar for us. I love you, Rob. Your love and level of encouragement and support is a blessing to me. Thank you, Rob!! Mayson and Clayton allowed me the time to workout and run although they are teenagers and have their own lives basically. Thank you to my friends for understanding when I had to bail on get togethers get my runs in.

If you are wanting to take your running to the next level, I highly recommend hiring a running coach. It will change your life.

In my next post, I will share week leading up to the marathon and expo.

In His Strength,


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Big Sur International Marathon Recap 4.30.17 #bsim – Choices Create Your Life

I completed my 3rd marathon last Sunday. Life has changed dramatically from the time I entered the lottery for the marathon until the day I laced up my shoes to run the most intimidating run to date. It all started in July 2016 when I saw that the Big Sur International Marathon was opening up entries in a lottery system. It caught my eye and intrigued me. I was ready for a new challenge. So I thought what the heck. I will enter and if I get in then I will come up with a training plan and if I don’t then I will try again another year.

On August 12, 2016 I received the above email. I GOT IN! I was so excited. I was scared. I was ready for the challenge. However, it would take me about two months to realize that this marathon was going to require me to actually train. Life normally gets in the way of training so I normally struggle through the runs. I knew how miserable that was and the marathon was going to be immediately after tax season. So I hired a running coach which held me accountable.

Little did I know but the love of my life would propose to me on October 1, 2016. Of course, by this time I knew he was the one after putting God first in my life. We were ready to be married right then. However, he was climbing Aconcagua in December 2016 and then tax season started in January until April 18, 2017. Since I had the Big Sur marathon on 4.30.17 we decided to elope and get married in the redwood forests in Big Sur. We were so excited. However, Mother Nature had other plans. Fires had closed many of the parks in July 2016 and the worst rain storms in years collapsed the Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge shutting off access to Big Sur.

Well we looked at Lovers Point Park in Pacific Grove and many other places but nothing was speaking to our hearts. Then we looked at getting married at Yosemite. Yosemite ended up being the perfect place to get married for us. Here are a few pictures of our elopement in Yosemite on 4.22.17.

The title of this post is “Choices Create Your Life” because the choice to randomly enter the Big Sur International Marathon ended up leading a memorable day in a perfect location simply because the actions had been put into motion back in July 2016. What choices are you making in your life? Are you truly living life or settling? Are you settling for good or do you want to become your best self? See, I thought I was entering the lottery to run a marathon. When in reality, I was making a conscious decision to set a goal that was bigger than anything I had ever attempted. That one choice, led to other choices, and they led to choices which have become the best days of my life. I challenge you to start living life differently. Get off the couch and move. Sign up for that 5k. Take the art class. Sign up for that dream vacation. You have the choice to really experience life abundantly as God designed our lives to be. We are not here to simply exist. We are to bring glory to God in all that we do. Start being intentional about your choices. They truly do create your life.

I normally post my entire run experience on one blog post but the Big Sur International Marathon such a life changing event from the moment I decided to enter lottery to the actual date of the marathon that I am going to break down into several posts. That way it will be easier to read and I will actually get them completed within a reasonable time period.

I will share my training plan in my next post. Thank you for reading.

In His Strength,


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Mt. Juliet Holiday Half Marathon 12.10.16 Recap – #running


Well I am living proof that training makes all the difference in running a half or full marathon. I signed up for this half marathon back in September. It was one of two half marathons I had signed up for on my way to training for the Big Sur marathon in April 2017. When I had signed up, I went online and printed out a generic half marathon training plan. Life, as usual, kept getting in the way of my training plan. I knew I had to do things different if I had any chance at all finishing the Big Sur marathon. So at the end of October I enlisted the help of a running coach. There is so much about this one topic that I need to devote an entire post to that. For now, I want to focus on this half-marathon.


This 1/2 marathon started later than most that I have ran in the past. It started at 10:45. The temperatures were cold so it was probably a good thing that it started later rather than earlier. The temps ranged from 32 degrees to 41 degrees from the time I got to the bib pick up station to the time I got back in my car after the run. I wore compression pants, running skirt, long sleeve shirt under a t-shirt, hat and gloves. Here I am in the comfort of my warm home before heading to Mt. Juliet, which is 45 minutes from my home.



I prefer to run in the cold weather. What I do not like is having to wait long periods of time before the 1/2 starts. This was the smallest marathon I have ever participated in (297 runners.) I normally run Disney or Nashville with runners in the 20,000 – 30,000 range. I had no idea what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised that we got to wait in the warm Middle School with real bathrooms right up until the time the 1/2 started. WOW. That was a huge positive in my eyes.

img_1526Me sitting in the warm building 5 minutes before 1/2 started. Thankful I didn’t have to wear a jacket while waiting and then have to wear it around my waist when running after I heated up when running.

I was in my zone when the 1/2 started. I enjoy running in the cold weather and it was sunny which always helps with the attitude. The first 3 miles or so is running through the closed off streets with people on the sides of the road waiting for the Christmas parade to start. The parade follows the 1/2 marathon. After about the first mile, I started following other runners and giving the kids high fives as they stretched out their hands and I wished them a Merry Christmas. What fun! That was the highlight of the entire race. I felt really strong on this race although I ran faster than my training by my coach called for. I really tried to slow it down but the adrenaline kept me moving. I felt really strong until about mile 11. Then I started to get tired. I kept pushing and running without walking long stretches. That was my goal. To actually run and not walk. I had the best run. Only three minutes shy of breaking my old PR. Here are my stats:

Overall Place: 190 out of 297
Chip Time: 2:24:42
Gun Time: 2:25:16
Pace: 11:03
Age Group (Female 45 to 49) Finish: 11/19
Gender Place: 86

Here are the pros and cons of this 1/2 marathon:


Able to pick up bib on race morning

Not a lot of runners = lots of running space

Stay inside warm building until time the 1/2 starts

Real bathrooms up until the 1/2 starts

Lots of people cheering you on

Christmas atmosphere

Ability to print out results immediately after 1/2

Cute long-sleeve tech shirt

Fair price


After the parade route, a lot of the roads were not closed off and cars were extremely close as I ran. They had us running with the traffic which also made me nervous because I couldn’t see the cars behind me. Extremely dangerous. For this one reason, I do not know if I will run this one again unless they make changes.

Overall, it was a great opportunity to get back in the 1/2 marathon world again. I love the 1/2. I feel so alive when running it. By the time I finished, I know I have accomplished something. My legs hurt. I feel I have been run over by a truck. Yet, that’s why I do it. To see what my body and mind is capable of accomplishing.


As you can see my gloves were off by the end.

img_1533Closer up view of medal and sweat.

If you relate more to emojis, here is a summary:


This is fairly accurate 🙂 My burger and fries never tasted so good after the run.

It feels amazing to be back!

In His Strength,


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It’s Been A While……….#running

Well it has been a while since I actually wrote about my passion for running and living a healthy lifestyle. If you have followed my life over the last 2.5 years you know I was going through the most difficult experience of my life. I was in survival mode. The storm has been over for a while and I am not the same person I was 2.5 years ago. I am a stronger woman whose life is grounded in my faith in God.


I am back with so many new things to share. I only ran three distance races since 2013, which were the Goofy Challenge in January 2015 (1/2 and full) and the Seaside, Florida 1/2 in February 2016. I needed a new goal. A new dream. I had wanted to run the Big Sur marathon at some point in my life and I saw where the registration was opening this summer. The number of runners is really limited. They have a lottery system and I fell into the First-Timer category. Only 1,800 runners are chosen in this category. I registered and really had no strong feelings either way. I get in or I try again next year.




I then started looking at the course and knew things were gonna have to be different this time around. I haphardly trained for all my past races with my crazy, busy life but that is not going to work. Excited to share with you where I am at with my training and all the changes I have made. I will do that in my next post.


This mantra has held true for me in life as well. Perhaps this is why I relate to everything about being a distance runner. Excited to be back!

In His Strength,



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When God Allows Rejection

I am deep into the Beth Moore Bible study “Living Beyond Yourself” which is about exploring the fruit of the Spirit. As always, when I am in one of her studies my mind will gradually wonder from time to time about how God has worked in my life. His grace, mercy, and most of all LOVE have been what saved this lost and wayward girl. Last night after church, God validated everything I have been through in my life and I finally understood. The lightbulb definitely went off.


The first quality in the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23 is love. This word conjures up so many feelings yet when I got to class last night the video session was on rejection. One of the questions Beth asked was “Who didn’t love you? because basically that is at the heart of rejection and most of the time it is with people with love. I am so thankful God has healed me from a lifetime of rejection. I mean completely healed. I felt compelled to share this miracle because I know there are so many people who suffer from rejection. Even my own boys are experiencing this and it is painful to witness. Yet, nothing I can say to them or any one else can heal them. Only God can do that. I know God will use my experience though to help others either by my prayers or to give them courage to take a step toward healing. Here is a glimpse into the rejection I have faced in my life and how God allowed it so that I will be able to bring Him glory through it all.

My first experience with rejection was from my dad. My parents divorced when I was six years old. I really wasn’t too upset about the divorce at that point because I was really too young to totally understand it. I do remember the night he left though. It is burned into my mind. I was playing with his automatic golf putter while he packed and I wasn’t even upset at that point he was leaving. I was assured we would still see each other. Over the years growing up I spent time with him and even spent several summers living with him in California. Then high school rolled around and friends and boyfriends were more important. I felt he should have been more involved in my life and when he wouldn’t help me out where I felt like he should I would get angry and really hurt.

Then my mom calls me up the summer before I start ninth grade while I am in California at my dads and tells me she has gotten married. She has moved all of our stuff from our home in Smyrna to Goodlettsville and would be starting a new school in several weeks. WHAT?!? That day is burned into my mind as well. I cried and cried. Didn’t even have a chance to tell my friends goodbye. On top of that, my stepdad was extremely mean to me. Rejection again.

Now God led me to my calling when I was a Junior in high school. I took my first accounting class and that was it. It was the greatest thing ever. I made out my career plan and set goals and threw myself into that. See, I had vacancies in my heart from the rejection and succeeding at my career helped me feel a type of love where I felt accepted.

On the way to achieving my career goals I met my ex-husband. At this point in life, I settled knowing all that I know now. I believe I was checking off the boxes and really didn’t put serious consideration into the man I was going to marry. He rejected me in so many ways during our marriage and the first time was before kids. However, there was no way I was getting a divorce. Not happening. Then our children came along and my heart felt a love like I had never experienced. At that point, I wanted to be the best mom I could to those boys. The last 12 years there were so many ways I was rejected in my marriage yet I felt as a Christian I couldn’t divorce. Then God allowed something to happen that was the line in the sand and trust would never be established again.

In 2004, I started attending Long Hollow. I knew God in my head but as I started going deeper in the Word I went from a head knowledge of God to a heart relationship with Him through Jesus Christ. The last 12 years while I was growing closer and closer to God the enemy kept attacking harder and harder in every area of my life. Many tears were shed but I had peace in the storm.

My entire life I have spent looking for love from those closest to me. Then this year it finally hit me when I saw this:


My post using this on Instagram that day was this “The one word God has been impressing upon my heart through my storm was love. Crazy to go through a divorce and God wanting me to focus on love. Even blogged about this back in Jan. 2015. Most recently it really sunk into my thick head and my heart that God’s love is enough for me. It was like all of a sudden His love filled all the broken holes in my soul. There are no words to describe the feeling and change in my life. I also believe He has a big ministry for me down the road but there are so many things I could minister to other women about so how will I narrow it down? Then tonight I was reading Mark Batterson’s book If and I was on the Chapter about Romans 8:28 “And we know in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” I have claimed this verse for many years. Mark goes on to say “Bad things happen to good people, but the fight is fixed. In the end, we win. So let’s stop laying not to lose. Don’t let your mistakes, or someone else’s put you on the defensive. Play offense with your life. It’s okay to mourn the bad things that have happened, but don’t throw a pity party. No matter what you’ve experienced, you are not a victim. You are more than a conqueror.” I read that and felt I totally agree with this and my life aligns with this now after many dark months. So I was feeling really good about where I am at. Then at the end of the chapter he says this “Where have you been wounded?” This is often where uses us to help others. In fact, that is part of the healing process. Our pain is leveraged for someone else’s gain. And somehow, someway, God turns if only into what if. What if you let God leverage your greatest failures and deepest disappointments?” Then a tidal wave of tears hit me because in all my seeking of God, His will, obeying, He knew that I have been wounded by two specific people in my life whose actions clearly told me they did not love me. Love has been my biggest failure and biggest disappointment. So tonight I got a glimpse that God wants to me to help other women in their marriages….whether its with restoration or divorce or help children of divorce”

You are probably wondering why I went through all of this about rejection. The reason is because God gets all the glory for the miracles that have taken place all because of rejection. First off, He allowed all the rejection to save me. I can’t even begin to fathom this. Jesus Christ saved this lost, broken girl. I get it in my heart. I have a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. WOW. Every single tear and rejection was worth it. Then the exact day I posted the above on Instagram and laid love on the cross saying God is enough I met my soul mate and one with whom I am equally yoked. Of course, I didn’t know it that day but looking back it made me weep with tears of joy. Really?!? Yes, really. One day I will share the story but for now God has been working all these years and not until recently did I understand. Oh and I am now working on restoration with the relationships with my mom and dad. Also, my closest friends today are the ones I met when I moved to Goodlettsville back in 1983. GOD IS GOOD!! ALL THE TIME!!

For those who have been rejected, you have several choices. You have a vacancy and it will be filled with worldly things which may be good or destructive things. Know that only God is able to fill the vacancy left by rejection. Seek Him out. Know you are loved. Here are two verses I saw for the first time last night and I know they will help someone.

“Though my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me.” Psalm 27:3

“Under three things the earth trembles, under four it cannot bear up: a servant who becomes king, a fool who is full of food, an unloved woman who is married, and a maidservant who displaces her mistress.” Proverbs 30:21-23

Know that God will have to heal up your rejection issues for you to be healed and have healthy relationships. Also, God’s love has to be enough for you. When you seek Him, he will bless you and in turn allow you to experience a true love story.

One last comment. On the way from work to church last night I actually thought to myself why did God allow so many lost years? Then I smiled and knew to save me. Then Beth said the same thing at the end of the video. It took all I had not to burst out in tears at that moment. They came though when I got in the parking lot.

In His Strength,


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‘Twas the Night before College………..

‘Twas the night before college, when all through the house
Not a computer was humming, not even a mouse;
Mayson’s room was packed up by the door with care,
In hopes that someone would take it from there;
Clayton was nestled all snug in his bed;
While visions of room takeover danced in his head;
And mamma with her handkerchief along with the cat,
Had just settled her thoughts that Clayton’s not getting that,
When out in the hall there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the past my mind went like a flash,
Tore open my eyes and had a big crash.
When what to my wandering eyes did appear,
But years of memories and how fast this time got here.
With a boy who changed my life when he was born,
To knowing that tomorrow my heart would be torn.

Had to lighten the mood tonight. I have so many emotions as Mayson prepares to move into his dorm room tomorrow at college. We have grown close these past two years through some very powerful storms. He had to grow up faster than I would have liked yet in the end it has made him a stronger person. He has learned that the right thing to do is often the most hardest and to always tell the truth. His senior quote was “The truth costs nothing but a lie can cost you everything.”

From watching you take your first step, to the first day of kindergarten, middle school, high school and now college it has been a joy being on this journey with you. Mayson, I have prayed for you since you were born and I will continue to pray for you. We don’t always agree on everything but know that I will always love you unconditionally. I will support your dreams and be your biggest cheerleader. I won’t throw money at you when problems arise because that is how you grow and learn how to be an adult. My job is to make sure you are a self supporting adult. Always trust God with everything and you will never fail. There are going to be good days and bad days. I am always here for you.














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Been having a restless feeling lately and I couldn’t quite figure out why although there is a  lot of change still going on in my life. Then this week I heard this song by Danny Gockey and I have been playing it nonstop. The lyrics are below.

“Tell Your Heart To Beat Again”

You’re shattered
Like you’ve never been before
The life you knew
In a thousand pieces on the floor
And words fall short in times like these
When this world drives you to your knees
You think you’re never gonna get back
To the you that used to be

Tell your heart to beat again
Close your eyes and breathe it in
Let the shadows fall away
Step into the light of grace
Yesterday’s a closing door
You don’t live there anymore
Say goodbye to where you’ve been
And tell your heart to beat again

Just let that word wash over you
It’s alright now
Love’s healing hands have pulled you through
So get back up, take step one
Leave the darkness, feel the sun
Cause your story’s far from over
And your journey’s just begun

Tell your heart to beat again
Close your eyes and breathe it in
Let the shadows fall away
Step into the light of grace
Yesterday’s a closing door
You don’t live there anymore
Say goodbye to where you’ve been
And tell your heart to beat again

Let every heartbreak
And every scar
Be a picture that reminds you
Who has carried you this far
‘Cause love sees farther than you ever could
In this moment heaven’s working
Everything for your good

Tell your heart to beat again
Close your eyes and breathe it in
Let the shadows fall away
Step into the light of grace
Yesterday’s a closing door
You don’t live there anymore
Say goodbye to where you’ve been
And tell your heart to beat again
Your heart to beat again
Beat again

Oh, so tell your heart to beat again

This songs hits home for me because I numbed my heart for many years to survive. I can throw myself into work like no one else. Then it also hit me tonight why I am restless. It is the unknown. I am at a point in my life where I have no clue what my future holds. That can be quite scary since I had mapped out a general plan for my life as a Junior in high school. Fell in love with accounting when I took my first accounting class in the 11th grade. I still get excited when I am in the middle of a complex issue or analyzing trends, etc. I am a total nerd. Worked 3 jobs to put myself through college, passed CPA exam on first try and became a partner in a firm at age 28. Settled on second guy I ever dated and thought that would be forever. Had my two precious boys and I threw my life into work and them to escape things I didn’t want to deal with for way too many years. Life was comfortable. Traveled to wonderful places, had great friends and just knew this is how life was going to be. Although looking back I was so alone. Now all these plans were never prayed about or discussed with God because I did not have a relationship with Him through Jesus Christ until 2004. Did the church thing but that was about it.


In 2004, the enemy started really attacking my life as I was in the Word and surrounding myself with other Christians. I sought God like never before and He has put His hand of protection around my kids and me since that day. Things were bad and finally God said enough. It is time to walk and follow My plans for your life. So I did the bravest thing I have ever done and filed for divorce as I cried the entire way to the attorney’s office. That was 19 months ago and it seems like yesterday in one way but a lifetime in another. I am very confident in my career but really being on my own scared me.

Fast forward to today and God is my rock, my deliverer, my provider, my everything. Yet, having faith doesn’t mean I am not fearful. It means that my faith is bigger than my fears. Here I am having accomplished everything in my career I ever dreamed of plus so much more, my two boys are growing up and will be out of the home in a couple of years, all my friends are married and here I sit wondering what in the world is next? I guess that is only natural. My faith is strong and Proverbs 31:25 describes how I want my outlook to be every day.


I will embrace each day and be in the moment since God has me here for a reason. Thankful for His grace, mercy and forgiveness when I try to take control of my life when I know that He is in control. We shall see where the journey goes. Maybe its time to have more of a balance in my personal life. That is something that has been stirring in my heart. Relying on God’s direction, unconditional love and faith. I do know I am not the same woman I was when I walked into the storm and for that it is a miracle. My heart now belongs to God.

In His Strength,


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