Finished!

June 2, 2018

Well most of you know I had a goal to do a half marathon…while 19 1/2 weeks pregnant. Its a race (with a huge hill) that I have done at least two other times, but under the current circumstances I wasn’t sure how I’d be feeling or if I could do it, so I waited til the last minute to sign up. Thankful that God gave me the strength I needed to finish!

I had mentioned before that my biggest challenge with running lately was the stress of feeling like I constantly had to go to the bathroom! I was stressed how I was going to wait the five miles between race day port-a-potties, when sometimes I feel like I have to pee every other mile! lol- don’t laugh, the struggle is real people!

Anyway, the strange things that I know my praying friends have prayed for me over the years…this one is probably up there on the list. But I could certainly tell they were praying because I did fine! Made it to the port-a-potties lol and wasn’t overly stressed about it. I could also tell prayers were answered when the sun started to shine despite the forecast which had called for cloudy skies all day. Yes, I always pray for a ‘cool & cloudy race day.’ I don’t do well in the heat. Once it hits 70, I feel like I’m done! The day was cloudy but started out at 67* and somewhat muggy. Then there was a two mile stretch where the sun came out and I started to feel drained. I had friends cheering me on along the way and I mentioned/they knew the sun was going to drain me and I still had 4 miles to go. I knew my faithful prayer warrior friend Rachel was praying because within another mile the clouds rolled back in and it was tolerable! I kind of smiled to myself and thanked God and said, ‘yup, Rachel prayed for clouds for me.’ ❤ That’s what friends are for, right?

I was so blessed to have my own little cheering section hopping all the way along the course for me! I felt so loved and blessed! Until you experience it, you don’t know how much fun a race can be, and having family and friends there to cheer you on along the way gives you the excitement and boost you need! So much fun and I so appreciate alllll the support!

(Photo credit: Rachel Darrah)

I didn’t really have any finish time goals in mind because it didn’t really matter to me. I just wanted to finish (and not have to pee anywhere other than a port-a-pottie, lol). My normal finish time for this half is two hours; so with my current pace, factoring in potty breaks, and the fact that my daughter had a soccer game at 11, my goal was 2.5 hrs (10:30 am). I was happy with my time of 2 hrs 21 minutes.

(Photo credit: Rachel Darrah)

The Lord is always my strength when I run (and when I don’t ha); I spend a lot of time in prayer and have faith He gets me through. Again, so very thankful for all the love and support from my family and friends! Even if they think I’m a little crazy! (All us runners are, aren’t we? 😜)

(Other cheerleaders that hopped along the way too but missing from the picture are my mom, step mom, and Hannah Darrah and family! Appreciate them all!) And appreciate all the love, support, and prayers from friends and family who weren’t here in person as well! ❤

Ps. Everyone got a kick out of my shirt I had made by someone local (*thanks Caroline)! 😀

A new day…

May 23, 2018

I went to bed last night feeling kind of down and in a miserable mood. I didn’t feel like venting, or even talking at all. Sometimes all you can focus on is the negative. Thankfully I’ve always been one to get up the next day and start fresh.

Today I feel so much better, mentally and physically. I appreciate the early sunrise. I appreciated a run with less aches and pains than I’ve had in a couple weeks. I appreciated my prayerful run and my time with God. I appreciate the extra rest day I allowed myself yesterday (mostly due to rain), but it was definitely needed and made a difference. I’m thankful for good Christian music this morning. And I’m thankful I found one more pair of pants that still buttons! Woohoo, at 18 weeks now, I’ll celebrate that!

It’s the little things I guess. Don’t let them go unnoticed or unappreciated. Start each day fresh and give the new day a new chance. Going to try to focus on the positive today!

Hope you have a wonderful, blessed day ahead too! 😃

Rest day…

May 10, 2018

Typically Sundays and Thursdays are my rest days…sometimes my routine/schedule gets shifted around but either way, I always make time for a rest day. Your body needs to rest; God designed us that way. As much as I love to run, I also look forward to my rest days.

I usually spend time with God daily, but on my rest days I get to spend extra time, doing extra devotions and I look forward to this too. This is always a way to help me feel refreshed and renewed, in addition to the physical rest.

As I sat on the couch this morning, reading some of the books I read (several are little devotions you read weekly, and I’m done with the 40 days of the Holy Spirit book), it is a beautiful morning and you can hear the birds chirping outside. My husband says to me, ‘I bet you’d rather be out there running, huh?’ No, actually I wouldn’t. Today is devoted to rest and getting more into God’s word, and I like it that way. I need this time! More so even than I need the running! Don’t get me wrong…I love my time running and a lot of that time is my ‘God time’ too; talking with him, offering up prayers, and listening for what he might have to say to me. But rest days are important too! Funny, because the title of my Run For God devotion today was ‘Rest.’

God knows what we need…listen to Him and allow yourself a rest day!

Conquer the hill…

May 5, 2018

I know I haven’t blogged in forever, but life is so busy…spring sports have started and I’m sure so many parents can relate to the busyness of it all and the juggling game we play…and mine are only 5 & 8. It’s just beginning! But it is fun to watch them learn, play, and enjoy their sports and use up the energy they’ve stored from a long winter.

One is participating in soccer, the other t-ball. Both have practice times of 5:30-630. When do these people eat dinner? Either super early or super late…our gig lately, three days a week, is to rush home, make a quick meal, ‘coach’ them that they need to ‘eat faster’ because we need to leave for practice! I know it could be worse, with multiple sports practices or engagements in one evening…well one evening this late week we had a doctor’s appointment, practice, and then church. 😬 I just hate the rush rush rush; by the end of the week I’m exhausted (and my house is a total mess)! But I’m thankful as well!

I’m still sticking to my normal running routine, up before the crack of dawn…I’m sure contributing to the exhaustion, but running helps me to feel my best. I mentioned before, that I have a goal to do a half marathon in about 4 weeks, at which point I’ll be about 20 weeks along. So far it’s going pretty well and I haven’t really strayed at all from my usual runs.

Of all the things that I thought might stop me from running during pregnancy, injury, potential bleeding, exhaustion, not feeling well– I didn’t think bladder issues would be one of them. Not incontinence thankfully! But it’s super annoying to constantly feel like you have to pee while running. I have had to plan out my runs based on where I can go to the bathroom! The early morning Sheetz crew and hospital admissions receptionist should know me well by now- lol. So far I’m making it work but I’m going to have to be mindful of where the port-a-potties are on race day I guess!

I’m also thankful for a patient running partner who doesn’t seem to mind my frequent potty breaks! 😜 I did mention to her the other day though, that I’ve read at this point the baby is the size of an orange and that orange is sitting on my bladder…so it’s no wonder I have to pee all the time while I’m running. I told her it would only be fair that she start carrying some fruit along with her for our runs! Even the playing field a little. 😁

I was thankful for her today, as we ‘conquered the hill’ together this morning…a hill that she said she’d never run again! The struggle up the 3 miles hill with a 1,000 foot elevation gain (something like that) is definitely less painful and almost enjoyable, when you have someone to struggle through it with you! So thanks, Whitney! 😉 (Ps the fact that you said you’d never do this hill again but did gives me hope that you will also do another marathon some day!?)

Anyway, it was a good morning for a run. I was happy with my time for 1. Being prego, 2. Running 11 miles, and 3. Doing ‘the hill’ for the first time this year! But I must admit I’m feeling quite whooped as the day goes on. We’ll see what the next couple weeks bring…

Consistency…

April 8, 2018

One thing that’s not consistent (besides my ability to do blog posts 😜) is the weather! Look at the pictures below, taken 4 days apart…what month is it!?

Wednesday it was a beautiful 55*, raining but so warm. It felt so good to not have to wear the winter hat/ear warmer or gloves! And I’m so thankful for the new running hat I bought for rainy days. It was rainy that morning but just shielding the rain from my face gave me the illusion I was dry! Totally worth the $9.99! 😜 Anyway, we quickly went from normal spring weather for this time of year to 16* this morning…back to bundling up. Brrr. I’m over it. I actually skipped my run yesterday, well postponed till today, because when I woke up st 5:15am as planned, we had 2+ inches of fresh snow on the ground. I grumbled and went on strike, refusing to wear yaktrax in April…I went back to bed! Then unfortunately today I only had time to fit 6 in before church. Better than nothing I guess.

Anyway how ’bout that weather! Hope spring actually shows up to say, soon!

Something that’s a little more consistent than the weather, are my times lately. Consistently getting slower! The time I’m actually moving is faster than my final averager pace, but I’ve been allowing myself some walk breaks as needed.

Why you ask? For those of you who don’t follow me or didn’t read my last blog with a little suble announcement about a cinnamon BUN in the oven…hello…I’m not slow, I’m pregnant! (And I plan to get a shirt that says so 😋.) So yes, I’ve slowed down a bit and been a bit more hungry! Lol But I plan to keep running as long as I can and yes the doctor says that’s absolutely fine! My body was used to it to begin with and I know my limits. I am trying to get extra hydration in as well. I have a goal, that even my doctor did not feel was unrealistic and perfectly acceptable, to do a half marathon the first weekend in June; I’ll be about 20-21 weeks at that point. (My mother is probably having a bird at this point… haha!) If I am not feeling up to it, I won’t do it, and that’s absolutely fine with me. For now I feel good and I’m going to continue my normal running routine as long as I can! I wouldn’t mind if the weather would warm up a little though!!!

Thanks for following along my newest journey!

Best. Cinnamon. Buns. Ever.

March 27, 2018

I wish I could take credit for this recipe because it created the yummiest cinnamon buns ever! And the blog was great; step by step photo instructions if you need them and I honestly did not alter a thing from their recipe. I honestly think these are one of the best things I’ve ever made; I was thrilled with how they turned out. I actually made a double batch; kind of brave for being a new recipe I guess… Double batch because I had several people I wanted to share them with, have some for us, and take a pan of them to work.

I made the double batch this Sunday; rolled them out in two separate batches, baking one of them at that time and then saving the other in the refrigerator until time to bake (the following night for work on Tuesday). The recipe said this was an option but I wasn’t sure if the second batch would rise as well (the second time) or turn out as good as the first pan did. Well, rest assured, if you want to make these the day before and then bake them the next morning, it works perfectly. I would allow them more time to warm up. I had mine next to the vent of the oven while dinner was cooking, probably an hour before they actually went in the oven. The dough was still cold and I was skeptical how they’d turn out, but the second batch was just as yummy as the first!

So the batch I took to work had a purpose…(and I’m about to find out how many people actually read my blog because sometimes it’s discouraging when you think some of your closest friends and family don’t read your stuff 😜 but no worries.) Anyway I took a pan of fresh baked cinnamon BUNs to work to share, with a note on the lid that had a picture of an OVEN.

Maybe I should have been less subtle? I had to spoon feed them the message and perhaps even some of you currently reading are trying to figure out ‘What message?’ They all thought the picture of the oven was to remind them to warm their cinnamon bun up before eating it… 🤔 Good point. Too subtle. Anyway, did u get it? If not, you’re on your own! But hey, thanks for following me! ☺

Don’t forget the icing!!

Sour Cream Sugar Cookies with a touch of luck…

March 13, 2018

This is one of those good ol’ local church/grange cookbook recipes; some of my favorite recipes are from those types of cookbooks! I bake every week for life group (normally) and this week I wanted to make something with the special shamrock sprinkles my mom got me. She knows I love clovers and St. Patrick’s Day! I was also whooped by the end of last night and honestly hate making cut out sugar cookies anyway… these are much easier and just as delicious. The secret ingredient: It’s the nutmeg that makes these so yummy.

Sour cream sugar cookies

1 cup butter or margarine (softened)
2 eggs
1 3/4 cup sugar
1 cup sour cream
4 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 tap vanilla
3/4 tsp nutmeg
Pinch of salt

Cream the butter (I use margarine) and sugar; add eggs. Them continue to combine vanilla and sour cream. Slowly add the dry ingredients and best with mixer until well combined. Drop by spoonfuls on ungreased baking sheet. Sprinkle with colored sugar or candies/sprinkles. Bake at 400* for 10-12 minutes. Makes 4-5 dozen.

Enjoy!

Don’t miss out…

March 10, 2018

It’s the runs you don’t feel like taking, or the days you don’t feel like getting out of bed, that end of being the best! I had one of those today. I got up and looked out the window to find an unexpected dusting of snow and more coming down; it hadn’t called for that and I was totally irritated. Where I live, I know winter is not quite over yet, but I’M so over it. I feel like I’ve been running in winter conditions for about 8 months already. It’s March and I don’t want to have to wear yaktrax anymore, especially for a long Saturday run. I actually went and got back into bed; I didn’t want to get up at 5 am on a Saturday to begin with but had to get a run in before my husband went to work. It was silly thinking I would fall back to sleep though, once I’m up – I’m up! So I laid there thinking and kind of grumbling to myself, still trying to decide if I should go or not. I hemmed and hawed and thought I could just get up early (again) tomorrow and get my long run in before church. Then it dawned on me that it was day light savings time tomorrow. Forget that…I hopped back out of bed and decided I would tough it out.
After getting ready to go and looking out at the conditions again, it had stopped snowing by then and really hadn’t amounted to much, I was going to rebel and not wear the yaktrax- I refuse this morning! Thankfully, it was the right decision, I didn’t need them especially once I left town, and the main roads were just wet. It ended up being a beautiful morning (for 24*) and one of the best runs and best paces I’ve had in about 3 weeks. Like I started out saying, it’s always those mornings when you didn’t feel like going but made yourself go anyway, that are the best! So, next time you don’t feel like going- go anyway, you don’t want to miss out!!!

Last minute…

March 7, 2018

You know what March 7th is? The day before my daughter’s birthday…this year her ‘golden birthday,’ turning 8 on the 8th! Well as she gets out of the shower and gets ready for bed, nearly 8 o’clock now, she says ‘oh yeah, mom, my teacher wanted to know if I was bringing a special treat in for my birthday tomorrow?’ Oh crap, mom fail.

I had thought of the gifts and had them prepared, plans to hang some balloons from her doorway in the morning, hope to surprise her at lunch, and of course had her special birthday dinner planned out from the list of her favorites she gave me, asking me to surprise her:

But somewhere in there I totally forgot the whole ‘send a special treat to school’ thing. Normally I try to do something super cute, creative and the school nurse in me, somewhat healthy….but at 8pm it’s going to be what do I have ingredients for and the time to make.

In opted to make M&M Blondie bars. These are not my recipe but an easy, good ol’ go-to bar cookie. Thankfully I had some pretty pastel colored M&M’s to throw in. Had them in the oven before I tucked them in, out id the oven when we were done. Goodnight! Whew, dodged a bullet there. So in case you are in need of a quick and easy cookie type dessert, try these: M&M Blondie Bars

Weather won one today…

March 2, 2018

Very rarely does the weather stop me from running. It was calling for an accumulation of snow today, but not starting til 5am. I figured I had time to get started and if I had to run in a snow storm, it wouldn’t be the first. I got up at 4am and stood and looked out the window for a solid five minutes trying to decide if I should run outside or submit to the ‘dreadmill.’ Despite the wind chimes clanging and the fact that the little snow that had started to fall already was being whipped around out there, I decided it was still a better option than the dreaded treadmill.

Fast forward 20 minutes, after I had gotten ready and was again looking out the same window, now there’s a good two inches on the ground that wasn’t there earlier!? And the snow coming down was thicker and harder to see through as it was even more blustery. Still… better than the treadmill; still going to brave it, at least it’s 32* out! 😁

Well yaktrax required obviously, but for the first time ever, they hardly helped! I should have known when two blocks into my run I had to stop and scuff my feet to get down to the pavement, to then scuff some more to get the collection of heavy wet snow off the bottom of my shoe. I continued to play this game for about 3/4 of a mile before I turned and headed back home. I could handle the wind and the snow falling or shooting directly into my eyes; I was literally running with my eyes closed at one point. But, I can’t run with what feels like snow balls the size of my fist collecting under my feet with every step. Nope, the weather won one today… I went back home to continue my run on my treadmill with my lovely view:

(I try not to look at the time…)

Although I complain about her, I am thankful I have her on the seldom days like today. 😜

Did I mention it was like 50s and beautiful out the rest of the week prior? Hopefully this counts as March coming in like a lion….out like a lamb? Ready for spring!

At least running on the treadmill means listening to a good playlist. 🎶 What do you listen to?