Speaking of sneakers…

February 14, 2018

Monday I mentioned I wore my sneakers to work because they make me feel good. Well, speaking of sneakers… in order for them to literally make you feel good and have happy feet, you have to make sure you are replacing them as needed. I KNOW this, but still at least once a year tend to slack on replacing them and end up with my feet screaming at me to do so! I replace my sneakers approximately every 400 miles (about 3 pairs a year). I was due for new ones around the beginning of December, but being winter time with yucky roads and often wearing my yaktracks, I decided I would wait a little while.
Well a little while turned into end of January, when I at least put it on my to-do list so it was on my radar to get it done. January turned into beginning of February, when I did shop online for some. I more often than not shop for my sneakers at a specialty athletic shoe shop approximately 2 hours away; their service is unbeatable to say the least, along with their knowledge, experience, and guarantee to fit you to the right shoe!

I have found what shoe brand/make/model works for me for the most part. It’s always ‘iffy’ in the spring when new models come out for the season; they make changes and it’s not a guarantee that they are going to fit you as well as the previous year’s model. (Did I ever mention I hate change; especially when you have a favorite running shoe! Why do they have to go and mess with it.

Anyway, I am in my third pair of the model I’m wearing now and know that I love it so I figured instead of making the 2 hour trip or calling and having them ship a pair, I’d try to find a pair on sale online first. Well I found a pair on Amazon, shipped directly from them (no third party), free shipping about a third less than what I normally pay. Easy, done, on their way! Wore them around home and work for a few days to break them in like I always do, and within 4 days my feet started to hurt. (My feet are a bit temperamental; I have to have good support or they start to hurt.) I felt like when I first put them on, they didn’t quite fit the same; they had less support or something but I wasn’t sure if it was my imagination so I gave them a try. I also had in the back of my mind a past experience from a year or two ago when I thought I’d try to save money and ordered a pair online that was a ‘good deal’ from a site I had never heard of.. big mistake. They arrived and I knew as soon as I put my foot in that they were not the right shoe, they looked identical, but the support that I buy them for was totally missing. They felt flat as a board inside! Thankfully when I called and complained that I believed they were selling ‘knock-offs’ they didn’t deny they were and quickly offered me prepaid return shipping and my money back.

So I understand a no-name site I never heard of trying to sell ‘knock-offs,’ but I expected more from Amazon? Not impressed and now I feel like I can’t trust ordering my running shoes online anymore; or at least if they are less expensive than they should be I guess.

Anyway, live and learn, and remember to replace your running shoes regularly, based on your use. It can really have an affect on your whole body- feet, hips, back, etc.

Lastly, I had a great (extra) early morning run today! Got 6 in on a Wednesday! And it was warmer and the roads were dry! Oh! And the best part, I was joined by my running buddy; sure does make the miles pass quicker!

Ps- not to knock Amazon but I tried to post a review about the shoes I had purchased and I received an email back that stated my review would not be posted due to it’s content. I guess they didn’t like what I had to say; it was just the facts. We might want to keep that in mind next time we are reading reviews before we purchase something. It may be that some of the negative reviews didn’t make the cut. 🙄🤐

A run will do you good…

January 27, 2018

(I admit I’m post-dating this… hindsight…)

So, normally, in most circumstances I’ve found ‘a run will do me good.’ Whether I’m pounding the pavement over stress or in deep thought, or just enjoying a morning run with good conversation, I always benefit from a good run. It starts my day out right, and almost always makes me feel so much better than the days that I don’t run. Often times when I have a slight head cold, going for a run really does make me feel better; whether it’s the air opening things up or the activity breaking things up, I do normally feel better after wards.

I started to feel like I was coming down with a cold Friday night, but took some ibuprofen and started to feel a little better just before crawling into bed. I checked the weather and it looked like a beautiful morning for a run, so despite my husband’s questioning of whether I should go for a run since I was coming down with something, I proceeded to make plans with my favorite running buddy to meet up in the morning. I also had my mind set on getting 10-12 miles in since it was going to be so nice out.

I did have an enjoyable run, with clear roads, 32* weather, good company, and finished with 11 at a pace I was happy with. However, the last mile and a half I was tired and my throat started to hurt… Hindsight… I think if I would have settled for a shorter run or maybe even rested I wouldn’t have been so run down and sick the next two days. However, I’m still thankful to have gotten a nice run in and as stubborn as I am, probably would have still done the same. Moral of the story: Listen to your body and know when you need to rest and when you need to run!

And I’ll share one of my favorite quotes since it’s flu season and all: ‘Wash your hands and say your prayers because Jesus and germs are everywhere.’ 😊

Prayer warrior…

January 19, 2018

A few years ago I took a spiritual gifts test, as our pastor encouraged; I’d recommend doing this if you never have before. I had an idea of what my gifts might be, or what I thought they might be, but it was very beneficial. I feel like it was not only enlightening but encouraging, as once I knew what my gifts were I could pray about and focus on being intentional about using them.  I scored highest in intercessory prayer, which was not one that I expected or realized I guess, but after thinking about it was not surprised.

I consider myself a prayer warrior. I have so many people and concerns that I pray regularly for and have seen so many of my prayers for others answered, it’s exhilarating! Much of my time running is spent praying; praying not only for the regular needs and requests known to me, but for so many random people as well, from people that pass by me, or people in the houses that I run past, to random people that pop into my head. I truly love praying for others and even more so love seeing prayers answered and God at work! God is so good!

I also often pray for my students.  This past week I’ve been working on a mass mailing of BMI letters that are required to be sent to every student’s parents (we’ll not get into the debate of whether or not this is beneficial). Monday when I started this task, it was an in-service day, without student office visit interruptions. I, for the first time, had the idea that I should pray for each of these students as I prepare their letters; after all each one requires thought and consideration for the letter and corresponding address label.  If I have to think about each student, why not pray for them and their families! It honestly filled me with joy in doing so, and I actually enjoyed mailing all the letters out. So, if you’re reading this and are on the receiving end of my BMI letters, know that you and your family have been prayed for!  I also prayed for a revival in this small little town; how awesome would that be! 

Psalm 5:3: “In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.”

Ephesians 6:18New International Version (NIV)

 18 And pray in the Spiriti on all occasionsjwith all kinds of prayers and requests.k With this in mind, be alert and always keep on prayingl for all the Lord’s people.

Feel free to leave a prayer request! And know someone is praying for you! ❤

Running, lifting, cheesecake…a little bit of everything…

January 10, 2018

I feel like I still haven’t slowed down since Christmas; granted our last Christmas get together was finally celebrated this past Saturday and today is my hubby’s birthday, so maybe after today things will slow down a little bit. So anyway, I’m not intentionally slacking on the blog, I’m just busy with other things..including baking and running!  I ran Friday in the cold, despite having a ‘snow day’ due to cold temperatures, then had to take Saturday off to get ready for our Christmas get together, and Sunday I had my alarm set, but at 6am the temperature was -16, so that made the decision to roll over and go back to bed a little easier!  Although I was tempted to run later that day when my hubby said I ‘couldn’t possibly run in this weather.’  Anyway, Monday, when I finally got to run again, it was 20* and honestly felt like a HEAT WAVE compared to the zero degree days all last week. The air had that eerie abnormally warm feeling, or as if a warm southern breeze was blowing although it was cold out; I’m not kidding, it’s sad when 20* feels like a heat wave!  Today it was back down to 15*, but still better than zero! And today was nice because the roads were clear and dry! It felt so much more effortless running!

Tuesday, although it was another warm morning at 30* and I was SO itching to run, I had made up my mind that I had to get back into my routine of strength training at least once a week, which for me is normally Tuesday.  I hadn’t lifted since late October when my back issues started; I didn’t want to make anything worse, but in the mean time I have lost a lot of strength in my core and that has made the back/hip issues worse.  Although I have ran more in the past year than ever before, I feel like this is the worst shape I’ve ever been in; I’ve got the post-holiday-my-pants-are-too-tight feeling going on and it’s not fun! Time to get back in the swing of things, I hope.

Don’t worry, unfortunately I still like to eat (that’s my biggest problem; for as much as I run I should be way thinner) and will still have yummy recipes to share with you.  As I shared on facebook last Friday, I was making one of my husband’s favorites, Dulce De Leche Cheesecake, for our Christmas get together with his family and doubling as a celebration for his birthday as well as his grandma’s whom he shares a birthday with.  He first had this cheesecake at the Cheesecake Factory many years ago (8 or 9? now); I made one similar a few years ago, but it was lacking that creamy topping that the Cheesecake Factory’s had.  I found this ‘copycat’ Cheesecake Factory recipe here..  I was excited because it had some sort of topping; but had I read the recipe closer I would have realized, like I did while I was actually making the topping, that it wasn’t the rich creamy topping Chris had previously liked, but just a browned butter, brown sugar frosting.  Everyone seemed to like it but, it was a bit too sweet for my liking and I preferred it without the frosting topping.  So I will still be on the lookout for a recipe similar to the one he enjoyed previously! If you have come across one, leave a link in the comments below!

dulce de leche

Not the best picture but I guess it’s a good sign that its nearly gone by time you get to snap a picture!  The crust made of golden Oreos was a nice touch and, FYI the Dulce De Leche sauce was difficult to find (coming from a rural area); be sure to plan ahead and buy online or I was finally able to find it in the international isle at Tops grocery store.  (I found sites through pinterest that instructed on how to make your own Dulce De Leche sauce as well; but to do it right takes hours.)


Want longer lashes?

December 27, 2017

You didn’t know this blog gave beauty tips too, did ya? 😜 Guess again, as I’m probably the least knowledgable person when it comes to make-up, beauty, etc. However, I think I’m starting a new trend here… Who needs those fake eyelashes when you can just go out for a winter run and come home with beautiful ‘ice-lashes’… lovely little icicles that form on your lashes! I think I’m onto something here! 😘

Yes, it was a chilly 1* out this am but I dressed appropriately and as long as I kept moving, it really was not that bad out. Thankfully it wasn’t windy at all. It was one of those crisp, crystal clear mornings; it wasn’t snowing but under the street lights it looked as if there was glitter floating around in the air. Do you know what I mean? The air was literally glistening; it was beautiful. 

I’m thankful to be out running the past two days, despite the cold temperatures, because I had to take a couple unplanned days off from running. I had intended to run Wednesday thru Saturday and take off Sunday and Monday for Christmas Eve and Christmas obviously; however I ran Wednesday and Thursday, then got up bright and early on the first day of ‘Christmas break’ to run Friday as planned and had terrible back pain. I had been having nagging back pain for approximately 6-8 weeks, that thankfully hadn’t kept me from doing my normal activities, but was bothering me enough that I did make an appointment. I didn’t want to go to the chiropractor, but did get into our local Pheonix Rehab facility with a well known/highly recommended local physical therapist. He knows his stuff and I’m so glad I went. Within two visits I was back in line and felt nearly 100% better! 

So back to Friday morning, woke up with terrible pain in my back/hip area again but on the opposite side from where it originated, and much much worse than what it felt like before. It was a struggle to stand on one leg long enough to put my pants on. This should have been an indicator that I probably shouldn’t run that morning…but I proceeded to get ready. I attempted to run but only made it three blocks before I turned around, admitted defeat, and shamefully walked back home. Ugh. Long story short, I was so thankful I could get back into Pheonix that morning. Once again I was ‘out’ on the other side and some strengthening exercises are in need after a few days of rest. 

 So anyway, back to what I was saying, I was thankful to be back to running after having four days off! Lord knows I love to eat and the holidays is no time for me to be off from running. Remember, I tend to run so I can eat the goodies I want! 😋

I hope you all enjoyed your Christmas! It is such a busy time of year; I’ve been blogging less too, but plan to share more with you soon! Stay warm!

Busy, busy…

December 15, 2017

It’s been a busy week, busier than normal for a busy time of year! I’m busy baking today! I always enjoy taking a vacation day to help get my Christmas goodies done. Stay tuned for some Christmas baked goods recipes in the near future! I tend to make the same thing every year…What are some of your favorites? 

Been some cold, snowy runs this week but today was the coldest I believe, at 4*.  This is what dressing for 4* looks like:

Thankfully there wasn’t any wind, so it really wasn’t that bad. The snow and wearing the yak traks on my shoes really slows me down, but at least I got the miles in…today I actually got more miles in than number of degrees outside! :-p

Looking forward to to a warm shower and a day of baking! 

Dressing for the weather…

December 10, 2017

From a lot of experience running in every season and the varying weather we have in the area where I live, I’ve come to know exactly what I need to wear for different temperatures/forecasts. I usually lay my clothes out the night before, but sometimes, more often than not, you never quite know if you can trust what it’s telling you about the forecast 6-7 hours from then. (What!? You can’t trust the weather forecast? Shocking, I know!) 

So, normally for 20-30* I wear a semi-heavy shirt, light underneath and my normal running headband/earwarmer and gloves. For the teens I wear a hooded fleese and hat. You just have to figure out what works for you. So often people think I’m crazy for running in the cold temperatures but I actually prefer them. I’d run in 20* weather over 80* weather any day; you’re moving and if you dress appropriately you can manage to stay quite comfortable.

But the reason I had multiple things out this morning was because that ‘real feel’ temperature can be a real crap shoot.  Actually if you look up the definition of crap shoot, the example sentence given is regarding the weather -lol. I’ve found the ‘real feel’ is either the real deal and you’re freezing cold or it can also be pretty bogus. You just never know; hence the crap shoot. Today, headed out of town I found it was pretty bogus, as I opted to wear a hat and added a vest layer, just in case it was windy and the real feel was accurate. Thankfully I was pretty warm; however when I turned around to head back towards home there was a little more wind in my face and I was thankful I wore the added clothing; but I still didn’t feel it was as cold as the said real feel of 15*. 

Once it finally got light out, it was a beautiful morning, with the first fresh snow fall (well second, but first that I’ve ran in). It was a little slick in spots, requirng mindful short shuffling steps rather than nice long strides; but I knew heading out that the snow was definitely going to slow my pace down.  Thankful for this quiet start to my day and the beauty of the snow as we enjoy the Christmas season.

Like what you see? Want to follow along? Scroll to the bottom and follow my blog! 🙂 

Hunting and Running…

December 8, 2017

It’s currently deer hunting season and so far I’ve seen way more deer running in town than my husband has sitting out in his tree stand for hours and hours. (He’s not too happy about this fact.)  On my early morning run today, I stumbled upon 5 deer (all doe I believe) right in town near our Elementary School; all within 15 yards of myself.  I’ve seen them there before; and in the winter when I’m out running before the snow  plows have come through, I have been able to follow their tracks often enough to know where they regularly come from and where they are normally headed. A few weeks ago, during archery deer season Whitney and I counted 11-13 deer in town one morning on our run!! In town! I love seeing wildlife on my runs…everything except skunks that is!

I honestly never used to understand why people liked to hunt so much – like eat, sleep, and breath hunting…in nearly every season.  I couldn’t imagine getting up before the crack of dawn, to sit in the woods, in the cold, wind, rain, snow, etc. and call it fun.  Then about two years ago it hit me, while I was out running during hunting season, in the very early morning, before the crack of dawn, in the cold, wet, somewhat icky weather…and loving every minute of it.  It was then that I realized how much some people must love to hunt because that is exactly how I feel about running.  Rain or shine, I’m out there because I just love to run. Hunt on, boys (and girls)… do what ya love, love what ya do, right?

Not my best stats this morning, I had some kinks, aches & pains but it was still better than not running at all! 🙂 (21* clear morning; didn’t feel as cold as it sounds.)

I have a sign in my office that says: Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.  For me that’s God and running!  What makes your heart race or gets you out of bed in the morning? What do you have a passion for?


I’m very thankful for my ability to run; I try to never take it for granted. I enjoy setting goals for myself and feel better when I have something ahead of me that I’m striving for. I’m not sure if that’s always a good thing but I guess as long as you don’t let it ‘become your god’ or your only focus, it’s OK.  Most of my goals are geared towards running, however I have had other goals related to education and parenting, etc. 

I was bummed I didn’t reach my goal of a second marathon for the year but I felt better knowing  that 1. I had completed the training for it, even if I was crazy running 20 miles for no reason, and 2. I was still striving to reach my milage goal for the year.  Last year I had set a goal to run 1000 miles in a year, for the first time.  It came down to a very snowy day in late December but I was able to reach the mark.  I felt I had to improve upon that number and was going to strive for 100 miles a month or 1200 miles for this year.

I honestly only set these goals for myself; not having a care in the world what anyone else thinks of them. I was thrilled with the 1000 last year but honestly didn’t feel like it was a big deal… people do it all the time, including my running partner who had well over that last year. It wasn’t a huge deal but I was thankful to have met my goal. 

I am thankful to have met the goal I set before myself again this year. I enjoyed a celebratory run with my partner in crime, Whitney, who has been by my side for many of those 1200 miles this year. Thankful to have met her on a random early morning run last fall! 

I run in the dark, the cold, the wind and rain and snow…not just to reach goals but just because I love to run that much! Do what you love, love what you do! 

Good food…for the most part…


December 4, 2017 

Well, sometimes you win some – like grand slam, out of the park – and sometimes you lose some…like big fat flop. In reference to food, we had some of both this weekend.  It had been a while since I had such a baking flop! I was so excited to make Carrot Cake Cheesecake for a special birthday this weekend, as I’ve made it in the past and its super yummy!  I put a teaser on Facebook and couldn’t wait to share a picture of the finished product with you all… but perhaps I was a little too proud of my baking abilities.  It definitely was NOT picture worthy…edible, but not picture worthy.  Honestly, it could have benefited from a few extra minutes in the over (as if 15 extra minutes wasn’t enough already).  Oh well, like I said, ya win some, ya lose some…live and learn.  Thankfully the celebration was with my family and they were all kind and said it was delicious; but I have tasted it when it was delicious and this did not measure up!  Hopefully it will be share-worthy next time I make it! 

On to the things that were share-worthy: 

Fresh sautéed pears over French toast for Sunday morning breakfast hit the spot after a quick 10 mile run.  It was a crisp, beautiful December morning at 30* and another beautiful sunrise.  They aren’t all brilliantly vibrant in color, but they are all beautiful.  The run was exactly what I needed as I felt God ‘fall fresh on me;’ needed to feel renewed and to destress.    

For the birthday celebration my hubby was firing up his new smoker that he built himself a couple months ago.  His tastiest creation so far has been this melt-in-your-mouth, super tender and moist, bursting with flavor, beer-can-chicken.  It is seriously so good- like the grand slam, out of this park good I mentioned earlier; by far the best chicken I’ve ever had.  Honestly, he doesn’t really ‘know his way around the kitchen,’ so for him to prepare two rubs and a marinate to inject into the chickens, all by himself – and have it taste this amazing, I am super impressed!  I’m going to have him share more details on his homemade smoker and beer-can-chicken recipe in the near future….stay tuned. In the meantime, this is for your viewing pleasure (and if there was only a way for you to smell the aroma that lingered around the outside of our house)… 


I also had the pleasure of helping my little chef, Lila, create her own pasta salad side dish to go with dinner…stay tuned for more on that later in the week.  And lastly, my sister-in-law brought the tastiest oven roasted, maple glazed mixture of vegetables; they were so good everyone, including the kiddos asked for seconds! I might be able to share that recipe in the near future as well!  Lots of yummies to be on the lookout for! 

 Finally, here is the recipe for the pears we enjoyed for breakfast.  The recipe was adapted from Annie’s Eats, which is one of my favorite food blogs (she now offers more than just recipes…).  In her recipe the pears are intended for a homemade granola, which I have made before and is very satisfying as well; I would recommend it!  They would also be a great topping for waffles or in a ‘stuffed French toast,’ perhaps on pancakes as well….or even ice cream (sweet after thought)!


Sautéed Pears 

2 Tbsp butter 

5 pears (I used bartlett)  

2-3 Tbsp honey 

1 tsp vanilla 

½ tsp cinnamon 

 Melt butter, add pears, cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until pears start to soften, edges begin to appear translucent, and juices are released.  Then stir in the honey, vanilla and cinnamon until well combined. Continue to cook a few more minutes.  Enjoy.