Every moment we are making decisions that reflect our priorities. We may not always realizing that’s what is happening, but it’s true.

As I worked on my goals and priorities for 2023, I asked myself these 2 questions.

Do I want to be skinny or healthy?
Do I care more about how my body looks or what my body can do?

We’ve been led to believe that being skinny is a sign of health. That’s not always true. I personally have known skinny people who struggle with high cholesterol and blood pressure.

I have this crazy goal in my life to live until at least 120 – and fully functional. Yeah yeah, I know. I’m crazy. But, I’m trying to live my life in a way that will get me there.

It’s been a struggle for me to lose weight over the last few years. Even with all my working out and eating healthy, I managed to end 2022 with 0 lbs lost. Clearly my body is not responding to what I’ve been doing – or maybe it doesn’t need to lose weight.

Why was I trying to lose weight? Well, I guess it started off with wanting to feel good and be confident. Over the course of 2022, I was feeling good. While I was confident on my body’s capabilities, I wasn’t feeling good with how it looked. My husband constantly disagrees with me on this (isn’t he a 💎?).

I had to dig deep and be honest with myself. losing weight was about looking a certain way. But why? Who said that certain way is a sign of beauty, or even health? The expectations and desires I had weren’t about me, but others. It was more about an image than fulfillment.

So, inline with my focus on ”being” over “doing”, I had to ask myself those questions to force myself to get some sense and wisdom. I needed to change my mindset. The online fitness group I’m a part of knows this about me because I was trying to not care about my weight, but it kept on bugging me. What I was doing wasn’t working.

I want to be healthy and I want to accomplish physical feats, like running a 50k trail race. Losing weight does not fit in with these goals.

Since Jan 2, I’ve been increasing my daily calorie intake because I learned I was chronically under eating. Running may appear to be a solo sport, but it isn’t. I was able to find a great coach and am training according the plan.

I’ve gained 3 lbs. I looked at the scale and smiled. It felt sooooo good to not give a 💩 what the scale said. I already feel so much stronger on my runs and my confidence in being able to complete an ultra marathon increases with each day.

My body is healing from the damage of chronic under eating (especially while training). I’m confident my body will do what it needs to do to support my training as long as I fuel it properly and do all the things to support my body – like rest and fun.

Why am I telling you this? Because I wanted to and I can. Because someone may read this and reevaluate what their priorities are. Maybe someone who’s been trying to live up to an image society portrays as superior comes to realize they aren’t being fulfilled.

This is YOUR life. The expectations you have are placed there by YOU. Make sure those expectations align with your purpose and goals. Society will go on whether you play their game or not.

Play the game you want to play. You’ll find others playing the same game as you. It’s more fun to play with those people than playing a game just because “that’s what everyone else is doing.”

Be you, boo!

10 Mile Trail Run

Today I ran my longest trail run and it was tough. It’s a technical trail with lots of climbing, downhills, roots, and winding paths. But I enjoyed it.

As I hear up for my 2023 races, which I’ll be announcing soon, I’m also testing out fuel options. I highlight a few in this journal.


Mindfulness on a Run

Mindfulness is something I’ve been intentionally working on. To be honest, I don’t really understanding the word mindfulness – to me, it’s “being present”. But the word people use to describe this is mindfulness, so I’ll use it.

I started off last year with things going in one direction, but it didn’t take long before I realized I was going the wrong way. When it became clear it was time to stop, reassess and shift direction, the road back to where I came from was right there waiting for me.

It was full steam ahead, doing what I knew and did best – build. Dusting off the manuscript I had laid aside, I commited to finishing what I started.

I realized how I kept giving up my dream to help others accomplish theirs. But, I had commitments, opportunities, and offers. They seemed promising and could be exactly what I needed to help me when it was “my turn.”

But one day, while on a run, I prayed. “God, I’m so tired. I’m fatigued all the time. I can’t focus. I’m losing my drive and desire for excellence. What is happening? What am I doing wrong?”

Then I heard a still small voice in my heart, “I blessed you and the work you were a part of because your heart’s motive was good and I knew you would be a blessing to them, but, I never told you to get involved. Had you asked me, I would have said ‘it’s not my best for you.’”

Wow! I remember exactly where I was in that moment. I stopped running, leaned over resting my hands on my knees, and soaked in what I just heard as tears flowed from my eyes.

I could feel the pressure of the responsibility I felt for those I was supporting lift off of me. I had never noticed how heavy it felt carrying the weight of someone else’s ministry and calling – and I was doing it for a couple people.

What followed was uncomfortable conversations with people I love and admire to tell them that I needed to step away, completely. I even let go of a leadership role I had with a ministry my husband I had founded. That was nerve wrecking because I was the driving force behind everything that we did, but it was set on my heart “let’s see if someone steps up?”

As I laid down one role at a time, the weight got lighter and I was finally able to see what God had for ME. It was huge and it was scary, but the dreaming began. My mind was always going. I would dream, design, and build every day – even in rest days.

Rest days, that didn’t come every weekend, but when they did were sacred, were a much needed element in my life. I always made sure that at least one weekend a month, we had completely off and for rest.

But even still, one day in June I noticed that even after rest, I felt tired. I was fatigued. Exhausted.

I realized that although I was resting my body, I wasn’t resting my mind, heart, and soul. While I was in bed resting my body, I’d be designing, building, creating, and planning for the future. While I thought I was resting, my brain knew I was working.

When we went on vacation I decided to lay everything aside for 2 weeks. I wouldn’t think of the future, worry about it, or even plan for it. If I started to dream, i would remind myself that I’m not there right now, I’m here! I’m present! For 2 weeks, I’m going to be 100% present.

The first few days was hard. My mind wandered a lot and I would get these ideas, but I wouldn’t allow myself to act. After that, it got easier and I found myself not straying from the moment. I was enjoying where I was, what I was doing, without a care of what was to come – even the next day.

It was after that experience of truly being present, even mentally, that I realized I wasn’t truly resting when I thought I was. Because I had felt what it was like to truly rest and be present – be mindful – and I felt the benefits of it, in every way, I knew I needed to incorporate that in my life.

So, fast forward to my 7-mile long run this past weekend. Running with a group isn’t possible in this stage of my life because of my schedule, so I have to run alone. I used to let my mind wander a lot while running because it provided distraction and sometimes the time just flew.

As part of my therapy, running is my leisure time. Being present and mindful during your leisure will help maximize the mental and emotional benefits of this hobby. As my runs get longer, they get harder too – and I’m doing it alone. So, there is no conversation to distract me.

I chose to go on a destination run at a beach where I knew that I’d have places to stop for water if I needed some. This would provide me with scenery and atmosphere that I thoroughly enjoy and brings peace to my soul.

There’s a class I’m taking about identity, so I listened to that for about 30 minutes and made sure that if my mind went off wandering that I’d pull it back by looking around and bringing my attention back to the teaching. After that, I ran in silence. As I ran, I took in the sights, sounds, and scents of ocean life. Hawks and pelicans flew over head. I passed others walking or running. All while I watched and heard the waves crashing – a sound that soothes my soul.

Half way through I headed to the sand and took a few moments to take some deep breathes and be grateful that I live so close to the ocean – and several beaches that I could pick which ones I wanted to enjoy. I even had a chat with someone visiting.

The benefits of being mindful, even on a run are astounding, but physically what I can share is that, when I got home, instead of being exhausted from my run, I was energized and ready for my day.

It’s amazing what happens when we care for our brains as we care (or should care) for our bodies. The brain is what drives us.

So, I encourage you to try this mindfulness thing 😁. Start by taking a few moments a day and intentionally being present. Over time it gets easier and you’ll be able to turn it into a lifestyle. I never thought I’d be able to do it on such a long run, but it wasn’t as hard as I expected it to be. I truly enjoyed my run (as physically hard as it was) and made memories I’ll carry with me.

Lift, Stretch, & Fuel

Saturday, the day of the race, wound up being a busy day. As the day went on, I could feel my muscles tightening up. Running on grass and sand really pushes your muscles more than running on pavement. I did some light stretching, but it wasn’t enough.

Yesterday I went for a light 2-mile run to get my legs loosened up and spent 15 minutes after stretching.

I wasn’t sore from the race, but I was definitely tight. I could feel my hamstrings tightening, so I made sure to show my legs some love by taking a 20-minute epsom salt bath. Then, before I went to bed, I stretched for about 20 minutes. I was on my bedroom floor stretching my IT band when my husband asked me if I was still stretching and why I was stretching so much.

Previously running10 marathons and being a certified running coach, I’m coming into this fully aware of how to train for endurance races without breaking my body – which ultimately improves this whole experience.

This time around, there are areas I’m giving as much attention as my running.

Cross-train, stretch, and fuel.

I’ve made a plan and written it down. My half-marathon training schedule is underway and part of that is giving as much attention to my strength, flexibility, and nutrition.

Today was leg day! I have a home gym in my garage and have weights, so I used the Leg Day workout from A Little Obsessed on Beachbody On Demand with trainer, Autumn Calabrese. It was 30 minutes of intense back-to-back weighted leg exercises that included sliders – talk about a simple way to intensifier an exercise.

After the workout, I took another 20 minutes to stretch my legs and followed my workout up with a vegan protein shake from the Shakeology line. I have a training run scheduled for tomorrow, so I’m hoping that all the stretching, massaging, and fueling help prevent delayed onset muscle soreness.

So, whether you are a beginner, intermediate, or advanced endurance runner, know that having a well-rounded training plan that includes strength training, stretching, and proper fueling will drastically help your performance and enhance your experience – as well as prevent injury.

Until next time,

First Race of 2022

I ran a trail race as part of my training plan on January 1. It was half of a half, so it came out to 6.75 miles. It didn’t take long for the reminder that trail running is a different experience from running on the road. I ran on grass and soft sand for about 75% of the race – the remaining was on hard sandy road. My legs felt heavy for most of the run, but my heart was handling it like a trooper, so I pushed myself the entire race. I knew my legs could handle it.

Quarter Marathon Trail Race

Focusing on my posture the entire race, I could feel the effort required from my hips and groin, but with one foot in front of the other, I kept moving forward. My average pace for the race surprised me because of how hard this race felt, but I guess it goes to show just how much I pushed myself.

Although I was focused and determined, I did my best to enjoy the experience. It was my first time there and a beautiful location. I didn’t take as many pictures as I would have liked to (considering how beautiful it was), but I did get a few so I had something to remember the experience.

I did have an extra treat by having my daughters and their friend run the 5k race, so I had company before and after the race – and pictures and video of my finish.

I finished the race with a full heart, sandy shoes, and a runner’s high.

The perfect finish to the first race of the year.

Until next time,

2022 – Here We Come

3 miles ✅
I’m starting the new year off with a race. I figured it’s a great way to start off 2022 since I’m on a journey to marathon #11.

While this isn’t a resolution – I mean, I did start before the new year – I’m excited about 2022.

2021 was a year that I put all my to-do goals aside and focused on becoming. During a course on leadership and after reading The Love Code, I threw out my mission and vision statements. Not because they are bad but because I wanted to start over. I was limiting my success by focusing on action, instead of being. My goals transformed from things to do to someone I wanted to be. And that was what I’ve been working on all year.

Ironically, I accomplished some pretty awesome goals – without it even being on my list. Funny how that happens. I learned it in a book I read and can now confidently say, who you are matters more than what you do because what you do comes from who you are. When you focus on becoming you will be successful 100% of the time because you have control over that.

None of this changes going into the new year. I continue to focus on who I am – and it is priority. But I do have some goals that are task oriented, so it’ll be interesting to see how I balance that. To be honest, I’m better prepared for it now because of the intentionality behind focusing on my being instead of my doing – mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, and physically.

In 2022 I want to be more peaceful and hopeful.

How about you?