Browsing "Running"
Jan 18, 2017 - Health, My Story, Running    No Comments

My Marathon

Now that I can walk again, I am ready to talk about my marathon experience.

I did it!

I ran (and walked) 26.2 miles.

A year ago I made a “Bucket List” of things I wanted to do in life. Running a marathon was one of them! Running has been a very powerful spiritual analogy to me during my four years as a runner. Life is a marathon. It is not a sprint. And in this marathon of life, some miles are joyful and easy and your training comes in handy. But many many miles are hard or lonely and you fear you cannot keep going. I wanted to prove to myself that I can keep going in running and in life. I am not running either race alone. I have cheerleaders and spectators who care about me and will help me finish my race well in all ways. This matters. Even when you are experiencing your toughest miles and you feel like you are emotionally hitting a wall, someone cares, someone sees, someone is cheering you on. Look for your spectators and cheerleaders — and keep running.

At the Expo getting my bib!

I ran as “Taco Belle” because I have to be silly.

Lisa and I shivering in the cold at the starting line.

And nearly seven hours later… The finish line!

Iced up and dressed to the nines. 

My finest cheerleaders!

My team!

And as if that wasn’t enough, my sweet friend Jake brought his allowance money to the finish line and bought me a rose to celebrate my race. Not wanting to be outdone, my boyfriend followed up with this bouquet as well! 🙂

Thank you for cheering me on, friends. You make my miles of running, and of life, so much more enjoyable. Here’s to future miles!

Nov 9, 2016 - Running    1 Comment

Finish Lines

This past weekend I ran 19.3 miles. No, I was not chased. Yes, I paid for this endeavor. Yes, my legs are angry with my life choices.

I “competed” in the Wine and Dine Lumiere’s Two Course Challenge (say that three times fast!)

medals wine and dine

The two course challenge included a 10K (6.2 miles) on Saturday and a Half Marathon (13.1 miles) on Sunday. It also involved waking up at 2:30 am two days in a row to make it, along with 25,000 of my closest friends, to the starting line on time.

wine and dine lumiere candle

I dressed as Lumiere for one race, complete with flameless candles hot glued to my shoulders. I always have fun with the costuming portion of my races! The running… I get irritated with at some point! It was challenging. Parts of the runs were ugly. I was slower than I anticipated, but I was running toward a goal. And I wasn’t alone.

Not only was I surrounded by 25,000 fellow runners, but my dear friends were at the finish line. These sweet ladies, Laura and Betsy, woke up with me at 2:30, drove to Disney, slept in the car, met up with Nathan, and were ready to cheer as I crossed the finish line hours later.

This mattered.

No matter how ugly my race was, I wasn’t alone. I was running toward someone who loved me.

These are the object lessons that make me love running. I don’t always love putting one foot in front of the other for three hours, but I love how God uses this activity to remind me of truth. We are all running the race of life. Some parts will be easy. Some segments will be crowded. Others will be ugly, slow, and lonely. But it matters who is at your finish line. Who am I running towards? Because the answer to that question makes the entire race worth it.

Thanks, friends. You are delightful.

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May 4, 2016 - Running    1 Comment

Running Season

Hundreds of miles. Dozens of loads of laundry. Hours of stretching and recovery. For me, running season ended two weeks ago. Hurrah!

I finished this year in a galaxy far, far away with the Star Wars Half Marathon. After running the Light Side half marathon in Disneyland, I could not consider my season  complete without running with the partner Dark Side run! I was running solo (Han Solo, that is) and I decided to go all out and make a ridiculous costume. I was a running Spoiler Alert complete with pool noodle light saber piercing my body. (yes, I ran 13.1 miles with a flopping light saber!)

spoiler alert, han solo star wars

I was not prepared for the outpouring of emotion this would cause! I would say that 70% of my fellow participants thought it was an amazing, hilarious, and clever costume. But 30% of my fellow runners were still in mourning over the loss of their beloved character and I received some wrath along the course. It proved to remind me how powerful other’s comments and opinions could be. When I was at low points in the race (miles 8-11) and people yelled, “Too soon! How could you?” at me it made me drag my feet and slow down. Alternatively, when I was nearing the end of my energy and met a kind man gave me a high five and said, “This costume is amazing! A pool noodle, duct tape, electrical tape and a chopstick…You are the champion of the human species!” It added some pep to my step and got me through the last two miles.

Words matter. Kindness matters. I believe that there are no neutral interactions. In every conversation with a human being, I have the opportunity to encourage them and be a positive interaction. I can add pep to the bag boy’s step when I interact with gratefulness in the check out line. Or I can knock the cashier down a joy level through my curtness or snarkiness. The choice is up to me. Words are not neutral. Be kinder than necessary!
star wars medals

I am thankful for those who encouraged me and brought me through 13.1 miles. You share in my victory!medals running

Running Season stats:

Race Miles completed: 72.2!

Running shoes: 4.

Toenails lost: zero!!!

In the words of Bridget Jones, “An excellent year’s progress!”

Mar 1, 2016 - Running    No Comments

My Princess Three-Peat

I became a princess for the third time last weekend by running the Disney Princess Half Marathon! But I don’t run because I love running. I run because I learn life lessons.

 

During my months of training, whenever I got overwhelmed with the miles I had to run, I thought about my costume. This year’s choice was a sister suffragette from Mary Poppins. I lined up at the starting corral and the lyric came to mind, “Shoulder to shoulder into the fray.”

How true.

That is something I love about running. We are not competing (at least not at my pace!). We’re in this together. We cheer each other on in the race. I feed off the crowd and my fellow runners. I want more of this experience in other areas of life too. Community is important. Togetherness is powerful. Life is a “fray”. It is difficult, challenging, grief-filled. There is a reason life is described as a battle in scripture. We can fight well, arm ourselves wisely, and run with endurance. Marching through life with a sister suffragette by your side makes a difference.

sister suffragette run half marathon

 

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Shoulder to shoulder into the fray. So the question is: Who stands shoulder to shoulder with you in the frays of life? 

Feb 5, 2016 - Devotional, Running    1 Comment

Magic Shoes

I own magic shoes.

They can’t take me home if I click them three times like Dorothy’s.

They don’t have braces to straighten out my back, like Forrest’s.

They don’t bring Princes searching for me, like Cinderella’s.

My shoes are magic because they remind me of the power of small steps all added together. For the past three years, since I started running long distances, I’ve purchased a reward in the form of special shoes. (RunDisney had a big part in this when they started designing Disney running shoes!) Every time I wear them, I am reminded that I ran a really long way… and survived! They are little markers of my own bravery. They are mobile altars of remembrance which prompt me with each step, “Run with endurance the race set our before you.”

Before every race I silently recite Hebrews 12:1-3 to myself.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,  fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

My shoes talk to me. “Run well, Kelly. Run, not just this race, but life fixing your eyes on Jesus.”

Yes, like I said, magic shoes!

I like having things which have greater meaning that they first appear. I like sentimentality and purpose. I love wearing these shoes. These are my magic shoes. They are powerful because they remind me of the power of Jesus.

ariel new balance running run shoes

PS – they are extra magic as I wore my Ariel shoes exactly once, got sick, and lost my voice for three days. Coincidence? I think not!

What, in your life, helps you recall where you’ve come from and refocuses you to move forward?

 

Jan 31, 2016 - Health, Running    2 Comments

Rebel Challenge

Flying across the country.

Waking up at 3 am (many times…)

Running 19.3 miles.

Worth it!

I participated in the Star Wars Half Marathon Rebel Challenge two weeks ago and scored some major victory points and bling by doing two races in back to back days. I got to spend some time with delightful people, visit the happiest place on earth, and prove to myself, yet again, that I am capable of things I never thought possible.

Running has taught me a lot about life. Growing up, I was the asthmatic kid who was picked last for kickball. I could never run. In fact, I completed my first ever mile without stopping when I was thirty years old. Even now, I am not fast, I do not complete with my corral-mates. I just plod along… for hours. For nineteen miles!

My running is far from flashy. Far from perfect. Far from fast. But I go. I move forward. I’ve been learning that life is a series of small steps, which when taken faithfully, can add up to something great!

I keep telling myself not to worry so much about the Finish line. But to focus on having the courage to start! Do something you don’t think is possible. Then hustle, train, and prepare! And you just might shock yourself.

Small steps can move you.

Where are you running?

 

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Mar 15, 2015 - My Story, Running    No Comments

One More Finish Line

My roommates are rad.

As I hobbled in the front door after running 20 miles at the Glass Slipper Challenge focusing on the soreness in my thighs and the toenails I will likely lose, I heard someone shout, “Wait, don’t look! We have something for you.”

(When I was allowed to look,) I saw that our house had been transformed into a running course and a finish line. Crepe paper stretched toward the back door blocking off the “running course” from the “cheering zone.” One roommate cheered and held a sign. One passed me a glass of water as I hobbled past. And one crowned me with a homemade medal as I crossed through the crepe paper finish line.

It was perfect. 

It was the celebration that my heart loved! They thought about me. They knew these races made me nervous and that it was a big weekend for me. They wanted to show me that they cared. That’s what I love in a good friendship. People who know what is important to you and want to be involved. I proudly wore my handmade “Rad Roommate” medal the rest of the night and it currently hangs on my display rack.  I think it’s the most important one. It represents community, togetherness, celebration, and years of relationship with my house friends. Running has taught me a lot about pacing, endurance, grit, and mental determination. Living with others has taught me about community, togetherness, celebration, compromise, and encouragement. Life is full of lessons. I’m lucky enough to have roommates who help me remember this one — complete with hardware!

medals rad roommate

What lessons have you learned through sharing your life with others? 

 

Mar 12, 2015 - Running    3 Comments

The Glass Slipper Challenge

It was a chilly Florida morning at 3 am when I awoke for the Enchanted 10K. My friend Sara would be running with me both days – my teammate in it for the long haul. We huddled with 10,000 of our new friends, and oodles of mylar space-blankets, waiting for the release. We overcompensated for the cold and wore many layers. I was dressed as Rapunzel and was able to use my hair as a scarf for a little added warmth! Bonus!

rapunzel scarf hair

The Enchanted 10K was just that – enchanted! It was a delightful course winding through EPCOT and the Boardwalk. It was a perfect length to be challenging, but not exhausting. And we had fun with it. Sara and I ran intervals and enjoyed the race. We laughed as we passed mounds of scarves, hats, gloves, and jackets which our fellow runners had tossed as they warmed up. It was a relaxing warm up – in all ways! Warm up in temperature. Warm up in mileage. And Warm up mentally for me for the Princess Half the next day. 

enchanted 10K

It was an even earlier morning on Sunday when my alarm blared at 2:30 am and I let out a giggle of protest at my plans for the day. Getting up at 2:30 am to run a very long way! What was I thinking?! Sara and I spent the majority of the day after the Enchanted 10K stretching, icing, massaging, and ambulating in preparation for the next morning. We dressed in our costumes as Sully and Boo from Monsters Inc. And got ready for the challenge of the day.

sully and boo

 

Sara and I started strong, keeping to our planned pacing and enjoying the sights along the way. I love Main Street where scads of people gather to cheer on everyone. Yes, they likely have a specific runner in mind, but they also joyfully holler for us all. I remembered one cheerleader, Peggy Sue, in this very spot last year with her famous sign, “Hello, Perfect stranger, I’m proud of you.” and I got a little misty eyed. We turn right and jogged through Tomorrowland before running directly through Cinderella’s Castle. Just behind the castle, cast members were positioned handing out tissues. I snagged one assuming it was a prop for the photo op. I would gingerly dab the corner of my eye and try to get a good photo, but as I ran through the castle and caught a glimpse of everyone coming down Main Street, I actually needed the tissue to wipe a tear from my eyes! That was my magical moment this year.

castle run

Miles 8-10 are always my most difficult. I’ve been running a long time, feel spent, and still have a long way to go. Sara was hitting her wall as well. We slowed down, but stayed together. We were going to pull each other through this race. We were delighted to be surprised by a few friends at the 9 mile marker. It was perfect! We were in need of something delightful and seeing two familiar faces was just the thing. We trudged through the last four miles before reaching the Finish line, where the real magic happens. I set a record (for my longest ever half marathon time!), got ice for my irritable knee and proceeded to eat all the calories available!

ice knee run

Hardware follows Hard work. Amen. I wanted something tangible to show for my effort. Not just my effort over the past two days, or my mental stamina to keep going, but my effort throughout the entire training program. I earned my Glass Slipper medals and my Coast to Coast challenge (as I did the Star Wars Half as well– and wrote about it!) I have medals to show for my months of late nights and early mornings spent with just me and the road. These mean more to me than one day of competition. They represent all the ways I’ve “channeled Michael Jordan” over the years! I began running 30 seconds at a time and have slowly worked my way up to half marathons and combination challenges. They hang in my room, silently squelching my self-doubt. They are powerful. They are beautiful. They are heavy!

medals glass slipper challenge

Mar 9, 2015 - Running    No Comments

Channeling Michael Jordan

A week before the Glass Slipper challenge (a 19.3 mile race over two days!), I wasn’t excited, I was sick.

(I’ll spare you the details, but just know, it was gross!)

I’m not sure what bothered me most: the inability to ever maintain the correct temperature to blanket ratio for more than a minute, the incredible amount of tissue boxes that I consume in my snot-filled state, the hazy, drooped eye lids which only give me a partial view of the world, or the lack of productivity.

sick, ill, snot, kleenex

I know, I’m ridiculous! I was ill. I’m allowed to have a cold! But I sat, blew my nose, drank my tea, cleared my throat and thought of all the things I should have been doing. My mind raced saying, “I should be running one last training run. I should be stretching. I should be packing my bag to ensure the correct calorie intake for the races.”

But I couldn’t do any of that right then. I sat, dwelling on the miles I had to run shortly. I was nervous. I had been training for months. I had been looking forward to this challenge for months! I needed to find some endurance somewhere deep inside of me. I sent a bemoaning text to my friend about my viral state and anxiety about my upcoming physical exertion and she wrote back, “Channel Michael Jordan.”

I knew what she meant. Michael Jordan’s performance during game 5 of the 1997 NBA Finals is the stuff of legends. He woke up at 3 am the morning of the game with the flu. It’s almost all the commentators talked about throughout the game. The look in his eyes. The way he walked out hanging his head. And his incredible MVP-earning performance throughout the game. He found his drive deep down inside. He had endurance he didn’t realize. He relied on his training and his teammates to make it through.

And I did the same thing!

 

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These races became about something bigger to me. It was about finishing, not timing. It was about proving myself wrong and finding strength and energy I didn’t realize I had. I earned my Glass Slipper. I earned my medals. I earned a nap! Maybe I’ll go channel Rip Van Winkle instead of Michael Jordan for a while…

Where do you find energy when you need it most?

 

Mar 7, 2015 - Health, Running, speaking, travel    No Comments

Internal Daylight Savings

No, I’m not dead.

No, I haven’t decided to live off the grid.

No, I haven’t eloped.

February was just a blur. 

IMG_3398sick, ill, snot, kleenexenchanted 10K

Traveling, speaking, multiple illnesses, and a twenty-mile race can make a month very tight and very exhausting. I feel like I am just now able to process all that happened in February. Like my mind is living a month behind my body. It’s a new kind of internal daylight savings!

But I’m hoping to spring forward in more ways than one tonight. I want to align my clocks, watches, and internal system to live in the present. Yes, I need to think about my blur of a month, but I also need to live where I am. I don’t want to live life solely through my rear view mirror. I think back and muse, “Wow, I led a women’s retreat. I spoke for four hours about the Sabbath one month ago this weekend. Was that real?” I ponder such questions because the distance between my thoughts and my presence can keep me from enjoying what’s going on right in front of me. Maybe you feel the same. Nostalgic for what was and never fully enjoying what is. I am seeking to enjoy life past, present, and future. Remember good times, enjoy today, plan for the future. That’s my new daylight savings plan – enjoy the sunshine wherever it shines!

How do you train yourself to enjoy today and not worry about tomorrow or long for yesterday?

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