Browsing "Running"
Feb 11, 2015 - My Story, Running    3 Comments

Run Your Buns Off! And Write Your Thumbs Off?

That title will make sense — I promise!

star wars half

I ran the Inaugural Star Wars Half Marathon last month and had a delightful time. I set a personal record and cheered my good friend through the finish line.

AND as if that wasn’t enough– I got published! I submitted my article to a website called and was accepted. Running At Disney is a wonderful website (and not just because of the RAD acronym it creates.) It’s a place where normal people, not just Olympic runners can share their experiences and cheer one another on through each magical mile. It is a place where

I’m thankful for the opportunity to share my experience on multiple platforms. Click HERE to read more!

Or copy and paste this URL:

california adventure disney

Dec 18, 2014 - Running    2 Comments

Running into Lessons

In my previous post, I described my heart imploding in loneliness like a dying star after my last race. I was spent physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I felt like I had nothing left to give. I had to be brought low in order to be open to what I was supposed to learn.

Here’s what I’m thinking thus far. I am not sure if this is all God has in store for me on this front, but perhaps you can relate.

Lesson #1: It’s okay to need help.

I much prefer being the helper instead of the helped. I revel in this role. It’s my role at work at least 40 hours a week and I’m pretty good at it there. This dynamic of Kelly being (ore pretending to be) the strong one oozes out into other parts of my life. After my race, I was weak. I was weak physically and needed to eat and I was fragile emotionally. I needed help. And help was provided in likely and unlikely places. When I shared my struggles openly and without pretense, friends rallied to help me celebrate and encourage me. I am thankful that these relationships directly countered the lies I’d believed. People do care. They care about me and about what I’m doing. My needs were met even in the most basic of ways. After the race ran out of food, there were two kids in their front lawn watching the runners and passing out Tootsie Rolls. I grasped one, told them they were my new best friends and ate the calories hungrily. You don’t always have to be strong. It’s okay to need help. And sometimes help comes from unlikely sources.


Lesson #2: Expectations are Tricky.

I didn’t think I’d gone into this race with any expectations. I thought it was a freebie. A pre-race. A warm up. But the difficulty of it proved that I had expectations which were unmet. Expectations that I didn’t even know I had! Expectations that there would be food for me! Expectations that everyone knew what I was doing. Expectations that others were aware of my plans and how hard the race had been. I signed up for this race last minute and didn’t share the details widely. I didn’t even realize, until confronted with their lack of fulfillment that I  had expectations. A wise teacher told me long ago, “Unvoiced expectations are preconceived resentments.” Even as I say this, I want to say it apologetically for any resentment others experienced. The resentments are my issues because I didn’t voice my expectations not others’ faults for not living up to my subconscious expectations.  Perhaps you’ve dealt with this. Have you ever had times when you’re upset and not quite sure why. Perhaps your resentments are due to unvoiced expectations.


Lesson #3: We need community.

I need people. I need people to celebrate with me. I need people to listen to me when I cry. I need people to give me food when I’m completely spent. And I need to be such a person to others. We need community, honesty, and sharing in the good times and in the trying. We are created to need each other. I was forced in new ways to depend on others during and after my run into loneliness. And for that I am thankful.

I know there are other purposes and lessons hiding in my experience. It was far too powerful to leave me unchanged. But this is where I’m living now. Wanting to share the good and the bad, determined not to paint my life as rosier than it really is. How about you? What are you learning?

Dec 15, 2014 - Running    10 Comments

Running into Loneliness

I ran into loneliness. Literally.

Last weekend I participated in a Half Marathon. I signed up last minute to psychologically boost myself in preparation for my races in January and February. Those are the ones that are important to me. In my head this one was a freebie. I had no time goals. It was just for fun and to prove to myself that I could do it. I thought it was unimportant, but it turned out to be life changing.

I showed up at the start line just as the gun fired to release the pack. I was ready. Neoprene donned, water belt filled, bladder evacuated, breakfast eaten! I was ready to go. And for the first 8.5 miles, I did great. I was pacing myself to a 12 minute mile and pleased with how things were going physically. Mentally was another matter though.

Most people deal with thoughts like, “I can’t do this. I have to stop.” when they hit their mental wall. I didn’t. The lies that filled my head were, “You will finish, but no one cares. You are alone. No one is with you. No one cares about this race and no one cares about you.” It was perhaps the loneliest I’ve ever felt. The feelings were real, but the source was false. People do care about me and about my accomplishments. They want to celebrate with me. But no matter what I did, I couldn’t get those lies out of my head. They swam in my brain and took up residence for hours.

I was pacing well and was mentally focused on getting to mile 8.5 where they’d give out Gu packets (an energy gel). I just knew that when I got that, life would be better and I’d be able to finish the race well. Except they ran out of Gu packets just before I got there. Picture Kelly imploding like a dying star. The second half of the race was rough. I was spent physically, emotionally, spiritually, and had nothing to replenish myself in any arena. I walked and ran whenever possible. I was surrounded by people and was at the same time totally alone.

I rounded the very last corner and saw the finish line and started crying. Not out of a sense of accomplishment or joy, but because I knew no one was waiting for me. I cross the finish line crushing my previous recored by 11 minutes, got my medal, realized they also ran out of food at the finish line, hobbled to my car, and drove home. Still believing the lies and unable to celebrate my accomplishments.

half marathon OUC

Why do I share this tear-filled day of terribleness? Because I learned from it. Every experience matters. God does not waste pain. But He also doesn’t necessary share the purpose or the lesson right away. I had to sit in the mess for a while before gaining some understanding. So I will make you, dear reader, do the same. Life is messy, we must live in the midst of it.

What is your mess right now? What makes you cry? What lies are swimming around in your head and taking up permanent residence? Think about those things and know that God does not waste pain.

Nov 28, 2014 - Running    No Comments

Thinking Like an Athlete

I am an athlete.

I am in training.


I am taking care of my vessel.

Image source:

Image source:

I am an athlete, but not Olympic. Not record setting. Not famous or with sponsors. But I am competing. I’m competing against myself. It is Kelly’s feet vs. Kelly’s brain almost every time I run. But I’m leaning to think like an athlete. To know that short term goals turn into long term progress. To realize that every step I take forward is one more that I don’t have to take again. To think of food as fuel to go further instead of pounds to hold me back. To know the magic that happens when I cross the finish line.

I’ve said it before, I run to prove to myself that I can do things I once thought were impossible.

My training extends beyond my weekly runs. It happens everyday when I encounter a problem I thought was unsolvable or a blocked goal which I considered insurmountable, or a task which seemed incompleteable. Because I run, I keep going. Taking one step at a time, sometimes sprinting, sometimes walking toward a solution, a conclusion. Toward the finish line.

Oct 2, 2014 - Running    No Comments

Math and Rest

Don’t scoff. This math is fun!

I started running a few years ago and registered for a half marathon because my friend, Tracy, can get me to do crazy things. I had never run before in my life. I always said I was saving up my run because we are each allotted a finite amount of run in our lives and I might be chased some day and need all my run saved up! I started off with the “Couch to 5K” program running 30 seconds at a time and worked my way slowly up to running several miles. The training program I was following was from Olympian Jeff Galloway which recommended that I run for four minutes and walk for one minute and perform intervals throughout the entire race to perform the fastest.

I scoffed.

“What did he know?” I asked. “He’s only an Olympic distance runner. I’ve been doing this for six months, I obviously know better!” I continued to run, arguing with the program and repeatedly doing the mental math – if I run at a 10 minute mile and walk at an 18 minute mile, there’s no way I can finish faster if I walk every few minutes. So I pushed through, lengthened my time running, injured my knee and killed my feet until I had no choice but to walk intermittently… and cut 15 minutes off my time.

color run

God’s math is not like our math. Jesus is 100% human and 100% divine. Three persons=1 God. And in relation to the Sabbath 1+1 (working on Saturday and Sunday equally) is not the same as 2+0 (preparing for the Sabbath and taking a break). I didn’t believe that until I started running intervals. Learn from my foolishness. Olympic distance runners, and more importantly God, know what they’re talking about.

Sep 30, 2014 - Running    No Comments

My Wall of Accomplishment

It used to be that we put coloring pages, aced tests, and report cards on the fridge for posterity. I used to joke that something had to be deemed fridge-worthy to make it to that metallic, silver bastion of accomplishment.  Watch out, fridge, I’ve upped the ante. Now my successes will be proudly displayed on my (duh du-duh-duhhh!) Wall of Accomplishment! (If you read that with the sound of reverberation in your head, I’ve done my job well.)

It’s running season. Regular readers know that because of posts. My roommates know that because of my continual stretching on the living room floor. Anyone who has been around me knows that because I formulate my week around the best running times. I’m training. I’m earning medals. I’m pushing myself in ways I did not think possible a few years ago.

I need a place to celebrate!

I special ordered a one-of-a-kind wall hanger to display my running winnings and I hung it up today. As I sit here writing this, I can glance to my left and remember each race. How anxious I was in the starting chute. How long it took me to complete. Who ran with me and how I felt at the magical finish line.

My Wall of Accomplishment makes me smile.

But it would not be complete without the painted message as well which reads, “Run with endurance the race set before us.” That is from Hebrews chapter 12. It was my favorite Bible verse before I started running, but it has so much more meaning now. Life is a really long run; keep moving forward. Running has been a lengthy, sweat-filled, toenail-losing, muscle-cramping, incredibly rewarding object lesson for me.

All of those emotions return when I gaze at my Wall of Accomplishment. In life, as in each race, I run with endurance the race set out before me. I race against myself, but I do not race alone.

wall of accomplishment, medals, run, running, finish line

Here’s to earning more medals! If you’re interested in your own Wall of Accomplishment (or just for fun!) my friends Kat and Cobie at and order your own!

Sep 24, 2014 - Running    No Comments

Miracle Miles

My feet look like giant prunes.


Worn and wrinkled from two hours of rain and miles of movement, my aching feet are my trophies of victory.

9.3 miles… check!

This race benefitted a local neonatal unit, something near and dear to my heart. Plus we got bibs, baby food, and toys at the finish line!

15K miracle miles run

I signed up for this race without a ton of training. It is just the beginning of running season after all, so I haven’t trained further than three miles yet. I registered for this race for psychological reasons. If I run this race well, I can look back in the spring, when I have two half marathons (and more!) and think, “Hey, I ran 9.3 miles without sufficient training! I’m golden!”

running time miracle miles

In life, you don’t always get proper training time. Sometimes you’re thrown into a new situation without time to collect yourself or think ahead. Life is full of insufficient training. Rarely do we feel fully prepared for something new! What do you do in this midst of those situations? Do you run the next mile? Do you glance at the friend running next to you for support? Do you encourage the flagging runner? Do you do think about how far you’ve come instead of how far you have to go?

I’d only run 3 miles before last Saturday! Though I felt woefully underprepared, I ran three times as far as I had previously. You are capable of incredible feats. And maybe you’ll have prune feet trophies to show it too!

Think back to times when you succeeded though insufficiently trained and let that be an encouragement to you today!






Sep 12, 2014 - Running    2 Comments

It’s Running Season

Don’t hate me feet.

Or knees.

Or hips.

Or lungs for that matter!

Why do I make these requests whilst wrapped in Kinesio tape and neoprene?

Because it is officially running season.

run for joy, night of joy

The pretty, well put together “before” picture.

My first race of the season was last Saturday. I ran with my friend Olivia in her first ever 5K. It was a tough run. I didn’t feel properly trained, stretched, or prepared. Not to mention the fact that my GPS device told me I had completed 3.1 miles about a half a mile too early (it was really tough to keep running after that misinformation!) But I don’t run to keep time or earn medals or beat the competition. I run to prove to myself that I can. I run as a picture of the race of life. Sometimes it is arduous, sometimes you want to quit, sometimes a voice tells you that you’re finished a half a mile too early.

Keep going.

Take a breath. Put one foot in front of another. Glance to your side and know that friends are running with you.

That’s why I run. That’s why I’m excited it is the start of running season.

Together we run for joy!

run for joy after

The sweat-soaked, sore, I-need-calories-now “after” picture!


Apr 12, 2014 - Health, Running, Uncategorized    No Comments

Celebrating Problem Solving

Have I mentioned that I love MacGyver?


It may have come up once or twice.

MacGyver is my hero. I love his creativity and quick thinking and ability to problem solve in the face of trial.

Here’s my latest MacGyver moment.


I ran a five mile race last weekend (and set a personal record of 56:05!), but that’s not even the crux of this story. After races there are often booths with sponsors and lots of free giveaways. Pens, pins, and Post-Its galore! When I see this I want to sing, “These are a few of my favorite things!” I walked through the tents after just running five miles– spandex-clad, breathing heavily, and attempting to rehydrate — picking up loot until my fingers could hold no more. Items kept slipping through my sweaty grasp and I got tired of it. Often times one of the sponsors gives out bags to hold all the loot in, but alas, at this race that was not in the cards.

MacGyver to the rescue!

I didn’t want to return to my car or miss the award ceremony (because my friend, Jenn, won the race and I wanted to hoop and holler for her!) So I MacGyvered it. I found a discarded NutriGrain box in the trash pile left over from the mound of food set out for the runners and began pooling all of my items into it. Pens were clustered in a coozie followed by paper products and granola bars. It fit perfectly. So I walked around with a NutriGrain box on my hip, thinking nothing of it until my friend, Jenn, who incidentally was the race winner, noticed it and said, “Kelly, you’re amazing! Where did you find that box and how did you think of that?” She glanced in to see just how much stuff I had packed into my container (I am not shy when it comes to free pens!) and then said, “Please blog about this!”


Today I celebrate problem solving, creativity, and mental flexibility. But even more than that I celebrate friends who notice and laugh at my quirks and encourage me the small victories in life.


Feb 26, 2014 - Running    4 Comments

Mission Accomplished!

Sweaty. Spent. Sore.


I completed the Disney Princess Half Marathon in the wee hours of Sunday.

Here we can journey through the day together:

Prerace runSarah, me and CariAnn bleary-eyed, but excited at 3 a.m. about to board the bus and head toward the starting line. We are dressed as Crush, Marlin and Dory from Finding Nemo and ready to chase Nemo through the race!

magical raceDisney wishing us luck as we trekked to our start corrals.

fog run

Running in 100% humidity with 24, 000 of my closest friends.

fog glassesTrying to see out of my humidified glasses though nothing on my was dry!

Tracy mile 4I spotted our spectators at mile four just before entering the Magic Kingdom and was so excited! I ran off of that energy for several miles (I’m blurry because I’m running so fast!) The notching at the top is the evidence of a sign Tracy made which read, “Ay pompi!”

Sarah Mile 4Sarah was better at posing than I was!

finish line

Posing with my medal at THE FINISH LINE!

medical, nurse

I was even excited to meet the kind medical professional who provided me with some ice! Everything was delightful at the finish line!

Finish LineThe EPCOT ball has never looked so beautiful to me as when I spotted it from the peak of the second overpass and knew I had two miles to go.

The toughest part of the race to me was miles 9-11. It was two hours in, I was depleted and tired and still had miles to run. On top of that we were having to run up hill over two large clover leaf overpasses straining my already tired muscles to their straining points. It was then that I realized how many people were in this mission with me. Sarah and CariAnn were keeping my pace and encouraging throughout the entire race. Tracy, Nathan, Jonelle, Cari and Marla were ready with signs, cowbells and custom-made “Princess Kelly’s Entourage” t-shirts to cheer me on. Not to mention numerous people who texted, Facebooked, and emailed to see how I did this weekend. I was not running this race solo. It was very much a team sport.

One of my coworkers, Jenn, who herself is an avid runner and a source of wisdom for me in my training, told me that I would be great at this race on a particularly difficult day for me. She said, “Kelly, you’re going to kill it. I’m talking cross the finish line and mic drop saying, ‘Kelly, OUT!'” That image made me laugh so much that I found a small microphone charm and pinned it to my bib.

mic drop, bib, Kelly out

When I was running up hill and wasn’t sure if I could go on, I thought of that microphone charm. It represented the voice of so many friends and family members who were cheering me on, amplifying my achievement, and waiting to celebrate with me. I truly was surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses who clapped, cheered, jumped, and shouted for me to run with endurance the race set out before me. They made the weekend worth all the sweat, pain and training I had endured for months.

Who is in your entourage? And who do you cheerlead for?

Life is a team sport. It matters who you run with.

Kelly's Entourage








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