Hi everyone! Thank you for all the love shown the past couple of months. I am truly grateful and thankful for your support. I know I have been missing in action on here. Sorry! I have two drafts to posts I started writing but could never get the words to flow right. I hope to get those finished soon. Derek Jeter & Peyton Manning deserve it.
In the mean time, please check out my column today in The Dispatch. This column means a lot to me!
For most runners, spring officially marks the start of RUNNING SEASON.
Unless it is 2014. And you live on the East Coast. And you live in the South where it is 9:55am and it is a balmy THIRTY degrees.
Spring has DEFINITELY missed the memo. Oh. Yeah, spring paid us a visit Friday and Saturday. Tricked us into believing she would be here for a while. Tricked me into believing I might be able to retire my pea coats until November. Tricked me into thinking I would finally be able to put my brand new running shoes on the pavement. Oh. Yeah. Surrrre, I can go running anytime I chose to. Well except for when it is snowing, sleeting and freezing raining. Oh and the temperature is below ummmm 45. Oh. Yeah. I know. This means you can count on your hands how many times I have gone running, outside, since mid-December.
I am struggling ya’ll. Everyday when I hop in Louise(my car) and I catch a glimpse of my I heart Running keychain dangling like a loose strand of hair, a part of me sulks. I have tried to be a person who is thankful constantly. Even for the cold weather because it signifies that I am alive and that my senses are doing their job. However, we all have our preferences and this spring baby prefers sunshine, blooming flowers, trees full of leaves, a few clouds in the sky and temperatures 75 and above. It is coming! I know it is. I just hope it gets here sooner rather than later.
Thankfully, I see temperatures ranging between 68-70 in the next few days. If I want to quench my craving, then it is a must that I break out the new kicks and give them a spin within the next few days. If I wait and the cycle we have been in for the past month continues, then I will be sitting here next week typing the same story again as I stare at the anything but spring like temperature staring back at me on my phone.
In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you ~1 Thessalonians 5:18
Every fourth Thursday in November, people gather with family and friends to eat, drink, watch football, play football, chat, laugh and eventually take naps. At some tables, there will be a prayer said before those present begin to sample the feast laid out before them. At most tables, thank yous will be said and thankfulness will be acknowledged. At my table, we will do both.
Thanksgiving is a day set aside for us to be just that, thankful. However, in my life Thanksgiving is not just a day it is a lifestyle. When I arise from my sleep, I am thankful. When I go to sleep, I am thankful. All the hours in between, I am thankful. I am thankful because I realize that my life does not have to be as fabulous as it is and I realize that circumstances could change at any moment that would drastically alter my fabulous life. Do I have everything I want? Nope. Do I have everything that I need? Yes. Even though it seems like at times I am lacking in some “needy” areas but it has not stopped me from doing what needs to be done.
So on this day, a day set aside to give thanks, I want to give thanks publicly. Below are a few things I’m thankful for…
1) I am thankful for my relationship with my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Without a doubt, I know that I would not be the person I am today without him. I would not have survived some of the mental, emotional, physical and spiritual traps that were set for me. He keeps me sane in an insane world. I seek to please Him in all that I do. He died for me so I will live for Him. SN: If you are reading this and you do not comprehend how I feel, my prayer is that one day you will feel the same way.
2) I am thankful for my family. All of them. My family is my backbone. When I don’t have anyone on this Earth that I can call upon, I know I have my family. Their love, support and reality checks are priceless. I draw a tremendous amount of strength from them and I am blessed to be linked, by blood, to each one of them. Without them, there is no legacy for me to uphold.
3) I am thankful for my friends. I am blessed to have an amazing group of friends who love me, support me, encourage me, correct me, uplift me, motivate me, inspire me and celebrate me. The older I get, the more I can appreciate those who have stuck by me when I had nothing to offer other than my love and friendship.
4) I am thankful for food. Seriously. Not just because it is necessary but because it is sooooo good. I love to eat! And I love fresh baked bread.
5) I am thankful for heat. I’m not made for this cold weather ya’ll. Nevertheless I am thankful for it because it means I am among the living.
6) I am thankful for my love of sports and working out. Nothing cures a bad day like a good run/workout and a game on my tv to scream at.
7) I am thankful to be home. It was not in my original plan but GOD’s plan is ALWAYS better than mine. This is exactly where HE needed me to be. I totally get it, now.
8) I am thankful for the beach. The peace, tranquility and serenity of the beach is unmatched.
9) I am thankful for the ability to see, hear, taste, touch and smell.
10) I am thankful for the many opportunities I have had to give back over the years. The joy I get when I am able to help others is indescribable. I take none of the credit. I am always thankful to GOD for placing me in the position to be able to help.
11) I am thankful for books. Not Kindles or Nooks. Books! I love to read! Sadly, I have not had much time lately to read as much as I would like but I have made a vow to read at least three books before the end of the year.
12) I am thankful for my blog. My own little space in cyberspace to share how I feel, when I want to, how I want to.
Aaaaaah, what a great weekend. Anytime running and football are involved, it is ALWAYS a great time! So of course, you all recall my excitement from four days ago when August FIRST hit. The start of football season!! Well Saturday night was the National Football League Hall of Fame Enshrinement, one of my favorite events. I love to hear all the speeches where players, coaches and executives all talk about their childhoods, families, influential persons, coaches, former teammates, highs and lows and their dreams. Saturday night provided me with all of that. From former offensive tackle/guard Dallas Cowboys guard Larry Allen talking about his first date with his wife(I mean who does not love a a story that involves two whole chickens and a 40 ounce), to former Green Bay Packers linebacker, Dave Robinson, saying some of his friends and family were watching down on him, proud because of his induction, and that some of them may be looking up at him to former Minnesota Vikings wide receiver, Cris Carter, telling his mama(after having her stand up so he could pay homage to her), “Sit down Mama! You in the Hall of Fame!” The induction ceremony provided me with the opportunity to have the type of day Jimmy V said we all should have everyday. The speeches made me laugh, think and cry. To see these gentle giants essentially turn into giddy little kids before your very eyes as they soak in all that being enshrined into the Hall of Fame has to offer is truly a joyous occasion. CONGRATULATIONS to those previously named as well as legendary coach Bill Parcells, former Baltimore Ravens offensive tackle, Jonathan Ogden(who was the Ravens very first draft pick and is also the first Raven to be enshrined in the Hall of Fame), former Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle, Warren Sapp and former Kansas City Chiefs defensive tackle Curley Culp(who looks phenomenal for 67).
After an inspiring Saturday night, I set my sights on Sunday and you guessed it, running!! I rarely run on Sundays but I have been itching to connect with some new people in the area. I traveled over to the neighboring city of Winston-Salem to meet up with the Black Girls Run(BGR) Winston-Salem group. As much as my body tried to tell me, “hey, this is not what we do on Sundays”, I still pressed my way and I am glad that I did. I met a very nice group of ladies that included two women I already knew(Hey Tina and Sharolyn!). All of these women have a desire to live a healthy lifestyle, which includes running. I did a three mile run, that was not my best but hey I finished! Once you truly become a runner, you will learn that finishing is all that matters in the end. You can set time goals all you want. Sometimes you meet them. Sometimes you do not. However, if you finish you have already conquered the biggest task that laid in front of you on that trail/greenway/sidewalk/track. I thoroughly enjoyed myself. The scenery was nice. The trail was nice. The weather was even nice for 6:15pm on a Sunday. I look forward to joining the ladies next Sunday!!
So there you have it. My weekend in a small nutshell. A little sample of what I got into. Fun all around.
SN: The annual Hall of Fame game was played Sunday night. It featured the Dallas Cowgirls and the Miami Dolphins. So yeah, while I am starving for some football, I am NOT that desperate.
I LOVE TO RUN. If you have been faithfully following my blog then you are aware of this fact. There is no exercise I enjoy more than running. There is just something about getting out there and pounding the pavement. Or trail. Or grass. Or track. Or beach. I will run just about anywhere. Well, not anywhere but you know what I mean. I was not much of a runner until 2005. I was in graduate school at the time and I lived near a lake that had a paved trail around it. In an effort “get away from it all”, I would often go out to the lake and run. The trail was two and a quarter miles long so it usually took me anywhere from 19-30 minutes to run around once. I found a lot of serenity at the lake. It was surrounded by trees and there were plenty of geese, ducks and other water fowl to keep me entertained. This very lake I began to run around in 2005 was the same lake I was at in 2010 when I decided to run a marathon. I truly came full circle out there :-}.
So you want to start running? Here are some suggestions to get you started….
1. Figure out if you are the type of person who will need someone to motivate you to run or not. In most areas, there are running clubs so that would be a good place to start if you need some extra motivation.
2. Decide on a goal. My goal was to be able to go from running 2-4 miles to being able to complete a marathon(26.2 miles). Your goal does not have to be that outrageous or it can be. Whatever you decide, stick to it!
3. Research running. Sounds kind of crazy, right? Well up until 2010, I was running in the wrong types of shoes and clothing. I was also not worried about protein, which is essential to runners. There is all kinds of information out there to assist you in getting started. Research foods to eat, beverages to drink, different places to run, how to breathe properly while running, etc. By the way, when running, I inhale through my nose, exhale through my mouth…in your nose, out your mouth.
4. Go to a running store and get fitted for shoes. THIS IS IMPORTANT. In my opinion, it is the most important thing you need to do before you start running. The correct shoes are essential for your success. P.S. If you go to a store and the associate has you try on shoe but does not have you run in it, either in the store or outside, DO NOT BUY FROM THEM! Those that do it right will not let you leave without watching to see how you run in different shoes.
5. Buy some running gear. Do not run in cotton!! Cotton traps in heat and it is harder for your body to cool off when you are wearing it. Once I learned this, I understood why I always felt like I was going to pass out when I was running in a “wife beater.” Great fabrics to run in are nylon, rayon and polyester. Also, look into purchasing a fuel belt. These are essential on long runs because you will need to hydrate during your run.
6. Running is MIND OVER MATTER. Trust me. I can not tell you how many times I have had to repeat this to myself on 14 mile runs. There will be many days when your body will want to quit. Unless you are seriously injured, then you will have to push your body farther than it think it can go. Even on extremely hard runs, I have never regretted getting out there and getting it done.
7. Do not be hard on yourself. Some days will be better than others. Some days you will run an eight minute mile. Some days you will run a 12 minute mile. It happens. Do not beat yourself up about it.
I think that should be enough to get you started :-}. Now, go get your run on!! Have fun!
Sunday marked one of my favorite days of the year, Daylight Savings Time(DST)!!! Whoop whoooop!!! I know there are many of you who were not excited to lose and hour of sleep. I like to sleep too but I can sacrifice an hour to not have to deal with it being dark at 3:30pm. On top of that, its cold this time of year. So DST is always a welcomed day because for me it signifies to start of RUNNING SEASON!! Whoop whoooooop!!! Yeah, sure I can run year round and I do, to some extent. Ok, well I will go outside and run if the temp is 48 or above and it can not be windy. Or raining. It is very rare that you will catch me running in 30 degree weather. Between my nose running, my hands freezing, my body being warm and that crisp cold air smacking me across my face, I am completely miserable when running while it is cold. On top of that, I have to get up waaaaay too early in the morning to get a run in because it is too dark to run in the evenings. You will not catch me outside in a reflective vest. So I am happy!! Longer days. More time to enjoy the outdoors. Warm weather on its way. Um, yaaaaaaaaay!!