"All Things"

An adoptive mom who loves Christ, family, running, fitness, and all things health related.

Catching up & My Marathon

I’m still here and I my marathon is complete!!

How did I get so far away from blogging?!? While I love documenting my life, I was finding that it was better for me to be LIVING than to worry about documenting my runs, eats, etc. I love blogging, but when life gets busy (and these past couple of months have been BUSY), it gets put on the back burner! Here are some highlights:

Image

Beeker and I went on an amazing hike

Image

We celebrated baby Molly at Kate’s shower! (Molly is due TODAY!!)

Image

Holly turned ONE!

 

Image

Ree came with me to my Senior Trip to Dorney Park, where it POURED all day long!

Image

We surprised Dawn with a 40th Birthday Party!

The past two months were filled with lots of training, hard work, love, motivation, and time with family and friends! I finished up my 7th school year teaching (YAY!), AND I completed my marathon!

I am still basking in post-marathon glory!! The race was amazing!

My goal going into the race was to finish under 4:30, and I ended up finishing in 4:38.  I was absolutely THRILLED with this time.  Although the race was beautiful (through Pennypack Park), it was a difficult course…the weather was hot, there were some pretty substantial hills, and there was a 1.5 mile trail section that was killer! I read about the trail section, but was surprised at how “trail-y” it really was! On the first loop, it was fun to jump over tree stumps and splash through the mud; on the second loop (mile 20), it was so painful on my knees!! The other difficult part about the race was the lack of crowds.  Seriously, there were NO crowds for the entire race! One of the things that is exciting about a race is having a crowd to cheer you on.  So, this marathon required a lot of personal motivation and determination.

I was SO nervous in the days leading up to the race.  I focused on mentally training myself for the marathon and making sure that I had the proper nutrition for the race (hello, carbs!).  

Image

My dinner the night before the marathon!

The thing that I was most nervous about was running the race by myself, without my coach.  I mentally rehearsed the race all week and was ready when I lined up at the start line to rock it!

Image

Swag

The first half of the race was great.  I cruised through the loop feeling good. I knew early on, however, that I was going to have to adjust my time goal for the weather.  It got hot really quickly, and I focused on trying to make sure that I stayed hydrated and cool.  I walked through each water stop and took 2 waters- one to drink, and one to pour on my head.

Beeker and I decided that I would signal to him how I felt at the half way mark.  When I went through the turn around, I gave him the thumbs up that I felt great.  I loved going through and seeing my family and friends cheering their hearts out for me!!

The second loop of the race was a lot more difficult than the first.  I hurt my knee during the first trail section and was battling that pain between miles 14-20.  Mostly, it was just hot.  I saw the medical team rush out 2 or 3 times to pick up runners that were getting sick from the heat.  Very scary.  At one point I got a chill and realized that I was not sweating as much- not good.  I stopped at an aide station and poured 3 cups of water on myself to cool off- it did the trick and I was able to keep running.  

I took a gel gummy every 2 miles, so I broke the race up into 2 mile increments.  Once I got to mile 20, I was golden. I knew I would finish and finish strong.

Miles 20-25 seemed so long, but when I was about a mile away from the finish, I started to get really excited.  When I turned the corner and saw the finish line, I turned off my music so that I could hear the crowd.  Well, my family and friends saw me before I could see them and I could hear them screaming and calling my name.  Words cannot express how HAPPY and GRATEFUL I was to see them and to have them all there to cheer me on- I felt so loved! My cheering section included: Beeker, my mom, Dawn, Juliet, Kristianna, Holly, Alyssa, Annmarie, Kate, Mark, Pam, Casey, Kenzie, and Scarlett!!! Thank you to everyone that supported me and for all those that came out to watch me finish- it really meant the world to me! <3

I love my pictures from the finish line, because I am smiling so BIG. I was so so so happy.  

I went into this race repeating my mantra, “I can do ALL THINGS through CHRIST who strengthens me.”  I am praising Him for strengthening me during my race.  Hallelujah!

Image

My coach, always.

Image

My biggest cheerleader- my mama

I am SO happy that I decided to run this race.  It did exactly what I wanted it to: gave me something to focus on during my wait and helped me to feel strong and confident.  I am excited to run a fall marathon…I really think that I could run FAST on a cool day with lots of crowd support! We will see ;)

For right now, I am continuing to run my mile a day (even the day after the marathon- hello, sore legs), while enjoying summer with family and friends, and looking forward to so many things.

LIKE…… 

We are anxiously awaiting the arrival of BABY MOLLY, who is due today!!! I cannot wait to snuggle our best friends’ baby girl!! I am so proud of Kate and Mark- they are such fabulous parents already. So blessed to be able to walk through all of life’s journeys with such wonderful friends!

This week, Beeker and I are taking part in the “Living Below the Line” challenge.  We are blogging about our experience on our site, www.run2ourbaby.com. Check it out! We are in day 2 of our challenge, and the Lord is already moving our hearts in more ways than we could have imagined.

Next week we are going down the shore with our family for the week, YAY!

The following week, Beeker and I are going to West Virginia on a Mission Trip with our church. We will be leaving on our 7 year anniversary…7 years! :)

All along the way, we are PRAYING for our phone to ring- waiting for the call that will change our lives.  Through it all we are TRUSTING in the Lord’s perfect plan while being OVERWHELMED by His strength and power.

I am sure I will have a lot to write about in the coming months….

 

Race Report and Fitness for the Week

Yesterday was the St. Luke’s Half Marathon- a race that is near and dear to my heart.  Not only is the race super close to my house and goes through my favorite park, but it is also the first half marathon race that I ever ran (4 years ago).

This year I decided to run the race with my friend, June, from church.  June was diagnosed with MS 8 years ago.  It was truly an inspiration to run the race alongside her; to encourage one another, and to be able witness her incredible strength.  Even when her body started to turn numb, June kept running.  As she ran, she recited my favorite verse, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”.  June is the essence of strength, faith, and determination from the Lord. When we crossed the finish line together, we were both weepy.  It was an awesome race!!

Since I had 18 miles on the books yesterday, I went through the finish line and then back out to finish up my run.  I ran the last 5 miles at a pretty good pace, and it was fun to go back out to encourage other runners as they were nearing the finish line and to thank the volunteers for their hard work.

Split
Time
Distance
Avg Pace
Summary 3:11:42.9 18.00 10:39
1 10:18.3 1.00 10:18
2 10:16.4 1.00 10:16
3 9:55.9 1.00 9:56
4 10:32.9 1.00 10:33
5 10:16.5 1.00 10:16
6 10:37.2 1.00 10:37
7 11:08.6 1.00 11:09
8 11:31.8 1.00 11:32
9 11:43.4 1.00 11:43
10 11:43.4 1.00 11:43
11 11:58.6 1.00 11:59
12 12:26.1 1.00 12:26
13 12:41.0 1.00 12:41
14 2:35.4 0.20 13:04
15 9:38.4 1.00 9:38
16 9:07.9 1.00 9:08
17 9:04.1 1.00 9:04
18 8:47.0 1.00 8:47
19 7:20.0 0.80 9:10
Brian brought his bike along to the race so that he could see us at different points. It was also nice because he was able to bike alongside me for my last 5 miles.  
When I finished my 17 miler last weekend, I could not even imagine running a full marathon.  However, yesterday I felt strong. Yesterday I felt like, if I had to, I could have ran a full.  I think the key was that I went slow the first half.  I MUST remember this on my long runs this month and in the marathon.  Start slow- finish fast.
After the run, we met Kristianna and Holly at Icecream World for giant soft serve cones- the perfect way to refuel!
It was a blessed weekend for sure :)
Fitness for this week:
Sunday: 18 miles
Monday: 1 mile & maybe light yoga to stretch and recover
Tuesday: 5 miles
Wednesday: 8 miles
Thursday: 5 miles
Friday: 1 mile
Saturday: 13 miles
I am also committing to eating only whole foods this week.  My runs improve so much when I cut out processed foods.  I would LOVE to lose 5 lbs before my marathon.  5 lbs = less to carry with me during the run!

When the Lord meets you right where you are.

Today my good friend, Pam, and I went to the Priscilla Shirer Simulcast at Life Church in Allentown. Pam and I used Priscilla Shirer’s book, The Resolution for Women, to have a Bible Study throughout this school year.  The book and the studies have blessed Pam and I so much and it has been such a joy to grow in Christ with my dear friend.  The Lord has not only blessed us individually during this year, but also blessed our friendship so much.  I am so happy that I have this sister in Christ to journey through life with.

We had planned to attend this simulcast since we heard about it back in October.  I remember thinking that I probably would not be able to go because I figured that I would be traveling or just have gotten home with my babies.  Well, here we are- still waiting.  In fact, Monday marks 10 months at #1 on the sibling list. Yeesh.

I had a long week and was feeling emotionally run down and exhausted this morning. I woke up in a little bit of a funk and prayed that the Lord would speak to me during the simulcast, that He would reveal what He wanted me to hear, that He would meet us there and bless us.

God showed up in a BIG way today.  The simulcast was amazing.  I’m talking hair stand on the back of your neck- wanna shout with joy- feel I am the only one in the room with the Lord- type of amazing.  I am always so blown away by how God can take a broken spirit and bless it; how He can give me strength when I feel like I have none left; and how He can speak to everyone, in different situations, so personally and beautifully.  Our God is amazing.

During one part of the event Priscilla Shirer had a special prayer time where she devoted one minute of prayer to different situations.  For example, she began by praying for marriages.  First,  she asked anyone who has experienced a divine blessing in their marriage to stand up as a witness for what He can do.  Then, anyone needing prayer for their marriage raised their hand and we spent a minute all praying for people’s marriages. This was such a neat way to touch on a variety of prayer requests and to connect to other women.

I loved praying for different needs: for addiction, for financial concerns, for healing.  So beautiful.

Then it happened.

Priscilla said, “and now I want to pray for the women whose hearts are aching for a baby.”

My heart started to race and my head whipped up. Seriously?

She continued, “for those who are experiencing infertility, that the Lord would work a miracle in their body….and for those who the Lord has called to adopt….”

Now I was crying.

“…that the Lord will match these women with their children.” And then- I promise you this is true- she said, “I got a tweet from a woman who is in the process of adopting.  She has waited for a long time to see her children’s faces and would like prayer that the Lord will reveal those faces to her soon.  She is adopting from Ethiopia.”

Pam turned to me and said, “did you tweet?!?!?”

Nope. I don’t even have a twitter.

Wow.  Seriously, wow. Not only did God meet me right where I was today, He spoke to me and let me know that He hears me, that He’s working, and that He will complete what He has started in my life.

Pam and I stood together, hands in the air, hugging and crying, as thousands of women prayed for infertility and adoptions.

It was a divine moment.

The Lord met me right where I was.

This day was blessed for sure.  I asked the Lord to speak to me, and He did.  He always does.

The actual message of the simulcast deserves its own post- it was amazing. I loved it so much.

I was blown away with the whole event, but absolutely stunned and so so so blessed by the outpouring of love from our father.  I cannot believe that she not only prayed for adoptions, but for a woman waiting to meet her children from Ethiopia.  I believe God sent that tweet especially for me.  He was saying,

“I know, Heidi.  I am here, I am working.  You just keep on trusting me, girl, because I am going to bless you in ways you never ever believed possible.  Don’t give up.  I got you and your babies right where I want you- and that is in the palm of my hand.  I will never, ever let you go.  You do not have to worry about your babies because guess what? They were my children long before they were yours and I love them completely.  I will take care of them, comfort them, love them when you can’t. They are my chosen and dearly beloved.  I have big plans for them and I will carry them, just as I have carried you, all the days of their lives. And, one more thing, Heidi.  When I do it- when I reveal my plan to everyone- there will be no way to explain it except that it came from me.  Your story- your journey- your weakness- it is all to display my glory. They are coming.”

Bless it, Lord.  You are amazing.

April 21st Fitness for the Week

Whew! What a great weekend!!!

I woke up this morning a little sore from my 17 miles yesterday.  As I went out the door to do my 1 mile, I instantly felt myself starting to loosen up and enjoy the run.  There is something that is so simple about only running 1 mile.  So easy, so free.  In and out. It felt good.

As I turned down the hill and headed towards home, I was praying so hard for this week, for our babies, for this to be THE week.  The birds were chirping, the sun was out, and the air just felt so fresh.  A song came on my IPod that said: “My hope is in you, Lord, all the day long. I will not be shaken my drought or storm.  The peace that passes understanding is my song…my hope is in you.”  As I ran down the hill on this beautiful morning, praying and singing this song, I was so overwhelmed by the Lord’s presence.  We’re talking a make me cry-give me goosebumps- HE IS HERE moment.  Wow.  I love it so much when I can physically FEEL the Lord’s presence.  I felt such a peace come over me- I know that HE is working on behalf of our family.  I trust in Him completely. It was such an awesome moment- one that I did not want to end. Like a dream that I try to prolong, I circled my block a couple of times just reveling in God’s peace.

I feel so close to God and to my babies when I run.

I LOVE it.

Good thing this week will include lots of running {and praying}

Sunday: 1 mile

Monday: 1 mile + Jillian’s advanced yoga- my first time trying the advanced workout!

Tuesday: 5 miles + arms & abs

Wednesday: 8 miles pace-  I can go faster this week.

Thursday: 5 miles + arms & abs

Friday: 1 mile + maybe yoga

Saturday: 1 mile <—I am changing my long run day to Sunday because I will be running the St. Luke’s Half Marathon! :)

Running & praying….praying & running

Long run report

Today I had 17 miles on tap.

I thought about it all week- my longest run during this training cycle- and I was definitely nervous going in.

Luckily, my friend Sam met me at my favorite park to run the first 10 miles with me.  Sam is such a great running partner.  I loved running and chatting with her- it made the miles go by so quickly! Sam and I went to high school together, lost touch through college, and have recently reconnected. I am so happy that we did! She is the best and our friendship is so natural.  Even though we go long periods without seeing each other, we seem to just pick right back up where we were.  I love that. And, she is a runner- what could be better?!  I really enjoyed our run and was nervous about how I would do once I left her.  

Sam showed me a new route that I decided to circle back and do again for variety.  So, I basically ran the same loop twice, which is great because this mimics the marathon course. I felt really strong in the beginning of the second part.  However, by mile 14, I was realllly missing my Beeker on the bike next to me.  He is such a great coach during the last couple of miles. I wanted to be done and I needed more water.  Marathoning is obviously extremely physical, but it is also such a mental game…. SUCH a mental game.  By mile 14-15 I was really digging deep. I slowed down at the end, but overall I was pretty happy with the run and with my pacing. 

Laps17
Split
Time
Distance
Avg Pace
Summary 2:45:25.7 17.00 9:44
1 9:35.4 1.00 9:35
2 9:27.4 1.00 9:27
3 10:09.8 1.00 10:10
4 9:26.1 1.00 9:26
5 9:13.9 1.00 9:14
6 9:35.4 1.00 9:35
7 10:06.3 1.00 10:06
8 9:54.4 1.00 9:54
9 9:43.6 1.00 9:44
10 9:23.3 1.00 9:23
11 9:39.2 1.00 9:39
12 9:27.3 1.00 9:27
13 9:44.5 1.00 9:44
14 9:50.0 1.00 9:50
15 9:44.8 1.00 9:45
16 9:55.4 1.00 9:55
17 10:28.8 1.00 10:29

I was surprised by how sore I was when I finished! Holy cow, my legs hurt so bad!! I called my sister and was lamenting about how I could never run 9 more miles today to make a full marathon. No way.  My sister reminded me that I don’t HAVE to run a marathon today, I just had to do 17 miles- which I did.  That is the whole point of training- to build up to 26.2. Duh.

After stretching I hightailed it to Wawa to get some fresh fruit and an extra salty soft pretzel. Yum. For lunch, I refueled with chicken, vegetables, and potatoes.

Now I have a hot date with my foam roller.  I hope I am not sore tomorrow!!

Happy Saturday :)

New Shoe Day!

One of the coolest things about me and Beeker is that we are “official” shoe testers for Runner’s World Magazine.  Pretty sweet, huh? We get a new pair of running shoes to wear 4 times each year.  The shoes are samples from the shoe companies of shoes that will be coming out in the next season.  We wear them for about a month, evaluate them, and fill out a survey for Runner’s World- who uses them in their “Shoe Guide” quarterly feature.  It is a pretty sweet deal to get free sneaks each season- it works out perfectly because we always get our new shoes right around the time that I need them.  Being testers has been such an incredible blessing to us, since we run so much and go through so many pairs of shoes, we have been able to save so much money.  

I love new shoe day!

Here are my new kicks (Asics):

Image

These babies are going to carry me to marathon glory.

And, here are Beeker’s (Brooks):

Image

saweet

 

I am particularly excited tonight because Beeker’s new sneaks have motivated him to start running with me in the morning again…yessssss.  I love early morning runs outside; however, I will only venture out at 4 am if Brian is with me.  I’m a wuss with stuff like that. Tomorrow morning I have 8 miles on tap- my longest distance before work!  Words cannot even begin to express how happy I will be to run outside instead on my awful treadmill.  For it to work, I MUST be out the door and running AT 4 am- which means an early bedtime tonight.  Having new shoes to run in will be great motivation to get up and out early tomorrow morning.

 

How often do you get new running/workout shoes?

Are you scared to run alone in the dark?

Pray for Boston

Shocked and horrified by what happened at Boston today.

So awful.

There are just no words.

Praying for everyone involved in this senseless act- praying that the Lord will place His mighty hand over all the people and families.

rogers

April 14th Fitness for the Week

Sunday: 1 mile

Monday: 1 mile + yoga

Tuesday: 4 miles + abs and arms

Wednesday: 8 miles pace

Thursday: 4 miles + abs and arms

Friday: 1 mile {rest}

Saturday: 17 miles! woohoo

Long Run Report

Yesterday I had 13.1 miles on the books.  Going into the run, I had two goals:

  1. Don’t go out too fast.  I struggle with this a lot during a race.  Especially when I am properly rested and fueled, it is so hard to hold myself back at the beginning of a run/race because I feel SO good.  It is sometimes hard to remember in the first couple of miles that I need to save energy for the end! A negative split is perfect: go conservative at the beginning, and turn it on towards the end. The last thing that I want to happen in my marathon is to use all of my energy up too soon and feel dead at the end.
  2. Proper pacing.  I read that most marathoners make the same mistake while training: running their long runs too fast and running their speed work too slow.  I really want to work on this to make sure that my runs have variety.  It is so easy to just go out and “run” however I am feeling that day.  By forcing myself to run fast or run slow and steady, I am training my body in the best way to prepare for the marathon.

It is just so crazy how much prep goes into running a marathon!

Anyway, here are my mile splits:

 
Split
Time
Distance
Avg Pace
Summary 1:59:56.1 13.11 9:09
1 9:14.5 1.00 9:14
2 9:01.4 1.00 9:01
3 9:25.5 1.00 9:26
4 9:22.4 1.00 9:22
5 9:33.4 1.00 9:33
6 9:23.8 1.00 9:24
7 9:13.2 1.00 9:13
8 9:13.5 1.00 9:13
9 9:10.5 1.00 9:11
10 9:11.9 1.00 9:12
11 9:04.0 1.00 9:04
12 8:42.7 1.00 8:43
13 8:30.0 1.00 8:30
14 :49.5 0.11 7:48 

Overall, I am really happy with this run.  The course I ran is pretty hilly- with the last 2.5 miles TOTALLY UPHILL. Even with the hills, I was able to run a negative split and run the second half a lot faster than the first.  I started out too fast in the first couple of miles and forced myself to slow down early on. Right around mile 10 I realized that I could probably finish at or just under 2 hours, so I picked up my pace to make it happen.  It was a fun challenge, but I was probably going too fast at the end for just a training run. However, since it was a “shorter” long run, I felt safe picking it up a bit.  Next weekend I have 17 miles to do.  I certainly do not plan on running my 17 miler at a 9:09 pace.  Instead, I want to slow down to around 9:30- a long sloooww run.  

Overall, I am feeling good and thank God for running! I feel so blessed to be able to do this. I love the challenge, setting goals, and seeing myself improve.

Wishing

My mom mom always used to say, “Don’t wish your life away”.  When I heard this I would always wonder what she meant.  Now that I am older, I totally understand what she was telling me.  I am so guilty of “wishing my life away”; I am always thinking about my next step.  When I was in college, it was wishing to be done school to and be a teacher.  When we lived in our apartment, I wished to be a homeowner.  Now that I am a homeowner, I wish for a bigger house.  

Obviously, my biggest wish is to be a mom.  Today marks 30 months on the waiting list for our baby(ies).  30 months of waiting, praying, WISHING.  A lot of these past 30 months have been a fog.  It is so hard for me to live in the moment when I am wishing and praying so hard for our baby(ies).  

What I know, however, is that life does not stop just because I am wishing.  Life goes on. As it goes on, I can either enjoy life or I can be so consumed with praying for tomorrow that I miss out on the many blessings of today.

I don’t want to do this- because today is blessed. It is. So blessed.

God always meets me right where I am. Always.  Even when I fail Him, He is faithful.

I have a husband who loves me.  Hard.  My Bri is what fairytales are made of. Even after 13 years together, he makes me feel like a princess each and every day.  Really. Yesterday he bought me my favorite flowers (our wedding flowers) just because.  

Image

Beautiful

I have a mama who walks every road that I am on right beside me.  My mom is the definition of love.  Her heart and mine are interwoven so intricately- she laughs, cries, and prays with me, always.  

I have the most fantastic family.  We have been through so much together, and we love each other in a way that defies explanation. My siblings are my best friends and I am convinced that my nieces and nephews are tiny glimpses of heaven.

Image

I have the best friends that encourage me, laugh with me, cry with me, and help me to get through the day. I do not have a TON of friends- but I have a couple of really, really, really close friends that are so close to me I consider them a part of my family.  

We belong to a wonderful church with so many opportunities to grow and serve.

We are healthy and have the ability to do crazy things- like run a marathon!

I am blessed beyond measure.

As I wait for the phone to ring, for my arms to be full- I hope I can remember that my arms are, in fact, not empty.  As I wait for tomorrow, I pray that I can be content with today.  

Thank you, mom-mom, for giving me the advice to not wish my life away.  I hope that I can live my life in a way that would make you proud and to enjoy the moment….each and everyday.

 

Post Navigation

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 27 other followers