Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Making a comeback…

Yes, it’s true…I’ve been making a comeback into the running world! It’s been a slow process, but dare I say…I’m not as bad off as I feared I would be! How did that happen?

The one thing that haunts me every time I run is the heat and humidity. I’m adjusting fairly well, but it’s still a killer!


We haven’t had any major problems dealing with the heat and humidity, though! After a scorching hot run, we simply take a walk through the fountain to cool off! It’s a nice way to refresh! Ahhh the fountain memories…. :0)


My husband also recently took up an interest in running! His work schedule is hard to predict which makes it hard to go for a run sometimes, but we manage! He even jumped on the treadmill a few times before working his night time schedule! I have to say that I’m very proud of him! When he works a day schedule, he usually doesn’t get home until 6:30 or 7 p.m. so most of our outdoor runs happen in the late afternoon. I’m fine with running in the evenings because after the sun goes down, things tend to cool off!


Among other things, I’ve been foam rolling the mess out of my legs. No, that’s not me – that’s my beast mode running friend Heather and we make a good team if I say so myself! We are both competitive, just not against each other, and we push each other to run our best. We each have a personal goal set for Half Marathon season this year, so we are both crossing our fingers and hoping it goes well!


There I am! I ran in Mizunos for the first time this week! I have more to report on my new Mizunos in a few days so stay tuned!! :0)  I LOVE my new shoes! Saturday’s run was definitely a #brilliantrun thanks to them!

I still wear a knee brace because it helps my knee feel more secure. I might be a little paranoid and yes, that knee brace might just be my security blanket but if it helps me feel comfortable, then I’m all for it!

We began Saturday’s 5 mile run nice and slow like always. We ran most of the first half of the route and when we felt like we were going to pass out from humidity stroke, we walked. (I vote that humidity stroke should be an actual medical term.) After reaching mile 4, I have no idea what came over Heather and I, but we decided to beast mode it and see how fast we could run the last mile. I was DYING by the time I reached the trailer. I felt as if I was going to throw up. I NEEDED that. I haven’t run like that in a long long time.

We kept telling each other, just a little bit longer – the trailer is right there! We so got this!!

My IT band actually behaved during my run (yay!) and I have to say that yesterday’s 5 mile run was my best run since starting back.


After our run, we decided to treat ourselves to breakfast! Kelli apparently likes syrup a little too much and drizzled decided to drown her eggs in that sweet sticky goodness!


Overall, I’m feeling good and my IT band is behaving (crossing fingers). I’m a little worried to see how it does on a really long run, but I need to quit making myself crazy by thinking about it. After running hard on Saturday and fully seeing my body’s potential, I realized that I might just be able to do this after all…….and that my friends, is a fabulous feeling! :0)

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Never Give Up – A Father’s Love

Happy Father’s Day to all the dad’s out there! Even if your only babies are fur babies, I consider you a dad, too! :0)


I realize that I’m way late in the day on this one, but the inspiration for this post didn’t come to me until a few hours ago and I wasn’t near a computer. Better late than never, right?

You know when you hear a message or a quote or a saying and you feel as if it was written or spoken just for you? It’s been a LONG time since I felt that way – but one Sunday in January, my pastor preached a sermon about Never Giving Up. If you remember – at that time, I was right in the middle of an injury and had recently completed the Houston Half Marathon in excruciating pain. I knew right away that the message that Sunday was meant for me.

Pastor spoke about Derek Redmond, a runner for Great Britain in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. Prior to the 92 games, Derek battled a long hard road of injury after repeated injury which eventually lead to 22 surgeries on his achilles tendon. Derek qualified for the 400 meter race and was a favorite to medal. 

In the first round Redmond had run his quickest 400m in four years. "I was feeling absolutely 100% before the race," he reported in 2006. "I'd had two really good rounds without even trying and the night before the semi-final I'd talked with my father and my coach and we'd decided I was going to push a bit harder and try to get a good lane for the final.

"On the day everything went smooth. I got a really good start, which was unusual for me. I think I was the first to react to the pistol. My normal tactics were to get round the first bend and then put the burners on for 30m, accelerate hard. But by the time I'd got upright I was almost round the bend, much further than usual, and I decided not to bother, to save my energy in case I had to fight for the line. About three strides later I felt a pop."

Source: The Guardian

What happened next touched the hearts and lives of people all over the world.

From the moment Pastor’s message began, I was in tears. I balled through his entire message and even more while watching the video. This message was exactly what I needed to hear at exactly the right time.

Not only is this a fantastic message on not giving up, it also shows an excellent example on fatherhood.

“You don’t have to do this” Jim told his son.
“Yes I do” Derek replied.
“Well then” said Jim, “we’re going to finish this together”.

Just before they reached the finish line, with the crowd screaming in support, Jim Redmond let his son go, so that he could cross the line on his own.

What made this moment special was that it brought into focus not just the near-heroic desperation of a single professional athlete but a much more universal theme: the nature of parenthood.

Source: The Guardian

No one really remembers who won the 400 m race in the 1992 Olympics – the love and support that Jim Redmond showed to his son in front of the entire world far outshines any medal received on that day.

In an interview, Jim Redmond said, "I'm the proudest father alive, I'm prouder of him than I would have been if he had won the gold medal. It took a lot of guts for him to do what he did."

I’m blessed beyond measure. I have a wonderful man in my life – my dad – who’s always supported me in every endeavor I’ve taken on. He even came to cheer me on in Houston when I ran on a swollen and painful tendonitis stricken knee.  He taught me that hard work achieves great things in life, he taught me to play hard and not give up when times get tough, and most importantly, he showed me through his every day actions how to love. Yes, I am blessed beyond measure!


Happy Father’s Day! You are the best and I love you!! :0)

Monday, June 11, 2012

Spira Footwear Review

Happy Monday!  :0)

On Friday, I was named “Runner of the Week” for Claim Your Journey (Run Louisiana)!


I was (and still am) very excited about the opportunity! Check out my interview  on the Claim Your Journey website.


A few months ago, I received an email from Andy with Spira Footwear asking me to test drive a pair of Spira shoes. He noticed that I was a participant at Disney’s Princess Half Marathon Weekend and that’s why he dropped me a line!


At the time, I was injured and planning to take a lengthy time off from running once I completed the Rock and Roll New Orleans Marathon. I agreed to try out a pair of Spira shoes – I even took them out for a few test runs after Rock and Roll New Orleans, but I decided to wait and write my review – I wanted to give the shoes a fair review once I started running again full time here recently.

Here’s the email I sent to Spira Footwear after my initial “test run” back in March.

I was in the middle of all of my knee issues when I received an email from you guys asking me to try out your shoes. I'm not kidding when I say that it was like an answer to prayer. I didn't know what else to do to help my knee - I received your email and and idea came to mind - what if I completely changed my shoes? I will admit that I was hesitant at first because nothing up until that point was able to help my knee.

After running Rock and Roll New Olreans Full Marathon, I took 2 weeks off, then decided to try and run again. On Saturday, I ran 3 miles in my new Spira shoes and I was amazed. I had absolutely NO knee pain whatsoever. When I was injured, even a slow 3 mile run was excruciating. I couldn't run "fast" - I had to be cautious because I didn't want to ruin my knee before the Full Marathon. This past Saturday, I was able to run like I wanted to run - at MY speed, at MY pace, not a pace dictated by my knee - and I know that it was your shoes that me achieve it. The second time I was able to run in my Spira shoes was last night - at a track workout with my running group.

Our track routine consists of sprints around a track for 20 minutes with breaks in-between. I was very nervous to try sprinting again but thanks to you guys, the track workout was amazing. I actually SPRINTED again - for the first time in 3 months with absolutely NO knee pain - no twinges, no aches, no spasms - nothing. You have NO idea how amazing I felt when it was all said and done!  I finally feel like myself again.

To say the least, I think I'm in love - with my new Spira shoes!! I can't thank you enough for this amazing opportunity!


I meant every word that I said in that email – unfortunately, I pushed myself a little too hard in the weeks following and knee pain returned (although NOT excruciating like it had been). I decided that the best way to help my knee heal was to take a lengthy time off from running. During my time off, I did a lot of foam rolling, praying, and cross training. I rode my bike, I did yoga, I circuit trained, and I lifted weights. My husband even caught the bug (shock) and worked out with me a few days a week (and still is)!

Two weeks ago, I very timidly began running again (in my new Spira shoes, of course!). I ran a very slow 10 miles during my first week back. Thankfully, I had no discomfort. The second week (last week), I upped my mileage to 12 miles and everything went very smooth once again. I’m going to stick with low mileage for a little while to get my legs and body used to running again. Marathon training begins in July/August! Yay!

I have noticed one thing – I’m super paranoid and every time I feel an ache or a twinge in my leg/knee, I kind of freak out. I’m having a hard time deciphering between “normal” knee pain and IT Band pain (I say “normal” because I’ve always experienced a slight degree of aches/pains – even when running cross country in high school).

Ok back on topic – Spira shoes!

(Taken from the Spira Footwear website…)

“Wow!” That’s what many say who try on a pair of Spira shoes for the first time. People can usually feel the difference right away thanks to Spira’s unique and patented WaveSpring® technology. The “mechanical” cushioning system can help you do more, go farther, go harder, with less stress on your feet and joints. Think of our technology as “little shock absorbers” for your body. Whether you stand, walk, jog, run, exercise at the gym or take pleasure in leisure activities, Spira can help make all more comfortable and enjoyable.


I chose the Spira Genesis X which is created for those who need a Stability type shoe.

Overall, I’m VERY satisfied with my Spira Genesis X shoes and am so thankful that I was given the opportunity to test them out.

I highly recommend Spira Footwear and have had great success in them so far!

A fun and random fact that I enjoyed about Spira Footwear – the winner of the 2012 Disney World Marathon was wearing a pair of Spira shoes! :0)

To all my faithful readers, family, and friends – Spira is offering a 30% off discount on all of their shoes!

Simply enter the code chasingdreams at checkout and you’ll have a great pair of running shoes at an unbeatable price! :0)

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Running Day Recap

I hope you all had a fabulous Running Day!! :0)

The weather here turned pretty nasty just a few hours before our planned run but thankfully, it cleared up just in time! The rain also helped cool things off a bit which was nice!


My running buds and I met up with our running group for a 3 mile run in honor of this special occasion!

After our run, we had a very special treat…..


Ice cream with all the toppings! It was the GOOD kind of ice cream, too (Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla)! Yum!


I also logged my mileage on for this neat little badge. Yay!

Tomorrow, I’m meeting up with my running group once again for something we call “GoRun After Dark”. Every Thursday, my running group meets up for an evening run followed by dinner at a local downtown restaurant. This will be our 3rd week and I’ve really enjoyed it so far!

I hope you had a fabulous Running Day as well! How did you celebrate?

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Happy National Running Day! :0)

I have a LOT of favorite days of the year and today is no exception! Along with Christmas, special birthdays, anniversaries, etc – National Running Day is high on my list as a favorite day!!


Get out and get moving today! Doesn’t matter if it’s 1 mile or 10 miles, just run!

National Running Day, held annually on the first Wednesday in June, is a day when runners everywhere declare their passion for running. Wherever we are and whomever we’re with, we run—fast or slow, alone or with others, all over town or just around the block. It is a coast-to-coast celebration of a sport and activity that’s simple, inexpensive, and fun. It’s the perfect way for longtime runners to reaffirm their love of running and for beginners to kick off a lifetime and life-changing commitment.

(Taken from the National Running Day website.)

Check out the National Running Day’s website for information on celebrating this fun day!


Many other companies are joining in the fun as well! is creating a National Running Day Mileage Reel where runners can enter the total amount of miles they ran – it will be neat to see the final total!


The Rock N Roll series (a part of Competitor) is also offering a special discount on race registration! Check out the Rock N Roll National Running Day campaign website for further information!

If you’re not a runner but want to become one, today is a great day to begin! Find a friend, a running buddy, even your dog (mine makes a great running partner), lace up your shoes, and head out the door!  There’s no better time than the present to begin!

My running group is meeting downtown this afternoon for a run followed by ice cream! Can’t beat post-run ice cream on a hot summer day!! :0)


I couldn’t have said it better myself, Kara! :0)

Happy National Running Day!!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Look mom! I’m on a Billboard!

A few weeks ago, my place of employment decided to do a little advertising for our cancer center!

What evolved was a billboard picture of my coworkers and I!

My co-workers and I really wanted to see the billboard, so one day after work, we drove around until we found it! We sat in quite a few parking lots waiting on the pictures to flip (it’s on electronic billboards around town but it took us a few minutes to find which ones it was on)!


We finally found it…only problem-this billboard wasn’t located in a parking lot!  What did we do? We pulled into the turning lane and waited, of course! Hah! That was a fun afternoon! :0)


The next day, I drove around with my husband until we found it again (only this time in a parking lot)!

I’m not going to lie, it’s kind of exciting to drive by and see the picture of my co-workers flash on the billboard! Family, friends, and even former patients have seen the billboard and made it a point to text, email, or stop by and see us. I work with a wonderful group of people and I love each and every one of them very dearly! :0)

Have you ever been on a billboard in any way? Were you excited or embarrassed about it – or did you feel a completely different emotion?

Sunday, June 3, 2012

A little catching up!

It’s been a while, yes I know! During my absence from the blogging world, I participated in a few fun events – an 80’s Party and our Annual Relay for Life Ceremony!

Our young adult group at church decided to host a Totally 80’s party – our last event was a while back, so we decided that an 80’s party would be the best way to get everyone together again!


We worked hard gathering these table decorations! Very proud of our end result!


A totally 80’s room!


Like my Mario shirt? Hah! Everything I wore in this picture, I bought from Wal-Mart just a few minutes before the party! (Talk about last minute!) I also had really cool neon jelly bracelets on my other wrist!


My dessert was rice crispy treats with neon icing! :0)


Costume contest! There were some good ones – the girl in all pink won!

Another fun event that I participate in every year is Relay for Life with the American Cancer Society!


Our team! :0)


Opening ceremonies


Relay kicked off with a survivor lap. This is always an emotionally touching time for me, especially when I see former patients on the track.


My group joined in for the caregivers lap. I have to admit, I teared up a few times during this lap. Being on the track with those who battle(d) cancer and walking with their caregivers did me in. The spectators on the sidelines clapping for the survivors didn’t help me, either.


Time for the lumianria ceremony! This is a view of the track from the 2nd level of the local event center.



A little girl walked around and giving out these flowers! I put mine in my car! :0)

I had a great night. Relay is always a neat event and it’s fun to see friends, family, and members of the community having a great time while fighting cancer! If the American Cancer Society hosts a local Relay for Life in your area, I highly encourage you to attend! :0)

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