Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Nike San Fran Wrap Up

Guess I need to wrap this up. San Fran already seems so long ago but it will be a treasured memory.
Thankful for my brave friend Amy, my "assistant" who decided to go for 13.1 hilly miles far from home. This takes courage and willingness to TRY. Getting up early, sleeping with me, running for more than two hours...all for that little piece of bling. (makes perfect sense to me)
Here is the start. Beautiful and Inspiring!
I started the run with Kim (my nunn Mom) and Zoe. We tried to look for Amy a bit but I knew she wanted to run this "battle" alone. I began to take pics around mile 3 so I parted ways with my nuun crew and hoped I would see them again.
Here is hill one. So hard to do it justice and take a snap shot without getting run over. It was nice seeing the city slowly light up.
 Of course had to stop for a pic of this historic landmark. Reminded my of my kids and hubby and how much fun we had in this very spot just being together. Holding on to moments that we weren't sure if we would ever get to experience again.
This hill was a big one. Notice another gal trying to capture the same thing. Pictures again don't quite do it justice. I was bummed about so much fog but felt good up this hill.
 Once up the hill that took a long, long, long time to finally end I saw this. I snapped a picture and sent it to Amy. My hubby was tracking us both and I knew she still had to get up that hill. She is motivated by shiny things, jewelry and shopping. :)
 Snapped this shot. Always have mixed emotions when I turn off to go 13.1 or continue onto 26.2.
 The finish was sweet! I walked a lot in this race. Took pics. Went to the bathroom and tried to keep tabs on my "assistant". I was all smiles when I crossed the line and the announcer said looks like another Washington State Cougar finishing strong. I finished in 2:05 and feel confident I could go sub 2 but this felt pretty much perfect for that day!
After the finish you get in a long line to get your precious blue box. You could then take photos
before getting in another line to get your finishers shirt. I was happy I could wait for my assistant here. Only tough part was being wet and cold. Lots of shivering and texting waiting for that magical text that she had finished. One thing I loved about this race was running holding my phone. It was so much fun to get a call and talk while I was running. Miles would fly by and I wouldn't even really feel them. Kind of wish I would have worn a tank and probably would have been safe to leave the shades at home. :)
She did it!!! I was just happy to be able to give her a cold, sweaty, stinky hug at the end. We quickly took a snap shot or two and made our way to some type of coat. (this picture cracks me up)
We were so fortunate to have our bags waiting for us at the nuun tent. We grabbed our coats and socks and began to walk around. As you can see the fog was still there!

Amy got in line for a massage and I was pumped to be able to see and hear Kara Goucher speak briefly! She ran the half! So technically I can say I ran a race with Kara Goucher. Right?

 Then this magic happen. My nuun Mom and her side kick Zoe gave us NIKE VIP bracelets. Again so stinking sweet and thoughtful!  This was the golden ticket to get into private bathrooms, free food and warmth!! It was soooo nice. We totally did not fit in but loved every minute of it and stuffed our face! (Also huge props to Kim and Zoe who ran 13.1 miles and then went straight to work...hardcore)

  Finishing the Nike Women's Half Marathon was quite the experience. I am beyond proud of my assistant and excited to see where her feet will land next!!

 Huge thanks to Kim who has a way of making me cry and feel loved and safe and every time I am around her. She is one strong, genuine and inspiring woman!!

Cheers to today! Looking back at this moment I am grateful. Grateful that I was given this opportunity. Grateful to share it with good friends. Grateful that I have working legs, lungs that can breathe and a beating heart. I do not take this for granted. We are not promised tomorrow so make the best of today! Keep On Keeping On!

Friday, November 1, 2013

#WERUNSF "Expotique"

It has been a few weeks since my amazing experience in San Francisco as I took part in 13.1 miles of the Nike Women's Marathon. I won't bore you how we arrived into San Francisco late and we got on a scary shuttle bus and were dropped at where we thought we were staying only to find out we were at the wrong hotel. So we then had to get a taxi, which was not the most warm and fuzzy moment of the weekend before we made it safely to our hotel and met up with my dear friend and nuunmate Kim. It just confirmed to me that I am not a big city girl and yes I need a travel buddy!

The next morning we were up early as to beat the lines and it things went pretty darn smooth. I am not a newbie to races and this was like nothing I have ever seen or experienced. Nike is Nike and this was not your typical expo. There were no headbands, rollers, slogan t-shirts or trail mix etc. Instead you walked into a well oiled machine. You were checked in and then given specific directions on where to go next. The mood was "Hollywood" dim lighting, with neon and club like music playing. Almost half of the "expotique" was photo opportunities. The #WERUNSF thing was huge. There were staff wearing the newest Nike gear and even manikins showcasing their new Nike Gear Vapor Flash jacket. You may notice in the pics I started the day in shorts and ended in capri's. It felt like I was sticking out like a sore thumb. Everyone in that place looked like they were two seconds away from a start line!

Add caption

Once you made it through that hoopla you could then get the limited number of vendors. It wasn't just anyone there who had a product to sale. Nuun of course was there and had a pretty kicking display. Sharp and eye catching dispensers were there for runners to taste test and learn more. Here is a shot of one of my roomies for the trip. You may recognize her from Run Zoe Run. Paul Mitchell was there doing some crazy cool braid and race day hair do's as well as Neutrogena where you could get a mini makeover and free goodies. Luna bars, Whole Foods and Verizon and that was that. Each company there made your experience unique. And the real kicker is that in this JUMBO tent there wasn't any clothing to BUY. Nothing. Again very different than what I have ever experienced.

However right across the street was the NIKE mothership. 7 floors of shopping (and LOUD music) with what felt like 100's of people all trying to find that magical NWM keepsake. We were also just steps away from Tiffany & Co. This is where my friend Amy AKA my assistant fell in LOVE...the jury is still out if she fell in love with running OR the dream of a little piece of bling she was going to have work her tail off to get the very next day. We had a blast walking the streets of San Francisco and doing a little window shopping. We both knew the next day was going to be a very big day. As many of you know lots of things can happen during 13.1 miles.

Sunday, October 6, 2013


Yesterday it was exactly two years since my hubby was diagnosed with cancer. It all is a blur yet so burned into my memory I don't think I will ever forget. One biopsy, months on crutches, 3 surgeries, 6 weeks radiation, lots of waiting and nearly 6 months of in patient chemo. Trips to Spokane and Seattle to frequent to count. Tears that at times just wouldn't stop. Clinging to God each step of the way. Immense kindness and love from friends and strangers that continues to carry us through.This all brings us to today. Pretty exciting to slow down and think that we have been given today. Through the last two years it has been a battle. As with most battle we are all left with scars. Scars both physical and mental can do so much. Just ask my hubby. Each day he is reminded of what he has been through. He can choose to look at his body and become angry and sad or he can give thanks that he is HERE and we are together. Some days are harder than others when it comes to this.

In the process we have been given a miracle, healing and hope. We have also been on what seems like a roller coaster that doesn't want to let us off.

As I type this I am thankful but saddened by the loss of life that continues to happen around us due to this horrible disease. Broken lives and hearts. Hurts that are unimaginably deep.

I am left with a sense of purpose and urgency.
Purpose to live my life for Christ. Purpose to see the gift that each day brings. Purpose to surrender even when I don't want to. Purpose to never stop believing.

Even thought I hate remembering such a horrible day it is very close to my One and Only's birthday! Tomorrow he will be a teenager! He will get to celebrate with his Mom and Dad. Two years ago we did not know if this would happen. He will know he is loved. He will know his Mom and Dad love the Lord. He will know that His Dad wants nothing more than to live, fight and is looking forward to many, many more celebrations together.

So as we roll into fall and only a week away from my hubby's next scan I am trying to just be still, listen and love. I will not fear for I know He is with me.

This post is in memory of Sweet Phoebe. I have learned so much from you and your family. Your light, smile and wisdom has touched my life for the better. Thank for teaching me how to be brave. We love you!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

For the Love of Nuun

When I connected with the folks at Nuun back in 2011 I never imagined how much my life would change in the next two years. I was lucky enough to run with Nuun the first year they did an all women blogger relay team for the epic relay Hood to Coast. It is definitely one of my favorite running memories. My vanmates were awesome! We all just clicked and bonds were made that will last a lifetime. The "stories" from that year are plentiful but they always seem to end with a mention of a trophy. :)  As an ambassador I am able to share great deals and their product with everyone who will listen.
When I saw an email about Ambassador's participating in the Nike Women's San Francisco Marathon I was immediately interested. This is a big race. Hard to get into as well as to run. I ned to make the decidion jjust days before my hubby was going in for surgery on his rib. I told him this was crazy. We don't know what surgery will bring. He as always encouraged me to go for it! We were done having cancer dictate our lives. I texted back and forth with my "Kim" at Nuun and she encouraged me as well. It wasn't too hard of a sell. Knowing my training may be choppy I decided to go with the 13.1!

 I was so fortunate to have Kim in my van during Hood to Coast 2011. I just remember listening to her talk and thinking...she is strong and brave, I like her!! Of course a hug before I was off!

And I am not sure how to explain my relationship with Coach, another Nuun rock star. He was our driver and quickly fell into the role of Coach. We are definitely the most unlikely of friends. Must be the power of Nuun.  I mean he is a Huskie and I am a Coug. Enough Said.

Hydration was key and here is T (pink socks) rocking a pretty tough leg! You may recognize her as Tonia from Racing with Babes. She is so much fun and makes me laugh every time we are together!!  She is also now a Rev3 Super Star which makes me smile.
The list goes on and on but bottom line is that the people are nunn are just "good people". From life changing chats, to my fastest run ever, to shananigins on the beach...I love Nuun.

Only being three weeks away from another epic opportunity with Nuun I have been staying hydrated as I try to prepare for all of those HILLS!

Nuun has definitely made me do some crazy things. Just watch my application videos if you don't believe me. This last pic is from 2012 HTC when we were on a scavenger hunt. Place a tattoo on stranger. Done. Jump on his back for fun. Done.

I am definitely looking forward to traveling with buddy 'the Assistant" (to be introduced soon) and see some Nuun faces! San Fran...here we come!!


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Holding Steady

So it has been awhile but since my lost post there have been a few storms to endure. My family needed my whole attention and I had so many thoughts going on in mind I wasn't even sure where to begin. Since my last post my hubby unfortunately had a recurrence of the Sarcoma. It was located on his top rib and growing into his lung. Not cool! Fortunately God provided just the right surgeon to do an amazing job. He is still healing and as always I am amazed at his strength. We had a few weeks where we felt life pushing a little hard. These are the days when you have a hard time breathing and at times fighting. Didn't we give this all to God already? Why is this is happening? We both were been feeling tired and as runners we all know what happens when you are tired. You want to quit and start thinking how the heck did I get here? Can someone just come pick me up? Isn't there an easier way to get to the finish line?

                    As you grow tired your form suffers and you are vulnerable to injury. Right?    Since we have been going through this battle for awhile I am more aware of this cycle. I typically call on my friends to pray or pull me out of the dark hole that I know I want nothing to do with.

                   I have to go back to God's Word and believe that his will for my hubby is healing and that we will continue to believe in our miracle.

                   So we continue to weather storms and I continue to love to see my hubby smile! There are little and big moments every day where I say a silent, thank you God!
Enjoying life. Fish On!
Seeing sweet J win a ribbon for showing her pig. Something that at one point we did not know if my hubby would see.

Here we are just starting out. We never would have imagined the journey our life has taken. This picture just makes me smile. My One and Only is just 8 weeks old and this is one of his first smiles on camera. I mean how can you not love the matching butt chin with Daddy. Sooo cute!!
I am feeling called to be with God more but so many times in the day I ignore this urge. I know I need help with this. There are too many distractions that take me away from where I know I want and need to be. Thank goodness He is so patient. Does anyone else struggle with this? 
So where does this leave us and what the heck happened to running?
I am happy to say that right now we get to just breathe and wait until the next scan in October. Praying that everything is clear and we can continue to make all of this part of our HISTORY.
As for running I am on a small roll. I rested most of the summer but did swim and bike preparing for a Sprint Tri. Unfortunately our most recent storm prevented me from making it to the start line due to being in Seattle for surgery. But I am back in the saddle trying to run 3 times a week. My feet are....my feet. I just deal with it.  I have also been completely blessed by an opportunity to work out with a small group of women a few times a week. I love being challenged and watching them grow as well! I plan to stay on track the next 5 weeks as I have a little Nike running date on Oct. 20 in San Fran!!! Thanks to Nuun! More on that later!
Be the light!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

It's all Good.

I am taking a few moments to just pause as the last few days have again been life changing. I keep thinking I can't grow anymore. I am still reeling from the pains from my last growth spurt. Growth often involves pain and reflection and I would like to avoid that for awhile. I mean can't I just sit in this space for a bit? But somehow God continually keeps me moving towards knowing him more. The funny thing is the that the closer I get to God the more I learn about myself.

I spent the week traveling with my husband and kids so we could all be together as he worked and we prepared to head to Seattle for his CT scan. We have been enjoying and treasuring God's miracle for 8 wonderful weeks. I don't think I can ever explain what it is like "preparing" for a scan. I tried to find peace and strength from what God has already shown me. I reflected on how God blew the doctors away as my hubby's lungs began to clear the last scan. I wanted to feel that again and find my confidence. It was scary because I have heard words from doctors that have left a wound in my heart and thoughts and images I have to continually fight. I have to think about what I know it true. God loves me and I will never be alone. He is and will always be with me.

So as the scan became closer I began to feel that shortness of breath and pounding heart. My husband had his scan Thursday night and we would go on Friday morning for the results. We were blessed to stay with friends who allowed me to have a day to just "be".  I spent time praying. I spent time just closing my eyes. I read scripture and the book Saturday Nothing (which by the way is amazing). I was distracted, focused, nervous and calm all at the same time.

Waking up Friday I felt as if things were heavy and slow. I showered. I got dressed. I remember reaching to put on my wedding ring and feeling strong as I placed it on my finger. I reached into my travel bag and found my deodorant. I then reached down to grab my body spray. That is where I remember freezing for a second and slowly having to put it back. I could not just go about my normal routine. I could not wear "body spray or perfume".  Fragrances can make people undergoing chemo sick. There are signs everywhere at hospitals and doctor offices reminding you of this. As much as I wanted this to be a normal day, I knew it wasn't. I was still in the world of scans and cancer. I trusted God and knew that He was working a miracle. I kept reminding myself that it was going to be a clear scan that could only point to God. I had to believe this.
We left our kids with great friends and began our drive to the doctor. We were tired but hopeful.  We were sitting in the actual exam room at 8:40 exactly. We both looked at the clock and then at each other. Any minute. Any minute, we would have the results. The doctor popped in around 9:00 to say he was coming. He gave us a warm handshake and was gone. We didn't say much to each other. We rarely do in these times. We both are in survival mode and pressing into the presence of God. I sat across the room from him. I began to recite these words in my head and I think each time I said it...I became bolder.
I know who goes before me.
I know who stands behind.
The God of angel armies is always by my side.
I looked over at my husband and prayed for protection of his mind and heart at the very moment. I prayed that he could feel the presence of angels around him. In my mind I get the image of almost a gang. A gang you don't want to mess with. A gang that will not ALLOW any harm to come your way. I like this gang a lot!
Finally around 9:25 the doctor came into the room and shut the door. My hubby said something nice and began to shoot the breeze a bit. The doctor began to pull up images on the computer and we both moved in closer. If anyone has ever lost a baby during pregnancy you might understand the fear of looking at an ultrasound you don't understand. My husband and I experienced that with our first pregnancy. You don't really know what you want to see or not see. After a few quick scrolls the doctor finally said the words I was praying and believing we would hear. He said, "this looks good".
We asked some questions and he just kept coming back to it looking good. He did say there are some small specs but he is not convinced those specs are cancer. They could be anything and they do not look or act like cancer. So this is very, very good. Our God is very, very good. Of course with our history we have to be very pro-active and watch those specs. I rather they just go away but I will not be choosy. I am just thankful. Thankful that I could feel those angel armies. Thankful that God can trump any doctor or diagnosis. Thankful for my hubby. Thankful for the huge gift of being a wife. Thankful that God continues to change me.
We both knew that Friday would be a life changing day. I can't say for sure what I would have said or felt if that scan had gone differently. It would have been devastating. However I can say with 100% confidence that God is good and we would fight and find strength in his Word.

Even with good news I am changed. My faith is big. I had big expectation and hope in the Lord. His Word is true. I am learning about passion and what that really feels like. This is not the kind of passion that send you flexing in front of a mirror but rather the kind of passion that leaves you vulnerable to the Lord and his plans for you.  I am learning about who I am and finding I think I had it all wrong. The feeling and emotions I have are intense and again I am trying to sort things out. We have celebrated a bit and tonight at church I cried tears. Big rolling tears that felt good. I am sure I had the ugly face cry going along with the trembling lip but I didn't care.(bonus to it being dark)  I was overwhelmed with the Holy Spirit and love of God and I am thankful.
Thank you for your prayers. I am inspired and ready. I can feel God calling me. I know I have miles to give. He has so much to give through me.
Love you all!! Keep on Keeping On!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Finish Line and Bumps

Oh how I love my little blog but sometimes there does not seem to be enough time in the day. Since my last post we have been busy living. We have spent time with friends and family. Blessed to travel. Blessed to be with good friends. Blessed to wake up and have choices.

I wrapped up almost 8 weeks of REST and happy to report and I am running again. I am not running far or fast but I am running! I am not sure what is going with my ankle but it seems to be tolerating low mileage.

Even though I haven't been able to run I have been running in spirit with three great guys with MILES2GIVE.

I am learning so much from my friends at MILES2GIVE! They have been running across America to raise awareness and funds for Sarcoma. I am amazed at their determination and care for each family they meet. They are just days away from their finish line. However the fight and passion will not end there.

If you are not following their journey please go check it out HERE. It is a life changer. Also if you have a minute go give their FB page a like and tell them I sent you!

Each day we wake up with something to GIVE. So think of it as there are always miles to give and this may look different in each of our lives. What does it look like in yours?

It is not about what you are going to do for you but rather how can I BUMP into the life of someone else. The folks at MILES2GIVE have mastered the BUMP.  I just finished reading the book, You Were Born for This by Bruce Wilkinson. It did a great job talking about being aware of being part of others miracles. This means that you take the focus off of you and start to invest and bump into others and let God use you. You don't worry about being embarrassed or imposing or wondering what someone will think of you. How many times do you have a feeling or urge to do or say something but you let that feeling pass you by or you talk yourself out of it? (things that make you go hmmm)

It is a pretty cool concept and I plan on doing lots more "bumping".  My hubby is a huge "bumper" and I think that's pretty cool.
Things are good in my small fitness world. I am excited to running again but even more excited to know this means BUDDY runs are in my future!

Last week was GOOD.
Run  16 miles for the week! BIG TIME!!
Bike  30 miles.
One Super Hot Walk 1 (this is for you Big Sis)
Plus some light weights.
This week is off to a good start as well.
Run  7
Swim  1 (first one of the year)
Bike  10
So I feel like I am back in the saddle but still being cautious.
On each run I find my self singing out to God. Thanking him and gaining strength from the words of so many songs that remind me that I am not alone and that God is who He says He is.
Today was one of those days where fear was trying to creep in. My hubby has his scan in less than two weeks and it is terrifying to think of any option other than CLEAR!!
All I had to do was send out the BAT CALL and it wasn't long and the prayers and uplifting scripture was coming my way. Thankful for the running community and the women who continually bless me.
Only 5 more weeks until the WunderWoman Tri!