Sunday, February 2, 2014

Peace among the trials

Family pics. taken a week after we lost Emily.  Love that Girl!

It has been a long time since I have blogged.  The last time I did I posted about some of my races.  I am still racing and loving it.  These past few months it has been my therapy and helped me keep going.  As hard as running can be sometimes, it has helped me deal with my feelings and find some solace.  It is actually some of the only time I have to be alone and it has helped me learn to focus and just keep putting one foot in front of the other.  It's a good analogy for life.  Sometimes there are huge hills that seem insurmountable, but if we just keep pushing and trying we can make it.

As many of you all ready know we have had a pretty rough year.  In just a few short days Kirk became very sick and gave me a good scare and we lost our sweet little Emily.  A few months later Kirk was fired because his health was keeping him from working and we were clueless as to what was happening with his body.  We finally went to the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix Arizona and are working with them on treatments to help him regain his health and get back out there running with me.  He is still searching for the right opportunity with a good company that takes care of their own.  

I would be lying if I said I haven't struggled these past few months.  People have commented about how strong I am and how much faith they see in me.  There are days I don't feel strong or faithful, but weak and sometimes angry.  I know that without the help of my Heavenly Father and my Savior Jesus Christ I would not be standing here today or be able to keep going.  Even though I may waiver and not do all that I know I should, He is always there for me.  

When I have taken the time and made the effort to be close to Him through prayer and reading His words and the words of our modern day prophets, I have found great strength and peace.  Lately I have really struggled to make the time to develop that relationship and my own personal testimony.  I have felt pretty distant from Him and sometimes angry that things haven't changed for our family in some areas.  I realized today that I am only hurting myself by not doing those things that will bring me closer to Him.  I know that when I make the time to really read and ponder the scriptures, I will find greater peace, happiness and even guidance in my life.  No  matter where we are in life, we can always find our way back and have that sweet peace that only the Gospel of Jesus Christ can bring.  There is a great balm that can be found here in His church, The Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter-Day Saints.  How grateful I am for a loving Heavenly Father that loves each of us now matter where we are in this life.  He is always there for us and although at times we may feel forsaken, we never are.  His arms are always open, all we need to do is turn to Him. 

There is a Hillary Weeks song that I really love called "A Beautiful Heartbreak."  It talks about how sometimes we run into mountains and can't find a way around and although it may be a hard climb full of heart break, when we reach the top it's worth the view.  I don't know why our sweet Emily had to go back to our Heavenly Father when she did.  I do know that she was here to teach all of us to be better than we are.  She taught me to love unconditionally, to enjoy everything about life, to laugh hysterically for no reason, to be patient, to have fun and to live in the moment.  Sometimes I feel like my heart is broken in a million pieces, but then I read something during my scripture study (when I actually do it), I get a note from someone who knew Emily, or I see a picture of her and I am filled with a great peace.  I know she is whole and happy and waiting for us to pass the tests of this earth life.  I will see her again and I am so looking forward to that day when I can hug her tight.  What a great reunion that will be!

I don't know why, but I really felt the need to write all of this down.  I wasn't sure what would come out so I just sat down and started typing.  Maybe it was just for me, so that I could feel the sweet peace of the spirit and see that although I have really been struggling to do the things I need to do I still have a strong testimony.  I know God lives, I know He loves me and what a great blessing this has been.  Thank you for taking the time to read this and Thank You for the love and support you have shown our sweet family.  

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Red Rock Relay....again

Since I haven't blogged in a while I thought I'd blog about my running adventures.  Aside from the half marathons I have run some 5k's and I ran the Red Rock again!

This year we had 12 ladies giving us 2 teams of sparkle skirts.  We had "Does this skirt make me look fast"  on the back windows and lots of laughs.  The hardest part this year was the heat.  It was HOT!  Lucky for us we had plenty of water, squirt guns and nice people from the other teams spraying us with misters!  A fun race with some fun ladies.  Our team was the 6th all women team to finish the race, I think.  It's been a while so I might be wrong on that.  No matter where we came in it was a blast!  Here are a few pictures of the lovely ladies I got to hang out with!

Run, run and run some more.

Yup, I am still running and running and running some more.  Some days I have to drag myself out the door, but once I'm out I am happy I did it, most of the time. :)  I have started running without an iPod, I really fought Kirk on this one for a while.  He was mostly worried I'd get hit because I couldn't hear traffic, but he also wanted me to overcome the mental side of running.  Now  I love to go run without it and listen to the peace and quiet we are surrounded by, it's been good for me.    

Since my last post I have run 2 more half marathons, only one more to reach my goal of 4 before I'm 40.  My 40th birthday is in May and I plan to run Canyonlands again in March.  When I first made this goal I kept going back and forth thinking it's would be too hard and I would burn out, but here I am after 3 halfs and all ready planning on running 3 more  next year!  (Crazy huh?!)

So my last post was from my very first half marathon in Moab.  When I finished I wasn't so sure I wanted to do another one, my legs gave up at mile 10.  But we had all ready signed up for one so I kept training.  Steamworks was here in Durango in June and it was a great race.  I shaved off about 9 minutes from my time in Moab which made me super happy.    I kept looking down at my Garmin and couldn't believe our pace.  Super gorgeous run by the way!  My sis-in-law came down with her boys and she made signs with all the kids and Olivia dressed up in her old cheer outfit.  It was so awesome to come around the corner and see them there cheering us on.  

Our 3rd half marathon brought us back to Moab and was this past weekend.  The Moab Trail Half Marathon wasn't like anything we've done in the past.  In fact once we signed up and I read all the info.  I looked at Kirk and asked: "what did you get me into!"  There were warnings about how falling on the trail could result in death, REALLY?!!  Okay so it really wasn't all that bad, although we did feel like mountain goats at some points!  It climbed over 800 feet in just the first 4 miles, but oh it was worth the climb.  We walked/climbed the huge hills and then at one point had to hike down and at some points slide on our butts.  It was hard and we learned we needed to fuel better next time, but it was so fun!  It took us 3 hours, about an hour longer than a road race, but the whole time we just kept saying we are definitely doing this again next year!  Great race.  Here are some pictures! Might make you want to give it a try. 

In this first one we are climbing to the top of the rock you see.  I'm on the bottom right in the blue t-shirt.
 I had to enlarge this so you could see the runners.  If you look just above the shade you can see the little dots.  This was from the top of our climb.  Incredible!
 Here I am at another hill!
 Here I am coming down!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Running with an Irish Man on St. Patrick's Day!

This year I spent Saint Patrick's Day running with my Irish Man! 13.1 Miles of St. Patty's Day fun!!

That's right we celebrated his favorite holiday running in the Canyon Lands Half Marathon in Moab, Utah!!

Imagine around 4000 runners converging on a single place, YIKES!! It was crazy fun! We started out by boarding a bus at 7:45 and riding for about a half hour to get up the canyon. Everyone was trying to get out of the wind by hiding behind rocks, it was a little chilly that early! The race started at 10 and it took us about two minutes to cross the starting line after the gun went off. There was a sea of people in front of us and behind us!

We ran negative splits, which means we started out at a slow pace and increase our speed over time. It makes you feel good because you end up passing lots of other runners. It is a beautiful run down the canyon with the river next to you. When you get to the bottom they have drummers so it echos of the canyon walls, so cool!

Kirk stuck with me until about mile 11 and then my legs hurt so bad I had to walk. Think I was struggling with the heat a bit, we've been running in the 50's and it was in the 60's. There was a sweet gal that came up next to me and encouraged me for a little while which made the last two miles better. In the end I only finished 5 minutes behind Kirk at 2:10:45. By next year I want to run it in 2 hours flat! (Yes I think I am crazy for saying that!!)

It's funny during those last two miles I was really questioning why I was doing this, I wanted to cry when I hit that wall. Now I'm all ready thinking about doing it next year. Of course I have another half here in Durango come June! Let's see if I can cut some time off!!!!

Someone at church asked me today why I would want to run 13.1 miles, I ask myself that some days too. It feels good to be able to say I've run a half marathon. I set a goal and I accomplished it. 2 years ago I never thought I would run this far, but I do have to say I love the feeling after I'm done. Running is sometimes the only time I get to be alone and doing something to keep me sane. I admit I can be a big complainer while I'm out there, just ask Kirk, but I know it's doing good things for my body and my mental health. (gotta love endorphins!) I still have a long way to go, but it's teaching me lots of patience!

Now it's onto my next race, the Red Rock Relay in May and then another half here at home in June. Then we'll see what's next!!