asics and nikes and brooks, oh my!

Over the past few weeks I have been researching running shoes. Believe it or not, this girl has been training in and running races in shoes she bought four years ago. I’ve heard you’re suppose to replace running shoes every 6 months or at least by 600 miles worth of running. Depending on how much you run, you may not have to get new ones every six months. In my case, I think it’s time. Back in college I bought a pink pair of asics. I picked asics, because I thought the name was the funniest of the brands out there. Very logical, I know. But I ended up absolutely loving them. They have been great and held up nicely…until now. Lately, I’ve notice aches and pains in my shins and knees and I’m really thinking it might be related to my shoes (I’m praying that it’s not because I’m getting old).

I’ve heard a lot of people rave about Nike and I have friends who swear by Asics, but then there’s Mizuno and Brooks that the “pro” runners would most likely recommend. Even though I thought I would always be a loyal Asics wearer, I found these Nike shoes the other day that I fell in love with:

pretty fly for a white girl.

I may have to wait until I can find a better deal on them though…such as free. For Christmas, ya know. But we’ll see. Maybe I can talk my husband into getting me an EARLY Christmas gift. 😉

So if you see me out running in the near future, hopefully I’ll be weaing these bad boys.

What’s your running shoe brand of choice? And why?

that’s the power of prayer, baby.

You know those times when you get an idea or set a goal for yourself (example: new year’s resolution) and then a week later you stop doing it, or worse…forget about it? This isn’t going to be one of those times for me. Unlike my running schedule, I am very committed to this new goal I have set for myself. That being said, technically accomplishing the goal is not my main focus, but rather experiencing the reason for the goal. With the news that Lane Goodwin, a 13 year-old boy from Kentucky battling a rare form of cancer, passed away a few days ago, it got me thinking about prayer. Everyone was talking about praying for Lane and his family and I just kept thinking how disappointed I was in my self. Why, you ask?

Allow me to explain: I have this tendency to tell others that I am going to be praying for them, like it’s some kind of phrase I just say, but don’t always do. I’m guilty of this 80% of the time (i’ll give myself a little credit, here). And I promise I don’t just say I’m going to pray for someone to make myself look better; that is never my intention. I really do believe in the power of prayer. So it isn’t right for me tell say I’m going to pray for someone or something and then not do it. Here’s my solution: a prayer journal.

Corny? Maybe. Effective? Definitely.

From now on, I have no excuse for my lack of prayers for others. The Lord has really placed it on my heart to focus on my prayer life right now and to get out of my lazy habit of talking the talk, but not walking the walk. I want to encourage you to do the same.

Here’s my challenge to you: buy a journal, small enough to fit in your purse or backpack or fanny pack (yeah, some people still use those) and make note of the times someone asks you to pray for them or even if you notice a situation that needs prayer. Then, when you go to have your quiet time, read through the journal and pray the prayer requests you have written down. I promise that it will strengthen your prayer life more than you could ever imagine. It’s incredible to see how your attitude changes, too. It has for me.

One last thing I want to leave you with: don’t be afraid to pray for big things. Our God is bigger than ANY of our prayers. He is bigger than ANY of our problems. He loves us and yearns for a relationship with us (conversation!). He wants us to bring all of our burdens to him and lift them up to him. Think about it this way, Jesus prayed…he prayed a LOT. What better example do we have, then from the one who saved our souls?

Therefore,  confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be  healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is  working. –James 5:16

Amen to that!

cat lovers anonymous.

I realize that this post is probably going to weaken my argument that I’m not a crazy cat lady. But I swear…I’m not a crazy cat lady. I just think my kitten is hilarious. I was looking through my camera on my phone last night and I noticed I had a ton of humorous pictures of pepe le pew . The photos range from her curiosity to her playfulness to her sleeping positions. Hopefully you’ll get as much a kick out of her as my husband and I do.

Roll that beautiful bean footage…

just enjoying the Word of God.

i kid you not, this is how she slept on me one evening.

clean laundry = cat bed. apparently.

she’s too good for a normal water bowl.

at least she’s giving herself a bath in the correct room of the house. she’s smart.

i guess this is the best hiding spot she could think of.

she likes to go at an all-out sprint and run through the box so her head sticks out. talented.

This is just a glimpse into the personality of our hyper-active, curious, crazy kitten. She’s a hoot.

medical center 10k classic: results.

I learned two valuable lesson this past Saturday:

1. Just because I’ve run a half-marathon does not mean running a 10k, with very little training, will be a breeze. FYI: it will not.

2. If I’ve been sick the week leading up to the race, I should listen to my body and NOT run.

Going into the race I had a goal time of 1 hour. I missed that goal by seven minutes. It may not look that bad on paper, but knowing what I felt like during the race made it seem that much worse. Not to mention the fact t hat I really think I could have met my goal time had I not been sick and trained a little better.

My husband came to the race on his bike and tried to ride around and cheer me on at certain points. I lost B somewhere around mile 2, because she has a faster pace than me. When I finally saw my husband around 2.5 miles I yelled to him “Take me home! I want to go home!”. But right as I said that another friend of mine ran by and yelled, “Come on, Jill. You’re not quitting!” So I ran with her for a little bit and then slowed down to a walk to catch my breath for a second. It may sound lame how far I got before I had to walk, but the phlegm on my lungs was so bad I was wheezing and every breath I took sounded like a roaring lion.

So I would run about a mile and then walk for 30-45 seconds and then run again. It was the only way for me to finish the race without dying. Finally I could see the end and I have never been so glad and disappointed at the same to see a finish line. I say that, because the course ended in the WKU football stadium, but not from the Big Red Way entrance, which is downhill, but from the entrance on the opposite side, which is UPhill. So we had to loop around the outside of the stadium, knowing we were so close to the end, yet still so far. Ok, that was a little dramatic I’ll admit, but it was frustrating. Thanks to the genius who had that idea!

Needless to say, I survived the race and I am truly grateful for that. I’m grateful for an encouraging husband, great friends, and the strength from the Lord to accomplish yet another race.

another day, another race. no big deal.

When B and I got to the race, we enjoyed watching the various warm-ups that people have. It’s pretty entertaining. If you haven’t taken the time to do this before a race, please do. It’ll make you laugh.

I decided after the race that if I run a race that is more than a 5k, I no longer want to run it if there’s fewer than 10,000 runners. I just like being engulfed in a sea of runners too much. I like constantly passing people. I like millions of cheering fans on the sidewalks. I like lots of people around me to motivate me not to stop running. So there. It may sound selfish, but it’s how I really feel right now.

So now that I have accomplished a half-marathon, 10K and 5K this year, I am determined to do that triathlon. I’m serious this time. It may not happen by the end of the year, but I can assure you, it will happen! Stay tuned.

dear tomorrow, annie may love you, but I don’t.

Tomorrow is the 33rd annual Medical Center 10k Classic and I’m 100% dreading it. Yep, dreading it. I actually can’t even believe I’m still going to run it, because of course those good ‘ol sinus infections like to sneak up on you like a bandit on the west side of town at night in a dark alley. It never fails to come at the worst time, too, with the goal of leaving you feeling exhausted and completely worthless. Well, sinuses, you succeeded. I feel awful.

Not only has my nose been running like the mighty waters of Niagara Falls, but my head feels like a hot air balloon on steroids. Not to mention my training (or lack thereof) has been lame. I have felt so weak this week (did you see what I did there?) that I haven’t gone for a run at all. Six days without running..that’s insane when you realize you’re running 6.2 miles in 18 hours. So, unlike little orphan Annie, I don’t love ya, tomorrow. Maybe another day.

However! All of this weakness talk has got me thinking about Jesus. Wait, that sounds bad. What I mean is, it got me thinking of the passage in 2 Corinthians, chapter 12. Paul is writing to the Corinthians about his past and recent struggles. He says he will only boast about his weaknesses, because Christ’s power is made perfect in weakness. Now I know I’m not in the same situation as Paul, and running 6.2 miles is nowhere near imprisonment, persecution or torture, but it is a situation where I will need Christ’s strength to get me through…“for when I am weak, then I am strong”. This is my opportunity to give ALL of the glory to the one who truly deserves it.

“For I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.”

-Philipians 4:13

Check back for the outcome of tomorrow’s events. If I survive….kidding. Kind of.

mexican can be healthy: low-fat fajitas.

My favorite type of food is Mexican. I would say I make it at least once a week, if not more. Not only is it exteremly affordable, but it’s always pretty easy to make! From tacos to enchilladas to fajitas, my husband and I just can’t get enough. I will admit, Mexican food can be unhealthy if you aren’t careful, (especially when it comes to over-using cheese) but this recipe I have for you is actually not bad at all. Here ya go:

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into thin strips
  • 1 small onion, cut into thin strips
  • 1 green, red, orange, andyellow bell pepper, cut into thin strips
  • 1/2 c. frozen corn
  • 1 packet of McCormick’s fajita seasoning mix
  • 1/4 c. water
  • whole wheat flour tortillas
  • light sour cream
  • fat-free shredded cheese

Directions:

  • Heat 1 T. oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook for 3-4 minutes or until no longer pink. Remove from skillet. Add and heat remaining oil. Add onion, peppers, and corn; cook and stir 3-5 minutes. Return meat to skillet.
  • Stir in water and seasoning packet. Cook and stir 3 minutes or until heated through.
  • Spoon into tortillas. Top with sour cream and cheese (optional).

I usually serve them with a side of brown rice. Enjoy!