And She Ran

"Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable."

The House of God, Forever

God is my shepherd
I won’t be wanting
I won’t be wanting
He makes me rest
In fields of green
With quite streams
Even though I walk
Through the valley
Of death and dying
I will not fear
‘Cause you are with me
You are with me

Your shepherd staff
Comforts me
You are my feast
In the presence of enemy
Surely goodness
Follow me
Follow me
In the house of God, forever

God is my shepherd
I won’t be wanting
I won’t be wanting
He makes me rest
In fields of green
Like quiet streams
Even while I’m walking
Through the valley
Of death and dying
I will not fear
‘Cause you are with me
You’re always with me

Your shepherd staff
Comforts me
You are my feast
In the presence of enemy
Surely goodness
Follow me
Follow me
In the house of God, forever
In the house of God, forever
In the house of God, forever

Weekly (hmm…maybe not quite) Recap #10

As the amount of schoolwork has increased, running has been put on the back burner. I’ve still managed to get in a few runs every few days. I tested myself on 40 minute a trail run 1.5 wks ago with some high school boys who were kind enough to let me tag along. I was probably cramping their style a little, but they didn’t seem to mind. I was breathing heavy five minutes in (their pace was a little quicker than what I’ve been accustomed to lately), but I didn’t get dropped. Victory! My foot held up fine. I experienced some soreness the next day, but surprisingly nothing that didn’t seem normal. On another run recently, I was feeling good and zipping along (for me) at 8:15 pace when a young boy, maybe 13 (I’m a terrible judge of age), started running behind me. I heard him laughing as he clunked along behind me. I may have sped up just a smidge, enough that he made an embarrassed “ugh” noise and gave up. Yes! I can still out run middle school boys in boots!

My job allows me to feel much more like a runner than I really am right now. Tonight, I’m going to give a presentation on the new Garmin Forerunner 10 even though I have yet to use the watch myself (It’s amazing how helpful YouTube can be). I thought I’d tell you all about it as practice. If you’re looking for a simple GPS watch that tells you how far and how fast you’re running and that won’t break the bank, this watch may interest you…


The FR 10 is the most inexpensive GPS watch that Garmin has made, but don’t let the cheap price tag fool you. It has several important features not necessarily included in more expensive models that make it more than just a glorified stopwatch.

Run/Walk Feature: Allows you to set a run time and a walk time and then the watch will alert you when it’s time to switch. For example, you can set the run time to five minutes and the walk time to two. After five minutes, the watch will beep, signaling your transition to two minutes of walking. Of course, you can do whatever you want in those time intervals (meaning: just because it says ‘walk’ doesn’t mean you have to walk). The alerts will repeat until you finish your workout. At the end, it will be recorded as a “run.”

Virtual Pacer: This feature will help you maintain your goal pace. Set the pace you would like to maintain per mile or kilometer. During your run, the watch will alert you when you’re ahead, behind, or on target with your goal pace. Expect to hear beeps, see the screen highlighted and flashing words indicating where your current pace is in relation to your goal pace. According to one reviewer, this alert works slightly differently than the rest of the Garmin line up, noting that is more persistent and louder than other units. I was able to get in contact with the reviewer and asked him whether the watch gives you a window of time to accommodate normal fluctuation in pace that occurs during the course of a run. He said that it does give you a few seconds (about 10) before it beeps at you.

Auto Pause: Once in place, this feature will automatically pause the watch when you stop moving.

Store and Share: Are you unfamiliar with Garmin GPS watches? One of the many benefits that comes with having a Garmin watch is access to an online community at Once you set up a free account you can upload all the information on your watch to your own profile. From there you’ll have access to:

  • Maps—you’ll be able to see where you ran
  • Charts—provides more details like average pace and elevation
  • Share—from there you can let friends know what you’re up to through facebook, twitter, etc…

The FR 10 stores your last 7 runs and 2 personal records. The oldest runs will be overwritten when the memory is full so be sure to upload your information to Garmin Connect if you want to keep records of all your past runs.

Nuts and Bolts:  As you can see from the picture above, the FR 10 comes in three different styles. The pink/white and green/white styles are considered women’s watches so they are smaller than the black and red manly man version, which has a larger watch face and thicker wrist band. Included with the watch is a charge/date cable (no additional power block for wall so you’ll need to have access to USB port) and a manual.

Important facts:

  • Battery Life: Typical use (GPS on 30 min./day) = 10 days. GPS continuously on = 5 hours (some debate on the truth of this). Power save mode = 5 weeks
  • Waterproof 50m: This is an excellent feature that is not available in all Garmin models.
  • Indoor Mode: Tap the lower right button when the watch is searching for satellites. You will be asked if you want to use GPS. Say no. The FR 10 will then function as a simple clock.
  • Accessories: The only additional accessory available really is the standard bike mount from Garmin which allows you to wrap the Garmin around the handlebars of the bike as opposed to your wrist.
  • Cannot add anything to this watch: i.e. heart rate or foot pod.

Getting Started. Before your first run, be sure to charge up to 4 hours. It’s always good to do that with most devices like this even though they come pre-charged. In order for your watch to find satellites, you’ll need to step outside. Press the top right button and your watch will begin searching for the signal. The first time may take a minute or two and times after if you are in a new location or the satellites are blocked. The top right button also functions as the Start/Stop button.

If you have questions feel free to ask me or check out the Garmin website for simple, informative videos. Also, here’s the link to the review I referenced. I’ve covered the basics in this post, but I know there is information I’m leaving out. From what I can tell, it’s a pretty neat watch. Going on my wish list for sure!

Until next time!

Where have I been?

It’s a good thing I didn’t commit to a post a day, because I can’t even handle a post a week! I hate feeling like I’m not doing my best and for the past month, I’m not sure if I’ve been at my best in any aspect of life from school/work to relationships with people to this blog. This past Monday, I was feeling extra overwhelmed and frustrated with myself. Instead of taking the day to tackle the long list of things I needed/could get done, I threw Carl in the truck (not literally) and drove up to CP for a run in the woods. I didn’t even know where we were going I just knew that if I drove north, I’d find a place. After driving around in circles, I decided to go to the Vischer Ferry Preserve and run east. We’ve always parked and walked west toward the power plant so I had no idea how far it went in the other direction.

BTW…Holding a leash and trying to run is the worst, but Carl and I worked out a system. I loop the leash around my waist, securing it with the plastic bag he never needs, and he runs at my side without pulling (unless he sees a rabbit). As a result, my arms are able to swing freely, I have a metronome/body guard at my side, AND I’m abiding by the leash law.

The Preserve is beautiful and I’ve missed out on most of it my entire life. I can’t believe it! The trail runs along the old Erie Canal so it’s straight and you will have to do an out-and-back or point-to-point run/walk, but that also means less chance of getting disoriented for any of you who get lost easily. At times, I felt like we were the only ones for miles around. I was determined to see the end of the trail so we kept going until the main entrance at Riverview and VanVranken Road. From there, you have two more options, but I decided we’d better turn back. Our total run time: 45 minutes! Yes! We were going slow and didn’t cover many miles, but it was satisfying to be running again for that length of time without any pain.

Funny thing…The run felt great, but the high faded and I was left still feeling empty. The drive home, I cried. Later that night after a staff meeting, I cried. I was hurting for reasons I couldn’t even articulate. But you know, I didn’t pray about it. I didn’t feel like it. I was feeling so crummy about myself and wanted to wait until I felt less crummy about myself to approach God as if I could actually do something. For two days I kept this charade up. Finally, I succumbed to the astronomical weight I was shouldering. I said “Lord, where have I been?” There is nothing like pouring your heart out to God, knowing He hears you and cares for you. Knowing not because some guy in a pulpit says so, but knowing with every fiber of your being that you are CHANGED because of that love.

Then, I opened to Matthew and read about Jesus healing people over and over again. Their faith made them well. Not their good deeds. Not their ability to keep the law. Faith.

“And behold, a woman who had suffered from a discharge of blood for twelve years came up behind him and touched the fringe of his garment, for she said to herself, ‘If I only touch his garment, I will be made well.’ Jesus turned, seeing her he said, ‘Take heart, daughter, your faith has made you well.’ And instantly the woman was made well.” – Matthew 9:20-22

How encouraging those words are to me, and I hope to you as well, because it reminds me that I don’t have to be squeaky clean for God to love me. He wants me in my brokenness. For that I am thankful. Thankful for what Jesus did on the cross. How He died in my place and rose again three days later that I might know God personally and experience His love. What a wonderful, awe inspiring thing. I’m thankful for the God who allows me to run, has given me a passion for it in my heart, but does not let it come between me and Him.

Weekly Recap #8

I’m sorry that my weekly posts became bi-weekly, but I will go back to posting at least once a week. The start of the school year is always tumultuous for me. It takes a couple of weeks to get my brain back in thinking shape. I also started my new job and it’s wonderful. I’m learning a ton, but part of that learning process is realizing that there is so much to learn. I don’t know what I’m doing most of the time and I feel like a burden to those training me, but they are kind and patient. I’ll be in training for awhile so I can only hope that at the end of it I will feel much better than I feel now. Until then, I’m going to keep scribbling notes in my little notebook and try not to mess up too badly!

How’s my running going? Not too shabby. I’ve laced up my shoes a couple of times and gone out with the hubs. Running together is great (I pretend he’s having as much fun as me) and so far, September has been beautiful and perfect for running. It’s cross-country season after all! I haven’t worried about pace or length of runs. It’s been great. Just running to run and enjoy each other’s company. My foot has been feeling better, too. No need to call the doctor. I don’t think. We found a flat, gravel trail about 10 minutes from our place so we’ve gone there a couple of times and it’s been good for our feet. Any ideas for soft trails in the Albany area? I want to avoid concrete sidewalks and other hard surfaces as much as possible. I should mention that we aren’t fans of the Pine Bush, even though many runners go there, so suggestions other than there are welcome. Although, if you can make a good argument in defense of it, I’ll consider it. We’ve experienced firsthand the high tick population there. I know ticks are everywhere, but I think what makes that place “globally unique,” so called by the website, also makes it the perfect tick environment. Be warned.

One of the best things about my new job is that I get to hear people talk about their running all day. It’s also one of the hardest. Being injured and coming back from it challenges all runners of any level. Coming back from injury is a lot like being a new runner and there are many mistakes that can be made. Check back later in the week for my list of common mistakes runners make that I’ve observed/been guilty of over the years.


Weekly Recap #7

Two weeks ago, I was feeling sorry for myself something awful and indulging in Oreo flurries wasn’t helping. No running. No biking. I was in the midst of waiting for my foot to get better. Again. Have I gone to the doctor? Uh…funny thing about that. I’ve taken on another last name, but I haven’t left my roots behind. In my family, we’re always trying to convince someone to go to the doctor while simultaneously refusing to go ourselves.

I have to tell a story because it sums us up. Calling you out, Mom! One day, I was kicking around the yard while Mom trimmed the front bushes with an electric hedge trimmer…She says, “Ouch.” No exclamation. Shuts off the trimmer and walks in the house. I stopped doing whatever it was I was doing and watched her go in the house, unconcerned, but I had that feeling I better go investigate. I follow the sound of running water to the kitchen. She could have been washing dishes. She was that calm. Approaching her from behind I asked, “Mom? Are you okayYYyyeeech! What happened?!” Peering around her, I saw that the sink was full of blood. Whatever she was using to stop the blood wasn’t stopping it. She asked if I could go get her a towel. I scampered back and forth trying not to get too worked up, but somebody had to be concerned since Mom wasn’t. I had to CONVINCE her to go to the urgent care and I insisted on driving (I had my permit at the time). Turns out she almost cut the tip of her finger off, but a few stitches kept it intact. She probably has a different story to tell you, but trust me, getting my mom to doctor is the hardest thing in the world. She could be missing a fingertip if it wasn’t for me. Love you, Mom! :)

Getting me to the doctor is pretty tough, too. Ask the hubs. He’s been telling me for awhile now to get my foot checked out again, but I keep thinking that it’ll be okay in a week. Just another week… This is it though. Really. Next Monday, if my foot is still bothering me, I’ll call the doctor. Internet, keep me accountable! I did run for 15 min. twice this week and my foot really wasn’t sore. Just a twinge or two during. Little victory? Maybe I don’t have to go to the doctor? ;-)

In the last two weeks, God gently convicted me about my attitude for which I am thankful (conviction isn’t always gentle!). Satisfaction in Him is sweet. Sweet. So sweet. Running doesn’t compare. Not coincidentally, as the Lord drew me closer to Him, I was filled with peace about a lot of different things that were weighing on my mind. In the last two weeks, he also gave me a job! It’s running related so even though my own running isn’t happening, I get to help others and be a part of the running community! Exciting. Exciting.

Because Quotes Are Fun

My race only takes about four minutes, but the difference I can make for other people lasts much longer than that.

Marla Runyan, legally-blind runner, five-time Paralympic gold medalist, 3-time national champion in the 5000m, 1500m finalist in the Sydney Olympics.

Weekly Recap #6/ Olympic Thoughts

I have little to say about my own athletic endeavors this week. I went on a couple of bike rides, not super strenuous. My foot is recovering. Finally. It took me awhile to get to the point of not doing anything. To wait. To be patient. To do what I should have done months ago. Don’t mess around with broken bones people! Let them heal.

Since I have little to say about my own athletic endeavors this week, I’ll share with you my highs and lows of the Olympics.


U.S. Marathon Woes. I woke up at the crack of dawn to watch our greatest women’s Olympic marathon team ever assembled compete.

It’s all smiles for the ladies in Houston

Before the race, I knew that Desiree Davila (check out this thrilling finish to the Boston Marathon 2011!), with Hansons-Brooks was struggling with a hip flexor injury and was doubtful to even start. She did start, but was never in the race and was forced to drop out. She is an excellent marathoner though and she will be back! [Shalane Flanagan and Kara Goucher finished 10th and 11th. Not too shabby for the former 5,000m AR holder Flanagan running in her third marathon and Goucher who in the last two years has had a baby and switched coaches.]

I was bummed a little by the women’s race, but picked myself back up for men’s race the following week. I had high hopes for Ryan Hall the AR holder in the marathon who despite never winning a major marathon has always been in the hunt. He has also created quite a stir in the running community for being very outspoken about his faith and looking to God as his coach. Watching, I was concerned from the beginning when I didn’t see him up in the front of the pack. He is typically a front-runner, especially in the early goings, and I knew that if he was being cautious there was a problem. I didn’t have to wait long because around mile 10 he dropped out. Hamstring. Olympics over. Lame. Abdi dropped out right after, too. We only had one guy left and he ran in Sketchers…

When Hall dropped out, I knew the jabs about God were going to start and I was right. One of the first things I read: “Where is Ryan Hall’s god now?” I’ve never had the chance to sit down and talk with Ryan or his wife, but they are very open about their beliefs. It doesn’t seem like an act and I’m relieved to say I don’t think he’s bought into the health and wealth crap gospel. I don’t agree with everything he says, but he seems like he’s seeking the truth. He’s out their representing the name of Jesus Christ in a not-so-kind environment and needs prayer. Hopefully, this disappointment will draw him closer to God and that God will be glorified. Not Ryan Hall. He’s hoping to run the NYC marathon in November so be on the lookout!   

Down goes Uceny! Morgan Uceny is a U.S. women’s 1500m runner. She exploded onto the scene last year (she was no slouch beforehand finishing 4th at the U.S. Olympic Trials in 2008). She captured the #1 ranking in the WORLD at the distance last year and was poised to win a title at the World Championships in Daegu. In the final of that race with 500m to go, she fell. Everyone gasped and then Jenny Simpson, also from the U.S. shocked the world with a victory. Uceny sprang up and finished the race, but there was no coming back after a fall like that. She was bummed. But, at least she had a #1 ranking and the Olympics in 2012. Fast forward. She is running comfortably on the outside. Staying out of trouble. Looks great. Perfect position. Ready to move when the bell rings. Everyone is still in it thanks to a slow pace. Bell. Final lap. The pack surges forward. Down goes Uceny. I barely remember the last lap because I was in shock that Morgan Uceny fell, again! This time she didn’t get up. She slammed the track with her hands. She screamed. She cried. A lot. It was very traumatic.

That’s not where you want to be…

Drama. Drama. Drama. Get a bunch of competitive people together and there is sure to be drama, but it bugs me. I don’t even want to say names and events because that’ll just feed it. 


U.S. men’s distance runners. They’re coming back! Galen Rupp takes silver in the 10,000m. Kenyans don’t even medal. I wouldn’t have thought it possible before this, but Rupp was looking good coming in and his training partner Mo Farah (GB) was also something special. Alberto Salazar, their coach, is a happy man.

I still think he looks like Peter Pan

Then, Leo Manzano kicks like a banshee in the last 100m to nab silver in the 1500m. Woot! He may have a strange pre-race ritual, but he is a silver medalist for the U.S. Also, of note, Matt Centrowitz of the U.S. finished 4th. He was the bronze medalist at Worlds last year. The young runner is consistent. Let’s hope he consistently gets better! 

Remember the only guy we had left in the marathon running in Sketchers? He finished 4th! A surprise for the 37-year-old Meb Keflezighi? Not as much as you would think considering the year he has had (in Sketchers! I still can’t get over that). He ran his personal best at the 2011 NYC Marathon and celebrated on the streets of Houston with a win at the Olympic Trials in January. A former silver medalist and NYC marathon champion (2009) should never be counted out, but I’ll admit that I didn’t really think he’d do much since the medal came 8 years ago and well, he is getting older… But, he surprised me, and a few others, kept churning after being dropped by the leaders, and worked his way to fourth. Congrats, Meb! Let’s go to Rio!

He hadn’t even crossed the finish line yet!

Finally, meet Guor Marial. 

Doesn’t he look like a nice guy?

He competed in the men’s marathon. It was his first Olympics and he did so running under the IOC flag because he doesn’t really have a country. He fled what is now South Sudan when he was young, growing up in the United States. His family was devastated by the war torn country. He lost 8 of his siblings and 15 other family members. When he qualified for the team, he was asked to compete under the Sudanese flag. But, he refused. He is also not a U.S. citizen, leaving him without a country to represent. I hear a lot of negative press about the IOC so it was nice to hear of something positive for once. They allowed Guor to run. Props to them, but I was most impressed with Guor, devoid of bitterness, smiling and humble during a pre-race interview. By running on the biggest stage, he has given children in Sudan something to run toward rather than away from.

I know a lot of other things happened at the Olympics, but I can’t cover it all!

For those interested: 7 of the 8 men in the Olympic 100m finals will be racing Aug. 23rd  Rematch! See the announcement. Track and Field still exists even when the rest of the world doesn’t watch. 

Weekly Recap #5

Monday: Off

Tuesday: 10.3 hilly miles on bike. I forgot how comfortable my bike is. Not. I haven’t ridden it since my days on Ackerman Ave. It felt good to be back on my trusty steed even with his crumbling seat and squeaky breaks.

I can’t remember the combination to my lock. Whoops.

Wednesday: Off

Thursday: 4.6 miles on bike with Ryan. Hilly. We parked in the library parking lot even though we weren’t using the library and it felt so rebellious I almost couldn’t handle it.

Friday: 9 miles on bike with Ryan. Flat. Still made me tired.

Saturday/Sunday: Partying it up in Allentown, PA where I found a little piece of home.

It’s an antique! I don’t think The Rensselaer Valve Company exists today.

Weekly Total: 23.9 miles of biking, 0 miles of running :(

Turns out, not running for a bit made my foot feel better. That being said, my tentative race plans are proving their tentativeness. I’m already scrapping the idea to run in the Southern Saratoga YMCA 5k mostly because paying $25 today to possibly take a few steps backward in recovery doesn’t seem worth it. I can just go out and do that for free. I’m disappointed, but not  that disappointed. I think I was a smidge too optimistic to think that a week off would take away all aches and pains. Two weeks, though, now we’re looking good!

Look out for some thoughts on the Olympics coming later this week. I know the wait will be tough, but enjoy the week anyway! ;-)

Weekly Recap #4

Monday: Off

Tuesday: 31 min. (3-ish mi) First 24 min. with Ryan then finished up with a few laps around a short track in East Greenbush. Easy run. Foot a little sore.

Wednesday: 35 min. on elliptical +GS workout. 30 min. hard. 5 min. easy cool down. Got my heart rate up.

Thursday: 30 min. on elliptical.

Friday: Carl and I went for a walk at the hottest time of the day. Whoops. Wouldn’t normally count that as exercise, but we both got so hot I decided that it should count.

Saturday: Off (walked around The Great Escape all day)

Sunday: Off (with a 4 hour nap)

Total: Eh…? Only 3-ish miles of actually running :(

Can you tell I backed off a lot this week?

In Olympic distance running news…Galen Rupp earned the silver medal in the 10k, just behind his British training partner, Mo Farah. Fun fact: It is the first time an American male has won an Olympic medal at that distance since Billy Mills shocked the world in 1964.

It’s like it was a big deal or something

Tentative Race Plan

Southern Saratoga YMCA 5k 

I think this was my first 5k race. I was young (elementary school age), eager, and charged off the line only to die later. My family cheered for me from our front yard around the 2 mile mark and I could tell they could tell I was fading. Hopefully, I’ve learned a little since then and I won’t go out too fast. It helps that I’m VERY familiar with the route since I grew up in a house along it.

Fast facts: August 14 (Tuesday) at 6:30 PM. Day of race registration available until 30 min. prior to start. $25. FLAT

Helpers Fund 5k

This race is part of the Adirondack Marathon Distance Festival. I remember it as a small, intimate race, but it could have grown in the last 5 years. At the time, I had what was probably an undiagnosed stress fracture, but I never had to get it checked out because I got real sick about a month after this race and couldn’t run for a long time. Oh, the memories…

Fast facts: September 22 (Saturday) at 9:30 AM. Day of race registration available 7-8:30 AM. $15 by Sept. 18, $21 starting Sept. 19. The awards were wooden carved bears holding a bottle of maple syrup.

12th Annual Great Pumpkin Challenge 5k

I’ve never run this, but I want to race in Saratoga this fall. Unfortunately, it isn’t the same course I grew up racing, but I think it would still be nice to be racing at the Spa in fall. I’m considering this race instead, but I wish it wasn’t a Sunday. I’ll decide when the time comes.

Fast facts: October 20 at 9:30 AM. No day of race registration. $22 before 10/1; $25 before 10/20.

The Foundation for Ellis Medicine’s Cardiac Classic 5k

This is the race. This is the race I’m looking to run well. I ran it last year and really enjoyed the course. My family decided that everyone would run it this year. I hope they’re still looking forward to it…

Fun facts: November 22 (Thanksgiving Day!) at 9:00 AM. No day of race registration. It does have a gradual hill about midway, but it races like a fast, flat course.

Well, there you have it. My tentativerace plan based on my tentative training plan. I have no idea whether the plan in my head is really going to work out. I’m giving my foot another month to heal before I really start training. Should I call the doctor? Probably. I keep telling myself that he’s just going to tell me what I already know. To rest it. Don’t run. Don’t do anything that makes it hurt. He barely looked at me during my last appointment. I was in the office for almost 1.5 hours and I saw the doctor for maybe 2 minutes. I’m not eager to go back there and the thing is…it doesn’t hurt that bad. Are those good excuses? ;-)

I’m antsy to be pain free again. It’s really throwing a kink in my ability to pretend to be a gymnast. But, huzzah! Track and Field starts TODAY!! Don’t know anything about track? Check out The Non-Track Fan’s Guide to the Olympics for some pointers.

Reflecting on this today: “…for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.” ~I Timothy 4:8


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