Running :: Two Babies & A Few Croissants Later

This morning, yes, as in about an hour and a half ago, I went for a run. As many of you know, I have been a runner for some time now, but since getting pregnant with Branch, running has been put on the back burner. A few months after he passed away, I started running again. I was slower than I had been, and my body and bones were soft & fragile from pregnancy followed by surgery.  I did it, though, and it was empowering to some degree, as running often is.  As soon as I was getting more comfortable as a post-baby runner…..I found out I was pregnant with River.  I told myself, for about a millisecond, that I would run for months and months during this second pregnancy, but then I realized that was dumb and not at all what I wanted to do. So I hiked and walked and took a lot of naps and ate croissants, because naps and croissants are both delicious, and hikes and walks are much more fun when pregnant than running is.

I say all of this to help you understand exactly where I was at physically when I decided to download a “zero to 5k” app and go out for my first walk/run interval this morning. First off, this app is super cool. It’s called Fitness 22 5K Runner, and a couple of my friends have used it before so I knew what to expect. It has various “badges” you unlock by completing different runs, and the very first one is called the Lionheart Badge. Umm, hello.

Back to my morning run.  I drove the 5 minutes it takes to get to the coast (#humblebrag), loaded River into the stroller (#bob), started the app (#5krunner), did the warm-up and first walk/run interval (#ivegotthis), and then almost died (#seriouslyithoughtiwasgoingtopassout). PEOPLE. Running is hard!!!!!!!!!!


SOMEHOW I managed to scrape my motivation off the sidewalk and make it through the entire thing. And of course, when I was finished, I felt amazing and so proud of myself. This does not, however, change the fact that RUNNING IS HARD!!!!!!!!!!!!!

At least, it’s hard for me. River had a great time and giggled the faster I went.

Until the next one,


Isaiah 40:31  “But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles, they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not grow faint.”

Running Again

I have decided to start running again.

I was a runner for many years. And now I am one again.

I am not a fast runner, though my speed did increase over the years.

I am not a skinny runner, though my body has seen various shapes and weights in my running tenure.

I am not someone who was “born to run” and just loves every second of being out there.

Running is hard work. It’s hard for my mind, for my lungs, for my heart, for my legs.  Sometimes running feels like soul work more than anything else. It’s all on the table when my feet hit the ground, you know what I mean? I am reminded of my reality, of God’s goodness, of all I am carrying in my inmost being, every time I lace up my sneakers.

I wonder if that’s why I took a break for a little while. It was too much to face. Too much to carry. Too much to run with.


On Saturday morning I went for a run.

I had new shoes, an awesome pair of running tights, and an ocean view.

I ran half a mile, stopped for a minute to catch my breath, and then ran another half mile.

One mile.

During the 2nd half mile my mind was flooded with thoughts of how different running feels. In some ways it is harder to run, but mostly, I was reminded of all my body, my legs, my lungs, and my heart have walked through in recent months.

These are the legs that take me to work, to Whole Foods, to Croutons for soup and salad, every week.  These are the thighs that held extra weight, weight that is still there, to support a growing baby boy. This is the body that is physically holding my grief, my joy, my fear. These are the lungs that laugh and cry, often in the same breath, as I did at church this morning. This is the heart that lays my sorrows and my dreams at God’s feet.

This body has done a lot for me. And now, it is helping me run.

One mile down.




The Lionheart Half Marathon … and Weight Watchers

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Glenn has been kind enough to join me on some of my runs. Believe it or not, it has been COLD here in San Diego!

It has been over two months since I had a baby. Wow.

In early January I decided I had given myself enough time to grief-eat and sit around in my sweats all day. Spending my days watching trash television like Hart of Dixie and The Biggest Loser was pretty fun, if I do say so myself, but it was time for a change.  I still do a little grief-lounging, or “hibernating” as I now call it, but I have also started actively pursuing my physical goals. Weight Watchers has really worked for me in the past, so I joined up again. I was super hungry for a solid two weeks, and am now getting back into the swing of things.

Along with the good ‘ole WW, I am dipping my big toe into the ocean of running once more. When I got pregnant I was actually in pretty decent running shape, and was convinced I would be one of “those” pregnant ladies who just ran their way in and out of the delivery room.

Ummm, yea, that didn’t happen. If anyone is wondering, the early months of pregnancy are brutal, and the ONLY thing I could manage was lying on the couch, whining, and eating McDonald’s. Once I started to feel better I did maintain my walking and hiking, but running has not been part of my life since April 2013. That was quite a long time ago in running years.

Here is what running looks like for me today:  My legs hurt. My chest throbs. I can barely breathe. A mix of sweat and salt pour down my face. I feel like I am going to fall over dead any minute. I look down at my Garmin and notice that I have just hit the half-mile marker. Ouch.

Needless to say, this is already a challenging growth experience.

Growth. Ugh. Sometimes I wish I were done growing. I mean, ultimately I am so grateful to be able to be better than before, to move forward, to, yes, GROW… it’s just hard work.  It always has been, and it always will be. I am so grateful that God is gentle as I walk the path of growth in so many areas. It hurts, even when I know the end result is worth the pain.

Back to the running. It is hard — yes. But I am doing it. And, even more excitingly, YOU can do it with me! Glenn and I have unofficially dubbed this year’s La Jolla Half Marathon the LIONHEART HALF & 5K. We are running it in honor of Branch, and yes we will be making team shirts. We figured this was a good way to do something productive, get back into running shape, and honor our little boy’s life. He was so strong during his time on earth, we can be strong and run this race for him.

If you are interested in running either the Half Marathon or the 5k, and being part of Team Lionheart, here is what you need to know:

Date: Sunday, April 27th
Location: La Jolla, CA —   Torrey Pines is part of the course! Beautiful and challenging!
Distance: 13.1 OR 3.1 miles
Registration website:

If you live in San Diego, please sign up and run with us! Don’t delay! This race sells out every single year, so if you think you want to do it, sign up now!! Team Lionheart currently has about 6 people running the half marathon and 4 doing the 5k. If you are interested, we will be putting together group runs every weekend to get us prepped!

If you do NOT live in San Diego but still want to be part of Team Lionheart, we are going to be making shirts sometime in the next month or so and I will post about how to purchase one here on the blog.

And finally, I will end this post with my one month weight loss photo and stats. I have decided it will be an added level of accountability to post about my weight loss here on the blog. Sorry if that’s not your cup ‘o tea. It should only be once a month, so I’m sure you will be able to handle it.

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In four weeks I have lost 6.8 pounds. I am starting to see a small difference, and if you look closely you can see some change in the photo. Hoping to lose even more this month!


Whoopsie Daisy

I forgot to blog for a month and a half.  Oops! Sometimes life and doing and working and being and learning and growing just take up all of my time, and I’ve decided that is ok.

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I walked/ran a half marathon through Washington DC.

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My littlest sister Katherine drove me to the Baltimore train station in the pouring rain. We hadn’t anticipated the downpour, or the fact that the Baltimore train station is super far away from where my parents live, so I missed my train. Not to worry, Amtrak was glad to take an extra $150 to get me where I needed to go. Thanks, Amtrak.

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I rode a {last minute} train from Baltimore to Connecticut to spend the better half of a week with some precious lives: Julie, Gracie, Piper, and Brian {not pictured}. We ate hot dogs, pizza, and apple pie. We also sang karaoke – a first for me, but definitely NOT a first for Julie, who we used to call Julie Mraz in college because she basically turned into Jason Mraz every time he came on the radio.  She really loves to sing.

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Glenn took a day off and we went to Disneyland. I love him. I love Disneyland. I love Southern California in general.

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I ate a chocolate croissant for breakfast. It was worth it. It usually is.

Have a great Wednesday!



The Marathon


Last time we chatted I was about to do my second ever MARATHON — I was nervous, excited, and ready to get up to San Francisco. A few weeks have passed, and I am happy to report the marathon was awesome! Most of you probably saw the photo updates on Instagram and Twitter, but just in case you didn’t, here are some highlights of the 2012 Nike Women’s Marathon. Photo collages courtesy of my lovely mother.

Highlights of the trip: crossing the finish line after 26.2 miles with SMILES on our faces, eating anything we wanted for a couple of days {San Francisco, yum}, a view of the Bay Bridge the second we stepped out of our hotel, countless laughs and encouraging moments with Mom and Sandy, dominating the public transit system {you’ve got nothing on us, BART/MUNI!}.


Strange moments of the trip: Watching a man attempt to steal NyQuil from a 7-Eleven, observing a drug deal {or twelve} as we walked around town, having to pay 10 cents any time we wanted a bag to carry our purchases in, risking our lives every single time we got into a taxi.

San Francisco has a special place in my heart, and even though it’s filled with lots of crazies, it’s a really fun place to spend a weekend, and an even better place to run a marathon… especially with your {almost} sixty year old Mom!

NWM 2013 – who’s with me??


I haven’t really talked about this much here on the ol’ blog — but I’m in the middle of marathon training. At some point last year my Mama convinced me to sign up and train for a marathon that is now only three weeks away. I have done one marathon before — six years ago. It was brutal. And yet, this time, I’m looking forward to it. It will be a huge accomplishment and I’m really excited for the time with my Mom. She turns sixty this year and I turned thirty, and honestly I don’t know many other sixty year old women who are interested in 26.2 miles on their feet.

Training for a marathon is a lot like training for a half marathon, just a lot longer. Thank you, Captain Obvious.

This week I did twenty miles {my legs are still feeling that one…} and last weekend I did fifteen. From here we “taper” until race day so I have a twelve miler and then an eight miler and then TWENTY SIX POINT TWO. Phew.

On my fifteen miler I had the foresight to take photos along the way. I took my very first step as the sun was rising over the bay.

I have been convincing various friends to join me for my walks {or portions of them} to give me something to look forward to. Piper and Chloe joined me from miles three to six. Aren’t they presh?

I was alone and excessively hot {it was over 90 degrees this day – yuck!} from miles six to twelve where Jessica and Reagan met up with me. I could NOT have been happier to see them. Jessica brought me ice water and grapes and gave me a good pep talk to help me make it through my last three miles.

When I finally hit mile fifteen I was just so happy to be finished, and couldn’t wait to get my hands on a Chick-fil-A sandwich.

I don’t have any photos documenting the twenty miles, but my lovely friend Emily joined me for the ENTIRE thing. She is a true champ and a true encourager on these long distance walk/runs!

Hope everyone is having a lovely Wednesday. More fun to come this week on the blog!


Catching Up

It’s been too long. Far too long.

I’m sorry, internet! There’s just so much going on, I simply can not stay on top of it all. And I want to share every. single. second with you but that is simply unrealistic and unhealthy. Oh, and you might not actually be interested in every moment of my life. SOOOO my friends, just like I did a while back in this post, here is an update from each category. And then some.

Arkansas – I am no longer there. If you didn’t know that, I am sorry. I would have thought the weekly posts about running on the beach would have given it away.If you want to read a little about the move, you can click here. If you want to read a little bit about our dreams coming true, you can click here.

Fashion – I have new running shoes. And new running clothes. Because all I do is run.

Ok that’s a lie, I work, I hang out, I sleep, I eat. But a lot of what I do is run, so all the new clothes I have purchased recently are super cool running clothes. Are you interested in a running/workout fashion post?

I am also *trying* to dress cute whenever I leave the house, especially if it’s for something professional. This is what we call “classing it up”. I will do my best to post pictures. Actually, here’s one of my outfit my first day of work. My favorite part of this outfit is that a stranger stopped me at the mall to tell me how much she loved my top and ask where I got it.  Goodwill. Awwww yea!

Work – I have a job! I started working right before we moved down to San Diego from LaLa Land. I am working at the University of San Diego again, different department but same division as before. I LOVE being back on campus. And I LOVE working part time. And I LOVE getting a paycheck. It’s been a while.

Favorite Things – Alright people, here’s the deal. Everyone is doing something favorite-thingsy. And even though like one of the basic definitions of life and human existence is that we are a strange combination of copy-cat and original — I am just not that into doing what every other blogger I read is doing. Or maybe I am. And maybe that’s why I’m blogging at all. Blurg. Bottom line: I need to get over myself. Favorite things post to come in the future.

Friends and Family – My baby sister is on crutches, #3 is moving out here at some point in the near future, the 2nd in command is dominating the hotel industry {and hooking me up with awesome hotels to stay at!}, and my parents are going on dinner dates where my Dad tells my Mom how he believes aliens are everywhere. As for the married-into family? I am living with them. And I like it. Keith-As-I-Live-And-Breathe {which is what I call my father in law} kills the spiders in my room, Janice makes me eggs. It’s awesome.

Los Angeles – I kind of miss it. Don’t crucify me. I am an eternal San Diegan and would never sell out for LA, but LA was fun! I loved driving 40 minutes to the coolest places on the West Coast. I loved meeting up with Matt and Sandy almost every weekend. I loved riding bikes in Santa Monica. I loved having 4 Lululemon shops within 20 miles. I loved that Ryan Seacrest was my local morning show. I seriously loved LA.

Personal – What does this category even mean?? The most personal things happening right now: my husband is gone and I really miss him, I have blisters on my toes and skin that’s been rubbed raw from all of my running, and I’m struggling with setting up healthy boundaries {ie. I say YES too often and NO, well, never}.

Recipes – I have not cooked in months. I can not WAIT to get all my stuff back and cook up a storm! I recently acquired two new cookbooks and I’m reading through them eagerly. This weekend I came up with a recipe for a tangerine margarita. Here’s a teaser photo.

Restaurants – Are my second home.

Running – I completed The Five Experiment! It was great! I ran 100 miles in a month and I enjoyed {almost} every mile. I am keeping up my 5 runs a week, but am not being as nitpicky about the distance. Last week, for example, I ran 3.5 miles one day. I have decided I really like the 5 mile distance, though. It’s long enough to be a good workout no matter what, and short enough that you don’t feel like you can’t make plans at night.

San Diego – Love it. It’s as good, if not better, than I remember. May Grey is in full swing, and is a great reminder of the Ah-mazing climate we have and the fact that this blessed marine layer keeps our temperatures so moderate all year long. Last night I practiced skateboarding at the bay with the fam, and then we ate fresh fish at Point Loma Seafoods. How could I complain when this is just an average Sunday afternoon in San Diego?

Travel – Here’s what is coming up this summer: a trip to the ATL next week to celebrate the completion of Glenn’s Operator training — aaaand to celebrate the fabulous Kelly Reynolds’ birthday. BAAAH! I can hardly wait!

In mid June we are going on a Murdock Extravaganza to Las Vegas. I am pretty sure we are going to try to all fit into one car, and I know for a fact we will be eating at some serious buffets. Then later in June, Glenn and I are going to Scottsdale, AZ for a Family Life conference called Weekend to Remember. We will be staying at the Firesky Resort and I’m puuumped.

Weight Loss – I lost 1 pound during the Five Experiment, and have lost another pound since. Two pounds. Boo ya!

Phew. I’m exhausted.

Happy Monday my friends!



Newly Minted Shoes

SO, I’m in the last week of the Five Experiment and I am loving it so far. The first week was intense, the second week was slightly less intense, and then last week it started being awesome. It’s also been really fun to be in San Diego {we’re back! for good!} and have friends who will run with me. Since I’ve been giving shout-out’s to everyone on facebook lately, here is one for Kim and Caitlin who have joined me on many of my runs since moving back. Love running with you ladies! Double shout-out to Kim, who has literally joined me on EVERY run since getting back. Kim, you’ve risen to the challenge and I’m totally impressed!

Now for my fancy new shoes. Since all it feels like I’ve been doing lately is running, I thought it was time for a new pair of kicks. So, naturally, I designed my own.

GET OUT. I know, right?!?

Aren’t they so fun? They are the brightest shoes at the bay every day, and it’s a joy to put them on my feet. I used *almost* every color in the rainbow and also got to add a little inspirational saying on the tongue. My left shoes says: RUNRUN and my right one says KMONEY. Glenn says this to me many times when I am headed out the door, which is an added bonus of having it on my shoe.

I would definitely recommend designing yourself a pair of Nike’s sometime. It is about $30 more than the price of the running shoe, and if you have a Nike store near you they will ship the shoes to the store for free. I designed mine in Santa Monica, but you can do it online from anywhere. Here’s the link if you are ever interested.

Adios for today,


The Five Experiment :: Week One Results

I did it! I ran five miles, five days last week. Glenn joined me for my Thursday morning run, which was a nice change and I loved having a buddy.

I wound up running five days in a row, which wasn’t my intention, but it worked out. Monday was actually the most difficult – I stopped halfway through and had to sit down for about 10 minutes in the shade. I am realizing that running at noon on the hottest day of the week is not going to get me my *best* results. It is a challenge, however, so I guess that’s good.

Here are my stats from last week. Each run was 5 miles.
Monday – 11 minute pace
Tuesday – 10:21 minute pace
Wednesday – 10:16 pace
Thursday – 10:00 minute pace
Friday – 10:18 minute pace

This week I am going to try to do two of my runs at an under 10 minute pace.

If any of you decided to join me or do a challenge of your own, I would love to hear about it!

Happy Tuesday,


The Five Experiment

It’s April and I’m doing an experiment on myself.

The Five Experiment.

It involves me, my running shoes, and hard work.

It all started last weekend when Kimberly and I were riding bikes and spending the afternoon in Santa Monica. Aren’t we cute?

As we were walking around and buying kelly-green shorts {we love us some colorful shorts!}, we saw a handful of exceptionally lean and fit runners. I have always wanted to ask a lean runner what their workout and eating routine is. And by “lean runner” I don’t mean like an Olympian from Kenya. Just a regular old “lean runner.”

At any rate, while Kimberly and I were discussing how often one would have to run to become the “lean runner” type, I threw out the idea of running five miles five times a week as an experiment on my own body.

So I’m doing it.

For the next month I will be running five miles five times a week. I did a couple of practice runs last week and was impressed with my times.

Go me! Quite frankly I wasn’t sure if I would even be able to finish the runs, so the fact that I did both of them at an under 10 minute pace was super encouraging.

Today I ran my first official 5 miles for the experiment. It didn’t go quite as well as last week’s runs.

There aren’t really any great excuses I can give you for why today’s run was so much slower — it was noon on the hottest day of the week, but really I just chose to not push myself as hard as I could have. So tomorrow, tomorrow, I will push a little harder.

High Fives all around!