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Renewed Strength

In Uncategorized on March 26, 2012 at 4:50 am

I told myself after today’s crappy & painful run that I would only allow myself to have a pity party on my way home. Then I would chalk this run up to a tiring week/weekend and embrace a new training week.

Well that didn’t happen. 
I continued to beat myself up for the rest of the day and just ended up indulging in 4 oreos. Good plan, Cayla. 
This weekend I was supposed to volunteer for an awesome race and had everything planned for a LONG 15 miler on Saturday with a friend. My husband’s neck started hurting Friday night and only worsened throughout the night. I knew early Friday morning I would be taking him to the ER…poor guy couldn’t even sit up on his own. We had to get the pain under control, he was close to tears several times. After several hours at the ER Saturday morning, he was doing some better. He is still in pain, but is gaining range of motion back. They basically told him, Torticollis, I think that was the easy diagnosis. Hopefully he continues to feel better. So anyways, that changed all my weekend training plans. 
This past week was extremely trying as a parent. I think Taylor would agree. I’ve never had to spank my precious girl more than I have this week. I’ve felt like the absolute worst parent. I know it’s just Satan feeding those thoughts, but there have been times, He’s gotten under my skin and I’ve believed His lies. 
Overall, I was really proud of my training week. I had stuck to all my runs, finally got back on the bike, and was looking forward to running those 15 miles. 
Since the rain held off until this afternoon, I set out around 1 today for my run. I knew I wouldn’t get 15, but was hoping for at least 10. Yeah right. For longer runs, I wear my Fuelbelt, but for whatever reason it would NOT stay in place, no matter how much I tightened it. I was so mad by 3 miles that I ripped it off and almost chucked it in the bay. But I wasn’t giving the devil that satisfaction…so I refrained and tried to calm myself down. Then the back/side of my left calf muscle started throbbing. I decided to try out my new Brooks shoes, so I figured this was a sign my legs didn’t like them. They were about .5 size to small and I hated how they felt under my arch. So at this point, I decided to turn around to prevent any more damage. I held my Fuelbelt the rest of the way. I was doing pretty good until I was headed back South and the winds were 20 mph. My face hurt, my eyes were burning, the sand was ridiculous. I think at some point I laughed because this whole run was just beyond stupid. I still managed an hour run though. The last song to play was Third Day’s “40 Days”…and I was almost overwhelmed because I swear I heard God say, Cayla, did you ever just stop and thank me for your legs, your lungs, for the hour you did run. Did you ever just ask Me for strength. I was busy being mad and feeling consumed with self pity, no wonder I was running terribly. 
The song says…
“In this trial that I’m going through
I don’t question ’cause I know it’s true
That the sorrow brings me back to You
And You have made me stronger”

I know I’ll continue to grow stronger and run stronger. We have good days, we have bad ones. We have days where the devil relentlessly beats up on us, but we are told in Isaiah 40:31 “…those who HOPE in the Lord will have renewed strength. They will soar on wings like Eagles, they will RUN and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint…” I’m clinging to His hope and embracing a new week. 
Hope you have a blessed week as well.

Side note: am I the only “runner/cyclist” whose car looks like this?
3 pairs of tennis shoes, Fuelbelt, 2 Gatorades, helmet, headphones, snacks, water bottle, bike cleats, I mean, it’s beyond silly.

Book Review: The Hunger Games

In Uncategorized on March 21, 2012 at 7:01 am
I decided to write a quick review of why I loved reading The Hunger Games because I’ve seen a lot of “hate” and uninformed people commenting about the series and movie. 
I first saw the movie preview while watching another movie in theaters. I had never heard of the books or movie until that point, I  know, I must live under a rock. I thought the movie looked great. Lots of action and an interesting/different plot. 
Fast forward to last week, when I started the first book, The Hunger Games. In summary, it’s about living in a post-apocolyptic world after wars leave their Country handicapped and basically each district lives in poverty. The country is now Panem, what once used to be North America.  Remind you of anything? There are 12 districts, District 12 is where the main characters are from. It’s a coal-rich area, that was once in the Appalacia. Each year there are ‘Hunger Games’, where two kids (1 boy, 1 girl) are chosen from each district to fight and kill one another while the Capitol and districts watch. The Games are fought for previous rebellion against the Captiol, so they people are constantly reminded. Now, the Capitol takes what it needs from the Districts and is a place of great wealth. High fashion, good healthcare, plenty of food, they are living the good life at the expense of the Districts. A little alarming right? So that is the basic story line. Katniss volunteers for her 13 yr. old sister as tribute for the games and is paired with a boy from her childhood. So naturally you are rooting for her to win the games. I will stop there for anyone who still wants to read them. I highly recommend them. 
There are several times through the series, the kids talk about wanting to return to a government that elects it’s people to represent them. I don’t know if the author went in to writing these books with a political agenda or just thought it was a fitting story line for our current times. 
One thing is for sure, it’s a little scary to think about how dead on the author is. Here are families and children who are living with a government they didn’t ask for, that only looks out for themselves. And how one brave girl and boy are willing to challenge everything the Capitol throws at them to provide a better life for their families.
So yes, I recommend you reading them before judging them as just another “teen” movie. And don’t use the excuse that it’s too violent. Kids have been dying at their governments expense for decades now. We are just blessed to be American. 
Just my thoughts about the books. 🙂

13.1 x 2

In Uncategorized on March 14, 2012 at 3:28 am
No, that isn’t some sort of math problem but the distance of the race I ran this past weekend. I guess technically you could say, I’m halfway through training for my full marathon. Even though I missed MOST of my long runs due to a pesky ankle injury (that set me back 3 weeks). I accomplished TWO long runs before my race. TWO. A 12 miler then a 10 miler. I ended up walking some of my 12 miler because my body just wasn’t ready. But I’m happy to say, I didn’t have to walk a step in my race. Not even for water stations, thanks to my Fuelbelt. And thanks to Danielle, who was WAY more prepared than I was. Just having her step-by-step beside me was the encouragement I needed to finish. 
The first 6 miles were easy, I mean, we were smokin it. We were ahead of our pace group for most of that time. They sped up towards 6 miles, in order to slow down at a later point. But we were smokin’ it. Conversation was easy, no stomach issues, we both seemed to be feeling good. Plus, the course was pretty much the routes we trained. So it was familiar ground. 
Let me just set up the miles leading to mile 9. Miles 5,6, & 7 (the ones that were familiar) were either a few ft. below or above sea level…so very flat. Mile 8 climbed to about 12ft. above sea level, still not bad. Mile 9, or as they call it “Challenge Mile” saw a climb to 160ft above sea level. It was intense. 1 mile straight up. Each step was torture and I tried to keep my head down, if for no other reason then to not have to see it. The only thing that saved me was knowing it was our only hill and it was all downhill from there. We had a girl come up behind us and we all 3 just pushed each other up. Except she kept going at the top and I wanted to desperately quit. We slowed down to somewhere around an 11 minute pace, I was so disappointed in myself. But I’m going to blame it on my lack of training for this race. I did keep moving forward and that was all I could ask of my body at that point. It took until about mile 11 before I didn’t want to die…ha. I really wrestled mentally with those last 4 miles, even when I finally started feeling “normal”. I knew I had blown our 2 hour finish, but I was bound and determined to get under 2:10. 
My Garmin said we pushed under a sub-9 pace those last 2 miles, thanks to the downhill part. I then hear Danielle saying, let’s push it with about 1/2 mile left. I think I said “I’ll try”…ha ha. But seriously, she was the push I needed to finish that race strong. I wanted to quit about 5,000 times during those last 4 miles. We finished with a 2:08 time and I was thrilled. My first half-marathon was somewhere around the 2:16 time, so it was a big PR for me. I know I can push a little faster pace, but that hill was brutal. Gonna keep running strong and pushing myself. I’m starting to see the results of my hard work.
Thanks again Danielle for being my running partner these past few weeks. You have truly been a GOD send!

Happy 2 Years!

In Uncategorized on March 10, 2012 at 4:08 am
Our Sophie Bug will be two tomorrow (March 10th). These two years have gone by incredibly fast. I’m so thankful the Lord saw fit to bless us with her. She has such a sweet spirit and is so smart!
Just born.

My angel.

Our family, 2 years ago. 

Happy 2 Years baby girl!!

Rest Day.

In Uncategorized on March 6, 2012 at 3:41 am
My mind is starting to realize the importance of “rest” days. I’m mainly talking about those days off from training. I’m not crazy training yet, but after this week, starts the long uphill climb to 26.2 miles. I run my second half-marathon this weekend and I’m truly excited about it. I’m hoping to PR huge.
I’ve been home in Tennessee this past week and have run a total of 3 miles. No weights, no bike, hardly no running. And it’s been glorious. I’m the type that I really get down on myself for not training, but this week has forced me to slow down. 
Our bodies, along with our minds need rest. It’s hard to remember that when you are training for an event though. I have to tell myself, my legs will not forget how to run, but they will wear out if I don’t rest them. 
So this has been a true ‘taper’ week for me. Hoping to run 5-6 miles total this week and be completely rested for this weekend. So I’m enjoying my rest days and trying not to beat myself up over it. 
Take care of your body, and it will take care of you.

Bring on the second half of 26.2!!!


We’ve Got Ears, Say Cheers!

In Uncategorized on March 4, 2012 at 5:31 am
The theme for Sophie year 2 is Mickey Mouse! We love Mickey! The party was a great success, thanks to everyone who made it special. It was great seeing you all!
Thank you goodie bags. Homemade party favors are the best!

Minnie cupcakes, or cake cakes as Sophie calls them.

Thank you Pinterest for awesome party ideas.

I mean, when did she get so big?

Opening gifts…

My girlies. 

Tuscan Pasta w/ Tomato-Basil Sauce

In Uncategorized on February 27, 2012 at 3:02 am
I’m sharing another Pinterest recipe that we tried tonight and it might be my favorite yet! It’s amazing and better than most Italian restaurants I’ve been too. I’m picky about ravioli, but this was so good!
Ingredients:
20-oz frozen ravioli (four cheese if you can find it)
1 jar sundried tomato Alfredo sauce
2 tablespoons white wine
Handful cherry tomatoes – chopped
1/2 c. chopped fresh basil
Grated parmesan cheese
Prepare pasta according to package. 
Pour Alfredo sauce into saucepan. Pour 2 tbsp white wine into sauce jar and mix around, then pour into saucepan. Add basil and tomatoes. Let simmer for 5 or so minutes, until it’s heated through. 
Either toss with pasta or pour over. Top with parmesan cheese and grated basil (if desired).
I used a frozen brand of ravioli called Celetano (I think?) and the Classico sun-dried Alfredo sauce. I would NOT recommend the Buitoni brand, not good. 

Running Mate.

In Uncategorized on February 25, 2012 at 5:06 am
Training for races, whether they are 5K’s or marathons can take up quite a bit of time out of your schedule. And if you’re anything like me, making yourself train alone can be a huge downer. I have a friend in Fredericksburg (yes you Carlie) who doesn’t even KNOW how much encouragement she gave me. We were the biggest gym rats and she pushed me through several dreaded treadmill runs. But having her right beside me was such an encouragement. I didn’t realize what I had until moving out here to California and having nobody. Yes, of course my husband is a big supporter, but he just doesn’t have the time to train with me.
Carlie even got up super early to come support me in my first 1/2. I mean, she is amazing for real. I was so sad that I wasn’t able to do the same for her first 1/2. But she did amazing and I was cheering from afar! 
Anyways, I was able to get connected with one of our churches wonderful ministries called Rock Runners & Triathletes. I met two awesome ladies who I’ve been able to run and ride with. They are both triathletes and are such an encouragement and make each mile more enjoyable. 
I guess my point of this post would be that if running or being active is intimidating, try finding someone who will support you each step of the way and train with you. 
Having Carlie, motivated me to train and be better. Her kind words lifted my sometimes doubting spirit and always helped me push through. 
My Rock runners push me to a better pace each run…just today I did 2 miles at my best pace yet. I believe the Lord puts people in your lives for a reason. I’m absolutely blessed to have met people that share similar goals and interests. California doesn’t seem so lonely now!
So, while running today, I knew I needed to take the time to say ‘thank you’ for those encouraging people in my life. Even if I’ve only known you a few weeks. (Danielle and Cristina) 

Sweet Tooth?

In Uncategorized on February 22, 2012 at 7:25 am

I love it when sweet treats are recommended to me so I thought I’d pass along my most recent favorite find. Skinny Cow. I have a huge sweet tooth, that usually kicks in around 10p.m. I’m SO good during the day, but I could seriously sabotage all my hard work after 10p.m. I’ve been known to inhale a pop-tart before bed or 7 oreos. Portion control? Yeah, I struggle with that. Anyways, back on topic, I recently discovered Skinny Cow ice cream and their Heavenly Crisp bars (yes, that’s what they’re called).

Their mini ice cream cups are 150 calories. If you eat the whole thing you are getting 17g of sugar, which is a little on the high side, but not terrible. I tend to eat half a container at a time. But honestly, you could do MUCH worse. Like the spell I went through last summer of McDonald’s Oreo mcflurries after EVERY spin class. I had a serious problem.
Even better than the ice cream cups, are the milk chocolate heavenly crisps. 
These are 110 calories, with 9 grams of sugar. Honestly, they taste exactly like a Kit-Kat bar. I love anything that is a wafer. These are delicious. 
Now I’m not saying these are necessarily ‘healthy’. But I feel much better about eating the above two items over the 7 oreos. My sweet tooth thanks you Skinny Cow! 

Exploring.

In Uncategorized on February 20, 2012 at 9:17 pm
Saturday after my long run, we loaded up and took Sophie exploring up North. We heard about a great apple pie shop in Julian and decided we needed to check it out. On our drive up there, we passed through Cuyamaca State Park and we are already planning a trip back there to hike Stonewall Peak. 
It was a fun day, we ate some yummy BBQ, bought TWO pies, saw a little bit of snow and the desert. 
Stonewall Peak.

Snow at the bottom of the peak.

Caramel Dutch Apple pie.

Apple Mountain Berry pie. – Apples, raspberries, strawberries, & boysenberries. Yum!

Entrance in to Anza Borrego desert. We just wanted to see how long of a drive it was.

Going up! We got up to almost 6000ft.

Desert mountains behind the green ones.

Canyons…Sophie kept saying “wow,wow”.