On our knees…that is where we find the answers.



New York.2001



My first firsthand experience with fear.
















All of these places above have special significance in my life for one reason or another.  Some much more personal than others.

The New York Twin Tower Memorial reminds us of the day that life changed as we knew it.  This is the first day fear of the world we live in crept in for me.  As we all watched we were in a state of confusion, denial and fear.  This day led so many to their knees.  Our knees was the only place we could find comfort because we couldn’t find answers.  The irony is that He is truly the only answer and we do find Him on our knees.

When I lived in the UK I visited Paris.  It was an amazing trip.  Paris was full of beauty and life….full of love!  Though in Paris is when I experienced my first personal encounter with fear of the evil present in world we live in.  The above night picture was taken in 2004 of the Eiffel Tower AFTER we had been evacuated from the 3rd level.  I was working overseas teaching school on an American Air Force base.  One thing they drilled in our heads was safety protocol when traveling abroad. (I lived there post 9/11.)  As we received word to evacuate panic set in.  Crowds were moving quickly.  No one knew why we just knew to get down.  Thoughts of 9/11 filled my head and I wanted on the ground.  The elevators were full and lines were long.  We opted for the stairs.  Thankfully, the crowds moved quickly and cautiously. We made it down without chaos.  Once we got down we, moved far away and rested.  We were tired and worn out from the adrenaline that moved us to safety. The precautionary evacuation was ordered because someone had entered a restricted area and had taken a weapon from an officer when confronted.  It was small incident compared to where my thoughts led me while on top.  I was thankful to be on the ground and thankful to be alive.  I know that my thoughts wondered at this time to ‘Why?’ As my thoughts again wonder – ‘Why?’  It sent me to my knees looking to Him for answers.

2005 was the year of the London attacks.  I was in the States for the summer but was to return to my home in England a few short weeks after these attacks.  I returned with fear and apprehension once again.  The unrest in the world was a small part of my decision to move home in 2006.  I knew God was in control but I also knew I wanted to be close to family knowing life is short…  We were seeing and are still seeing this played out in our world.  The only place to be is on our knees!

Coming home did not keep me from the evil of this world.  Media continues to make sure we see it day in and day out.  Then, in April of 2013, I was in Boston. The picture above was taken at the finish line of the Boston Marathon 12 minutes before the bombs went off.  Evil had struck again and this time it was too close for comfort. Scared and fearful once again, but I knew Who was in control and Who I belonged to – God.  This day forever changed me and became part of my story because it is part of me.  God’s faithfulness and God’s hand can be traced through the whole journey.  They can be read here: http://thenextmailboxboston.com/2013/04/

July 7, 2015 – Chattanooga, Tennessee – My home. My running stomping grounds.  Another day of evil etched yet again the minds of Americans. Our world was getting smaller.  This was home.  We had run the area where five service members lost there lives.  My Run with Trish 5k for Team Hoyt was run next to the U. S. Naval Reserve center.  This was once again too close for comfort. Down on my knees again….

Fast forward to yesterday and to Paris.  11/13/2015.  A date that will be engraved in the minds of so many forever. A day like so many since 9/11 that have changed so many lives – and the world we live in as a whole.  Evil is present in this world…but so is God.  We find Him on our knees.

As we search for answers, the world won’t have them. There are two things that are VERY real – Evil and Good! Evil is present! But, Good is here – all around. We hear of amazing stories of kindness and goodwill after every tragic event.  These tragedies are becoming so common in our world. 9/11 was when we woke up to the possibility and now it has become our reality.

What is the answer? I don’t know why;  but I do know that my comfort and joy in these evil days comes when I am connected to the source of life – Jesus Christ.  I can only tell you from my experience and my journey – He is real to me and in the deep dark times – mine and the world’s – He is the light and hope that gets me through.  It is my relationship with Christ that make each day good even if it is filled with evil.  I know this is not my home because He has saved me by grace – even when I didn’t deserve it.  As a friend of mine from France said today when I messaged her to see if she was okay – “Very scary reminder to remember Love and how precious gift is Life.”  Here is a small excerpt from my Boston Bombing post to wrap it up:

Hug your family, your friends, your kids.  Tell them you love them! You truly never know when you many not be able to.  And if you don’t know our Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior – don’t wait! He is the comforter, the counselor, the father and the SAVIOR!

John 3.16

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,

that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Romans 10.9-10

Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.

On my knees….Trish


As I was trying to eloquently state what I know the truth to be,  I searched out the expert of our day – Billy Graham.  Here are his words that cover the topics so well:


ExcerptThird, the Bible tells us that in the meantime, God can give us victory over evil. This doesn’t mean bad things will never happen to us—but even when they do, we can know God is with us, and He will give us strength to stand against them. Isn’t it better to face life’s problems with God rather than without Him? No, we may not understand everything that happens to us—but when we know Christ, we know we are on the winning side. Why not commit your life to Him today?


Excerpt:  All things are not good. It would be mockery to say that they are. The death of a child is not good. Cancer is not good, drug addiction is not good, war is not good, blasphemy is not good.

But the Bible says, “We know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”(1) In the chemistry of the cross God takes things that, in and of themselves, are bad, and He puts them together, much as a chemist might take chemicals that, in and of themselves, may be deleterious and mixes them to make a medicine that brings healing.

Many of us have some salt with our meals. Table salt is made up of both sodium and chloride. By itself, sodium is a deadly poison, and so is chloride. Put them together, and you have table salt. Salt flavors food, and a certain amount of salt is necessary for health and life. We cannot live without some salt in our systems.

God can take things that are bad and put them in the crucible of His wisdom and love. He works all things together for good, and He gives us the glorious, wonderful promise that He will do so.

We know that we have victory over sin and over Satan, but this verse in Romans teaches us that we also have victory over our circumstances. It says that all things work together for good.


Excerpt: In suffering there is also, I believe, a message of warning. Are you prepared to meet God? What do you have to do to be ready? God took the initiative in giving His Son, Jesus Christ. God says, “I love you. I want to forgive you. I want you to go to heaven.” But you must respond to Him. Find hope, peace, and security today.


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Thankfulness…short and sweet about November 8


Beautiful birthday LADY!


November 8 is a very special day in two regards. First, it is my mom’s birthday. She is one amazing lady. On this day we rejoice her life and all that she represents. She has had her storms in life but has come out on the other side even better!  We celebrate her life even more each year after her subdural hematoma in 2013.  We praise the Lord for her miraculous healing! She is a difference maker and there have been so many blessed by her friendship and her years of service in education – staff and students alike. Mom – we love you and thank God for you!



November 8 is also the day we are thankful for Mike’s safety and livelihood.  It is on this day two years ago in 2013 that he fell and broke his shoulder.  And as Mike always does…He did it grand fashion.  His healing and recovery took less time due to Mike’s persistent push to get better.  Two years later he still works hard to keep that shoulder strong!



God is faithful.  He allows the storms of life to blow out the things we don’t need and make room for the things we do need – especially HIM!  Be thankful today in all things – people and circumstances!


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A marathon post about the Marathon of a lifetime…beware – reading this could take 26.2 miles!

We are home! We did it! We survived a month of whirlwind travel which included 2 major marathons – Chicago and New York and a trip to Arkansas.  What a month October was for me! It was a month of reflection and a month of thankfulness.  It all started with an amazing trip to Chicago with my running angels.  Chicago – Major #3 for me is in the books.  See previous blog for race report.  I will say one thing – I was running for time at Chicago – didn’t get it but learned A LOT.  The learning did not stop but continued in New York with a stopover in-between in Arkansas.

Why Arkansas? Well, let me first say the seed to run was planted many years ago when I watched my mom and dad run races.  I didn’t really start running until I was 30 but watching them in those early years made an impression.  Now back to the question – Why Arkansas?  My dad was inducted into the Ouachita Baptist University Athletic Hall of Fame.  Dad was the golf coach at OBU for many years and helped the program grow and win!  Dad was a difference maker.  His work ethic and care for his players was contagious.  He is a life changer.  His love for athletics of all kinds filtered down to all of us.

This was a perfect stopover between Chicago and New York.  It helped me remember where I started and helped me focus on what is really important in the game of life – relationships!  Running has helped me develop many relationships I would NEVER have had without it!  Thanks mom and dad for planting the seed that has forever changed my life for the better!

Proverbs 22.6 ~ Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.


New York, New York – Frank Sinatra

Start spreadin’ the news, I’m leavin’ today
I want to be a part of it
New York, New York
These vagabond shoes, are longing to stray
Right through the very heart of it
New York, New York

I have so much in my head about this trip – a trip of a lifetime –  and don’t want to lose any of it or bore anyone. :) So a photo journey it will be!  I will start from the beginning.

Day 1:

We are on our way! NYC we have arrived!!!  Welcome to New York!IMG_5130

The Expo – it is getting real!!!  I have never seen so many people in one place.  It was absolutely crazy.  The line to purchase official gear snaked around forever.  I know we had to have walked close to a half of a mile just in line to pay.  It was a mad house! We met a mother and daughter while making our way to the checkout line.  This would be the daughter’s second NYC Marathon.  She was local.  She gave me a great piece of advice – take cardboard to the starting village to sit on.  The cardboard kept me from sitting on wet ground or pavement! I was so thankful for this awesome advice.  :)  Once we made it through the check out line we explored the expo itself.  This is always fun.  Once this very important step was over – we headed out to the streets of NY!

First stop – Empire State Building!  It was breathtaking to see NY from the top of the Empire State Building.  Mike and I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the 360 degree views from what seemed to be the top of the world.  Mike chatted with a worker while I hit the restroom. Hydrating for a marathon was not fun in NY where there are NO public restrooms unless you pay for services.  Crazy! She told her story of working on 9/11 and how it affected her.  Story-telling at its best!

Second stop and third stop – Rockefeller Center and Times Square

Night was coming and so was the chill.  Perfect for watching the ice skaters in Rockefeller Center.  Times Square was nuts.  We were there about 10 minutes and were ready to move on.  We are glad we saw it but – WOW – sensory overload.  I know all of this was preparing me for the run of lifetime – the largest marathon in the world – 50,000 runner and over 1 million spectators – talk about sensory overload!

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Not only was New York hosting the largest marathon in the world but they were also hosting games 3, 4 and 5 of the World Series! We got to enjoy the hoopla around this as well because we had to get off the train at Mets-Willets Point…the train stop for Citi Field – Home of the Mets.  This was fun all three nights.  We took in the sights and the crowds before heading back to our hotel.  We even picked up a free towel and sign that said BELIEVE! This was my first sign for the marathon – Believe!


Day 2 – Subway rides, fall foliage, Brooklyn Bridge, Statue of Liberty, One World Trade Center, 9/11 Memorial – What a day! We packed it all in. We rode the subway, the bus, the ferry and a taxi.  We walked as well – across the Brooklyn Bridge and beyond.  The love locks on the Brooklyn Bridge were fun to see with the one I love! I am so thankful to be experiencing this city with him!  The One World Trade Center was very emotional for both of us.  It is hard to put into words the feelings that arose when looking at the memorial where the towers once stood.  There was a sense of sadness in the air and respect given by those visiting.  Then we went to the top of One World Trade Center.  This was one of the highlights of the trip.  New York has definitely done it right when it comes to remembering the victims, survivors and families of 9/11.  We were honored and humbled to be there reflecting on the loss of our nation.  We are proud to be Americans! This city is a melting pot. We heard so many languages spoken.  We saw so many nationalities.  While visiting these two sites we were reminded why we love our country so and the freedoms we have just by living here.

Now, to the TCS New York Marathon! Wow is really all I can say! What a day.  A day to let time goals go and enjoy being a part of the largest marathon in the world.  God had a plan for this day.  He knew I would struggle letting my time goal go, so He placed people along the way to remind me to let go and let HIM!  There is so much to this part of the story.  It started long before we hit the ground running in New York.

Proverbs 27.17 ~ As iron sharpens iron,
    so a friend sharpens a friend.

God has blessed me with many close friends who know me well.  I had more than one remind me to relax and run on November 1.  They knew I had a battle going on inside because I didn’t meet my time goal in Chicago.  The battle was real and raging until Sunday morning at the starting village.  Though these friends continued to remind me of the real reason I was there….I kept wanting that Garmin time of 3:45.  But God placed two people in my life after arriving at the start village on marathon day that helped change that!

First, I had to load the bus by 5:30 a.m. to get to the starting village for a 10:40 start.  That’s 5 hours to kill – wow!  As you can see in several of the photos, I dressed warm for this occasion and it worked out well.  I took my cardboard from my Domino’s Pizza  pre-race dinner to sit on.  I found a spot next to a light pole and made myself comfortable.  I wrapped up in an old thermal blanket from a race I ran in Louisville last October and settled in.  As I was sitting and taking it all in I received several texts.  One was from a dear friend.  It was a prayer for the day.  I so needed it…it was the first of amazing encounters all day.  I thought of this prayer often as I ran that day.  The struggle was real and He is what got me through.


After corresponding back and forth I just sat there and looked around at the people.  Two girls next to me were from another country. They spoke no English.  This is one of the things I loved the most.  There were so many nationalities running this race.  We were all there together to achieve one goal and that was to finish the world’s largest marathon.  Prejudice and hostilities pushed aside all working together toward a common end. Too bad we can’t get along like this everywhere and all the time!

As I was listening to the sounds around me I heard the word ‘y’all’ come from behind me.  I turned around and asked him where he was from.  Are you ready for this?  He was from Arkansas AND he runs with and does running groups with a friend of mine from college.  Can you believe that? YES! Because God is that good!!!  Out of 50,000 runners hanging out in the starting villages, I was able to run into someone from Arkansas – not only from my home state but someone who knows a friend of mine AND loves the Lord.  Can I say it again – God is that good!

Romans 8.28 ~ And we know that God causes everything to work together

for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.

I call it a Godincidence – divine intervention by God! He was talking to another guy from Kentucky that is going to Arkadelphia, Arkansas(where I was born and spent the previous weekend with my family!) in a couple of weeks to do a race.  Small world! We discussed everything from running to our jobs and to our spouses jobs.  We talked about how running has been a great way for us to share our testimonies.  What a way to start my day! One of my friends who encouraged me to relax and have fun also said she knew the 5 hours of wait time would be special.  She was right!  Boy, was she right!

At 8:15 I was supposed to meet up with two of my Team Hoyt buddies.  We were all blessed to be in the blue corral.  There were three corrals – Blue, Green and Orange.  God is good yet again.  :)  On the way to the meeting place – Blue Corral letter D – I passed the Interfaith Religious Service tent.  They were playing praise music.  I had time to kill so I sat down and let the words cover me.  They announced the service would start at 8:00.  I decided to stay for about 10 minutes and I am so glad I did.  We sang a praise song about God being our strength.  One paster prayed over the race and runners.  Then another pastor gave a short sermon.  He started with the words – ‘Let Go and Let God’.  I told my mom on Thursday before we left that I was changing my mantra for the race from ‘Let Go and Let God’ to ‘Let God and Go Have Fun!’  This was another way of God tell me to run and enjoy every step of the way.  Again, God is so good.  Next the pastor gave us three scripture references in a certain order – Psalm 22, 24 and 23.  He said for the OCD runners that order would drive them crazy but there was a purpose in the order.  It too gave me strength for the day.

Here is the short of it:  In Psalm 22 Jesus feels abandoned. He says,  “My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?”  Then in Psalm 24 we see is not forsaken but He is lifted up to Heaven and seated on God’s throne.

Lift up your heads, O you gates!

And be lifted up, you everlasting doors!

And the King of glory shall come in.

Who is this King of glory?

The Lord strong and mighty,

The Lord mighty in battle.

Then back to Psalm 23. We see “ he represents Christians receiving the benefit of all the care and tenderness of that great and good shepherd.” The pastor was saying we could fill abandoned on this course of 26.2 miles but He is with us. He will carry us through and we will finish well for HIM!  Let Go and Let God! Oh, how I needed yet another confirmation.  I slipped out of the service as they were still sharing to meet 2 friends/family amongst the 50,000.

A Team Hoyt reunion was about to happen.  I found Wes first and shortly thereafter we met up with Dana.  We had a group hug and wished Wes well.  He was in the first wave because he is the fast one.   It would also be an understatement to say how grateful I am for Team Hoyt.  Team Hoyt is the reason the three of us from very different parts of the world could meet up, hug and share encouragement.  Wes is Canadian.  Dana lives in New York. And I am from Soddy Daisy, TN!  Again, how good is God???  Team Hoyt is my forever family that God introduced me to on my road to Boston several years ago.  They have been and will continue to be a blessing!

So off Wes went and off we went to gather our Dunkin Donuts coffee and beanie hats. :) I can’t put into words how awesome it was to spend the rest of my morning and the start with Dana. Her spirit is contagious.  I really don’t think she has ever met a stranger. We lined up to get in our corral and watched Wave 2 move to the start line.  Then it was our turn! We moved in and finally moved up.  As we towed the start line I removed my warm clothing and deposited it for Goodwill of New York.  It felt so good to let go of one piece of clothing that represented part of the past for Mike and me.

“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift of God, which is why we call it the present.”
― Bil Keane

As we waited for the canons to go off and Frank Sinatra to sing we met Hugo.  Hugo was starting and hoping to finish his 100th marathon.  100! Wow! I can’t imagine 100 marathons!!! It was a true honor to meet him. (and he did finish!) Yay HUGO!  Then what we were all waiting for…the canons and the serenade!  As we started running the excitement was electrifying.  The announcer yelled my name and go Team Hoyt. Dana and I were happy! I took one last selfie with Dana and off I went…to run my race. :)

I figured out early on I was really going to enjoy the race and take it all in.  It was freeing.  I stopped looking at my watch and started looking around. My Garmin was not going to control the run. I was going to Let God and Go Have Fun!  I ran on feel and for the first half did pretty well. The sights were amazing.  At times I was thinking – am I really doing this? Is this real?  And, of course it was.

Mike had a plan to meet me and encourage me on the course.  His first stop was the 5k.  He met me there joyfully with a kiss. I was feeling great here! Mike was and always is an uplifting sight! So very thankful for him and his never-ending support!!!  He was able to meet me two more times on the course. He walked a marathon of his own.  I am one blessed wife! :)

In days leading to the race I read a story about the Quinn brothers from Ireland.  35 years ago they ran the NYC Marathon together and they returned to do it again in 2015.  I ran up on two of them early on.  Frank and I had a great conversation and took a selfie.  :) Then further down the course I met another gentleman.  He tried to take a photo of me running but to no avail. So, we took a selfie.  He encouraged me to keep moving! And I did!

I felt pretty good until around mile 15 as we approached the Queensboro Bridge.  It is about 1.5 miles with a steady incline.  There were a lot of walkers and I joined in because the pain started here. I knew I was in to finish so this is when the camera really started to come out…hence the windy selfie on the bridge. :)  Upon leaving the bridge the crowds were deafening! It was so encouraging!!! It gave me a little pep in my step.  But, I was hurting.  Though, I knew at this point Mike would be a mile 19.  I kept pushing through knowing I would see him there and he would lift my spirits.

As I approached mile 19 I was looking for my tall handsome husband with the Tennessee hat on.  I found him and the tears started flowing.  He reached out and embraced me with a hug and a kiss.  I was honest with him and told him I was struggling…I was hurting.  He said you can do this! You have this! He knew I could dig deep even though at that point I didn’t believe it.  He gave me the lift I needed. I told him I would probably walk a lot the last 10k.  Thankfully, I had the strength to keep running.  Though it was slow – it was not a walk unless I was getting water at a water station.  I am so glad because Mike surprised me again at mile 22.  I knew then I would make it…running…to the end! And I did!

Mile 24, 25, and 26 couldn’t have come any sooner.  The finish line was magical.  I did it! I was a New York Marathon Finisher! I had just finished my 4th world major.  Wow! Can I say again, GOD is so good!

God provided so many people and things along the way…

  • The gospel choir serenading us on the course.
  • The smells of great food.
  • The cheers of random strangers yelling ‘Go Trish!’ or Go RUN..because of the big RUN on my tank.
  • Encouraging words like “You’ve got a good pace!”
  • Another runner saying “Hey, Trish…how are ya?”
  • Congratulations from all the volunteers.
  • The friendly NYC Police and Fire personnel.
  • The amazing crowds….over 1 million of them….truly electrifying!
  • The helpful strangers!!!!
  • The prayers felt when the struggle got real – I felt every one of them.

Philippians 4.13

 For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.



As the Taylor family verse states: IMG_3049This is the card dad pulled out while doing our family devotion the morning we were all in Arkansas.  It has long been the verse we live by.  For dad to pull it out of the daily bread box that day was as mom likes to call it ‘a God wink.’  God was with us that day in Arkansas as He was with me on Marathon Day.  I am so very thankful, blessed, humbled and undeserving of and for His love and mercy.  God has been good to our family and He has been good to Mike and me.  He has been to me with running and He has given me a testimony for Him – saying God is so good all the time and all the time God is good.  God allowed me to run my race – which was His race on November 1, 2015!

Thanks for making it to the end of what was supposed to be a short post! I had too many God winks and just had to share.  ;)

Running blessed!

4 World Majors down…2 to go! Tokyo and Berlin…here we come!

Oh, and I made the New York Times….


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Tracking Trish in TCS NYC Marathon

Many of you have asked me if there will be a way to track my run on Sunday….the answer is YES. You can download the free TCS NYC App and it will have a live runner tracker. You can also track online at the TCS NYC Marathon website: http://www.tcsnycmarathon.org. Trish Newsom – Bib# 38615. Thanks for all the words of encouragement and the many prayers. I will run strong and for Him. #godspeed​  

I will update more later. I am working off my phone tonight because in my scatteredness I left my computer at work. Thanks again for all of the encouragement and prayers!!!!

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Learn from yesterday, live for today and hope for tomorrow…Albert Einstein

So our trip continues on to Chicago.  At one of the stops along the way we found some inspiration on the wall.  Little did I realize as I took the pictures, that the second one would be foreshadowing of my race day.  And the crazy thing is…that I just reread it today and realized how true it was! God is so good…He knew I would need to read the words and find encouragement once again.   The first picture was true too…we all planned to give our best to the streets of Chicago and not sacrifice the gift we had been given.  I truly believe each one of us did that on October 11, 2015.  Now, here’s the rest of the story….

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As you can see from the above photo gallery, we had fun.  #1 goal = accomplished.  We all said we wanted to train hard but have fun.  God blessed each one of us with a desire and gift to run.  He then allowed our paths to cross due to running.  Now, we are friends because of running but the thread that holds us together is our love for our Lord Jesus Christ.  We encourage one another and lift one another up.  We obviously have fun together and do all we can to point upward as we live.

We exploded through the expo.  We gathered our numbers…took photos, many photos….We bought a few items(just a few)…We got our pace group info for race day….we just had fun with the MANY other runners who were doing the same.  Once we were done at the expo, I split off from the girls to go meet up with a few Team Hoyt members who were running Chicago too.  I met some new running friends at dinner as well.  We had a great time catching up and celebrating these friendships.  God started the Team Hoyt journey in 2012 and though I don’t run Boston with them any more, I am still part of the alumni and they will always be family.

One of the very cool parts of this story is that Jim and Riley, who I am seated next to, were part of the first group of DUOS allowed to run the Chicago Marathon.  This was the first year they allowed Jim to push Riley after trying for the last two.  I guess third try is a charm. :)  Jim is really fast – even pushing Riley. I had the great fortune of beating him at Boston 2014 because he started before me but stopped to walk and finish the race with Dick and Rick as I did.  We finished together but due to my later start I beat him.   I decided to mention that to him at dinner and then the next day I got a Facebook message stated that he beat me even having to push Riley through the crowds of people.  They did not give them preferential treatment…they had to start way back in corral E.  I was in D. :)  His chip time was 2 minutes faster than mine.  Oh well, like I said, he is really fast. And, I deserved it! Go Team Hoyt! Yes, You Can!

Dinner was great and then off to the hotel to prepare for the next day!  The hotel I met Team Hoyt in was about 2 miles away from my hotel.  I took a taxi so I didn’t have to walk in the dark alone. :)  My taxi ride was a fun one.  We started talking football….college football.  Being a good SEC fan and an Arkansas fan I had to talk about the Arkansas vs. Alabama game I was missing and headed back to watch.  We were actually leading and I wanted to see it played out.   Throughout the ride through the city, the driver I continued to banter back and forth.  He was from up north and didn’t have a dog in the fight but he sure had the last laugh when I exited the taxi.  I told him to make sure he cheered for the Hogs and he quickly said, “Roll Tide!”  At that point I was tempted to take my tip back. ;)

I beat the girls back to the room which gave me a chance to get my race gear ready.  Once I was prepared I put my PJs on and settled in to watch the game.  I was alone and able to enjoy the Arkansas lead for a while.  As soon as the girls got back Alabama took the lead and kept it.  It didn’t help that Deirdre is a HUGE Alabama fan. :)  She was very gracious unlike several I received text from that evening. ;) At least we held our own and didn’t get slaughtered.  Go Hogs!

I was able to fall asleep…but sleep was not easy.  It was a lot like Christmas Eve.  The anticipation for the next morning made the night a long one.  It gave me time to pray and reflect but boy I was glad when the morning alarm finally went off….

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RACE DAY is here! This is the day we have worked so hard for.  Now we are all hoping and praying our training pays off and we finish well! We all got up on time and started our individual routines.  It was real.  We were doing this whether we liked it or not.  We headed downstairs to the sea of runners headed to the start line.  There were so many people.  We jogged a little to warm up and get the nerves out.  We finally made it to the welcome gate….and we had to stop and stand.  There were so many people waiting to get through the bag check.  It was crazy.  It was a sign of things yet to come. Here are some statistical information provided by Competitior.com on the number of runners:

  • 45,000 entrants are selected to run through a lottery, which had more than 70,000 applicants.
  • A total of 37,182 runners finished the race (20,144 men, 17,038 women)
  • Dickson Chumba won a slow men’s race in 2:09:25, while Florence Kiplagat won the women’s race in 2:23:33.

Crazy numbers – number of finishers and winning times.  I will come back to some of the additional stats later.

We did make it through the bag check and in to the porta potty lines.  Thankfully they were short.  While we were waiting it dawned on us that this would be the last time we would be together.  We all had different corrals.  We grabbed hands – yes, as we waited on the porta potty to come available – we prayed.  We asked the Lord to bless our steps, keep us injury free and help us to glorify Him as we ran.  He answered those prayers…we all finished for Him!  Once we all finished up we gave one another hugs and off we went….To run our own race!  We all had had numerous texts and messages from dear friends and family encouraging us to do just that – run our race.

Run my race is just what I had planned.  I decided to get with a pace group to help me do so.  Nike provided runners who led different pace teams.  A pace team is a group of runners led by an experienced leader who run together in the marathon. The pace leader runs a steady pace and keeps track of that pace so that the group can achieve their goal of finishing the marathon at a particular time. I wanted to finish in 3:45.  My personal best is 3:48:59.  I wanted to beat this time and go for around 3:45.  Pace groups can be good and they can be bad.  My experience was the latter.  Here is how marathonpacing.com describes problems for marathoners: One of the biggest mistakes that marathoners make is starting out too fast and then hitting the wall in the later portions of the race. The pace team will run at an even pace per mile. Sadly for me this is what the pace group did after having two slower miles in the beginning.  They did all they could do to catch up and this caused us to have 9 miles too fast.  We were supposed to stay steady at 8:35 and we did not.











I have trained all season not looking at my watch and trying to run on feel…so on this day I did the same.  If I had looked at my watch I would have realized we were way off on pace.  I didn’t realize it due to the fact I felt like I was always jockeying for position to keep up with the pace group leaders.  It was a constant up and back for those first 9-10 miles.  There were SOOO many people out there.  I constantly felt like I was in someones way or I was going to trip.  It was crazy crowded!  It was fun being with like-minded souls, in the city of Chicago, running a world major – but it was crazy crowded! :)  As you can see from my splits above I slowed down significantly the second half.  You also may notice I had a record-setting mile 22, 23 and 24.  I should be in the record books for mile 24. :) I have NOOO idea what happened here…but I do know my watch said I ran a personal best 26.2 as seen below.  LOL!

My mind raced during the first half.  I was constantly talking to myself while trying to stay close to the pace team.  Water stations were tricky and oh the turns in the course.  Between the turns, the crowds and the water stations I was back and forth like a yo-yo with the pacers.  Mentally it was exhausting.  Finally, I remembered those words – run your race.

When I let these sink in and let the pace group go, I ran my race.  Granted it was slower than I wanted but I ran it and finished well.  The second half was mental as well.  It was get through this course and enjoy.  I was hurting and feeling every ache and pain.  I know now it is from pushing too hard on the front end.  You can not bank time. You can not start too fast in 26.2 and not have it bite you…you just can’t.

I would go through my ups and downs like the training.  I had moments that I knew I could and would do it.  Then I was trying to figure out ways to get to finish line without walking or running.  Was there someone who would carry me or drive me? ;)  Then the amazing crowds would lift me up.  I had on my music but seldom heard it because the crowds were electrifying! I did hear some of the music at just he right time.  The song Redeemed by Big Daddy Weave came on.  Mike and Chase sing this as a duet and I could hear them in my head.  It lifted me and kept me moving.  Another highlight was running through Moody University.  I listen to Moody Radio daily and am encouraged daily.  It was a quick shot of encouragement on the course.  I kept putting one foot in front of the other repeating the faster you do it the sooner you get to quit. :)

Once I made to mile 20 I knew I had it.  I can do a 10k in my sleep.  But, then I remembered it would take me at least an hour.  Oh, I didn’t want to run another hour.  At this point, I took it one mile at a time.  I had a PBJ on the run.  I had Peanut M & Ms as well.  My fueling was on target…now to get my mind and feet to follow suit.  During the last 10k I did have to walk through some water stations and pull over to put BioFreeze on my hamstring.  It was slow going but it was going.  I hit the 5k mark and knew I had it.  3.1 miles was a walk in the park.  One mile at a time….one mile at a time….  So the sign I was waiting for….ONE mile to go…finally came.  At this point, I finally looked at my watch.  I knew it had taken me 10 minutes to get to the start.  The clock showed 3:58 and my watch had 3:48.  I knew then I had 12 minutes to finish in under 4 hours, which was my secondary goal.  The last mile was broken down in meters for us.  At the 800 meter and 400 meter sign I was in the mode of “I so have this!”  We did so many 400 and 800 meter repeats in training I knew I had it…and I did. I finished in 3:57:39.  This was my official time and my watch time….even with the crazy splits…the two were identical.  :)


I am thrilled with my finish and my run.  How can I not be? I ran Chicago.  I ran my 3rd world major.  I ran with my amazing friends and I ran for HIM! He gave me desire and gave me the opportunity.  Did I finish like I wanted? No.  Is that okay? Yes! As Albert Einstein said, “Learn from yesterday, live for today and hope for tomorrow!”  I lived for the day.  I will learn from it now that it is a yesterday and I will hope for tomorrow which is NYC, November 1.

Also, I was 10,336 out those 37,000+ finishers.  I was 2995 out of 17,038 females.  I was almost an hour faster than the average finish time for my age group – it was 4:50.  I am thrilled! God was good. He showed up that day in many ways.  He showed up in China Town in the form of music to keep me going.  He showed up several times along the route when people yelled “Go Iron Lady!” (I had Iron Sharpens Iron on my shirt.)  He showed up in a sign that had Philippians 4.13 on it – I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.  He showed up every time I crossed a timing mat knowing it was sending a text to many of you.  He showed up in the last mile when I saw 8oom LEFT and 400m LEFT.  He showed up every step of the way! He was there and will continue to be there during my next steps.  I felt Him! I felt the prayers! What a glorious day for a run!!!! Now to find my running angels…

We all found one another in the mass of people…the runners + spectators = unreal numbers.  We hustled through the crowds to make it back to our hotel.   We managed to stop and have our picture taken as a group – Chicago Marathon Finishers. We did it.  Yoli and Deirdre met their goals of around 3:30.  They both qualified for Boston 2017.  Shannon and I finished our race and enjoyed leaving all we had on the streets of Chicago.  This trip was a gift from God.  He allowed me to run with like-minded friends and we have amazing memories we will live with forever.  God is good all the time and all the time God is good.

We made back to hotel in time to shower and get on the road.  The second marathon of the day – the 12 hour drive home – was about to begin.  We relived the day and kept one another awake as we made stops to refuel the car and ourselves on our way back to home sweet home – TN.  Now on to the next one….NYC! I will learn from yesterday, live for today and hope for tomorrow!


26 scriptures for the MARATHON – Marathon of life! Thanks to Dorothy Beal from MilePosts for compiling this list!

Be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of age.

Matthew 28:20

 The Lord will work out his plans for my life.

Psalm 138:8

 I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as the mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, “Move from here to there,” and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.

Matthew 17:20

 To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given.

Luke 19:26

 I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.

Philippians 4:13

Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we can not see. Hebrews 11:1

 ‘I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord. ‘They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and hope.’

Jeremiah 29:11

Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity.

I Timothy 4:12

We know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.

Romans 8:28

Let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.

Hebrews 12:1

Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him, and he will help you.

Psalm 37:5

With God’s help we will do mighty things.

Psalm 60:12

We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. Romans 5:3

 We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed.

2 Corinthians 4:9

The Lord is faithful; he will strengthen you.

2 Thessalonians 3:3

Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.

Isaiah 41:10

It is not that we think we are qualified to do anything on our own. Our qualification comes from God.

2 Corinthians 3:5

Be strong and courageous, for your work will be rewarded.

Chronicles 15:7

Whatever you do, do well.

Ecclesiastes 9:10

He will order his angels to protect you wherever you go.

Psalm 91:11

 Anything is possible if a person believes.

Mark 9:23

The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.

Luke 6:38

 I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize…

Philippians 3:13

 Our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!

2 Corinthians 4:17

I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.

Commit your actions to the Lord, and your plans will succeed.

Proverbs 16:3

 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 be faint.

Isaiah 40:31


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Taper week…

Here is a short report on Taper Week – the week before RACE day! I will do a different post on RACE day.  Tapering is preparing your body for the big day. There are several different schools of thought on tapering…from 7 days to 3 weeks.  Matt went with 7 days…of course! :) Here are the runs:

Run #1:  8 x 200m with 2 minute rest – holding pace from week 1  – Needless to say I didn’t hold the pace from week 1.  This run was a HUGE confidence booster!!!!

Week 1 Week 12
:50 :34
:52 :38
:53 :38
:52 :38
:51 :38
:51 :41
:54 :39
:51 :39


Here’s how I felt once the last set of 200s were over:


Easy 30 minute run – I split this run into two portions because I wanted to run with my girls during Girls on the Run! I ran 10 minutes with them and then 20 on my own.  I got 3 miles in at an 10 minute per mile pace average.  Matt said easy so I went EASY!  It was enjoyable!

I wasn’t able to wear my race day shoes for the first part of the week because they were still drying out after the soggy 18 miler on Saturday.  My sweet husband helped me out with the drying process:


4 x 400m @ 70% effort w/ 200m walking recovery focus on form –Last one was my fastest.  I always like that! This was a good shakeout run.  Last run in Tennesse before heading to Chi town!






Easy 30 minute run –  This run was great! We did it in Speedway, Indiana after spending the night with my sister.  It was a treat to see her and her husband John.  It was her birthday…that was fun! It was also awesome to re-introduce her to my amazing friends.   We did 3 miles in 30 minutes once again. We took in the sites of Speedway including the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.  We also ran by my niece’s house.  She was gracious enough to get up and give me a hug early on a Saturday morning. :)  Sweet run all around! Now to talk the girls into coming back in May 2016 for the 40th running of the Mini Marathon – one of the nation’s largest 1/2 marathons! :) We are READY to run for HIM and encourage each other along the way!

6300AB50-CF1C-40ED-B3B4-1D0508A1E61B IMG_4682

We were on our way…Chi Town HERE WE COME! :)

Running blessed with anticipation!!!


twain 603a8ed2cae11e047ab3efbb96edc9a7 images


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Expectant prayers and God-confidence….

My life verse is Hebrews 11.1 – 

“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”

‭The title in my Bible over this verse is FAITH IN ACTION. This weekend I am putting my faith in action. I’m expectantly praying. The Lord is faithful and I know I will feel His presence every step of the way. 

As I was reading through my devotionals and trying to choose one this morning, I opened one I had already read but didn’t realize it. God knew I needed it today! Here it is:

A Servant’s Request

Whitney Capps

Genesis 24:14 (NIV) “May it be that when I say to a young woman, ‘Please let down your jar that I may have a drink,’ and she says, ‘Drink, and I’ll water your camels too’—let her be the one you have chosen for your servant Isaac. By this I will know that you have shown kindness to my master.”

This is the first recorded prayer for guidance in Scripture. And what a prayer it was.
First, a little backstory. Genesis 24 recounts how a servant was sent to a neighboring country to find a wife for Isaac. God had told Abraham, Isaac’s father, to leave his homeland years earlier. Now on his deathbed, Abraham wants to make sure that Isaac has a wife from his native land.

What a tremendous task this was for the servant! This wise (and likely overwhelmed) servant begins with prayer. Notice what he prays. He asks first for success in faith-filled humility.

But the servant doesn’t stop there. He asks for God to give him a powerful and miraculous demonstration of His will by directing the servant to a woman who would give him a drink and offer to water his camels. His prayer was specific and expectant.

General requests often receive general responses. Specific prayers let us look for specific answers from God. We don’t want to treat God like some cosmic genie in a bottle to be sure.

But I think I avoid specific prayers because I sometimes doubt God’s capacity to answer specifically. My prayers aren’t influenced by a sense of reverence but by a lack of faith.

I can learn a lot from this bold, prayerful servant. Oh that my prayers would follow his pattern to humbly ask God for success and trust His specific provision.

Prayer: God, today my prayer is specific and hope-filled. Radically change my prayer life, God. Help me to pray audacious, bold prayers. May my prayers reflect my confidence in You. Lord, I want to pray expectantly and specifically so that I can give You all the glory for the answers You alone can give. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
My Moment: What area of your life needs a specific, bold prayer so you can see God’s amazing provision?
My prayer for Chicago is the one in the devotional: 

God, today my prayer is specific and hope-filled for Chicago. Radically change my prayer life, God. Help me to pray audacious, bold prayers and my steps as I run for you. May my prayers and my run reflect my confidence in You. Lord, I want to pray and run expectantly and specifically so that I can give You all the glory for the answers You alone can give. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Sidenote: As we left my sister’s house this morning – she called me back in the house. She had the music blaring and she said listen. The song “if you happen to see the most beautiful girl in the world, would you tell her I love her?” was playing. This is song is very special to me. My dad and brother used to sing it to me when I was little to embarrass me. Now, it just brings a smile to my face. Lisa knew it would do the same today. 😀 Tears of joy filled my eyes and I knew God was sending us to Chicago with a blessing-His!

Lisa was an amazing hostess as well. She and John opened their home and treated us royally. It was her birthday yet she treated us like it was ours. Blessed is all I can say!  

Legs are shaken out and ready for 26.2 in Chicago!

 We ran around Speedway, IN for our shakeout run this morning. We ran past the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for inspiration!!! Speed…God speed! 



Early morning in Speedway, IN.

Next stop….  

“He makes clouds rise from the ends of the earth; he sends lightning with the rain and brings out the wind from his storehouses.”

‭‭Psalm‬ 137.7

Praying for His rain of blessings and winds of strength!

Running blessed!

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World Marathon Majors…checking them off one at a time!


God has truly blessed my life with running. In a little over 2 days I get to take many steps to get closer to my goal of running all 6 of the World Marathon Majors.  Up until this point, I have had the great fortune to run 2 of the 6 – London and Boston. Sunday it will become 3 of 6 and after running New York on November 1, it will be 4 of 6.

If you had told me many years ago that I would be running and running all over the world…I would have told you that you were crazy. The Lord has allowed running to introduce me to many different cultures as well as introducing me to many different wonderful lifelong friends. On Sunday I have the AWESOME privilege of running with three of these running angels…Yoli, Deirdre and Shannon.  We have been coached well and we will own Chicago.

Major number 3 will be in the books and major number 4 will come shortly there after. Majors 5 and 6 are on the bucket list! On Sunday I get to run with three of these running angels. We will own Chicago. Feeling blessed!!!

God has taught me a lot about life along the journey as well!  These scriptures sum it up perfectly:

Hebrews 12.1-2

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

1 Corinthians 9.24-27

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. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.

Phillipians 3.13-14

Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Starting tomorrow expect many updates and photos recording the journey! #blessings #runforgod #chicagomarathon #TCSNYCMarathon



Running Blessed! Let’s do this! For HIS glory!


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Chicago Marathon TRACKING is up and running!

Follow the link below for the ‘how-to’ information to track us during the 2015 Chicago Marathon…5 days away! :) OR simply text 16402 to 38909.  16402 is my bib number.  This will give you my information. For others, simply put in their names.  Race start time is 7:30 a.m. central time…8:30 a.m. eastern time.  You can also download the Chicago Marathon App which will allow you to do the same.



This tracker is accountability for me…I know every time I cross over a timing mat that my splits are sent to my prayer warriors.  It truly helps me stay connected to each of you the whole 26.2 miles.  So in advance – THANKS for a being a vital part of the journey and soon a VITAL part of the finish.  As Ephesians 1.15-16 says:

For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints,
I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers.
Running blessed and thankful!



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Ready or not…here we come! Chi Town Bound!

Last week was our last official week of training.  Taper begins tomorrow…yay! It was a successful week for me.  I felt good on all my runs and feel READY! I had some fun runs…most of them this last week involved rain.  We are like the postmen/women – no matter what the weather we run. :)


Here are my rain-soaked donkeys and I was a drowned rat most runs…but that is what memories are made of. :)

Run #1 – 6 x 600 with 400m rest – comparable to past 600s.  Some better some not…but overall consistent and felt good.  It was one of the sunny runs of the week. 







Run #2 – Ladder – 4 x 200 w/ 1:30 rest; 3 x 400 w/ 1:30 rest; 2 x 1000s w/ 3:00 rest – WET!!!

200s – :44, :45, :44, :43  – consistent and GOOD

400s – 1:37; 1:37; 1:43 – consistent again…:)

1000s – 4:22 and 4:26 – HARD but done! :)


Ladders – THUMBS down!

Run #3 – 18 miler  2:47:59 – 9:20 pace – I knew I needed a change of pace and scenery to mentally get this run done.  I decided to go to Cleveland and try out their greenway.  I knew I would be able to get around 9-10 there and then would have to double back at times.  I was willing to do that because I needed to be able to run and not know how much more I had to go because I knew the landmarks.

When I woke up Saturday, after sleeping in,  it was pouring down rain. :(  Yoli called and invited me to run with them.  I hadn’t been up long and couldn’t get it all together to meet up with them.  I debated staying closer to home but then decided to stick with the original plan.  I drove to Cleveland and I am sooooo glad I did.

The run was supposed to be a time trial but considering the rain wouldn’t go away and I had to do some trail and river running…I was pleased with my time! This was a fun run believe it or not.  I listened to Pandora and sang along as I ran in the rain. I loved to play in the rain as a child and I was reliving those memories.  God sent song after song about being there in the storm or hurricane…there were numerous songs about rain…it was humorous at times but also I viewed it as a blessing for my soul.  He was showing me He will get me through what He started!  I was soaked when I was done…but it was fun!

At one point, I ran by a prayer garden.  I ran to it and stopped.  It was a blessing in the rain as well.  I prayed for the girls. I prayed for our trip. I prayed for our run.  I prayed we would run well, finish strong and glorify Him in all we do.  As I keep stating, He is the reason we run and He has brought us this far…He will help us through to the finish line.  We are excited!!!

Run #4 –  10k – Today, I still had my 10k left.  My thinking was the hay is in the barn…I don’t need the run. ;)  About that time, Yoli text me and asked if I had run yet.  Of course, I had not.  She made me do it…:)   I am glad I did because it was a great run on tired legs. I am ready.



DONE with official training….LET THE TAPER BEGIN!!!!

We have been working hard and we are all ready for Chicago. It has been a fun journey with amazing friends and an awesome coach.  Four of us will conquer Chi Town together – Iron sharpening Iron….Proverbs 27.17 – As iron sharpens iron,  so a friend sharpens a friend.  We will all start in different corrals and run our own race.  He has prepared the way and we will travel the streets of Chicago taking it all in. My prayer is for safety, strength and endurance.  

Later in the week I will post information on how to track our run, if you are interested.  I ask that as we finish this week of tapering you will join us in praying that we glorify Him with every move and every step….pray for safe travel…pray for a safe and strong run finishing the race He set out for each of us!


Hebrews 12.1 

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.

Exodus 23.20 

 “See, I am sending an angel before you to protect you on your journey and lead you safely to the place I have prepared for you.


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