Monthly Archives: April 2013

Beauty for ashes….my story!

An open love letter to you all…The events of the last week have shaken us. Yet, they have shown the good in people. The great in people. The amazing in people. The heroes in people. The patriotism in people. The faith in people and in our God!

These selfless acts from family, friends and strangers have moved me. Mike and I have been overwhelmed with the outpouring of true love and concern for our safety and our well-being during this time. There will never be enough words to say THANK YOU! But, THANK YOU!!!!

We are home now. We are safe. We are surrounded by loved ones and glad to be in good ole Tennessee. Hugs are sweeter. Words are richer.

As we ride this roller coaster God put us on we are truly amazed by the people along the way. God has orchestrated a path of healing unlike any other. Healing will take time. The April 15, 2013 Boston Marathon and the town of Boston will forever be etched on my heart. God has given me a story. This is where I begin to tell it.

Today, I ran again. Today I laced up my shoes and got back on the road. It was a therapeutic run for me. It was a start to a new day. A start to a road full of recovery and rejoicing!

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I never dreamed I would have the emotions I have had over the last 5 days. I know it is part of the process but you really never dream you will be part of something so crazy. Something that captivates the nation and the world. Why me? Why? Because I know have a story to tell of God’s grace. God’s sovereignty. God’s love. God’s hope. God’s salvation! He is good ALL the time.

So let me share one story where God’s beauty came from the ashes on Monday. Most of you know my story on qualifying for Boston two years ago. (go to archives if you don’t…) Though I qualified I didn’t get in because of the new performance standards…so, God provided me with the best team ever – Team Hoyt. The last two years I have run Boston as a charity runner for this dynamic group. My goal this year was to run Boston and qualify for next year while running Boston. So, I set out to run a 3:45:00 on race day.

My training went very well. I was ready! Race day came and because of reasons I won’t go into today, I did not get a 3:45:00 but a 3:52:26. I ran well. I ran hard. I just didn’t bring it all in throughout the entire 26.2. I was okay with that…especially considering what happened on Monday. I finished when many did not get to. I was pleased to have been able to cross the finish line and finish well. So many had that dream and it was taken from them on Monday. I could not and would not complain. I also felt like I didn’t want a qualifying time on this day…because it would be hard to celebrate. That’s okay! Little did I know that God was getting ready to show me beauty in the ashes of this roller coaster of a week.

Earlier in the week I found out that the local race was giving comp entries to those of us who ran on Monday. What a way to rejoice and recover! I jumped on it. I wasn’t sure my legs were ready but my heart was. As I laid my head down Friday night, I had a brief, random thought rush through my mind – I will be 45 next year when Boston rolls around. Why is this important? Well, when you get older they give you more time within your qualifying times. So to qualify as a 45-year-old I would have to run a 3:55:00….not a 3:45:00. Wow! So, does that mean I actually qualified on Monday…then zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz! Off to sleep I fell. Remember it has been a WILD week. I fell sound asleep quickly!

Fast forward to the next morning. We are driving to the race and I say “Oh!” My friends say, “what?” This is when I tell them the story. At this point I am awake and want to know. I email my Team Hoyt coach to ask her. Hoping to hear from her soon! Then I google it on my phone. I found it, I thought. But, I was being cautiously confident until I could get home and look at the Boston Athletic Association’s website. Now, this didn’t stop me from asking several people at the race what they thought. We all were cautiously confident. ūüôā

Water stop – Race details. I ran easy. I ran with my wing women and man – my running angels. We enjoyed the beautiful Chickamauga Battlefield on a cool, crisp Saturday morning. I cried as we listened to the National Anthem. I cried, more like boo wooed, when I crossed the finish line. My running angels were there to catch me. My emotions were raw. I was back! I was doing what I loved and doing it for HIM, for His grace and His glory. Boy, I needed that! I was able to visit with at least 5 new friends who ran along side me on the streets of Boston. We had an instant connection even though we had just met. We were sad and happy together. Happy the guys responsible had been caught. Happy life could start to get back to normal for all of us. I also reconnected with old friends who were as happy to see me as I was them. Hugs are so good! Great day! God is good…all the time.

Back to story – I went to the computer as soon as I got home. I needed to know now. ūüôā This is what I found…this exact question by a male…coincidence, I think not! Remember, I am 44 now and will be 45 when I run.

Q: I will be 44 when I run my qualifying race, but will be 45 when I run the Boston Marathon. What is my qualifying time?

A: Your qualifying time is based on your age on the day of the Boston Marathon, thus your qualifying time will be 3hrs 25(55 for women)min ‚Äď and you can be 44 when you run your qualifying race.

So, I qualified for the 2014 Boston Marathon on Monday. Am I excited? Yes. It is my beauty from the ashes story….as the scripture and song below so beautifully say:

Isaiah 61.1-3

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,
2 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion‚ÄĒ
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the Lord
for the display of his splendor.

CRYSTAL LEWIS – BEAUTY FOR ASHES LYRICS

He gives beauty for ashes
Strength for fear
Gladness for mourning
Peace for despair

When sorrow seems to surround you
When suffering hangs heavy oer your head
Know that tomorrow brings
Wholeness and healing
God knows your need
Just believe what He said

He gives beauty for ashes
Strength for fear

Gladness for mourning
Peace for despair

When what you’ve done keeps you from moving on
When fear wants to make itself at home in your heart
Know that forgiveness brings
Wholeness and healing
God knows your need
Just believe what He said

He gives beauty for ashes
Strength for fear

Gladness for mourning
Peace for despair

I once was lost but God has found me
Though I was bound I’ve been set free
I’ve been made righteous in His sight
A display of His splendor all can see

He gives beauty for ashes
Strength for fear

Gladness for mourning
Peace for despair!

Am I still going to try to run a 3:45:00 before the deadline in September? No, I am going to go for a 3:40:00. I can and will do it! With the peace of mind that I have already done it and can do it again! God‚Äôs grace! God‚Äôs love! God‚Äôs sovereignty! He knew I wouldn‚Äôt be ready to handle this information until today after my recovery and rejoicing run! Remember, God is good…all the time!

Romans 8.28 – And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God,

to them who are the called according to his purpose.

This post is full of joy! Full of love for each one of you and your friends who prayed for us,reached out to us and loved us during this time! We love you!!!

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The day after….

Today is a new day.¬† Today is the day the Lord has made so let‚Äôs rejoice.¬† I am trying. I really am.¬† I know our God is in control, I do.¬† But I am struggling right now. I know I am to have faith. It is my job to trust…not understand. I know all that…and it does bring me comfort. BUT, I am struggling.

A roller coaster of emotions have hit me today.¬† The events of yesterday are settling in.¬† As we left our hotel today we were met with armed guards. ¬† The street in front of the hotel was blocked. The swat team and numerous police officers were at the hotel across the street.¬† Unsettling is the best word to describe it…eery.

These sights are imprinted in my mind.¬† I know they are nothing compared to the sights others saw yesterday.¬† Many of Team Hoyt‚Äôs family members were in the stands across from one of the explosions.¬† One said he has replayed it all in his mind over and over again! I can‚Äôt imagine…the replay of smoke in mine is bad enough.

Team Hoyt came out physically okay.¬† Emotionally scarred and changed…forever I am sure.¬† It drew us closer to our families and closer to each other as a Team Hoyt family!¬† We were thankful to share hugs! We were thankful to receive emails from those we were unable to see and touch.¬† Dick and Rick were stopped on the course when they cancelled the race.¬† They made it back to their home without too many delays. Thankfully, they are well!¬† The Lord truly watched over our team and helped us through this horrific day.

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God is showing me He is in control.¬† Tragedy causes people to search for reasons why…to search for a sense of hope.¬† We may never know why but God is providing hope.¬† He is in control.¬† Romans 8.28 – For we know that all things work together for the good of those who love the Lord and are called according to his purpose.

A friend sent me a devotion today.¬† It was talking about being thankful in all circumstances.¬† My brother sent me 1 Thessalonians 5.18 – here is 1 Thessalonians 5. 16-18….16¬†Rejoice always, 17¬†pray continually, 18¬†give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God‚Äôs will for you in Christ Jesus.¬† It is so hard to be thankful for the tragedy that unfolded on Marathon Monday but in the devotion it stated again, we can‚Äôt see the big picture. He can.

After reading the different accounts in the newspaper it makes me really, really thankful for our safety and God’s provision. I have said this already but will continue.  My heart is broken for the families of those who lost their lives. One was an eight year old boy who had just hugged his dad before he crossed the finish line.  He ran back to be with his mom when the bomb exploded.  He was killed and his mom and sister were both injured. The father was headed down the corral to get his medal.  Relieved to be done I am sure.  Thankful to have a Gatorade and a Power Bar to refuel.  Then as I did, heard the blast and I am sure turned around to horror.  My story had a better ending.  His did not!

Sadness and tears consume me as I think about this…I know how panicked I felt trying to find Mike.¬† I know the fear that overtook me.¬† Prayers were being lifted but I was in shock and my instincts of go and find Mike kicked in.¬† This father did the same.¬† I can only wrap prayer around this family. I don‚Äôt know their names, but God does.¬† God also has this family and the others in His hand.

We are now in flight on the way home.¬† It still seems surreal. On one of the newscasts being broadcast in the airport a reporter said this is like 911 you will always remember where you were and when you heard.¬† I sat back and thought about this…I was there in person.¬† I saw the smoke. People were killed and injured just 2 blocks away from me.¬† The reality of this has not really hit me yet.¬† I know it will. On this roller coaster I go from reality to really? What a place to be!

The outpouring of love Mike and felt have humbled us beyond belief.¬† Due to the circumstances we were without cell phone services for a while. They were taking precautionary measures just in case cell phones were being used to detonate the bombs.¬† It was a scary time.¬† We wanted to get in touch with our loved ones – friends and family all around the world.¬† Please know that if I could give each of you a huge hug – I would.¬† That is what I needed and wanted….Mike was there for me.¬† { } Consider this your virtual hug!

As we have traveled God is showing His presence.¬† Before we took off in Boston I had to use the restroom.¬† I walked in and a girl was on the phone crying.¬† She had her Boston Marathon shirt on so I knew she had run the race.¬† When she was finished I said ‚ÄúI know I don‚Äôt know you, but can I give you a hug?‚Ä̬† We embraced and then she told me her story.¬† She was right there when it happened.¬† She was thanking the Lord for her safety.¬† We stood and talked for a while and I made a new friend. Liz-I am praying for you! I feel blessed that the Lord allowed our paths to cross. It was a Godincidence like so many other happenings this weekend. She talked about how she felt God was working. How He was drawing us back to our families.¬† We talked about God‚Äôs sovereignty.¬† He is in control.

After landing in Charlotte we were walking to connecting gate.¬† A complete stranger reached out and put her hand on Mike‚Äôs arm and said, ‚ÄúI am really glad to see you two!‚Ä̬† We thanked her as she walked on.¬† Good is out there….everywhere.¬† We need to live more intentional and show others our love and God‚Äôs love daily.¬† This is where the hope comes from in these times of tragedy.¬† That is what we are made of!

Does it make us sad? Yes! Do we hurt? Yes!  Do we wish we could erase it? Yes!  Questions are raised why? Why would a gracious God allow such tragedy?

I know our Lord is good…I know He is sovereign and He is in control.¬† Searching for answers is part of it…as I searched I found this article BIBLE TRUTHS FOR TRAGIC TIMES on www.cbn.com – The Christian Broadcasting Network written by Laura J. Bagby. ¬†It was written after Hurricane Katrina. ¬†She has conveyed the message so well.¬† She has referenced the word of our Lord and Savior that brings us comfort.¬† READ BELOW:

5 “The waves of death surrounded me; the floods of destruction swept over me. 6 The grave[a] wrapped its ropes around me; death itself stared me in the face. 7 But in my distress I cried out to the LORD; yes, I called to my God for help. He heard me from his sanctuary; my cry reached his ears (2 Samuel 22:5-7, NLT).The above Scripture passage, a heartfelt cry of King David written thousands of years ago. ¬†The Lord God is close to the brokenhearted, to those crushed in spirit (Psalm 34:18). He is our refuge in times of trouble (Psalm 59:16).
In the meantime, as the rest of us stay glued to the television set, transfixed at the images of horror that have transpired these last couple of days and waiting to hear from loved ones, we must not allow our hearts to faint to the point that we lose hope and begin to question the goodness of God. We can become overwhelmed when we dwell on tragedy, which is exactly why the Bible tells us to set our minds on things above and not on earthly things (Colossians 3:2).When our hearts are troubled, we must seek the Lord. When we give our anxious hearts to God instead of remaining paralyzed by our fearful thoughts, we gain His peace. The Bible tells us plainly in Philippians 4:6-7:Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (NIV).

John 14:27 also notes the exchange of fear for peace. Jesus states:

“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (NKJV).

These are the times to remember just who our God truly is, a God who is there and a God who cares. So let us pause to consider our Great King. Let’s look on heavenly things for a moment to calm our nerves.

Me again: ¬†I couldn’t have said it any better. ¬†I want to reiterate her words…”Remember who our God truly is, a God who is there and a God who cares. ¬†So let us pause to consider our Great King. Let’s look on heavenly things for a moment to calm our nerves.”

I prayed 18 weeks ago, at the beginning of my marathon training, that God’s will be done and He was glorified on race day. ¬†Never in a million years did I ever imagine or could I have ever imagined it would or could be happening in this way! God will prevail. ¬†We know the ending! Thanking Him for His Hope and love!!!

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Race times don’t matter…relationships do!

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Yesterday I stood right at the finish line! Today, I started my run at the start line looking forward to crossing the finish line.  Today looking at this photo brought sadness to my heart.

This blog will not cover much of my run but more about the ups and downs once I ¬†crossed the finish line. ¬† Yesterday there was joy in the air all around. Of course it is marathon weekend. ūüôā ¬†Boston is the oldest marathon in the nation. ¬†It is the super bowl of runs. ¬†Runners come to celebrate running and life as we travel from Hopkinton to Boston.

Little did we know that today it would turn from a happy, joyous event to an unimaginable tragedy. ¬†I had a goal for my run…to finish but to finish with a certain time. Unfortunately, I did not make it. ¬†But, that is all I know. I have not checked my time. I have not looked at my mile times. ¬†I have not uploaded my race information. ¬†It doesn’t matter. ¬†It is not relative. ¬†My race was put in perspective about 5-10 minutes after I crossed the finish line.

As I was walking through the corral – this is where I picked up my medal, a banana, a power bar and my blanket – once I picked up my medal I was headed to pick up my bag in a big yellow school bus. ¬†As I headed that way I heard and felt a big boom. I turned around and saw a huge gray cloud of smoke right by the finish line. ¬†At this time I bumped into one of my Team Hoyt members and said “what was that?” He responded, “I don’t know, but it can’t be good! I am going to find my wife.” (I can say all Team Hoyt members are accounted for and their families…we are all safe.)

At this point I realized Mike had a VIP pass to sit in the grandstand area next to the finish line. ¬†That is where the explosion happened from what I could see. ¬†This is when I went into panic mode and prayed that he was safe. ¬†My phone was at 7% so I was trying to find him quickly. ¬†He did not answer at least 3 phone calls and did not respond to 1 text. ¬†I was frantic. ¬†A photographer asked to take my picture…I couldn’t do it. ¬†I was in tears. ¬†I couldn’t find him. ¬†Help me Lord! Help me! This span of time, which was no more than 20 minutes, was longer that the 3:30+ hours I was on the course. ¬†Then he called, and we were literally 50 yards from one another. ¬†I saw him first…ended the phone call…and ran to him and embraced him in a hug before he saw me. ¬†My prayer had been answered. ¬†God had provided both of us with a hedge of protection! We were both safe. ¬†Boy, what a moment…much better than crossing any finish line EVER!

We headed quickly to the hotel and have been here watching footage ever since. ¬†Tragedy, senseless, sad, evil…many other words can describe this horrific day. ¬†A holiday in Boston…a family day…a day of typical celebration…a historical day…and now a day to ever be remembered by this tragedy. ¬†Blemished!

BUT –¬†540519_10151450083784125_845468183_n

Faith has been present. People were responding in way that GOOD people respond. ¬†They help people. They are selfless. They run and do what is right. ¬†There were more of that today in the aftermath. ¬†We have seen amazing stories of human nature at its best…even when the worst was shown today.

I don’t understand it. I am still in shock. It is surreal! But I know beyond a shadow of a doubt my GOD is in control. ¬†I know Satan is fighting a battle on this earth and evil is real! But our Lord will win! But sadly, many will be hurt during the battle.

Friends shared these verses today….

John 16:33

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.

In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Psalm 91.1
Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.[a]
2 I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.‚ÄĚ

3 Surely he will save you
from the fowler’s snare
and from the deadly pestilence.
4 He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
5 You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,

Prayer and comfort is what we needed and prayer and comfort from so many is what we got. ¬†Due to this tragic day, I have reconnected with many from years ago…I have heard from friends I have not been in touch with in a very long time. ¬†My family has too. Mike and I are truly humbled by your love and support! We are thankful the Lord has blessed us with an amazing support team.

That is the support team that matters. ¬†The relationships we form are God’s way of helping us through these ups and downs from our start to our finish. ¬†The main relationship is the one with our Lord Jesus Christ. It is not always going to be an easy ride or run because evil is present. ¬†But believe me, today as been easier because He is my Savior and my Father. ¬†He brings me comfort and has allowed me to surround myself with people who do the same. God is good…all the time! Evil is not!

Here in Boston Team Hoyt is my family. We loved one another after it was over. We hugged one another with new appreciation of life. ¬†We will continue to stay in touch and have yet another bond and story for Yes, You Can! We did live through this day that will forever be etched in our hearts. ¬†We will forever be thankful we made it out alive and uninjured. ¬†We are praying for those who did not. ¬†Won’t you join us?

Race times don’t matters…relationships do! 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.

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I do give Him the glory for today’s run, His hedge of protection and His control over the situation! ¬†Thanks for letting me process this event and reading it. ¬†I wrote from the heart and it may be jumbled…it has been a chaotic day and my thoughts are there too. ¬†I am so ready to be home…Still running Blessed!

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Run in such a way….

Tomorrow’s the big day. I am anxious but excited! The Lord has brought me this far and he will lead me to the end! His steps I will follow. For him I run! This is his race! He has set it out before me… I will finish well because I will finish with him!

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. (1 Corinthians 9:24 NIV)

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Tracking Trish…

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Below you will find an email I sent out to my friends and family regarding the BIG DAY – Boston! ¬†You all are my friends and family too…so here you go! (If you received the email…you can ignore. :))
As you know, Monday is the big day. ¬†God has truly me blessed me throughout this training season. ¬†I feel great! I have been running strong and I am ready. ¬†As my prayer warriors I ask you to first pray specifically that I glorify Him as I run…secondly that I run HIS race….thirdly that I stay true to my training and run my strategy. ¬†My goal (and I hope HIS) is to qualify under the new standards running a 3:45:00. ¬†My training has me right on track. ¬†Pray I run well and run smart. ūüôā ¬†Smart – starting slow…running negative splits…hydrating well…fueling well….I can do it! Yes, I can! ūüôā
Our awesome computer guy at school has made it easy for you all to track me and follow us over the weekend. Below find the links to see pictures that we will upload throughout the weekend…tracking information on race day on the route as well as receiving text messages on my progress…you can meet the 2013 Team Hoyt runners as well as Team Hoyt’s story. It is pretty cool!! ūüôā Thanks, Matt!
Thanks for each of your never-ending support during this journey.  Each one of you has touched me along the way and I would be amiss without saying THANKS!!!!  Love to you all!
We leave Saturday morning and spend the day with Team Hoyt. We hope to get in a Red Sox game while I take it easy on Sunday. ¬†Monday race day and then back to the real world on Tuesday. ūüôā
Thankful for each of you and for your prayers!! I love you all!!!
Trish
TRACKING TRISH

Your web site can be viewed here: tinyurl.com/TrackingTrish
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More to come….stay tuned for race weekend updates along the way!
Running humbled and blessed!
Trish

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I can…ONLY imagine!

We are currently traveling back from a glorious birthday weekend with my side of our wonderful family. The Lord has truly blessed Mike and me with an amazing family on both sides.¬† The Taylor clan and the Newsom clan are collectively the best group of people ever! I am biased but I would venture to say others would say the same. ūüôā¬† Thank you Lord for surrounding my with people who love me unconditionally and make me a better person!!! (Thanks to my niece Lane we had amazing photos taken of the Taylor side in Indy by Courtney Venable….it was GREAT fun!)

547411_476141569119203_972956558_n 902118_476146905785336_1918125744_oI love these people more than words could EVER describe!!!

Now to the real reason for this post…as we are driving down the interstate we are listening to Christian music.¬† Mike and I both are listening and singing along.¬† (For those of you who have heard both of us sing…you know HE is way better and I need to be listening and not singing. LOL!) ¬†I CAN ONLY IMAGINE just played.¬† What a powerful song!!!¬† I will NEVER forget the first time I heard this song!

I CAN ONLY IMAGINE…Mercy Me

I can only imagine 
What it will be like 
When I walk 
By your side 

I can only imagine 
What my eyes will see 
When your face 
Is before me 
I can only imagine 

[Chorus:]
Surrounded by Your glory, what will my heart feel 
Will I dance for you Jesus or in awe of you be still 
Will I stand in your presence or to my knees will I fall 
Will I sing hallelujah, will I be able to speak at all 
I can only imagine 

I can only imagine 
When that day comes 
And I find myself 
Standing in the Son 

I can only imagine 
When all I will do 
Is forever 
Forever worship You 
I can only imagine

[Chorus]

I can only imagine [x2]

I can only imagine
When all I will do 
Is forever, forever worship you

What is so fitting for God’s timing in letting me hear and remember this is that I heard it first on a long run when I hadn’t been running long.  I was doing a long training run around White Rock Lake in Dallas, Texas.  I was training for my first marathon.  At that time I was overtaken with emotion thinking about how I will respond when I meet our Lord and Savior.  I remember praising HIM with every step and being in awe of His saving grace when in NO way I deserved it!!

Never did I dream that some 13 years later I would be approaching my 9th marathon and it would be Boston.  I could truly only imagine that then.  Now, He has made it reality! As tears fill my eyes now, my emotion is real and raw.  God loves us so much He wants to show us things we can only imagine. He wants to help us live for Him in a way that glorifies Him and brings us joy! WOW!

Why me?? Why now??? Age? Wisdom? Faith? Commitment? Failure? Hard work? Hard ache? It is a combination of them all. I can honestly tell you that I do not want to do it any other way!!! He is the way. He is the truth.  He is the light! He is LIFE!!!!  The ups and downs of life are doable because He is ALWAYS by my side!!! He is a friend of mine!!! (another song playing now!)

The Lord knew 13+ years ago He would be leading on this journey.  He knew He would be paving the way for me to run and use running as a huge part of my testimony.  He knew I would have heartache and success along the way.  He knew I would be running Boston once and now twice.  He knew He would be taking a non-athlete to heights only HE could take reach.  I am in NO way a natural.  He gives me a drive that truly comes from Him.  He gives me the desire to finish what I started and finish well!

1 Corinthians 9.24

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way to get the prize. 

2 Timothy 4.7 

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

As Casting Crowns sings, ‚ÄúYou are already there!‚Ä̬† He goes before us. ¬†He is paving the way from Hopkinton to Boston. He knows what will happen on April 15. He is waiting!

Deuteronomy 31.8

the Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. 

Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.

He knows what April 15, 2013 holds.  He knows how He will use it for His glory.  My prayer is that I stay true to Him and give it right back to Him every step of the way!!!  This brings me comfort and confidence as I prepare to taper this week and physically and mentally prepare for the big day.

Over this next week, my goal is to immerse myself in Him and truly praise him over the 26 easy miles that lead me to HIS 26.2 on April 15.  Will you join me? Will you help me pray that He keeps me injury free, that He leads me every step of the way and that He helps me run for Him?  God is so good! All things truly work together.  Because of HIM I run! Running Blessed!!!

Romans 8.28

And we know that in ALL things God works for the good of those who love him,

who have been called according to HIS purpose. 

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Cautious Confidence….

Two weeks from today is the big day! Currently it is 2:03pm.  At 2:03pm on April 15, I plan to be over Heartbreak Hill and headed down the final stretch to Bolyston Street crossing the 2013 Boston Marathon Finish Line!

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As I get closer people want to know how I am feeling. Am I excited? Am I nervous? Yes and YES!

16 weeks ago I started an 18 week training plan called The Hansons Marathon Method. IMG_4462

http://hansonscoachingservices.com/hansons-marathon-method-the-16-miler/

After reading favorable reviews on the method, I thought I would give it a try. ¬†There were several attractive components. ¬†First, I could order a book and have it in my hands. It would be a manual I could refer to often and as it turns out DAILY! ¬†Secondly, this method calls for a 16 mile run and no longer. ¬†I love this because it gives me time back. ¬†I am not out there running really long on long run days completely exhausted. ¬†Thirdly, it emphasizes easy running being EASY and speed being just that – speed and hard. ¬†6 days of running – 2 days hard and 4 easy…I can do that! So my journey on the Hanson Marathon Method began.

How has it gone? The final verdict will be read on April 15 around 2:30pm.  We will see if all of my training comes together.  This is what my mind has been on the last couple of weeks.  This is what crosses my mind when people ask how I am feeling.  Will my training come together and will we see the fruit of it?  I say YES!

I am better prepared than ever before. ¬†I have stayed faithful to the course of training. On days I didn’t want to do it, I did it. ¬†On days I couldn’t do it, I did what I could or flipped workouts so I could do it. ¬†My times have been spot on and better most days. ¬†My easy runs have been easy for the most part…it is hard to pull in the reigns when you are thinking to yourself you should be going faster. I have learned throughout the course of the 16 weeks – easy is good, real good. It makes a difference in your overall state – mental and physical.

Today as I was pondering the next two weeks of preparation – tapering runs, proper nutrition, proper hydration and etc….I decided to pick up my manual and read what the Hanson’s had to say. ¬†Here is what I found to help me respond to “How do you feel?” or “Are you ready?”

MENTAL PREPARATION – In my experience, the best way to mentally prepare yourself prior to a marathon is simply to be calm. ¬† Getting your heart rate up before you even start running is never a good idea. ¬†A good way to find that calm is to approach the race with “cautious confidence.” ¬†Step back and spend a moment thinking about your training, reminding yourself that you are fit and ready to race. ¬†Training doesn’t lie. ¬†Be realistic in pondering the difficulty of the race, but also remind yourself that all your training has prepared you to handle it. ¬†In addition, when the going gets tough during the race, you are prepared for it. ¬†You knew it wasn’t going to be a cakewalk. ¬†By preparing this way, you are able to have positive and motivating thoughts ready and waiting to help you endure.

p. 200 Hansons Marathon Method, written by Luke Humphrey with Keith & Kevin Hanson

Wow!!!! Just what I needed to read! CAUTIOUS CONFIDENCE! I have trained and I have trained well. ¬†All of my speed workouts, strength workouts and tempo workouts have been successes. ¬†They were all hard and harder in the beginning. ¬†But I transitioned from being fearful I couldn’t keep the pace to being confident I could and I would. ūüôā ¬†What a relief!

Now, to finish strong and to finish well.

2 Timothy 4.7

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

Hebrews 12.1-2

Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

My goal marathon day is to run with the Lord’s strength and to finish the race He set before me. ¬†My training won’t lie. I am cautiously confident it will ALL come together.

Romans 8.28

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

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