Tag Archives: boston marathon

Elation at the finish line…



As I wake up to Good Friday, Facebook so kindly and gently reminds me of the significance of this weekend.  Scrolling through the ‘On This Day’ memories my emotions are all over the place.  Funny how that happens!  Embedded within the memories is this verse: John 14. 27:  Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

God is so good.  He knows that my heart is troubled as the memories of Boston 2013 flood back into my mind but He also knows He provides the ultimate peace for these times. What a picture that provides for me on this – Good Friday.

This picture is a true visual of His unshakeable love for us.  Sadness prevailed as His son was crucified and died for our sins on Good Friday – BUT – Sunday was coming.  Do not let your hearts be troubles and do not be afraid!!!   Why? Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you! I do not give you as the world gives you!  HE is GOD! He offers more than this world could ever give – ETERNITY!

As I relive the memories and the emotions coming flooding back – I have to remember I have an unshakeable God who will give me peace through all things.  The world cannot and will not take me down because HE died to bring me up!

What an amazing journey God has gifted me with and allowed me to live through.  His never-ending love and peace carried me through as He does daily.  My Boston story from beginning to end has too many happy moments to even count.  It has scary and sad moments sprinkled through with joy and elation at the finish line.  He allowed me to experience emotions – and still does – that bring me back to Him.  That point to the fact that SUNDAY is coming! Through the death and resurrection of His son Jesus Christ – we are made whole again! We have nothing to fear! The day we thought was so very bad brings us to the joy and elation at the finish line!


My finish line on earth cannot and will not ever compare to the finish line in heaven!

Romans 10.9-10
9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.

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Divine Detours…


This photo was taken 5 years ago yesterday – June 5, 2011  – at the San Diego Marathon. This is where I attempted to qualify for the Boston for the first time.  Seeing this photo come up on the ‘On this Day’ feature of Facebook brought back so many memories and emotions.  Ones I will not detail today!  It appeared in my newsfeed after I had been to church in Destin, Florida and heard an amazing sermon by none other than former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee.

The night before we were looking for churches close to the condo due to the fact we had planned on walking to the service because we were without a car.  Destiny Worship Center popped up with the banner – Guest Speaker, Governor Mike Huckabee.  This is where I wanted to go – so we did. 🙂  And, I am so glad we did.  I have heard him preach before but that was in college – a long time ago! 😉

He spoke about detours.  How we all have them…How we don’t like them…How we don’t plan them and we don’t want them.  He asked the question – “What if your detour is your destination?”  He gave examples from the Bible which included –

  • Joseph – being sold into slavery
  • Jonah – being swallowed by a fish
  • Jesus – who was betrayed and paid the ultimate sacrifice – death on a cross

As we all know – we all have detours! He went on to say that God’s priorities may be different from ours.  We have to have spiritual maturity and totally trust God’s best for us. The detour will take us down a path where we will learn things we would have never learned on the main road.  The purpose is to help us reflect the character of Jesus Christ and the product will be something bigger than we could have ever imagined!

What are the benefits of these detours?

  • We will see things we wouldn’t have seen normally.
  • We will go places you wouldn’t have gone.
  • We will go slower than you intended to go – so we can hear Him!

He closed with 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.  As many of you may already know – this is the verse my family calls our family verse.  It is one dear to my heart and one the girls and I had been discussing while at the beach this past week.

As he dissected this verse, he pointed out what many miss – it doesn’t say that all things are good – it says all things work together for good AND it is for those who are called according to His purpose – or who KNOW Him and call him Savior.

The detours in life are working together for good for all of us who love and know Him. NO – it is not all good but in the bigger picture – bringing glory to Him – it does work out for good! And – we may never understand or see it on this side of heaven.

Wow! What a powerful message! I needed to hear that in regards to detours I have had recently – so thankful He has the big picture and I only have a small piece of it.

Now, back to the above photo.  As I stated, the photo came up on my Facebook page as a memory.   That day God had planned a detour – a major one in my mind.  I missed qualifying for the Boston Marathon by 53 seconds(around 2 seconds per mile).  I was CRUSHED! But, I didn’t have the whole picture.  Oh, and how thankful I am!!!

Due to that detour – I met Team Hoyt.  I had the amazing privilege of running the Boston Marathon not once but three times! I was able to qualify two times after this race and one of my qualifying runs was while running the Boston Marathon itself.  Running solo became running with a team – a team who makes a difference.  (And guess where a lot of the team members live – San Diego. I was surrounded by them that day and didn’t even know it!)

I could go on and on about how this one detour in San Diego truly changed the trajectory of my running and my life but I won’t.  Though yesterday after Governor Mike Huckabee’s sermon I knew I had to write the story down.  The story about how attending a different church service than planned – because we didn’t have a car was a divine detour.  A divine detour that enlightened me in so many ways!

God is good all the time and all the time God is good!

Ephesians 3.20 – Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us…

Sidenote:  Governor Mike Huckabee was one of my dearest friend’s pastors in Arkansas. He performed her and her husband’s wedding ceremony.  I will never forget he had them face the congregation during the ceremony because he said everyone had come to see them not him. So true! Due to this fact – Mike and I did the same thing in our wedding. 🙂 Another divine detour….

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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 Training – Week 1 Recap

I will start this blog with a funny! Several years ago a friend captured a photo of me finishing a race. It was ugly! I was running up a hill while trying to stay ahead of the 3rd place female….it was a battle! Boy – did he capture it in print.


Shortly there after, a running meme started circulating around the internet.  It was me! (Not really…but, boy it could have been!) This is when I thought, hmmmm, I need to do something about my form. LOL!


I so thought I had it going on! I finished in second place…surely I had awesome form! NOT!!!!  I printed the two photos together as inspiration. It has taken me a while to get there…but I am making great strides.  I would say I really didn’t make it until these last 8 months.

Last year I gained entry into the  2014 Chicago Marathon and once I returned from Boston, I kept training.  But, I was running injured and stopped running in July.  The running had taken a toll on my body.  Since April 2013 I had run 4 marathons and was on track to do my 5th in two years…not that that was what I was going for at all…it was just how it worked out.  After a long run in California, I made the tough decision my body needed a break.  I would stop training and defer my Chicago training.

That was the best decision ever…for a couple of reasons!  First, instead of training alone I am now in this with the 3 others I mentioned in the previous posts.  We are in this together during the good runs and the bad ones.  Whether we are running together or virtually, we know we are in this with each other! Secondly, I found CrossFit which led me to CrossFit Endurance and Pose running.

My CrossFit coach had a Pose Running Seminar in September of 2014.  I hadn’t been running for a couple of months and thought it would be a good time to start back. Through this seminar I learned proper form and technique. Boy, I had it all wrong…as the above picture shows oh, so well!  I am still learning! Not growing up as an athlete, I was not used to skill work and drills.  I was familiar with it of course, just didn’t do it.  I just ran.   Now, it is a very important part of my training.  A VITAL PART!

This is all so encouraging to me because I was able to qualify for Boston twice with HORRIBLE form and technique.  Now, that I am running better…I can’t wait to see what is in store.  God has a plan! He knew, as He did with Boston, I needed a team to train with…and a great coach as well.  I have both!  A team that encourages me mentally, spiritually and physically! When I don’t want to go…they are there to hear me gripe and then they kick me out the door. 😉  Our coach knows our potential and pushes just enough! I am beyond excited.  Another thing that got me excited was comparing my oh so horrible picture to a recent race finish photo. As I said, I have come a long way…but, I am still a work in progress.


Now to the week of training.

Tuesday – 10 x 200 meter repeats with 300 meter recovery – Not too bad…did it with Yoli and we got it done in our neck of the woods.  It is so awesome having her out there running her pace as I run mine!

Thursday -6 x 800 meter repeats with 2 minute rest – Not so much fun! Again, I met Yoli and we got it done.  I just don’t like 800 meter repeats. LOL! And 6 of them…yuck!


Friday – 5k @ 85% of 10k pace – I did this one alone.  Fun! Thanks to my sweet husband I have my new Garmin watch to help me stay on track.  The first .25 mile, the watch yelled at me continually.  I was either too fast or too slow. Finally, it stopped beeping and I found my groove and stayed on track the rest of the run.  I accomplished my target pace! So very thankful!


Saturday – 5k time trial – DIDN’T HAPPEN! Mentally I have such a hard time with time trials.  It is so hard for me to make race day pace without a race.  So, I looked for one all around the area to no avail. The closest was Knoxville and I just couldn’t justify it! So, I skipped it. Not really…I just put it off until Sunday when I knew Yoli would be able to run with me or should I say in front of me.  So Saturday’s run happened on Sunday. 🙂

How was it? It was okay.  It was hot.  It was humid.  It was, well it is done!

Here is the run report I sent to my coach:

Run 1 – 10 x 200 –
:59 – I don’t have a clue what happened here. 🙂
Run 2 – 6 x 800 –
3:46 – slow getting started….
Run 3 – 5k @ 85% 10k pace – GOAL pace – 8:01-8:09 –  25:08 – PACE – 8:07
Run 4 – 5k time trial – 23:56 – 1 minute and 19 seconds slower than PR of 22:37 
Time trials kick my butt mentally.  I have to learn how to power through them.  My hamstrings were really sore from workouts…excuses, excuses. 🙂  But ALL DONE!
WEEK ONE – is in the books! We are thrilled to be chipping away! I have had faster weeks, faster times…but each time, whether faster or slower is making me stronger and better! Today, Rick Warren tweeted a great quote: When setting a goal, what matters is not who you think YOU are, but rather who you think GOD is. My goal is to finish well! And I am sure His is the same!
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, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

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Another blessed year of running…1750 miles strong!


2013 proved itself to be one of chaos. Controlled chaos…but chaos.  Running saved me.  Running took me to places I hadn’t planned on going.  Running proved to be therapeutic and necessary for so many reasons.  Running allowed me to lay everything down and truly run the race He set before me.

Many mailboxes were passed…in my 1750 miles.  They were run in 8 states:  Tennessee, Florida, Arkansas, Missouri, Indiana, Mississippi, Georgia and Massachusetts.  Most of my runs were training runs for my three marathons: the Boston Marathon(April), the Tupelo Marathon(September) or the 7 Bridges Marathon(October).  So thankful to the Lord for the ability to run and move!

This year I did more solo running than last.  God and I conversed while I pounded the pavement in His wonderland.  It was a year of truly finding myself in Christ as I put one step in front of the other.  Most of my races had deep meaning! Running also allowed me to get closer to my friends and faithful running angels! So grateful for them!  And I can not go without thanking my family and dear husband for being with me on every run whether in spirit or body.  Very blessed!

I did a lot of picture-taking along the way.  I learned to take time and smell the roses…to seek the joy in the run.

Here is a pictorial review of my 1750 blessed miles that got me through 2013…

Hot Chocolate 15k in Atlanta


Scenic City 5k


Run with Trish 5k for Team Hoyt


15k in Indianapolis with my sister


Boston 2013



Meeting Ryan Hall



Team Hoyt 2013


Boston Marathon Finisher – April 15, 2013 – Qualified for 2014

Chickamauga Chase 8k


Destin, Florida with my sister



Springfield, Missouri – During 21 day hospital stay





July 4th – 4 on the 4th – Fayetteville, Arkansas


Bentonville, AR


Bentonville, Arkansas – When Mike came to visit! Yay!


The Pinky Run – Welcome Home – Chattanooga




Tupelo Marathon – September




7 Bridges Marathon – Chattanooga



Bethel Bible 4 miler


Turkey Trot 8k


Funky Monkey 5kIMG_6703

Families on the Run 5k


2014 will bring many more blessed miles…I have around 750 left on my journey to Boston 2014.

Thankful for the ability and the desire!

Joyful I run.

Grateful I run.

For God, I run!

Here's to a fun 2014 enjoying the run!

Here’s to a fun 2014 enjoying the run!

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One phone call away…

As I was looking through our 2013 Taylor Christmas photos, music was playing in the background. The words “I guess we’re all one phone call from our knees” rang out. These words have so much meaning to our family this year. We experienced that phone call more than once!

My family first experienced the phone call on April 15, 2013…The Boston Marathon! The second phone call was from dad on June 12, 2013 when mom had her brain bleed.  The third and hopefully final phone call of 2013 was on November 8 when Mike fell from the ladder and broke his shoulder and nose.  All of these things literally brought us to our knees! We cried out to our Lord and Savior for help, for comfort, for healing, for understanding and for peace!  To which He answered all of them in His perfect timing.

Romans 8.26

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.


These photos were taken by my very talented niece Lane Lewis of Laneybugphotos.  Check her work the rest of Christmas 2013 here:   http://laneybugphotos.smugmug.com/MyPhotos/2013/Christmas-2013/i-Fd6xdth  

She truly captured the overwhelming joy our family experienced this season.

This Christmas we celebrated life.  First, we celebrated Jesus’ birth and life!  His life and death assures us of eternal life and comfort on earth through the Holy Spirit.  We have felt His presence through the Holy Spirit with each phone call.  It baffles me how anyone can receive a phone call that brings you to your knees and not know, really know God.  How do they survive?  He is the only way I have survived and found peace and joy in ALL circumstances.

Jeremiah 29.11

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Then we celebrated our lives and being able to be together! We enjoyed quality time just being! This time of year we forget that…we forget to be still and just take it all in!  We celebrated sitting in a room with one another…conversing, laughing, reminiscing…being together in the moment.

Looking at the pictures brings us tears of joy just knowing how faithful God has been.  He never left us.  He held us together the whole time.  Mom is a miracle! Mike is alive and healing extremely well! Boston 2014 will bring closure to a bittersweet Boston 2013.  All of these things have taught us to live for Him in the moment.

We have learned this year that the moment will and can end.  We have no control of when that will happen.  But it will! Take this day and make it your best.  God gave us the best present next to His son – the PRESENT….we need to live in it and find the joy in the people around us!

Psalm 30.5

For His anger is but for a moment,
His favor is for life;
Weeping may endure for a night,
But joy comes in the morning.

Matthew 6.25-34

 25 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?[g] 28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.  34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

2014 will hopefully be a little less eventful.  BUT, if it is not and I receive yet another phone call…my knees is where you will find me. Why?Because I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that my Lord and Savior will be there to pick me up and help me take each step of whatever journey lay ahead.  How do I know? Because He has proven Himself over and over in 2013(and before!)  He is our Lord and He is our Savior…He is faithful and good ALL the time!

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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A marathon of a different type…Taylor Strong!

The Boston Marathon was two months ago today! (I started this on June 15, 2013. Hospital life is much busier than I expected.)  Wow, how time flies.  As we live life, we have no idea how one event in your life will prepare you for another.  How that event will be similar in so many ways to another event you are unaware will happen.


God knew on April 15, 2013 as I ran the Boston Marathon that on June 12, 2013 I would start running a different kind of marathon.  He knew my dad would be calling me early in the morning with news that would be life-changing as were the Boston bombings. God knew I would need endurance of a different kind to deal with this marathon.  He knew I would draw on my marathon training to sustain while on this new journey.

During that phone call, Dad told me mom had either had a stroke or a brain aneurysm.  She awakened at 2:00 am with a headache and throwing up.  She tried to go into the living room to rest so she wouldn’t bother daddy.  She stumbled and dad heard her.  He rushed to her and noticed how unsteady she was and tried to help her.  She continued to be unsteady and daddy realized he needed help. He called 911.  The EMTs were there quickly and rushed her to Mercy Hospital in Rogers, Arkansas.  Upon her arrival they knew she needed specialized help.  She was airlifted to Mercy St. John’s Trauma Center in Springfield, Missouri and had aggressive brain surgery.  It turns out she had a  subdural hematoma, which is a collection of blood outside the brain.

Mom had a section of the size of an adult hand cut out of her skull and the bleed was stopped.  To ensure the swelling continues to go down, mom will be without this bone flap for a month or so.  They will keeping her bone flap in the freezer.  The doctor’s physician’s assistant told us it would be in the cafeteria.  It was good to have a bit of humor from the docs. Once the healing process is far enough along they will replace the bone flap.  Due to the fact mom will have a part of her head missing, she has to wear a beautiful blue helmet.  🙂  She is thrilled! We will add bling to it soon.  She has decided she wants Danica Patrick’s race number because she has become so speedy. This helmet will keep her safe.

This blog was started on a day mom was moving slowly and unbalanced.  A day she was mumbling and confused.  A day we were unsure how quickly her recovery would go.  I can JOYFULLY say that on this day as I write…She is walking with assistance but without a walker.  She is mentally SHARP.  She is speeding along in her recovery.  The occupational therapist and physical therapist that worked with her this weekend were both SHOCKED by the gains she made in 12 hours.  She was a different person Day #2.

We were told mom would probably be ready for in-patient rehabilitation by Wednesday.  Well, our over-achieving mom is ready TODAY – Monday.  She met with the rehabilitation doctor today and she is ready to go.  We are now just waiting on a room to open.  Once there she will receive intensive therapy 3 hours a day, 5 days a week.  Then HOME! I will be in Missouri until mom is released to go home to Arkansas.  Then I will spend my summer in Arkansas with mom and dad.  We are so blessed that I have a teaching job and can be here to help!  Once again, the Lord’s provision.

We are so VERY, VERY thankful for all the blessings God is giving to us minute by minute!!! God has been so very good. Prayers are going up from Arkansas, Indiana, Tennessee, California, Texas, New York, Florida, Oklahoma, England, France and I am sure many more places I am unaware of.  If you read this and you are from a different location, comment below so we know.  🙂

The Lord allowed us to start seeing blessings from the get-go.  He enabled the whole family to gather to support mom.  Rob and Lisa were able to come to Missouri as well as Rob’s wife, Mari and their daughter, Aspen.  Lisa’s daughter Lane made the trip with her.  The other family members were with us in spirit and through prayers.  Aspen is four years old and kept us entertained dancing, coloring and singing GOING ON A BEAR HUNT. 🙂  Aspen and Lane brought a huge smile to mom’s face when she saw her grandchildren.  Taylor, Lane’s sister, sent well wishes to mom via video from her new 3 month old baby boy.  He made us all smile with his sweet cooing.  Blessings of the family we have can not be measured…we have an amazing family!

Mom was surrounded physically with her loving family.  But we also know she was surrounded by love through prayers from so  many others.  We have seen the many prayers answered.  Dad has been overwhelmed by the outpouring love from all over.  I told him I totally understand because I had that feeling after Boston.  It is humbling to be on this side of a near tragedy.  Once again I am learning life is so very precious.  Life is short.  Relationships are KEY!

We have a new mantra – Taylor Strong! Mom is a pillar of strength. She is a very strong woman.  She has had so many emails describing her as that and as a fighter!!!  She is. She will run the race set before her and she will cross the finish line set before her.


We have experienced many Godincidences during this hospital stay. I will blog about them next…stay tuned!

Praising the Lord and still running blessed even though it is a marathon of a different type for Him – Trish


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The day after….

Today is a new day.  Today is the day the Lord has made so let’s 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’s 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’t 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.


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’s 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’t 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’t 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 “I know I don’t know you, but can I give you a hug?”  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’s 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’s arm and said, “I am really glad to see you two!”  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’s 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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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!


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


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. 🙂  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, 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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2012 blessings in photos…

2 Corinthians 3.17-18  Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.  And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever‑increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

As every year passes I grow more and more aware of God’s plan for me on this earth – to reflect His glory.  As I reflect on 2012 I am reminded of the many blessings the Lord has bestowed on me.  This blog will be very similar to my Thanksgiving blog, but it will be a 12 month photo journey of 2012.  The idea was taken from my niece Lane Lewis who is a VERY talented photographer. You can check her work out here – https://laneybugphotos.wordpress.com.  (and thanks to iPhoto…my photos are organized by date…those who know me know that organization is NOT my forte.)

Let the journey of blessings begin…


Boston Entry received!



The road before me in 2012 was the answered prayer of running the Boston Marathon with Team Hoyt.  I was living my dream and the Lord was providing the DAY and the way!

Psalm 37.23 If the Lord delights in a man’s way, he makes his steps firm; though he stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand.


Scenic City Half Marathon – My number one fan is always cheering me on NO matter what mess I find myself in. 🙂  I have been told I don’t sit down for long and I’m ALWAYS into something…no, not me. 😉  My blessings continue daily with this God-given man…my husband. 🙂

Ezra 10.4  Rise up; this matter is in your hands. We will support you, so take courage and do it.



Baby shower for my granddaughter!!!


Run with Trish 5K for Team Hoyt – Huge Success!!
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APRIL – Busy Month!!!

My birthday! Yay! 43 and holding…great times!

Job 32.7  – I thought, ‘Age should speak; advanced years should teach wisdom.’

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Luke 24.2; 6-7…They found the stone rolled away from the tomb… He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee:  ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ”


Our Easter canoe ride. 🙂 Fun times!


Highlight – We became grandparents of a beautiful baby girl!!!

Job 21.8 – They see their children established around them, their offspring before their eyes.


BOSTON 2013!!

Hebrews 11.1 1 Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.

 My mailbox…God showing up in a real BIG way…Boston Marathon 2012!

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We became in-laws to our daughter-in-love!

Job 41.7  – They are joined fast to one another; they cling together and cannot be parted.



Nashville Marathon – Encouraging some very special people!!

Proverbs 27.17 – As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.


1 Chronicles 29:13 – Now, our God, we give you thanks, and praise your glorious name.


Mike’s Birthday!!! We pulled off a successful surprise!

2 Corinthians 9:15  – Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!


The first addition to our donkey family! 🙂

Numbers 22:30 – The donkey said to Balaam, “Am I not your own donkey, which you have always ridden, to this day? Have I been in the habit of doing this to you?” “No,” he said.

IMG_2733Casper – the friendly wonky(sometimes-LOL!)


Girl trip to the beach – rest and relaxation needed!

Psalm 23.1-3 The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.


4th anniversary trip!

1 John 4:19 – We love because he first loved us.

1 Corinthians 16:14 – Do everything in love.

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June Races/Runs – Fun time with friends!

Proverbs 17:17 – A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.


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Father’s Day – Exodus 20.12

12 “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.

My fisherman and encourager…Matthew 4.18-19

18 As Jesus walked alongside the Galilee Sea, he saw two brothers, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew, throwing fishing nets into the sea, because they were fishermen. 19 “Come, follow me,” he said, “and I’ll show you how to fish for people.”IMG_3041 IMG_3068


Family fun!

Hebrews 2:11
Both the one who makes men holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers.

My brother and his wife new adventure – a food truck. 🙂


Sailing with my father-in-law…


Trip to Hot Springs to see some of my dear friends!


Cross made by my dearest and longest friends’ daughter – Emilee.  Michelle adopted her this year and expanded her wonderful family.  Emilee is quite an artist. We had fun during our visit in July.

THE COLOR RUN…Indianapolis!

Family fun during the Color Run with my sister and two amazing nieces!!

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



1st Nascar Race @ the Indianapolis Speedway

Acts 20:24 …I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me–the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.

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Mud Run – Best 5k ever!

Psalm 40.2 He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.



The beginning of the dream coming to life…Newsom Woodworks!

Jeremiah 29.11 –

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.



Great fun at work!

Ecclesiastes 3:22
So I saw that there is nothing better for a person than to enjoy their work, because that is their lot. For who can bring them to see what will happen after them?


FCA 5K and Women’s Half Marathon – Nashville, TN IMG_3760

I^2 – Proverbs 27.17 – As iron sharpens iron,
so one friend sharpens another.


More progress on Newsom Woodworks…Proverbs 14:23
All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.



More running for HIM…

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 as to get the prize.



Newsom Woodworks continued…


2nd addition to our donkey family…Bella!


Camping Trip – Stone Mountain

Psalm 24.1 – The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it,
the world, and all who live in it;
for he founded it on the seas
and established it on the waters.

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Run for God Bible Study Fall Break Run




1 Thessalonians 5.16-18

16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Family came for Thanksgiving!


Pacers for the Chickamauga Half Marathon

1 Thessalonians 5.11

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

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Proverbs 18.24

One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin,
but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

Oakridge Secret City Half Marathon Relay


Newsom Woodworks continued…

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Hebrews 12.1-3 – Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Run For God Graduation Run


Boston Training officially started and entry form for 2013 Boston is in the mail!


Hebrews 11.1 For Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see…

1500 miles has never been in my vision…by HIS grace and for His glory!


Newsom Woodworks to be continued….


Family – I am so blessed!


2 Corinthians 5:17

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

We run into the new year…2013 will be full of blessings from our Lord Jesus Christ.


As I reflect on the blessings of 2012, I am humbled by God’s grace and provision.  We are seeing Mike’s God-given dream come to fruition and I have seen my running talent take off once I turned it over to HIM.  Our family and friends continue to bless us and complete us. We are so very thankful for everyone in our lives and how each of you have blessed our lives in 2012! We look forward to following the Lord’s lead in 2013!

Running and living BLESSED!!!



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