Motivation for your miles.

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SO, enough about me…What’s YOUR “WHY”?


 I’d love to share your running story on my blog.  What’s your “WHY?”


The thought that is foremost on my mind when I run is, “WHY?”

Why do I run…why do you run?

If I were to have an obsession about running…the “WHY’s” have it!

I mean, there are thousands and thousands of people doing this same thing every day…why would they do that?  What moves you?  Just what IS a big enough reason to keep you going through the cold, rain, hills, heat, miles, dark, sun, pain?  Why?  Why?  WHY?  🙂

Your “why’s” inspire me & I know I’m not the only one that feels this way!

Since I can’t seem to get away from this thought…I’ve decided to just “go with it”. 

I’m devoting a portion of my blog to inspiring each other through sharing our stories.

Why do you run?  Why did you start?  Why do you love it?  What’s on your heart to share…I want to know!

If you’d like to help rest my mind(please, please, please 🙂 ), submit your story along with at least your first name and last initial to be sure to include a picture(more than one if you’d like)! Also, feel free to let me know about your blog and/or website if you’d like for me to include a link to it.

Thank you for sharing!  Thank you for inspiring!



Last long run…finished.

Last short run….finished.

New songs loaded on my ipod….check!

Laying out clothes for Sunday’s marathon & packing bag for after the race…in progress.

I just had to stop and take a minute to say Thanks.

Thank you to the Lord…the giver of Life.  The one who fills us with His power and strength.  It is only because of Him that we live, move and have our being.

Thank you to my friends and family.  Who show interest and listen to all my running jibber jabber…just because they love me.  They are such an encouragement.

Thank you to my fellow runners.  Our running group, Chilton Runners, has been such a big help.  They “like” my statuses.  They post their latest runs, which inspires me to get back out there.  They expect me to be meet them for our cold, dark, 5:15am runs…so I do.  We spend hours together chit chatting during our Saturday long runs, which has made this year’s training much easier!  Sometimes they run slower to be by my side, or maybe just run circles around me….it’s a No runner left behind! kind of thing.  🙂  They share their tips, gu-gel, stories, and even left me a nice prize one day!  Some of them have become dear friends.


This prize was waiting on my car one day after a long run. I think of it often.

Thank you to you, my blog readers.  My outlet.  I’ve learned so much from my fellow bloggers as well!

…and last but NOT LEAST!  Thank you to my girls!  They have made sacrifices that haven’t gone unnoticed…and I appreciate them very much.  They’ve changed their plans so they could babysit for me during my long run.  They’ve waited to take showers, so I could have hot water after a freezing run.  Their support is not required, but is freely given…and that means so much to this momma.

So now…I will get back to work & preparing for Sunday.

I already feel like a winner…and it’s not even race day yet.  ❤

Thanks again!



Mercedes Marathon 2013

Mercedes Marathon 2013

Mercedes Marathon 2013

In my running group, Chilton Runners, there has been a lot of discussion about marathon training.  I realized that I have never written about the ONE marathon I’ve completed.  We ran the 2013 Mercedes Marathon in Birmingham, AL in February, so any facts about it are coming to me randomly.  I’m just going to list what I remember now & then add more thoughts as they come to me later.

-It was FREEZING COLD!  The first picture(top left corner) is us just before the race started.  I remember being a little concerned about Matt.  Lesson #1 learned:  buy a cheap jacket at the thrift store that you can leave somewhere for a homeless person….or…I saw a lot of people wearing trash bags.  I assume this allows your body heat to warm you.  It was fun to see all the trash bags being thrown in the air as the race commenced.

-Lesson 2:  Don’t discard your gloves too early.  As the race progressed my body temperature rose.  Thinking that I didn’t need my gloves anymore, I threw them on the ground.  I was WRONG!  My hands froze.  The funny thing was….I just slipped my hands up into my jacket to keep them warm.  I could tell how surprised bystanders were to see this handless person running towards them.  They were amused(and I believe, slightly disappointed) when I would pop my hands out to relieve their concerns.

-…and #3:  That big bowl of gummy bears that they hold out for you may LOOK good, but could be hazardous to your health.  Just don’t breathe in deeply at the same time that you throw  one in your mouth.  It’s a choking hazard.  Trust me.

-This was by far the most exciting racing event I’ve been a part of.

-There was a sweet lady holding a sack of candy bars to give away during the race.  I didn’t realize what she had until I had already passed her.  Needless to say, I was very disappointed.  🙂

-The course loops around twice.  So I had a moment of glory…I had news crews in front of me & police escorts behind me….as the 1st place winner lapped me.  (BTW, he finished in 2:18:47)

-I felt humbled as I ran past the Ronald McDonald House and Children’s Hospital.  My race would only last a few hours, compared to their race of a lifetime.

-Most of the race, I ran behind a lady who’s shirt read:  “4 marathons, 4 months, 4 my 40th birthday”  I found her to be very inspirational along the way.  About an hour after the race, we stopped for frozen yogurt on the way home.  Guess who was there?  Yep!  It was her!  Pretty cool right?

-I loved the signs, music, news crews, & supporters that lined the course.  They were invaluable for the first half, they made it fun and the time passed quickly.  At the same time, they were sparse for the second half.  Just like real life, there are times when you could use encouragement the most, that you find the least support around you.  You can draw strength from within during your toughest moments.  Strength from the Life giver Himself, Jesus Christ.

-I couldn’t wait to get to the finish line where I knew my family would be.

-On a whim, I added this song to my playlist the night before the race(It makes me think of Matt):

It randomly played two times in a row just when I needed it….and I thought that was really neat… ❤

-“The Lord is my strength, He makes my feet like the feet of deer…”  I meditate on that scripture often when I am running.  During this race, I would picture Him literally being my legs, my arms, my body.  He is my source of strength…in Him I am complete.

-My parents came to this race.  It was so nice to share this first marathon with them.  I am disappointed to find that I forgot to take a picture with them.  I do have a picture of my dad’s hand holding a poster, and my mom’s gloved hand outstretched to me as I neared the finish line.  That too is a mirror to my life.  They have always been such a great support, mostly behind the scenes.  Never pushy, but still, always present.  I love them for that.

-I gave my family all “5’s” before crossing the finish line.  I obviously didn’t care what my finish time was…I was just thankful that I finished standing upright and before the balloon lady.  The announcer said that I was getting extra style points.

-My foot was hurt before race day.  In fact I wasn’t able to run at all the last 3 weeks before the Mercedes.  Even the Thursday night before the race weekend, I tried to wear high heels to a wedding and couldn’t do it.  I honestly felt in my heart that I was supposed to run this race, or at least try.  I don’t recommend doing that normally, but I’m glad I did…this time.

-I believe that you always need a “WHY”.  Why will you stay focused when you want to quit?  Last year’s WHY’s:  To earn a 26.2 car decal.  Because I don’t think Matt would have wanted to run it without me.  For my friends that needed to know that it’s possible.  It is possible to do those things that your mind and body says, “No way.  That’s a crazy idea.  Not possible.”  If the Lord says to, then…”Yes, you can.”

-One of my goals this coming year is to cross the finish line in time to get one of those free massages.  Last year, as I entered the building, they were walking out.

-Training for, and completing a Marathon with my husband is one of the most rewarding things I have done in my lifetime.

-and of course…from this marathon came the name of my blog:

Mile 23

My favorite mile. 23 behind. 3.2 ahead.

The cheering crowds are far behind and yet, just ahead… They are NOT in the NOW.

A transformation if you will. No longer only a belief that it’s possible.

But a knowing that it IS.

More than a dream… A reality.

My favorite mile was Mile 23.  That was the point where I realized that all I had believed and worked for was actually going to be accomplished.  It was no longer only a belief that I could and that the Lord was my strength…but it was the point that a “knowing” came into my life.  A peaceful assurance that the finish line was in my grasp and was surely just ahead. 

I have found that running imitates real life.  In this life, we have all been at mile TWENTY-TWO many times haven’t we?  I hope my blog inspires you to KEEP MOVING FORWARD through all your mile 22′s.  Mile 23 and YOUR finish lines are surely just ahead!

I’m sure that I will be adding to this in the future, there were so many things to take in. 

I had wished that my eyes were a camera.

Here are a few links that I found about the event if you are looking for more Mercedes Marathon info:

1 Comment

I agree.

“People sometimes sneer at those who run every day, claiming they’ll go to any length to live longer. But don’t think that’s the reason most people run. Most runners run not because they want to live longer, but because they want to live life to the fullest. If you’re going to while away the years, it’s far better to live them with clear goals and fully alive than in a fog, and I believe running helps you to do that. Exerting yourself to the fullest within your individual limits: that’s the essence of running, and a metaphor for life — and for me, for writing as whole. I believe many runners would agree.”  Haruki Murakami


I told you that you were gonna get whooped.

Just in case you missed it…my brain and I had a discussion the other night before a tough race, you can read more about it here.  Sometimes you just have to let it know who’s boss.


The Peavine Falls 2013 run is now history…and I WON!  Not the whole race…but I beat myself, and isn’t that our largest obstacle most days?

BRAIN vs. Julia

It’s going to rain.  Yes it did!…and it was lovely to run in the rain!  It wasn’t just the run and sweat burning out my frustrations…but it was as if the rain washed them all away as well.

You don’t like the rain or getting messy.  You’re right.  Typically that would be me.  But I DID IT ANYWAY!  Loved it! 

You were in better shape last year.  AND your point is? 

Bet that speed walker man is going to beat you again.  I think I saw him once.  He was running this year.  I applaud his efforts, and I have no idea if he beat me this year. 

3.2 miles UP HILL?  ARE YOU CRAZY?  Yes, I do believe so.  Maybe just a little bit….and next year I will run all the way up!  Just watch me.

You’re just not good enough.  Not only did I finish, but I beat last years time by 1 minute and 26 seconds!  You’re WRONG AGAIN!

Like I said Wednesday night….WHOOPED!

Brain = 0 / Julia = winner!

Winner winner chicken dinner (whatever that means)….that’s me!


I’ll write a race recap later.


Brain Whoopin’

Tomorrow morning at 7am, I’m going to give my brain a whoopin’!  (aka~spanking/whipping)

My husband, daughter and myself will be running the annual Peavine Falls Run at Oak Mountain.  Yay US!


View from the top of the mountain!

Here is a Quote from Birmingham blogger  Yo Momma Runs about last year’s race:

Peavine Falls Run is 8.2 miles which include a straight uphill climb with, what
felt like, very few respites of flatness and then a slingshot at the top to blow
you right back down that hill you just conquered (that’s if you have a liberal
definition of that word). And just for funsies, they throw in a 1.2-mile patch
of trail at the end in case all the downhill didn’t make you wet your pants bad
enough already.

You should read the rest of her blog entry here!

So as I sit here right now this is what my brain is telling me:  “It’s going to rain.  You don’t like the rain or getting messy.  You were in better shape last year.  Bet that speed walker man is going to beat you again.  3.2 miles UP HILL?  ARE YOU CRAZY?  You’re just not good enough.”

As I type, we’ve got our bag packed and running clothes laid out…To my brain I just want to say:

Just wait ’til tomorrow morning, you’re gonna’ get a brain whoopin’

I win.  Goodnight.


Running Randomness

My thoughts from approx. 6:30-8:30 today 🙂

  • Quit wasting time, and go run.  The sooner that you get out there, the faster you’ll be done.  You know you’re going to like it.
  • Why am I like that?  I’d enjoy being like fellow blogger, Rather be runnin’!  But…that’s not me so far.  I run because I like who I am when I do…I don’t necessarily like the process of running.
  • Yay!  I beat the sun today!  No wilting for me.
  • Look at all of God’s creations running around the park today.  For years I never saw them, because I was at home, cooped up in my house.
  • Look at all these birds…I love watching the birds.  Hope they don’t poop on my head.
  • How is it that I can run 26.2 miles just a few months ago, and 3 miles is hard for me lately?  Is it possibly, the heat?  recovery?  that I’m not currently training for a race?
  • Yay!  I’m almost at 3 miles!  Almost done! 
  • I’m going to run 4…just to prove to my mind that it doesn’t get to win anymore.
  • 4…done!
  • If your little girl covers her nose and says “You smell horrible!”…then you know you had a good run!  🙂

Happy Running!


I am the injury.

Healthy living is a collection of winning moments.  Daily decisions that result in ultimate victories.  Victory over self,  doubts, hurts, obstacles….

I REALLY ENJOY talking about those WINS!

Unfortunately…it also has moments of defeat.  Sometimes you have an injury that forces your goals to head in a different direction.  Sometimes YOU are the injury.  Your own poor choices.

That’s me right now.  In an attempt to be “real” with hopes that it will help someone feel “normal”…I will share this temporary defeat.

I feel sad.

I am disappointed in myself.

I have been eating A LOT…I believe it’s because I have used food as a friend for a long time….

I have gained over half of my weight back, I look at pictures from just November…and get aggravated at myself.  I was almost there!  Almost at the weight I wanted to be at.  Now, when I see a picture of myself I’m back to thinking again, “Oh…that’s a bad picture of me.”  When in reality…it IS me. 

My clothes don’t fit right…again.

I’m a little embarrassed to run…again.  I know that’s just in my head.  NOBODY notices OR cares what I look like, or if my stomach flab(that was almost gone) jiggles when I run.

It’s not just about weight…it’s about being complete/whole. Nothing missing, nothing broken.  Looking to no other source, but Jesus to “complete” me.

I also hear this in my head, “You ran a marathon, and you can’t control what you put in your mouth?  What’s wrong with you?”

So, why come so close and then sabotage all my hard work?

I don’t know.

What I do know:

I am loved no matter what I look like, or how I have disappointed myself.

I can start again.

I like the feeling of winning, better than losing.  But…part of me doesn’t want to.

Then again…part of me doesn’t want to run…but I do it anyway.

I ran a marathon!

I CAN beat this too 🙂


~Complete in Christ alone~ ❤


You won the day you decided to try…stay in the game!


2013 Lady Patriots

You’d think they won the world series right?   There were high fives, #1’s, the traditional throw the cooler of ice water on the coach…and smiles that rivaled the sun!

WE’RE #1!!!


make that…


First and only win for the Lady Patriot’s Softball team this season…it was still a nail biter and DEFINITELY worthy of celebration.

It was only a few months ago, after a winning season, some of these same girls made it to the State Final’s in Basketball….only to be knocked out in the final four.  At the time there was a round of hugs and tears for all.

They are all still winners in my book!!!



It reminds me of my own 26.2 mile finish in February(first and only one so far).   My own “victory” of sorts.  At the finish line, you will find the most dedicated and focused runners intent on beating their own time…breaking their own records at all costs.  As their foot crosses the finish line and they look at the time clock…you may see a joyful celebration …or a look of disappointment dependent on the outcome __:__:__.  Did they beat their PR, or fall short?


“style points”

But me?   I heard the man on the loudspeaker proclaim that I was getting my “style points”.  🙂  When I saw my family, my first inclination was to go over to them and give them all “high fives”, I was so glad to see them, to actually see the finish line and to beat the balloon lady(the last official runner allowed to cross at 6 hours)!  I was really happy to find that I was also in an upright position….not crawling across the finish line as I sometimes had pictured in my head.  🙂 I slowly made it to the finish line with a time of 5:18:40.  I was happy.  This time, my goal was to finish….and to finish in less than 5 1/2 hours.  Mission accomplished.  Goal achieved.

In running and in life…you win, you lose.  Each race lends itself to its own victories.

It’s all about perspective.

You won the day you decided to try. 

Stay in the game!

“Success is peace of mind

which is a direct result of self-satisfaction

in knowing you did your best

to become the best you are capable of becoming.”

~John Wooden


Nope…they are NOT runners…

“I ain’t never got no pedicure before. I ain’t even got no toenails!”   That is the conversation my daughter and I overheard the other day while at the nail salon.  The aging lady went on to say, “I just got dry, scaly, feet.”  🙂

While runners are known to lose a toenail or two…somehow I doubt that this lady was ever a runner.  No guarantees here…I just doubt it.

Yes…in case you didn’t know…we live in a small, rural town in Alabama.

I NEVER go to the nail salon.  It’s just not what I do.  Just give me the $$$ and I’ll paint ’em myself.  I went for the first time in 24 years at the request of my daughter.  She was getting ready for prom & didn’t want to go alone.  Not only did I go…I let her talk me into getting BLUE nail polish!  That might seem normal to you…but in all my 39 years, I’m pretty sure only “red” or “French tip” has ever touched my nails.

"blue nails"

“blue nails”

I noticed how attractive and slender the manicurist was….she looked like a runner to me.

Our conversation went something like this:

Me:  “Do you run?  You look like a runner.”

Her:  “No!  I can’t run…I’m a smoker.”

Me:  “You could run instead.  You might live longer.”

Her:  “I can’t run, I work 4 days a week…10am – 7pm.”

I typically enjoy speaking one on one with women.  If the conversation lends itself to, I often wind up telling them, “You are just as important as your children.  You are just as important as everyone else that always needs you.  You should make time for yourself & do those things that are on your heart.”  Often, I will see a little tear form and a slight look of “Maybe she’s right.”

We continued to chit-chat a little more.  I learned that she was about to turn 18.  She doesn’t like living in our little town.  She has a boyfriend that she works with on her days off.

Now, back to our conversation:

Me:   “You know, you should always remember to do things for yourself too.”

Her:  “Oh…I DO!  EVERY week when I get paid, I go buy a new outfit.  I think about myself all the time!”

We are obviously in two different worlds right now.  Me…mother of 3…housewife…nearing 40…runner.  She looked like a runner…but she was actually just a naturally beautiful, 18 year old, single young lady.  She has so much life ahead of her…so much potential…so many lessons to learn.  I wanted to tell her so much!  I wanted to keep going back to get my nails done, just so I could “mentor” her.

I would say:

“What are you thinking!?!  Don’t you know what smoking does to your lungs?  What about that beautiful, flawless skin you have right now!  Don’t you want to keep it as long as you can?  BUY A NEW DRESS EVERY WEEK?  on a NAIL SALON EMPLOYEES SALARY?  Quit that!  Save that money up!  You’re going to want a new house one day!  Have you heard of Dave Ramsey‘s Financial Peace University?  Let’s get you set up on a budget.  And that boyfriend….does he treat you like a princess?  Does he value you?  Is he taking good care of your heart?”

But I know…that would be a waste of my breath.  So, I kept my mouth shut.

When she’s ready, she’ll listen.

Maybe she’ll remember me…and then she’ll decide to go for that run…