Tag Archives: running

Running from Anxiety

It was almost 3 years ago that I started running. As someone who HATED running with a fiery passion, it surprised me how much I enjoyed it. For the first time in my life o had found a healthy way to cope with my depression and anxiety…that was, until I shattered a bone in my foot. 

After a year of running hard, I was sidelined while I had surgery to remove the shattered sesamoid bone. This was the start of my downward spiral. All of a sudden, my coping mechanism was stolen from me and I didn’t know how to deal wmy anxiety anymore. 

Over the last 15 months, I have had 5 surgeries. After months of recovery, I’ve finally been given clearance to run again. But now, I’ve also developed plantar fasciitis. It’s incredibly painful and, at times, I can barely walk. 

I’m frustrated! I miss the feeling of the wind in my hair as I run down the road. Running gives me a sense of freedom that I can get from anything else. Running calms my anxious heart. It helps me decompress when I can’t make sense of my off the wall emotions. Running has done more for my mental health than any of my medications have. 

I’m planning on running a half marathon in 15 weeks – the Saddle Blazer half in Killeen, Texas on February 27. The Monday after thanksgiving, I’ll be starting my official training program. I’m incredibly nervous. But also so excited. 

My biggest fear with this half marathon training is that I’ll re-injure myself and have running taken away from me again. 

Running is a gift, a blessing. Don’t take it for granted. Running helps me to understand the chaos of this world. It helps me find meaning in a life that sometimes feels meaningless. It helps me connect with God in a way that nothing else can.  


So if you tell me I need to stop running, that it’s bad for my knees, that I need to find another way to cope…I’m going to tell you that running has changed my life and given me the courage to keep pushing even when I’m tired and scared. Quitting isn’t an option! 


Mama Called the Doctor and the Doctor a Said…

“No more running.”

Those were the words Dr. Madden spoke that brought me to tears. As I sat in the exam room and we discussed my options – cast, boot, surgery, rest, crutches, I found myself so lost in my emotions. He held up my x-ray to the light and showed me the very clear image of my foot and the fibular sesamoid bone that is in two pieces. Then he pulled out the report for the bone scan. I knew all of this before going in to his office, but somehow I had hoped that maybe it wouldn’t be THAT bad.

I sat on that exam table, tears and snot dripping from my face (I am not one of those women who cries cutely) and I asked him the same question every runner asks, “when can I run again?” He, of course, laughed at my question and then explained the recovery process to me.

I will run again one day. I will start back at square one, but I will run again. Running is something I have grown to love. I am a runner. Running is what I do. When life is chaotic – I run. When I am upset – I run. When I am happy – I run. When I need quiet time – I run. The answer is always “go for a run,” no matter what the question is.

So here’s where I realize I have a problem. I was presented tonight with the question, “what is it about NOT running that is so terrible?” And boom! That’s where it hit me – I’ve idolized running. I’ve stopped trusting God for my salvation and I’ve been looking for it on my own through my success in running.

I never thought I could run, but once I started running, I took off and didn’t look back. So when I started having an achey pain in my right foot last August, I ignored it. When I finally went to the doctor they said it was a stress fracture. Then another doctor said it was just my shoes – I liked that answer better, so I bought new shoes and kept running…even though I was still in pain.

Then, as I was training for a half marathon I hurt my left foot. The initial diagnosis was stress fracture. Then it was osteochondritis defect lesion. Now, it’s tendonitis.

Now that I’m seeing a podiatrist, I’m finally getting accurate care for my feet. It’s hard for me to accept that I cannot run right now and I’m literally grieving the temporary loss of my ability to run. It turns out that achey pain in my right foot from last year is a broken bone. So now, I am having surgery next month to remove my fibular sesamoid bone and 3-4 months after that I will be able to run again.

Running is wonderful. It’s good and healthy and freeing. But just like any other good thing in this world, when it becomes more important than God it is no longer a good thing.

My biggest problem though doesn’t even have anything to do with running. My biggest problem is that I’ve put God on the back seat of my life and let running take the wheel. Now, I look back to the cross.

In church this morning, my pastor said something to the effect of – when I’m having a hard time trusting God, I need to look back at what God has done in my life in the past. Which also reminds me of something a very sweet friend of mine told me about 2 years ago, “look at what God did then. He will do it again.”

I’m thankful for sweet friends, a great small group, an awesome pastor, but mostly for a loving and faithful God who has given me more grace and mercy than I deserve.

I am scared of surgery. I am scared of not running again. I am scared of all the “what ifs”. But what I know is that no matter what, God is in control of it all. He already knows.

Yes, I am currently struggling to trust God because this is not how I want things to go. But in the midst of that struggle, I also know that He is helping me to trust Him more each day.

Because I’m Frustrated

I’m frustrated! If you know me or have been following this blog for a while you would know that last year my sister was diagnosed with lymphoma and that I joined the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training (TNT) program. TNT is the worlds largest endurance sports training program. It is with TNT that I vowed to raise $2500 for LLS and run a half marathon – 13.1 miles.

So over the last several months I have trained hard. I have endured painful long runs and sore muscles. I have fought back against that voice in my head that has told me I can’t do this. Physically, I am ready for race day.

The downfall though, is that we hit a snag in fundraising. Bricks 4 Lymphoma, a LEGO® Brick building competition had been planned for this weekend, but due to the lack of support we had to cancel the physical event and just do a virtual build competition – which hasn’t helped raise much money.

So let me elaborate on why I’m frustrated. I’m frustrated because I’ve had so many family and friends talk about wanting to support me and my sister (being that she is the cancer survivor and she is why I’m running and fundraising) and it seems impossible lately to get any support. With the build competition, it seemed like everyone I talked to about was so interested and guaranteed me that they wanted to be involved – but still no one has stepped up to support the cause.

This isn’t about me. It isn’t about the money. It’s about feeling alone in this. My sister didn’t fight cancer alone. She survived cancer because of the love and support of her friends. And I can’t do this alone either. Between my sister and I, we have well over 100 friends. If I had 100 people each donate $24, I would reach my goal.

I chose LLS as a cause to run and fundraise for because without LLS and the research they’ve done in the past and the people who’ve raised money before, my sister may not be alive today. I want to continue to further research for the people like my sister. To continue to give hope to those afflicted with blood cancers.

I don’t understand why it’s so hard to move people to action. Why do people talk and talk and talk about wanting to help and make a difference and yet no one does anything?

I’m still praying that God will provide a way for me to get to the race. He hasn’t brought me this far in my training for nothing. I don’t know what He’s up to right now, but I know He has a plan for all of this….I just wish I knew what it was.

If you are interested in donating, here’s the link to my fundraising page:

I’m Still Here

I realized recently that it has been a while since I posted a blog other than my 7-in-7 poems. So here’s one to get you caught up with where I’ve been over the last few months.

1)      I’m still running. I’ve been running my heart out to prepare for my first half marathon, which is in 20 days – the Rock n’ Roll half marathon in New Orleans. I’m still in desperate need of fundraising though. I’m running the Team in Training for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. I had planned a LEGO® Brick building competition, but we’ve had to adjust our plans to only do a virtual build competition because there wasn’t as much interest in it as we had thought. I’m pretty bummed out about it, but I’m praying that God will provide a way. I have 13 days to finish raising the money.

2)      Training is hard. Training for this half marathon has been one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life. Yesterday I ran my first double digit run – 10.01 miles. By the time I got home I was ready to collapse. My body ached and I was exhausted. But the pride I felt is something that no one can take away from me and something that no one could ever buy. I earned every mile of that run through the strength that God has given me. I am weak to survive these long runs on my own and I am so thankful that God is on these runs with me, giving me the strength to press on when I feel like I can’t take another step.

3)      Husband is home!!! Robert has been home for a little over a month now. It’s so amazing to have him here – to fall asleep next to him at night and have someone to share my lonely evenings with after the girls are in bed. The Army life is hard, but thankfully God has given us the grace to get through another deployment.

4)      My sister finished chemo and kicked cancer’s butt. You haven’t seen true strength until you’ve witnessed someone fighting cancer. Her strength amazes me and I’m so thankful that God got us all through it. She is why I am running. She is why I push myself so hard in training. She is my big sister. I may not tell her this enough, but even though we are grown up and have families of our own, I still look up to her.

5)      I’m almost a certified personal trainer. I’ll be taking my test later on in the month and (if I pass) I will be certified and ready to start training. So who’s ready to train with me?


There’s so much more I could write about right now, but I’m limited on time right now. I’ll update more later. My  New Year’s resolution is to post at least once a week, so you should be seeing a lot more from me in the near future.

No Shortcuts

There are no shortcuts that lead to anywhere that is worth going. I’ve tried to take many shortcuts in fitness and weight loss, in recovering from my past hurts, and in mending relationships with people I have hurt.

But let me share a big lesson that I have learned: SHORTCUTS DON’T WORK!!

If I want to succeed and complete what I’ve set out to do, no matter what it is, it will take hard work, determination, blood, sweat, and tears. I can’t give 50% and expect 100% results…it just doesn’t work that way.

Most people are their own worst critics, as I tend to be too. I’ve lived most of my life convinced that I was a failure and that I shouldn’t bother trying, so I never gave 100% in anything I’ve ever done. If I was destined to fail, what was the point in trying.

But what I know now, what I first learned through Celebrate Recovery, is that in my own strength, I will fail. The strength I need is a strength that can only come from God. With that strength though, I can accomplish anything.

Running has reinforced that same idea. I am not a fast runner and I am not a long distance runner; although, one day, I plan to be both. Right now, I am a dedicated and determined runner. I’ve learned, through recovery, running, and working out, what it feels like to want something so bad that I am willing to go through the pain, to hurt, to cry, and to suffer to get to my goal.

I’ve gotten to a point now, where I’m honestly just tired of excuses. If I can get out there a run 4+ miles, if I can push through 30 minutes of the pain of an Insanity workout, if I can trudge through the hurt of my past and come out still breathing on the other side…then there is no excuse as to why anyone else can’t accomplish their goals.

Now I’m not saying that I’ve done these things on my own, quite the opposite; I have only been able to push past the fear and pain because of the strength and determination from God. God will not give me a dream that He will not also equip me to carry out. It just might take a little but (or a lot) of effort of my end.

A few weeks ago I ran my second 5k. I came in at 39:10, which was 22 seconds faster than my first one. As I was rounding the last curve and into the home stretch of the race, I started to burn out, my legs started cramping and my lungs were hurting. But out of no where, I got a sudden burst of energy as Eye of the Tiger started playing on my iPod. Tell me that’s not divine motivation?

God works in mysterious ways that and it always reminds me that He cares about the little details of my life.

So why do I workout? Why do I run? Why do I continue to go through recovery? If it hurts so much, why do I do it? Because my fear of not doing it is greater than my fear of staying where I am. My pain of my past life is more painful than the process of become who God made me to be.

My body is His Temple…it’s about time I start treating it that way – physically and mentally.

Learning the Limits

I’ve always been an “all-or-nothing” kind of person. Because of that, I’ve pushed myself, in certain areas of my life, way beyond my physical or mental limitations. I think learning my limits, among other things, is one of the things God is trying to teach me as I run and work out.

Being that I’ve found something that has given me more joy than anything else I’ve ever done, I’m bound to push myself too hard…that’s just what I do – what I’ve always done. But here’s the thing that worries me, if I push myself too hard, I will probably hurt myself, then I’ll be out for good. I’ll lose the thing that I took so long to find. And while not running may not be the end of the world, it would definitely be very upsetting.

So I’m learning that there are physical limitations to what I can and cannot do.

Romans 12:3 – For by the grace given to me I say to everyone who is among you not to think more highly of yourself than what one ought to think, but to think sensibly, as God has apportioned a measure of faith to each one.

God didn’t make us to be limitless and indestructible. If that we’re the case, we wouldn’t need each other and we wouldn’t need Him. But we do. We cannot make it through this life on only our own strength; I can tell you from experience, that doesn’t work! I can push myself farther than my physical/psychological ability, end up hurting myself, and live in a solitary and depressing world – or, I can admit my need for God and for others and enjoy the freedom, love, and grace that comes along with that. Which will I choose?

I am human. I am fallible. I am clumsy. I am stubborn. But in spite of all that, I am loved, I am forgiven, and I am free. My body is not as indestructible as I, too often, like to think it is. I have physical limitations and I have emotional limitations; and in those, in my weaknesses, God’s strength and glory will shine.

2 Corinthians 12:9 –
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

So here’s to my weaknesses. Here’s to that grace of an amazing God who is strong in my weakness.

Thank you, God, for teaching me that I have limits.


Today, our nation celebrates its freedom. We celebrate the independence that so many men and women have fought and died for.

But today, I am also celebrating another type of freedom. Personal freedom – the freedom of knowing I really can do anything! After successfully completing my first 5K, I feel a freedom that I’ve never known before. Freedom to push myself beyond my limits. I actually did it! I walked up to the starting line, started the music, and let go. I let go of all my insecurities, fears, doubts, criticisms…and I just went. In comparison to something like a marathon, a 5K isn’t very long at all. But for the new runner, 3.1 miles is an extreme accomplishment.

Six weeks ago, I had very little self-confidence. I was afraid of trying something that I could possibly fail at. The word “failure” constantly echoed in my head. But then I started running and God showed me how much more I am capable if I just trust Him. When I took the first step out of my driveway and began my first run, I thought I would hate it, that I would never do it again…but strangely enough, the exact opposite happened – I loved it and I haven’t looked back since.

This morning, I woke up early. I laced up my running shoes. I turned on the music. And I lived. Until I discovered my love for running, I didn’t know what I was capable of. Until I started running, I didn’t know what it meant to live a life that is fully alive.


Living a life fully alive. This is what I was made for. I didn’t know what that meant for so long, but now that I know, I can’t believe that I’ve been missing so much for so long.

I read a quote one time that said: “The two most important days of your life are the day you were born and the day you figure out why.” That quote has proven to be true in my life. The day I learned what it felt like to be alive; why I was on this earth, something changed in me and I became a whole different person.

Now let me explain that a bit. I’m not saying I was born to run (although I believe that is true too, lol). What I’m saying is that I was born to live. God put breath into my lungs so that I could live and love – and in order to do that, God also gave me running.

Since I started running, I’ve had at least 5 people tell me how much I encourage them and give them hope that they can do it too. Since I started running, I’ve had a heart that, more desperately, longs to love other people, especially hurting people, just because they’re people. I have a heart that longs to love because God first loved me.

So get out of my way doubt and insecurity. I am on my way to conquering every limitation I’ve ever thought I had. Look out world…this girl is ALIVE!

A Runner’s Prayer

Running has changed me and it has changed my life. It has challenged me and helped me to see that I can do so much more than the small limitations I place on myself. I really can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. It has changed how I view God and has given me more clarity to hear Him speak to me. Hearing Him more clearly had given me a deeper desire to speak to Him more honestly.

So this is my prayer for every run and every runner.

The Runner’s Prayer
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank You for this day
For giving me this desire
To start running Your way
I step out on the road
One foot, then the other
I can feel my heart pounding
And my dreams are uncovered
Thank You for strength
To push on through the pain
Thank You for courage
To step into the race
The sun on my cheeks
The wind in my hair
Lets me feel alive
When life’s just not fair
When it’s hard and I’m hurting
You send me a sign
That tells me to keep moving
With a strength that’s not mine
When I feel my heart beat
I feel You moving in me
And with each rush of wind
You are setting me free
So run by my side
And guide my each step
Be my motivation
With each and every breath
As my feet hit the ground
Your stride matches mine
And You’re one step ahead
To be my guiding light
I give you this run
And I’ll give it all of me
I’m running to Your love
And You’re setting me free.
Thank You, Father
For the rush in the run
It’s in Jesus name that I pray
I love You. Amen!

Running to Him

A few weeks ago, I was standing in my garage, looking out at the beauty of God’s creation (the wind, birds, flowers, green grass), and I decided – I want to run. If you know me at all, you know how ridiculous this thought is for me. My entire life, I have loathed running with a deep burning hatred. I assumed that the random thought to run was just that, a random thought, and it would soon pass, but it never did – in fact, it only got stronger. Instead of burning hatred for running, I quickly developed a burning desire to run.

So, I started running.

I started running and something amazing happened. I began to trust God more and myself. Some people may think this is silly or crazy, but in the last few weeks, I have heard God speaking to me more than ever before. It’s a wonderful feeling to be running down the road, wind in my hair, sun on a face, and freedom in my hands.

Running feels like freedom. I’ve spent so much of my life running from the truth and now I feel like I’m running, literally, to the most beautiful truth there is.

1 Timothy 4:8 – For while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.

It’s an amazing feeling to challenge myself. For so long, I have been my own worst enemy and discouraged myself from doing ANYTHING that might be difficult or that had the possibility of me failing. And let me tell you, feeling like I can never do anything gets tired and discouraging after a while. As an all or nothing kind of person, I justified not trying many things because what was the point if I would only fail, if my “all” wasn’t enough? The sad part is though, that you never know what you’re capable of until you try.

That’s how I feel about running – I didn’t know I was capable of running, until I tried.

I am sure that this, seemingly out of the blue, desire to run came from God. It’s too bizarre for me to be something I came up with on my own. (Although, I also think some of the blame also falls on a sweet friend of mine who has somehow implanted her love of running/working out in my head.) It’s funny how, when I tried to ignore what I thought was just a weird, random though, God kept persisting and telling me to go for it; to at the very least, try!

1 Corinthians 9:25-27 – All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.

God has this funny was of changing our hearts sometimes – using things that we think will NEVER have an effect on us.

A few days ago during a run, I felt a strength in me that I had never felt before – a supernatural determination. It was in that exact moment that I realized something that God has been trying to show me for over a year – I can do ANYTHING with His help. If I trust Him, I can push through the pain. I can stay strong through the struggle. I can succeed through the doubts. I can trust Him through my brokenness.

Isaiah 40:29-31 – He gives power to the weak
    and strength to the powerless.
Even youths will become weak and tired,
    and young men will fall in exhaustion.
But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.
    They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
    They will walk and not faint.

Seems kind of odd how God would show me so much about Himself through running, but I am eternally grateful for it. Not only has He changed my heart to love Him and trust Him more, but for the first time in my Christian walk, I finally understand what other people mean when they talk about joy. I finally understand that joy that overflows and loves others. That joy that runs so deep, that even in the midst of pain and sadness I still have a solid foundation to rest on.

I know that my life will always have its ups and downs. I know that things in this broken and fallen world will not be easy. But what I also know is that even in the ups and down, even in the pain of the brokenness – I have a joy and a hope that no one can EVER take from me.


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