Oh the Long Run: Prayers for the Miles

Happy Tuesday! It’s dreary here but nothing a little caffeine, summery music, and bright flowers can’t fix!

flowers

Last week I met up with a few sweet friends, Haley and Krista, for dinner at a local Mediterranean restaurant called Taziki’s. This was my third time eating at this spot, and if you want fresh vegetables, this is absolutely your place. I’ve had the Mediterranean Salad once and the Grilled Veggie Plate twice, and I cannot rave enough about either one. The menu is inexpensive, the portions are plenty, and both dishes that I’ve tried have been so flavorful. It’s a great place for a girls’ dinner, and I can’t wait to branch out and try a few different menu options.

While we were eating and catching up about life, the conversation turned to running and exercise. Krista and I have been running together for the past few months to get ready for the Chick fil A half marathon that’s coming oh so quickly (THIS SATURDAY–prayers please)!!! One thing I’ve realized leading up to the race is that running with a partner changes everything. During our runs, Krista and I talk the whole time, and I haven’t listened to music once during a run. This is so different from previous running on my own, and it makes the miles pass by so much more quickly.

As we were telling Haley about the race, Krista mentioned an article she’d seen in Fitness magazine about how to make a long run pass by faster, so of course we were all ears. The article suggested dedicating each mile to a different person. I was so intrigued by the idea, and as we talked about how cool and effective it seemed, we realized that we could choose 13 different people, places, or events and turn each mile into a prayer for that thing. Not only will this give us encouraging thoughts for each mile, Krista and I can share what makes each one special to us. On that note, here are my 13 prayers for the Chick fil A half marathon!

1 // For the blessing of a body that is physically and mentally capable of running!

2 // For the cross. For salvation. For grace upon grace.

3 // For UGA and the city of Athens. For salvation, restoration, and light in the darkness.

4 // For Mema and Papa. For health and love and the legacy they’ve built for our family.

5 // For Krista. For the many miles and conversations we’ve had over the past few months. For the way the Lord  used a cooking lab and running to create a friendship that means so much to me.

6 // For my boys aka Chelsea and Sam. For your support, for each of us being completely different, and of course, for endless laughs.

7 // For graduation, graduating friends, and new seasons of life. For assurance in who holds our futures and where our hope is secure.

8 // For persecuted believers. For perseverance, encouragement, and eternal glory.

9 // For missionaries around the world. For safety, open hearts, and a full harvest.

10 // For the ones who aren’t able to run. For a passion that makes you feel empowered and an outlet that reduces your stress.

11 // For Cole. For getting me to the gym to do weights instead of just running. For showing me how to loosen up, not stress out, and enjoy life.

12 // For my dad. For his support, laughs all the time, and for always inspiring me to chase dreams.

13 // For my mom. For all the miles together, for starting my running journey, for her daily encouragement, her love, and her listening ears.

Each of these people and groups have a special place in my heart, and I am honored to run a little part for them! Seeya Saturday, 13.1!

Cheers to the Weekend

If you were wondering, here’s what went down in Athens this weekend! The weekend (or Thursday night) began with a 3 mile run that ended on the train trestle. Just look at this sunset!

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What should have been a productive afternoon of cleaning for our weekend guest turned into adventures all around Athens to take cool pictures and enjoy the weather. Nothing like a cup of afternoon coffee to make you want to do everything but clean. Amen! Oh yeah, I’m like a hippie now too.

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After carb-loading for the big race at Olive Garden, I met friends at Menchie’s for frozen yogurt. Needless to say, our laughs and race nerves kept me up all night….I actually don’t think I got any sleep.

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So much joy to see the finish line for the Chick fil A Half Marathon in Athens! A race recap will be coming soon, but this was probably the hardest race I’ve run because of the mountains that are everywhere in Athens. Also, after this race, I’ve set a new goal for my next half to be sub 2:00—unless it’s one where I need to slow down to enjoy the sights like a Disney or Rock n’ Roll race. (Leslie (in the purple leggings) and I ran together, but we didn’t know the guy in the cow outfit. We must’ve all been feeling about the same way though.)

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Despite the hills, this was one of my favorite races because of the people in the background of this shot. Seriously, it was so awesome to be in Athens and have friends at the finish line. They’re the greatest, and I am thankful!

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BEST. PICTURE. EVER. Our favorite Dillon Panther, Tim Riggins, met us at the finish line! Clear eyes, full heart, can’t lose was our race day mantra, so to have Tim there was the best surprise! 😉

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After a restful afternoon, we ended the day with Judah and the Lion and Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors at the historic Georgia Theatre in downtown Athens. It was a great night with friends, and I’m so glad Whitney (on the left) could spend the weekend in Athens with us!

georgia theatre

Overall, it was a crazy, exhausting, fun, and productive weekend! Now to get back into the school, internship, study swing. Do you have any fun concerts or events coming up? What is your favorite concert you’ve ever been to?

Albany Half Marathon

Well, my second half marathon is in the books, and what a great race it was. When I think back over the few races I’ve done, this one definitely takes the cake for most fun which is a little weird considering the comparison between Disney World and Albany, Georgia (if that even is a comparison).

Post Albany Half

The weekend kicked off with a road trip from Athens with one of my best friends, Chelsea, and after the three hour trek, I met up with my mom while Chelsea headed further south to Bainbridge. Since it was a Saturday race day, we had several last minute things to pick up before carb-loading, heading to the hotel, and calling it an early night, so we headed to Target to grab some bagels and more importantly, fingernail polish remover (I could not bring myself to run with red nails). We followed up with a typical Olive Garden pasta meal for dinner; you just can’t go wrong with alfredo sauce and chicken.

The alarms came at a not so bright but early 5:00 am, but of course race day nerves and jitters kicked in so we were up pretty quickly. Plus, something about knowing a bagel (or any type of breakfast) is waiting gets me out of bed.

Getting to the start line was easy as pie, especially compared to other races, so we had time to use a real bathroom and hang out in the host hotel lobby to stay warm. It was pretty chilly; but for me, the cooler the better, so I was pretty happy. I started in a running tank and shorts and was perfectly fine, but there were lots of other runners looking comfortable in running tights and long sleeves.

Pre Albany Half

The race started at 7:00 am, and by this point I was pretty nervous because my farthest run during training had only been 8 miles. Needless to say, I didn’t even know if my legs were capable of going a whole 5 more, but I was hoping to stay mentally focused enough to push through (They aren’t lying when they say it’s mostly mental).

Around mile 5 I started eating Honey Stinger Lime-Ade chews, and the joys of getting to eat a yummy snack plus the boost of sugar and caffeine really helped push me through. We ran through the cutest neighborhoods, and there were volunteer groups all along the route cheering us on. Until about mile 10, I was feeling good, but between 10 and 11, I started to feel my lack of training more mileage. Luckily the downhill last leg and my motivation to finish under 2:10 helped keep my energy up, and once I saw the finish line, I was able to slightly pick up the pace.

albany

If you’re looking for a smaller race (less than 2,000 runners) that’s pretty fast and flat, I would highly recommend  running Albany. There is a half marathon and a full, and it’s a Boston Qualifier. There you go! A fun race morning wrapped up with a satisfying lunch at the Mellow Mushroom and a relaxing afternoon spent at home with my family.

Of the races you’ve done, which one has been your favorite?