Spring Update

Right now we have a brief lull in activities, so I’m trying to lay low and take it easy.  Spring is always a busy time, with April being the busiest month of the year, so I know it’s not going to last long.  And this year we have a grandbaby coming in April as well.  In a few weeks, it will be time to shift into overdrive!

I already have an event planned for every weekend in April.  They keep stacking up, so there are some Saturdays that I have three places I need to be.  Ain’t gonna happen!

Last week I ran four miles for the first time since I sprained my ankle.  It was slower than all get out, but that’s ok.  My doctor says it should be healed and he thinks the pain I’m feeling is just from it being stiff and not as elastic as it used to be, so I’m trying to move more and keep it loosened up.

I am definitely loving daylight savings time.  It is so nice to have more daylight in the evening and to be able to get outside.  It certainly is taking some adjustment, though.  Everytime I look at my watch, it’s an hour or two later than I think.  It seems like it’s making the time fly away.


I unintentionally took a break from juicing for several months.  I just got out of the habit of making it.  I was starting to feel the effects of not having juice in my diet, so I have gotten back to making juice again.  I was expecting it not to taste good to me after not having it for so long.  Actually, it was delicious, and I felt like I had been missing something special.  Lesson learned.

It seems like it has been a longer, harder winter than what we’ve had in the past.  It got cold earlier in the fall than what we’re used to.  I remember going to the sports store looking for winter running accessories in October and the sales clerk telling me that it had gotten cold earlier than usual so they weren’t going to have winter items in for a few weeks yet.  We didn’t have a lot of snow this year, but we had a lot of small snow falls or even sleet and ice.  Our weather wasn’t necessarily harsh or severe, it just made it more difficult to get out.  As you know, once you start slacking off, it’s easy to continue.


Now that we are in daylight savings time and it’s a bit warmer, I feel like spring is just around the corner.  Time to break free!

So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.  John 8:36


Hospital Half and 5K

March’s race was the Hospital Half and 5K.  This is not just a race, it’s an event!  I also ran the inaugural race last year.  This year, it was even bigger and better with more runners and more vendors.  This race benefits the LiveWell grant program, providing health and wellness grants to area non-profits.

This race starts and ends about two miles from my house at my local community center.  This winter, I have continued to meet there about once a week to run with a couple of friends.  I say “about” because the plan was always to meet there, but often the weather didn’t cooperate, so we’d end up not meeting or going to the cave to run.  Since we were not able to meet there nearly as often this year, I did not feel nearly as prepared for this race as I did last year.

Parking was at a premium, and runners were encouraged to park off-site and take shuttle buses, but I was able to hitch a ride with my daughter.

We were fortunate enough to have perfect running weather.  It was about 43 degrees and sunny outside.  There was a slight breeze from the south, which meant it would be at my back at the end of the race and up that big, ugly hill.

At 8:00 they started with the national anthem and then lined the half marathon runners up.  I went out to cheer those runners on as they left the chute.

The 5K started at 8:30.  We lined up and were off to a rocky start as there really were too many runners to go out the chute all at once.  At the start of the race I ended up on the other side of the road with oncoming traffic.

This year, I ran about halfway up that ugly hill and walked the rest.  I didn’t have a great finishing time, but I finished and my time was better than my last race two weeks ago, so I’m happy with that.

After the race, I visited some of the vendors with a couple of friends.  It was almost like going to your wholesale club on sample day except that these were much larger samples.  We had the regular fruit and snacks offered after most races along with chocolate, strawberry, and root beer flavored milk from a local dairy; pulled pork sandwiches from the rotary club; pizza; smoothies; and fresh draws served up from our local brewery.

After spending some time browsing around with friends, I decided to walk home.  I was tired, so the walk was a little further than I would have liked.  However, I did see some signs of spring!

Then God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years;  Genesis 1:14


In February I tried Jason Vale’s Super Blend Me! program.  This is a new program Jason Vale has put together.  As the name implies, it is a blending (think smoothie) program versus a juicing program.  All you really need is a blender, which it seems most people own.

There is a book available along with the app.  At the time I tried it, the book was not yet available in the US, and the app was only available on Apple products.  However, the book is now available in the US along with the Android app.  Whether or not you buy the book, the app is well worth it.  It has videos and recipes for each blend, along with the ability to make a shopping list for any or as many days as you’d like.

I liked that a lot of the blends could be prepped ahead of time.  The ones that could, I put in baggies, labeled, and put in the freezer.  On the label I wrote the name and anything that needed to be added to the blend.  Most of the blends in this program have a protein added to them whether it be a protein powder or some type of nut butter.  The protein and the liquid (usually a nut milk or coconut water) I added at the time I did the blending.

The blends are super convenient.  I was able to make all of them in the cup blender of my Ninja.  The ones that I didn’t prepare ahead of time only had a two or three ingredients, so all I had to do was put them in the blender and go.  The ones that I prepared ahead of time also only took a few minutes because all I had to do was empty the bag of frozen food into the blender cup, add a thing or two, blend, and go.  I also used a lot of frozen fruit over fresh, so that in itself made the blends very convenient.  Since I was using frozen fruit, I did not add ice to the blends.

These blends are heavy on fruit, so if you’re looking for a way to get more fruit into your body, this will do it.  I recently read that people that are cold all of the time often are so because they do not eat enough citrus fruit.  After doing the program for ten days, I noticed that I was no longer having that cold feeling.  It has made enough of a believer out of me that I have continued to eat an orange everyday with my lunch.

However, I have decided that this program is not for me.  I did lose a few pounds, but I did not get that boost of energy and all around great feeling that I get from juicing.  I’m glad that I did it and gave it a whirl.  I’m also glad I have the app and the recipes.  They were all delicious, and I’m sure I will have one now and then.  In fact, my plan is to prep a few and put them in freezer bags in the freezer so that they’re ready to go.  There are also some other recipes within the app for protein balls that I would like to try.

Do I recommend this program?  Absolutely.  I realize that we’re all different and what works for me may not work for you and vise versa.  If your diet could use some better quality food and this is what it takes for you to get it, then go for it.  If this is what it takes to get you to make the first step towards eating more plants, it’s worth a try.  If these blends are too much fruit for you, you could try making them with a little less fruit and more greens.  Make it your plan, your way.

Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.  I Corinthians 10:31

Sweetheart Run 5K

February’s race was the Sweetheart Run 5K.  I ran this race last year with my daughter and a few friends and had a great time.  There is also a runners’ expo after the race, so it’s a good time to get discounts on future races, running gear, etc.

This race was originally scheduled for the 10th.  Due to a forecast of incoming snow, the race was postponed to the following week.  We didn’t get the snow that was forecasted, but it was very cold on the 10th, so I was glad for the week’s delay.

As always I was watching the weather forecast so I’d know what to expect and could prepare for race day.  It was forecasted to be about 43 degrees and cloudy at the time of the race.  I would need a jacket, earmuffs, and long pants.

When I got up the morning of the race, I again checked the weather.  It was as predicted, so I got ready for the race as planned and had a small breakfast.  I was ready to walk out the door when my oldest daughter came in through the garage, “You know it’s snowing, right?”

I looked outside.  The ground and our vehicles were covered in snow and there were huge snowflakes falling from the sky.  I was not prepared for snow.

Lesson #1:  Always pop your head outdoors to see what the weather is actually doing while you still have time to make adjustments.

We went on our way.  This race was on the other side of town–further away than most of my races.  We drove through the mist and wet roads.  I remember saying, “I’m not prepared to get wet!”

Lesson #2:  Always bring a change of clothes.

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Race time came and it was cool and breezy, but at least there wasn’t anything falling from the sky.  The pavement was wet, so I was expecting to get wet from the knees down.  Then, as we walked up to the start line I got another surprise:  this year’s race would be run in reverse of last year’s race.

With running being very much a mental sport, this threw me off.  I had checked the route, and it had not been updated in the race information.  I started going through the route backwards in my mind.

In the end it was a good race.  The weather held out, and I did not end up soaking wet.  Most of all, I met my goal:  I beat the girl in the pink pants!

Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, And do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles; Proverbs 24:17

Running: The No-Equipment Sport

One thing that attracted me to running was that it was a low investment sport monetarily speaking.  It was nice to think that I didn’t have to go out and spend money on equipment or a gym membership, nor did I have to have a place to store said equipment.  The only thing I needed to get started, so I thought, was a good pair of shoes.  I had already discovered my pronation problem with my feet and invested in good shoes and orthodics, so I was ready to rock and roll.

My daughter came up with the idea that we should run a 5K a month.  I decided to go along with that.  Then she decided that we had to wear tutus, so that was my first investment.  Then there was the ever important armband or belt to carry your phone in, and let’s not forget earbuds for listening.

It didn’t take long for me to realize that there is an entire market out there targeted towards runners.  The first thing that I was told was that “cotton is rotton” and that I was wearing the wrong socks.  I didn’t care.  I liked my socks.  I also had old, cotton t-shirts that I wore to run in.  It was summer, it was hot, I was fine.

Then it got so hot that the sweat would run into my eyes and I couldn’t see a thing.  I got a headband for my birthday, and later ended up buying another one to help keep the sweat out of my eyes.  Then I came across these cooling towels to help keep you cool in the extreme heat.  Yip, I had to have one of those too!

Then Fall came and it started to cool off.  I needed longer pants to keep warm and a jacket.

Then Winter came along.  Not only did we have to deal with the temperatures, we also had to deal with the fact that we were running in the dark most of the time.  For warmth, I now needed long sleeved shirts to wear under my jacket, ear muffs, gloves, and a face warmer.  After tripping and falling in the dark a few times (once I fell on my phone), I decided I needed a light.  I found a very bright LED light that I love.  It was not cheap, but it was a lot cheaper than a new phone.

I invested in a reflective vest.  I was so excited when the package came.  I opened it up, adjusted the straps, and put it on.  My husband walked into the room and said, “What did you do, get a job pushing carts at Stuff Mart?”  My daughter’s friends that live across the street thought that I was a school crossing guard.

Now, I have a whole bag of running gear.  It hangs in the coat closet and I pull it out every time I go running.  The small stuff, like my earbuds and my light go in a small pencil bag so I don’t have to dig around and find them.  Everything else is just thrown in and pretty easy to find.  So much for my little sport that doesn’t require any equipment.

Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.  Ephesians 6:11

Going Underground

Winter is only a few weeks old, and it has been a cold, cold one already.  That coupled with wind and snow has made it very uncomfortable.  The thought of going outside is torturous.  The thought of staying inside and never going outside again is a little less torturous.

So, what’s a runner girl to do?  Go underground.  Yes, you read that right, underground!

We have a local university that has a cave on campus that is not only home to some university facilities, but also local businesses.  The cave can be a welcome retreat to runners and walkers alike during times of extreme weather–hot or cold.

So, what’s it like running in a cave?

Sixty-five degrees year-round!  The temperature, of course, is the main reason for going and the advantage that I immediately noticed.  After running in the cold weather, it was hard to keep from overdressing.  Right now, I would call it a balmy sixty-five degrees.  In the summer, it would be considered a cool retreat.  My vehicle was covered in ice and snow, and even though it had warmed up some, I was still having trouble with the locks freezing up.  By the time we were done with our work out, my vehicle was clear of snow and the locks were working as they should.  It was also nice to return to a comfortable car after working out instead of getting in an ice-cold vehicle.

Clean, fresh air.  With vehicles coming and going, the air in the cave is constantly being filtered.  This makes for clean, fresh air in all places all of the time.  I can’t always say this for outdoors with people driving by, mowing their yards, or sitting on their porches smoking.

Dry!  The entrance to the cave had some wet spots, but other than that, it was dry, dry, dry!  This was a great contrast to the conditions outside.  We recently had snow and it was too cold for it to melt, so running outside was treacherous.

Flat.  Overall the course is flat with some slight and gradual inclines and declines.  This is not a place to work on hills, but it will keep you going when the weather is not conducive to running outside.

Well-lit.  I know we think of caves as dark and gloomy, but they have done a great job making it feel just the opposite.  The walls and ceilings are painted white and there are lights everywhere.  There is no need to worry about wearing reflective clothing and lights so you can see where you’re going.  It was nice not to have to put on all the extra gear for running in the dark.  It was also nice to be able to see more than just a few feet in front of you.

Little traffic.  This is not a high-volume area, so there was very little traffic.  We also went at a time that the businesses probably would be closed and not receiving shipments, so there were no big trucks coming and going.  The posted speed limit is 9.9 mph (really), so what traffic there was moved at a very slow pace.

No animals–yet.  I started carrying my mace with me on every run simply because I have often ended up with a loose dog wanting to run with me or after me.  After one big dog put his wet nose on the back of my leg, I decided that was a little too close for comfort.  I’m a dog lover, and I love animals in general, but I also realize that they can suddenly become aggressive.  I also understand the damage they can do in an instant.  I didn’t see any animals in the cave, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see a bat sometime.

“Can a man hide himself in hiding places So I do not see him?” declares the LORD. “Do I not fill the heavens and the earth?” declares the LORD.  Jeremiah 23:24

Battle of the Bean 5K

January’s race and my first race for 2018 was the Battle of the Bean 5K.  The charity for this race was Happy Bottoms which is a diaper bank for local low income families.  Paper products are a great need for low income families as government assistance does not provide them.

Battle of the Bean does seem like an odd name for a race, but the “beans” that are “battling” here are the coffee bean and the cacao bean.  When you register for the race, you choose whether you wish to be on Team Coffee or Team Cocoa.  I never let something as vile as coffee touch me lips, so I went for Team Cocoa.  I rarely drink it due to the sugar and calories involved, but just imagining rich, creamy cocoa with marshmallows on top was enough to put me on the team!

The race itself was sponsored by a local coffee shop.  It was amazing!  Along with the usual coffee shop items, they also had gourmet chocolates and frozen custard made at the shop.  They had samples out for the runners after the race.  The chocolate looked too good to eat, and tasted fabulous.  The custard was the smoothest and creamiest I’ve ever had.

We were fortunate that we had some warmer weather move in a few days prior to the race.  It was foggy and damp, but all of the snow had melted from the roadways.  It was also about 42 degrees, which is perfect running weather.  The first thing I did when we got there was take about 10 steps and step into a pothole full of water.  So, I ran with one very soggy foot.


As is my custom, I drove the route a few days before the race so I’d know what to expect.  With the cold weather, ice, and snow we’ve had lately, I haven’t been running much.  I knew mile one would be the easiest with a very long descent.  I expected mile two to be the toughest with a long hill to climb.  Mile three was flatter, so I thought it would be a nice break after mile two.

It didn’t take long for me to find out that two miles is about my endurance level right now.  The second mile was my fastest, but I was exhausted afterwards.  The third mile was tougher than I thought it would be, but I still made it with a time that I can live with.

Instead of a finisher’s medal, we got these really nice mugs that commemorate the race.  They are heavy duty and large enough to use for your favorite drink or soup–or maybe even a dessert!  I love that it’s something I’ll use over and over again.

Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 
I Corinthians 10:31

(Cocoa not included.)

January, I Loathe Thee

In my part of the world, January is the most in-climate month of the year.  It is usually our coldest, snowiest, and windiest month.  We have been blessed the last few years that we have had mild winters where even January was bearable.  Last winter I was able to continue running outdoors in the evening with my oldest daughter.  This year, it has been a challenge and has taken some creativity to keep running.

So, what’s a girl to do in January?  Stay indoors!  For this quirky introvert, January has been my month to stay home and recharge my batteries so to speak.  It’s been a month of soups and chili, warm fires in the fireplace, and going through closets and file cabinets to lighten the load.  I tell people that it is my month to hibernate.  By the time January is through, I am usually refreshed and ready to be around people again.

Not so this year.  January has definitely delivered with the cold, snowy, wet, sloppy weather.  The complication is that we have appointments we have to go to every day of the workweek.  So much for recharging.



What’s a quirky introvert to do that needs this time to  herself?  I’m making as few trips out as possible.  All other errands, such as grocery shopping, are planned around these appointments.  I go out, conquer the world, and get back home as quickly as possible.  I’m still working on clearing out those closets and file cabinets, but at a slower pace.  For me, January needs to be a time to recharge, not discharge.

Obviously, January is not even close to one of my favorite months of the year.  However, it comes around whether I want it to or not; so I might as well make the most of it.  In my mind it’s necessary and helps me to appreciate spring that much more.

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.  Matthew 11:28



Some friends are forever,
and some are not;
some friends are free,
while some are bought.

Some bring joy,
others bring pain;
some will do it,
over and over again.

Can you afford to pay the price?
Lonely days and sleepless nights.

Some friends are forever
and some are not,
but a departed friend
is never forgot.

copyright (C) Lori Camper

Could You Outrun Goliath?

At “six cubits and a span,” Goliath stood over nine feet tall, using a conservative 18-inch cubit. Scripture demonstrates his strength by cataloging the weight of his armaments, including a 5,000-shekel (125-pound) coat of mail.1 No wonder he was the champion of Gath! He was big and strong, but was he fast?

Source: Could You Outrun Goliath? | The Institute for Creation Research

As a (slow) runner, I found this interesting.  There is no doubt in my mind that I could not outrun Goliath.  Every race I run, there’s the mom pushing the double stroller that passes me somewhere along the way.

As scripture demonstrates time and time again, it’s not always speed or even the biggest, strongest army that wins the battle.  In the end, God wins.  This is what gives me hope and keeps me going day after day.

but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence;  1 Peter 3:15