Posts Tagged ‘spirituality’

Today is National Running Day and I wanted to run, of course!!! I’m a runner and I needed to celebrate today by running, of course!!  But . . . I chose to ride my bike trainer and lift weights in honor of the day, because  bottom-line –  it’s all about moving in some form or another . . . and being thankful that I can.  Below is the story of my frustration with running at the moment.

I haven’t really been in the mood to blog about running much these days.  I am dealing with an issue called Runner’s Ischemia of which I will spare you the details.  I am listening to my doctor, not always easy for me, and not running on consecutive days.  Last week I ran on Monday around Sly Park Lake, a beautiful trail run of 8 miles and I ran around Lake Natoma, another favorite run of mine for 11 miles without incident.  Yay!!!!


Sly Park Lake

After I got over my pouting and frustration with not running everyday and listening to a wise daughter, who helped me see the bright side and God’s side, I am much more at peace.

These past two weeks I have enjoyed cross training.  I’m riding my bike more and lifting weights again, something I haven’t taken the time to do for some time.  I’m relaxing about the fear of losing my gains in running pace and mileage.  I’ve had to question why I run? Why I still want to run? Why not just go back to my cardio workouts, my bike riding, and my weight workouts?

The answer –

I love to run!!!

I love to be out in God’s creation. 

I love to smile at people on the trail, as I run. 

I love to run with others. 

I love to talk about running, about shoes, about cadence, about technique, about hydration and fuel, etc.

It makes me smile!!!!

There are a few things I will be working on to enable myself to continue to run and train for a 25k on Angel Island in August,  another half-marathon in October, and a marathon, my first, in December.

I will continue to run twice a week through next week.  I plan to then up my days to three times a week – 2 longer runs with one short run and see how it goes.  I am also planning on being more diligent in using my heart rate to monitor my running, especially as it is getting warmer for the summer, and not being as concerned about my pace.  On my off days, I will continue to ride my bike and lift heavier weights, which is a more balanced approached to my fitness (God has a way of getting me where I need to be cause He knows I won’t get there on my own!!).  I’m hoping these changes will make me a stronger runner and my ‘issue’ will be no longer!!!

I am thankful for very supportive friends, who get the running thing . . .  🙂

I am thankful for a God, who is there with me each moment of each day and reminds me of what is really important and He knows my heart, He knows my passions, He knows I love to run . . .



I will keep on moving forward in my running and with a great God, learning flexibility, which is NOT easy for me . . .  

Patty 🙂


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A couple of weeks ago, as I was running, I was in prayer for so much that day – the overwhelming sadness and loss in Connecticut, for friends battling cancer, for families in need of restoration.  I ran with a heavy heart. On my way back down the trail I looked up to this amazing view, in the middle of a cold, dismal, cloudy day.

This was a picture of HOPE. Can you see it?

Can you see that although the clouds were covering and causing a good portion of my area to be dark and gloomy there was a spot of HOPE glimmering through.  As I peered through that small opening, I saw brilliant blue sky with a warm shining sun.

I was reminded that the sun is ALWAYS shining – even in the midst of clouds. It brought the biggest smile to my face and great peace, knowing that God is always there.

Such Hope . . .

Hope in the Son (Jesus) who is always shining in the midst of our trials, our circumstances.  When we are completely overwhelmed with our circumstances He is still there.  He says He will never leave us or forsake us. We may not be able to see beyond our heaviness, our darkness, but let’s hold onto the truth that the Son is always there for us and is always shining in and through the darkness of our lives.

This is why I love running so much.  I love God’s creation and the truth that it tells.

I love how He has put together these bodies of ours, the miracle of it all, so that we can run.  We can experience His creation, His life, His strength, His peace, His rest, His freedom.

I feel so free when I run . . .

Patty 🙂

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I have not been writing as much as I would like.  Lack of time.  Lack of discipline.  Not sure.  Definitely, not lack of thoughts and inspiration.  When I get out and run thoughts just flow through my mind, through my heart, little whispers from God.

Favorite Trail

Favorite Trail

Love this bridge.

Love this bridge.

Enjoy the view.

Enjoy the view.

I love to get out and run, well . . . not always easy to get motivated, but once I get out there and just start moving my feet, one foot in front of the other, and once I get past the first mile or two, my burdens just start dropping off and I start to feel refreshed and free.  I’m sure it is the combination of fresh air, working my body, getting my blood moving, and being in the presence of God in His awe-inspiring creation that does this.

As I run, I look at the road, I look at people and smile, I look at the trees.  Running the same trail through the four different seasons I notice the trees with budding leaves in spring, to full on nice big green leaves that provide much wanted shade in the summer, to beautiful colorful leaves in fall, to leafless trees in the winter.

As I was running in the rain, watching these colorful leaves fall from the trees, God whispered to my heart. 


It was a windy day.  The trees were swaying.  The leaves were falling.  The clouds were absolutely beautiful. 

He reminded me how He cares for the trees.  Even though it is cold and harsh weather in the fall/winter, there is always growth going on.  In the spring, budding new leaves begin to appear.  The summer brings nice green leaves.   In the fall, old leaves begin to fall and again leave the tree barren, leading into winter season again.  Just as the trees live through many seasons we, too, are surrounded with many seasons in our lives.

Trees stand rooted.  Seasons move around them.  They stand tall and strong, swaying back and forth in the wind, rain, sleet, and snow; but they stand.  Their roots go down deep into the soil, which gives them nourishment and strength.  Trees don’t get anxious about the seasons.  They don’t worry and stress about what they will do, how will they survive.  They just stand firmly rooted and trusting.

God has seasons for each one of us.

We need to stand, rooted in the solid rock – Jesus, as seasons move around us.

We may sway to and fro, drop some leaves, break a branch or two, but like a tree, continue to stand firm.

As the tree always has life running through it, so we stand always with life running through us – His life, His strength, His purposes, His love, His peace, His wisdom . . .

Lord, help us to be like the tree standing firm and tall, trusting you in all seasons . . .

Praying we all stand firm and tall, as we are rooted in a great God and savior, Jesus, in the midst of this life of many seasons.

Patty 🙂


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Here is my recap of my very first ever half-marathon!! Woohoo!!! 🙂

Here we are before the race: Amanda, Debora, Pam, Julie, Teri, Kim, Patty, and Emmi!! Brrrrr . . .

It’s funny how I seem to have no problem getting up early for a run.  I know to make my run go smoother I have a little routine of a cup of coffee, bathroom time (TMI), and then my scrambled eggs and a bowl of oatmeal.  Then I’m ready to head out the door.  It was early on Sunday morning, 4:25 to be exact when I exited my house, met up with everyone and headed to Sacramento, as we live in the foothills.

I tend to get really anxious before a long run, usually thinking of everything that could go wrong – stomach issues, bathroom issues, cramping, hydration, falling, what type of carbs to use, etc.  This day, I must admit I was pretty calm, for me.  I knew I had plenty of training runs under my belt.  I had learned what worked for me and what was a digestive disaster.

My plan was to run the race in 2 hours and 15 minutes.  I thought this might be possible with my times from my training runs, but I would be happy with 2 hours and 30 minutes.  Actually, I would be happy just finishing my first race with a smile on my face.

Pam, Debora, and I got in our places at the 2:15 marker.  It was pretty amazing starting a race, starting to run with thousands of people surrounding me – front, back, sides.  I must admit it was almost overwhelming to me.  I believe there were 5,400 people racing that day.  Wow!!!! I stayed with Pam and Debora for a while, but it was hard to run together, the three of us, with all the people surrounding us.  I ended up just squeezing here and there around this person or that person.  I realized it was going to be hard to keep together so I just ran my race.  Everyone else ran their race.

I tried to take in everything I could –  the people,  the scenery, the energy surrounding me.

The race started in a park, went through neighborhoods, through parts of downtown Sacramento to Old Town Sacramento, on bicycle trails by the river, back through neighborhoods, back to the park . . .

Loved these signs – especially as the numbers got bigger!!!

It was interesting running with so many people at one time – never done that before.  I talked out loud once in a while, just trying to make conversation, not many responded.  I just smiled.  It was beautiful seeing all these people moving, doing good things for their bodies.  I loved running through neighborhoods and seeing families out in front of their houses sipping their warm coffee and cheering us on with their kids.  Made me smile BIG!!! I loved running by the river, through the park, through downtown . . .

I also loved seeing only 1/2 mile to go!! Woohoo!!

I had planned my water/electrolyte mix and gels so that I wouldn’t have to stop at any of the water/drink stations.  I felt energized throughout the run.  The only thing that seemed to bother me were my hip flexors, they were screaming.  That’s when I really had to dig deep mentally – “I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.”

As I was running that last 1/2 mile, I became very emotional . . .

– I was so thankful to have a healed foot and the strength to run 13.1 miles.

– I was thankful Pam, who had recently been diagnosed with cancer, went through chemo and radiation and is cancer free now, had regained her strength and was running this race.

– I had run the race praying for the Davis family, whose husband/father is fighting the battle of his life right now with cancer.  Praying for complete healing and strength for this family and trusting a good and faithful God, who can do all things.

– I became overwhelmed with God’s goodness and His faithfulness in my life . . . so thankful!!! 

I crossed the finish line in 2:15:43 . . . I made my goal.  I cried with tears of joy, thankfulness, gratitude . . .

We all finished!! We all have our race stories!! We are all grateful!!

It was a good day – a good run!! I’m sure just the first of many to come!!

I am forever thankful and grateful to know and be known by such a great, gracious and faithful God!!!

Patty 🙂

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Running the Race of Life

This is a blog about my journey in running and the many trials I have gone through to gladly say “I am a runner.”

But today I want to talk about another race we run and that is the race of life.

I want to honor my mom, Barbara Phelps, who completed her race in this life here on earth and went to be with the Lord on June 1st.

Mom on Mother’s Day 2012

Firstly, I am honored to have had the privilege of calling her ‘Mom‘ for 57ish years.

I saw her life through a child, then a teen, then a young adult, to now and older-somewhat person’s eyes.  She ran an amazing race here on earth.  She raised four children, one with special needs, all born within five years of each other – yikes!!!

There are many stories to be told of the things we all got into such as children’s aspirin and ant poison and the many trips to get our stomachs pumped, as kids.  Within those stories are times of Mom gently loving us when we were sick, going on adventure walks, ice cream walks, beach trips, camping trips, fun family times.

She raised us four in the midst of coming alongside her husband, our father, who had problems with alcohol. She was a good supportive wife and mom, who in the midst of difficulties looked to a great God and found her rest and peace in Him.  In looking back, I have not had to walk in the shoes that she was called to walk in – but what a great example she was of just keeping on keeping on – putting one foot in front of the next in her race.

She loved people and she loved parties!!! At holiday meals or other parties that she planned we really never knew who might be there.  Often people we didn’t know arrived whom she included because they would have been alone with no place to go.  She loved bringing people together.  Such a wonderful gift she had.

She was the one who got me more interested in lifting weights and building stronger bones.  While she worked she would come home and exercise with weights and ride a  stationary bike and when she retired she joined exercise classes.  I was proud of her determination and strength.  She was one strong woman and set a great example.

She loved her church family, St. John’s, and one of her all time favorite things to do was go on their silent retreats every year down by the ocean at Inverness.  She tried every year to get me to go with her, but the thought of not talking for the weekend … well … 🙂

She filled her retirement days with Bible studies, serving at her church, playing Bunco, neighborhood gatherings – often at her house, working in her garden, caring for my sister with special needs, and exercise.

Her race changed about 5 years ago with the onset of Alzheimer’s Disease.  it was still her race and she ran it as graciously as the disease would allow.  I feel fortunate and gifted that I was able to be here these last few years.  I got to see my ‘real’ mom poke her head out of her disease and have a few moments here and there where she was very present. One thing she never lost in her race was her beautiful smile!!! Yes, there were times she didn’t have it and those were times that her mind just couldn’t figure out where she was or what she should be doing.  During those last hard weeks of her race here, it was amazing how much bigger her smile was.  She smiled at everyone. God gifted each family member and friend that went to see her with that smile and a special moment of recognition from her.  What a gift!! For that I am thankful!!!

I was reading in Mom’s Spiritual Renewal Bible – the New Living Translation:

Hebrews 12:1:

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily hinders our progress.  And let us run with endurance the race that God has set before us.”

A side note in the Bible says:

“The author of Hebrews understood this and likened the Christian life to a race.  Our faith in Christ gives us the motivation to run the race; His power gives us the strength to finish, in spite of the many things we stumble along the way.”

Mom, you ran a hard race.  You endured in the midst of great ups and downs in your life.  You prevailed to the end.  I believe that God would say to you, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”

We all have a race we are running – called life.  There are obstacles; hills and valleys, good times and bad times, unbearably hard times, uplifting and encouraging good times in the midst of it.

My question to you is, “How are you running your race here on earth? Are you running with endurance the race that has been set before you? Are you running with the creator of the universe, of this earth, of you – a great God?  He says his yoke is easy.  All we need to do is walk with Him, trust Him, let Him be Lord of our lives – it’s only then we find rest and peace in the midst of our race here on earth, as Mom did.  Trust Jesus today.  He alone is the great comforter.  The One who gives us the strength and endurance we need  The One who runs with us and leads us through this race.

“Thanks, Mom, you are missed greatly, but you are once again whole physically and mentally in the presence of a great and always faithful God.”

Trusting in a great God,

Patty 🙂

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