15 Races for 2015: Cleveland Half – 2015!

May 17, 2015
7am – 65 degrees at the start, 97% humidity
Race 4: Rite Aid Cleveland Half Marathon
Cleveland, Ohio

Well, race #4 and half marathon #6 is in the books! Thank, God cause that was a rough one!! Going into this race I was under-prepared in my training. First, I had a bad chest cold this spring that caused havoc on my long run schedule for about 3 weeks so that threw me off. I ended up only getting up to 8 miles for my long runs and I was supposed to get to 11. So, I had to adjust expectations going into the race. I wasn’t planning on a PR, for sure. I just wanted to finish. Then, I saw the weather prediction for the day and *gulp*, my heart sank as I saw it was predicted to be 97% humidity that morning. Ugh.

Flat Lisa ready to go!

I got up at 4:15am to begin the getting ready process. Mike (my roadie) said we needed to leave at 4:45am in order to get downtown and parked by 6am.

It was early!

We parked and found MaryAnn and Tom. Pre-race selfies!

The Q bathrooms were open so I hopped in there when we first got downtown. However, true to form I need to make another visit before the horn so I headed to the portapotties. The lines were crazy long, but I made friends.

The portapotty line took like 30 minutes!

Thankfully I made it back to the start with 10 minutes to spare! About 5 minutes before the start we had a downpour of rain, but luckily Mike had a big umbrella and I put my garbage bag on, afterall. We all started off together, but I told MaryAnn to take off as she had trained with Tom on her long runs and I knew she could race faster than me, for sure!

I got rid of the bag before mile 1 was done. The humidity kept getting worse as the morning continued. I was glad I had worn my fuel belt just so I knew I could get access to water whenever I needed to and not have to rely on the water stops. For the first time ever I got water or powerade at every water stop. I remembered to be cautious about taking in too much water so I began to take 2 cups and dump one on my head and take two sips from the other! It worked very well! I felt much better after those little showers! I also took part in the various hoses that were along the route! Ah, what a treat. Did I mention it was bit humid? I decided at about mile 5 that I needed to make a plan for finishing this sucker. I knew that running the whole thing was probably not going to work this time given all the variables. So, I decided I would run the 10K and after that point I would switch to the run/walk program. So after 6.2 miles I ran 5 minutes/walked 2 and so forth. This felt doable. I needed to be able to commit to a plan that would get me to the finish in one piece and not crying on the side of the road!!!

Suddenly around mile 8 or 9 I got a sudden burst of adrenaline and started running normal again (and singing and clapping). Some runners commented that I had way too much energy for that part of the race!! I told then you just have to fake it!!! Then at mile 10 I crashed, had my GU packet, and focused on getting through the last 3 miles. It was all uphill on the shoreway! I did the best I could to finish strong doing the run/walk program. I wasn’t injured I was just so uncomfortable from the humidity!! I just wanted to be done and get my chocolate milk!!

I did it and I’m still standing up! That is all that counts!

Happy girls!

Loved the outside color of the medal this year – PURPLE!

This year’s shirt. Not really a big fan. I don’t dig the color and I don’t understand the bars??!!

Since I didn’t like the shirt giveaway from this year, I treated myself to a cool tank at the Expo. Very light and comfortable!!

Lesson learned from this training cycle and race?
1. Long runs matter!!!
2. When you need to adjust your expectations to accomplish your goal it is okay to do so!!

Here are my stats:
Time: 2:41:59 (12:21/mile); My slowest time for a 1/2
10K: 1:11:34 (11:31/mile)
Division: 173/232 (bottom third of age group)
Gender: 2207/2791
Overall: 4071/4867

It has been confirmed: there are no coincidences!!

May 4, 2015

Have you ever had one of those moments? You know the ones where something happens that makes you hair stand up on end? And I don’t mean getting spooked watching the latest version of Paranormal Activity. I’m talking about when something happens that is just uncanny; something that feels like it was totally meant to be; like you are in exactly the right place at exactly the right time. Some people may attribute these experiences to a higher power or the Universe, but no matter what they are called, they feel like anything, but coincidences. I call these experiences “God moments” and I had a big one happen to me this weekend.

I was attending the Women of Faith conference in Columbus this weekend with my mom and sister. The one and a half day touring conference held in an arena filled with 10,000 women, features inspirational speakers and music that make you laugh and cry. Participants leave feeling inspired and ready to live out their faith and love more fully in the world. World Vision, is a regular partner with the Women of Faith organization and is usually introduced at the conference on Friday night. This year was no exception. As I watched the video sharing one woman’s story sponsoring a child in Zambia I began to get teary-eyed. Well, for those who know me well, this is no big newsflash. Getting teary at an emotional story is just a day in the life for me. However, this time felt different. I felt pulled to actually consider sponsoring a child beyond just thinking about it during the 5 minute video. We were told that throughout the arena in some of the seats there were packets of children including pictures, who were in need of sponsors and we were asked to prayerfully consider doing so. I picked up the one closest to my seat – a little girl from Ecuador a few years younger than Zach. I wasn’t ready to make any kind of decision right then so I tucked it into my purse to think on later.

The next morning walking to our seats in the arena we passed the World Vision booth and my mom and sister reminded me that I wanted to stop and ask some questions of the volunteers. I asked them about the amount of payment required, and for more information on how the program works. I then gave them back the little girl packet I had taken the day before and explained that I might be interested in a boy, about the same age as my son. They explained that boys seldom get sponsored, especially at women’s events, and she directed me to the further side of the table where the older children were laid out. Now I have to mention that there were hundreds of these packets throughout the arena and hundreds more spread through the various booths and with the volunteers. My sister and I began to look at the older children and I told her that I have a soft spot for Central America, particularly Guatemala. Almost just as a I said this I saw him. Luis. Luis! His familiar little face jumped out at me and as I read that he was “Luis from Guatemala” it was confirmed. I knew this kid! I had met Luis in Guatemala during my immersion trip there with John Carroll in 2013. I knew his face!

Here is a snapshot of this special moment:


“This is Luis! I know this kid! I know this kid!” I kept saying to a stunned audience that included my sister, mom and the volunteers. We were all stunned. What were the odds of this?! We could not believe this was happening and I told the volunteers that I had found the child I was supposed to sponsor! Luis was a favorite child of our immersion group, especially to Molly, the student co-leader.

Here is a picture of she and him during our 2013 trip.


And just to show what kind of impact this child had on our students here is Luis with Molly the year before in Guatemala!


I’m so excited to begin corresponding with Luis and learning more about him, his life, and his family. I’m excited to be able to share this with Zachary too. Maybe there will be another trip to San Juan, Guatemala in my, or our, future. One thing I know for sure: If it happens, it won’t be by accident.

Reading Challenge – April 2015

Well, I think I’ve slowed down a bit. I would like to think it is the warmer weather that is my excuse, but that has really only happened recently. No, the real excuse is that April is a crazy busy month at work AND we have had lacrosse games, etc. It is just getting into the busier season of our lives so my reading challenge is going to be more of a challenge in the coming months! However, I will reach a tipping point when it will be pool weather. Books are always welcome on my lounge chair!!

Here is how this month panned out:

#11 – Category: A popular author’s first book
Title: The Tiger’s Wife, by Tea Obreht
Completed: April 4, 2015
This was a very dense book with lots of details and description. The chapters took me on a wild goose chase to learn the back story on the characters. At the heart of the story is a young doctor’s love for her grandfather. I think I enjoyed the stories written within the novel better than the novel itself. This was not a fave or really a page turner, but I got it done!


#12 – Category: A graphic novel
Title: Ghostopolis, by Doug Tennnapel
Completed: April 6, 2015
Okay, true confessions…this is my son’s book. It is basically a comic book that I read in one day! It was okay, but science fictioney. This is definitely not my cup of tea – it was such a quick read, but sort of expensive. Good think I borrowed my copy from Zach. It did have a touching ending, however.


#13 – Category: A book set in high school
Title: The Truth About Alice, by Jennifer Mathieu
Completed: April 17, 2015
This was a book very true to its category. It was a quick read and very much about the immaturity that is high school including rumors and all the bad behavior that can come from the same. Popular kids verses nerds, etc. I’m not gonna lie, but it brought back a little bit of anxiety from my own high school experience. Let’s just say I’m glad high school and this book are done!