Thursday, May 10, 2012


I have been thinking, for a few days, about how to adequately blog about the experience that I had on Sunday.  Since I still have no idea how to do that, you're going to get this.

First, it should be clear by now that I did survive the Borgess Run for the Health of It half marathon.  YAY!  And, for those of you who are wondering, so did the rest of our group (Jeremy, Lisa, Wendy, Petra, and Mario).  It was one of the scariest and most overwhelming things that I have ever done... and I'm so glad that I did it.  Not quite glad enough to sign up for another one in the next few months, but glad nonetheless.

As I may have mentioned in earlier posts, I'm not a "runner."  I am not fast, nor am I really graceful (and much less so, now that I've run the half marathon).  My goals for this event were 1) to finish (in a vertical position, and preferably in under 3 hours) and 2) raise as much money as possible for Heartline Ministries.  I am happy to report that I completed the 13.19 miles (I know!  What the heck?!) in an official time of 2:53:34.  And Gary (the Garmin) has my actual MOVING time at 2:42:08; you see, I did stop my watch when I was in line for or actually in the port-a-pottys.  So my moving time was walking and/or running, versus standing in line.  And for the other goal?  We raised $3,435 for Heartline Ministries!  Yes, it was so worth it!  Thank you SO MUCH to everyone who donated money toward our efforts.  It will be a great blessing to Heartline Ministries and to those who are served by them.  :)

So... the event.  It's a long way to run, and I was slightly intimidated when I got passed by the marathon participants.  They started 20 minutes before we did, and several of them managed to pass me by, over the course of their 26.2 miles -- showoffs.  My family (dressed in bright green, matching 'TEAM BAKKER' tee shirts) were able to find us at a few different places along the route, which was SO great!  It was such an encouragement for me to see them cheering and high-fiving as we went by.  I loved that part!  Petra, one of my actual runner friends, ran with me the whole time.  She was blessed with an abundance of patience, which came in handy for her that day.  I kept telling her to go and do her thing, but she stayed with me and encouraged me through the whole thing.  Not only did she stay with me, but at each mile marker, she did some sort of cheer and dance, to celebrate every accomplishment along the way.  She was great!

My hip started giving me problems shortly after the 5 mile marker.  Unfortunately, it only got worse as I went along.  This prompted me to walk more than I wanted to, but it was okay.  And somehow, after training for almost 300 miles without any blisters on my feet, I managed to get a big blister on one foot during the run.  I figured that it's probably just a little exclamation point from my slightly annoyed body... we. are. done. here!  As I rounded the last corner, for the last tenth of a mile, I could see the finish line.  It was very surreal, and I noticed that my breathing pattern changed (from panting) to not being able to catch my breath (as in hyperventilating) from the excitement of it all.  There were people lined up along both sides, cheering loudly; the clock was ticking above the finish line; it was thrilling.  I honestly wanted to speed up for that last little bit, but I had nothing extra left; I stayed the same speed and ran through the finish as they announced my name over the speaker "Congratulations Laura Bakker -- half marathoner!"  That's when I really lost it -- and went full on into the ugly cry.  Nice ladies around me were patting me on the arm and the shoulder, telling me good job; it was all so unbelievable to me.  I had completed a half marathon.  Seriously.

I looked around for Jeremy, and finally found him in the crowd.  He and Mario had finished in 1:51:54.  Ummm... can you say ROCK STAR???  I am so proud of him!  He was shooting to finish in 2 hours, and clearly blew that out of the water.  Petra finished at the same time that I did and Lisa came through (at blazing speed, I might add... she freaking looked like a Kenyan for the last 30-40 feet of the thing!) at 3:06:12, and Wendy (who ran with Lisa) was right behind her.  All in all, we did well.  We celebrated, we took pictures, we drank chocolate milk, and we went back to the hotel.  I can't speak for anyone else, but I'm still limping.  My hip and knee are feeling better each day, but not quite back to good yet.  But they'll get there.  It was still worth it.

Thank you all again, for supporting me through all of this.  It's been quite an experience.  And a special thank you to my friends and family for contributing over $3,000 toward our total -- you all seriously amaze me!  To God be the glory; great things He hath done!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

I guess that I really should slow it down a little...

The hip flexor!  I have finally figured out what to call that hip injury that I've been talking about -- it's a hip flexor strain.  Along the way to this revelation, I was plenty insulted, but I also had an opportunity to laugh so hard that I snorted.
First, the insults:
- this injury is usually caused by tight muscles or poor flexibility (ummm... okay, but I am 41 now; flexibility is a little tougher at this point)
- it's also caused by core weakness (it's all right for me to make fun of my lack of any muscles in my core, but NOT WebMD - thank you very much!)
- and lastly, when the lower abdominal muscles do not stabilize the pelvis, the hip flexor muscles (A-HA! I obviously do have at least ONE muscle in my abdominal area!) will try to compensate for this weakness, and become overworked.
Up to this point, I was getting really annoyed with all of the explanations, because I do a plenty good job of degrading my body WITHOUT the help of online doctors!  That's when I came across this next sentence -- "The most common cause of hip flexor injury is acute trauma. You may experience one specific instance when you felt your hip flexor pull. This may have been when you broke into a sprint, made a cut, or kicked a ball."  Since I can assure you that I've not "made a cut" or kicked a ball for...... ever, it must be all of those sprints that I keep breaking into!  :)  That, for anyone who knows me, is enough to make me injure something else, by laughing so freaking hard!  "Oh yes, excuse my limping; I injured my hip flexor when I broke into a sprint the other day..."  ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.  Anyway, now you know all you could probably ever need to know about a hip flexor injury -- you're welcome.  Oh, and also they don't respond quite as quickly to laser therapy, although I'm hoping that it will respond... and before Sunday would be really nice.

You'll be happy to know that my arms do not appear to have any sort of injury (yet).  Yes, my feet, my knees, my legs and my hips have had more than their fair share lately, but my arms appear to be still intact.  This is exhilarating news to me, as they will most definitely come in handy as I army crawl across the finish line on Sunday, after my lower body gives out.  Now THAT will be a sight to see, folks!

I've been making a big push to get (almost) last-minute donations for Heartline Ministries, since that is the purpose of all of this craziness -- to raise money.  Anyone who is still interested in donating, every little bit will help!  Use the link at the top right side of this page to make a secure, tax-deductible Paypal donation.  Otherwise, if you'd rather send a check, let me know; I can get you the address for that too.

Thanks again, and please keep praying!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

par for the course...

Sometimes, I just have to laugh at myself, to keep from crying like a baby.  Let me back up a couple of days...

Wednesday's laser therapy ended up being almost fabulous.  I've chosen to block the parts of the visit that freaked me out, and decided to go with the outcome from the appointment.  It was really close to fabulous.  The one downside was my hip/leg/whatever that had kept getting so sore when I did my longer runs.  That spot, for whaver reason (ummm... possibly the yanking of my foot on Wednesday? but I digress...) was fairly "tender" when I left the chiropractor's office.  But, my foot -- I don't exactly know why, or how it works, but the treatment had my foot feeling REALLY good.  That night, I got on the treadmill (because it was dark outside) and started running (jogging); I made it all of 1 1/2 miles before my hip/leg/whatever was too sore to keep going.  Actually, I probably could've kept going, but the tears that would have ensued would probably have landed on the treadmill belt and made me slip and fall, because that's how things have been going for me lately.

Friday was my next laser appointment for my foot, just to be sure that it was good to go.  I went; they lasered (can that be used as a verb?) my foot, and I asked about my hip area.  I know that you'll be shocked to know that it was out of whack, and needed... an adjustment.  That one was no big deal; he fixed it and then they lasered that too.  I'm not even a little bit kidding when I tell you that, if they had a room that was filled with this laser treatment, I would totally move in there.  I am sold on the power of the laser, at this point.  My hip was also feeling noticeably better after the treatment.  So... I went home and hopped on the treadmill again.  I really had no good excuse for being on the treadmill, versus outside yesterday, aside from the fact that it was windy and I'm a fair-weather runner when it comes to running outside.  Anyway, there I was, trotting along, feeling pretty good -- considering that I basically had not run for a week at this point.  My goal for the day was to do 7 miles.  I got all the way to 6 1/4 before I fell off the edge of the treadmill and nearly wrecked both my lasered foot and lasered hip -- not to mention my knees!  Honestly, I wish that I could've had a video camera to catch this mess.  I typically will jump off of the moving belt, onto the edges, to get a quick drink of water.  When I attempted this yesterday, I barely caught the edge of the edge.  My right foot slid off, onto the floor.  Thankfully I had a grip on the bars, which kept my knees from hitting the belt, but my left leg was still on the edge of other side.  The angle that I achieved in order to keep my left knee from being sandpapered off by the belt was just right to bend my foot, ankle, and hip into directions that were not exactly healthy.  Long story longer... I could very well need more laser treatments next week, because I'm a klutz.

My theory on all of this is that satan knows that I'm getting nervous, and so he's throwing all of these little issues up in here, to make me more insecure.  I'm already a hot mess, so it's really not necessary to keep going with these freaking road blocks, satan!  But, as I've mentioned before, I WILL COMPLETE this half marathon, even if I'm crawling (which is exactly why I was so protective of my knees being sandpapered in the treadmill incident).  So, satan can do his worst; I've got Someone stronger in my corner.  :)

Please keep praying...

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

ummm... I'm kind of going to be needing that leg...

A good friend of mine suggested that if I didn't have a bone-related problem (as in a broken one), that I should try a chiropractor for my foot pain.  My wonderfully wise father suggested that I look into cold laser therapy (which he found to be successful in relieving his back pain a couple of weeks ago).  Today, I found a chiropractor who has the (relatively new) laser equipment, so I scheduled an appointment.  I figured that we might as well get this show on the road; I really need to get some runs going again before May 6.

Dr. Steve (the very quiet and laid back chiropractor) looked at my foot and listened to my sad little tale about Friday's run.  He then informed me that my foot was "almost completely jammed," and asked me if I would follow him into the other room for "an adjustment," if I was all right with that.  I mentioned my hesitation (having never had an "adjustment" at a chiropractor's office) and he assured me that it wouldn't hurt.  Dr. Steve even went so far as to tell me that a lot of people think that it feels good -- relieving tension and pressure, or some kind of crap like that.

I laid on the table and he started getting a very secure grip on my foot.  Before I knew what happened, he had JERKED my foot, and therefore my entire left leg -- almost clean off of my body.  I literally slid partially off of the table!  My reaction?  Ummm... I have a half marathon in 11 days, and will be NEEDING MY LEFT LEG STILL INTACT, Sir.  Suddenly, CRACK -- what the??  he just did it again!  And still, I had not yet experienced this "feels good -- relieving tension and pressure" that quiet, laid back Dr. Steve had spoken of earlier.  This went on for a total of 6 "adjustments" and then he asked me to follow him back into the other room for the cold laser therapy.  Clearly, I was somewhat hesitant to just jump up and follow along at this point.  But since the laser treatment (which was my original reason for the appointment) was waiting in the other room, I went.

They put this laser on my foot for 5 minutes; no pain, no nothing (except for some really cool glasses that they made me wear, to protect my eyes from the laser).  The machine turned off, and Dr. Steve's assistant informed me that I would probably want to schedule another laser treatment for Friday, and that I was free to go.  I put my sock and shoe back on and stood up... there was substantially less pain in my foot than there had been 20 minutes earlier.  No joke.  I'm not saying that it's healed, because I can still feel where it's injured, but it is noticeably better and I am not really limping at this point.  :)  Let's just hope and pray that on Friday, I will be able to get in and out of there with just the laser treatment.  Although, considering that my left leg is probably 1-2 inches longer than my right one after my "adjustments," who knows what I'll need.

Monday, April 23, 2012

okay people; it's getting serious...

I'm off to the podiatrist... let's pray that she can figure out what's going on with my foot  :)

** UPDATE **
I did go to the doctor yesterday and, praise the Lord, I do not have a fracture of any kind.  What I do have, however, is a sprained muscle ligament something-or-other that goes from the bottom of my foot, up around the side.  Apparently it's something that takes 4-6 weeks (WEEKS!) to heal.  This could be problematic, in that the half marathon is in less than two weeks.  Her recommendations?  Try to rest it (ahem...), and to do contrast baths twice per day.  "What's a contrast bath?" you ask?  Well, let me tell you; it's all kinds of fun.  Picture this:  two tubs of water.  One tub contains 104 degree water, which I soak my foot in for 3 minutes.  The other tub contains cold water and lots of ice, which I immediately put my foot into, after it comes out of the hot water -- for about 75 seconds.  Oh yea, it's really fun.  You should try it.

Now, the real question is how much of a break do I let myself take from running, and still try to be ready for May 6?  I don't know the answer to that yet.  I am, however, starting to get rather nervous.  The doctor also mentioned that since these injuries don't heal in two weeks, "the half marathon is going to hurt."  And that I should follow that up with an extended break from the impact on that foot.  Just peachy.

On a happier note, we received new donations last week.  Thank you to Jeff & Tracy McMartin, Paula Guest, Susan Rhem-Westhoff, (Judge) Bobby & Kim Chamberlain, and Tiffany House, for pushing our total funds raised up to $2,870!  It's an amazing feeling, to know that so many people are encouraging me in this way; words really can't explain.  I just feel very blessed to have so many wonderful and generous people that I am able to call my friends.  Thank you so much.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

1/100th of a mile...

The plan; run 13 miles (building the drama of that last tenth of a mile until May 6).  The reality; ran 12.99 miles.  Kept running all the way in the driveway, up to the garage door; looked at Gary (the Garmin) and it said 12.99Not 13 miles!  At that point, I was exhausted, sore, and not even close to wanting to turn around and run the other way again.  That stupid 1/100th of a mile would have to wait.  Freaking 1/100th of a mile... UGH!

Now for the gory details... my body will probably never forgive me for this kind of trauma.  My knees are doing all right (as in not great, but still intact); I invested into KT tape, and it's a miracle how much support I can achieve from carefully and artistically placed tape around my knees.  The unfortunate part is that if I wrap this miracle tape around all of the parts of my body that are hurting, I'll look like a colorful mummy.  Cute?  Yes; but not really effective to try to actually move in a running-type of motion.  As I walked down the stairs to do laundry today, my quadricep muscles made it very clear to me that they're still quite upset with my choice of activity yesterday -- even 24 hours after we finished running.  My left foot has been in some sort of funky cramp mode ALL DANG DAY, which I can't seem to get loosened up.  And my leg/hip area that was sore earlier this week is still not quite on board with my choice to run. and run. and run.  Long story short -- my body is all kinds of pissed off.  BUT, it's my last long training run, and it's checked off.  :)  Hallelujah and yee-haw!

It's interesting and strange to me how you have to play little games with your mind when you're running for 12.99 miles.  For example, as I trotted through the 2 mile mark, it occurred to me that I had 11 miles to go.  That's not really a comforting thought.  I turned my music up really loud and tried not to look at Gary (the Garmin) again; I told myself that I could look when I got to my dentist's office (bathroom stop).  At one point during the run, I found myself actually doing math in my head -- and it wasn't even math that related to the run.  It was just miscellaneous math to distract myself -- and I hate math.  I did a lot of praying during the middle 4-5 miles, which was actually a pleasant distraction.  And at mile 9 1/2 I let myself rejoice in the fact that it was my last double digit distance until the event.  That thought gave me a little burst of excitement that enabled me to run 3 1/2 more miles.  As it turns out, lots of obscure things go through one's mind when they're out running for hours on end.

Didn't receive our update on fundraising yet for the week, but I'll be sure to keep you posted as soon as I get it.   :)  Thanks for the encouragement and the prayers!!!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

amazing gifts...

Today I am grateful.  Grateful for the amazing gift of friendship, and how blessed I am to have so many wonderfully supportive friends in my life.  Grateful, too, for their generosity and how it will impact Heartline.  As of my donations report from last Friday, we have raised $2,635 for Heartline.  I want to take this opportunity to thank those who donated last week:  Julie Stahl, Matt & Sarah Beecham, Jim & Stephanie Baas, and Jim & Denise Stokes.  I am humbled by your generous hearts, and thankful for your support -- truly.  And I'm excited for all of the good things that will be done with that money.  As I've mentioned before, it takes $1,000 for a safe, clean c-section in Haiti.  We're almost to three of those!  It makes me giddy.  :)

Onto running... I have my big run coming up (13 miles) and admittedly I am nervous.  Oh, who am I kidding?  I'm freaking scared.  My knees are holding up (thanks to an investment into KT tape) but my hip/leg area has been pretty sore.  I've spent a lot of time with ice on it, and have taken ibuprofin regularly for a few days, but it's still not good.  The thought of running 13 miles on it isn't really too appealing.  Not to mention that it's supposed to rain for the next couple of days, which will mean that the 13 will be damp, to say the least.  But, much like the USPS, I will go - regardless of rain, sleet, or snow.  Okay, if it happens to snow, I won't be running outside; I mean, I'm not THAT dedicated.

Anyway, thank you all again for your prayers and financial support.  It really does encourage me and I really do appreciate you.  Keep up the good work.  ;)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

da bomb diggity!

Lisa completed 12 1/2 miles yesterday -- awesome!  And she looked great when she was finished -- not awesome!  I seriously looked like I had been through some shock and awe last week when I finished my 12 miles; red face, hair coming out from my headband in almost every direction, and the sweat? well, you can probably imagine... not pretty AT ALL.  I don't really appreciate the fact that Lisa looked as though she had no trouble with her run, but I am proud of her.  :)

I've not gotten an update on fundraising yet this week, but I have a feeling that we did well over the past several days (I hope).  I'll keep you posted on that as I get more information.

It's another step down week for me (praise God) so my runs are somewhat shorter.  My long day for the week will be 6 miles.  You can't see it, but I'm doing a happy dance, just thinking about not having to run miles in the double digits.  And, speaking of digits... my 12 miles last week pushed me up to over 200 miles in my training so far.  And THAT, my friends makes me feel like "da bomb diggity!"

Thanks for your prayers...

Saturday, April 7, 2012

a 'T', a 'W', and an 'elve'

Yesterday, as I was running (jogging) along feeling sore and tired and kind of crabby all over, I had a moment of clarity.  A moment at which I could see past the pain of being at 9 1/2 miles; a moment when I realized that I was running 12 miles on Good Friday.  And the pain that I was feeling was really NOTHING compared to the sacrifice and pain that my Lord took -- on my behalf.  That realization gave me the strength to keep running.  And yes, I did check off another long run -- twelve miles.  It also gave me a moment of unparalleled gratitude; that He would endure all of what He went through, for me -- and for you -- and for all of those who are served by Heartline Ministries.  We couldn't even begin to try to earn or deserve a love like that, and yet He freely gives it.  Thank you, Lord.

Friday, March 30, 2012

did anyone catch the license plate number of that truck???

Yesterday I ran 11 miles.  Today I feel like a Mack truck hit me and then backed back over me... ouch.  There are some good things about the run, including the fact that it is finished -- another long run on the books.  Also, I burned something like 1,850 calories, or something crazy like that -- I'll take it.  On the down side, my knees are not feeling well and my back is hurting like mad.

On a positive note, the past week has been really great in our fundraising efforts!  We've managed to push past the $1,000 mark, which is the amount that it takes for one clean, safe c-section in Haiti.  YAY!  We are currently at $1,210 -- BIG thanks to these additional donors:  Alisha Stewart, John McHoul, Geneva Girls Designs, LLC, Julie Lohr, Wendy Thomas, Wendy Sale, and of course Jim Baas.  Amazing!  Lisa and I are both so grateful for all of the support -- both prayerfully and financially.  Every time we get discouraged with the aches and pains or the tired legs, we think of the money we're raising for Heartline and it keeps us pushing forward.  Thank you for being a part of this endeavor with us.

Please continue to pray for physical strength for all of us who are doing the half marathon on May 6, as well as for Heartline and the needs that they see every day.

Friday, March 23, 2012

It's okay... you can open your eyes now

I'm over my pity party from the other day.  I apologize for letting my insecurities take over my blog for a few minutes.  Just to clear things up, I am going to continue training for May 6.  I will complete the half marathon for Haiti; whether I run, walk, or crawl -- I will finish.

Thank you for the prayers for my 10-miler; I did complete it.  What a trip!  Laura Bakker was able to complete a 10 mile run.  Crazy.  It took me a little longer than I thought that it would, due to some walking and some necessary stretching breaks.  But it's finished... praise God.

My knees were ever-so-grateful for the ice packs, and I honestly don't think that I've ever enjoyed a shower as much as I did after that run.  I'm sure that God probably got a chuckle from my gushing prayers of thanksgiving for modern conveniences like fresh running water from a shower head.  Maybe they helped to make up for the begging and pleading prayers that were going up during the actual run... He was probably about over those.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


I'm in need of a "re-charge" or a wind of energy to blow through me.  Thinking about running is getting old, which is not good.  It's not good because I still have to not only think about it, but I have several weeks of running still ahead of me -- and I. am. tired. of. running.

My brain is sick of trying to figure out when to do this run or that run.  My knees are just about to the point of OVER IT.  AND, I get to run 10 miles on Friday -- ugh.  I think that the fear of what I've committed to do is starting to consume me, and I just want to have the whole thing over with.  I don't want to have to try to figure out when I have enough hours to do long runs (because I run slowly) or have to try to figure out how to politely tell my friends that I love and very much appreciate their encouragement and enthusiasm, but I really just want to run by myself, so that I can get through it however I have to.  I don't want to do any of this anymore.

Most likely I should not have even started a blog post today, considering my current frame of mind (and heart)... but I did.  And now you know.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

this is NOT a runner's body...

Not that there was really any question, but every day I get new clarification that I, in fact, do NOT have a runner's body.  So many strange things are happening, and I'm crediting them to the complete shock and terror that my body must be going through.  I have bumps on my knees that were never there before, I have strange shredding (peeling) on the bottoms of my feet that has never happened before, and the sweating?  oh, the sweating; like, probably gallons... and these are just the things that are okay to share on a public forum!  UGH!  I honestly don't know how "runners" keep up with it all.

But there is good news... Heartline sent a report, and we've raised more money.  I would like to thank Terri & Jeff Stewart, Marie Griffin, and (again) Jim & Stephanie Baas for pushing our total up to $855.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.  :)

With regard to running, this is a "step-down" week for me (that's runner lingo that I got from my actual runner friends). It just means I'm doing less miles; hopefully it'll give my body a chance to rest a little bit from building up in mileage each week, and I won't have any new mysterious bumps or skin conditions to contend with.  Although, in all honesty, I really have nothing to complain about -- compared to the baby born in the dirt, on the street in front of Heartline Ministries a while back.  I'll just keep running...

Friday, March 9, 2012

aaahhhhh... vacation

I've not been able to post for a while because we were on vacation -- in Florida -- and it was warm and beautiful.  The one thing about it that wasn't beautiful?  My runs while I was there.  Running in Florida didn't go as well as I had hoped for, but I managed to get it done.  Since my last post, I've done a day of 8 miles and yesterday I did 9 miles (along with my normal, shorter distance days).  As it turns out, 9 miles is a LONG FREAKING way to run.  And not exactly my idea of a good time... but I was ever-so-thankful to get it checked off of the schedule.  Another long run accomplished.  :)

I also received a report from Heartline Ministries, indicating that we have not received any more donations toward the half marathon... a little discouraging for me, but I'll recover.  It's difficult because I work in a church environment where we are encouraging everyone to help those who are less fortunate, to step outside of our comfort zones, to give of our resources; it all makes me hopeful to actually see that happen.  It's challenging for me when a couple of us from this church (non-runners, to be specific) set out to achieve such a lofty goal, and we don't see the support coming quite as quickly as we thought that it might.  I'm extremely hopeful that more people from our church will be financially supportive.  Please don't get me wrong; I am extremely grateful for the prayers and well-wishes.  But, since the point of this half marathon is to raise much-needed funds for Heartline Ministries, I'll continue to pray that if we have faith, the resources will come...

Monday, February 27, 2012

Thank you!

I received our donations report today, and would like to thank everyone who has donated to Heartline Ministries for our run.  I would especially like to recognize Jim and Stephanie Baas and Mary Beth Bradford for your generosity and encouragement in this way.  Yes, all of that money from only three people... You guys ROCK!  :)

Sunday, February 26, 2012

I've been reprimanded...

One of my two followers (sad, I know...) has informed me that I am not posting frequently enough for people to keep up with what's going on in my training.  Okay, here's a recap of the past week:  I ran four days, including a day of 7 miles.  No, you didn't just hallucinate... I said that I ran 7 miles last week Thursday.  Boo-yah!  AND to make it even better, it was one of the best runs I've had.  I was doing some serious praising of my God after that one was finished, you'd better believe.  :)

On another note, my sister and her friend ran in the Disney Princess Half Marathon this morning.  Their time was 2:02:50 -- can I get an amen?  They're my running heroes!  And not only did they run that half marathon, but they did it dressed up in costumes!  Steph was Tinkerbell and Marie was Belle; they ran like olympians AND they looked adorable.  Seriously, does it get any better than that???

Looking forward to tackling my long run of 8 miles this week... pray that it goes as well as last week.  Also, continue to be in prayer for Heartline of Haiti; they had a tough loss last week.

Thanks for joining me in this journey!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

ummm... OUCH!

Yesterday was the big 6 mile day.  The day before yesterday was the day that I let Lisa convince me to go to Tone Zone class with her, where we would do 200 squats and lunges.  Today is the day that I can't lower myself into a chair to sit and type this post... it hurts too much.

Seriously... yes, I am very sore.  BUT I am also very blessed.  Yesterday after I finished my run (jog), I posted about it on facebook -- "Thank you Jesus, that it is finished -- 6 miles today."  Not because I actually think that Jesus is on Facebook, but because I was SO FREAKING thankful to be finished with that run.  I received so much encouragement through the replies to my post.  I have a lot of great people in my life, and I am grateful.  When I was finished running, I felt somewhat discouraged that I had stopped a few times and that my legs were feeling like rubberbands.  I felt discouraged about the fact that I had done less than half of the distance that I've committed to run on May 6, and I did not feel good about it.  However, it made me feel so much better about my efforts when I read all of the love on my facebook post.  If you were one of the people who posted a note of encouragement to me, please know that it meant so much.  I really needed that yesterday... Thank you.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Where have I been???

Wow!  It's been a week since I posted anything; where has the time gone?  Last week I completed 14 miles, and have done 6 so far in this week.  Knees are starting to give me some concern, as I've not really noticed any pain in them until today.  Did find out, though, that frozen packages of shredded cheese make pretty good ice packs.  Just in case you ever need to know.

I'm working with someone new at Heartline to try to get a report of donations that we've received so far.  Hopefully she'll get me something within the next couple of days, and I'll post it on the sidebar, so we know where we stand with that.

My friend Lisa, who is planning to do the run with me, could use some prayers.  She's suffering through a sinus infection, an ear infection, and still trying to get her miles in.  It does become considerably tougher when you are unable to breathe while you are running (jogging).  Please pray for quick healing for her.  :)  Oh, and maybe pray for my knees too... thanks!

Monday, February 6, 2012

it's a new week...

and I, for one, am grateful.  Last week, my running didn't feel very good, so I'm glad that it's a new week and an opportunity to do better.

My training schedule has changed a little bit, and the "latest and greatest" plan actually has me going about 310 miles (over the course of the entire program), rather than 286.  After running today, I've done just about 55 miles of training so far.  Praise God!  :)

Friday, February 3, 2012


After much struggle, we've figured out that the best way to handle the donations is through PayPal, directly.  Unfortunately, this doesn't give me an option to have a running total on the blog, for everyone to see where we are with donations.  So... I'm going to put a button on the sidebar, once donations start coming in.  I'll be able to update it regularly (probably once a week), so that we can see the progress that's being made.  I figured that it'll add to the suspense, and give you something to look forward to.  So please feel free to use the 'DONATE' button on the right side of this page and help us raise much needed funds for Heartline.  If you want to check out what they're doing in Haiti, there's a link for that too.  Thanks!!!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

my lungs are done...

but it's for a good reason... I just did 5 miles! I'm excited, but it pushed my lungs about as far as they can handle for right now. (I'm supposed to move up again next week...)  Oh, and my legs are also recognizing the fact that this 5, added to yesterday's total, means I've run (jogged) 9 1/2 miles in two days.  Now that is truly something that I never thought I'd say.

On a side note, we're still working on the donate button, since that's kind of an important part of this adventure. I'll keep you "posted." :)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


The tracker for donations is currently having some difficulty.  The wonderfully patient lady from Heartline is trying to help us get it all straightened out and hopefully we will have a new, functional chip-in meter on here again soon... so sorry for the difficulty.  Please don't give up on us.  :)

Saturday, January 28, 2012

cross training

It was supposed to be a cross training day today, until I woke up and (somehow) managed to hurt my back within 10 minutes of being awake.  Man, it stinks, getting old...

Anyway, last night, the cat was almost out of the bag.  I didn't think that I'd get out of the movie theater without everyone knowing that I'm training for a half marathon.  Thankfully, the conversation intentionally and quickly changed direction [a couple of times] and I was able to avoid everyone finding out.  Then today, I told my family; figuring that I could use all the prayers I can get, for as long as I can get them.  While it wasn't exactly how I pictured it going (in my head), I have no doubt that they'll pray for me.  :)  For that I feel blessed.  So I think that makes 8 people -- I'm thankful for all 8 who know my (His) plans.

Lastly, I did walk on the treadmill tonight.  It isn't probably the cross training that I needed, but it was the best I could manage tonight.  That's something...

Friday, January 27, 2012


yes, spoiled.  Not just in the 'I live in the USA and have plenty of most anything that I need' kind of spoiled; more of a 'I just tried to do my run outside and realized how much easier it is to do on the treadmill' kind of spoiled.  This could pose a problem, as I'm fairly certain that Borgess Health and their people will not go for me doing the half marathon on my treadmill.

I'm feeling discouraged today, because my run was bad.  Let me clarify that they're never really all that good, but usually I can feel like I've accomplished something by the time I'm finished.  Not today.  I did the 4 1/2 miles, but I walked more of it that I should have... ugh.

I'm still drinking my chocolate milk, because bad or not, I went the distance... but I'm not really feeling like it's a reward today.  Hopefully my next time will be better.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

32 miles in...

After today's efforts, I've done just over 32 miles so far, in training for this event.  YAY!  More importantly, I've gotten the "DONATE" button set up and the link attached to this site, so that you can check out Heartline of Haiti for yourself.  Take a minute and look at their blog; see some of the wonderful ways that they help the people of Haiti.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

An example of why I'm upgrading and becoming involved...

Post taken from Heartline Haiti's blog:

A New Born: From the Dirt Road to the Warm Hands of Heartline

Posted: January 21, 2012
Nothing is boring in Haiti, there is so much to see, so much to experience.  When you live in Haiti you go to bed really tired and when you wake up you have no idea how the day will go.  The best laid plans are foiled at any moment.

Today was one of little plans gone awry for bigger things.  Friday’s are for Family Planning and Bible Study.  Never is it just planning and Bible Study.  A baby is sick, a mother needs to talk.  A teen has a problem.   Pregnancy tests bring joy and sadness.  A disappointing conversation today brought the news that one of our sewing center young ladies is pregnant for the third time.  She is young, she is alone, she gave one child for adoption already and she was just getting on her feet.  A bad choice with long reaching consequences.  Another child to raise on her own.  Thank the Lord He sees beyond our mistakes and makes a way for us.  A precious little person loved and cherished by God.

As we were finishing up our work Cherline, the maternity center housekeeper, came rushing in to tell us a baby was born in the dirt outside by the Harbor House.  Melissa, Dr. Jen and I grabbed gloves and out the gate we ran.  Sure enough there was a squatting mom, a pool of blood, a blue baby lying in the dirt with the cord hanging between mom’s legs.  The placenta had not yet been delivered.

The baby was half in the dirt and half on an old tee shirt and blanket just as dirty as the ground.  Mom was a tiny lady, clearly not sure of what had just happened.  She didn’t know she was in labor.  Melissa and I held up mom and Dr Jen held baby with the cord hanging between us we walked/ran back to the maternity center with blood dripping along behind us.  A comedy to any passersby.

In we rushed and did the things that we do for every woman and baby.  A delivered placenta, vitals taken, baby cleaned and warmed, mom fed and hydrated.  A whirlwind of activity not planned for the day.  A stranger swept off the dirt road and brought into our haven of rest.  Roseline is not in our program, she is not one of our ladies, she is an interruption, a God intended interruption that makes claim that babies shouldn’t be born in the dirt and their moms should be taken care of.

There is something about babies born in humble circumstances.  Babies that go from the warm, protected womb to the cold ground.  Babies that aren’t delivered into warm hands but onto a hard earth with dirty rags.  These babies remind us of Jesus.  They remind us that He interrupts our day with bigger plans.  He bursts onto the scene and if we respond He has something wonderful for us.

Something wonderful did happen today.  We got to minister to a young mom who needed care, a baby who needed a better welcome to life outside the womb.  We got to break the rules and take a “walk in”.   We got to act a little like Jesus today to a baby who was born like He was ~ in humble circumstances.
He’s a God of interruptions, a God who loves the poor, cares for those who have made wrong choices and wants to redeem situations.

Thank you for your support of Heartline that allows us to be here for the ladies and babies of Haiti.
Beth McHoul

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Worship songs and chocolate milk

Have I mentioned how thankful I am for the songs that keep me feeling capable while I'm running (jogging)?  I've been listening to my worship playlist while I've been on the treadmill, and it's been very uplifting.  I love how God speaks through the words of those songs, and usually it's just what I need to hear in that moment.  I tried to listen to one of my regular playlists the other day (pop songs, etc.) and it just didn't give me the motivation that I needed.  I had to switch back.

And chocolate milk -- my after-run treat.  It seems crazy, since I could make chocolate milk anytime I want to, being a grown up.  But I told myself that it would be my treat; my recovery from running (jogging).  One of my friends (who is a legitimate runner) told me a long time ago that chocolate milk is one of the best recovery drinks that you can have after a run.  It's true; it perks me back up and also motivates me to keep going when my legs start getting tired.  Love it!

By the way... as a side note, I ran four miles on Friday -- without walking at all.  :)  Yes, it was an exciting moment.  The last few weeks of this (training for this event) have been a combination of jogging and walking.  But last Friday I wanted to push myself, to see if I could do it without the walking part.  It was such a great feeling of accomplishment, and I was SO thankful that my prayers were being answered, even while I was running (jogging).  What an encouragement to know that when I'm running at higher mileage (which, from all that I can figure, is inevitable) I'll be able to beg God for mercy and strength when I feel like it might just kill me to keep moving.  Very encouraging, indeed...

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Crazy pieces...

So many pieces of this puzzle keep falling into place.  It was last February when I first started feeling like I was supposed to be running, it was August when I thought I would be finished, after completing that 5K to raise awareness about human trafficking.  It was a seemingly innocent event plan that brough me to a chapter in the Bible -- Isaiah 58.

We have been planning a showing of a film called "58" at church, to bring awareness to global poverty and injustice, so I have been thinking a lot about that particular chapter.  It became crystal clear to me (like, scarily clear, to the point that I couldn't help but be overwhelmed with emotion) as I watched the film that it is exactly why this all started, almost a year ago.  I have to do for a few what I wish that I could do for the masses.  It's very crazy to me, to realize that God has had THIS particular plan in motion for almost a year now, and that He's using me to do it... ME!  Someone who would NEVER choose to run -- for any reason.  Someone who doesn't have confidence enough in her physical abilities to ever actually sign up for an event of this magnitude.  Someone for whom each and every step would be a challenge.  THIS is how I will step outside of my comfort zone to help someone else.

I have always read and heard about how God uses "regular people" to do great things, whether in the Bible or in stories that I hear every now and then on the news.  Could I be one of those people?  Someone who will do something great, for someone I don't even know?  I suddenly feel like this purpose will give me strength that I wasn't even aware that I had.  I can't wait to find out.

Monday, January 9, 2012

286 miles

My training schedule has me going 286 miles. Currently, as I have only completed 8 of those miles, I am wondering how this is going to happen. But I'm also dreaming about how I will feel as those miles pass (besides sore, tired, crabby, etc.) We're currently in a series at church, called 'Upgrade.' It focuses on upgrading your life, according to what God has for you, versus staying content with what's convenient or what's comfortable. As I sat in the service yesterday, I couldn't help but think about this challenge. I couldn't help but think about the mamas and the babies whose lives will (hopefully) be changed because of my commitment to this seemingly impossible goal. I do pray that God will use this as an opportunity in many ways; obviously I can use the physical aspect of it, and most definitely the money that will go to Heartline will enable babies to be born in a clean, safe environment.

I still have only told a couple of people about this challenge. While I'm excited to tell people, I'm still so nervous about what everyone will expect. Not that it really matters, because I'm not doing it for them -- I'm doing it because I've been unable to shake the whispers that have been stirring in me for months. I'm doing it because I think that it's an opportunity to upgrade my life... I hope so.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

There's more to come...

Yes, obviously there's more running (jogging) to come, but there's more to this whole thing than just the running (jogging).

You see, this has been a long time coming. God started working in my heart several months ago, with regard to this effort. I was successful in ignoring it for a while; after all, why would I want to respond to whispers about running? Then, I thought "Okay God, I'll try it... I'll try to run," figuring that it would be a short-lived effort and then be done. Figuring that if I had tried to do what God was putting on my heart, that would be enough. I ran through the summer and completed a 5K in August. Finally, I could say that I did it, and (praise the Lord) be finished with running. Still, no; God wasn't finished with this whisper.

I only confided this to a couple of people, because it seemed somewhat crazy that God was whispering to me about running. Really, God? Running? I thought that He must have had me confused with my sister (who is actually a great runner), but of course, He didn't. So... I kept going out and doing it. It was miserable and it made me hurt -- a lot. Certainly God would give me a reprieve, after trying so hard for several months. Nope, still no ceasing with the whisper.

Guess what? He had other plans for me. I've finally realized that this whole thing was leading me to run in order to help others. What the...?? I know, it sounds kind of crazy. But it actually makes perfect sense (as God has a tendency of doing). I have been prompted to run a half marathon as a fundraiser for a group in Haiti. This organization has a variety of ways that they help Haitians, and I was introduced to them a couple of years ago when some friends of my sister's trained and completed a half marathon to raise money for them. Heartline of Haiti; mamas and babies -- that is why I will do this. Hopefully God will let me off the hook after May 6. Maybe He will give me another whisper; one that isn't so freaking painful. :)

Keep praying...

Friday, January 6, 2012

What's a little blood, sweat and tears, anyway?

NOW I've done it. Now it's not just talk... it can't be. Now I have to actually DO something. And that something? It's RUN! What was I thinking?

I signed up to do a half marathon. And before you assume that Stephanie has hijacked this blog, claiming to be me, let me assure you... it's Laura. Crazy, chubby, sassy Laura.  Between whispers, promptings, and way too many coincidences to actually be coincidences, I've been called to action.

please be praying...