4.09 For Boston

I spent my morning glued to the computer, watching this.

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I jumped up and down and cheered as Shalane and Kara crossed the finish line. I did the same with the men’s race, not caring that I had just returned from the gym and could smell myself. I was on a runners high and I didn’t even race. I took the dogs for a walk, took a shower, and then we on the phone with a friend, a Boston area resident actually, when we heard about the explosions. I was sad, hurt, and very very angry. Runners and their families are great people. I can imagine the family members cheering wildly, waiting for a glimpse of their loved one approaching the finish line. How devastating of a day for all involved, and just a scary reminder that life is precious, and that there is evil in the world. The thing is, this could happen anywhere to any one of us on any given day. We are not promised tomorrow, so don’t take a single second for granted. Hug the neck of those you love, take a chance, face a fear. You only live once, so make the most of it.

Pray for the country, pray for the city of Boston, for the runners, and their families. Pray for the evil in the world, that those with bad intentions would have a change of hear.

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Today, I will be running 4.09 miles in honor of the lives lost, people injured, and the hurting families. Four hours and nine minute was the time on the clock when the first bomb went off, so it seems fitting. Will you join me and do the same? I will be praying the whole way.

QOTD: Will you run for Boston today? Post below if you decide to do so. 

Weekend Ramblings: March Edition

Good morning! Today I am running the Crescent City Classic 10k in New Orleans. It is only my second 10k, with my first being the same race back in 2009, so I am excited! We will also be spending Easter weekend with the fam, and I am excited to see them as well. Be sure to follow me on Twitter, Instagram, and Facbook as I will be updating those accounts with all the race day fun!

Also…

1.) Be sure to check out my new “runDisney” page on the top menu bar. It has been a work in progress and will continue to be, but now you can see all of my runDisney posts in one place.

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2.) Join in my Challenge Loop April cross training challenge! It’s easy and free to sign up, and you can win really cool prizes. What do you have to lose?

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3.) Happy Easter weekend! This weekend is super important to me, and holds very special meaning. I will be a bit more scarce on social media as I spend time with my family and time at church, reflecting on what the meaning of this special day is tomorrow.

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4.) I have a fun runDisney post going up on Monday with some insider information so be sure to come back and check it out!

QOTD: Will you be doing anything special this weekend?

Blessings

Sometimes we (myself included) give the wrong definition to blessings. We think a blessing is when a prayer is answered the way we want, or when something good happens to us. A blessing may evne be defined as getting out of something we didn’t want to do. Generally, when we think of the word, we think of it in association with positive feelings and good things happening. However, that is not always the case. I feel like in my life, sometimes I miss God’s blessings because I am looking for the wrong thing. Sometimes, it’s a blessing when a prayer is answered with a “no” or “not yet.” Sometimes, it’s a blessing when we DON’T get what we want. I try and think about it in a child-like way. If your kid asks if they can eat a big bowl of ice cream before bed and you tell them no, the kid is probably super disappointed, but it is really a blessing in disguise because you are saving them from a tummy ache and possibly being up all night not able to sleep.

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Now, translate this to your life. We (or I, maybe you don’t) get frustrated and angry when I don’t get the answer I want, (or when I want it) to a prayer, or a situation. I have learned that sometimes I need to take a step back and evaluate the situation, because by not getting the answer I want when I want, God could really be saving me from disappointment, pain, or hurt. Even though right now I can’t see how that is possible, He can see everything and the trials I am going through could be a blessing in disguise.

One of my favorite songs that is out right now is by Laura Story, it’s called “Blessings.” Whenever I go through difficulties in my life, there always seems to be a song that I zero in on that helps me, and years later whenever I hear that song I am brought back to that time period or difficulty. This is “my song” right now, and it has gotten me through some tough days, and I just wanted to share it with you.  Below I have posted the lyrics and also a link to an unofficial YouTube video where you can hear the song. I hope it encourages you with whatever you are going through right now. There may be a reason you are having to wait, or go through pain or disappointment. So don’t give up, keep on praying, and trust in His timing. Hopefully you will be able to look back on you situation one day and be thankful for the hard times and the mercies in disguise.

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“Blessings”

We pray for blessings, we pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
And all the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love us way too much to give us lesser things
‘Cause what if your blessings come through rain drops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise
We pray for wisdom, Your voice to hear
We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt your goodness, we doubt your love
As if every promise from Your word is not enough
And all the while, You hear each desperate plea
And long that we’d have faith to believe
‘Cause what if your blessings come through rain drops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise
When friends betray us
When darkness seems to win
We know that pain reminds this heart
That this is not,
This is not our home
It’s not our home
‘Cause what if your blessings come through rain drops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near
What if my greatest disappointments or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy
What if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are your mercies in disguise

QOTD: Have you ever gone through something in your life and looked back and saw that even though it was painful, you are so glad it happened?

Still Running With Sass

I have thought about how I would word this post over and over for the past couple of months. Let me preface by saying I hate change. It has always been a flaw of mine, as I am sentimental and very much a lover of routine. I am learning that sometimes change is good, and required for growth.

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When I started writing Running With Sass over three years ago, I never in my craziest dreams would have imagined it would turn into what it is now. A place for me to share my thoughts, experiences, and loves with a wonderful community of readers and like minded people. Something so important to me I would call it “my baby”, and work every day to make it better than the day before. As my blog grew and changed, I did as well. It came to my attention about six months ago that some change may be beneficial, but I quickly dismissed those thoughts. However, they kept creeping in over and over and I couldn’t keep my mind off of them. This was when I knew it was time to step out of my comfort zone and make some changes.

It is said that with great risk comes great reward, and boy am I taking a huge risk. My anxiety level has been through the roof the closer I got to launch date, and I am still petrified that things won’t go as planned. However, no one ever said growth and change would be easy. With that being said, I am so pleased to announce my “new” blog: Through Heather’s Looking Glass. If you remember ANY portion of this long post, I want you to remember one thing: I’m still me. I may have a new name and URL, but I am still Heather, I am still running with sass. You can even still call me that if you want. Smile I have ZERO intention of changing who I am, or my writing style.

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Ok, so why the change? Basically, I wanted my name to fit with what I was already doing. Yes, my blog name was Running With Sass, but I blogged a little about EVERYTHING from travel, to Disney, to my family, to motivation and my faith. However, I realized most people looking to read up on those other non-fitness topics were not very likely to come to a blog called “Running With Sass”. I discovered I had unintentionally pigeon-holed myself and wanted the freedom to pursue a wider audience and more opportunities as I grow and change as a person.

Please note I will ALWAYS have a huge focus on running, health, and fitness. I have plenty of races on my calendar for the year, and don’t plan to take my focus off something that is such a huge part of my life. However, you may see a few more “sprinkles” of other things here and there on the blog. If all you want to read about is running, that is totally cool, no hard feelings. You can simply click the coral-colored word “running” up in my header and you will be taken to all of my running posts in chronological order.

So why Through Heather’s Looking Glass? The lovely Jen helped me come up with the name, and I love it. I still wanted to include “sass” somewhere in my tagline to never forget where I started. I think it all has a nice ring to it when said together. I wanted a name that was generic enough that I could blog about anything, but also gave a nod to Disney (Alice in Wonderland anyone?) which is a HUGE love of mine, and I also love the double meaning. This blog is the world according to me, how I see things through MY looking glass.

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You can still type in “runningwithsass.com” to get here, however I recommend getting used to the idea of either “throughheatherslookingglass.com” or “heatherslookingglass.com” (all three will redirect here). I will be changing over my names on Twitter, Facebook, etc. too so be on the lookout for that as well. I will also be updating some of my pages, but these things take lots of time. Take a look around, I hope you like the new look!

In closing, I would be lying if I didn’t say I was a little sad. I feel like Running With Sass has been my identity for over three years. When I’ve had the opportunity to meet some of you, I typically don’t hear “look it’s Heather!” It’s usually “look it’s running with sass!” Even though this is the same blog with the same posts, it almost feels like I am saying goodbye to an old friend. I will be forever grateful for the opportunities RWS gave to me, but I also feel it would be foolish to not let the natural process of growth and change take place. I am also so excited about the future, and about where my new name could potentially take me. I hope you will stick around, it’s going to be quite the adventure!

Thank you all so much for your loyalty, understanding, and support. I wouldn’t be anywhere without you, my wonderful readers. <3

QOTD: So….thoughts?

* I couldn’t have done this without the awesomeness of Rita at Blog Genie. She was excellent to work with, highly recommended! I am forever grateful.

 

Risk and Reward

 

I don’t like change. I am a very routine person, and change is scary. I am also very sentimental, so the thought of letting go of something to make room for something new or different is not too high up on the list of my favorite things. That being said, I am slowly learning that sometimes change is good, if I decide to stop freaking out long enough to realize in the long run, good things can come with change.

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I have a habit of being short sighted. I want results, and I want them now. I don’t want to wait for things to slowly unfold or happen, and if something is going to take awhile, even if it will end up being a better fit, I typically want no part in it. Growing up, we ALWAYS had Christmas at my grandparents house. One year when I was about thirteen, my parents decided we were going to do something different and I threw a fit. I was devastated, and too this day it stands as my least favorite Christmas. Where am I going with this? Yes, I know I have a tendency to ramble when it comes to talking about serious stuff like this.

I am currently going through some big life changes, and this includes some big blog changes. Don’t worry, I’m not going anywhere. I’m super freaked out, but also super excited for what is to come. I’m not quite ready to share yet, but I would appreciate your prayers. Sometimes the most scary things can end up being the most beneficial, and that is what I keep telling myself.

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Have you ever thought about doing something, and it never appealed to you? Then all of the sudden one day it clicks, and you can’t get your mind off of it, and you just KNOW you have to do it? That’s kind of what I am going through. I feel like God has placed something on my heart, and I think about it so much it literally keeps me awake at night, so I know it’s the right thing to do even if it’s scary. I have never been one to take risks. I have no desire to put my life in danger, to “walk on the wild side” or attempt the impossible. I am a “play it safe” kind of girl, the one who is always the sensible voice of reason. While I may not be wild about taking physical risks, I think it’s high time I take some risks in other areas of my life.

With great risk, comes great reward.

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Don’t get me wrong, I am afraid. Afraid to fail, afraid things will be too hard, and afraid of letting others down. However, I also know if I don’t start taking some risks, I will always look back and wonder what could have been. Have you ever felt that way? I just know I have to have faith. If I feel like God is calling me to do something, I can’t ignore it, I know it won’t go away. Faith is a tough thing, trusting in the unseen, but I believe God has big plans for me, so who am I to say “I can’t do that?” God doesn’t call the qualified, he qualifies the called.

So, today, I encourage you to take a risk. Talk to or e-mail someone you have been afraid to talk to. Reconcile with a friend. Take a leap of faith. You may not get the results you hoped for….they may be even better than you could have ever imagined.

QOTD: What is something you were afraid to do but it ended up being so worth it?

To Be Great

 

Everyone wants to be good at something. No one likes to just be “average” at things they put hard work into. “Great” is also a relative term depending on who you are talking to. Why am I brining all of this up? eh. It’s just something that has been on my mind recently. I do NOT write this to get sympathy, compliments, or pity. It comes from the heart, and my hope is that it is relatable and may help someone else with feelings they may be experiencing in their life.

As a teenager, I was good at many things. I was an excellent athlete, winning numerous awards all through high school. I was a good student, I made A’s with an occasional B. I was president of clubs, sang in a vocal ensemble (I am NOT a soloist!) and had some friends.

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Lately, as an adult,I have been struggling with feelings of doubt, that I am not “great” at any one thing in particular. I am an average runner, average blogger, have an average life. Don’t get me wrong, I feel very BLESSED, but just don’t feel like I excel in much anymore. I think some of my feelings are stemming from my foot injury. I feel like my “running shape” I have worked so hard to get into is slowly slipping away and by time I get it back it will be spring again. I WANT to be a good distance runner, but it’s just not natural to me, and will probably never be in the cards. I will race you in the 100 meter dash any day of the week, but that’s where my confidence ends in my ability to be a great runner.

After being frustrated with me averageness for awhile, I tried to think of some ways to make myself feel better, or encourage myself. The first thing I tried to remind myself is that greatness takes time. In this day and age we have so many quick fixes and short cuts to be able to do things, but they don’t lead to greatness. 8 minute abs and learning to do a new hobby in three easy steps may get you on the right track, but it won’t make you great.

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“I’m great at hunting for frogs, mom!”

In order to master something, you have to practice, you have to work at it, and many times it will demand all you have to give and then some. Even after you have done everything you think you possibly can do, you will still need to do more. Finally, when you think you are finally great, think again, because in a few years you might look back and think your journey was only just beginning.

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If you look at people who are great at something, they have been doing it a long time. Ryan Hall. Michel Jordan. Thomas Kincade. Drew Brees. Michael Jordan was even cut from the first basketball team he tried out for in school!

While natural ability does have something to do with it, these people had to work for what they have achieved. We are so used to stomping our feet and wanting instant gratification we can’t stand it when we are just mediocre and we look over and the person next to us is exceling. (Or at least I can’t.)

This leads me to comparison. Which is a trap I fall into all. the. time. I am the epitome of competitive, and I want to win at everything I do. Even a fun church game of flag football. Oh no. I. must. win. This trait of mine has been quite the helper in my life but also quite the hindrance. I have been known to beat myself up when I am not as good as the next guy, or when it takes me too long to get something right. I also have a tendency to give up and not want to do something if I can’t be excellent at it.

Can anyone relate to any of this? I sure hope so.

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So, what did I gather from this deep look within myself…

1.) I don’t have to be great at everything

2.) Greatness is relative, so try not to compare

3.) People don’t become great overnight, so keep working

4.) Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard (my new favorite Tim Tebow quote)

5.) You never know who thinks you are inspiring when you think you are just average

So, as I look in the mirror and tell myself these things when I feel less than great, I will also say:

When the world says, “Give up,”
Hope whispers, “Try it one more time.”

After all, everyone has talent, it’s just a matter of finding it. I may have already found all the talent I am going to in this life, or maybe I have yet to uncover my potential. I have faith that God isn’t finished with me yet and the best is yet to come, I just have to be patient and keep working hard.

QOTD: –Have you ever had feelings like this before? What did you do?

             – What is something you are really good at?

When Things Don’t Go as Planned

 

Handling adversity is something I have really been trying to work on. (Along with patience.) Adversity is one of those things in life we will all face. ALL. No matter how rich, skinny, pretty, smart, or hardcore you are, it will come into your life in some fashion. The key is not to figure out how to avoid it because well…you can’t. Instead, the key is how you HANDLE it.

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Lately, I have been in a “when things don’t go as planned” funk. I am a very planned out person, and I get extremely bend out of shape when there is a change of plans. I know, it sounds ridiculous, but it’s true. Even the smallest change can send me into a tailspin. I recently learned I get this from my mother (thanks mom!) Who apparently flipped out in Disneyworld recently when there was no parking in the hotel parking lot they were going to look at Christmas decorations in, and instead had to park at a neighboring hotel. I thought to myself… hhmm…”wow mom, that’s a bit much, just park somewhere else.” But I am sure people have thought the things I flip out about were no biggie.

The past few months I have had a LOT of my “plans” get changed, and I have not been handling the adversity as I should. I have had things happen (or not happen) in my life, as well as in my running/healthy living plans that have not made me very happy. For instance, I have yet to run a half marathon injury free. I was hoping Sunday would have been the day, but no dice. I had my heart set on a PR, and when I missed it by seven minutes due to injury, I got REALLY bent out of shape. Yes, yes, there will be other races, you can’t PR every time, blah blah blah. I did NOT want to hear it. At that moment, if you would have asked me to sign up for a race I would have said I am never running a half marathon again. GASP. I know, how awful of me to think it, but it was true. I don’t feel that way now, but I still am feeling a little burnt out.

We were supposed to close on our new home this Friday, but it is not going to happen until next week. I was so excited about being in my new house and living with my husband again after being apart since October. (I am really getting sick of living without him by the way.)

We had an offer on our house we are trying to sell last week. They made an offer, a very low offer, and we countered, with a VERY generous offer. I got excited thinking it was a done deal. They came back wanting even more (it was ridiculous all of the demands they were making) and we made the decision to say no thanks unless they took our counter offer.

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There are some other things going on I am not really at liberty to talk about right now, but just trust me on this one. There is a LOT going on, and a LOT of things are not going my way. My first instinct when dealing with adversity is to pout. I get the whole woe is me attitude, it’s not a pretty sight. I got into one of those moods this morning, and I decided instead of dwelling on the adversity in my life right now, I would think of ways to get out of my funk.

1.) Talk it out. Keeping things bottled up inside is a surefire way to explode one day when you least expect it. Try to talk to someone outside the situation, who will listen attentively and be a shoulder to lean on. Make sure you tell them up front if you are looking for advice/feedback or just someone to listen.

2.) Think about the positive things in your life. I know it seems cheesy, but it really helps me. Instead of dwelling on the negative, think of the positive. I’m healthy, I have a loving family, and sweet puppies. We have food on the table every night, and a house to live in. When I start to shift my thinking, I realize how truly blessed I really am!

3.) Realize that YOU have control over your attitude. You have a choice in how you feel. I try to remind myself to not let me emotions get the best of me. When something does not go according to plan, I do NOT have to freak out. I can choose not to stress about things! Just make the choice (I know, easier said than done.)

4.) Realize that life is a journey. Barring getting hit by a bus tomorrow, life is going to have its valleys and mountains. It is highly unlikely that my current problems are going to last forever. Try and see the light at the end of the tunnel, and try not to look at your problem as a never ending cycle.

5.) Plan something fun. Even when my life is crazy and not going my way, if I have something to look forward to, a “bright spot,” then it helps me get through the problems I am facing. A weekend getaway or a girls night may be just what you need to snap you out of your funk.

6.) Don’t give up. If there is some goal you are trying to reach, like say a race PR, or to get out of debt, do not give up! Even if you face adversity, it can make you stronger if you have the right attitude. Will I run another half marathon? Of course. I will keep training and trying to reach my goal. Take THAT adversity!

Some things may not be going as planned, and I may not be able to control the situations, but I CAN control how I react to them!

**Side note: These are some practical ways to handle adversity. As a Christian, I also have some other tips for dealing with my problems. If you are interested in hearing about them, feel free to e mail me at runningwithsass@gmail.com and I would love to share!